Do the Elves have something to teach us? These realistic, opulent figures-not unlike computer animated characters from the popular Lord of the Rings film-will capture your heart and mind. Mark McElroy's fun, creative approach to tarot brings the Elves' fairy tale to life as you seek out insights in this whimsical world.
Boxed kit (6 x 8) includes 78 full-color cards and 160-page book
Authors: Mark McElroy - Artwork by David Corsi
They say: The Tarot of the Elves is the deck that elves themselves would consult! This deck contains 22 Major Arcana that illustrate the spiritual adventure of Prince Alberich. Each suit of the Minor Arcana depicts a story fundamental to Elven culture and values. The included booklet tells the stories and the meanings of each card.
The Tarot of the Elves doesn't just picture pretty elves in costume. It's been imagined as a deck that an elf might consult, one that explores a unique elven universe. The artwork is slick and computerised, and the cards are without printed titles - unusual for a deck from Lo Scarabeo. To be available as a standalone deck, and with a book by Mark McElroy.
The Tarot of the Elves creates a new and different world. And yet, we humans still relate to the inhabitants of this fantasy realm. This innovative deck explores and conveys the archetypal meanings of the cards through story. McElroy spins an engrossing tale in which we both lose and find ourselves.
The figures on the earliest Tarot cards were no doubt inspired by the popular medieval "triumphal processions"―parades that taught moral tales to the watchers. By mimicking these archetypal parades, Tarot decks also told stories. These were not new stories, but ones that were familiar to everyone of the time.
While the stories of the Greek and Roman gods may not be quite as universally familiar to everyone as they were in the 14th century, most people understand the archetypal story of the hero’s journey. The hero’s journey is the most commonly recognized story in Tarot decks. One strength of this approach is that people know the basic story. One weakness is that because it is archetypal, it is very generalized.
Until recently, many decks told the same archetypal story simply dressed in different clothes. The stories were still general and could be applied to any situation. In some cases, they depict slightly different or more specific faces of the archetypes. But since they are not set in context (like a story), they are harder to learn.
The more recent narrative decks, such as the Tarot of the Elves, also tells a hero journey story, but it is specific story. There are specific actions, specific characters, and specific ramifications. In short, the stories provide context and consequently two very great benefits. The first is that the cards are easy to learn. You read the story and when you see the picture on the card, you know the part it plays in the story, and consequently, the meaning of the card.
The second benefit is that the story also allows a clearer understanding of the nuances in meaning. For example, the archetypal idea of Strength as a card has many facets. In the Tarot of the Elves story the Strength card shows the main character, Albrerich, fighting with an evil machine that contains a magical sword that Alberich needs. In this case, Alberich must overcome something by his force and his will and by doing so gains a great reward.
The images on the cards can be powerfully evocative and beautiful, such as The Empress, Temperance, and the 5 of Wands. The High Priestess shows a murdered High Priestess on the altar. Tarot expert Barbara Moore wrote this about it:
"The High Priestess from the Tarot of the Elves is probably one of the most controversial images in Tarot. Many people were appalled and had a very strong negative reaction to this card. However, people don’t have a problem associating The High Priestess with the Greek goddess Persephone. She was kidnapped by Hades, the god of Death, and taken to the underworld to live―kidnapped, taken from her family and a life she loved to live underground. She was, in a sense, dead. Without the experience of her death, the joy and power of her consequent rebirth could not have been. Many initiatory experiences recreate a symbolic death. We find them in most mystery religions, many modern Pagan and shamanic traditions, and even in the Protestant full immersion baptism. Study, a function of The Hierophant, comes first, followed by experience or the initiation. There are things, truths of the universe, which cannot be learned by study; they must be experienced and death symbolizes a strong transformational experience. And despite the calm, peaceful demeanor of most High Priestesses, I cannot imagine that such a death is easy or clean. For this reason, the pain and the immediacy of this card draws me in, even as it does, as it is meant to, repels. It speaks of the experience that comes before the calm and the knowing."
This deck could be used very well by a beginner who read the book. The story is a great way to remember card meanings. For a study deck this is a wonderfully creative and challenging work.
The Tarot is a specific system that has 78 cards in total. There are 4 suits (referred to as the minor arcana) and 22 other cards (referred to as the major arcana). Each card represents a specific energy. And each card, through the picture on the card, is trying to help you to feel the specific energy of that card. The reason there are so many different kinds of Tarot decks is that Different Tarot decks may present this energy in different pictorial form. We have lots of articles on Tarot.