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The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set)

The Traditional Tarot for the 21st Century

Most Tarot decks with really spectacular designs are really just art collections. The Gilded Tarot transcends this limitation by having some of the most strikingly beautiful art on any Tarot deck, yet follows the Rider-Waite-Smith model. The result is a unique deck that any person with some Tarot experience will find instantly familiar and usable. This deck can be used with any Tarot system or book.

You really must see the cards to believe their beauty. The High Priestess dances on water in a translucent dress of stars. She bends backwards in front of a crescent moon, looking like a classic lamp from the 1920s. The Wheel of Fortune shows the zodiacal wheel around a solar center as part of a bizarre, almost alien machine. The Hanging Man follows this machine concept, but he is dressed in brilliant reds and greens.

The colors are deep and intense, almost metallic. They draw you in and will have you staring at the images repeatedly. But this is more than a deck to look at, it’s a deck to use! The Gilded Tarot Companion, a full book by Tarot expert Barbara Moore, is included with this deck. It’s a complete introduction so that even a beginner can use this deck right away.

If you’re tired of the old style of the RWS deck and its imitators, if you’re looking for a familiar deck that will take you into the future, this is the deck you want to use.

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3 comments on “The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set)

  1. Easy To Use and Beautifully Illustrated First of all, let me say this is a beautifully illustrated deck. The graphics are stunning, realistic in the artistic approach and well thought through. There is no difficulty in understanding what the artist had in mind when he designed these cards. The imagery is clear as well as beautiful to look at.The suits are visibly distinguishable, as opposed to other decks. Even if you are not sure, the Minor Arcana are clearly identifiable by a color ‘jewel’ at the top of each card, red for wands, blue for swords, yellow/gold for cups and green for pentacles.The deck is based on the Rider-Waite deck, with 22 Major Arcana cards and the Minor Arcana comprised of 10 numbered cards and 4 court cards each. Ciro Marchetti maintains the Page, Knight, King and Queen court cards rather than changing their associations as many recent decks have done.The reverse design is a ‘jeweled’ motif reminiscent of a sunburst, and is not too busy or distracting.Intriguing is Ciro Marchetti’s inclusion of some images that appear almost to be machine-like in quality. Going over the artists notes in the front of the book is his notation “A common theme in my work is the inclusion of mechanical devices, and this continued on various cards in the Major Arcana of the Gilded Tarot. These machines, which straddle the opposing worlds of science and magic, somewhat basic of their construction and clockwork movements of gears and cogs, are of an earlier times… while not of the world of microprocessors and chips, they are nevertheless capable of wonders beyond today’s technology.” I found this to be interesting, and appropriate, for a modern deck of tarot cards.The emphasis on nature is also there, in carefully included animal images, natural settings and yet, it maintains a surrealistic feel in the almost vision-like quality of some of the Major Arcana cards. The deck has a renaissance motif at work in the costumes and architecture.The swords and cups are obviously identifiable. The wands are distinctive in their design of being metallic in appearance, topped by what at first glance appears to be a ‘torc’ but could also be a dual power point. The pentacle design is unique in that the design is a pentagon within a pentagon on the numbered cards and the pentacle only appears behind the King of Pentacles. The Queen holds a pentagon with the jeweled sunburst within.All in all, the designs appeal to meditation on the cards and are easily workable by those familiar with a standard tarot deck.The book is a basic workbook for those not familiar with tarot decks. While the notes from the artist is a nice inclusion, the material provided by Barbara Moore is good for beginners. There is a little about the actual meaning of the cards, but as always, that is dependent on the reader and what he or she sees as she uses the cards. But the cards are so clear in their message; this would make an excellent first deck.Finally, there is the bag. Please let me add that this is an excellent touch to the gift box presentation. Besides a lovely box to keep the book and deck in, which, again, is beautiful in its design, the bag gives you someplace to store the deck. It is an Organdy bag and I found that it was great to prevent the cards from sliding around in the box once I put the deck in the bag, and makes a handy carrying case as I showed the deck around to a few reader friends of mine, and also used the deck at one of my tarot reading. My clients were complimentary about the deck, and my fellow readers thought the deck was beautiful and well done.All in all, if you are looking for a deck to give as a gift, or to add to your collection, or if you are looking for a first deck for yourself, this gift box would be a good choice. boudica

