Tarocchi dei Celti lupa15.jpg (19213 bytes)                        Review by Michele Jackson

This deck is one of two art decks with the same name published by Lo Scarabeo. This one is by Antonio Lupatelli. The cards measure 5 3/4" X 2 15/16" and are on an uncoated card stock. The art is good. The scenes are detailed and have good color. The style reminds one of illustrations in children's books. The backs consist of Celtic knot work and are not reversible. The deck is peopled with characters from Celtic myth and lore. Some are "the little people," some are Gods and Goddesses and some are from stories. The deck definitely has a Pagan feel. The Major Arcana have been renamed:

 
  • 0 – Fintan mac Bochra
  • I – Lug
  • II – Brigh
  • III – Morrigan
  • IV – Dagda
  • V – Dian cecht
  • VI – Midir e Etain
  • VII – Nuada
  • VIII – Ogma
  • IX – Goibniu
  • X – Boadh

 

  • XI – Conchohar
  • XII – Cu Chulainn
  • XIII – Art mac Cond
  • XIV – Acgtan
  • XV – Finn mac Cumaill
  • XVI – Aillen mac Midna
  • XVII – Grainne
  • XVIII – Oisin
  • XIX – Bran mac Febal
  • XX – Manannan mac Ler
  • XXI – Eriu

I do not know enough about Celtic mythology to comment on the appropriateness of the choices. However a few things did catch my jaundiced eye. Brigh, the High Priestess equivalent, looks more like an Empress as she holds her wheat stalks in her hand. Morrigan, the Empress equivalent, looks like an Emperor with braids. The Morrigan is a goddess of war and death, but she is also a fertility goddess so she is somewhat appropriate. Finn mac Cumaill, the Devil equivalent, apparently depicts the legend as a babe. His myth does not make him seem suitible for a Devil card in my opinion, but there many be more to the story than I know. Aillen mac Miohna - a fire breathing beast, is a better match as the Tower. My favorite cards are Dian Cecht (the Hierophant) - you wouldn't guess that this figure murdered his own son from looking at the image in the card, Manannan mac Ler (Judgment), and Eriu (the World) - this card is named for a goddess, but shows a map instead.

The deck comes with a fold-out sheet. This is one of the few times that one of these sheets has made me wish I could read Italian. The sheet seems to be providing some background information on each of the mythic figures depicted. The deck comes in a slip-sleeve case.

I recommend this deck for those interested in the Celts and for collectors.

Many of the links in this review are from Encyclopedia Mythica

Tarocchi dei Celti by Antonio Lupatelli
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo     
Distributed by Llewellyn Publishing

Review Copyright 1999 Michele Jackson

Images Copyright Lo Scarabeo



This page is Copyright 1999 by Michele Jackson