The Tarot of the Sacred Feminine | Floreana Nativo and Franco Rivolli | Lo Scarab | ISBN: 978-0738741161
This tarot deck focuses on the divine feminine, featuring a selection of scenes from goddess myths from different cultures in the Major Arcana, and depicting a different cultural mythology in each minor arcana suit: Mesopotamia and Egypt for Wands, the Celts for Pentacles, the Judeao-Christian tradition for Cups, and Greek and Roman cultures for Swords. The cards are beautifully and sometimes savagely illustrated; fittingly for a deck dedicated to the Goddess in all her aspects, including Dark Mother, there is blood.
The cards do not follow a traditional Rider Waite symbology except in a small number of cases, so might be more suited to a confident and more instinctive or psychic reader. They have more in common with The Mythic Tarot or the Thoth deck in that they speak to specific mythological stories or entities – and especially like the Thoth, are really stunning visually.
I initially felt on looking through the deck that using symbology from differing cultures across the suits would be confusing and overly complicated, but in use I liked it. It is a complicated, intellectual kind of deck, and the small size doesn’t make life easier for correctly identifying what’s being shown in each picture (tarot makers, please take pity on readers with less than perfect eyesight!) – the small, basic accompanying leaflet is also not a great deal of help.
I certainly had to research some of the mythic moments being represented to get the most from the experience, but I nonetheless feel that this is a deep deck that will keep giving, being so intricate, dark and magical – and that’s worth the effort. The Tarot of the Sacred Feminine will appeal to anyone with a good grounding in mythology, those of us that want to explore the mysteries of the Goddess from a variety of cultures via tarot, and those of us who seek to connect to Her through our divination and meditation with the cards.