Author: Pietro Alligo
Artist: Raul and Gianluca Cestaro
Publisher: Llewellyn (Lo Scarabeo)
Publication date: 2003
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The Tarot of the New Vision deck is one of the most original and interesting ideas for a new Tarot deck I've seen in many years. It takes the familiar imagery of the Rider-Waite deck and turns it around. Literally. The images on the cards are those of the Rider-Waite deck with the point of view rotated 180 degrees. Most obviously, this means that the figures are seen from the back instead of from the front. Less obviously, it means that many cards have a different background as you can now see the scene in front of the figures in the standard Rider-Waite deck. Take a look at the sample cards for a better idea of what I'm trying to say.
This deck builds on the familiar Rider-Waite symbolism, while introducing new symbolism and new ways of looking at the cards. While I find myself disagreeing with a bit of the symbolism and scratching my head over some more of it, in general it provides a refreshing addition to the Rider-Waite symbol set. The artwork on this deck is good and matches the style and feel of the original Rider-Waite deck (and many of its close copies). The booklet that comes with this deck doesn't do it justice, unfortunately. It's one of Lo Scarabeo's standard multi-lingual booklets so there are only about 14 small pages devoted to the deck. For those familiar with the Rider-Waite deck, this is enough, but this deck really cries out for a full book where the designers can explain why they selected the symbolism they did.
If you like the Rider Waite deck (or one of its close variants) as I do, this deck is definitely a worthy addition to your collection. It can be read like a standard tarot deck, but the most interesting way I've found to use it is to do a reading with the Rider-Waite deck, then use the cards from this deck to complement the reading. For example if I draw the three of swords in the Rider-Waite deck, I'll find the three of swords in the Tarot of the New Vision and use the symbolism in both cards for my interpretation. While this isn't a deck for beginners and probably will not be all that useful to people who don't like the Rider-Waite deck, I love the Tarot of the New Vision deck.
Reviewed by Randall