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Dali Universal Tarot
A Review by Carol Jean Rose

If you are interested in purchasing this deck, click here.

pub T.G. Soler S.A./Naipes Comas/Negsa, Printed in Spain, 1984
traditional card titles, in English and Spanish
eight: Justice; eleven: Strength
suits are bastos, copas, espadas and oros
courts are sota, caballero, reina, and rey
people in the pips
backs symmetrical

As you may know, this deck costs $100.  I wanted it for a long time.  When I had a chance to barter for one of my hand-stitched and velvet-bound books, I took it.   Now I have the mixed feelings one often has when one’s wishes come true!

Acquiring what the lwb calls, “this collection of 78 masterpieces means being the owner of a jewel of contemporary painting, created by the most extraordinary painter of our times.”  I remember standing in the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, just after the East Coast Tarot Symposium in Boca Raton.  Curiosity about how Dali’s opus might end up in such an unlikely spot soon gave way to shock as all my faculties responded to his work.

The miniatures are no less upsetting.  His famous watch melts eternity on the altar
of El Mago, among bread, wine and scroll.  La Sacerdota evokes a nun.  La Emperatriz
is a portrait of Dali’s wife, for whom he created the deck.  El Emperador holds no
orb to mediate his ferocity.  El Sumo Sacredote is saintly.  Los Enamorados conceal
only the male genitalia behind an oversized butterfly.  El Carro is pulled by one
stationary sphinx.  Justicia is innocent.  El Ermitaño has gems in his halo.   La
Rueda de la Fortuna shows an old zodiac.  Fuerza dreams a Victorian bouquet as she
gazes on an oriental lion.  El Colgado is small in relation to his dangling tree.   La
Muerte melds life and death, with a skull in a cypress and a sprouting shroud.
Templanza is more real than her pouring.  El Diablo could be a Fool.  La Torre could
be incarnation.  La Estrella has more stars than usual.  La Luna reminds us of cities
implied in the classic gateway.  El Sol is far from carefree.  El Juicio is all but
concealed by another enormous butterfly.  El Mundo could be a Devil.  El Loco wears
another butterfly as a hat.  The lwb interprets the symbol as “the intellectual
plane, expressive of irrationality (is this oxymoron due to translation?) and the
alienated soul."

Inviting this deck to speak of the purpose of its discomfiture, I cut to the Seven of
Copas.  Expansion of Compassion.  That’s it!  Confronting our discomfort, our own
shadows, we assimilate the ugly, shocking, inner demons which might otherwise be
projected on our manifest reality.  How amazing that Dali’s “World” seems to hold the
Graces in thrall!

http://www.nidlink.com/~rosehips     See more cards from the Dali Tarot

If you are interested in purchasing this deck, click here.

Copyright (c) 1998 Carol Jean Rose

(images Copyright (c) the Estate of Salvador Dali)

This page is Copyright © 1998 by Michele Jackson