mercoledì 28 gennaio 2015

About a wicked pack of cards

I received my pack of Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot months ago, in November, a perfect month for this melancholic deck, but it took me some weeks to connect with it.  One of the factor that  immediately attracted me  was the presence of weird creatures, half animal and half poppets, or endowed of a human face on a serpentine, scaly body.  Yet in a second moment I had the vague impression of hostility and unfriendliness. Though all the human figures in this deck are female, little adolescents, sometimes with their eyes closed as if dreaming or looking for an inner vision of the world outside, we have not to be mislead by this "girlish" atmosphere: these cards are, as many tarots with a genuine faery element, only apparently sweet, nice, childlike. Or better they are dreamy and childlike if you accept that childhood can be cruel, sad, full of an inexplicable longing for a place or a state you have never really known. Mainly based on the classic Raider Waite system, the chosen images have also a life of their own, a symbolism that asks you to read them intuitively, travelling back in memories to find the episode they resemble. Hence the dreamy attribute of the deck is precisely its capacity to change you in one of your former selves - younger, full of desires and capricious. The cards bring you to a land filled of imaginary friends and of comfortable shelters which  may easily turn into traps. What do I mean?

Take for example The World. The sense of wholeness, of attained results and the joy of new beginnings are here transformed in a realm protected by a glass globe: it is enchanted as a snowy winter night, but also closed in itself. To start again and experience different paths you will have to break the transparent glass. So a protection becomes a prison, the homely feeling at the end of a journey a trigger to act again, finding the capacity to destroy, break, forget what you have reached. Is this not the engine of human life? The disquieting emotion at the core of ourselves can never be completely soothed, but brings us to be in need of different, unexpected, patterns to better appreciate what we already have. 

Yet there are also images infused of peace, like the Knave of Wands. This a card about the solemn patience of learning, growing roots through a bush of roses and hair and flowers in the air. It seems to suggest: be quiet and remember that magic is first of all a silent thing. Everything that comes after can be accepted. 
Otherwise The Moon re-elaborates all the ambiguity of the Major Arcana, its untrustworthy though compelling magic, the profound knowledge that in spite of our effort to describe, sing, attract the world of the moon, it remains always a step ahead, on the border between an unsolvable mystery and a delusive truth. Or the symbiotic relation that links both the twins embracing each other in the Two of Cups and the girl and the swan together on a sofa in the Nine of Disks. While the overall meaning of these cards is positive, in the first one love, the meeting of a complementary soul, is suggested by the passage through an invisible mirror to touch the other being so similar to us. In the second one the pet and the girl might change one into the other in a moment, as in a fairy-tale of secrets. 

Creepy, unusual, moving; wicked, wistful, playful: these are some more adjectives I could attribute to the deck, inhabited by animal helpers, animated toys, vegetables and candies, all the voices that echoed in our heads, like familiar nightmares or alluring promises. 

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