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Review – Trionfi della Luna Tarot

Trionfi della Luna
333

Artist: Patrick Valenza
Self-published
Deviant Moon Inc.
2016

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The Trionfi della Luna 333 is a 78 card Marseilles-style deck, with 10 bonus cards, an 2 alternate cards (Diavolo/Devil and Fulmine/Tower). (It is a cousin to the Deviant Moon Tarot.) The cards come in a flip-top box, wrapped in a stunning gold printed art wrapper that is signed on the back. (I am going to frame mine to hang in my office.) A little added flavor was the Devil card that was tucked into the wrapper! I opened the wrapper very, very carefully – it was folded with expert care, so that I could take it off in one piece, with no tears, and keep “forever”!

  • The bonus cards are numbered I-X.

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The deck itself evolved from a series of spontaneous ink drawings created on the wrappers of signed Deviant Moon Tarot decks. This was originally a majors only deck – I am so happy that Patrick decided to complete it! There is a downloadable LWB on the Deviant Moon site (or there will be soon – it was not up yet when I started this review).

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All of the titles in this deck are in Italian, with the suits entitled Spade (Swords), Bastoni (Wands), Coppe (Cups), and Danari (Pentacles). The Court cards are entitled Re (King), Regina (Queen), Caval (Knight), and Fante (Page). The Two of Pentacles follows form for a Marseilles deck and carries the information for the printer (Deviant Moon, New York).

 

 

 

 

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The cards are 2 ¾” by 4 ¾”. The backs are burgundy, with cream colored quarter moons within a diamond shape, and are reversible. The card faces show a ½” antique white border, followed by a thinner black border. The background for the images is an antique cream color. For the Major Arcana, the number is at the top of the card, in Roman numerals. The card title is at the bottom of the card, in Italian. For the Court cards, the title and suit are across the bottom of the card. As this is a Marseilles-style deck, the Minor Arcana show icons only, with the card number, in Roman numerals, centered on either side of the card.

The art style is uniquely Deviant Moon – strange creatures, other-worldly landscapes, and a sense of “in your face” reality. Bad dreams type reality! Perhaps I should say “surreal”, as opposed to reality! The background is medieval combined with 19th century lined illustrations.

 

Whatever it is – it works! It took me a long time to get used to the Deviant Moon Tarot, but once I was over that little bump in the road, I wanted every deck that Patrick could ever conceive of putting out there!

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We see La Papessa standing on a pile of books, with flames behind her. La Giustizia (Justice) stands with her sword and scales in an almost menacing manner. I love the eye that takes center stage in La Ruota (the Wheel of Fortune). Interesting that in the Re di Spade (King of Swords) he holds in front of him a shining sword, yet the sword that he holds behind him drips blood, There is a fire behind him, and the quarter moon in the sky drips blood.

 

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The Ten of Swords shows eight curved swords, with two straight swords in the middle, dripping blood. The Regina de Bastoni (Queen of Wands) shows the figure facing the left hand side of the card, with ghost faces behind her. The Fante di Dinari (Page of Pentacles) is quite the interesting figure, as it is shown running after the Pentacle icon, which has wings.

 

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of Patrick’s work. It is innovative, and exciting. I think that you will all enjoy this deck!

I am going to put in a plug here for the book that Patrick wrote concerning his journey with the Tarot, and how his art evolved. It is a huge, amazing book, and you all need to read it! It is called the Deviant Moon Tarot Book (U.S. Games Systems, Inc., 2015).

© December 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2016 in Tarot

 

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Review: The Deviant Moon Tarot Companion Book

Deviant Moon Tarot
(Companion Book)

Author: Patrick Valenza
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2016
ISBN #978-1572816879

Deviant Moon Tarot book

The Deviant Moon Tarot companion book is hard cover (yes!), full color (yes!), solid, quality paper stock (yes!), with an absolutely amazing cover! Amazing art – that is a given with Valenza, combined with an equally amazing presentation of the art. I do not know that much about art presentation, so I queried Lynn Sparrow from U.S. Games Systems, Inc. about the process. She gave me the following description, one that was given to her by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Creative Director Paula Palmer (who designed the book!): “The cover has a matte finish with a crackle spot varnish for texture. The title and some of the art elements have foil stamping and the main image is debossed into the cover.” You have to see and feel this cover to truly appreciate it. Kudos to Mr. Valenza and Ms. Palmer!

