Tarot of the Journey To The Orient Review
The Tarot of the Journey to the Orient, also known as the Marco Polo Tarot, is inspired by Marco Polo’s book Il Milione. It describes the wonders of the orient. Severino Baraldi’s illustrations blend the symbols and images of western and eastern culture into a brightly colored combination. Baraldi did a great job of illustration.
This deck is standard Tarot deck, despite the mix of eastern and western symbolism. It is easy to read even for those who are familiar with the Tarot. This mixture of symbols is evident in the major arcana where many cards display a scene from both the orient and the west. It works much better than it sounds. The Hierophant is the most striking illustration of major arcana. It depicts a monk offering incense to a Buddha statue with Christ on the cross outside. Each suit of minor arcana shows scenes you might encounter while traveling from west to east during the time of Marco Polo. The court cards are Oriental.
The deck includes a 64-page booklet with small text. The English language is only one-fifth, with the rest in Spanish, French and German. The booklet contains background information about the deck and a brief description of each card. While the minor arcana only receive two-line divinatory descriptions, the major arcana are detailed with a quote that summarizes the card. Three layouts are described in detail for divination: a general spread, a lifetime spread (30 cards), and a love spread. The information in the booklet is not sufficient to help the average beginner use the deck.
The Tarot for the Journey to the Orient deck is well-designed and executed. The symbolism is interesting to me, though it can be confusing at times. The deck’s symbolism will be less confusing to those who are more familiar with oriental philosophy than me. Even though there is some unfamiliar symbolism, a seasoned reader should not have any difficulties using the deck. For a complete beginner, a basic Tarot book is necessary. This deck is a must-have for anyone who is interested in the orient or a collector of unique Tarot decks. It may be a favorite of others. It may be one of those decks people either love or hate upon first sight.
Tarot of the Journey To The Orient Details
The Marco Polo Tarot is not meant to be a historically accurate and real-life tarot deck. Instead, it describes scenes and customs, dress, and rituals’ according to Marco Polo’s stories. Marco Polo was an Italian explorer who returned to Venice in the Orient after 24 years of traveling in Asia and the Orient.
Majors in this tarot feel like illustrations from a fairy tale, where the artist has never actually seen the thing being described. Nearly all 22 cards feature a dual scene: one for the East and one for the West. The cards without the dual scene show people with the counterparts from each culture. Although it sounds awkward, it’s not. The double scene is executed well and looks natural without being too busy.
Despite this, I don’t like the facial artwork in the early majors. The Fool, Magician, and High Priestess all look like Westerners in makeup (a la Mickey Rooney’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s). Although this did affect my initial impression, since these were the first cards to be examined in the deck, I was able to see the positive side of it after going through all the other cards. The Hierophant, Hanged Man, Four of Wands, Nine of Pentacles and Hanged Man are my favourites.
The minor arcana are more simple, realistic-looking scenes of Eastern people and Western situations. These illustrations are my favorite, though it may just be my bias towards photo-realistic cards.
The deck includes a white outer border and an embossed inner border in different colours, depending on the suit. The cardstock is flexible and thin (standard Lo Scarabeo), and the backs of cards have a sepia image that can be viewed in both the upright and reversed positions.
This little booklet, which has twelve pages, is a stapled all in one. It’s available in English, Spanish, German, French and Italian. Each major has a heading with a divinatory phrase. The meanings are more detailed and thematic than Lo Scarabeo’s usual. The Magician’s advice: “Will shall make initiative success” or Temperance’s humor, “Meditation would have been good”. Minor meanings are usually just a few words long and have some relationship to other card meanings but this is not consistent. Many of the most difficult or challenging cards have seen their meanings changed to be more encouraging. The Ten of Swords: “Supremacy against adversity; period of well-being and tranquillity.” Five of Cups – “Awarded efforts, reconciliation among friends. Assistance in economic operations
The Journey of the Orient Tarot proved to be a very effective tarot deck. It gave me accurate readings almost from the beginning. The art isn’t great, but it’s a good tarot deck. Some cards are amazingly real and others are a little Disney-esque. It is beautiful, exotic and a great reading deck for any tarotist beyond the beginner stage.