Giuliano Costa, Rachel Paul
c2021 Lo Scarabeo
[distributed by Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.].
Well, who among us does not want to “Enter a realm where every day is Halloween”…am I right?! The Jack-O'-Lantern Tarot (JOLT) does deliver on this promise. It’s not all spooky in the true horror sense, but it’s definitely seasonal, filled with the colors, the orange, yellow, red, purple, and greens of fall and Halloween, with many cards depicting a deep blue-sky background (the kind of sky you see on a sunny, crisp, fall day). And it certainly has plenty of the symbols: gourds, pumpkins, leaves, bare, spooky trees, spooky clouds, skeletons, vultures, and more.
If you want to see what the deck looks like, please check out the accompanying video for an unboxing of the cards. Except for a black border on the bottom for the card’s name, the deck is borderless. The cards are thin and do seem to me to be a little cardboard-y. But they do ruffle/shuffle well (no cards stuck together). This may be a deck you only want to use at this time of year, so you don’t wear them out too quickly.
The booklet is a typical Lo Scarabeo leaflet (62 pages in length). JOLT card interpretations are in 4 languages (English, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese). There’s one brief interpretation for each card; the Major Arcana interpretations are a bit longer than the Minor Card interpretations. The booklet includes a nice 5-card “Pumpkin Patch Spread” which allows you to examine a situation in your life “from seed to sprout to harvest to a work of art”. It’s a rather nice spread actually which I will make use of in my personal practice.
JOLT cards are Rider-Waite influenced. There’s a lot to unpack here with the cards (see my Unboxing video for more commentary on some of the cards and just to view all the images), but let me touch on a few. The Ace of Wands really grabbed me with the Wand being depicted as a spinal column with 3 skulls at the top of the Wand. Interesting that an actual hand is holding the wand (in the 4 of cups, for example, the cup is being offered to a person by a skeleton hand). The Devil kind of looks like a happy-go-lucky creature waiving at us with 2 chained people in front of him. The 7 of Pentacles stuns with its images of death as well as growth (possibly depicting the elements of feast or famine…the uncertainty associated with this card). The 5 of Pentacles has a grim reaper with his arms around some destitute people with a decrepit building in the background. And, finally, the 3 of Swords shows a head being stabbed by the Swords and not the heart (to me, showing the connection between heart-ache and how it affects our mind and brain).
Suffice to say, I really like and recommend this deck which I think is accessible for all levels of Tarot practitioners. It really captures the Fall/Halloween seasonal spirit and the essence of the individual Tarot cards.