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Shaman Tarot/Tarot de Los Chamanes [Cards]

Lo Scarabeo

RRP: 13.54
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A touch of shamanism 3 April 2010
By Neko-san - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The stunning imagery in this deck by Sabrina Riganello and Alessia Pastorello, invites you to walk into the world of the shaman. At times bordering into surrealism, these images do not fail to place the shaman as the center piece. However, this is not a deck for the uninitiated, as it drops most labels in favor of symbols.

The background of these cards is white clouds in a blue sky with a gradient towards a white vertical column at the center. The imagery is reminiscent of water colors or tempera, and dark at times. Nude scenes are rarely used; consisting of tastefully illustrated topless female figures when they are used.

The Major Arcana are numbered at the top and bottom with roman numerals, starting on 0 with the Fool. These are devoid of any other label. However, these are relabeled in the Little White Book (LWB) with a nod to the shaman theme of this deck:

0. The Fool - The Sacred Fool
I. The Magician - The Ancestral Shaman
II. The High Priestess - The Mother of the Worlds
III. The Empress - Mother Earth
IV. The Emperor - The Master of the Drums
V. The Hierophant - The Hunter of Demons
VI. The Lovers - Love
VII The Chariot - The Spinning Shield
VIII. Strength - Power
IX. The Hermit - The Seeker of Souls
X. Wheel of Fortune - The Drum of the Spirits
XI. Justice - Punishment
XII. The Hanged Man - Initiation
XIII. Death - The Other Existence
XIV. Temperance - Healing
XV. The Devil - The Lord of Transformations
XVI. The Tower - The Tree of the Cosmos
XVII. The Star - The Path of the Stars
XVIII. The Moon - The Moon of Illusion
XIX. The Sun - The Dance of the Sun
XX. Judgment - Evocation
XXI. The World - The Upper World

I was somewhat disappointed by The Sacred Fool, which is mostly the Fool of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot tradition. However, after recovering from my initial disappointment, I came to like the imagery of most of the other Major Arcana. I think that The Upper World is the best, which depicts the World encircled by a serpent biting its own tail and the face of a Goddess above all. This shows an element of Ettellia Tarot tradition, with the serpent reminding me of Ouroboros.

In the Minor Arcana, Stones, Drums, Bones and Bows replace the standard suits of chalices, pentacles, wands and swords. These symbols are display at the top of each card, being used instead of labeling. However, these are not always part of the illustration, but implied in subtle ways. For example, the Two of Drums shows a modern shaman meditating in his vines-covered apartment at the sound of drums from his portable boombox.

The pips cards are fully illustrated and numbered at the bottom. The court cards are decorated at the bottom with symbols of feather, totem horse, and necklace of bones and crown of feather representing the knave, knight, queen and king respectively. These embrace the suit symbolism, specially the knights where the steed for the Knight of Stones is a dolphin, for Drums is a buffalo, for Bones is a serpent and for Bows is an eagle.

Unfortunately, the LWB does nothing to explain the imagery of these cards, leaving this task to the user.

I cannot recommend this deck for beginners because of its complex imagery and lack of labeling. It may be a bit too much, even for casual meditation. However, this deck is very enticing, and it may be an interesting acquisition for the avid tarot collector looking for a touch of shamanism.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most insightful deck I've ever used. 4 July 2010
By Frank Castle - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I've been reading tarot for over 10 years, and this is definitely my favorite deck thus far. The imagery is crisp, vivid, and hand drawn. It almost has a marvel comic feel to it, each card displaying more than just deep symbolism. You can actually feel the emotions associated with it. Not having them conventionally labeled also encourages the reader to tap into their subconscious, or spirit, or higher self, to interpret the cards and see what aspects of the issue each card is mirroring.

I don't believe this was intended to be an -intellectual- deck, where you just memorize card meanings from the book. Although, if that's what you choose to use it for, that's great too. To really tap into the deck's full potential, however, one must communicate with their intuitive side. Each card can have a different meaning for a different query, that's how rich the imagery is.

I highly recommend this deck, to experienced readers as well as new readers. If you feel compelled to try it, chances are the deck is calling to you.

