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The Circle of Life Tarot

by Maria Distefano

The Circle of Life Tarot
Price: $22.95

Number of cards in deck: 78

Diameter: 4.35 inches, or 110 mm.

Back of card: Yellow-orange, with ornate "flower" swirls in white

Booklet included: Yes, 32 pages, 4.35 inches square, or 110 mm square. Instructions in English, Italian, Spanish, French & German.

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo. Printed in Italy, imported by Llewellyn Worldwide.

Comments: The first new round deck in many years, and, if I am not mistaken, the first round deck from Lo Scarabeo. Round decks tend to force a round card design, some of which I found difficult to read (Pages, in particular). As the deck is round, there is no "upright" or "inverted", only infinite shades of not quite. An astute reader can use the angle to judge just "how much" or "how effective" any card might be. If, for example, the first card in the series signifies the querent himself, then its angle tells us how aware, how much attention he is giving to the reading itself. In this sense, we would look at the angle of the cards the same way we would look at a volume control knob: There's a minimum volume, a maximum volume, and everything in between.

The booklet has a different theory. Circles indicate wholeness, or zero, or divinity, etc. Roundness forces us to focus on the center of the circle, etc. Reading those notes, I was reminded that Walt Disney patterned Micky Mouse & various other early cartoon characters, on the circle in the belief that such characters were not threatening. The boys at Termite Terrace found round characters had no punch & wound up with Bugs Bunny instead. But I digress.

The Ace of Swords, above, introduces an entirely new concept in Aces: Pregnancy. The ace is pregnant with the essence of the suit. In the case of Swords, a warrior will be born by Cesarean. This is also new. There is forced impregnation, known as rape. There is forced birth, by the sword. The Ace of Wands shows a baby with a stick curled up with a sleeping bird, which can be seen as Yin-Yang, or, if not "asleep", then as two fetuses awaiting birth. These cards are doorways to an entirely new understanding of tarot. I wonder if anyone will travel that path?

Delineations in the booklet are different from the usual. Here are a few:

Magician: When one pursues wisdom, all inherent sacrifices will be compensated. [Wisdom = magic?]

Ace of Wands: Intuition is the sister of reason. Both must be developed without giving preference to one or the other. [The unborn bird represents intuition?]

Ace of Swords: Plans that take a long time to actuate are often the most reliable. [Did the writer look at the card?]

The Astrology Center of America

207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

Tarot Home Tarot Decks Tarot Books Astrology Home E-Mail: Dave

Established 1993, The Astrology Center of America is owned & operated by David Roell. Except where noted, this entire site (AstroAmerica.com) & its contents are Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by William R. Roell. All rights reserved. Tarot card images are Copyright © by the copyright holder (generally the publisher).