The Tarot of the White Cats is very much in the tradition of the Rider-Waite Tarot - except for the blue-eyed, white cats drawn in the cards, instead of people. The symbolism is standard and non-threatening enough for use for the Tarot beginner.
3 customer reviewsArtist: Severino BaraldiItems: 78Product Dimensions:
2-5/8" x 4-3/4"Major Arcana Card Names:
Fool, Magician, High Priestess, Empress, Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers,
Chariot, Justice (#8), Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Strength (#11), Hanged Man,
Death, Temperance, Devil, Tower, Stars, Moon, Sun, Judgement, WorldSuit Names:
Chalices (Cups), Wands, Swords, PentaclesCourt Cards:
Knave, Knight, Queen, KingIncluded with deck:
A 64-page booklet written in five languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch
Sample Card Images
Back Design of Cards
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Review by dojo
Lo Scarabeo brings us the Tarot of White Cats, by artist Severino Baraldi, whose impressive portfolio includes the Dragon’s Tarot, Journey to the Orient, and the Tarot of Druids. My first reaction to this deck was lukewarm (I keep saying that don’t I') I thought “Hmmm…Rider Waite with white cats. OK. Sweet.” But on closer examination I noticed the extraordinary attention to detail in the creation of flowers, trees and the skies in many of the images.
Also, whilst the deck stays fairly close to the Colman Smith designs, there are some really amusing and imaginative deviations from the theme. For example the Hanged Man cat has a positively delighted look on his face and appears for all the world to be river-dancing!
I’d also be fascinated to know why the Knight of Wands background veers away from the pastel fairytale scenes depicted on all the other cards….here, instead of spired castles and misted mountains we see the three main pyramids at Giza beneath the horse’s flailing hooves.
The 10 of Swords is interesting as well – 9 swords piece a white tousled blanket which lays on the ground. The 10 th sword lays on top of the blanket…and the cat (who presumably had been face down under the blanket) scampers away with a defiant wave of one upraised paw.
The golden borders which surround each of the images on these cards feature what looks to be an infinite number of kittens chasing golden balls, and the backs, which are reversible, show kittens in chalices, snatching unseen things from the air – these could be taken from the Ace of Cups where a white cat emerges from the chalice to swipe at a fleeing white dove. The cat detail is astonishing, coming up in the most unexpected places. Pentacles all have the heads of cats on them, as do thrones, buildings, stained glass windows etc. I do suspect the King of Cups was distracted though, or he would surely have seen that fish blithely leaping toward his feet.
I was quite taken by the Death card, in which a hooded figure gazes out across a stormy sea, beneath a lightning rent sky, as a chest full of golden artefacts spills at his feet. The booklet definition reads “Everything ends sooner or later and is transformed into something else. It’s best therefore to be ready for all kinds of change”.
Strength is another striking card, with the cat inside the mouth of the lion, holding his jaws apart. Whilst the lion looks none too pleased about this behaviour, the white cat seems perfectly comfortable in his Atlas-like crouch. This card more than most others indicates a hint of whimsical amusement from the designer of the deck, Baraldi. Take a look at the expression in the eyes of that lion!!
This could be a beginner’s deck for cat-lovers. The symbolism is evocative enough to start the process of integrating and interpreting the various meanings of the cards.
The booklet that goes with the deck suffers, as do most Lo Scarabeo booklets, from lack of space to develop definitions and descriptions adequately. But the keyphrases offered are likely to be easily remembered and produce a slightly different slant in some cases. From a beginner’s perspective they are quite provocative phrases. In fact from my perspective one that particularly stands out is that for the Ace of Swords “A war is often won by someone who has lost all battles except for the last one.” Blend this with the more established interpretations of this card – the clarity and determination to make decisions and then stand by them, the willingness to take charge of one’s life….and a new dimension emerges.
I tried the unique spread given with the deck – called the Cat’s Eye and found it interesting and quite revealing. This is probably a spread that could be mastered quite quickly.
All in all a rather delightful offering here, and a useful addition to the feline tarot collection.
Review by Liza
A charming deck, based closely upon the imagery of the Waite deck, and hence, very useable as a reading deck. The cat images are captivating in their colors, detail and integrity of execution, giving this deck not only better than average aesthetics, but also a very friendly and accessible feeling. A good deck to use if you want to win over someone who thinks of the tarot as threatening or evil. I've only had mine a day, and it is already one of my favorites!
