The Sharman-Caselli Tarot Deck
The Sharman-Caselli Tarot Deck総合評価： ［総評者：まさいちくん］
定価： ￥ 1,977、 発売日： --
Having recently read Sharman-Burke's The New Complete Book of Tarot (a revision of a much older volume), I decided to get the deck that illustrates her revised text. The images in the book are quite lovely and notable for their simplicity and clarity. The deck is quite nice and follows the Waite-Smith tradition without its astrological or kabbalistic symbolism. This simplification will make it easy for newbies to learn. It comes is a sturdy box which will be great for carrying the cards while traveling. The cards themselves feel like they are made of flimsy stock and seem like they would bend and crease easily. The images in the book are far sharper and more colorful than the ones on the cards, which seem to have a much inferior reproduction. The backs of the cards are a loud solid magenta, and two of the cards in the deck I received have spots in the solid coloring which appears to be a defect in manufacturing.
The LWB that accompanies the deck is quite good. Instead of just compiling some keywords, it lists the key images on each card and what the author intended by selecting those images. I much prefer this approach because it allows the reader to read the cards intuitively without being "stuck" with someone else's delineations. If you like this deck (which I do), I would highly recommend getting the author's accompanying book for its fuller description of the cards and their meanings. Sharman-Burke's approach incorporates a great deal of Greek mythology into the cards, which gives an added depth to the Waite-Smith symbolism. I really like this deck and would have given it 5 stars if the stock and image reproduction had been better. Highly recommended as a Waite-Smith clone. I hope the authors can sell the rights to a good card manufacturer like Lo Scarbeo or US Games Systems so that a good quality deck can be produced from these beautiful images.
Addendum: After using the deck for a while, I noticed that a few of the cards have spots in the plain magenta backs of the cards, which makes me able to recognize them. One card has a small crease and a small black spot that appears to be the result of poor manufacturing. I contacted amazon.com and they will send me a replacement deck, which I hope is devoid of spots and creases. Too bad they are not printed on better stock with some quality control because these cards are really quite attractive.
Addendum 2 (April 7, 2012: Today the replacement deck arrived. This time I examined the back of each card carefully and found only three with white spots left in manufacturing. They apparently don't apply the coloring evenly on the back of the cards. I mixed and matched the two decks and returned to amazon a full deck with about 6 defective cards. The "new deck" does not allow me to know which card I've drawn by looking at the back of the card and I'm pleased with my purchase (despite the poor quality stock).
This deck is beautiful and I get accurate readings with it. It seems as though they can speak to you. I highly recommend them. I have over a dozen decks and I only have two decks that are my favorite and this is one of them. If you are new to tarot reading this deck would be ideal for you. If you don't like the art in the Rider Waite deck but want the same symbolism of the Rider Waite, this deck would be great for you.
In the creation of the Sharman-Caselli Tarot, Juliet Sharman-Burke and Giovanni Caselli combined the best features of the popular Rider-Waite Tarot, and elements of classic decks such as the Visconti-Sforza Tarot and Marseilles Tarot. The result is a fully illustrated tarot deck that is accessible to everyone, and a must-have for Tarot collectors.
Caselli's imagery throughout the Sharman-Caselli Tarot evokes a sense of a renaissance era. The depiction of this era is done with seemingly realistic art, filled with soft colors. Predominant are yellows, reds, light blues, light greens, and whites.
Since the Visconti-Sforza Tarot and Marseilles Tarot lack illustrated numbered cards in the Minor Arcana, the Sharman-Caselli Tarot draws inspiration only from the Rider-Waite Tarot on this area. However, the Major Arcana draw inspiration from both tarots, although most of these cards imagery leans toward the Rider-Waite Tarot. There are a few exceptions. The Wheel of Fortune shows a wheel with four people at the top, bottom and sides and a blind-folded women in its center, definitely drawing inspiration from the Visconti-Sforza Tarot, while The Lovers shows a finely dressed man deciding between two women with cupid floating over his head, an imagery more akin to the Marseilles Tarot.
