Review: Manara Erotic Tarot

Published By: La Scarabeo

Is it an actual TAROT deck? Yes

Suitable for Beginners? No, not for beginners, the easily offended or the elderly.

Whenever I see an “erotic” deck I am tempted to run and hide, mainly because nowadays the term “erotic” seems to mean “Let’s see how many breasts can we stuff into something before it’s considered pornographic.” Thankfully, I decided to give it a shot, being a fan of Manara’s works. Had I been expecting a deck to titillate and nothing more, I would have had the shock of a lifetime.

The Good:

One of the things that I appreciated is the way that women are treated in the deck. A lot of “erotic” decks use women as something for pleasure and nothing more. The Manara deck shows women as individual human beings, being as much in control of their sexualities as the tales of the deck. Often, they are in a position of power, which frankly I think is brilliant.

Milo Manara, the artist, works on erotic comics and is at the top of his game here. The cards, chosen from his works to date, are picked well to display his talents, while giving interesting insights. Instead of using the four traditional tarot suits, Manara opts for the four elements which helps to get rid of any confusion over which Tarot suit represents what. As well as that particular change, there is also the choice of imagery that has been used. For lovers of erotic tarot decks, or just couples who read together, this is a very good deck. There is sometimes a problem with seeing how the image on the card relates to more tradittional tarot imagery, but I’ve noticed that it often puts my brain on an entirely different track and allows me to see a different aspect of the original card that I might not pick up on in other decks.

The Bad:

This deck is marketed, rather rightly I might add, for questions concerning love and relationships. Geared the way that it is, that’s a problem if you’re looking for answers to something else. While I CAN see how the pictures relate to the traditional meanings given by decks such as the Rider Waite, it isn’t always obvious to somebody that isn’t that familiar with A. E. Waite’s work.

The other issue that I have with this deck is that while most of the other cards match up somehow with the Rider Waite deck, the Court cards are a little trickier. Were it not for the titles of the cards, it would be extremely hard. They are a little more obscure in how they connect to “traditional meanings” which can be a problem for some folks. Initially, it was for me. It takes a lot of insight into the natures of the Court cards in orde to make the connections which can interrupt the flow of a reading significantly.

Is it worth it?

Overall, yes. The artwork is beautiful and the cards are the perfect size for shuffling and spreads. While non-traditional in some (and by some, I mean a lot of) respects, the deck is a great addition to a collection or a perfect gift for a lover, especially ones that like things a little spicy. As I said though, it’s not recommended for the easily offended or the elderly.

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