Lo Scarabeo, Torino, 2006

Project by Giordano Berti
24 cards painted by Severino Baraldi

This deck is inspired by a gaelic poem, Câd Goddeu, “Battle of the Trees”, attributed to the bard Taliesin who maybe lived in the VI century of our Era. The book of Taliesin is not a bizarre composition; it's an important document about a divinatory tradition connected to the celtic calendar. As a matter of fact, celtic astrologers linked each tree to a letter of the alphabet and a zodiacal constellation of their calendar, that armonized the apparent movements of Sun and Moon. Moreover, each tree was linked with a totemic animal. The 13 costellations-trees-animals are filled by an un-named day, in order to conform the two different calendars (lunar and solar). I added the eight most importants celtic feasts to this Celtic Oracle: they are at the same time allegories of space and time directions (the cardinal points, solstices and equinox), upon which astrologic divination of ancient celts was based.


Dal Negro, Treviso, 2005

Project by Giordano Berti
78 cards painted by Luigi Scapini

To realize this deck I have been inspired directly by the god of wine, known as Dyonisus by the ancient Greeks, and Bacchus or Liberus by the Romans. It was an exciting experience that guided me to think about the 78 Arcana with innovative images and meanings. 
The 22 Triumphs narrate the birth of Dyonisus-Bacchus, his adventures on Earth and the events that lead him to spread the cult of wine-making and the misterious rites connected to the religious use of wine. My project for the illustrations was based on classic greek and latin texts: The Bacchants by Euripides, Dyonisiacs by Nonno of Panopolis, Metamorphosis by Ovidius, and a lot of historical studies about the Mysteries of Dyonisos. 
The 16 Court Cards are allegories of the most important Nations producers of wine. The four Kings are Italy, France, United States of America and Australia. The four Queens are Germany, Spain, Argentina, Japan. The four Knights are Greece, Chile, Hungary and South Africa. The four Knaves are Austria, Mexico, Russia and Brasil. The 40 Numeral Cards are referred to vineyard works, commercial business, feasts and convivial situations. Bacchus Tarot are wrapped in a very elegant box with a booklet in english and italian. The Court Cards of Bacchus Tarot will be soon the pieces of a Chess game produced by the same editor, Dal Negro of Treviso (Italy).


Lo Scarabeo, Torino, 2003
Project by Giordano Berti
78 cards painted by Jo Dworkin
Gold layout by Pietro Alligo

This enchanting deck is based upon some cards in the National Library of Paris. These 17 cards (the others 61 are lost), erroneously entitled “of Charles VI” (a french king who lived at the end of the 14th century), were painted about in 1470 in Ferrara (Italy), capital city of the ancient dukedom of the Este family. Many historians considered Ferrara the place where was invented the first Tarot deck; it is certain that the ferrarese tradition was very different from the Visconti-Sforza Tarot, or milanese tradition. When the editor asked me to project a complete deck of Estensi Tarot, I saw a great problem: how to replace the lost cards? For the Triumphs was not difficult to find some ferrarese Tarot exemples of the late 15th and the early 16th century. But for the Court and Numeral cards the historical documents are very scarces; therefore I decided to eliminate also the only Court card survived: the Knave of Swords. After some studies on the ferrarese art of the 15th century become clear to me the direction the work should take: I though to use only the details of the wonderful ferrarese fresco paintings on the walls of the Hall of the Months in Schifanoia Palace. This masterpiece, realized between 1469 and 1471 under commission of the duke Borso d’Este (exactly in the same age of the “Charles VI cards”), war really an astrological talisman, created by the humanist Pellegrino Prisciani to exalt the duke Borso and to protect him from every misfortune. I choosed 56 details of the frescoes according to the divinatory significances traditionally attributed to Tarot cards and I send the copies to Jo Dworkin, the artist that have masterfully realized the 78 illustrations. So, the Estensi Tarot could be entitled Schifanoia Palace Tarot, but the work of Pietro Alligo, who studied the golden layout for every card, impose the subtitle Golden Tarot of Renaissance.

About this deck, read two reviews by Cerulean and Solandia.

Also, read the review by Diane Wilkes.


