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DaVinci Tarot Cards Kit Cards – Mar 2006

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Product details

  • Cards: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; Box Tcr Pa edition (Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 0738708941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738708942
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13 x 3.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,373,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Da Vinci Tarot - A Review 27 Jan. 2007
By June Kaminski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Cards
Iassen Ghiuselev, Atanas Atanassov, and Mark McElroy collaborated to present the Great artistic Renaissance Master and overall genius' prolific and classic masterpieces to illustrate the 78 tarot cards. Ghiuselev was responsible for selecting and editing the Major Arcana cards, while Atanassov worked on the Minor Arcana versions. McElroy scripted the concise thin book that accompanies the deck, offering interpretrations of the selected illustrations and a brief meaning for each card. Although all three of these contributors must be acknowledged, the real creative force behind this deck is Leonardo himself.

The images on each card are awe-inspiring, to say the least. Interestingly, the three authors chose female artwork to provide the backbone and front image interface of the deck. The first piece that greets our eye is the infamous Mona Lisa (wearing papal headgear!), who demurely smiles from the front of the boxed set and on the accompaning book. Mona personifies the stately High Priestess, representing secrecy, mystery, intuition, reflection, and engaging in studious pursuits. The deck box itself is also graced with two other images of women. Some cards feature a complete art piece by Da Vinci while others include sections or elements from more complex paintings, carefully chosen to illustrate the essence and persona of each of the cards. The back of every card sports the image of the Queen of Wands illustration. The painting used for this illustration is apparently of Cecilia Gallerani in Lady with the Ermine, painted around 1491.

This deck uses fairly standard language to distinguish the four suits: Swords, Wands, Pentacles and Chalices, and the four Court Cards, King, Queen, Knight, and one exception Knaves (in place of Pages or Princesses). The paintings portray classically beautiful people, boasting health and vibrancy but painted in subtle muted colors and tones. For instance da Vinci's infamous painting Bacchus (hangs in the Louvre in Paris) was used for Number I Major Arcana card, The Magician.

This deck would make the perfect gift for loved ones who were enthralled with the Da Vinci Code or for artists or those who appreciate fine art, who also are drawn to the tarot.

Published in 2005, the deck includes 78 cards, with 22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana cards in a compact size to fit easily in an adult's hand.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Bland 20 Mar. 2006
By Janet Boyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Cards
"Did Leonardo Da Vinci encounter the Tarot while working for the Sforza family? No one knows. It is intriguing, though, to imagine his reactions to the cards...and to envision the sort of deck Da Vinci, a Renaissance Master, might have produced." - From the companion booklet to the Da Vinci Tarot

Books by Margaret Starbird and Elaine Pagels, coupled with the popular novel and movie The Da Vinci Code, has re-awakened an interest in the Mary Magdalene mythos as well as the Renaissance Master himself. Was Da Vinci connected to forbidden sects and secret societies that preserved and protected the history and lineage of Mary Magdalene and Jesus? No one knows for sure, but there is little evidence to support these theories.

Nevertheless, the enigmatic smiles of Da Vinci's subjects as well as his futuristic inventions intrigue us to this day. Renowned for both The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, Da Vinci created drawings of fantastic flying machines, detailed anatomical sketches, and a myriad of inventions-including advanced weaponry.

Commissioned in 1992 to create a series of 22 paintings for a Majors only deck, Iassen Ghuiselev culled images from Da Vinci's notebooks, diagrams, and artwork. Art historian Marco Bussagli hailed the artistic works, which featured Da Vinci's mirror-script for the card titles and tiny glyphs adapted from the Master's designs. Over a decade later, a new artist was recruited to replicate the subtle shading techniques of Ghiuselev for the Minor Arcana. Atanas Atanassov completed the Minors in 2002, but Lo Scarabeo decided to expand the Da Vinci Tarot with a new kit, which includes a 63-companion guide written by Mark McElroy.

The card images in the Da Vinci Tarot depict androgynous characters, fantastical beasts, and enigmatic expressions depicted in muted shades of brown, gray, and green. Six languages announce each card title and the construction is consistent with traditional decks. The suits are Chalices, Pentacles, Swords and Wands and the Court attributions are Knave, Knight, Queen, and King. Wands are associated with element Fire and Swords with element Air. The card backings are fully reversible, depicting doubled images of the Queen of Wands. Measuring approximately 4 ¾ inches by 2 ½ inches, the sturdy but flexible card stock has a slick, matte finish and shuffles easily.

In the companion booklet, McElroy admits that some card meaning stray from traditional meanings, making the Da Vinci Tarot an unwise choice as a beginner's deck. For example, the provided meanings for the Two of Pentacles are "clarity, untainted love, honest friendship, unconditional love and acceptance, engaging in love for the simple pleasure of doing so." Traditionally, relationships, love, and emotions are the realm of the Cups/Chalices/Water suit, not Pentacles. The meaning for the Ace of Chalices is "growth, eating well, fostering a sense of well-being, tending to the healthy advancement of body and spirit, taking advantage of opportunities to be nurtured." Apart from the latter meaning, this description sounds much more like the traditional realm of the Pentacles/Earth suit, which governs health and the physical body.

