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Manara - The Erotic Tarot Deck

by Milo Manara

Manara - The Erotic Tarot Deck
Price: $29.95
Number of cards in deck: 78

Measurements: 2.6 x 4.7 inches, or 65 x 120 mm.

Back of card: A sepia toned version of the two people shown on the Two of Earth card. The woman sits between two identical men (skinny Tweedledum & Tweedledee), flirting with both. The image takes up the top half of the card & is repeated on the bottom, so this deck may be inverted.

Booklet included: No. There is a folded sheet with 7 panes/14 pages. Measurements (folded): 2.65 x 4.7 inches, or 68 x 120 mm.

Also included: A red velvet storage bag. This is what makes the "new" edition "deluxe".

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo. Printed in Italy. Imported by Llewellyn Worldwide.

Comments: Over the last year we've stocked a number of sex-based tarot decks, each distinctly different. The Tarot Erotica is about power. The Casanova Tarot (now out of print) was about disguises & role playing. The Manara Tarot is a fantasy deck about young men & women discovering sex & lovemaking for the first time. It shows the romantic daydreams of older men, looking back on a world of youth that has passed them by. In that world, girls are always eager & curious, boys shy & fumbling. This motif, eager, experienced girls, shy boys, turns up again & again in the Manara deck. And while this must be true of some teenagers, we know the teenage years are, for the most part, some of the most stressful of all years.

Most cards have an astrological sign & planet printed on the lower right corner, but I cannot see the astrological symbols relate to the pictures on the cards. The brief instructions included with the deck make no reference to any of the scenes pictured on them. They do tell us how to read tarot cards astrologically, as if anyone would buy this deck for that reason. Few of the cards make more than slight reference to traditional tarot concepts. Major arcana 21, The World shows a naked female bronco-buster riding a globe of the earth. The Fool shows a woman who's just made love to Pinocchio.

Look at the cards above. The Magician is an eager young lady constructing a mechanical monster with a really nice penis. The Two of Air (eg, Swords) is a closeup of a buxom actress holding her brand-new Oscar (the ideal man?), to which she has added hat & scarf. Looks like a wedding veil on her head. The next card on the top row is the Queen of Earth. I'm not sure what she's been up to, standing against the wall, but it looks rather like she enjoyed it. The final card on top, the Ace of Water shows a happy young lass seeing a ship full of sailors out to sea. She's wearing the captain's coat, her souvenir of a good time.

Bottom row, first card: The Five of Water. A brave man has rescued a woman in the water, one who presumably fell off a dock or boat. By the look on her face, she was never in any real danger, and, knowing this, it seems to me she slyly jumped, knowing her champion would panic & dive in. Look how their faces contrast. Lordy! Lordy! She's not wearing any underwear! He's not seen that yet, but he soon will.

The Two of Earth is the motif of the Manara deck. The Three of Fire shows her, naked, squatting on the man's lap facing him, still seated on the park bench. The hat is now on his head & though he's still fully dressed, he looks at us, red-faced that we have caught him. (She is unashamed.) The Five of Fire is about as close as we get to a mob scene. Like the 5 of Water, while the man is panicked, the women are in control.

The last card we show is no. 11 from the major arcana, Strength. It shows a woman clinging tightly to an enormous erect penis. (These three cards, the Magician, 5 of Fire & Strength, are the only cards that show penises.) At the base of the shaft is a purple wrapper of some sort. Might be cloth, might be paper, but is probably a vagina, though the geometry is weird if it is (giant penis bursting from giant vagina).

The remaining cards are about the same: Girls flaunting their bodies, girls & boys playing at love, etc. Actual intercourse, while often implied, is never actually shown, though a couple of cards show oral sex.

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207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

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Established 1993, The Astrology Center of America is owned & operated by David Roell. Except where noted, this entire site ( & its contents are Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by William R. Roell. All rights reserved. Tarot card images are Copyright © by the copyright holder (generally the publisher).