Tarot cats of Marseille
Beautiful reinterpretation of the Tarot of Marseille but with the cat theme.
The Tarot of the Cat of Marseille lightly blends the historical tradition of French tarot and anthropomorphic cats, with various furry felines in place of human characters on the cards. The deck is illustrated with strong primary colors, but more refined artwork than traditional woodblock prints. Minor arcana also have small feline scenes among the seeds.
I admit I opened this deck with a sense of trepidation. On the one hand, the Tarot de Marseille is an icon, much revered and which occupies a sacred space among many tarot collections. It represents, after all, both the seed and the roots of modern Tarot decks. On the other hand, a feline theme seemed incongruous with Marseille’s deep, almost serious nature. Anyone who has a cat will know what I’m talking about *.
I’m happy to say that the Marseille Cat Tarot is an effortless fusion of the old structure with a lighthearted and joyful theme. A key advantage of this deck is the fact that it has retained both the color scheme and the Major and Minor Arcana aesthetic of the original deck. It thus presents, as far as possible, the classic Marseille model, with small variations and additions of cats throughout. These additions do not dominate the cards, nor do they distract from their intrinsic Marseille quality, rather they enhance them.
The cards of the Minor Arcana have colored backgrounds according to each suit: salmon pink for the cups, light blue for the swords, light cream for the pentacles and turquoise for the wands. This makes it easier to distinguish between suits, and furthermore the swords are symbolically clearly differentiated from the chopsticks, which is of great help considering how similar (and confusing) these two suits are presented in the early Marseille decks. Subtle additions, such as introducing images associated with material issues at the center of each pentacle, help in understanding – for example, the 6 of Pentacles has a symbol of balance, while the 9 of Pentacles has a hooded hawk, in the center of each. pentacle of the paper.
The geometric arrangement of the elements in each dress is faithful to the classic Marseille shape, including leaf and floral decorations, with some minor variations.
The deck sometimes takes the concepts presented in the Rider Waite Smith deck, and in part, but strategically, places them within the Minor Arcana via cat interactions. This makes the deck much less intimidating and much easier to read than the original. The downside to this approach – and it’s crucial – is that it restricts the meaning of a particular card to the same meaning as that card exposed in the Rider Waite Smith deck. This is evident, for example, in cards like the 6 of Spade, where we see three cats in a boat in the center of the card.