For each card in the Da Vinci Tarot, McElroy gives a brief commentary and three exploration questions, as well as what they encourage and caution against. For some cards, the author offers illustration notes, highlighting the source of card images. It's my understanding that the artist didn't keep track of which sketch or painting went with each card image, but McElroy's curiosity and tenacity spurred him to resolve the derivations.

There are some omissions and mistakes in the booklet, including duplicating the card meaning of the Empress for the Emperor and a typo for The World, which says "The figure on The Sun..." To be honest, I'm not sure if there are other mistakes because I couldn't get past the Majors with a mere cursory reading of the booklet. Surprisingly, the companion booklet is a dry read. Surprising, because McElroy is usually an engaging author. Granted, hints of his cleverness and inventiveness peek through, but the booklet bored me to tears. I was going to push through the entire 63 pages, but I figured "why bother?"

While the mirror-script and icons in the background of the Majors add a hint of mystery and additional intuitive information, I found most of the card images uninspiring. The artists are very talented, especially with shading techniques, but most of the image selections aren't conducive to symbolic interpretation and intuitive association for those who don't memorize meanings to apply to every deck. I performed a reading and found the Da Vinci Tarot wanting. It just doesn't "speak" to me and, for the first time as a reader, I actually found myself thinking of the Rider-Waite correlations in the attempt to glean *some* information from the spread.

This deck would be great for rabid fans of Da Vinci and art deck collectors. However, I found the deck and companion booklet quite bland, despite the care taken with its execution.

(To see 9 card images from the Da Vinci Tarot, visit the Reviews--Decks section at [...])
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Inspiration Is The Key to Unlocking Da Vinci! 21 Feb. 2007
By Shannon L. Yarbrough - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Cards
I've had these cards for over a year now, and decided to see what the reviews were like even though I haven't used them much. I'm shocked at how negative users are about these cards. Who cares about the commercialism of Da Vinci recently thanks to Dan Brown? If anything, we should be happy that more people are exposed to Da Vinci's life and artwork despite the fictional aspect of it that Brown wrote about. And that's exactly how these cards should be used.

Tarot, no matter what deck you choose, needs to inspire the user. When I was shopping the decks in a spiritual store, I examined these cards and that's exactly what happened. They spoke to me, and so my partner later purchased them for me. I am not disappointed with them at all. So ignore the negativity, because it's all about how you use the cards in your life anyway. If these tarot work for you, then by all means accept their inspiration.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Cards for reflections, not answers 11 Oct. 2009
By Kyana - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Cards
I fall in love with the picture on the front of The Da Vinci Tarot Kit, it is the card of Justice, with a women holding a mirror showing not her face but Leonardo da Vinci's. This picture makes me think so deeply that there is something hidden not yet revealed in this card. All of the pictures I later found , luckily, have this secret feeling it them like the Secret Tarot so this assists me to further reflect on things, I have success connecting to them.

Honestly, I do not like muted colours, I like deep colours like the Spiral Tarot or contrasting sharp colours like the Babara Walker. I find dark colours is more solumn and magical and easily to connect to and contrasting colour have a really sharp intutitive feeling to me. This muted colours give me a sense of serenity, where one pause to reflect, and this echoes with the drawings of each picture. But the cards may not give you an answer. The answers comes from within. It is because the answers come from your own reflection, the answers are stronger than the cards can give you.

The meanings of the cards differs from the mainstream. It is quite different, but still works for me and gives a little different perspective for me on things. Also, I find the author particularly wants us to connect with the figures in the picture, who is always in a stationary position, and sitting and looking at somewhere to indicate her thinking. This card is very personal to me, but not as personal as the Celestial Tarot, maybe because of the reflection thinking that makes me detach from myself.

I am not a fan of Da Vinci, but this card is easy to work with, and beautiful images even on minors,which is a plus for me. Generally I love the cards for its uniqueness. When I play the cards, I feel extraordinary calm and reflect so much upon many things.

One thing I do not like is the package. It doesnt give the LWB although it gives me a larger book, but I believe the interpretations are still brief, but to that point. I like to keep refer to LWB rather than taking the larger book. And the box for the cards are larger than the cards themselves, which makes the cards shuffle a lot. I think if I would prefer to buy the only deck, rather than this kit.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Quite the disappointment 30 Mar. 2014
By Random Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Cards Verified Purchase
This deck is released based solely on the success of the 'DaVinci Code' and goes so far as to state it in the LWB.

The cardstock is low-grade; quality of a study deck (as opposed to 'working' and 'pro' decks, with 'study' decks being the lowest grade).

The card box is oversized and the cards inside just jiggle. the "Book" is an over-sized pamphlet.

DO NOT BUY! Find another deck of higher quality and integrity to invest in.... Lo Scarabeo missed the point on this one!
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