“The Blind Ones had told of its coming, that which would bring about our destruction. No one doubted their wisdom, and we neither feared nor questioned their reason. We understood that we were, ourselves, of the stars, and our existence in this form is but an instant in eternity. We would cease to be part of the universe. But we lamented nonetheless.” – From the companion book to the Legacy of the Divine Tarot (Gateway to the Divine Tarot)
Months ago, award-winning digital artist Ciro Marchetti came out with a self-published version of his third tarot deck, the Legacy of the Divine Tarot. Now, the mass-market edition from Llewellyn Worldwide has entered the world to much acclaim.
Because I’ve already reviewed the self-published deck (and my insights and hearty recommendation remain the same), this review will concentrate on the contents of the box set, the companion book, and the differences among the cards images.
Off the bat, the most obvious difference between the two versions of the Legacy of the Divine decks is the card size. While the self-published version measures approximately 5 ½ x 3 ¼ inches, the mass-market edition measures approximately 4 ¾ x 2 ¾.inches.
I was told that the storybook detailing the Blind Ones and the cataclysm that destroyed their world (leaving a small scattered remnant of people), would NOT be included in the mass-market edition (which is why I plunked down $75 for it!). However, to my surprise, the story is indeed included in the 295-page companion book to the mass-market version.
In addition to Ciro’s creation story and his take on each of the cards, the companion book also includes additional card insights from Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone, James Ricklef, and Leisa ReFalo. Reading the different takes on Ciro’s imagery is refreshing, providing loads of spiritual, practical and esoteric reflections to chew on.
The companion book to the Legacy of the Divine Tarot also includes several spreads and three correspondence charts: numerological, planetary and zodiacal. There is also a 14-page article on How to Read Tarot by Leisa ReFalo at the end of the book.
In terms of card imagery, most of the pictures remain the same as the self-published edition. The mass-market edition of the Legacy of the Divine Tarot isn’t super-glossy like the Gilded Tarot (Ciro’s first deck), but it’s not as matte as the self-published edition. It’s a nice medium, actually.
The card backings are the same, but the fonts are different. I’m not too big on the mass-market edition fonts for the card titles; the letters appear too scrunched together and reminds me of the “wild west” rather than a futuristic society. Ciro’s original, clean font is far superior.
The card differences I’ve spotted between the two versions are: Ciro has corrected the elemental symbol for the Ace of Swords (in the self-published version, he used the upside triangle—the symbol for water—rather than the upright triangle with a line through it for air), and the Strength and Justice cards now have a golden tint.
The 7 of Cups shows the Fool’s head in the cup at the lower right in the self-published edition, but the mass market version shows the head of a young girl instead. As mentioned in my other review, Ciro illustrated several versions of some of the cards to guarantee virtual originality for the self-published edition.
The 9 of Coins was one of those cards and in the mass-market edition, the woman wears a blue dress with a pink sash. The flowers at her feet, to the right, are red. The mass-market version of The Magician is wearing crimson garb. (Click here to see side-by-side image comparisons).
The box set of the Legacy of the Divine Tarot also includes a black organdy bag for storing your deck, as well as a plain white paper box.
As with the self-published version, this deck is a gorgeous and accessible deck. In my opinion, it’s Ciro’s finest. The Legacy of the Divine box set is certainly one of the best Tarot decks of 2009, and the companion book commentaries sparkle with great observations, personal experience, esoteric depth and heart. You’ll even find some “inside scoops” on the genesis of card imagery (I loved Ciro’s story about his inspiration for the 6 of Cups!).