Review by Dan Pelletier
I love butterflies – the vibrancy of the colors flitting through the air…and The Sylph Tarot brought a promise of butterflies, 22 of them with their Latin names scrawled across the top of each card – but the cards feature abstract gray-scale softened images.
Wait a minute – black and white and butterflies? The art is breathtaking – soft grayscale accented with stark whites and blacks. And beautiful card backs.
Each card is labeled with the card name on the bottom, and the corresponding number in the English/American school (Justice is eleven), numbered and Hebrew lettered on the top along with the Latin Butterfly name. Some cards have been renamed (Fool = The Innocent, Magician = The Mimic, High Priestess = The Pollinator), and some remain with their original names (The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant).
I got the feeling that some of the names may allude to that particular butterflies traits – but was confused at the inconsistency. I spent a day looking up butterflies on the net…
Death is the Nymphalis antiopa, known as the Mourning Cloak Butterfly, which makes sense. The Devil is the Aporia crataegi. I found an entry that told me ”It used to be a pest of orchards in southern England - now a fruit grower could get rich on a colony of these butterflies”, however I could find no reason why. The Tower is the araschinia levana, known as the map butterfly. The only entry I could find was that “The Map is unusual in that its two annual broods look very different.” I’m left wondering. The Moon is Luna, and all I could find was that it most likely was the Luna Moth.
The deck does not come with documentation so there is no notation of the artists thought process. And I am left feeling like I’m missing something…something about butterflies, something about the labeling process. Without documentation – the deck is like a joke with no
Or a story
And I miss the colors, the natural beauty of a butterfly resting on my roses.
Wish I knew what the artist…
Here the review trailed off. This conversation followed:
Solandia: "it seemed to end mid-sentence"
Dan said: "exactly...just like the deck"
Dan Pelletier is a co-owner of The Tarot Garden, a
most highly respected resource for tarot decks and
related information on the Internet.