Renaissance TarotThe Fool is dressed in an elaborate slashed costume of a sixteenth-century court jester. The plumes in his hair signify folly, and the staff he holds is surmounted with grapes and a tiny skull, symbols of Bacchic abandon and terror. The Fool's companion deity is, in fact, Dionysus (Bacchus), and he is accompanied by the leopard that Dionysus brought back from his wandering revels in India. A lily of the valley flowers at The Fool's feet, symbolizing blithe innocence and simplicity ("Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin" Matthew 6:28) and the advent of spring. The Fool signifies rebirth and new beginnings, as does the constellation Aries; the pagan god Dionysus who was dismembered and made whole again, as his grape vine is pruned to be renewed again in spring; and the Christian savior, whose resurrection is symbolized by the lily and whose feast, like those of Dionysus and Demeter of Eleusis, is celebrated with the grape and grain.
The Renaissance Tarot is a modern deck, with symbolism drawn from the heroic age and rendered in renaissance style. This deck is an excellent choice for exploring questions of passion, mastery, and the inner workings of human reason. If you would like your own copy of the Renaissance Tarot, you can buy it now!