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Tarot of the Sweet Twilight


ISBN: 978-0738718545 Publisher & Year: Lo Scarabeo Tarots ed. edition, July 2009) Author: Cristina Benintende Card Size: 4 ¾" x 2 ½ " Purchase at: Amazon.com, Llewellyn.com, LoScarabeo.com

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Tarot of the Sweet Twilight

By Jewel


The Tarot of the Sweet Twilight by Cristina Benintende was published by LoScarabeo in 2009.  This deck transports you into the mysterious in-between time of twilight; to a surreal world somewhere between life and death, dreams and wakefulness, reality and imagination.  It is populated by haunting characters in surreal landscapes.  If you are willing to step in, you will find yourself in a place where you will experience the bitter-sweetness that lies within melancholy … and more.  This is a deck that touches the heart, calls to the imagination, and sparks intuition.  In describing the deck what first comes to my mind is that it looks like a cross between the Fey Tarot (also by LoScarabeo) and a Tim Burton film.


The Tarot of the Sweet Twilight is based on personal symbolism to the artist, not esoteric symbolism.  The vibrant and rich coloring does not lend itself to elemental correspondences, but the stunning use of color establishes the mood and intensity of the cards.  The deck is very cohesive throughout, expertly establishing the Sweet Twilight theme like a bright star.  The symbolism is relatively universal in nature so though the symbols (butterflies, masks, birds, etc) are personal they are also accessible to the reader.


This deck is not only a gorgeous work of art, it is very original yet traditional all in one.  Like its name states, it lives in the Sweet Twilight.  The Major Arcana retain traditional titles, and the surrealistic art translates these images into this Twilight world while retaining traditional meanings.  Justice is placed at VIII and Strength at XI.  The Minor arcana are Chalices, Wands, Pentacles and Swords.  Like the Majors the Minor Arcana do not follow the Rider-Waite-Smith imagery but do convey similar meaning through original art.  The court cards are Knave, Knight, Queen and King. They are very interesting.  Each court card is doing something that tells you something about their character, who they are and how they are.  I found this very helpful in understanding their personality and the difference between each rank and suit.


The deck is the standard LoScarabeo sized deck (approximately 4 ¾ x 2 ½ inches) and quality, and has the card title in 6 languages in the ¼ inch indigo border of each card. I have to say that after a few years it will show wear, but honestly with this deck it just adds to the feeling of this deck.  The backs of the cards are mirror images of surrealistic art and are reversible.


The deck comes with a 63-page Little White Book (LWB), and the information contained within is in 5 different languages, about 12 pages per language.  It does not include divinatory meanings, but descriptions that give you points to jump off from.  It is clear that this deck is meant to stir your imagination and intuition.  I find that a plus.  The LWB includes one six-card spread designed for the deck called Your Guiding Star.  The spread takes you within yourself, to your own sweet twilight zone.


In my opinion this deck is a dream for intuitive readers and empaths, and those using tarot for self-exploration and self-development.  Fans of Tim Bourton and Surreal art will probably also really like this deck. It is ripe with emotion, and the eyes of the characters in the cards are truly the windows to their souls.  There are strong psychological and emotional elements to the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight, but I would not pigeon whole the deck for that exclusive use as I have found it to be good in all types of readings.


Is the deck appropriate for those new to Tarot?  Yes and no.  If the interest is to read intuitively then yes, however I think it is more suited for intermediate to advanced readers already familiar with traditional images, as it will add a whole new level of dimension to those meanings.  If you cannot tell by now, this is one of my favorite decks of all time and I would recommend it to everyone.  My hat is off to artist Cristina Benintende, she walked so many lines and levels creating this deck, any one of which could have just made it a cool surreal art deck, but instead she created a work with incredible depth and meaning as well as gorgeous art.  The only complaint I have is that there is no full-size companion book to take me deeper into that world.

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