Sunday, March 4th, 2012

18. Oisin — Tarocchi dei Celti

Antonio LupatelliArtist: Giordano Berti


This is a 22-card art deck produced by Lo Scarebo in 1991 as part of their “Tarocchi d’Arte” series. It was later made into a 78-card deck called “Tarot of the Druids.”


Oisín was regarded in legend as the greatest poet of Ireland. His name means “young deer” or fawn, because his mother was a woman turned into a deer by a druid. When a hunter (his father) caught her but did not kill her, she regained her human form. As soon as the woman was pregnant with Oisín, the druid turned her back into a deer and she returned to the wild. Seven years or many years after Oisín was born, father and son were reunited. Oisín’s mother apparently spent the rest of her life as a deer.


In Oisín’s most famous adventure, he is visited by a fairy woman who announces she loves him and takes him away to “the land of the young.” The have two children in what seems to be three years, then Oisín decides to return to Ireland. In truth, 300 years have passed. there. The fairy woman gives him a white horse and warns him not to dismount, because if his feet touch the ground the years will catch up with him and he will become old and withered. Oisín returns home and finds everything he remembers abandoned and in disrepair. Later, while trying to help some men lift a stone onto a wagon, his girth breaks and he falls to the ground, becoming an old man. The horse returns to fairy land.


I am not certain what this card has to do with the moon, other than I pulled it from the deck at 2:30 in the morning when I could not sleep due to an earache. Although this deck is useful for a random exploration into Celtic mythology and has cute pictures, it is not useful in my endeavor to learn more about reading tarot. I will no longer use it for the purposes of this blog.

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