Tarot for the 21st Century!
Michelangelo Tarot, by Guido Zibordi Marchesi
published by Lo Scarabeo
This deck delivers on its promise - each image is faithful to the style of Michelangelo, and the LWB contains an informative essay about Michelangelo, his influences and how these ideals apply and add layers of richness to readings performed with the deck. Michelangelo Tarot speaks in very bold and direct images. Each card appears to have been very carefully structured, so that the meanings are conveyed with as little extra detail as possible. Not to say these cards are lacking in detail, as the images are very strong and communicative; they simply are not cluttered. I find them very easy to read with.
Majors are marked with numbers only, and court cards bear the titles Rex (King), Regina (Queen), Eques (Knight) and Pedes (Page). The background color of each card is consistently some shade of blue, sometimes a little darker or lighter than others. Yet the border of each card bears a specific color to represent its suit. This is an additional feature that gives the deck an overall 'clean' feel.
The scenes on the Majors depart from the traditional ones, yet bear close enough resemblance so that the image still delivers the same meaning.
In XVI (the Tower), the two figures typically represented falling from the tower are the central focus of this card. They take up the entire card, with fragments of the falling tower appearing near the borders of the card. A real close-up of the fall, the card also seems to hone in on the fall, making it more palpable and personal. For example, if you ever read the Tower as involving real estate or representing a building, you may be less tempted to do so with this deck, but on the other hand, it immediately brings to mind a sudden and major change and / or a lack of control.
The Sun, card XIX, features a completely nude male and female couple, reminiscent of the Lovers card in RWS. Here the female looks at the male, who shields his eyes, perhaps from the sun, but also perhaps from the female.
While some decks use facial expressions to convey emotion, this deck does so with body positioning. Nearly every figure is in an active, contorted, or otherwise tense position. Perhaps this is why I find these cards to be so direct in their expression. There is an abundance of muscular, nude male figures in this deck, which is something to consider before purchasing.