Universal Tarot Cards (Lo Scarabeo)

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Pack information: 78 cards with booklet
Card dimensions: 66 x 120 mm
Author: A.E. Waite - Reinterpreted by - Roberto De Angelis 

They say: The Italian master illustrator Roberto De Angelis was inspired by the iconography described in A. E. Waite's works while recreating the same symbolic immediacy of the tarots by Pamela Colman Smith in a modern style. 

Much of that which has been written about the Waite Tarots can also be applied to the Universal Tarots. There are, however, some substantial differences. The softer and more dynamic style of De Angelis captures some of the symbolic synthesis and sobriety of the pre-Raffaelesque illustrations. In exchange, the more modern and realistic aspect is more consistent with our time and more in tune with the thinking of contemporary man. 

In fact, knowing the meaning of the card is not enough for reading the tarots. We must attune to the image, allow it to speak to our intuition, and to suggest and guide during consultation. This knowledge was the basis of Waite's decision to create allegorical images for the minor arcana as well, in order to provide a pictorial key for the reading.

We say: This is the card deck featured as illustrations in 'The Tarot Bible' by Sarah Bartlett also available on our site.

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1 Review Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 4
    Very Appealing Italian Imagery

    Posted by Louise, Oxon on 11th Jan 2005

    Roberto Di Angelis has created a deck inspired by the colours found in an Italian landscape, on a warm, spring afternoon. The softest of blues and greens, terracotta's, buttery yellows are washed over drawings of pen and ink. The characters are dressed in what may be the Renaissance style of clothing, yet the artwork with its bolder pen and ink lines gives it almost a modernist feel. Every picture tells a story and the Universal Tarot does just that. Each individual card looks like a set for a theatre play. The deck follows the Rider Waite very closely, but the artist has enhanced or dramatised each card to portray more obviously its meaning. The Major, Minor and Court cards are all beautifully illustrated with each card carrying its suit in four languages. By using theatricality, the artist has ensured some of the cards appear less frightening but retaining enough to denote its meaning, for example, the Devil looks more mischievous than evil, the three of Swords has a man clearly despairing. If he stood up and burst into an operatic aria then it wouldn't be a surprise! Readers and Querants in early stages of their Tarot journey could read from the cards alone without recourse to a book, whilst those more experienced still have the details and symbolism to decipher. The deck comes with a little white book, which has brief explanation of Tarot history, meanings, a spread and a little of the artist's background. The Universal Tarot would appeal to most tarot readers, either for its artwork or its obvious interpretation.

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