Tarot of Dreams (Mass Market Edition) - Ciro Marchetti and Lee Bursten
“The driving force behind the Tarot of Dreams was not the desire to illustrate a specific set of esoteric ideas or to draw parallels to specific cultures or mythologies. Instead, Ciro wanted to express what each card means to him in an intensely personal and electrically intense way, which would allow the reader to experience a more immediate, visceral response than is generally possible with tarot decks. Put another way, the desire was to create a set of tarot images which would have the same impact as a suddenly-remembered dream.” – From the companion booklet to the Tarot of Dreams (written by Lee Bursten)

After the Gilded Tarot and before the Legacy of the Divine, there was a second deck birthed from the fertile imagination of Ciro Marchetti: the Tarot of Dreams. Self-published in large, deluxe format and accompanied by digital goodies in 2005, the Tarot of Dreams was widely acclaimed both then and now.

However, the original package was cost-prohibitive for many.

But good news dawns, Tarot enthusiasts! Ciro Marchetti has self-published a smaller, mass-market edition of the Tarot of Dreams, with slight modifications. Gone are the Kabbalistic Tree of Life path numbers in the border (as modified by Lee Bursten), and the central icon of the backings has been changed, too.

The astrological symbols in the borders remain, as do the corresponding Hebrew letters among the Majors and the elemental symbols among the Courts.

An innovative addition to the mass-market version of the Tarot of Dreams is four extra Palace Cards: Palace of Cups, Palace of Coins, Palace of Wands and Palace of Swords. These gorgeous, otherworldly places—published after the original Tarot of Dreams—were noted as the “Tarot of Dreams real estate” by artist Ciro Marchetti.

The original digital-only “companion book” has been truncated into a companion booklet, but still contains Bursten’s insightful commentary into the Tarot of Dreams. The sturdy box has to be one of the best on the market: a flip top lid that opens sideways and is secured magnetically.

For the life of me, I simply could NOT connect with the original Tarot of Dreams four years ago, writing a less-than-glowing review of the deck.

I’m not sure what happened since 2005, but all I can say is that I’ve been using the Tarot of Dreams almost exclusively for personal readings and about 90% of the time for client readings. Perhaps the Tarot of Dreams seduced me at Ciro’s Gateway to the Divine site, where I found myself selecting this deck for several web readings.

Whatever the case, these lustrous, often enigmatic pictures are speaking clearly and accurately, imparting wisdom that, at times, blows my mind.

The cards measure approximately 4 ½ x 3 inches and the finish is somewhere between the glossy Gilded and the matte self-published Legacy of the Divine—satin, perhaps? I was a bit concerned when I saw the card stock; it was quite flexible, and the corners of a few seemed to begun to bubble or peel.

After using the Tarot of Dreams for a few months now, I’m relieved to report that the cards are holding up well. The minor instances of peeling don’t seem to be getting worse except for my Palace of Cups card. Ciro expressed his displeasure with the card stock, too, but for $30, I feel that the cards, box and companion book are worth the price. You may want to take extra care with them, though, should a few of the cards show some rippling on the edges.

If you love Ciro’s Gilded Tarot and the Legacy of the Divine, I think you’ll be very pleased with the Tarot of Dreams. The coloration is richer than the Gilded, although the anatomical renderings aren’t as good as the Legacy of the Divine. Still, because the cards are smaller, the less-than-perfect portrayals haven’t distracted me as they did with the larger, deluxe version (and neither do the CM “signatures” that seemed so prominent in the original).

An original deck that gushes with gorgeous hues, the mass-market version of the Tarot of Dreams stands proudly in between its brethren—at a price affordable to most anyone.

Below are 18 images from the Tarot of Dreams (Mass Market Edition):

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