KABBALISTIC TAROT REVIEW
Kabbalistic Visions The Marini-Scapini Tarot is an initiative by creators Marco Marini and illustrator Luigi Scapini. The 78-card deck investigates the symbolism of tarot through its connections to the Tree of Life and 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Italian illustrator Luigi Scapini is the illustrator of several well-known historic Tarot decks that are published by Dal Negro and U.S. Games including versions inspired by medieval Scapini along with The Shakespeare Tarot: Tarocchi di Romeo and Giulietta. The first of his collaborations was with Italian writer Marco Marini.
The Kabbalistic Visions book and deck published by Schiffer comes beautifully boxed in Schiffer’s usual high-quality packaging and come with a fold-out illustration that depicts the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. The 5.5″ by 3.5″ decks are unquestionably appealing, vibrantly colored, and printed on strong card stock that has silvered edges. Each card is designed as if it were painted on a scroll, set against the backdrop of black, making the borders too big and the finer details of the art difficult to appreciate.
KABBALISTIC TAROT CARD DETAILS
While my experience with Kabbala is infrequent, however, I believe Kabbalah to be a collection of esoteric teachings that are intended to help explain the connection between the unchanging and eternal Creator as well as the finite, mortal universe. This relationship is explored and understood through Marini as well as Scapini’s collaborative work.
Marini says “the concept of Marini’s Capini Tarot was born from the transformation of traditional meanings of tarot that resulted from the combination with Hebrew letter alphabet.” The publication measures large at 255 pages with pages about the Tree of Life, the four worlds of the Kabbalists as well as the letters from the Torah. A list of Hebrew correspondences between letters with every Major Arcana card is also provided.
in the intro, Marini states the fact that Egypt is “considered as the birthplace for the Tarots” and suggests that the concept of Tarot, as it was first played around the time of 14th-century of Northern Italy (“before they arrived in Europe from Egypt”) was originated from an esoteric Tarot, not the reverse. Marini declares “there is a direct connection between the symbols within the Major Arcana and the teachings passed down by the ancient Egyptian priests over the course of 5000 years of Egyptian time” and refers to the work of the 18th century by Court de Gebelin and Eliphas Levi as proof of the Egyptian sources of the Tarot. However, studies conducted by experienced experts such as Robert V. O’Neill, Dummett and Decker as well as Cynthia Giles, has shown that there is no evidence to back this assertion. However, Marini states “it is not a coincidence that each Tarot is a correspondence to one of the letters from the Hebrew alphabet, and also the number” Any apparent connection is, in actuality completely random.
A flawed assumption does not necessarily invalidate the resultant tool. This is because the Marini-Scapini Tarot presents an intriguing combination of esoteric beliefs that can be used to aid in the process of expanding consciousness and personal growth. The exploration of these possibilities can open the door to greater understanding and appreciation of human nature and our relationship with the world. It also gives us the chance to rise above the ordinary and, as the saying goes of Cuthbert Hicks, “touch the face of God”.
The content of each card is intriguing. It is clear the fact that Marini had a specific idea of each archetype seen from a perspective of Kabbalism and later communicated with Scapini to express and capture it.