Circle of Life Tarot Cards by Maria Distefano

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Circle of Life Tarot Cards - with Artwork by Maria Distefano

An Excerpt From the Included Booklet
The circle of Life Tarot is a round deck of cards. Circles, themselves are important symbols. They represent cycles, a completed series of events. Our Earth revolves around the sun with four seasons and one complete rotation creates a whole cycle. Our lives also contain cycles as well. We are born, we grow and learn, we make our own way, and then we die. Tarot also contains cycles, with the Major Arcana describing The Fool's Journey from creation to reunion with the world. Each Minor Arcana describes the cycles of the seasons, and the feelings we get from being inside those cycles.

Circles delineate space in many spiritual practices. Circles are a sacred symbol that remind us that we are all connected and that there really is no end and no beginning, that everything flows into each other from one step to the next. Circles are used to protect us as we make magic and do divination. 

Many tarot readers enjoy using round tarot decks because their shape gives the images more flexibility. Traditional square tarots with their four corners can feel rigid and inflexible. Round cards, then, provide a creative solution for a wider range of meanings than a binary meaning. 

Included in the Deck: Contains 78 circular cards, plus a small instruction booklet. 

Size of Cards: Roughly 110 mm (nearly 4.5 inches) in diameter.

Staff Review by Mel Hurst

The Circle of Life Tarot is a beautiful deck with lovely colourful artwork full of fairies, elves and other mystical creatures and characters. I've never come across a circular deck before but these are certainly something different, they're very easy to hold (individually).. It's little more difficult when holding them all together! Each card is full of wonder with beautiful designs, the deck itself is quite varied but there's lots to appreciate.

The except from the booklet above doesn't completely do the deck justice; it sounds a little vague as the text as been translated from another language and the sentences are quite short but the message just about comes through. What is means (or what I feel it means at least!) is that the circle is a universal symbol, and has been used since ancient times to represent all parts of life; from being born, growth and death.. We are born, we grow and learn, we make our own ways, and then we die. All points are equidistant from the centre, a place where the is no beginning and no end.

A lot of Lo Scarabeo inclusive booklets can be quite small with very minimal text, but this happens to be larger than most. It has a small description for each card, but it also explains the meanings and how to use the cards; obviously if you'd like something more comprehensive then it's best to buy an accompanying tarot book but I quite like the booklet.

Guest Review by Vernon Marshall

I am a lover of tarot cards and I am the owner, unashamedly, of about 30 decks. I have tried to use them all, so I have a good idea which decks work well. I thought I could no longer find anything new and different. This deck, I am happy to say, is different.

The artwork is impressive, very colourful, and also very evocative. It is difficult to describe the artwork. The depictions are not exactly cartoons, but they have a certain ethereal quality that makes them out as something other than simply beautiful cameos.

The deck is not difficult to use. Firstly, the accompanying book is brief and simple, making this tarot deck a good choice for the beginner, although it should not be restricted to such users. There is just one divining method suggested, the Life Cycle, and it can be learned in no time at all.

Secondly, the cards are just the right size, large enough to read but not so large as to be difficult to handle, which is, alas, the case with a number of decks. The deciding factor for some users will be the shape of the cards. They are round. This may not be unique as there are other round decks, the Tarot of the Cloisters for example, but the shape has mixed blessings. There can be no inverted cards, for example, this being good in some cases but a problem in others. The symbolism of the shape works for me, however.

Life is a circle and this, together with the antipathy I have to sharp edges and straight lines, makes for an excellent deck.

Beginners, seasoned tarot practitioners, and users of tarot for purposes of meditation, will all find this deck of high quality. I will certainly be making good use of mine.

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2 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 4
    They speak to me

    Posted by Emma, Wrexham on 20th Jul 2010

    The Circle of Life Tarot cards are made in Italy and are beautifully illustrated by Pietro Alligo and Alessandro Starrantino. I felt very drawn to the Circle of Life Tarot Cards because of their shape. The accompanying booklet gives the user some more information about the tradition of round tarot cards, in this case to illustrate the cycles of life and also goes on to discuss the symbolism of circles according to different cultures. The multi-lingual booklet then includes a sentence or two about the meaning of each card which didn’t really resonate with me but concludes with a divining spread, the Cycle of Life which I found of interest as another way of using the cards.
    The illustrations themselves are richly coloured which adds a depth to the pictures. There is a lot going on in most of the cards, so I found them a very good screen for intuitive reading as my attention is drawn to different aspects each time I look at them; I find that the cards speak to me. The vivid pictures are filled with different characters such as fairies, insects, mythical creatures, elves, nymphs, half human-half beast type characters. Despite being round, I find the cards almost as easy to shuffle as rectangular cards; I have medium-large hands. On the other side of the card is an appealing patterned golden yellow backing. These cards are suitable for anyone new to tarot right through to the seasoned tarot collector’s collection.

  • 5
    Very much a jewel

    Posted by L Leaper on 10th May 2010

    This deck is of circular design housed in a simple box type carton. The cards are 110mm diameter and very easy to handle. I have never used a circular deck before and do find much of satisfaction with the way these cards can be used. Naturally often there is no exact reversal most often the cards are not upright and the design rests one way or anther. For me this tends to represent an aspect of reversal or swayed power and the layouts may need to be adjusted somewhat from normal because the cards laid conventionally tend to take up much more room.
    This can be overcome by overlapping and so on which lends to fluid reading and interchange of energies all very positive and useful. I am completely in love with the wonderful designs which are by Alligo. There is within the overall principle of representation a great deal of freedom the cards spring to life from images of dragons, unicorns and creatures of sea, wind and forest the forms are fantasical and of wonder.
    Angelic figures appear often and the cards are drawn with breadth of vision and colour abandonment of conventional representation in favour of expression and fantasy.
    My favourite card is the Fool it is the most perfect of cards for me in this deck and represents so much of journey so much of freedom and so much of throwing of constraint which indeed is character of these cards.
    The major acarna is represented extremely well and these are easy to read.
    This is not so of the minors many of which seem a little abstract and somewhat detached from the usual imagery. For this reason I feel that although experienced readers will have little difficulty in marriage of the images with leverage born of knowledge new readers may find the images a little obtuse.
    I do not usually and certainly not in this case,find to discover card meanings by way of the Little White Book in fact the meanings given are for me not of any use whatsoever.
    My way to read Tarot is based upon a good deal of experience and I am comfy to read these precious and beautiful cards by way of intuition coupled with my familiarity of regular decks. This deck is very much a jewel it carries outstanding art work and is a pleasure to own.