SANTA MUERTE TAROT REVIEW
Nuestra Senora De la Santa Muerte is a folk-Catholic saint or goddess worshipped in Mexico and among Mexican Americans. Despite being rejected by the Catholic Church, her cult is the fastest-growing in the world. Some reports have cited upwards of 20 million followers.
Santa Muerte, a powerful deity, has the power to influence love and good health. She also ensures that you have safe passage into the afterlife. She protects the marginalized and outcasts.
Santa Muerte is often depicted in popular culture as a female skeleton dressed in saints robes, nun’s habits, and sometimes as a female grim reaper. She’s also depicted as an Aztec goddess, as a sugar skull, as well as as (a version) of Posada’s famous creation, La Calavera Catrina, the skeletal lady in the fancy hat.
Santa Muerte (SMT) interprets her as the great equalizer. In the obvious sense that everyone dies equal, but also in the sense that it supports a balance of the scales. Santa Muerte is on the side the oppressed, the poor and against institutions of money and government that seek to exploit and oppress them.
The SMT is loosely inspired by the Waite Smith tarot and shows skeletal beings carrying out familiar tarot scenes. These cards don’t just feature Santa Muerte, but also a whole universe of skeletons living the (!). life. Santa Muerte, her skeletal companion, don’t spend the whole deck reaping – bravo for the 3 skeletons sharing drinks and the gentleskeleton farmer watering the crop of skulls…yes there is a sly humor as well as a joyful bravado to many illustrations.
The Santa Muerte Tarot, a traditional deck of 78 cards, is fully illustrated. It contains 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana. A E Waite’s Major Arcana includes his titles and order, with the exception card xiii-Death which has been renamed Santa Muerte. The Minor Arcana is made up of four suits: Chalices Pentacles/Moneys, Swords and Wands. Each suit contains 10 number cards and 4 Court cards. These cards include a Page, Knight and Queen as well as four Court cards. Each suit is dominated based on its elemental colour. Wands are dominated by crimson, Cups and Cups by blue, Swords and Pentacles respectively by yellow and green.
Santa Muerte Tarot Card Details
These cards are approximately 70x120mm, which is the same size as a standard sized tarot deck. You may be used to smaller decks like the tarot in a tin decks. However, you might find the cards’regular’ size cards quite intimidating when you first start handling them.
Card stock is light but strong, flexible and resistant yet durable with a glossy finish. They are light in weight. The cards have smooth edges and rounded corners that should resist chipping or peeling, which can sometimes occur due to frequent or rough handling. They are very slippery due to the mirror-like finish. The cards also make it easy to shuffle and prevent cards from sticking together. It complements the rich colours and adds clarity to the sharply-cut images. The print quality is sharp, clear, and clean. The rich colours are subtle but brilliant. The edges and lines are sharp. There are no misprints or colour bleeds and no blurry images.
Fabiola Listrani, a digital artist, is a graphic designer and has previously illustrated the Night Sun Tarot’s powerful, symbol-rich, mysterious and powerful Night Sun Tarot. His style is commercially-oriented and features strong graphic elements. However, he also pays attention to details, complicated staging, and backgrounding. Many of his vivid colours and details reflect the culture from which Santa Muerte was worshipped. His images can be challenging, asking viewers to view Death as both ubiquitous and inevitable, mundane, exalted, and beautiful.
Listrani’s palette has a wide range of colours and is strong and vibrant. The deck features a lot of bright reds, deep greens and mysterious blues. These colours stand out against the sepia and stucco colours of the skeletons, calaveras, and the calaveras. A powerful deck of tarot cards is created by the combination of strong imagery, confident execution, and vivid colours.
Each card’s lower half is covered with a cream-colored border. This gives the impression that the card was pulled from an envelope. The Major Arcana cards’ titles are written in the border. The card’s number can be found at the side. Minor Arcana cards include the suit below the image, and the number on the side. All titles are written in a flat burgundy in a western- or circus-type font. Reversible design is available on the back of the cards. The back of the cards shows a grey Mayan Calendar at the ends of each card and a circle with sugar skulls, blue and red flowers in central. Both the corners of the image are adorned with bright blue flowers. A cream border frames them both.
The cards are packaged in an upright box with a lid. The guidebook and cards are contained in the box made of solid cardboard. The glossy, polished finish of the box is complemented by images from Santa Muerte Tarot. There are many roses and titles, as well as fine details and titles in gold foil. It can be easily slipped into a backpack or shoulder bag without adding bulk or weight. The book and cards it contains are protected by the sturdy foil.
This 128-page guidebook includes instructions in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese as well as Russian and (I hope) Chinese. The book is small and softcover on glossy paper. The chapters are separated by full-color illustrations that show details from the cards.
This information begins with a short biography of Fabio listrani, who is the artist and the author of this guidebook. The information includes a description of concepts and ideas that inform the Santa Muerte Trot. Each card gets equal attention and page space. Every card has its own entry. There is no description of the card or explanation of the action in the illustration. This may be frustrating for some. The positive and negative meanings of the cards are briefly discussed. However, no specific instructions for ‘upright/reverse’ are provided. Advice of the Dead is usually a form of precise and direct instruction. The Dead are not afraid to use a lot of words. The divinatory meanings are well within the boundaries of accepted interpretations. They tend to be positive rather than doom-and-gloom.
This deck is well-thought out, well-constructed, and well executed. Beautiful images are displayed. The Santa Muerte Tarot is a great alternative to the Night Sun Tarot. Readers who are familiar with Waite-Smith-based decks will also enjoy it.
Santa Muerte followers, as well as those who are interested in Mexican folk and folk culture, Mexican-American folk and catholicism, and Mexican-American popular and pop culture, may find the Santa Muerte Trot fascinating. This deck is not recommended for beginners as there isn’t enough information about the cards to help the novice tarot reader.
This deck will be bought by people simply because they think it is cool. This deck is for people who already have a relationship to the dead and Death, transformation, and rebirth. It’s also for those who fear or are curious about this.