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Victoria Frances, a rising star in fantasy illustration, has wowed Europe and is rapidly gaining fans in the U.S. The stunning Favole Tarot showcases this young illustrator’s signature Gothic Romantic style, inspired by Anne Rice, H. P. Lovecraft, and pre-Raphaelite paintings. Bask in the splendor of this dreamy, timeless world, haunted by beautiful vampires, dark fairies, and other mysterious creatures of the night. Diverging from the Rider-Waite tradition, you’ll find crosses, masks, roses, and butterflies ...
Victoria Frances, a rising star in fantasy illustration, has wowed Europe and is rapidly gaining fans in the U.S. The stunning Favole Tarot showcases this young illustrator’s signature Gothic Romantic style, inspired by Anne Rice, H. P. Lovecraft, and pre-Raphaelite paintings. Bask in the splendor of this dreamy, timeless world, haunted by beautiful vampires, dark fairies, and other mysterious creatures of the night. Diverging from the Rider-Waite tradition, you’ll find crosses, masks, roses, and butterflies representing the four suits. Gorgeously grim and lyrical, this unique deck will help you explore the dark crevices of the psyche—and find beauty where it's least expected.
Boxed deck (2½ x 4½) includes 78 full-color cards and instruction booklet
Much sought after in the US because of its beauty, the Favole Tarot is a unique Marseilles-style deck. Adding to its gothic aesthetic are the creative suits: butterflies, masks, flowers, and crosses. Vampires, clowns, Witches, and ghosts mingle among the ruins with humans, all sharing and experiencing the exquisite romance of life, love, and death.
Every time you see the Favole Tarot you will be struck almost breathless with its beauty. Your inner romantic (in the literary sense) will respond almost physically to these images. For many years it was only available in Europe or in the States at Tarot conferences.
Because it is a Spanish deck, it follows the European, Marseilles-style tradition. These decks have minor cards that are not illustrated, but are instead true pips. They have only the suit designators on them. In recent months, more teachers and more classes on the subject. Even so, if you prefer fully-illustrated cards, you can make great use of just the Major Arcana, a practice that works well with a variety of spreads, or in conjunction with other decks. One of the wonderful things about Tarot is that there is room for creativity.
The minor arcana pips are made more alluring and interesting because they are not the usual cups, swords, wands, and pentacles. Instead the cards are adorned with butterflies, masks, roses, and crosses. For those who like reading pips, these will add to the overall tone of the experience. Flowers are Cups; Butterflies, Air; Masks, Pentacles; and Crosses, Wands.
The court cards are traditional (although the Page is called Knave, a fairly common substitution). Overall, the court cards are interesting and evocative. This deck starts out doing something interesting with the Knights. They are all statues…except the Knight of Masks, possibly beause the Knight of Masks (Pentacles) in traditional decks isn’t moving at all, so to have him (actually in this deck a “her”) be the only one in this deck that can move does have some wonderful symbolic irony.
The major arcana are fairly recognizable to anyone familiar with the trumps. Most are simply beautiful or moving or both. Here are some particularly interesting ones. The High Priestess looks as if she is meant to be a Witch, because behind her is a cauldron with a pentagram on it and she wears a crescent moon on her forehead and throat. Around her neck is an upside down pentagram, a symbol used by some British and European Witches but by few in America. The Emperor sits on a balcony high above the city he helped create. Next to him sits only a gargoyle, stonily silent forever. It is a very poignant image. Death is a beautiful young woman lying dead in a pond, amongst lily pads, flowers in her hair. Temperance is very interesting: a ghost holding a candelabra walking/floating through a church. The idea of transience, being both spirit and flesh (her feet are ghostly and she becomes more corporeal up her body toward her head), being in a dark church and shining light. The church is a place for spiritual life and also for the end of physical life. The layers of opposites is stunning. The Sun is hands-down the most bittersweet Sun ever. But also beautiful; tender, not morose.
The included booklet gives tandard Little White Booklet style interpretations. But with images this beautiful and evocative, you can easily read the cards without it.
Name of deck: Favole Tarot
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Creator’s name: Victoria Francés
Brief biography of creator: Francés was born in Valencia in 1982 and stuided Fine Arts at the Facultad de Bellas Artes de San Carlos. While there she worked as an illustrator for book covers and other pieces. Her own first illustrated book was titled Favole, a remembrance of Venice, Genoa and Verona. She is influenced by the pre-Raphaelites and Gothic Romanticism.
Artist’s name: Victoria Francés
Name of accompanying booklet: The Favole Tarot
Number of pages of booklet: 75, 15 in English
Author of booklet: Victoria Francés
Available in a boxed kit?: No
Magical Uses: None
Reading Uses: General
Artistic Style: Surreal
Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: Tarot, Marseilles Tradition
Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: No, it is Marseilles tradition
Does it have extra cards?: No
Does it have alternate names for Major Arcana cards?: No alternate names, just alternate numbering: Justice is 8, Strength is 11
Does it have alternate names for Minor Arcana suits?: Butterflies, masks, flowers, and crosses
Does it have alternate names for the Court Cards? Page is called Knave
Book suggestions for Tarot beginners and this deck: Any book on the Marseilles tradition.
Book suggestions for experienced Tarot users and this deck: Any book on the Marseilles tradition.
Posted January 19, 2012
It's an absolutely beautiful deck. It's dark and mysterious, which is what I was looking for. The fact that the title of the cards are also in Spanish is a major plus :)
There is only two things that I can see wrong with it (or rather what others might have an issue with). Number one being that the numbered Minor Arcade cards do not have individual "paintings". They're just like regular playing cards in that they just show the object the number of times it's representing (for instance: six masks for card six). Bringing me to number two, the Minor Arcade is not made up of the traditional four suits: Cups, Swords, Wands, and Pentacles. It is instead made up of Masks, Butterflies, Crosses, and Roses. The little handbook the deck is accompanied with does not say if there is a link between the two different deck suits. It does however say what each card in the traditional suits are supposed to mean.
If you wish to have a traditional deck because the symbols/suits are very important to you, I would not recommend this deck. If you simply don't care and plan on assigning your own meanings, this might actually be an amazing deck for you. Or you could do what I did and just have them mean the same thing anyways. For instance I have the Butterflies mean the same thing as the Wands, and so forth (to me they both represent Air).
I do love this deck regardless :) I hope this helps anyone.