Thoughts on “Dali Tarot”

I recently read a beautifully illustrated art book on the Tarot, which inspired me to order the Dali Tarot set. This is a gorgeous reproduction of the Tarot Universal Dali deck that Salvador Dali created. In addition to the cards, which are large and of high quality, the set also comes with an oversized book that describes the symbolism associated with each card. All of this is packaged in a rich purple velvet case. I have to say, it was well worth the money.

In the Preface to the book, Annette Kroger provides a nice introduction.

In the mid-1970s, Salvador Dali created the Tarot Universal Dali, which was originally published as a limited-edition signed artwork. Based on the age-old tradition of tarot, Dali created a new artistic version by drawing on nearly 78 masterpieces of Western civilization from antiquity to modernity, including some of his own.

Thus, at the age of 70, he became one of the many great names in art history to surrender to the magic of playing cards.

(p. 7)

For me, Dali’s artwork seems to tap directly into the deep recesses of the unconscious mind. And what is so useful about the accompanying book is that it draws your attention to the subtle symbolism that Dali incorporates into the artwork on each card. I will site an excerpt from the description of the Wheel of Fortune card.

The disk in the middle is divided into two parts, indicating human consciousness and the unconscious mind. Both parts of the image complement each other, but differences are also apparent. The lower section is filled with symbols and signs, while the upper areas are empty. This might suggest that the messages of the unconscious are conveyed through symbols alone.

(p. 43)

If you are fascinated by Salvador Dali’s artwork, then this is a worthwhile purchase, even if you are not a reader of tarot cards. The artwork itself makes it well worth the $60 investment. I do have one criticism, though. The Preface and Introduction in the book, while highly interesting and worth reading, are gold text on a deep purple background. This makes reading very difficult, even if you are not vision impaired. Thankfully, the majority of the book is black text on white background, but you would think that the publisher of an art book would take into consideration the design aspects of color contrast between text and background. But this is just a minor flaw in an otherwise great set.

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Non-fiction, Spiritual

9 responses to “Thoughts on “Dali Tarot”

  1. That wheel of fortune is pretty cool. Never understood the whole Tarot card deal but the artwork on this stuff is stellar.

    • Well, I have to applaud you for reading and commenting on something that is not really up your alley. Dali was a unique artist. I went to the Dali Museum in St Petersburg and they had a cool hologram of Alice Cooper that Dali did. You can google it and check it out if interested. It is pretty awesome, even in just pictures.

      • I will definitely check out that Coop hologram. Speaking of Coop I just ordered his latest album Detroit Stories. Have you heard it? It’s a throwback garage rock record Jeff. I streamed it and said I need to own this one. lol Check it out

      • Oh yeah. Ordered it on vinyl last year. Rockin! Has some great cameos and a couple songs w the original band members. Only thing is I put it on and it sounded weird. Took me a bit to realize it needed to be played at 45 and not 33! Kind of strange.

      • Hey thanks for the tip lol

  2. Hi Jeff, I was just talking about Savador Dali with a patron at the library. I wish I could have talked about this book and deck of cards!

    • Ahh. Well, now you have something for next time. Dali was such a fascinating artist. So much to talk about. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. That tarot looks wonderful, and I hear you on the design errors part; nothing more frustrating than not being able to read the text and you think they would know better!
    The artwork on the cards looks stunning. As someone who reads the material, or at least for a lack of a better world, continuously explores it, I would be worried that the symbolism is far too unique and would require extra brain power to decipher. Looks beautiful, but I would be worried about functionality, due to the nature of Dali’s gorgeous work, I am worried these cards would be more something look at, instead of understand – while the more simpler and classical deck are more intuitive with symbolism, which can correlate very easily and are often rudimentary psychology.

    • Well, yes, the cards do not employ the iconography that is standard in modern tarot, but I approach this deck more like an oracle deck that adheres to the numerical correspondences of traditional tarot. It just allows one to explore psychological dimensions from a different perspective. Using art and symbols to broaden perspective is rarely a bad thing. Anyway, thanks for your thoughtful comments. Hope you have a blessed day 😀