Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti; Guidebook by Lee Bursten
CD Graphics- Carlos Andres
Review by Djenra
The Tarot of Dreams arrived in a 5.25 by six inch box which, when opened, contained a black sheer bag with the deck and a CD in a paper slipcase. There are 80 cards in the bag. The first is numbered and signed by the artist and there is another card included which has a color glyph of the Tree of Life.
This is a deck for my growing collection rather than a working deck, so I choose to have it made up on rigid card stock. The cards are large, larger than the original Thoth deck; this may be due to the graphics on the cardface, which are exquisite and extend to the border around the cards where the Kabbalistic associations Lee Bursten, guidebook author and collaborator, are placed.
The backs are wheels with a motif of element signs on their borders that makes them fully reversible. In the Major Arcana, Strength is card number eight and Justice occupies the 11th position.
There is no physical little white booklet (LWB), but a CD is included, which I put into my computer drive to access the guidebook. I was not successful with this so I followed the instructions and saved the CD to a file on my computer, where it opened just fine in PDF format. Lee Bursten acted as text author and content advisor and also devised the layout for this deck which he calls “The Story Spread”.
The interactive musical CD has many features other than the guidebook. These include a Marseilles style set of pips, wallpapers, screensavers, letterheads for writing up readings and a link to a tarot shareware program set up with the Tarot of Dreams. I honestly have not accessed the shareware program of the CD, but immediately installed one of the marvelous screensavers. I chose the one with the Major Arcana.
My deck was ritually opened on the Wednesday evening of its arrival. This deck, in my opinion, has the most beautiful artwork of any I have ever seen. In the Majors, one finds a predominance of orbs, circles, and rims. The wheel of the zodiac is the structural frame of this deck and it is found along with the stars, moon and sun as markers to represent the terrain of space time, the realm of the astral plane.
The Fool is, in a sense, the dreamer of this deck and his unseen influence is felt in some degree in the tableau of each cardface. All of the cards are extremely vivid in their detail and exude such an opulence of color that the images become surreal, giving each one the feel of a lucid dream scene. My favorite image in the Majors is the beautifully rendered Justice, while I found the sparse imagery on Judgement and the Lovers trumps the least engaging.
The court cards in the deck are masterfully done portraits. At times, one feels as if one is viewing mythic beings or deities. Each personification is well defined with an unique aura of self assurance. The masked woman in red, the Queen of Wands, is absolutely breathtaking. If called upon, she looks as if she is ready to step out into our three dimensional world.
The realm of the minors in this fully illustrated deck is an interpretation of the classic Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) style deck that offers new insights the more it departs from that standard. Images that left an immediate impression include the Nine of Swords, which has a gothic, nightmarish horror movie feel to it, the Four of Wands, which shows an open door to another dimension, and the Six of Swords, which conjures up the feel of sword and sorcery which occurs frequently in this deck’s suit. I found the Swords to be the most attractive suit as I wandered through the inside corridors of the Minor Arcana.
After each image was reviewed, the 78 cards were mixed and one card was selected as the purpose of the deck in my world. The deck spoke to me with the voice of the Six of Coins.
I then placed the deck next to my pillow and went to sleep. I must report that the Tarot of Dreams' gift to me was one of the clearest and most refreshing lucid dreams of recent memory. There is a bit of magic that arrives with this simply bellisima deck!
Read another review of this deck here.
Click here to see more cards and order this deck.
Click here to see a sample reading with this deck.
Djenra formerly published reviews on the now-defunct Lunar Ace under the name of Darkart. Djenra is a Spiritualist with over 35 years with tarot and a former member of the World Tarot Readers. She is an initiate in La Reglas Congo, La Regla Lukumi, and in the Haitian system of Vodou. Djenra is a published author of a non-fiction book on the Lukumi religion, and is a poet whose work can be found online at the Song of the Siren webzine. A married mother and grandmother, Djenra is currently writing a tarot workbook and working on a second book on a particular event in tarot history. Her website is The Orb of Djenra.
© 2005 Ciro Marchetti
Review © 2005 Djenra
Page © 2005 Diane Wilkes