Ceccoli “Tarot” – A Critical Review

I find myself compelled to write a critical review of a lovely deck. The Nicoletta Ceccoli deck has a slightly dark, dreamy quality in soft colors with an easy, broad appeal. It is part of a further emerging genre of “Tarot” cards that have sort of a big eyed dolly theme. If a doll could take “selfies,” this would be the Ceccoli Tarot. So my question is, what are we trying to accomplish here?

image from: http://innerwhisperscouk.blogspot.com/2014/09/nicoletta-ceccoli-tarot-overview.html

image from: http://innerwhisperscouk.blogspot.com/2014/09/nicoletta-ceccoli-tarot-overview.html

It seems to me if one wants to actually read with cards, one would not choose this deck. If one wants to stare at cards, one might choose this deck. So to me, with the widespread appeal of the Ceccoli, it seems to me the art of divination and the potential for self knowledge through cards gets further driven underground. And the seeming widespread appeal of Tarot remains superficially for the masses, and the more serious practitioners remain in the minority, as it always has been. Occult used to be niche, and I feel it quite possibly still is, no matter how many decks of various sorts get sold.

Collect the Ceccoli for arts sake if you like this kind of style, but choose a deck with a solid system behind it for personal transformation. 


  • I bought this deck for Christmas and had a marvellous time using it. I find with decks that I am the one who brings depth to it. If someone’s book doesn’t have depth I usually avoid buying the deck. It’s the artwork for me and I found this art intriguing. I’m a visual person so it worked for me.

    I find that often a book is repetitive with little depth of meaning and just ruins it–many card sets today are like that, complete bumph, trumped up with useless fripperies and New Age bafflegab.

    I get you about the “big-eyed dolly” thing; it’s not something I go for but I was pleased with this deck, simply because it’s visual difference allowed me to think differently, do the leaps, give it more meaning. Experience and imagination make lighter decks like this work. I bring the system, I always do.

    I notice the superficiality you speak of, but not everyone who buys a light deck is superficial or not a serious practitioner, that’s a superficial assumption. What works for people is subjective.

    • ana says:

      Thanks Judith. Great comment. Thanks for adding to the discussion. I am adding the words “fripperies,” and “bafflegab,” to my vocabulary. Very apt descriptions 🙂 It’s true. Books on “systems” can be as superficial as anything else. You gave me a new way to think about this. Thank you :=)

  • Melissa says:

    Seriously wish you did not share these pictures! I have already set my wish list of 100 decks, I even set a monthly budget to suite. I have already exceeded my budget by about 25% and that was in the first week of January lol…. And now this. I must have this deck and Soon…. It looks stunning

    Love your site!.

  • Salzie says:

    Everyone is so critical of these cards. I’ve never found a deck that fits but these, these are perfect. I’ve always been one to interpret messages from art. These are my cards. That’s for sure. ❤

  • Jan says:

    I did not expect to like such a whimsical deck, but the images captured me and I purchased the deck. I am enjoying using this deck very much. It’s a very clever deck with several layers of meaning in addition to “standard” tarot card meanings. I find that I am able to get a lot of information from each card. The softness and “child-like” nature of the deck soothes me as I read, and I can take away much more from each reading because of this particular feature. I can’t speak for other “wide-eyed” decks, but this one suits me very nicely.

  • Anita says:

    Hierophant vs the Fool isn’t it?
    My first deck was the Knapp Hall tarot, the second the Rider waite. I learned the Marseille deck and the Thoth. That was 25 years ago. I looked down at silly decks. Now I love them. The ,ahum, proper decks are safe and familiar, come with status and respect. But I was looking for new challenges, moving out of my comfort zone. Especially when reading for yourself, reading can become automatic, standard basic bla bla. Weird, silly decks can shake things up and this deck does just that. It is one of my favorites now.

  • Carol Stefan says:

    I think that the rage against this deck and the love are both completely justified haha. Some of my favorite tarotists dislike the un-readability of this deck. I have a love/dislike relationship with it myself, sometimes i want to scream at the cards -I love you, why cant you reciprocate and open to me!!
    I chose this deck because the artist made the covers of two romantic books that really touched me when i found my first love and lost him. One of the cards, the 5 of cups (funny coincidence) is the cover of “Métamorphose en bord de ciel” (Methamorphosys in the sky, by author Mathias Malzieu), a story of two lovers that have to part ways at the end for ever, as what happened to me and my ex. That card contains so much wisdom to me, and was one of the reason this deck called to me, to help me find closure at last.
    Other cards, as the 2 of wands are almost unreadable unless i asociate them with myths or popular stories. For example, i asociate that card and the suit of wands with the alchemical story “the golden pot”, from Hoffman. And so on.

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