Sunday, March 4th, 2012

18. Oisin β€” Tarocchi dei Celti

Antonio LupatelliArtist: Giordano Berti


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


OisΓ­n 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 OisΓ­n, the druid turned her back into a deer and she returned to the wild. Seven years or many years after OisΓ­n was born, father and son were reunited. OisΓ­n’s mother apparently spent the rest of her life as a deer.


In OisΓ­n’s most famous adventure, he is visited by a fairy woman who announces she loves him and takes him away to β€œthe land of the young.” The have two children in what seems to be three years, then OisΓ­n 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. OisΓ­n 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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