The Preraphaelite Tarot by Giuliano Costa (Lo Scarabeo) is a deck I was umm-ing and ahh-ing about getting before my spiritual crisis last year. I’m glad I didn’t buy it then because it would have been utter sacrilege to bin this beauty along with the other 200+ Tarot and oracle decks that made it into the big recycling bin.
Part of the appeal for me as a Christian Tarot reader is that the Hermit features Yeshua and in the 3 of Swords, we have the Archangel Gabriel announcing the birth of Yeshua to Mary. That said, all the images are vibrant, stunning, and seem to touch something deep within me. The card images lend themselves equally well for doing readings as for journaling prompts or creative inspiration. You really don’t have to be a Tarot reader to enjoy this deck.
My inner child strongly approves of all 78 images in the Preraphaelite Tarot. I can imagine my 12-year-old self coming across this deck (three years before doing my first reading) and falling head over heels in love. At the time, I was reading The Neverending Story by Michael Ende three times in a row. That book placed me inside another world, not unlike the feeling I get from this deck.
The card stock is flexible and not too thick. It’s a personal preference but I prefer slightly thinner cardstock for ease of shuffling. The surface is silky matte and there are no borders except for the title space at the bottom. The title space only contains the numbers: Roman numerals for the Major Arcana and Arabic numerals for the minors. The suit names are not included, nor are the names or titles for the Major Arcana cards. The court cards have symbols as identifiers.
The lack of card titles and suit names could be a bit problematic for an absolute beginner. However, since the deck itself is more or less a Smith-Waite clone, it is quite easy to tell the cards apart once you know your traditional deck.
The card backs are non-reversible which is how I prefer them since I don’t read with reversals. I find the colour palette, as well as the peacock motif, rather pleasing.
Video Flip-through of the Preraphaelite Tarot
Preraphaelite Tarot Deck Interview
Describe yourself in three words or less. 9 of Wands
PT: Strong, great boundaries
2. How would your best friend describe you in three words or less? The World
PT: Accomplished, perfectly capable
3. What gift do you bring? 8 of Pentacles
PT: Joyful completion of tasks. There is a transformative element to working with me. You will be honing your intuitive ability, as well as your eye for detail.
4. What do you expect in return? 7 of Swords
PT: That you use this relationship to your advantage. I’m not opposed to some cunning being applied here. Mind you, I didn’t say trickery!
Oh, and please warn everyone of the Chinese rip-off copies in circulation. They are of very poor quality by comparison, especially with regards to colour vibrancy. Also, buying unlicensed copies is bad for your karma.
Me: Consider it done!
5. How can you help me serve? Knight of Wands
PT: I can help you regain your sense of being on a neverending adventure with the Tarot. I think you need it after diving deep into the esoteric side. Nothing wrong with that but I’m going to help you enjoy really using your intuition.
6. Is there anything else you would like to tell me about yourself? Justice
PT: You will find that we are a perfect match and flow in harmony with the Truth.
Me: I think I’m already getting that based on client feedback. I’m very happy about that — Thank you!