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