Artist: Giacinto Gaudenzi
Publisher: Llewellyn (Lo Scarabeo)
Publication date: 2003
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The Tarot of the Hidden Folk (originally entitled The Enchanted Tarot) deck consists of cards inspired by the forces of nature and "the Secret Realm" of children's fairy tales. The cards represent the hidden folk who live in the Secret Realm. Each card depicts a different being, some in natural settings and others performing mundane tasks like ironing.
This deck looks very nice. The artist did an excellent job throughout. The major arcana and court cards are lavishly illustrated. The pip cards, however, are much less so. The main feature on most of the pips is the pip items themselves. However, unlike a true Marseilles style Tarot, each pip card also has an illustration of a fairy engaged in some task. Even with this addition, there isn't a lot of symbolism in the pip cards. If you like a lot of symbolism in your Tarot decks, this probably is not a good reading deck for you.
This deck only comes with a small foldout booklet to describe the cards. This is the deck's weakest point as the card descriptions aren't nearly enough for a beginner to even start reading with the deck successfully. The short meanings given are worded strangely. For example, the nine of Pentacles is described as "The Lord of Material Gain. He loves theft, swindles, and common speculation." What is a total beginner to make of that in a reading? An interesting method of reading the deck is provided, but it is very brief and hard to follow. If you have some experience reading the Tarot, however, this deck is as easy as any Marseilles style deck to read. While I cannot recommend the Tarot of the Hidden Folk for beginners, it is a lovely deck worthy of the consideration of more experienced readers and collectors.
Reviewed by Randall