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Summary: This eclectic, unique deck explores the world through the four basic energies of earth, fire, water, and air. The art creates a pleasantly chaotic feeling as it shows how these energies interact, creating our reality. Using this deck is a lush experience, resulting in bright jewels of wisdom to use in our everyday lives.
The Elemental Tarot is a surprising deck. It focuses on the four basic types of energy that makes up the world and has a Pagan flavor. So far, so good.
The Majors are, like most Lo Scarabeo decks, pretty traditional. Some are astoundingly lovely, like the High Priestess, the Empress, and Temperance.
The Minors are definitely not based on traditional RWS meanings or compositions. Instead, this deck takes a completely new and unique view of these cards, which is refreshing. The traditional suits are represented and incorporate the requisite common creatures associated with those elements:
Cups = water = undines
Pentacles = earth = gnomes
Wands = fire = salamanders
Swords = air = sylphs
For each suit, the main focus is narrowed down to one key word. We are used to thinking of cups as love, relationships, emotions, etc. In this deck, the keyword is love. For pentacles, it is a seed (from the ace of that suit…the potential awaiting manifestation). Swords are guidance, and Wands are inspiration.
In the beginning, I said this was a surprising deck. There are a lot of good ideas here. But there are a lot of flaws, as well. The court cards are weak. The art is sometimes inconsistent. The style and quality is great throughout. The difference is in the expression and type of composition, with some cards having a realistic feeling/setting and others having a definite artsy-collage thing going on. Many of the female figures look like they are in the throes of orgasm, which is kind of interesting.
But in spite of that, there is some strange, crazy wisdom in this deck. Maybe that’s its job: to shake us up enough and make feel just a bit off balance so that we are open to receiving a message. For a general reading deck, it takes a little work and study to use, but I found it intriguing and useful. Using it felt like stepping into another world for just a moment, seeing things that did not make complete sense, and coming away with a precious jewel of wisdom.
Name of deck: Elemental Tarot
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Creator: Marco Turini
Name of accompanying booklet: Elemental Tarot
Number of pages of booklet: 63 (14 in English)
Reading Uses: General
Ethnic Focus: Pagan
Artistic Style: Illustration combined with decorative, eclectic
Tarot, Divination Deck, Other (if other, describe): Tarot
Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Somewhat
Does it have extra cards? If yes, what are they?: Yes, a Significator card
Does it have alternate names for Major Arcana cards?: no
Does it have alternate names for Minor Arcana suits?: no
Does it have alternate names for the Court Cards?: no
Why was deck created?: To explore the universe through the four elements.