2012 Tarot of Ascension - Michelle Penco and Pierluca Zizzi
“The beginning of the new millennium will see the symbolic date of 2012 as the inexorable death of the ‘old world’ and the dawning of this new era. The Tarot of the Ascension allows us to relate to the leap of knowledge and to understand how our spiritual evolution should proceed…The Querient [sic] who uses this Tarot must be prepared to ask important existential questions about his or her method of seeking a mystical path…” – From the Little White Book to the 2012 Tarot of Ascension











Aesthetically speaking, one of my absolute favorite Tarot decks flowed from the paintbrush of artist Michele Penco: the Dark Grimoire Tarot. When I saw her name attached to another Lo Scarabeo deck (2012 Tarot of Ascension), immediately I put it on my Amazon Wish List (even though I’d have to wait months for it to be published!).

When the 2012 Tarot of Ascension finally releases into the world, I couldn’t wait to open my deck and see how this talented artist rendered and interpreted the energy (and hoopla) surrounding the year 2012.

Card after card, I examined the art and the “feeling” I got from each.

Disappointment crept in. Why didn’t the 2012 Tarot evoke the same feelings of awe as the Dark Grimoire Tarot? I looked to the box, and discovered that there was another name attached to the 2012 deck (that wasn’t listed when I put it on my Wish List): Pierluca Zizzi.

I don’t know the extent of the collaboration, or how the second artist may have affected Penco’s renderings. But I will say that the 2012 Tarot doesn’t have the symbolic depth and color contrast of the Dark Grimoire Tarot.

Like most Lo Scarabeo decks, the 2012 Tarot of Ascension measures 4 ¾ x 2 ½, with Minor suits Pentacles, Chalices, Swords and Wands and the Court cards Knave, Knight, Queen and King. The front border provides the card name in six languages, and the card backing features a non-reversible image (a bright star fixed above a tree-dotted plain).

And, as is almost always the case with Lo Scarabeo Tarot decks, the interpretations offered in the Little White Book to the 2012 Tarot of Ascension bear little or no resemblance to actual card imagery.

A distracting, unnecessary aspect of the card imagery lies with the placement of large suit symbols among the central illustration. For example, the 6 of Pentacles shows six large coins with faces surrounding the central figure. In the 8 of Swords, a lone figure traversing a cobbled road faces two animalistic creatures. However, eight swords placed all around the scene distracts from projection and evaluation and, thus, any helpful interpretation.

Most scenes from the 2012 Tarot of Ascension lack intriguing composition and unusual elements, let alone references to 2012 (including absence of any Mayan symbolism or ethnicity—that I could detect, anyway).

Most of the Majors are very well done—the best cards in the deck, in my estimation. In fact, I love the Death card, which shows a huge grim reaper on a stage, pulling aside a curtain to reveal spiraling galaxies and celestial wonders while tiny humans fret over mundane matters. But the Aces are outright bizarre and most of the Minors are just too non-descript (for example, the 7 of Swords merely shows a close up of a woman’s face—not much expression on her visage—surrounded by seven swords)—although, admittedly, some of them do follow Rider-Waite iconography.

In the 2012 Tarot of Ascension, we don’t see Mayan imagery (the people who created the calendar that “stops” at 2012), nor do we see any New Age imagery that points to practices or abstractions of ascension “energy” (celestial beings, crystals, energy, etc.).

I have to wonder if Lo Scarabeo is attempting to take advantage of “hot” cultural and spiritual topics by naming decks “Sweet Twilight” (movie) and “2012” (impending year of spiritual import to some), even though the actual imagery has nothing to do with the references.

If you love what you see in the 2012 Tarot of Ascension online imagery, then maybe this deck will be a good fit for you. For me, I was quite disappointed at plunking down my money on a deck that lacked the quality of Penco’s Dark Grimoire Tarot, as well as any spiritual depth for those “existential” questions the LWB claims to offer seekers.

