The Tarot Garden

The Tarot Garden is located in Tuscany, specifically in the Garavicchio area, near Pescia Fiorentina (a hamlet of Capalbio GR).

It is an artistic park designed by the French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle, who was inspired by the figures of the major arcana tarot.

To find out what it is and how this park is structured by esoteric symbolism, we enter its streets.

Journey in the Tarot Garden

As you enter, follow a dirt road that leads to a central square, from which other roads branch off. In this square there is a tank made of figures, drawings and symbols, which hide numerology and thoughts, things that at that moment the author wanted to put into his work.

Above the basin there are the first two major arcana, the Pope and the Magician.

Looking at the area where the Papessa and the Magician are placed, two other figures belonging to the tarot are also recognized: the Hanging (or Tree of Life) and the Justice.

They are represented by the author in a mixture of artistic beauty and disquieting trait.

Proceed along the concrete road that leads to the Emperor’s castle.

A sign indicates a detour to a grove, an area in which we find the Lovers and the Prophet.

The castle contains two important figures of this architectural project – esoteric:

  • The emperor
  • Tower

From the tower you can admire the courtyard of the castle that contains many works of art by Saint Phalle.

Continuing the journey inside the Tarot Garden, following the streets leading to the artist’s sculptures, on the left slope you will see a small dome-chapel of mirrors and cement rise above which imperiously overhangs the figure of Temperance. The sculpture was dedicated  to two characters dear to him, namely Jean Tinguely and Ricardo Menon.

Going back towards the central square, a dirt path leads to the last part of the Garden, an itinerary composed of three small clearings where you can recognise the sculptures of Death (above a base of mirrors), of the Devil (lurking at the bottom of a niche), of the Fool, and finally of the World.

The last arcane of the tarot that you can see walking through the paths of the garden, or the eleventh, is that of the Force.

To this sculpture the artist gave an interpretation of it, referring to the dragon of the Sacred Wood of Bomanzo. In fact, Niki de Saint Phalle imagines the last arcane of the tarot as a woman who keeps a dragon under her full control, holding her to himself through a thread that is invisible to human eyes.