The front and back inside pages are made to look like advertisements from the 1920’s – with a twist! The reader is invited to attend “The Social Event of the Year” (which is advertised as a night of debauchery!), to purchase scalp fertilizer for balding hair, to purchase “Elegant Urns for After the Burn” (this under funeral supplies!), to “Say Goodbye to a Healthy Body” (Madam Morte’s Mercury Cream), and more! It is fascinating to read each one of these ads! The flip side of life, as it were.

A lovely extra is card 49 (The Beast), which is included with the book. There is a separate card that includes a short paragraph about the Beast, along with upright and reversed meanings. Please note: The extra card is included only if the book is ordered directly from the author. It is not included if purchased anywhere else.

In the Deviant Tarot Valenza is well known for presenting wonderfully unique interpretations of the Tarot, using symbolism inspired by childhood dreams and visions. In his companion book, Valenza takes us behind the scenes of the Deviant Moon (which I have to admit took some getting used to for me when it first came out), to share where his creative inspiration came from, and to explain the artistic techniques that went into creating this deck.

In his preface, Valenza talks about the challenge of writing a companion book. He knew that he was up to the challenge, but did not realize how long it was going to take to finish the project. I love that he chose to work in the middle of the night, because that was when it was quiet. I am definitely a late night person myself. For Valenza, this book chronicles a personal journey with the Tarot that was at least thirty years in the making (beginning in his childhood), and was a true growth experience.

Valenza talks about his journey with the Tarot, which began in the mid-1970’s, when he was nine years old. He picked up his first deck at a local mall with his parents (not on their first trip, however – he had to be persistent!). This deck, however, had to be exchanged, as it was in French! The deck that he exchanged it for was a less ornate Tarot Classic deck. What a great gift for an actively intuitive child with imagination! Love the pics that Valenza shared of himself as a child. When an artist/author shares the background of their work, for me the work takes on a deep, “otherworldly” quality.

The original 13 cards for the Deviant Moon Tarot were created when Valenza was between the ages of 15 and 18. The card dimensions were based on the Visconti-Sforza Tarot, with a light coat of metallic gold paint being applied to the background of each image to create an ethereal glow. The cards had arched, Gothic borders, with the border color chosen to intuitively to compliment the color scheme of the painting. The character stylization was influenced by ancient Greek art.

When Valenza restarted the creation of the Deviant Moon in 2004 he switched from painting to digital photos. The rest is history!  I absolutely love that amongst his photographic sources were cemeteries, where he took a tiny sample of dirt from the gateways each time he visited them (leaving a generous gift for the gatekeeper in return), asylums, parks, and historic sites. A bit scary? Valenza does talk about confronting his nightmares – and never having them return again!

Many of the images in this deck came to Valenza fully in a flash of insight, or in a lucid dream. Two write about the images in the cards, he had to go back and examine them again in order to discern their meanings.

Each card of the Major Arcana is presented with a full page, color photo, a short discussion of the energy of the card, upright and reversed meanings, and a bit about his journey in creating the card. Also included are more full page, full color photos, as well as smaller photos.

The section on the Minor Arcana begins with an explanation of the border colors (Swords – Red, Cups – Blue, Wands – Green, and Pentacles – Black), and the fact that the Minor Arcana were not conceived in Valenza’s youth, but in his adult  years. Each card is presented with a full page, full color photo, a short discussion of the energy of the card, upright and reversed meanings, and a bit about the process of how the card was created. Full page, full color photos and sketches are included, as well as smaller photos.

I cannot say enough about what a joy this book is! Incredible quality, along with incredible depth. It will remain within reach at all times, as a resource, and not shelved! Filled with full color art on each page, U.S. Games Systems, Inc. has outdone itself in creating a quality product to showcase a quality product. If you don’t have the deck yet – go buy it! Then, of course, you need this incredible companion book to go with it! You could spend hours on the images alone, and even more hours on the how and why of this deck. Well worth your effort!

© 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without writen permission of hte author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2016 in Tarot

 

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