Below are 18 images from the 2012 Tarot of Ascension:




















































































































































Related Reviews
HazelMoon's Hawaiian Tarot - Katalin E. Csikos
Faulkner Tarot - Rhiannon Faulkner
Faulkner Tarot Companion Book - Rhiannon Faulkner
Shaman Tarot – Sabrina Riganello and Alessia Pastorello
Tarot of Vampyres - Ian Daniels
Silver Era Tarot - Aunia Kahn
Shadowscapes Tarot - Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
ShadowFox Tarot - Richard and Jennifer ShadowFox
Twilight Realm A Tarot of Faery - Beth Wilder
Otherworld Tarot - Alison Williams and Sarah Nowell
Morgan's Tarot - Morgan Robbins and Darshan Chorpash
Shining Angels Tarot – Giuditta Dembech and Federico Penco
Heart Tarot - Maria Distefano
Imperial Dragon Oracle (Majors Only) - Andy Baggott and Peter Pracownik
Hallmark Tarot - Darla Hallmark
Hezicos Tarot - Mary Griffin
The Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night - Davide Corsi
Tarot of the Animal Lords - Angelo Giannini
Tarot of the Sweet Twilight - Cristina Benintende
Tarot of Dreams (Mass Market, Self Published Edition) - Ciro Marchetti
The Fairy Tale Tarot - Lisa Hunt
Legacy of the Divine Tarot - Ciro Marchetti (Llewellyn Publishing)
Tarot of the Magical Forest - Hsu Chi Chun and Leo Tang
Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess Deck (Majors Only) - Pamela Wells
Quantum Tarot - Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler
Golden Botticelli Tarot - A.A. Atanassov
Contemplative Tarot - Adriano Buldrini
Mayan Tarot
Rumi Tarot - Nigel Jackson
Legacy of the Divine Tarot (Self Published Edition) - Ciro Marchetti
Mythical Goddess Tarot - Sage Holloway and Katherine Skaggs
Paulina Tarot - Paulina Cassidy
Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set (Smith Waite Centennial Tarot)
Pirate Tarot - Lucas and Carrie Amodio; Liz "Galindorf" Harper
Langustl Tarot - Stephan Lange
The Transparent Tarot - Emily Carding
Tell-Me Tarot - Arik Eyal and Nir Cassuto
Trump L’oeil: Tarot of Portmeirion - Craig Conley
Undersea Tarot - Frank Fradella
Faerie Tarot - Nathalie Hertz
The Truth-Seeker's Tarot - David Fontana
Dark Grimoire Tarot - Michele Panco
Major Tom's Tarot of Marseilles
Touchstone Tarot Limited Edition - Kat Black
Deviant Moon Tarot - Patrick Valenza
The Alchemical Tarot Renewed - Robert M. Place
Pearls of Wisdom Tarot (First Edition) - Roxi Sim and Caeli Fullbrite
Tarot of the Angels - Arturo Picca and Giordano Berti
Circle of Life Tarot - Maria Distefano
Pictorial Key Tarot - Davide Corsi
Tarot of the Pirates - Bepi Vigna, Michele Benevento, & Arturro Picca
Lo Scarabeo Tarot - Mark McElroy and Anna Lazzarini
Fantastical Creatures Tarot - Lisa Hunt and D.J. Conway
Sorcerers Tarot - Antonella Castelli
Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot - Graham Cameron
Jean Noblet Tarot - Jean-Claude Flornoy
Vanessa Tarot - Lynyrd Narciso
Mystic Faerie Tarot - Linda Ravenscroft and Barbara Moore
UFO Tarot - Arturo Picca
Arthurian Tarot (2007 Version) - Caitlín and John Matthews
Sharman-Caselli Tarot - Juliet Sharman-Burke and Giovanni Caselli
Ancient Tarot of Lombardy - Ferdinando Gumppenberg (1810)
Ramses: Tarot of Eternity - Giordano Berti and Severino Baraldi
Tarot of the III Millenium - Iassen Ghiuselev
Egyptian Tarots Mini (Lo Scarabeo)
Spirit of Flowers Tarot -  Laura Tuan and Antonella Castelli
Lover's Path Tarot - Kris Waldherr
Hudes Tarot - Susan Hudes
Hermetic Tarot - Godfrey Dowson
Forest Folklore Tarot - Kessia Beverley-Smith
Napo Tarot - Betty Lopez and Napo
Easy Tarot Kit (Gilded Tarot) - Josephine Ellershaw
Crystal Tarot - Elisabetta Trevisan
Universal Fantasy Tarot - Paolo Martinello
