This whimsical deck featuring artwork that speaks to the magical child in all of us is one of the most popular decks on the market.The superb artwork by Italian artist, Antonio Lupatelli along with Richard Doyle visually conveys the animated magic of the Fey or Wee Folk. Each card shows a mix of both delicacy and vibrance. Figures are carefully inked and animated with the lines, curves, and colors of nature herself.
The Major Arcana follows the traditional line-up with a few unique variations. For instance, the Number 0 Card, the Fool is presented as The Elf in the Fairy Tarot. As well, Justice is represented as the Dryad, the Wheel of Fortune as the Oread or Spirit of Luck, and Temperance as The Sylph or Spirit of Recovery. The four suits are represented as Acorns (Wands); Hearts (Cups); Bells (Pentacles or Coins) and Leaves (Swords). The Court Cards include: King, Queen, Knight, and Knave (Page).
Published in 1998, the deck includes 78 cards, with 22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana cards. As of 2003, the deck comes in two size formats:
Regular: 2.5 in x 4 5/8 in
Minature- 1 3/4 in x 3 1/8 in
The companion book written in 2004 by Helene and Doris Saltarini is 154 pages, available in paperback. The book provides detailed descriptions of each cards meaning, plus useful and unique tarot spreads. The Oracle of Love, The Astrological Oracle, and the Oracle of Independent Work are a few examples.
- Acorns (Wands): Challenges, difficulties, ways to overcome
- Hearts (Cups): Emotional, sentimental sphere
- Leaves (Swords): Thoughts, Intellectual gifts, Inner crises
- Bells (Pentacles):Manual labor, craft, skill, work
Key art edition publishers, Lo Scarabeo's Art Tarot Website at http://www.loscarabeo.com/ is indeed a wonderful site that offers spreads, and illustrations of the entire Major Arcana of the deck. A special treat, a 64 page online (pdf) Fairy Tarot Booklet divided into four languages is also available.
The booklet offers a storybook description (also included in the companion book) of the deck and an overview of how this tarot deck took shape, in the form of a fairy tale. "Fairies are teasing, magical creatures who live in the woods. Gifted with wings and with an incredible agility, these tiny little spirits endow the forest with life, thanks to their jokes and to their innate euphoria. Their principle characteristics is curiosity and cheerfulness and their greatest amusement is flying about the open, joking about with animals and with their calmer cousins, the Gnomes."
The story goes on to explain that the Great Magician consulted with Sichen, the greatest Gnome wizard to devise a system of tarot for the fairies to study. The fairies were enchanted with the images created and used this magical deck. treating it like a blessed treasure. This deck is indeed a delight to use for a magical journey into the world of Tarot from the viewpoint of the Fey Folk. I highly recommend it to those who are drawn to the energy of these timeless beings, those who will just not accept that the world of fairies is just myth and folklore.
Images: The Fairy Tarot by Antonio Lupatelli and Richard Doyle © 1998, 2003. Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. PO Box 64383, St. Paul, MN 55164. All rights reserved.
Buy the Kit at the Llewellyn site: http://www.llewellyn.com/bookstore/book.php?pn=J571