This little, poker-sized deck of 52 cards is a reproduction of cards from the 1800s. These cards were and are used in the system of Sibilla (Sybil), which is popular in Italy. It is unknown to many outside of Europe, but it is somewhat similar to Kipper and Lenormand. Early readers often marketed these cards as “gypsy”oracles, and it is still common to hear this term used for many traditional types of oracles. Though that is not a term I like to use personally, I have included it as it is listed on the box and in marketing materials for the deck.
Each card features a charming illustration from everyday life in the late 1800s. The cards tend to feature yellow and red tones, but the colors are well done. Sibilla cards are heavy on people imagery, and so many figures are represented here and many concepts are also represented in human form.
Layout and Feel
The layout of these cards means that the borders on the fronts of the card are not the same as on the backs. As a note to those who like to modify their cards, this may make it hard to evenly trim these cards. That said, they look fabulous with black or gold edging. The card stock is good and they shuffle easily overhand and by riffling. It should be noted that riffle shuffling may warp the cards a bit eventually.
I thoroughly recommend finding a book or tutor for Sibilla if this is a new system to the buyer. Sibilla is a system that is rather distinct and takes a while to get used to for some (read: me). It is similar to other traditional oracles like Lenormand and Kipper, but it often makes use of reversals and employs other unique techniques. So, if you are new to this system, do yourself a favor and find a book or other resource to sue with this deck. This is especially true since the LWB contains no keywords, only a rather apocryphal introduction and one spread. These few pages of text are then translated into several languages, as is common with Lo Scarabeo decks.
As for the cards themselves, the publisher has labeled each card with its keyword in English at the top of the card and then that keyword translated in four different languages in the bottom border. Usually these keywords are enough to get started, but other resources are still recommended to truly understand these lovely little cards.
As a last note, old-fashioned oracles often pull no punches, and this is especially true with the “Despair” card in this deck. It may be triggering to some as it depicts a man holding a gun.
Name: Sibilla Della Zingara (Gypsy Oracle Cards)
Type/System: Sibilla (Sibyl)
Card Number: 52
Card Size: 2.8 x 4 in (7.112 x 10.16 cm)
Author: Translations by Studio RGE
Illustrator: N/A but edited by Pietro Alligro
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo/Llewellyn, 2008
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