WRITTEN BY: NIC
Nic has been a member and volunteer for TABI for a little while now and loves a good, quirky deck. Here is the new deck to the collection – Tarot Del Fuego.
The first thing that I should say is that I have had my fair share of “no-nonsense” decks. As much as I’ve tried, I can’t get on board with the whimsical and fanciful deck – the positive mantra and the spiritual drenched meanings. I love some of the art and the theories behind them but it’s just not me and I’ve struggled so much to use them.
When I saw “Tarot Del Fuego” (which a quick google search assures me translates to “Tarot of Fire” – we didn’t get the option of Spanish in my school) I was immediately captivated. I know the type of artwork, seen it on many indie music album covers; it’s bold, childlike and full of strong colours. However, in my experience, this style of artwork belies the content and usually dark topics, dark tones are what accompany it. This is 100% the case for Tarot Del Fuego.
It’s a deck that you’d be forgiven for finding unremarkable at first glance. It’s the good old cardboard box affair and the artwork on the front really underestimates what it is packing inside. The box, while I personally still like it’s art, is not exactly captivating in itself. However, the artist Richard Cavolo is no small fish and exhibited worldwide, as his strong classic-tattoo art style has instilled a story and emotion to others. Folksy and narrative filled is certainly one way to look at Tarot Del Fuego, however it’s not the Fools Journey narrative that a lot of us are accustomed to.
Do I like the deck, I suppose is the real question along with who is it for? Yes, I was excited to buy it and I love it now I have it. I did what I do with all tarot cards and started with an “Interview” spread and found it’s blunt approach a little scary and was apprehensive to ask my first real question. However, the response was practical and balanced and felt almost nurturing in a supportive-role-model sort of way. A locker room pep talk if you will and it really gave me courage. So, despite the grim nature of the deck, it does have a human essence about it.
That said, I saw many complain that it was not a serviceable deck and so I explored the little white book. This is where perhaps the cards might derail for those who really favour or expect RWS style or newcomers to tarot. The LWB doesn’t actually translate to the cards. It will have some generic keywords which don’t always make sense with the art. For example :
Four of Swords: “Normal position: respite, rest, repose, replenishment, solitude, exile, retreat.
The tarot card: a giant hand with eyes covering it, severed in several places, bleeding profusely.
It doesn’t exactly inspire rest and relaxation to be honest. That said, it can be viewed in several ways, not least of which that social comment of how we sometimes have to be forced or told to stop, made to because we just won’t. Also, the devil can’t make work for idle hands when there’s no way to practically work.
Six of Pentacles: “Normal position: philanthropy, kindness, material gain, gratification, charity.
The tarot card: a large seeing-flower with coins where thorns may be expected. An outstretched finger has a little flame and a lot of bleeding from the wound on the finger tip.
For such a beautiful meaning, it would be a bit unexpected for this card. Perhaps an undertone that you can get cut and burned from over-charity and over-exhausting your kindness? Perhaps that success is a product of efforts made. Perhaps that flower has grown from the blood, sweat and tears sacrificed to it and that is the message of the six of pentacles; charity to gain. Give to receive.
I do disagree that it can’t be used. I have found it to be a good, solid deck but it does rely a little on experience/intuition and also a little bit of humour. It is the Tarot Del Fuego, I don’t think I have to see the fire as an instant warning in every card. Every card is on fire, it’s the Tarot of Fire deck. Where it lacks in direct correlation to the meanings, it certainly makes up for in offering new and fresh perspectives to the cards and certainly it is adding a new dimension in readings and I am enjoying the exploration process.
For those who love interesting art, have experience/intuition with tarot, want a challenge and those with a little, chuckling, dark heart. For the price, it’s definitely worth being in your collection.