The Tarot is much more than mere pictures on cards, the pictures are physical symbols for spiritual concepts. The images are symbolic representation of archetypal forces and/or beings which have always existed and have been identified and passed on to us by ancient initiates and which provide a focus for us to use in self-initiation, spiritual development, and the perception of hidden wisdom. The tarot deck included in this beautiful set was commissioned around 1451 by the Visconti and Sforza families, and it is one of the oldest tarot decks in existence. The images on the cards have been faithfully recreated, showing members of the Sforza and Visconti families in period garments. The borders of the elegant cards are adorned with gold metallic ink. The accompanying book provides a history of Visconti-Sforza cards, 35 of which are now in the collection of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City. The symbolism of the different cards is described, along with explanations of different ways to arrange the cards when seeking information about different aspects of life. This beautiful gift box holds the book and card deck side by side, with a purple satin reading cloth folded and placed underneath the book.