The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti is a beautiful modern deck created with digital images. It is based loosely on the popular Rider-Waite cards.
If you are looking for a complete study guide, I can highly recommend this free offering by Jan Carol. She has produced it with the permission of Ciro Marchetti and it includes full colour images of each card as well as the general interpretation for each card. (Edit: Oct 2017 It appears the site isn’t working at present. I’ll leave the link here just in case it gets up and running again.)
Meanwhile, if you are simply after a quick guide, here is a list of my favourite keywords and phrases for the Gilded tarot. This list will also work for any Rider-Waite variation or clone.
*Note: British spelling used throughout 🙂 Feel free to save or print for your own reference but please do not republish elsewhere.
Gilded Tarot Major Arcana
~ Fool 0 — “Let’s go….!” Represents all potential possibilities. A blank slate. Trust in the Universe. Taking a risk, being open to anything. Foolishness.
~ Magician 1 — “As I will, so must it be.” Focus, will power, concentration, control. All the tools available to complete the task in hand.
~ High Priestess 2 — “Silence is golden.” Intuition, silence, stillness. Keeper of secrets and mystery. Maidenhood. Spiritual contemplation.
~ Empress 3 — “Come here and give me a hug.” Fertility, abundance, nurturing, childbirth, motherhood. Prosperity, growth, fruition. Good outlook for marriage and relationships. Gardening, farming, cultivation.
~ Emperor 4 — “Do as I tell you.” Structure, conformity, stability, power. Masculinity, fatherhood, husband. Maker of rules. Business success.
~ Hierophant 5 — “Follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before.” Spiritual guide, mentor, religion, faith. Sometimes represents an established institution.
~ Lovers 6 — “We can make beautiful music… and I bet our kids will be good-looking too.” Love, sex, relationships. Choices, life-changing decisions.
~ Chariot 7 — “Horsey, horsey, don’t you stop…” Self-discipline, determination, goal seeking. Negotiation, mediation, compromise. Gathering resources and driving oneself forward. Travel, journey.
~ Strength 8 — “Shhh, everything will be fine.” Inner strength, persuasion, gentleness, trust, tactfulness, diplomacy, patience. Kindness to animals, children and those in need.
~ Hermit 9 — “I want to be alone; I must be alone.” Solitude, introspection, self-knowledge, study, withdrawal from relationships. Time to pause and think.
~ Wheel of Fortune 10 — “Anything could happen here”. Changes, cycles, chance. Combined with other cards: good or bad fortune.
~ Justice 11 — “Sign here, please.” Legal issue, court case, settlement, retribution, divorce finalizes, property conveyancing. Career connected to law or contracts. Balance, justice prevails.
~ Hanging Man 12 — “Mum, I’m bored!” Inactivity. No apparent progression. Stagnation. Waiting time. Forced to look at a situation from another perspective. Can be a springboard to action or knowledge.
~ Death 13 — “It’s an ex parrot.” An important stage of life is ending – career, job, relationship. Retirement. Release, transformation. Death and rebirth. Life cycles.
~ Temperance 14 — “I’d like to teach the world to sing…” Harmony, healing, blending, integration, moderation, consideration. Good chemistry, balance. Conservation and care of the environment.
~ Devil 15 — “Just one more then….” Addiction, enslavement, holding on to that which does not serve you. Sometimes: “Be a devil”… have fun, eat chocolate, take time out. Good times taken to extremes leads to addiction, enslavement, etc. Stuck in a bad relationship or other situation.
~ Tower 16 — “Arghghghgh!” Perceived catastrophe. Clear out. Energetic transformation. Loss, accident, ‘end of the world’. Removal of obstacles. Starting over.
~ Star 17 — “I’m wishing on a star…” Hope, peace, love. Triumph of good over bad. Looking forward; moving on. Blessings, healing.
~ Moon 18 — “I’m lost, I know I am.” Confusion, distraction, deceptive circumstances, losing one’s way, distorted perception, poor mental health. Need to use intuition to get back on track. Cycles, currents, tides.
