Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My favorite Tarot deck (The Secret Tarots--Marco Nizzoli)

Question: What is my favorite Tarot deck?

Answer: The Secret Tarot--Marco Nizzoli (1998), published by Lo Scarabeo

The Secret Tarot is my most used Tarot deck, something that surprises some people because they assume that my most used deck would be a Golden Dawn deck. Honestly, I find Golden Dawn Tarot decks harder to read, in part because the Minors do not have human figures and actions in them. While the Golden Dawn structure serves as a scaffolding for me, it is more of a back-of-the-mind thing; I really enjoy the individual touches that non-GD decks have--it might be an artist thing.

There is also that little fact that outside of Golden Dawn, AA, OTO, and BOTA influenced people, most need a clearer (and perhaps simpler) Tarot deck. I definitely would not use a Golden Dawn styled Tarot deck while reading for non-initiates--the cards simply do not resonate enough with your average non-initiate to be much use while doing public readings.

Major Arcanum

The Major Arcana of the Secret Tarots.
I could spend a lot of time talking about various cards of this deck and what I find interesting about them, but I am going to confine myself to just talking about a few of them.

The Lover: This card shows a young man presented with a choice of two women, one refined, and the other a little saucy showing him her underwear. I find this a nice illustration between the choice between virtue and vice, proper appearances, and just having a sinfully good time.

The Wheel [of Fortune]: This card is a throwback to earlier versions of this Major Arcana. On the top of the wheel, there is a winged monkey king with a sword (flying monkey!), descending the wheel  is another monkey in a skirt (kilt), and there is a dog in a clownish costume ascending the wheel.

Justice: The thing I like most about this card is that Lady Justice is dressed in two colors, a green dress and a red cape, combining the two colors (exoteric and esoteric) associated with this card.

Death: In the background, there are two coffins being bore by monks--this reminds me of some of the explanations of Odin's eight legged horse, Sleipnir.


The Wand Suit of the Secret Tarots.
I love the fact that there is a rabbit in the imagery of the Ace of Wands.

The Suit of Cups of the Secret Tarots.
In the background of the ten of cups, there is a girl poking at a turtle with a stick.

The Suit of Swords of the Secret Tarots.
The version of the two of swords in this Tarot deck is one of my favorites.

The Pentacle Suit of the Secret Tarots.
The five of pentacles has a fashion model (celebrity) being photographed by a camera man.

Little White Book: The little white book for this Tarot deck is interesting and definitely worth a read. It essentially consists of five mini-stories: The Land of Secrets (Major Arcana), The Kingdom of Pleasure (Chalices), The Kingdom of Riches (Pentacles), The Kingdom of Sorrow (Swords), and The Kingdom of Human Work (Wands). It is definitely a LWB that one should hang onto.

Front of the box, and the back of the cards of the Secret Tarots deck.
 A Caution: There is a higher percentage of "naked people" cards in this Tarot deck which may offend some people. I once had someone flip out over the fact that there are two naked young boys on the Sun card. I assume that it was a personal matter. Most people are ok with this aspect of this Tarot deck, but occasionally there is that odd one who is more concerned about nakedness than the underlying symbolism.

Summary: As I already mentioned this is my favorite, and most used Tarot deck. I personally find it a charming Tarot deck with a lot of hidden Easter Eggs for those who want to spend some time admiring the artwork of the cards.

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