Another interesting fact about the Major Arcana is that they are deprived of numbers. This is another nod toward older tarot decks such as the Visconti-Sforza Tarot. In this way, Sharman-Burke was able to reorder the Major Arcana to make the Fool's story of psychological development easier to follow. Pay careful attention to the order of the Major Arcana when you open the Sharman-Caselli Tarot and you will find the following ordering: The Fool, The Magician, The Empress, The Emperor, The High Priestess, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Justice, Temperance, Strength, The Hermit, The Wheel of Fortune, The Hanged Man, Death, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, and The World. Check out Sharman-Burke's The New Complete Book of Tarot for more information.
This deck is a welcomed addition to any tarot collection.
Other tarot decks by Juliet Sharman-Burke:
The Complete Tarot Pack
My Tarot: Colour Your Own Deck
The Mythic Tarot
The Sharman-Caselli Tarot Deck is a great alternative deck to the Rider Waite deck or can be an additional deck to use in comparative deck study or as a secondary deck.
Before I even talk about the cards I wanna say that the box the cards come in rock! It is a strong box that can be used as the main storage place for the deck. It has a top lid the comes off. Love boxes like these.
The images stick to tradition but do make changes, if you are a reader who has used the Rider Waite or its clones this deck will be easy to pick up and use. However some cards seem to me to be missing elements/symbols or the details that I feel should be in the card.
Example, The Hermit is not on the top of a mountain. The Hierophant does not have two followers in front of him. The High Priestess does not hold any scrolls, but flowers, there is no water behind her, I personally don't like this rendition of the high priestess. I do like the image of The Wheel of Fortune as it goes back to more traditional images like that of the Tarot de Marseille. With people ascending and descending the wheel. With a blind folded Fortuna in the center. The Lovers also is another "throw back" card to more a traditional images with a man deciding between two woman with cupid on top. I like this image because it bring to mind the idea of "choices" more clearly than a Rider Waite. I also just love The Knight of Swords which just looks like he is a speeding bullet! The 7 of Swords is fantastic, that grin on his face is perfect to capture the scene. I could hear him say 'hehehe" as he sneaks away.
The artwork itself is good, nothing to complain about. Someone complained in a review about the card stock is too thin. My edition that I have it great, it is a thick card stock that will hold up to a good amount of usage. For those who have 'The New Mythic Tarot" it is the same card stock, which stands over one inch tall when set on the table.
The Little White Book that comes with this deck is lacking, like most LWBs. It will describe the symbols and give a theme word or two about the card. You are much better off buying the companion book to go along with the deck "The New Complete Book of Tarot"
Over all a very nice deck that beginners will like for it's simplicity and easy to use. Good card stock will insure long lasting use.
I truly love these cards and the accompanying book. The illustrations on the cards are inspiring and the explanations in the book are fantastic. I highly recommend these for any tarot reader who is very visual. The real problem is with the actual quality of the cards, which is why I only gave the deck 3 stars. The cards are very flimsy and do not stand up to use. They almost seem like someone printed them off of a computer on light cardstock. I shuffled my deck once after opening it, and the cards were immediately damaged. The sides of some of the cards curled up and some of the backing started peeling off which is problematic on many levels: if you can recognize which card is which from the damage pattern on the back, it kind of inhibits synchronicity and cards being picked randomly for a reading.
Again, this is one of my favorite decks but I am afraid to use it because I fear the cards will literally disintegrate. If only the publishers could print this deck on the kind of quality, laminated cardstock US Games uses for their decks, I would be a happy camper.
I would still highly recommend this deck and book for anyone who wants to learn the tarot. The cards are so straightforward and easy to read, yet they contain all of the necessary symbolism for in-depth understanding and the illustration really "speaks" to you. I would just caution people against handling their deck too much. This particular deck might best be used for studying and meditating but probably not for readings and certainly not too much shuffling.
⇒ The Sharman-Caselli Tarot Deck