  2. A Total Beginner’s, Non-Technical Opinion Although I have long been interested in the tarot, this is the first deck I’ve ever bought, and it was the deck itself which was responsible. It really drew me to it, from the first moment I saw it. It’s visually rich and stunning, yet at the same time, for me at least, warm and welcoming. Looking at the individual cards, I can get lost in them. For whatever reason, they speak to me, and that is apparently the most important criteria for choosing a deck, or rather, letting a deck choose you. This one really did. For some odd reason, although the faces are computer-generated, they seem more real and ‘human’ to me than in many other traditionally created decks I’ve seen. They seem like real people, which I find fascinating. I almost expect some of them to pop off the page and come to life. To me,the ‘machineries’ the artist includes do not disrupt the intricate warmth of the figures and symbolism, but meld seamlessly and charmingly. I in no way felt this was a ‘cold’ or ‘technological’ deck because of the artist’s inclusion of this aspect.I was also glad that the illustrations are based on the Rider-Waite deck, because whatever books I might buy to help me learn to interpret the cards will be easily relatable to this deck’s illustrations.I am VERY pleased with the accompanying book. I had thought to buy several “Tarot for beginners” books right away, but there is a lot of wonderful, very thoughtful exercise material for rank beginners (which is certainly what I am) which seems to me to be excellent grounding not only in this deck but any deck. I’m sure I will buy other books eventually, but this one seems perfect for me right now, especially in terms of getting in touch with the cards on a very personal level, which of course is the basis for successful readings. Simply memorizing a lot of information, as tarot beginners must do, has seemed pretty daunting to me, but the exercises in the books are geared to making your associations personal and intuitive rather than simply rote, hence more logical and easier to retain.This deck and its accompanying book have made me eager to get started learning!

  3. Visually Stunning, But Lacks Symbolic And Intuitive Depth Featuring vibrant images that straddle worlds mechanical and magical, as well as ancient and futuristic, The Gilded Tarot is a visually sumptuous deck created by award-winning digital artist Ciro Marchetti. Modeled after the Rider-Waite deck, the cards follow the traditional renderings of both the Major and Minor Arcana. Polished metal, silken garments and ethereal space-scapes unite to tell the time-honored tale of the Tarot.The Minor Arcana is fully illustrated, and just as much care has been taken in their rendering as with the Majors. I always enjoy seeing this in a deck, especially since the Minors are often treated as an afterthought. The outer edging of the cards is black, while a golden bejeweled frame encloses the central image. The jewel-like accoutrements are color-coded thusly: Black for the Majors, blue for the Swords, green for the Pentacles, red for the Wands, and orange for the Cups.The 150-page companion book by Barbara Moore provides solid interpretations for each card, and is especially good for Tarot novices. Upright and reversed meanings are not addressed separately, but rather, the messages and challenges inherent in each card are woven together as one. A black organdy pouch is also included in this box set, which is a nice addition.Visually speaking, The Gilded Tarot is the most stunning deck I’ve seen (except for Ciro’s upcoming Tarot of Dreams!) I’m a big fan of high-tech, ethereal images, and this one delivers. It’s a deck that belongs in every Tarot collection, in my opinion. As far as reading the cards, though, several aspects are wanting. Firstly, the insertion of random astrological symbols-or the entire Zodiac itself-is a bit distracting. It’s obvious that Ciro is a Tarot novice, and this manifests itself into the cards. Decks that are created/illustrated by Tarot readers carry a depth to them that’s hard to translate into words-but is felt by those who read the cards. The Quest Tarot, Golden Tarot, DruidCraft Tarot, and Oracle Tarot come to mind as examples of decks created by enthusiasts/readers who either illustrate the decks themselves, or who work closely with the artist to bring about their vision.So while the images are slick, there is a lack of depth to The Gilded Tarot, in my opinion. The High Priestess, for example, features a lithe, masked acrobat draped in gossamer fabric. She floats above the water, head bent backwards with eyes closed, and stars sparkle from her cap. While this is a gorgeous image, it brings very little to a reading. In the companion book, Moore does a great job at trying to interpret the image in the context of possible card meanings. But when it’s all said and done, the cards themselves must speak on their own for successful reading. And while I love looking at this deck, I’ve yet to receive a flood of intuitive information from their images, let alone solid, clear Guidance when consulting them for meditation or insight.Another issue I have with this deck is that The Fool looks just like George W. Bush. No, I am not joking. In fact, I thought Ciro did this on purpose. When I asked him about it, he assured me that was not his intention in the least. But it’s rather hard to take this deck seriously when The Fool-the soul of the Tarot-looks so much like the President of the United States!Perhaps you will be able to read with this deck-who knows? At the very least, The Gilded Tarot is beautiful deck that offers vibrant images rendered by a highly skilled artist. It’s obvious that Ciro loves what he does, and takes great care with his work. However, when it comes to intuitive reading, gorgeous images alone aren’t enough.(To see 6 card images from this deck, visit the Reviews–Decks section at JanetBoyer.com)Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)

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