Esoteric Ancient Tarots (Cartomanzia con Tarocchi di Etteilla)esot1.jpg (14703 bytes)            Review by Michele Jackson

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This is a reproduction of a nineteenth century Etteilla style deck. The cards measure 4 1/2" X 2 1/4". They have a beige background and consist of a central scene with a line drawing which has been colored with primary and secondary colors. There is a large top and bottom border which contains the card number and the card meaning in  Italian, English, German, French and Spanish. When reversed, a different meaning is given in most cases. The numerical order of this deck is different from other Etteilla decks. The scenes are also different in many cases. While many scenes on the Majors will be familiar to those familiar with tarot imagery, some are unique to Etteilla style decks. The backs are a brown and white Egyptian-style pattern.

The art is good. As previously noted, it consists of  line drawings which resemble engravings, though they are not as detailed. They are colored, though much of each scene is left uncolored. Some of the people depicted are in Egyptian style clothing. What would be called the Minors in this deck are pips. You can see the deck that this reproduction is based on in the Encyclopedia of Tarot, Volume One, pg. 143. The art is not as good as the art in the "standard" Etteilla deck.

There is no little booklet with this deck. It comes with eight additional cards which have instructions for reading with this deck. Since the card meanings are on the cards, the instructions provide information on how to shuffle the cards and lay them out. The layout instructions are somewhat involved.

I recommend this deck for collectors or for those who like Etteilla styled decks. It is more interesting from a historical perspective than as a reading deck, though it could certainly be used for readings.

See more images from the Esoteric Ancient Tarots

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Esoteric Ancient Tarots
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Available from Llewellyn Publishing

Images Copyright (c) 1996 Lo Scarabeo

This page is Copyright 1998 by Michele Jackson