Inner Whispers

Guiding You To A More Magical Life

Inner Whispers

Golden Universal Tarot Overview

BF-GoldenUnivT-Overview1It’s been a curious week with the Golden Universal Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2013).  Using it for my daily draws on Instagram, I have pulled almost all Majors!  Which means I’ve been seeing the best of the deck, as there are missing bits of gold inlay on some of the Minors, especially the Pentacles, but not on the Majors.

The deck is basically a RWS clone, Lo Scarabeo’s Universal Tarot (2002), with added sparkles.  The costumes are a bit more Renaissance Italian than the RWS more medieval feel.  There are minor differences, so it is very easy to read traditionally, but does allow a little variety for intuition to play with.

With the World card, there really is no symbolic difference from the RWS version.  However, the golden background emphasises the enlightenment offered by this coming to the end of something, reaching a sense of completion and wholeness.

In the Courts, we have the expected traditional symbolism.  Here, though, the differences from the RWS versions are more apparent.  For example, the Page of Swords is rather more hunky, or maybe even chunky, than the RWS version.  He also seems more aware of his sword than Pixie’s version, and the landscape is quite different, too.  There is a fairly modest house close behind him.  His intellect is not yet refined, his memory palace does not yet hold a great deal.  Yet, his focus on the mind is already clear, and lends him strength.

BF-GoldenUnivT-Overview2The sparkling, golden backgrounds work really well for the Aces, too.  It lends them an even more magical feel: a wondrous gift from the universe, full of potential.  Once again, other than that, these cards are extremely traditional – a wand held out from a cloud by a hand, over a simple landscape…

Like the Courts, in the Minors we find greater difference and variety.  In the Seven of Swords, for instance, we still have a man in the foreground sneaking away with five swords, leaving another two behind him.  Once again, there are tents in the background.  Yet, the differences are also important.  The man faces to the right instead of the left, and looks rather more weighed down by his burden of swords.  He is also bearded, which could change the interpretation, too.  And he wears a hooded cloak, instead of the funny hat seen in Pixie’s version.  Here, the golden sky has the interesting addition of a green tint to it – green for envy, perhaps?  Altogether, we might see someone weighed down by the research he is doing, or who feels guilty about his thievery.  He might be more future-oriented than his RWS counterpart, or trying harder to hide things (from himself or others).  Lots of room here for inspiration to guide us in a reading!

While I was a little disappointed with the missing bits of gold on some of the cards, overall I do still really enjoy this deck.  And perhaps those missing bits, especially in the Pentacles, could lead into interpretations about the material world…  An interesting and very readable deck!

8 Responses to “Golden Universal Tarot Overview”

  • I rather like this clone with or without the golden inlay although don’t have it myself. maybe because fro me it is too similar to the RW. I do enjoy the imagery for instance as illustrations of my “Tarot Bible”:)

    • I know what you mean, Ellen. Sometimes I think, what’s the point of a very close clone, you could just use the RWS. Yet, sometimes even the small differences totally alter my perspective… 🙂

  • I have the Universal Tarot in the mini size because I like the artwork. I didn’t realize that they’d glitzed it up.

    I liked your correlation between missing bits of gold and Pentacles/material world. Or maybe “All that glitters is not gold.”

    Did you contact them about the missing gold bits or was this a printing error across the whole edition? I don’t know, the idea of missing gold really appeals to me.

    • Yes, JJ, it did seem kind of ironic – the Pentacles missing their gold. I didn’t contact them, because there were various threads talking about this issue, so it’s clearly across the whole edition. Maybe you’ll be tempted into this flawed deck with its golden glow 🙂

  • Yeah, I have this on my wish list now. Thanks for another great review, Chloe!

  • I got this deck around the same time as you. I like it very much, shame about the ultra-thin card stock. I am in the minority in actually liking the ‘chipped’ effect they went for in the minors. I have picked at it and I don’t think it’s a printing error, I do believe them when they say it was a deliberate design choice. I think it’s just done for aesthetic, but you could also take the tack that majors represent higher level aspects of self, whereas minors are at the coalface in daily life. Our chips and nicks and sore spots are acquired and adapted to there. Our higher universal aspects cannot be chipped or dimmed (though they can only be experienced directly — not through reading a book or listening to another person’s stories, so maybe that could be a ‘reason’ to give for the cards not photographing or scanning well.)

    • Ha ha, I like your take on our coalface and the need for direct experience. It’s definitely a good deck, but I can see why people felt a bit miffed with the “intentional” chips and nicks…


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