Tarot of the New Vision by Pietro Alligo; Artwork by Raul and Gianluca Cestaro
Review by Arielle Smith
First, let me say I am not at all a fan of Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) clones. My personal taste in tarot decks tends to lean towards the very imaginative, unique, startlingly different. So, maybe the Tarot of the New Vision – a RWS clone – already has one strike against it from the beginning.
At first glance, this Lo Scarabeo deck appears to have an interesting concept. What if an artist (or two, in this case) took the RWS deck and turned the archetypes? What if we could stand behind the Magician, the Page of Wands, the Kings and Queens, the Devil? Wouldn’t thinking of the cards as three-dimensional figures give us a totally different perspective? Or did we know all along that an owl whispers wisdom to the High Priestess? Do we really want to see for whom the Magician is performing? Does the grand vista before the Lovers give us more hope for their future?
This gimmick quickly loses its appeal since it’s only really effective for a very few cards. The Devil becomes merely a hairy lump when we can’t see his face. We miss the calm serenity of Temperance when we see only the back of her head. How do we know the figure on the Four of Cups is divinely discontent? On the other hand, some cards seem to change completely: seeing the face of the solitary figure walking towards us on the Eight of Cups is not nearly as effective as seeing his bent shoulders walking away from us. Seeing the Six of Swords in the front of the boat coming towards us has a totally different feeling from seeing the boat going away from us. Why has the World dancer turned her back on us? Is she upset with all of us or just some of us?
I did enjoy placing the cards of the New Vision deck side by side with their counterparts from the RWS deck so I could see what was done with each card in the New Vision. But rather than feeling enlightened to any degree, I felt “unsettled”, as if I wanted to “fix” the cards in some way. In a day and age when we can see “Secrets of the World’s Greatest Magicians Revealed” and DVDs show us how scenes from movies were done, I prefer to keep a little mystery in at least this part of my life.
I suspect the Tarot of the New Vision will go the way of fondue pots and indoor grills – interesting to have, but hardly necessary.
You can read another review of this deck here.
Published by Lo Scarabeo
Arielle Smith, well on her way to becoming a weird eccentric, is a Certified Tarot Grand Master living in Florida with her husband and five cats. Both tree-hugger and animal lover, she is also a part-time teacher and lifetime student of the Tarot. You can visit her at her website, Mystik Moons
Images © 2003 Lo Scarabeo
Review © 2003 Arielle Smith
Page © 2003 Diane Wilkes