Review by Mrs. Lin
The Tarot of White Cats is a beautifully illustrated deck full of vibrant color and charm . . . and of course, many whimsical cats which are adorable. Yes, this is a cute deck, and so anyone who doesn't like cats or "cute" will not likely be drawn to this deck. But for those of us who do like cats and "cute," this deck - which also follows the traditional Tarot as a Waite-Smith clone - will love this deck!!
I think that even the more sensitive seeker can really enjoy this deck. Although there are the typical Death, Devil, and Tower cards, and all other difficult cards from the Minors, the theme of these cats takes away some of that "doom and gloom" kind of feeling. And for the positive, upbeat cards, the presentation of cats makes those happy cards all the more delightful. As you move beyond the idea of cuteness in these cards, you can also see and appreciate the powerful Tarot imagery that is presented. This may seem like a fluffy deck, and to some it may not be a lot more than that ... but you can read with this deck and get honest answers - not just fluff and all happy and bright messages unless that is what you are meant to see. You'll enjoy a fun and lighthearted reading experience with Tarot of White Cats (how could we not have fun with such a deck!?) ... but you will also get some serious, down-to-earth, valid answers through the cards as well.
I have a couple of clients who always request a happy, bright deck for their readings. I think sometimes what they are subconsciously asking for is to receive only a happy, bright message from the Tarot - and as we know, life does not always hand that to us. It's nice when we do get that, but even using a whimsical and lighthearted deck such as the Tarot of White Cats, we are not assured of hearing exactly what we want to hear. But this deck would be one of those "happy, bright" decks that some clients seek, and it will be one I will use for my more sensitive clientele. I think children could enjoy using this deck as well, because there is no nudity, and the typical images that render a frightening feeling are toned down significantly in this deck.
Each card has a white outer border and an inner gold-toned border with a cat design. At the top of the card in the white border, the number and name of the card is noted in four languages. Two additional languages are listed at the bottom border of the card. The backs of the cards feature a mirror image of a cat in a cup (like the Ace of Chalices card), and the mirroring effect makes the cards fully reversible.
The cat Pages stand upright holding their suit symbol. The cat Knights are all on horses while holding the element of their suit in their hands ... or rather, their paws :) The cat Queens and Kings are all seated on their royal thrones while displaying their suit elements as well.
Not all of the cats featured in Tarot of White Cats is actually white or completely white, but some of them are. In the LWB (little white book), the author explains about the color of white: "The color white.....is the symbol for mental clarity, spiritual purity, the passing from death to life, and psychic rebirth. All of these suggestions, as well as others, are gathered together in the Tarot of White Cats, a deck with an appearance that is "lighthearted" and yet mesmerizing like the eyes of a cat, captivating like its movements, and mysterious like its thoughts." While black cats can symbolize the connection with the underworld, white cats often represent the fight against darkness to attain peace and purity.
Justice is number 8 and Strength is 11 in this deck. I see that more and more often in decks today - and although it does not really make a big difference to me, I generally prefer to see Strength as 8 and Justice as 11 in decks. However, that is not something that makes or breaks a deck for me by any means. The suits follow the elemental orientation of Cups/Water, Wands/Fire, Swords/Air, and Pentacles/Earth ... and that is what counts a lot for me in terms of "making" or "breaking" a deck for me. I should mention though that the numbering of Justice as 8 and Strength as 11 is considered the historical numbering. I just got used to working with them the other way around when I began my Tarot journey years ago. I think that numbering is something we can easily adapt to, in whatever ways we find it in a particular deck.
There is a dog in this deck. You'll find him in the Fool card with a kitten who is pouncing at the dog's legs.
The 64-page LWB that accompanies the cards is written in five languages - English, Italian, Spanish, French, and Dutch. The English section is 14 pages in length. And thus, you get the typical brief meanings that usually come in the small booklet which accompanies a deck of cards. There is not a larger companion book to go with this Tarot deck, but as it does follow a Waite-Smith tradition, I find that one is not really needed for this particular deck. It's easy to use, and anyone who already knows the Tarot card meanings can pick this deck up and immediately read with it.