Christiana Gaudet

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Legacy of the Divine Tarot- Sneak Peek Preview of a Deck Now Published

Christiana Gaudet
July 2008
Sneak Peek
Legacy of the Divine Tarot
Ciro Marchetti

The soon-to-be-completed third Tarot from artist Ciro Marchetti is sure to be the most meaningful Tarot of his career. It is also, according to him, likely to be his last. He met with me in his home in Boynton Beach, Florida one Tuesday afternoon to discuss his new project, entitled Legacy of the Divine Tarot.

Marchetti has always collected and admired Tarot art, but has never been a Tarot reader. He’ll be the first to tell you that when he designed Gilded Tarot he knew next to nothing about Tarot symbolism. As he showed me some images from Legacy of the Divine Tarot it was clear that Ciro Marchetti has grown significantly in his understanding of Tarot symbolism and spiritual imagery.

Legacy of the Divine Tarot is being worked completely on a Mac Digital Tablet. When I look at the facial expressions of the Tarot characters, the details in the images and the very realistic flora and fauna, I am shocked that this is done in pixels rather than in paint. Marchetti explained to me that it is not only his own evolution that will make his third deck his very best, it is also evolution in technology that allows him the finer control of a digital pen, rather than a mouse.

Being in the Marchetti residence is rather like being a character in one of his Tarot decks. Everything is beautiful, and carefully placed to create a sense of both expansive space and cozy comfort. There are mechanisms, hot-air balloons, masks, water fountains and lush plants, just like in all three of his decks. I could see that Ciro Marchetti is the best kind of artist, one who real puts the essence of his own identity into his work.

Ciro Marchetti’s second Tarot work, Tarot of Dreams, is revolutionary for a couple of reasons. First of all, for a self-published deck, it is selling incredibly well. Secondly, and more importantly, Tarot of Dreams is sold with a CD in which the Tarot absolutely comes alive. In Tarot of Dreams, Marchetti combined the ancient Tarot with modern technology to create a perfect blend.

Legacy of the Divine Tarot will also be revolutionary. After spending considerable time researching Tarot history and symbolism, Marchetti, although never before a writer, was inspired to write the accompanying book rather than relying on a Tarot author as he had in the past. Furthermore, he made up a “back-story” for his new Tarot. He even created a dynamic video to introduce the Tarot and tell the story. The video is available for viewing on Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/1076456. The link is also on his website, http://www.ciromarchetti.com.

The story of Legacy of the Divine Tarot is similar to the legend of Atlantis. A race of people, foreseeing their demise, left this Tarot for us as evidence of their culture and spiritual knowledge. This Tarot, then, is the legacy of their divine knowledge.

There have been many Tarot decks that tell the story of a race or culture, or that use mythical icons to represent the archetypes of the Tarot. I’m thinking about Ancestral Path Tarot, Lover’s Path Tarot and Mythic Tarot, to name a few. There are far fewer decks that use a made-up mythology as a theme. In fact, modern Tarot historians have spent a great deal of time and energy to dispel myths about the history of the Tarot. I am sure that some of them will not be pleased with this newly invented Tarot myth. There will be others who will think that it is brilliant.

The TarotL History Information Sheet speaks positively about new Tarot mythology; as long as we are do not confuse our myths with historical reality. To me, it seems that myths regarding the end of civilizations are themselves archetypal. People tell stories, too, about how their own civilizations may eventually end. Something deep within us is concerned about our own legacy, and about the legacy of those who have come before us. It makes sense, then, that a story-telling tool of archetypes such as the Tarot might inspire such an imaginative story about its own origins.

Aesthetically and functionally, the mythology of Legacy of the Divine Tarot will not likely intrude on the beauty or readability of this deck. Much more than his earlier Tarot works, this new deck uses symbolism that is easy to read and understand. Many of the cards are reminiscent of the Rider Waite Smith images, though none of them are a direct copy.

The Major Arcana cards are traditionally named and numbered. The images are meaningful, and instantly recognizable. There is a great deal of creativity in this deck, even beyond the beautiful artwork. The Empress is young and pregnant, surrounded by animals and plants. The Fool is distributing Tarot cards throughout the universe, in keeping with the legend that Marchetti created for the deck.

The Minor Arcana cards promise to be just as rich, and just as easy to identify, as the Major Arcana. The Court characters that Marchetti showed me are particularly engaging, as are the other images of people throughout the deck. All of the faces in this deck show perceptible feeling. All of the landscapes are detailed and three-dimensional. All the colors are striking.

Ciro Marchetti plans to finish Legacy of the Divine Tarot by the end of this year. He will self-publish a special limited-edition version of the deck that will be available on his website. A regular edition will follow, although Marchetti is not yet sure who the publisher will be.

As he talks about this Tarot project, Marchetti is clearly excited. Over the years, he has developed an appreciation for Tarot readers, and for what Tarot reading is all about. One of his hopes for this deck is that people will get really good readings with it. As I look at the images of the deck in progress on Marchetti’s computer, I believe we will.