L’Oracolo della Sibilla
Posted by Cardseer on September 16, 2007
Cartomancy Deck Review
L’Oracolo della Sibilla
L’Oracolo della Sibilla (The Oracle of the Sibyl) is a gorgeous Sibilla oracle deck designed by Giorgio Tavaglione. Tavaglione is an Italian illustrator and esoterist best known for his Stairs of Gold Tarot. Despite its classical imagery, The Oracle of the Sibyl is a modern deck. It was originally published jointly in the late 1970s in Italy and Germany. The deck is currently published by Dal Negro, Treviso, Italy.
The Oracle of the Sibyl consists of 52 cards plus 1 cover card (Joker), and is based on the standard pack of playing cards. The deck is divided into the traditional 4 suits of Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs & Spades. The cards are illustrated in warm colors of gold, yellow and red, with accents of green and blue. At the center of each card is a scenic vignette framed by an ornate cartouche displaying the names of the 8 Sibyls of the ancient world. The neoclassical illustrations portray scenes from everyday life in ancient Rome, and characterize the sense and meaning of each card. At the top of each vignette is a circular talisman that depicts the astrological, elemental and planetary correspondences for the card. A descriptive title in Italian, and corresponding suit and number also appear on each card.
Although The Oracle of the Sibyl comprises the traditional Sibilla images and symbols, the suit and number correspondences do not always match the earlier decks such as La Vera Sibilla or Sibilla ‘800. For example, in the traditional Sibilla the 10 of Clubs carries an image of a butterfly that symbolizes flightiness or recklessness. In L’Oracolo della Sibilla the 10 of Clubs is titled “Successo,” and depicts a man in toga with a laurel wreath held over his head by a tiny fairy or pixie. This card represents success and achievement, which more closely corresponds to the traditional playing card meanings for the 10 of Clubs, and closely resembles the imagery of the French sibyls such as La Sibylle des Salons (The Parlour Sibyl). Also many of the cards that do depict the traditional Sibilla symbols have non-traditional suit & number assignments. For example, Viaggio is traditionally the 3 of Clubs in Sibilla. In the Oracle of the Sibyl, Viaggio is assigned to the 10 of Diamonds.
Here are images of the cards in the examples above, plus a few others:
L’Oracolo della Sibilla comes with an instruction booklet in Italian. In the 1980′s this deck was distributed in the United States by U.S. Game Systems with instructions in English. I don’t know if the English instructions are still available with new decks, but used decks appear regularly on eBay. The instruction booklet includes a brief description of the esoteric symbolism for each card, and its upright and reversed meanings for divination. Several card layouts are also described.
Despite the few non-traditional symbols and correspondences, L’Oracolo della Sibilla is one of my favorite Sibilla. I love the ornate beauty and mythical feel of this deck. If you feel at all drawn to neoclassical illustrations or life in ancient Rome, you’ll love this deck too.
All images © US Games Systems, Inc 1980, displayed here for commentary, analysis and appreciation only.
11 Responses to “L’Oracolo della Sibilla”
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.