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The Shaman Tarot deck

by Massimiliano Filadoro, Sabrina Ariganello and Alessia Pastorello

The Shaman Tarot deck
Price: $24.95

Number of cards in deck: 78

Measurements: 2.6 x 4.72 inches, or 66 x 120 mm.

Back of card: Lavender border with turquoise interior, with a totem pole in the center. May be inverted.

Booklet included: Yes, 64 pages, 2.55 x 4.66 inches, or 65 x 118 mm. Instructions in English, Italian, Spanish, French & German.

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo. Printed in Italy, imported by Llewellyn Worldwide.

Comments: This is a deck of native cultures from around the world. The word, "shaman" is of Siberian origin. In the book, shamans are described as those who have an extended sense of reality. According to the book, shamanism is neither a religion, nor a philosophy, yet in the introductory notes, shamanism is described as "the oldest spiritual practice of humanity." The word they're after, or perhaps the word they're carefully trying to avoid, is magician, for that is what a shaman is.

Suits in this deck are Drums, representing Pentacles; Bows, representing Swords; Bones, representing Wands; and Stones, representing Water. For the most part, these are not happy substitutions. Stones, for example, have watery traits only on abstract levels, if at all.

You must be on your toes to use this deck. You will note on the Major Arkana cards that no titles are given. Some of the symbolism is traditional, but some is not. Major arkana 8, for example, shows two maurading brown bears. Is this Strength, or is it Justice? Answer: Neither. It is power.

I was quickly thumbing through the cards and stopped at XXI, The World. And I saw the red. Isn't that - ? Why, no, it isn't. It's the head of a snake. You are merely associating a red spongy thing with that cute face above it. It is hard for me to think this was an accident. To confirm your hunch, look at the card to its left: The Lovers. Note the snake wrapped around their arms. - Now that I see the image on-line, the snake of XXI looks more like a worm. Doesn't look quite like that when the card is in your hand.

This is another deck that postulates the superiority of native peoples over modern city dwellers. This is also a mistake. Shamans are rural people. Then, as now, most people, native or not, live in towns and cities where shamans, witch doctors and country folk of all sorts, are scarce. There are perhaps fewer genuine shamans now than ever before, but only because modern culture is so intensely hostile to them. And that, at any rate, is new.

The Astrology Center of America

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).