Tarot Spotlight: The Visconti-Sforza Deck

I’m going to be quite honest from the very beginning, here - I’m absolutely enthralled with my newest tarot deck, and in the spirit of all this wonderful new enthusiasm I wanted to share a little overview of this phenomenal set of cards for anyone interested here!

I say “newest tarot deck”, and it is, for me - however, in our wider history, the Visconti-Sforza deck also happens to be the oldest significant collection of tarot cards extant in our time! Now, they are not the oldest complete deck - that would, as far as I know, be the Marseilles deck - the Devil, the Tower, III of Swords, and the Knight of Coins have not survived in any of the remaining decks available to the public, so working decks that wish to include these cards must include reconstructions (my reconstructed deck is Mary Packard’s ‘Golden’ Visconti-Sforza).

I personally came to this deck through a search for the surviving root-manifestations of the original tarot phenomenon. In light of my personal opposition to the demiurgic plague-god of the monotheists (and most dramatically since the 9/11 working of this year), I have seen the need to cut out of my life and work as much as possible of what has been adulterated by that entity’s contaminations.

While I have never worked from the strong influence of Qabala, Crowley, the Golden Dawn, or many of the magickal systems informed by originally yahwic premises (to which avoidance in myself and some other advanced practitioners I attribute a notable divergence in levels of awareness for some relevant metaphysical processes!), this has had one dramatic result in my day-to-day practice, and that has been the cutting away of some of my favourite tarot decks!

Of course, there was nothing to fear, since (in direct contradiction to their claims of ancient and grand pedigrees) the tarot, like much of the world’s truly potent magick, significantly predates the comparatively recent incidence of silly hat and secret handshake clubs - and their subversive troll-god influences.

This deck in particular dates to northern Italy of about 1450. It was commissioned to mark the marital alliance of two powerful Italian families: one of established nobility whose heiress was lavished with all the hopes and ambitions of an only child,and one built up through the conquests and drive of an adventurous and successful condottiero - a not magickally insignificant symbol as seen for example in the Amore card (in this deck, Love itself and not the usual Lovers) which the two newlyweds modelled for the commemorative deck.

In addition to its beautiful Renaissance (with still-strong medieval influence) imagery, it is just a wonderful glimpse at our earliest surviving organization of major cultural archetypes into the tarot-deck form.

Its implied cultural subtext of things like dynasticism, delight in beauty, intellectual richness, and the pursuit of the Classical imagery and feeling from before monotheization lend it highly useful for certain themes of reading, especially in matters whose elucidation is desired to be more free of typical occultism’s confused garble.

Which brings me to the real purpose of this thread, which is my desire for practice with this new tool! I’ve so far only read for one other person with it (the feedback was very positive), but of course I desire to become as competent with this divinatory weapon as I have been with my accustomed ones.

But practice will make more perfect, I hope - if anyone would like to try out a free reading with my lovely new tarot deck, I’d be happy to accommodate the first three to post in this thread. Important or magickal questions only, please, good weapons deserve respect and I won’t insult mine with ‘does my ex think of me’ or ‘will my dog come back’. If you made it this far through my freebie-disguising post and think the deck will make for the reading you need (and look at it! [url=http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/visconti-sforza/]http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/visconti-sforza/[/url]), all you need do is 1) reserve your spot here, 2) pm me your question, and 3) be prepared to provide me with helpful feedback either in public or private.

Thanks for reading, and I hope I can be forgiven for ‘hiding’ this offer behind the deterrent from repeats of past forum experiences that I hope this mini-essay format will have been. :wink:


I would be down for a reading my friend.

That’s one that made it through the attention-span smokescreen! Just pm me your question when ready.

I’m game.

Awesome! Pm away with your question, and there’s still time for one more before all the Samain excitement.

I see only 2spots taken… If 1 is still available… I will take it!?

You’ve got it - just pm me your question and I’ll try to work your reading in before my schedule goes crazy pre-Halloween.