Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot Review And Deck Interview, Ceccoli Tarot Deck


Celebrated illustrator Nicoletta Ceccoli draws in a style of provocative enchantment. Her tarot deck moves between harmony and madness, capturing a wholly unique element of eerie innocence. These cards provide insight into complex questions, where the dark mingles with the light and reveals the shades of gray that illuminate our most profound truths.

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The companion booklets for most Lo Scarabeo decks are in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German.

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Nicoletta Ceccoli (Republic of San Marino) is an award-winning artist who has illustrated numerous books for US, UK, Italian, Swiss, and Taiwanese publishers. Some of her clients include Random House, Simon and Shuster, Houghton Mifflin, Macy”s, Diesel, Henry Holt, United Airlines, and Vogue. In 2008, she worked as the character designer for a 3D French animation project called La Mécanique du coeur.

Her work has been shown in prestigious collections throughout the world, including the AFA Gallery in New York City, USA, the Strychnin Gallery in Berlin, Germany, and the Dorothy Circus Gallery in Roma, Italy.

Her awards include Italy”s Anderson Prize for Best Illustrator of 2001, a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators of New York in 2006, and multiple year wins for Bologna”s Childrens Book Fair Award and the Award of Excellence from Communication Arts.

Lo Scarabeo”s Tarot decks have been acclaimed all over the world for originality and quality. With the best Italian and international artists, each Lo Scarabeo deck is an exceptional artistic value.

Commited to developing innovative new decks while preserving the rich tradition of Tarot, Lo Scarabeo continues to be a favorite among collectors and readers.

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Llewellyn is the exclusive distributor of Lo Scarabeo products in North America.

Summary: Tarot brings us to thresholds, liminal places where we can explore the strangeness of ourselves, our lives, and the world. The Ceccoli Tarot is the perfect deck for wading into these surreal and strange waters.

Full Review: Nicoletta Ceccoli is a popular surreal artist and illustrator of children”s books. Her artistic world is ethereal, innocent, malevolent, humorous, sensual, dangerous, and complex. Fishes fly, food talks, and toys come alive. The cards are definitely evocative and stimulating, although some may find them confusing or disturbing. The deck is created by using either whole works or parts of work from Ceccoli”s existing portfolio. Because of this, the images are not Rider-Waite-Smith recognizable nor is there any other apparent system used. The author of the booklet does a valiant job of pulling RWS meanings from the cards and, in reading them, you”d expect the images to have more in common with RWS than they do.

My test for whether a deck is a RWS-style deck is to look at the images with the names covered. If I cannot determine what card it is based on the image alone, then it is not (to me) a RWS-style deck. I could not. Here are descriptions of two of the cards I looked at. See if you can determine what they are (answers below):

A little girl and a gingerbread man are sitting in a bowl of froth. A winged blue pitcher floating above the pair pours milk into the bowl. Nearby a spoon lays on the table and a pink and white cupcake with a cherry on top walks away on what looks like fawn”s legs. A raven-haired angel sits at the top of a bare tree looking mournful. A spiral of reddish pink roses spiral around the tree trunk and onto the ground and down a path, which leads to a castle in the background. In the middle ground, a fox sniffs at roses on the ground.

Some of these may make sense (in terms of traditional meanings) as soon as you see them, such as the toy monkey sitting on a throne made of legos and dice with four children kneeling before him. He wears a pope”s outfit made of white paper and holds a candy cane scepter. He is, of course, the Hierophant. Some of the cards may make sense after you read the name of the card. Some you may have to struggle with.

The booklet includes one spread with a sample reading.

If the art resonates with you and you want something only loosely related to RWS, if you want to play and explore, if you are not afraid of contradiction, weirdness, imaginative twists, and the unexpected, then you will love this deck. It reminds me, in some ways, of the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight, the Fey Tarot, and the Ludy Lescot Tarot.

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Note: the first card described is the Ace of Cups; the second is the 3 of Wands.

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