Oracle of Visions
Author: Ciro Marchetti
Artist: Ciro Marchetti
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
“If art serves any purpose other than Simple decoration, it’s to bring into Focus, if only for an instance,
that which Might otherwise pass unnoticed.”
from the book
Ciro Marchetti (Gilded Tarot, Tarot of Dreams, Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Gilded Reverie Lenormand) is an artist and a thinker, and someone that I have long admired. He doesn’t just toss decks out there … they are well thought out, and presented in very unique fashions. With “Oracle of Visions” he moves away from the restrictions of the world of Tarot to create an oracle deck that would work in a more flexible manner as a tool of divination and a tool for meditation. Marchetti’s intention was to create a set of images that spoke for themselves … i.e. they would need no supporting text. He has accomplished this … in a very spectacular fashion! The end result is a deck of 52 full color cards, with a 140 page companion book, contained in a sturdy, lift top box. The cover of the box shows the image of card number 26 – Past & Future. The cover for the companion book carries the image of card number 36 – Entrapment/Limitations/Restrictions/Complications. The companion book starts out with a foreword, in which we learn the reasoning behind the creation of this deck, and a bit about its structure. The imagery in this deck is loosely broken down into four categories: Situations, Emotions, Actions, and Behavior. These categories are meant to be flexible enough that each card would be free to serve in many different roles. There are no reversals with this deck … which I really like. (I do not read the Tarot using reversals either.) The images themselves tell the story … either alone, or in combination with other cards. I also like that there really is no common theme in this deck. For those of us that know Marchetti’s work, we are very comfortable with his use of jesters, masks, and mechanical devices, along with faux Victorian costumes and characters. Marchetti notes that the jesters, masks, and theatrical performances serve as archetypes, while masked figures and performers are both anonymous and role playing. The mechanical devices serve as metaphors for our partial control of our own fate. I feel very much at home with this deck!
“The images on this deck reflect those freedoms of choice we may now have along with
considerations and responsibilities we have to apply when making them.”
Each card is presented with a black and white scan, keywords for the card, a short quote, and a short xplanation of how the card can be read. For example: Card 4 Perspective Points of View “I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy to be calm when you’ve found something going on. But take your time, think a lot. Why, think of everything you’ve got. For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.” – Lyrics from Father and Son, Cat Stevens There may be no right or wrong. The view is the same, but its perception is different. Fresh ideas and experience sharing the same eyes, but a different vision. Two manifestations of the same person share a commonality: one from the fresh, eager innocence of youth, the other from the calmer, sobering maturity of experience. Both grasp the same mask in unison, their destinies entwined and ultimately inseparable. At some point, both will see the same vision. At the end of the companion book Marchetti presents two different ways of interpreting the same card, along with instructions for working with card combinations. He also discusses the deck background, symbolic meanings, and his approach to the deck. The cards themselves are fairly large – 3 ¾” by 5 ½”, and of sturdy card stock. The card backs show a dark outer border, surrounding gold filigree on a red background. In the center we see the face of a jester. The card faces show a black outer border, with a fine gold inner border. The card number is centered at the top of the card in gold, with Marchetti’s icon centered at the bottom of the card, in gold. There is no text on the card (which, IMHO, makes interpretation easier). The artwork is digital in nature, with a nice depth of color. One of my favorite cards is Number 15 (Farewell, Goodbyes, Closure). Here we see a lady in Victorian dress, with dark plumes in her hair. In her right hand she holds an envelope, in her left hand a single red rose. She faces the left hand side of the card. The sky above her is filled with clouds and birds. Another favorite is Number 4 (Perspective/Points of View). In this card we see two aspects of one individual (one older, one younger), side by side. They are each holding on to one side of a mask, with the mask held up so that each one has an eye peering through it. Card number 24 (Letting Go, Offering A Way Out) certainly gives me pause! Here we see a female figure, with a red robe draped over her shoulders. She is gazing off to the left hand side of the card. A cat peers from her left hand side, while a cage with butterflies in it hangs from the ceiling. Card Number 39 (Offering Comfort, Healing, Caring) shows a female figure in a red feathered headdress, wearing a red dress, caressing a white dove in her hands. Card Number 31 (Secrecy, Confidentiality) shows a female figure dressed in a lavender dress, standing between two blue curtains, with a lit chandelier behind her. Her hands are held out in front of her, her right hand resting on what appears to be a locked box or book, with her right hand reaching out towards a lit globe sitting on a desk. Card Number 41 (Identity, Self-Analysis, Knowing Oneself) shows a female figure holding up what looks to be a mask, which is reflected in a triple mirror. On the table in front o her are two masks, and a series of small Russian dolls. Card Number 16 (Distance, Isolation, Perspective) reminds me of Avalon. We see a female figure, dressed in blue, walking along a shore. She is facing away from us. Floating monoliths appear in front of her. I recommend this deck not only for divination purposes, but for meditation, ritual, and journeying.
(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.