The Sharman Caselli Tarot Deck

Part of me thinks I should recuse myself from reviewing this deck considering that Juliet Sharman-Burke is one of my favorite Tarot writers and was also one of the first I ever read decades ago when I first began exploring the Tarot.  In my mind, she can do no wrong.

I was eager to review this deck, however and very excited to get it in my hot little hands.  I am less familiar with Giovanni Caselli’s work unless you consider the other Giovanni Caselli – small factoid here – who invented the first fax machine around 1856.  

The deck is reminiscent of the many decks put out by Lo Scarabeo (which this is not) in that the majority of the figures in the cards are fairly expressionless and the color themes are mostly in pastels.   

If a reader is looking for something spectacular and mind-blowing, this deck is not it.  If, however, a student (or master) of the Tarot wanted to work with a Tarot deck that feels like slipping to a familiar, comfortable pair of warm slippers, this is the one.  The S-C Tarot deck is like meeting someone for the first time and feeling as though you’ve known them your whole life.  The pastels colors are reflective of the Universal Tarot.  What some might call unimaginative, I would label as utterly faithful to the classic Pamela Coleman Smith drawings used in the Rider-Waite deck.  This is comforting to many readers who are not in the mood to learn a new system or interpret different symbolism.

The strength of this deck is in the accompanying book.  Employing a “less is more” approach to the individual card information, the text leans more toward explaining the symbolism of each card and then providing a simple theme of the energy surrounding it rather than spoon-feeding the reader a pat interpretation.  Personally, I found this very refreshing both as a reader and as a teacher of the Tarot.  Not only does it show what Ms. Sharman-Burke feels are the key messages of each card, but it also gives the novice a gentle push in the right direct and allows them to superimpose their own intuitive and interpretative nature onto the basic premise that is provided.

This would be a perfect first deck for an aspiring Tarotologist and I also found it to be a fully enjoyable experience as a long time card-reading vet.

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