It's a calling I'm glad I answered!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice deck, but not for everyone. 7 May 2012
By Sergey - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting deck of cards. It's not for everyone i say that right away.
One thing that attracted me to it was that this is a Shaman themed deck and I'm going it to this direction.
One thing that kind of made me confused is that there are no names on the cards what so ever. They use numbers and the rest you have to look up in the booklet or remember.
Another thing that confused me is that these cards come with a small booklet, a very small one. It has very short description of cards and what they mean. Therefore, this deck is not for someone who is just starting to read Tarot. However, this will help you to develop your reading skills better. Use your intuition and listen to the cards.
Also this deck uses their own system of symbols. Traditional Tarot uses Wands, Pentacles, Swords and Cups, where this deck consists of Drums = Pentacles, Bows = Swords, Bones = Wands and Stones = Cups. Resemblance is there, but it's a little different from the beginning.
I say, if you are thinking about getting this deck, do it, but only if you have some experience with an easier kind.
I gave this deck only 4 stars just because of the confusion that I had with it and the disappointment with a very small booklet.
Blessed be!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shaman deck tarot 19 Dec 2011
By Ann Marie Dewitt - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have manytarot decks. and I loved the pictures in this deck. they are very viberant.. overall the deckis a great read. I would say it is good to have in your collection.y ou will enyou having it. It came fast and well wrappped.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awaken Your Inner Shaman 5 Oct 2010
By Janet Boyer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
"The Tarot of the Shamans is conceived for those who are seeking greater awareness and harmony with themselves, with reality and with nature. The cards are intended for all modern-day Shamans lost in their contemporary present and wish to rediscover the path in the forest, to unveil their animal nature and reawaken their inner Shaman." - From the L(ittle) W(hite) B(ook)

Retracing the essence of the Shamanic experience, the Shaman Tarot melds ancient rites and symbols with the mechanisms of civilization, suggesting that our Existence (spirit) flows through both time and space.

Shamanic practice, then, accesses simultaneous experiences through time, retrieving messages from spirit, wisdom from power animals and shattered soul shards in need of integration.

A canoe sailing among skyscrapers, a modern man trapped in a crystal held by a native, jungle vines invading a modern apartment, a loincloth clad male soaring among gray aliens, a meditating elder surrounded by discarded tires, concrete blocks and appliances--these are some of the unusual images found in the Shaman Tarot.

Of course, there are more traditional depictions of shamanistic life found in this deck--cattle skulls, drums, animals, headdresses, native dancing, conjured spirits, reveries and startling visions.

Correlating four central moments of both the shamanic experience and four Power Objects, the Minor Arcana suits of the Shaman Tarot are Drums (Earth--"Dance"), Bows (Air--"Voyage"), Bones (Fire--"Combat") and Stones (Water--"Healing"). These associations may prove quite confusing to Tarot enthusiasts, primarily because Drums, Bones and Stones have all been associated with the Earth element in other decks (one reason that I wouldn't recommend the Shaman Tarot for those new to the cards.)

Measuring approximately 4 x 2 inches, the cards feature a reversible backing--a totem-pole in blue and lavender hues, surrounded by dragonflies and a mauve border--while the fronts are absent of titles. Instead, the Majors display Roman numerals at top and bottom; the Minors show suit symbol and number; and the court cards depict only court symbol and suit symbol.

Speaking of courts, the delineation of the court cards in the Shaman Tarot are Knave, Knight, Queen and King, symbolized by a single feather, a wooden horse, a necklace and a feathered crown. But get this: there is NO explanation in the LWB for these associations! Seasoned Tarotist could guess, but beginners would be doubly lost using this deck (which is another reason I couldn't recommend the Shaman Tarot for beginners), especially since the LWB descriptions of the cards rarely match the image (par for the course with Lo Scarabeo LWBs, unfortunately).

While figuring out which symbols go with what element, suit and court card takes some getting used to, the Shaman Tarot does offer fascinating insights into modern dilemmas, creative obstructions and spiritual questions. I've used this deck for several months now and find it to be deep and broad with its advice--and sometimes amusingly snarky!

Case in point: I was feeling especially wonderful one day, and did a one-card reading as an experiment (after all, who consults the cards when soaring high, right?)--just wondering if the Universe had a message for me (like why I was feeling so giddy!).

Guess what drew? Drum 7, a card depicting a woman dancing at water's edge, playing a tambourine with her eyes closed, lovely birds swooping around her--REVERSED. I "heard" in my spirit, "Why are you even asking about your elation? Just enjoy it!"

Too funny! I actually laughed aloud.

As with many Lo Scarabeo decks, the Shaman Tarot provides unusual perspectives for quandaries and questions, as well as for contemplation and meditation. If you're attracted to the art and find the subject matter intriguing, do give this deck a try; I think you'll be pleasantly rewarded for your study and use of this symbolic deck.


-- Janet Boyer, author of Back in Time Tarot
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