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FLizarraga  FLizarraga is offline
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Join Date: 13 Dec 2013
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FLizarraga 

I had been on the fence for a long time about this deck, and today I went by the local bookstore, and there it was.

The bookstore owner (nicest lady ever) is trying to introduce our Bible Belt small town to Tarot and oracle cards, so she is getting non-threatening decks like a nice pocket Hanson-Roberts that comes with a book (Tarot for All? I forgot), CBR's oracles, and this one. So I took it as a signal and bought it.

I just finished going through the cards, and I'm still not sure if I like it. It is a gorgeous, gorgeous deck. The cards do suffer from pastel-itis, though --a disease that happens when someone makes all these beautiful paintings, puts them on the floor, empties a random bunch of tubes of pastel colors on them and then leaves them to dry in the sun.

The resulting cards are breathtaking and nicely "aged," but more than a little fuzzy; you have to squint really hard to get at the details, and sometimes you are not quite sure what you're looking at.

The Emperor has a lion head, and that makes the lion in the Lovers a little less confusing, though it is still an issue with me. The Hierophant is female, but the unusual choice does not interfere with the meaning of the card at all; it is indeed one I like a lot.

Card XIII, "Transformation," seems to be a longhaired child holding a fairy in her (his?) hand, because... your guess is as good as mine. Card XV, "Temptation" is... well, something or other. It sleeps. Card XVI, "Tower," is a... pretty tower.

Don't get me wrong: despite the things I don't like, and the things that leave me scratching my head, and the acute pastelitis (remember when y'all we're complaining about the Shadowscapes? Think AGAIN), there is some nice meat to this deck. Some of the minors are really neat, and some of the courts have a lot of personality, which is rare. (Courts tend to suffer from the "guy with a crown and a sword" disease. Not these ones, fortunately.)

It is a beautiful deck, and I think that for meditation and intuitive reading (as well as pairing it with a straight-talker deck: neat idea!!! ) it could be just the ticket.

Regarding Jena Della Grottaglia (of whom I'm a big fan), I found her credited on at least three different places (box, back cover of the book, copyright page), plus at the end of the book there is both an About the Artist page and a personal message from her. So she is hardly uncredited, methinks. And she has done most of CBR's decks, if not all --that's in fact how I discovered her. So no worries, gregs: she is given the respect she deserves. I do agree that her name appears everywhere in too-tiny type, though.
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