The Vera Sibilla Italiana has broken all 52 Sibilla cards down into four ‘suits’ of 13 cards each. That would compare to the four suits of the playing card deck, but instead of symbols, such as hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds, each suit is assigned a letter; the ‘C’ suit, the ‘F’ suit, the ‘Q’ suit, and the ‘P’ suit. I presume those letters stand for the first letter of the suit’s name in Italian, but I don’t know Italian. But I could see how this alpha-numeric system would enable the user to tie each card’s meaning into its corresponding card in the standard playing card deck, and thus give the reading greater depth.
The Sibilla Indovina actually incorporates the corresponding playing card in the upper left-hand corner of each card, thus tying the two visuals together. The Sibilla Indovina, however, numbers the cards straight through from 1 to 52. I’ve tried to figure out how the creator of the deck decided to arrange the cards in the numerical which they did, but in the end, I gave up. After further pondering, I realized the creator of this deck numbered the cards the way they did, so you could use them in a grand tableau spread, and for interpreting them using the ‘house’ method.
The Sibilla Indovina has 26 cards which I would identify as being the same cards as in the other two Sibilla decks. But the other 26 cards in this deck have different names and images and indeed concepts from what I’ve come to consider the ‘standard’ Sibilla deck. Cards such as ‘Dark-haired man’ ‘dark-haired woman’ ‘Gamblers’ ‘Impediment’ ‘Country House’ ‘Protector’ ‘Angry Woman’ ‘Trap’ and more. Intriguingly, it has two separate cards for a man visiting a consultant and a woman visiting a consultant.
If I’m wrong here and these 26 different cards do clearly correspond to particular cards in the other two decks, please feel free to set me straight in the comments section. But it looks to me like the creator of the Sibilla Indovina deck decided to go in a distinctly different direction with half the cards. Then again, I’m forced to consider the Sibilla deck’s purpose: they were intended to answer the questions of everyday people to everyday questions. Clearly the designer of the Sibilla Indovina adapted their Sibilla deck to what they perceived would better-fit the needs of their clients.
If you decide to purchase multiple Sibilla decks, time, experience and intuition will eventually guide you in knowing which deck to use for which occasion. All three of these decks are published by Lo Scarabeo and are available through Amazon.