New Mythic Tarot

Created by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Greene
Illustrated by Giovanni Caselli
Published 2009 by Rider and Co, May 2009

78 Cards: 22 Major Arcana, 56 Minor Arcana
Card Size: 120 x 70mm
Tradition: Mixed, influenced by Rider-Waite-Smith
Suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, Pentacles
Court Cards: Page, Knight, Queen, King
Majors not numbered

First published in 1986, the much loved Mythic Tarot has been a major success. This new edition has been re-illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, an artist who is known for having ‘a passion for the classical world’. I first heard about the release of this new edition while chatting with the creator Juliet Sharman-Burke while in Bali for her Tarot workshop in April this year. I must say I was excited to hear about it and looked forward to having a chance to see the deck a day or so later.

The main reason for my excitement was my love of the Sharman-Caselli deck, also illustrated by Giovanni Caselli and created by Juliet Sharman-Burke. I think the Sharman-Caselli deck is outstanding and Giovanni’s illustrations elegant and flawless. I was curious to see his interpretation of the Mythic Tarot, especially as early on I did have some minor issues with a few of the original Mythic illustrations by Tricia Newell and expected this new edition to be amazing.

I must say I was a little disappointed, but I did have high expectations after all. Giovanni, having still produced here a very viable deck did not display the artistic genius as seen in the Sharman-Caselli. I think a reason this is the case is that he has incorporated some computer-generated imagery and effects which were not present in the Sharman-Caselli, and to me this is not working effectively. Another possible reason could be that he has reinterpreted Tricia’s originals rather than creating his own interpretations of the myths and card descriptions devised by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Green. I can understand a need to not divert from the original guidebook content as a lot of work has gone into it and it has been thought through so thoroughly. Yet I imagine it could have been possible for Caselli to reinterpret each card just using the actual texts. I know from my own personal experience as an illustrator that when I am overly art-directed or to re-interpret someone else’s vision it usually falls flat and I avoid it.

On viewing the New Mythic Tarot, I realised how attached I had become to the original with its bold colours and almost Grecian feel. Yet I can also see the benefits of this new edition. Both have their flaws illustratively, yet both have their charm also, very much so.

To all those who are lovers of the original Mythic Tarot and resonate with Tricia Newell’s artwork, there is the potential of negative feedback regarding this new edition. However I believe it has the potential to appeal to a new audience, which is why, I believe, it was released. And as I said before it is still a very viable deck, rich with great content, that will resonate in particular with a new generation of readers.

The mythology contained in the New Mythic Tarot, as with the Mythic Tarot, is very effective in shining light on the meanings of each of the cards, bringing a deeper knowledge of the Tarot and I believe everyone can get something out of owning and working with either of these editions.

The New Mythic Tarot deck is available on its own which is excellent for anyone familar with the original Mythic Tarot. There is also a pack where the deck is accompanied by an illustrated guidebook, which I recommend if you are new to these myths. The New Mythic Tarot will benefit both beginners and more experienced readers and has the potential to attract interest from a new generation.


Stella Luna © 2010 The Tarot Reader.  All rights reserved.




8 Responses to New Mythic Tarot

  1. geena says:

    Hello! I just bought this deck and I really love it, but then I never used the original version. What I appreciate most are the stories and the descriptions in the book as it really brings the cards to life and makes them very easy to learn. I have played around with tarot for a while (my primary area of interest is actually healing), it wasn’t until I started using the mythic tarot that the meanings of the cards really began to make sense. The visuals are nice too, though I suppose if you’re attached to the previous version it would make the transition a bit harder. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder =)

    Nice blog by the way!

    • stella luna says:

      Hi Geena, thanks for your comment and compliment!! It is certainly a fantastic deck, either edition. The content is fabulous and the book brings it all to life. Yes I am more comfortable with the original version, it was one of my first decks, but I can see the beauty in the new edition too. I was fortunate to do a workshop with Juliet Sharman-Burke a few years ago, a very knowledgeable lady. Enjoy the journey!

  2. ShubhraTarot says:

    I love the old deck and seeing the first pics of the new deck on your blog, I am unsure I wanna buy it. I am not fan of computer graphics straight lines… Does it come with a box and cloth like the old deck?

    • stella luna says:

      Hi, and sorry for late reply. I personally prefer the original deck. The new version does not have the same appeal, yet it does still contain the mythology I found very useful in learning the tarot. It comes with a book but not a cloth. The book is based on the original one and is useful if using the mythic tarot.

  3. Faty Lee says:

    Hi, can you please tell me where can I buy the old version of the deck? Thank you

  4. Tonja says:

    Hi, I purchased my deck in a kit that has the black backs like the 1986 copyrighted set, but the back of my cards don’t have the copyright date on the backs. I saw that you posted the first release year was 1986…do you happen to know what year mine might be from? I’m looking for a replacement card and would prefer it to be unmarked -a lone card with markings seems like it would be like using a ‘marked’ deck. 🙂 Thanks

  5. stella luna says:

    Hi Tonja, I’ve tried to find this out for you but have had no luck getting a definate answer. Possibly yours is the very first edition with the hardcover book. These links may help as a starting point…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s