~ Sun 19 — “Good morning, sunshine!” Growth, happiness. All aspects of life improve. Counting one’s blessings. Making the most of the good times.
~ Judgment 20 — “Heads up!” A call to action, something you must do. Be accountable; responsible. Change of career or lifestyle.
~ World 21 — “I’m exactly where I need to be.” Completion, fulfilment, attainment. End of a life cycle. Pause, transition, waiting.
Gilded Tarot – Wands
~ Ace of Wands – New initiatives, ideas or inspiration. Change of lifestyle or new personal image. New business or enterprise. High energy levels. Birth of a baby.
~ Two of Wands – Planning stage, possible frustration, minor decisions must be made.
~ Three of Wands – Part way to success, more work to do, positive movement forward. Anticipation of good things to come.
~ Four of Wands – Achievement, a job well done, a resting period. Possible marriage, new home or other celebration.
~ Five of Wands – Disconcerting competition, arguments, squabbling that could escalate if not checked.
~ Six of Wands – Success, victory, passing a test. Recognition of your contribution. Good news.
~ Seven of Wands – Challenges, pressure, questioning of your position and policies. Having to defend your stance.
~ Eight of Wands – Fast moving changes. Get organised! Possible pregnancy. Travel.
~ Nine of Wands – Temporary defeat or lack of energy. Perseverance in the face of adversity.
~ Ten of Wands – Overburdened. Taking on too many responsibilities. Forward movement is slow but can be achieved. Try to shed some of the load.
~ Page of Wands – Explorer of possibilities. Full of ideas and enthusiasm. Someone on the cusp of an adventure. Young person. An important message is on the way.
~ Knight of Wands – Ambitious, passionate, hasty. Unreliable. Butterfly personality.
~ Queen of Wands – Warm, ambitious, fun, flirty, cheerful, disorganised, no shrinking violet, may be temperamental. Likes older children and teenagers whom she can interact with.
~ King of Wands – Strong, inspirational, optimistic, successful. Hot tempered and irritable but bad moods pass quickly. Rule breaker. Has a relaxed, somewhat irresponsible attitude towards his children. Can sometimes alienate the more sensitive ones with his temper.
Gilded Tarot – Cups
~ Ace of Cups – New connection, relationship, love. Emotional happiness. Conception.
~ Two of Cups – Mutual attraction, developing friendship, forming an emotional bond, love.
~ Three of Cups – Girls’ night out, celebration, widening circle of friendship, cementing emotional bonds.
~ Four of Cups – Self-absorbed, low-level depression, withdrawn, ignoring possible opportunities (usually of an emotional nature). Lack of enthusiasm. Detachment.
~ Five of Cups – Grief, loss, despair, deep depression. However, all is not lost – there is always a way through.
~ Six of Cups – Emotional healing, renewing old friendships, nostalgia, childhood, children. Playfulness.
~ Seven of Cups – Too many choices, daydreaming about possibilities, emotional overwhelm.
~ Eight of Cups – An emotional decision made. Turning away from a situation. Taking a more difficult path.
~ Nine of Cups – Pleasure, fulfilment, contentment, abundance.
~ Ten of Cups – Emotional security, family, love. A happy marriage or partnership.
~ Page of Cups – Explorer of emotions, artistic, creative, healing. A young child or baby. A message delivered in person.
~ Knight of Cups – Romancer, bringer of gifts, Sometimes emotionally shallow and immature.
~ Queen of Cups – Empathic, compassionate, emotionally supportive, good listener, gentle, quiet, reserved. Loves babies and children.
~ King of Cups – Sincere, wise, avoids conflict. Good mediator and diplomat. Open hearted but can be introverted. Kind to his children but may appear weak to them in later life.
Gilded Tarot – Swords
~ Ace of Swords – Sudden break-though, clarity of thought, new ways of communication. The truth revealed. A new philosophy or way of perceiving the world.
