Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2014) is filled with strange characters. Large heads and small bodies are one element of her artistic style. Yet, the bizarre mixing and morphing of human, animal and plant adds another layer to this surreal melange.
some may object to is the fact that every card shows a female figure,
most often just the one. This is true even of the different Courts, on
which more below. Yet, despite this, the images are not samey or
lacking in symbolism.
Conversely, one thing detractors of Lo
Scarabeo decks may appreciate is that there are no multilingual titles,
just basic numbers and suit symbols. The borders are delicate and
slightly ornate, much like the images themselves. And the card stock is
sturdy, flexible, not overly thick, and easy to shuffle.
For the Courts, the King
of Pentacles came up. A beautiful woman raises her skirts, allowing a
bull to come charging out. The landscape around her isn't particularly
lush, but there is a large town or city behind her. Strength,
groundedness, responsibility and economic growth, as well Taurean links,
are all to be found here.
I like the
ballerina for the Page of Pentacles, suggesting a certain youth and
innocence, as well as the need for practice to master anything
physical. The Knight on her button-eyed rabbit keeps a tight leash on
her physical control, yet still has work to do to have everything as it
The Queen is beautiful, indulging her physical
desires with plenty left to share. And the King, though female, has the
strength and power of the bull, and that sense of overarching control
and responsibility, through the use of landscape. Thus, though each
shows a female character, they are easily distinguished, with plenty of
The Eight of Cups at first glance seems quite
similar: pretty girl, bulbous dress and birds. Yet the differences are
also striking. Her dress is a gilded cage, and the birds are dark. We
can get trapped by our emotions, by the pleasant situation we appear to
have. One bird, though, is out, and the girl's eyes turn to the right,
to an as yet unseen potential future. Will she leave the dress behind,
morphing into a bird herself to fly away and seek out new, more
Overall, this deck does not feel to me
like it has been slapped together from preexisting artwork. While
unusual, the symbolism still feels largely appropriate if quite
different from tradition. It is beautiful and bizarre, and would work
well as a deck for free-flying intuitive readings, while still being
open to traditional interpretations. While perhaps not the best deck
for a beginner, it is lovely and very usable.