Lo Scarabeo, Torino, 2003

Project by Giordano Berti
78 cards painted by Severino Baraldi

I invented this deck to narrate the life and enterprises of the Pharaoh Ramses II (1302-1224 B.C.), and also the people who lived in the same age. Special attention has been paid to the historical documents as well as to the aesthetics of each image. The Major Arcana cards refers to important people and events in the life of Ramses (except for the Fool which is Akhnaton); the Judgement shows Moses, that lives under the dominion of Ramses II. The Minor Arcana cards are also fully illustrated and show details of everyday Egyptian life in Ramses' era: agriculture, religion, magic, war etc. My descriptions for the illustrator requested a big engagement to research images and historical books. For every card I prepared an ample text, not included in the small booklet; I hope one day it will be published.

About this deck, read the review by Solandia.


Lo Scarabeo, Torino, 2001
78 cards painted by Andrea Serio

There’s no relation between the game of the Tarot and the poet Dante Alighieri but, since the early Tarots were likely a didactic game, It could be allowed to utilize them for a mnemonic play that recounts the culture of the late Middle Ages. When I wrote the screenplay for these cards, it was a great success. The Triumph series (the 22 Major Arcana) incorporates the ethical, philosophical and spiritual ideas Dante explains in the Convivio. These ideas date back to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, but in their essence is eternal. The courtly cards and pipe cards (or Minor Arcana), I completely transformed. The traditional symbols are now as follows: the Wands are Bricks, the Swords are Flames, money is represented by clouds, cups by Lights. On the Bricks series I recount Dante’s adventurous Life; in the other series I describe the most important facts exhibited in Dante’s most important poem: Hell in Flames, Purgatory in the Clouds and Paradise in the Lights. The use of these cards has thrusted Greta Bonidori, an esotericism expert, to propose two different methods of use.


Lo Scarabeo, Torino, 1995
78 cards painted by Giacinto Gaudenzi

For this deck, I wrote the screenplay of the 16 courtly cards only. Knaves, Knights, Queens and Kings are based on the Golden Dawn tradition (descriptions are given in the “Liber T” by Samuel Lyddell Mathers and subsequently revealed by Israel Regardie). I prepared the screenplay for all the cards in this way, but the picture has not concluded; so, the remaining Major and Minor Arcana have no relation with the English occult tradition.


Lo Scarabeo, Torino, 1994
22 cards painted by Giacinto Gaudenzi

Following a request made by the Marketing Direction of Palazzo Grassi, in Venice, I planned a deck of cards, for the great exhibition on the Celts. The 22 Triumphs recount the adventures of the Irish Celts, from the age of the first island colonials in the VII century b.C. to the conversion of Christianity, in the V century a.d. Every image represents one divinity or a hero of a cycle as being himself. The mythological figures, from Or to IX, involve the conflict between diabolical Fomorians and their conquerors, i Tuatha dé Danann. The heroic images, from X to XIV, describe to the rise and the decline of the Ulaid, who conquered Ireland between the I century b.C. and the II century a.d. The images of the third cycle, from XV to XXI, describe the domain of the Fianna. These Knights defended the island from foreign invaders until the loss of independence at the hands of the anglo-norman armies. For the practical use of this particular deck, I have suggested a "Celts Cross", a divination game devised from the famous English occultist, Arthur Edward Waite (1857-1942).


Lo Scarabeo, Torino, 1994

78 cards painted by from Antonio Lupatelli

The scenario that I wrote for this was in relation to the deck dedicated to the Celts traces the previous one, but with some variations in the mythological section. Also this deck was created upon the special request of the Marketing Direction of Palazzo Grassi,, in Venice, due to the exhibition on the Celts.

Lo Scarabeo, Torino, 1990

22 cards painted by Giacinto Gaudenzi

n addition to writing the scenario for the 22 images, based on traditional astrological conceptions, I have devised a divination game that comprises a means between astrology and fortune telling. The "astrocartomantic” method of play consists in the extraction of cards, whose interdependent reading allows the reader of these cards to supply answers (it is not known how consistent the answers could be) to the questions initially asked.


Lo Scarabeo, Torino, 1990

22 cards painted by Cosimo Musio

This second version of the "game of the zodiac", based on a different scenario, was published for "Astra" magazine in 1991. The game’s device has remained intact and identical to my original version.

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