tarot reviews

Gilded Tarot and Easy Tarot: Marchetti & Ellershaw

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Bare with me as I am working on a small catalog of posts outlining the decks I most frequently use. If you missed yesterday’s post, I talked about Le Tarot Noir. Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about the Botticelli Tarot.

This is the Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti. I actually got this as a part of the Easy Tarot: Learn To Read The Cards Once and For All and, since I know that’s why many would read this, I will go into that as well. If you’re looking for a decent basic primer to get you started learning tarot, you can purchase it here, via my affiliate link:

Yes, I do get a kickback if you purchase this via the button above and that helps offset site costs and otherwise. (Or, it’s supposed to. I just started doing this.)

This is a Rider Waite based deck and the images are really fantastic. Brightly colored and driven by mythic images, this deck is almost like a fairy tale in your hands. I really enjoy it when I am looking to create pretty Card of the Day readings or other posts involving photos of the cards as the design and color are incredibly appealing. Whenever I’ve used these for that purpose, they definitely catch the eye.

For personal use, I love this deck when I’m looking to offset some of my darker readings- and what’s interesting to me is that though it’s more whimsical, it’s also got an edge to it. The artwork is a nice balance. It’s sort of a blend of the more traditional and given a bit of a twist- but this is something Marchetti’s famous for: I also have his Gilded Reverie Lenormand. 😉

One thing I have seen mentioned about Marchetti’s work and have experienced myself is that these cards actually almost seem to have hidden meanings- they have symbolism tucked into them that would enable you to take away further meaning or expand upon the existing card interpretation. For instance, if you pay attention to the animal symbolism contained within many of the cards, you’ll find expanded interpretations can be made in that, as well. He’s mentioned a number of times that this is in fact, deliberate. This makes the deck a bit different- here, check this out, for example:

And this one:

And this one:


Think a bit on the questions that each animal begs and, it helps you to further expand upon the card, which is a really brilliant difference to standard Rider Waite decks. They appear throughout the cards here and there, in a way that just seems to pop up in the most appropriate ways as you read. It’s very cool.

I think that many people get up in their feels about “novelty” decks or the many clones on the Rider Waite but, Marchetti adds quite a few finer details that make this an easy stand out and hardly a clone. The great thing about this being used in a learner set is that it’s still traditional enough that learning the symbolism is fairly easy as it still holds true- while at the same time adding in those little touches that make it unique.

Of course, this is a Llewellyn deck, so it bears some similarity to others in terms of the brass tacks delivery: open top box, deck and Little White Book inside. The cardstock is excellent and sturdy- 2 ¾” by 4 ½” and they shuffle easily. The backing is black with a gold frame and jewel tone inlay- there is an ornate style design however, it’s done in such a way that you would not know if you’d drawn a card reversed or not until you flipped it.

When you get into the Easy Tarot- it’s a little different as it comes with a bigger box, bigger book and the bigger book is where I think you find considerable value in this, especially if you’re learning.

Josephine Ellershaw breaks things down VERY nicely and offers a number of different methods that you can use if you’re just starting out. Actually, given the wealth of her experience, I also noticed a few tips and tricks I myself hadn’t considered- and still use to this day. If you want to learn tarot on your own- but you find yourself getting a bit intimidated: this is an excellent resource at a very reasonable price and I highly recommend it.

Le Tarot Noir by Hackier & Ternel

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The minute I saw Le Tarot Noir, I knew I had to have this deck.

A beautifully dark and quirky 78 card Marseilles style deck with artwork by Matthieu Hackier it definitely makes a statement. It arrived in a sturdy cardboard, top lift box with a paperback guidebook in French. Though some have had issues with the book coming apart, mine is of fairly steady construction.

The details on the cards just tickle me. The artwork is a bit more intricate than is usual in a Marseilles deck and veers a little morbid, but I adore it. The colors are subdued but rich, the design work flows and though the pips are in typical Marseilles fashion, they still have quite a lot of detail.

If you’re unfamiliar, Marseilles decks have what is known as “unillustrated pips”, which simply means the Minor Arcana are not as detailed- usually. The artwork in this deck is so sophisticated, contemporary while at the same time traditionally, you’d be hard pressed to call this “unillustrated”. 

The edges of the 4” by 5.5” (10.5 cm wide, 14 cm tall) cards are gilded and the backings are black. They also have a lovely inset border- also gold. Centered on the back is another oval shaped border enclosing a golden flower design. The card stock is nice and sturdy, and has held up rather well to my abuse. (I’m a fairly vigorous shuffler!) The backgrounds of each card is a light off white, cream color and again, have a gilded border.

The Majors are titled in French, black lettering against the cream background on the bottom. Court cards have both title and suit in French, again, in black letters. Each pip, as I mentioned, is Marseilles style- so, suit icons only but they are designed in such a way that they speak with delightful small details. They do not have pip titles however, the number is on the left and right hand side of the card.

I have found that this deck works wonderfully in tandem with my Baphomet deck or as a stand alone. I love this for working with clients that are seeking guidance with shadow work or just for general readings. It is also excellent in my Darkness and Light spreads, particularly when used with the Botticelli Tarot Deck for the “Light” mirror.

Though in the past I have avoided monetization, I am now offering links to where you can purchase the decks I use or write about via Amazon’s affiliate program. This means that if you make a purchase via a link on my site, I get a little kick back to help offset the costs of maintaining our site- which is awesome. I appreciate all your support and hope you’ve enjoyed this look at one of the decks I use.

Would you like a reading with Le Tarot Noir?

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