Artist: Severino Baraldi
Publisher: Llewellyn (Lo Scarabeo)
Publication date: March 2003
View Sample Cards
Price & More Info: Click Here
As one might guess from the name, Ramses: Tarot of Eternity is an Egyptian themed Tarot deck. This deck was painted by Severino Baraldi from a "story board" by Giordano Berti. The artwork is quite good and has a nice Egyptian feel to it while maintaining an accessible symbol set. The deck is set in a specific time frame, 1304 BCE to 1224 BCE, and Berti says in the introduction that special care was given to historical reality in designing the deck. I can't comment on that as I'm not an expert on Egyptian history.
The deck itself is fairly standard, despite the Egyptian motif. A skilled reader would have little trouble picking up this deck and reading with it. While this deck does not have the full nudity that many decks have, there are a lot of bare breasts. Several of the "more negative" cards have somewhat graphically violent illustrations, the Nine of Swords, for example, shows prisoners being decapitated. While this certainly expresses the meaning of the card, it might be a bit distressing to some. If you read for others, this probably isn't a deck you could use for everyone.
This deck comes with a small 64 page booklet filled with tiny text. Only one-fifth of the booklet is in English (the other languages are Italian, Spanish, French, and German). This booklet provides background information on the deck as well as a brief meaning for each of the cards. Both the major and minor arcana receive very brief two line "keyword meaning" descriptions: one line for positive the other for negative (reversed) meanings. One non-standard tarot spread is described. This card would have really benefited from a longer booklet. Not only would it be hard for the average beginner to use this deck with just the information given in this booklet, but this deck cries out for descriptions of the cards that explain what the scenes painted on them depict.
As a Tarot deck, Ramses: Tarot of Eternity, succeeds. It's a nicely illustrated themed deck that seems to work well for divination. Unfortunately it is handicapped by a less than informative booklet and a lack of information on what the painting on the cards represent. This isn't a deck to give to a beginner, unless one also gives him or her a book on using the Tarot. A collector or an experienced reader who has an interest in ancient Egypt, on the other hand, would probably find this deck worth considering.
Reviewed by Randall