Fantastical Tarot - Nathalie Hertz
Fenestra Tarot - Chatriya Hemharnvibul
Tarot of the Saints - Robert M. Place
Halloween Tarot - Kipling West
The Instant Tarot Reader (Zerner/Farber Deck) - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Tarot Discovery Kit (Zerner/Farber Deck) - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Medieval Enchantment - The NIgel Jackson Tarot
Victorian Romantic Tarot – Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
Tarot of Oz - David Sexton
Maria Shaw's Tarot Kit for Teens - Maria Shaw
Tarot of the Dead - Monica Knighton
Tarot of Prague - Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
Tarot of the Spirit World – Robert De Angelis
My Tarot: Colour Your Own Deck - Juliet Sharman-Burke
Llewellyn Tarot - Anna-Marie Ferguson
World Spirit Tarot - Lauren O'Leary and Jessica Godino
Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot - Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
Animals Divine Tarot - Lisa Hunt
WorldTree Tarot - Ann Cass
Tarot of Reflections – Francesco Ciampi and Pietro Alligo
Tarot of Metamorphosis – M. Filadoro and L. Di Giammarino
Fairytale Tarot - Karen Mahony, Alex Ukolov, and Irena Triskova
Transformational Tarot - Arnell Ando
Da Vinci Tarot - Mark McElroy, Iassen Ghuiselev, and Atanas Atanassov
Rohrig Tarot - Carl-W. Rohrig
True Love Tarot - Amy Zerner and Monte Farber
Babylonian Tarot - Sandra Tabatha Cicero
Pagan Tarot - Gina Pace
Golden Tarot of Klimt - A.A. Atanassov
Bright Idea Deck - Mark McElroy
Archeon Tarot - Timothy Lantz
Housewives Tarot - Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum
Epicurean Tarot Recipe Cards - Corrine Kenner
Tarot of Dreams - Ciro Marchetti and Lee Bursten
Revelations Tarot - Zach Wong
Tarot of the Four Elements - Isha Lerner and Amy Ericksen
DruidCraft Tarot - Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm; Will Worthington
Gilded Tarot - Ciro Marchetti
Oracle Tarot - Lucy Cavendish
Golden Tarot - Kat Black
Tarot de Paris - J. Philip Thomas
Quest Tarot - Joseph Ernest Martin
Beyond the Celtic Cross - Paul Hughes-Barlow and Catherine Chapman
Tarot Affirmations - James Ricklef
Lo Scarabeo Tarot Gallery Book
Tarot for Writers - Corrine Kenner
The Back in Time Tarot Book - Janet Boyer
The Only Tarot Book You’ll Ever Need - Skye Alexander
In the Cards: Fame - Mariah Fredericks
Beginner's Guide to Tarot - Juliet Sharman-Burke and Giovanni Caselli
Wild Mercy: Tarot Inspired Musings - Elizabeth Cunningham
In the Cards: Love - Mariah Fredericks
Easy Tarot Kit - Josephine Ellershaw
Learning Tarot Spreads - Joan Bunning
The Everything Tarot Book (2nd Edition) - Skye Alexander
Tarot Discovery Kit - Amy Zerner and Monte Farber
The Instant Tarot Reader - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Llewellyn's 2007 Tarot Reader
21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card - Mary K. Greer
Absolute Beginner's Guide to Tarot - Mark McElroy
Maria Shaw's Tarot Kit for Teens - Maria Shaw
Tarot Tells the Tale - James Ricklef
Tarot Journaling - Corrine Kenner
Everyday Tarot: A Choice Centered Approach - Gail Fairfield
The Encyclopedia of Tarot Volume IV - Stuart Kaplan and Jean Huets
The 2-Hour Tarot Tutor - Wilma Carroll
Seeker: The Tarot Unveiled - Rachel Pollack
Llewellyn's 2006 Tarot Reader
Tarot Workbook - Juliet Sharman-Burke
Tarot for Life - Prospero
Tarot Tips - Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone
What's in the Cards For You? - Mark McElroy
Power Tarot: More Than 100 Spreads - Trish Magregor and Phyllis Vega
What Tarot Can Do For You: Your Future in the Cards - Barbara Moore

Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This review was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.