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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 2 September 2004
First of all, let me say this is a beautifully illustrated deck. The graphics are stunning, realistic in the artistic approach and well thought through. There is no difficulty in understanding what the artist had in mind when he designed these cards. The imagery is clear as well as beautiful to look at.
The suits are visibly distinguishable, as opposed to other decks. Even if you are not sure, the Minor Arcana are clearly identifiable by a color 'jewel' at the top of each card, red for wands, blue for swords, yellow/gold for cups and green for pentacles.
The deck is based on the Rider-Waite deck, with 22 Major Arcana cards and the Minor Arcana comprised of 10 numbered cards and 4 court cards each. Ciro Marchetti maintains the Page, Knight, King and Queen court cards rather than changing their associations as many recent decks have done.
The reverse design is a 'jeweled' motif reminiscent of a sunburst, and is not too busy or distracting.
Intriguing is Ciro Marchetti's inclusion of some images that appear almost to be machine-like in quality. Going over the artists notes in the front of the book is his notation "A common theme in my work is the inclusion of mechanical devices, and this continued on various cards in the Major Arcana of the Gilded Tarot. These machines, which straddle the opposing worlds of science and magic, somewhat basic of their construction and clockwork movements of gears and cogs, are of an earlier times... while not of the world of microprocessors and chips, they are nevertheless capable of wonders beyond today's technology." I found this to be interesting, and appropriate, for a modern deck of tarot cards.
The emphasis on nature is also there, in carefully included animal images, natural settings and yet, it maintains a surrealistic feel in the almost vision-like quality of some of the Major Arcana cards. The deck has a renaissance motif at work in the costumes and architecture.
The swords and cups are obviously identifiable. The wands are distinctive in their design of being metallic in appearance, topped by what at first glance appears to be a 'torc' but could also be a dual power point. The pentacle design is unique in that the design is a pentagon within a pentagon on the numbered cards and the pentacle only appears behind the King of Pentacles. The Queen holds a pentagon with the jeweled sunburst within.
All in all, the designs appeal to meditation on the cards and are easily workable by those familiar with a standard tarot deck.
The book is a basic workbook for those not familiar with tarot decks. While the notes from the artist is a nice inclusion, the material provided by Barbara Moore is good for beginners. There is a little about the actual meaning of the cards, but as always, that is dependent on the reader and what he or she sees as she uses the cards. But the cards are so clear in their message; this would make an excellent first deck.
Finally, there is the bag. Please let me add that this is an excellent touch to the gift box presentation. Besides a lovely box to keep the book and deck in, which, again, is beautiful in its design, the bag gives you someplace to store the deck. It is an Organdy bag and I found that it was great to prevent the cards from sliding around in the box once I put the deck in the bag, and makes a handy carrying case as I showed the deck around to a few reader friends of mine, and also used the deck at one of my tarot reading. My clients were complimentary about the deck, and my fellow readers thought the deck was beautiful and well done.
All in all, if you are looking for a deck to give as a gift, or to add to your collection, or if you are looking for a first deck for yourself, this gift box would be a good choice. boudica
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on 9 January 2006
what more can i say, this deck speaks for it's self. I also own the mythic, rider waite, angel cards, fairies cards, runes, and other tarot, yet i have never come across something as enchanting and spritual as this deck. The book that goes with it is great but you wont need it, as these card's get your intuition going so quickly. You will see things you never thought you could imagine. The imagery is stunning! I can't only praise this deck!! Great beginner or advanced deck! This is the ultimate deck. If you read the reviews all over the net, you will see the amazing feedback on this deck, so don't just take my word for it. There is nothing negative about this deck whatsoever! You will be in love with it from the moment it arrives :)
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VINE VOICEon 26 September 2004
This is one of my 1st tarot decks, it is so beautiful and surprisingly very easy to read even to a novice like myself.
There are colours at the top of the cards on the minor Arcana to help guide you which I have found really useful and I am still really learning much about them but, these are a great pack for the new Tarot reader and a great addition to the experienced reader.
The accompanying book is excellent really useful, and I just love the Organza bag to keep them in.
A great Tarot deck and excellent value.
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I am quite new to Tarot & I deliberately started off with a 'beginner's deck' - the excellent Sharman-Caselli deck. Although I personally found it a brilliant, easy deck to initiate me into the ways of Tarot, I also found it a little bland: soft colours, quite plain drawings and I found myself looking for something a little more glossy, more attractive and more sumptuous.

That's where the Gilded Tarot came in and not only ticked those boxes but blew them right out of the water. I cannot fault the artwork of these cards. Everything about the colours used, the images chosen & the design on the back of the cards just fits perfectly. My only slight criticism would be that sometimes the faces of the characters are a bit distracting as they are real photos whilst the rest of the body is a drawing which can be a bit weird but on the whole it is a beautiful deck.

The cards themselves pretty much stick to the traditional names for both Major and Minor Arcanas. In this deck, Strength is numbered 8 and Justice is numbered 11. The images themselves are, I find, quite different to the Rider Waite tradition (although the artist says he has tried to stick to it) thus many of the well known figures appear quite differently in this deck - the Fool is pictured as a court jester juggling signs of the zodiac with a gold hoop about his legs, the Emperor is also clutching the signs of the zodiac, the wheel also depicts signs of the zodiac around it with a big sunburst at the centre of the wheel. There are also a lot of references to machines and machinery throughout the cards which the author and artist explain in the accompanying booklet.