~ Two of Swords – Preventing oneself from seeing the truth, refusing to engage, reluctance to make a decision.
~ Three of Swords – Communication breakdown. Separation, misunderstanding. Medical procedures.
~ Four of Swords – Forced rest. After-effects of emotional breakdown or stress. Voluntary withdrawal. Recuperation.
~ Five of Swords – Deceit, bullying, defeat. Depends which figure you identify with; deceiver, victim or one who refuses to retaliate and walks away.
~ Six of Swords – Mental healing. Progression, moving on. Feeling guidance from within. Assimilating life lessons.
~ Seven of Swords – Theft, deception. Retrieving something lost, for example: self-confidence, peace of mind.
~ Eight of Swords – Surrounded by problems of your own making. Feeling dis-empowered. Unable to move forward. Fear of the future.
~ Nine of Swords – Fear, anxiety, worry, nightmares. Unable to see a solution. Know that the solution lies within the problem. Turn things around and try seeing everything from a new perspective.
~ Ten of Swords – End of a life cycle. End of something long established. Can indicate death in combination with other cards. Light on the horizon. A new beginning is imminent.
~ Page of Swords – Explorer of thought and philosophy. Brings ideas into manifestation. Quick thinker, good communicator, excellent debater. A message delivered swiftly, i.e. SMS or email.
~ Knight of Swords – Fights for a cause. Single-minded and determined. Can be critical. Swift acting.
~ Queen of Swords – Seeker of truth, does not tolerate fools, intellectual, incisive. Tells it how it is. Capable of making it to the top of her profession. Prefers intelligent adults to children.
~ King of Swords – Authoritarian, intellectual, usually at the top of his profession (lawyer, surgeon, writer, etc.). Fair, takes responsibility, good communicator, logical, clear thinker, commands respect. Fair with his children but never indulgent.
Gilded Tarot – Pentacles
~ Ace of Pentacles – A gift, a new income source or a prize. A renovation, DIY or new build project. A new job, career or business. Prosperity, reward, improving finances.
~ Two of Pentacles – Financial planning and budgeting. More money going out than coming in. Waiting for results: medical tests, exams, etc.
~ Three of Pentacles – Project nearing completion. Succeeding with the help of others. Hard work pays off.
~ Four of Pentacles – Overly cautious, holding on to material wealth, mean with money, fear of letting go, fear of poor health. Lacking the impetus to socialise.
~ Five of Pentacles – Material challenges. Lack of money, lack of adequate accommodation. Hard times. Bad time to agree any financial commitment.
~ Six of Pentacles – Which figure do you identify with? Sharing, giving, receiving, financial/material relief. A debt repaid.
~ Seven of Pentacles – Material wealth doesn’t equal happiness. On the surface you are doing well, however you may feel frustration and lack of fulfilment.
~ Eight of Pentacles – Honing your talent, learning new skills. Training course may be required or offered. Change of profession.
~ Nine of Pentacles – Financial independence. Fulfilment. Contented with what you’ve achieved in life. May indicate an upcoming career break due to pregnancy.
~ Ten of Pentacles – Traditional family values. Inheritance. Paperwork all in order. Provisions made for future contingencies. A gathering together of family generations.
~ Page of Pentacles – An explorer of the world; academic, scientific. A student. Someone who is interested in many things. A person who loves to read. An animal lover. A message delivered traditionally, i.e. by post or similar means, often regarding financial or property matters.
~ Knight of Pentacles – A hard worker. A quiet man; “Still waters run deep”. Trustworthy and reliable. Keeps his feelings hidden unless he is 100% comfortable. Good marriage material but slow to commit.
~ Queen of Pentacles – Practical, home-loving, creative, hard working. Likes to help others but also encourages them to help themselves. A do-er rather than a listener. Prefers to use her own methods. Likes children and animals.
~ King of Pentacles – A business owner, a self-made man (or woman). Likes good food and entertainment. Happy to enjoy the fruits of his labours. May have issues with adult children; expecting them to do things his way. Adores his grandchildren.