Review by Bonnie Cehovet
I have followed Ciro’s progress through several decks (“The Gilded Tarot”, “The Tarot of Dreams”, and “Legacy of the Divine Tarot”), and have been awestruck at the innovative manner in which he presents his material. His “Tarot of Dreams” was the was the very first time that I had seen an interactive CD used in such a manner – I was like a little kid in a candy storet! Ciro was also the first deck creator that I knew of to include such marvelous extras, such as wall paper, note paper, screen savers and more.
While his previous work has been in the area of traditional Tarot decks, his path has taken another turn here, to that of an Oracle deck. In stepping outside of the strictures of traditional Tarot, he was able to create a tool of empowerment for meditation and divination that was not dependent on text of any kind – the images do the talking. The images then act as visual starting points for intuitive reading. The images themselves were consciously kept neutral, so that the interpretation dependent upon the specifics of the reading. In essence, Ciro terms this a “reality check”.
In using an oracle of this type, we are able to get out of our own way – we move past our shadows and our fears, as well as our (at times) unrealistic expectations. We are better able to consider the ramifications of our decisions and actions, and to accept responsibility for the world that we have created/are creating around us.
Ciro has (loosely) broken down the images in this deck into four categories: Situations, Emotions, Actions and Behavior. He also does not see a need for reversals. Yay! I don’t read with reversals anyway, so this is a high spot in my day! His reasoning is that the potential presented by reversals is contained within the images themselves. This is also my thought, along with the caveat that surrounding cards will define the interpretation. This is also the reason for no keywords, and no titles on the cards. The numbers at the top of the card are simply used as a reference to their description in the companion book. There is no one common theme either. Ciro notes that he is sharing his passion for jesters, masks, mechanical devices and faux Victorian dress and characters. The masked figures in this deck can be a generalization, or representative of a specific individual.
The deck is a 52 card deck, with the cards measuring 3.5” by 5.5”. They have a glossy finish, and that lovely gold edge that I adore! The card backs are red and gold, with a black outer border and a jester in the center. They are not reversible. The card faces show a black outer border, with a thin gold inner border. The card number is centered on top of the card, and the initials “O V” (Oracle of Visions) centered on the bottom. The artwork in richly colored, along the lines of whimsical fantasy.
The book, deck and CD are packaged in a heavy duty cardboard box that will withstand both storage and handling. The 80 page book begins with an introduction by Ciro, followed by a presentation on each card that includes a full color image of the card, a short quote, Ciro’s personal description and meanings, with opposing suggestions in places.
For example, Card 1 grabbed me immediately, at a time when I was extremely stressed. I loved the card, even though I had no clue how Ciro envisioned it. Looking in the companion book, I saw “A New Beginning – A Release From the Past”. Yahoo! Spot on! The quote for this card is “You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down. “ ~ Unknown.
Ciro’s notes for this card include the idea that in moving on from failure we make the choice to leave the past behind. On the floor, or bottom of this image are three discarded cards – each a Fool from his three previous Tarot decks. From the bix their spirits are released as three doves, representing new beginnings. There is also a note to be sure that the time is right to move on.
At the end of the book is a short section on interpreting this oracle. Probably the biggest suggestion is that this deck is intended to be as flexible as possible. As an example, he uses card number 1 and interprets it in two different ways. This is followed by an example of several cards read together.
The final chapter of the companion book discusses the background for the “Oracle of Visions”, and the journey (through three Tarot decks) taken to bring it about. It was a learning curve, and this is the end product. He talks about the changes that we see in Tarot from country to country, and from printer to printer, as well as the beliefs of the various decks creators. Then there is the inconsistency in symbolic meaning from deck to deck.
The CD that accompanies this deck/book set includes the extra’s, the “added value” that Ciro is famous for. In this instance, we are gifted with screensavers (Mac and Windows), wallpapers, avatars (Woo Hoo!), and a very engaging puzzle. One more thing … A thoughts and notes booklet, in PDF format, is downloadable from Ciro’s site!
I found it very easy to relate to and read with this deck. It can be used to augment a Tarot reading, or as a stand alone oracle. No previous knowledge is necessary. Have fun with this!
© Bonnie Cehovet
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.