Court figures have usually lost their thrones and the backgrounds tend to be quite minimal although there are a lot of animals appearing in this deck which has a comforting feel - I am thinking about the 10 of swords where a stag looks over the body of the man stuck by swords.

The cards themselves are quite thick and glossy, relatively narrow & really lovely to hold but very slippery to shuffle! The cards have a black border which contain the gem that is coloured according to the suit that it belongs to e.g. green for pentacles etc etc. The borders are a lovely touch to the drawings and the gem helps you identify the suit immediately. Pip cards are illustrated.

The reverse of the cards shows a vibrant sunburst but are not reversible (i.e. you would not be able to tell if the card was upright or reversed until you turned it over).

The booklet provided also contains basic meanings for the cards and luckily includes meanings for the machine imagery included on the cards which actually turns out to be quite interesting. An organza bag is also included and is very handy for keeping the cards in but they also thoughtfully include a plain white box that you can illustrate yourself if you choose.

All in all, this deck of cards gets the 5 star treatment because of the artwork and presentation of the cards and the booklet. They are absolutely stunning.

However, they are not my favourite deck, because the images are pared down and have lost a lot of the traditional symbols, I find it really hard as a beginner to intuit the meanings of the cards, they just simply do not speak to me. I have tried to do a reading for a family member and whilst they really enjoyed it and said it was really relevant, I felt quite uncomfortable and not confident. I don't think that I am ready for these quite yet, but because they are so attractive, I think that once I become more confident with the Tarot as a whole, I would be more drawn to using these.

If you love Tarot, if you are a reader or even if you just collect, you will love having these in your collection.

The Fool in this deck of cards really looks like George Bush though - have a look for yourself, you'll see what I mean!!!
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on 12 September 2005
then this could be the one for you. Although I own a couple of decks already, I have never really connected with them and have been searching for my ultimate deck. As soon as I saw this, I knew it was the one and I wasn't wrong.It truly is a beautiful deck which is easy to read, even for a beginner like me and I connected with it straight away. I recommend this to anyone who wants an easy to read deck which is beautifully illustrated. The organza bag is a lovely extra and very useful for keeping the cards in.
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VINE VOICEon 14 March 2006
This new Tarot deck has caused something of a sensation in Tarot circles, and when you look at them it is easy to see why. I have seen some colourful decks before that have been gorgeous in imagery, but this deck has that little something extra. Part of it is the presentation. The black and gold borders give the deck a very elegant look. Partly also it's that these pictures really draw you in, and make other decks look very flat by comparison. But what I like most about it is the attention to detail in each picture. There are intriguing little touches, such as the galleon in the moonlight behind the man holding the Two of Pentacles, the owl peering in at the young woman suffering heartache in the Nine of Swords, the Hermit walking along what appears to be a very narrow mountain ridge, the dolphins jumping behind the Lovers, the Art Deco-style beauty of The High Priestess, and the Fool (depicted as a Harlequin Clown) juggling the symbols of the Zodiac. Quite simply, a wonderful deck which should become much-loved by Tarot readers everywhere.
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on 12 January 2007
I have only started my Tarot path, and this is the second deck that I have in my collection. The Gilded Tarot comes in a nice presentation box with its own little bag, but what impressed me was the book that came with it. Not one of those tiny books you get in a small deck, but a nice big book where you don't need a magnifying glass to read it. It even has half-a-dozen spreads to try out at the rear of the book. Although Rider-Waite based, this deck does have its own meanings but generally, an enjoyable deck which beginners would be able to handle.
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on 27 September 2009
I DO like marmite, but I DO NOT like this deck. Ultimately, it all comes down to the fact that the deck mixes fantasy art techniques with realism/photography around the face. This works for some people, which is why they feel the eyes of the figures are "really looking out" at them. Sadly, for me it just felt like a bad Photoshop project, with some figures seeming very "head-in-hole". It disrupted the flow of the deck, and the unity of each card, because I felt too aware of each image being assembled in a slightly artificial way.

On the plus side, the deck comes with it own bag, which is a nice touch, and the book was good enough for starters. If you're new to tarot, you'll find you'll build up your own collection of books far beyond the book that came with your first deck, so there's no need for a deck companion book to be "definitive".

The number of rave reviews show that this deck is LOVED by many people, but there are others, like me, who will get it in the post and be disappointed - mine is languishing in storage until I can find someone who might want it. If you're a first timer, a Rider-Waite might be a better bet. Or else, try to get to a shop which holds this deck so you can check out the cards in person to see if you "get" their aesthetic. That way you can avoid making a relatively expensive mistake like I did. Good luck!
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on 22 September 2004
these are so beautiful , i was able to connect with them straight away, the cards are rich in colour and extreamly life like, which i think helps when trying to do a reading, i noticed a bid improvement in my reading skills from using these cards, the beautiful images meant that i could connect the cards easily.
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on 19 November 2015
Disappointing to say the very least!

Unfortunately there was a delivery issue, but Amazon put this matter right immediately and this should be made known.

However, when I received this order I regretted my choice. The pictures don't seem to be printed in focus. The quality is crude. The cards themselves are very flimsy. Where the "gilded" element is, who can say. I hope I can desuade anyone from buying this deck. They are NOT worth the price or indeed the time waiting for them. However thank you Amazon for arranging for the order to be re-delivered. I will use them s a raffle prize!
I am sorry to provide a negative review, but this is the truth
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