The Sibyl of the Heart deck
September 15, 2015

My friend Giordano Berti recently published a new deck. He is of course the man who brought to us all of those nice Sola Busca decks many of us were able to grab a copy of. The Sola Busca decks we got were the only true representation of the SB deck, a rare treat being able to hold the cards that directly influenced the making of the Waite-Smith deck – and the decision to illustrate the pip cards.

This new deck is not a tarot deck. It is something different, something special, and I am hoping you will take a look at it. Will you like it? I dunno; it interests me, but this is more of an art deck for me. You know how attached I am to decks that bring me exact answers. Still, this is a fascinating creation and I would deeply appreciate it if you checked it out and posted your thoughts.

Pictures are below, but what interests me the most is the story behind this deck. From the website:

In 1617 Lucas Jennis, the german editor of several Rosicrucian books, decided to publish a treaty entitled Societas Jesus et Rosae CrucisVera (The true Society of Jesus and the Rosy Cross), written by the theologian Daniel CramerJennis asked the Swiss engraver Rudolph Mayr to create an emblem for each of the 40 chapters of the book. The common theme of the work is “the heart”, regarded as the seat of human emotions, but also a symbol of moods that involve all people in the course of their existence in the material world. In Cramer’s emblems, the heart undergoes various processes and experiences through 40 stages. Thus, we can see in these images an example of meditative Rosicrucian exercise working upon the spiritual centre of each man or woman.

Please take a look at the rest of the story here:

In the meantime, here are a few images to give you an idea of what this deck looks like:

AAA Box Book & Deck ENG LQ

Libretto ENG LQ

(I am seriously liking the hearts).



P.S. Giordano’s site is in Italian but Google automatically translates it for me,
so I hope it appears in your preferred language as well. If not, here is the basic information on this deck:

A LIMITED EDITION of 800 numbered copies.
This title comes from the fact that all the cards (taken from a Rosicrucian treatise printed in Germany in 1617) show an heart engaged in various “enterprises”.
In some plates we can see the heart placed in a furnace; in others it is weighed in a scale. Some stages show various kind of plants growing from the heart, while in others the heart is set free from various types of bondage and limitations, etc..
In fact, the heart is the seat of human emotions, but also a symbol of moods that involve all people in the course of their existence in the material world.
This images, first printed in Germany in 1617 by Rudolph Mayr and colored in 2015 by bulgarian artist Stiliyan Stefanov,
are an example of meditative Rosicrucian mystical exercises, working upon the spiritual centre of each man or woman.
The Sibyl of the Heart is composed of 40 FULL COLOR CARDS (dimensions 120 × 80 mm), with keywords in six languages
+ 1 WARRANTY CARD numbered and handsigned by me.
The cards are inside a BOOK-SHAPED BOX with velvet interior (155 x 120 mm).
The box also contains a 64-page HANDBOOK IN ENGLISH written by Odete Lopes, with an historical introduction by Giordano Berti.
The deck is now at € 55 + handling&shipping.
The price will increase from December 2015
For other info, please go to the page

So, what do you think?

  1. I like it! It is PACKED with symbolism and that’s what turns my intuitive juices on. 🙂 I have a confession to make, though. If I had it, I would turn it into a Taroracle and (oh, the horror, the heresy!!!) I would trim it into a round deck. Large borders distract me way too much and I wouldn’t miss the titles.

    • Ana, I can see why you’d turn it into a round deck because the words are distracting, and a Taroracle would be fabulous! I’m wondering if the numbers would be missed. I’m imagining the hearts to be puffy stones, like red jasper or aventurine! Heartstones!
      It’s a very lovely deck for sure.

  2. Fascinating and beautifully executed. I love the Sola Busca deck also; this artist is very gifted. I’m buying a copy.

  3. Very fascinating with beautiful art. Thank you for sharing this here.

  4. This is beautifully designed. i feel like the more you know about alchemy and art from the 14-1600s, the more the deck will resonate. I just had a book published by Taschen out from the library called Alchemy and Mysticism jam-packed with hundreds of period works and modern work that sprang from them and it was a help in wiggling the key in the door of my understanding of some of the symbolism. Thanks for sharing, lovely deck. Velvet box, A+ touch for a heart-themed deck.

  5. yes, fascinating indeed. Agree w/ others of the distractions on the outside of the round.

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