The myths and legends of fairies and the other fey folk have given rise to much beautiful art as well as memorable stories and symbols. It seems only natural that these should have been combined with another repository of image and symbol: the Tarot.
What Is The Fairy Tarot?
There is no single “correct” Tarot deck, just as there is no single “correct” source of fairy lore. Over the centuries artists and philosophers have designed tarot decks based on all manner of folklore and mystical systems. Some of these have become popular and are still available to buy today, others have faded and are lost.
The Lupatelli Deck
Today the most well-known fairy deck is probably the Fairy Tarot created by artist Antonio Lupatelli and published by Lo Scarabeo. This is a full 78 card deck with individual images for the different cards. In the Major Arcana, some traditional cards have been replaced by new figures more appropriate to the fairy kingdom. For the minor arcana the traditional suits have been replaced by Hearts, Leaves, Bells and Acorns. The Lupatelli Fairy Tarot deck definitely falls into the more positive range of decks on the market.
Lupatelli also created the Tarot of the Gnomes.
The Fey Tarot
The Fey Tarot was created by Riccardo Minetti and Mara Aghem and is also published by Lo Scarabeo. Although it shares the positive feel of the Lupatelli deck the artwork is, to my mind, slightly less childlike in nature with something of an anime feel. (I should stress here that for me “childlike” is not an insult!).
Personally I prefer the pictures on the Fey Tarot to the rather cuter illustrations on the Lupatelli deck, but at the end of the day the choice of which Tarot deck to buy is a very personal one, you need to find the imagery and symbolism that works best for you.
This is probably the most unusual of the decks listed here. Published by Magic Realist Press the Fairytale Tarot is a full 78 card deck with illustrations based on traditional fairy tales from around the world. For example it contains the Ugly Duckling as the Ace of Cups and The Sorceror’s Apprentice as the Ten of Wands. It’s an intriguing idea, though I think I’d need to also buy the boxed set that comes complete with explanatory book – some of the tales such as The Feather of Finist the Falcon are not exactly well known.