I found myself in an esoteric shop here in Warsaw yesterday and, despite going in just to look, I walked out with a bag full of tarot and crystals. So much for self control
The deck I couldn’t resist was the Tarot of Oppositions by Pierluca Zizzi and Michele D’Aloisio, published by tarot publisher Lo Scarabeo.
Having never heard of the deck nor having much of a description on the box, I was drawn in by the fact that every card has two illustrations.
As someone who has often struggled with reading reversals, I figured this deck would be a good way to be able to see both aspects of a card at once, making reversals much easier to read.
This deck is good for learning multiple meanings of each tarot card, but when I opened it up and read the guidebook, I was surprised to find that it actually goes much deeper than just reversals
When using this deck, you have two options: first, you can use the deck in a similar way to most traditional decks. That is, you can read just the picture that appears on top of the card. It will either function as the “Upright” or “Reversed” identity of that card.
But with this deck, it actually opens up a new way of reading by encouraging you to read the entire card- not just the top or the bottom, but by seeing both parts as a conversation of the whole.
The reader is then tasked with finding where on the card best applies to the Querrant- the “positive” extreme, the “negative” extreme, or somewhere in the liminal space in between.
As such, the deck of oppositions isn’t so much as deck of opposites as it is a deck of extremes. The guidebook calls both sides of the card “positive” and “negative”, but not in a good/bad sense so much as like a battery
When it comes to good things, this deck has a lot- I’m really impressed with it! I love how it opens up new possibilities and conversations about the cards, all while still staying fairly true to traditional readings and holding on to key symbolism in the cards.
The art is really gorgeous- colorful and bright, and I am happy with the quality of the card stock. The size of the cards is on the larger side, but still manageable for shuffling
Also: the guidebook comes in multiple languages, so for anyone whom English isn’t their mother tongue, this is really helpful!
I bought the deck thinking it would help me with reversals, and while it does help with reversals in a sense, it actually opens up way more possibilities to read- considering upright, reversed, “positive”/“negative”, the liminal in between, and reading the card as a whole.
All in all, I can tell this deck is going to take a long time to master and is not a deck I would recommend for beginners to tarot.
Additionally, this deck uses a very unique way of reading, yet the guidebook only has two suggested spreads (one of which is not provided in English). I would think that, for such a special deck, it would include readings that make the most of the cards’ ability to be read in their entirety.
I gave it a go with a few practice readings and found that the deck has quite the personality. I would describe it as similar to talking with an enlightened person or prominent religious figure- the deck is very wise and knowledgeable, but sometimes speaks in riddles.
It does this not in a malicious way, but in a way that almost seems slightly teasing- as if challenging the reader to open up their mind and try to be able to understand. It really feels like it is encouraging me to see things from new perspectives.
All in all, an interesting deck- and I one I am excited (and a bit nervous!) to try to master!
Have you used the Tarot of Oppositions? If not, is it a deck you’d be interested in exploring?
Would love to hear your thoughts!