The Astrology Center of America, 207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Fax:410-638-5154; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272
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Ancient Enlightened Tarot Deck

(formerly Sola Busca)

Ancient Enlightened Tarot Deck (formerly Sola Busca)
Price: $19.95

Number of cards in deck: 78

Measurements: 2.35 x 4.5 inches, or 60 x 115 mm.

Back of card: A monochrome variation of the 4 of Wands (shown above). An upright head flows naturally into an inverted head, like the face cards of ordinary playing cards. So these cards may be inverted. The colors are white & dark maroon.

Booklet included: No. As with many Lo Scarabeo decks, this deck includes 9 extra cards, with instructions in Italian, French, German, Spanish & English. These instructions are generic, they pay no attention to the actual deck itself (see note below).

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo. Printed in Italy.

Comments: No historical notes on this deck are packed with the cards. These notes are taken from The Encyclopedia of Tarot, volume 1, by Stuart R. Kaplan, page 124:

"The heavily colored Sola Busca tarocchi pack - the only complete extant pack of seventy-eight tarocchi cards engraved on metal during the late fifteenth century, possibly of Ferrarese or Venetian origin - contains trump cards featuring warriors of antiquity and Latin inscriptions. The twenty-two trumps are single figures based upon ancient history and, except for The Fool, have no counterparts in modern trumps. The name of a classical person, often barely recognizable due to misspellings by the scribe or engraver, appears on each of the trumps except for Mato (The Fool) and on each of the court cards of king, queen and knight except the page."

In this deck we have taken the Major Arcana card No. 1, Panfilio, and shown that in place of the usual Magician. The other Major Arcana shown above, No. 21, is titled Nabuchodenasor. The instructions packed with this deck pay no attention to the uniqueness of the Majors. Card number 8, for example, is described as "wisdom, meditation, loneliness, prudence". The figure on the card is titled, "Nerone", eg, Nero, and shows a man casting a small baby into a fire.

In the reproduction, the name of the Major Arcana, spelled as on the original card, has been placed in the black border above the card. In the minor arcana, the titles at the top are the name of the suit, in English, French, German & Spanish. Centered at the bottom is the name in Italian.

I've also heard said the minor arcanas of this deck inspired Pamela Coleman-Smith in her work for the Rider Waite deck. To my eyes, this is not literally true. If she was inspired by this deck, then it was as a point of departure for her own work, which, again in my opinion, is superior.

In any case, this is a striking deck.

The Astrology Center of America

207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Fax:410-638-5154; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

Tarot Home Tarot Decks Tarot Books Join our tarot mailing list 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).