They say the best things come in small packages. That is definitely true of the Mini Egyptian Tarot by Lo Scarabeo. I believe Silvana Alasia is the artist and Pietro Alliga is the author. Either way, it is a collaboration between these two.
The inspiration for the Egyptian Tarot deck comes from an older deck created in 1870 by the famous French occultist Jean-Baptiste Pitois. Pitois believed the Tarot came from the legendary Book of Thoth. It is not likely that the Tarot has its origins in this very cryptic book but for all we know, the Tarot could indeed have Ancient Egyptian origins. Nobody really knows for sure though many have dismissed this claim as well as any other claims on truly ancient origins.
According to most modern Tarot textbooks, the origins of the Tarot are as a form of playing cards that first emerged in the Mediterranean region in the Early Renaissance. The eclectic mix of Pagan and Christian imagery certainly has a Renaissance feel to it but there is still no way of disproving more ancient origins. The fact is that the mystery schools of Ancient Greece worked with many of the principles depicted in the Major Arcana. Those principles, in turn, in many cases hark back to… You guessed it! Ancient Egypt.
A Deck for My Sekhmet Altar
I actually bought the Mini Egyptian Tarot deck for a very specific purpose. Last week, I started studying Sekhmet Reiki. And I put together a wee altar in Her honour and I was very pleased with how it turned out. However, there was something missing, I soon realised. What on earth could it be? Duh! An Egyptian Tarot deck, of course! But it had to be quite small because my altar is not large. Imagine my delight when I came across this Egyptian-themed mini-deck. It is perfect!
You can get a fairly good idea of the size of the cards when you watch me handle the deck in the video below. I show all 78 cards of the deck. It’s a quick flip-through to music as I prefer to do write-ups for my reviews.
Video Flip-through to Music of the Mini Egyptian Tarot Deck
The LWB (the little white book/companion booklet) that comes with this deck is quite possibly more cryptic in parts than even the Book of Thoth. (And be warned, the print is minuscule!) Lo Scarabeo has a well-known longstanding tradition of not following the consensus on Tarot card meanings. It can actually be quite refreshing if you are not a novice trying to learn traditional standard card meanings for the Rider Waite Tarot.
The structure is Thoth/Marseille in terms of Strength being Arcanum XI (11) and Justice VIII (8). I don’t really mind one way or another.
The card titles are not on the cards. There are numbers only. The Majors have Roman numerals and the Minors have Arabic numbers. The Court cards have symbols rather than titles at the bottom of the cards. This may make the Egyptian Tarot a less-than-ideal deck for a beginner. But it’s a must for any lovers of Ancient Egypt. The focus is completely on the imagery and symbolism dating back to that period. I’m quite smitten!
All-in-all, this is a very well-made mini-deck. The box is sturdy and so is the silky matte card stock.
Mini Egyptian Tarot Deck Interview
Describe yourself in three words or less. Justice
MET: Bringer of Balance
2. How would your best friend describe you in three words or less? 4 of Cups
MET: Stroke of luck (taken from the LWB!)
3. What gift do you bring? Page of Pentacles
MET: Ideas about how to succeed in business
4. What do you expect in return? Page of Wands
MET: I expect us to have fun learning together. Let’s be friends–We’re about the same age after all!
5. How can you help me serve? 5 of Pentacles
MET: I can help you solve your material problems
6. Is there anything else you would like to tell me about yourself? 8 of Swords
MET: I can help you get comfortable with conflicting states of mind
Me: Thank you for answering my questions. I believe Sekhmet knew what she was doing when she guided me to you. I look forward to working together!
Click HERE to read about my name change.