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


The Minchiate Tarot Deck & Book Set

by Brian Williams

The Minchiate Tarot Deck & Book Set
Price: $35.00
Number of cards in deck: 97

Measurements: 3 x 5 inches, or 76 x 127 mm.

Back of card: Practically another card by itself, you might confuse it with a card. An erect, white, winged figure standing on a ram's head in front of a brown field. Around this, a blue border. At the bottom of the card the large letters, "MINNVO". At the bottom of the brown field, not quite as glaring, the words, "INV BRIAN WILLIAMS". Clearly not for inversion.

Book included: Yes, 264 pages, 5.95 9 inches, or 15.1 x 23 cm. Lavish illustrations include details & source material.

Publisher: Destiny Books. Printed in Hong Kong.

Comments: This is a modern version of the Antiche Minchiate Tarot Deck, which is no longer in print.

The original cards were first published in Florence in 1725. In this modern version, as with virtually every other deck, we have the usual four suits with ten numbered cards & four court cards. The major arcana cards, on the other hand, are a major surprise. There are 41 cards, in this order:

The Major Arcana
0 The Fool
1 The Magician
2 The Empress
3 The Emperor
4 The Hierophant
5 The Lovers
6 Temperance
7 The Force
8 Justice
9 The Wheel of Fortune
10 The Chariot
11 Time
12 The Hanged Man
13 Death
14 The Devil
15 The Tower
16 Hope
17 Prudence
18 Faith
19 Charity

The Four Elements
20 Fire
21 Water
22 Earth
23 Air

The Zodiac
24 Libra
25 Virgo
26 Scorpio
27 Aries
28 Capricorn
29 Sagittarius
30 Cancer
31 Pisces
32 Aquarius
33 Leo
34 Taurus
35 Gemini

The Airs
36 Star
37 Moon
38 Sun
39 The World
40 Justice

I have always thought the addition of the extra cards was to make some fussy person happy. I can imagine him demanding of his artist, "Why not include the Virtues? Why not include the Elements? Why not include the Zodiac? Are they not worthy of inclusion? Are they not greater than a mere Pope or Empress? Do they not illuminate the Wheel, are they not the natural companions to the Sun, Moon & Star?, etc, etc." The figures on these extra cards were often sculpted into the great cathedrals, along with many of the regular major arcana cards, in one fashion or another. If you can have them on a church facade, why not on cards?

In this deck, the Magician is your waiter, ready to take your order. And what a meal he will serve you! That protuberance on his hat is actually a feather, but feathers come from birds & some folks think the Magician is Mercury & Mercury wears a winged cap. So if you fancy something exotic, this guy can deliver! Notice the cloth covering the end of the table is a pentagram.

The book that comes with the cards is excellent in every respect. It is scholarly & lavishly illustrated. Alternative illustrations are given for all the cards. The book helps us to think about tarot, why it became the way it is, and some of the alternative directions it could have taken. This deck & book set is not for the casual, but most certainly is for the curious.

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).