RSS

Monthly Archives: November 2012

Review – The Lowbrow Tarot

Lowbrow Tarot

Author: Russell J. Moon
Curated by: Aunia Kahn
Artists: various artists
Schiffer Publishing
2012
ISBN #978-0-7643-4235-6

“Dedicated to the love of

Divination and self exploration.

May you find a close connection

with your soul”

from the companion book

The “Lowbrow Tarot” is a Majors only deck, part of the Lowbrow Tarot Project. The revelations that people get from the Tarot was the inspiration for this project. Because of the amount of time an artist would need to dedicate to creating their own deck, Kahn and Moon felt that doing a majors only deck, with one artist per card, was a more doable concept. The only constraints were that the work needed to be original, and it needed to be focused on a specific card. The number of artists responding to this call was astounding – 1,000! From this, we see the 22 that were selected. IMHO, the selection process was a project all on its own! The original artwork was shown in the La Luz De Jesus Gallery – multiple mediums, with different formats and styles, embracing each artist’s original view of what Tarot means to them.

Note: It was interesting to me to read that the lowbrow art movement debuted at the La Luz De Jesus Gallery on October 1st, 2010. This specific project (the “Lowbrow Tarot”) includes a Tarot deck and a hardcover tabletop book.

The cards and companion book come in a magnetic lift top box made of sturdy cardboard. The color scheme is black and gold, which I love! The image on the top of the box is that of the Wheel of Fortune. The cards are 3 ½” by 5 ½”, of sturdy, glossy cardstock. The card backs (by artist Daniel Martin Diaz) are done in shades of gold and brownish-red. Across the top of the card we see the words Terra and Aqua, with a small gold crown between them. Across the bottom of the card we see the words Ignus and Aura, with a gold crown between them. In the center of the card we see an Egyptian styled eye, surrounded by rays from the sun. Because of the lettering, the card backs are not reversible.


 

 

The card faces show a ¼” black border on each side, with a ½” black border
across the top and bottom, The card number, in Roman numerals, is centered at the top of the card. The card title is centered across the bottom of the card. The card titles are traditional, but the imagery is not in many cases. The cards that show the most traditional imagery are the Fool (although the dog is on a leash), the Empress (what an incredibly beautiful dress!), the Lovers (nice addition with the butterfly!), the Chariot, the Hermit, the Hanged Man, Temperance, the Devil, the Tower, and the World. The cards that pushed the envelope the most for me were the Magician, the Hierophant, Strength, and the Wheel of Fortune.

 

 

 

The 55 page companion book talks about the history of this project, where the cards were exhibited, and where the inspiration came from.  The cards are presented with a full page, full color image, upright and reversed meanings, and a link to the artist’s Internet site. All text in italics is from the artist – their personal take on the card. All other text is from Russell J. Moon. There are no spreads presented, or suggested usage for the cards.

Artists by card:

The Fool: Carrie Ann Baade
The Magician: Christopher Ulrich
The High Priestess: Edith Lebeau
The Empress: Cate Rangel
The Emperor: Kris Kuksi
The Hierophant: Chris Mars
The Lovers: Christopher Umana
The Chariot: C.C. Askew
Strength: Brian M. Viveros
The Hermit: Claudia Drake
The Wheel of Fortune: Heather Watts
Justice: Molly Crabapple
The Hanged Man: David Stoupakis
Death: Laurie Lipton
Temperance: Patrick “Star 27” Deignan
The Devil: Chet Zar
The Tower: Jessica Joslin
The Star: Danni Shinya Luo
The Moon: Jennybird Alcantara
The Sun: Angie Mason
Judgment: Scott G. Brooks
The World: Aunia Kah
Tarot Deck Card Back: Daniel Martin Diaz

This is more of an art deck than a reading deck, although specific cards could well be used for meditation or ritual work.

 © November 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Tarot

 

Tags: , ,

Thursday Night Tarot – World/Empress

This is the twelfth and final conversation, in a series of conversations between the Birth Card pairs and Jason C. Lotterhand, through “The Thursday Night Tarot”, (edited by Arisa Victor). The host for this series is the Fool, representing the individual taking the journey. The twelfth Birth Card pair up is World/Empress.

Fool:  Welcome to this series of conversations. Information discussed here is based on Jason C. Lotterhand’s work, as presented in “The Thursday Night Tarot”. Something to keep in mind before we enter into the following conversation is the theme for the World/Empress duo: “Completing inner work, bringing together the diverse parts of ones life, the ability to feel comfortable in the external, physical world because the Seeker is at one with themselves. The ability to give and receive love, and to live from a snese of trust.” To my left is the World, to my right is the Empress, and to the Empress’s right we have Mr. Lotterhand. Thank you all for being here. World, you may begin.

World: I would like to thank Mr. Lotterhand and the Empress for being here, and the Fool for hosting this series. As we all know, Birth Cards work in pairs. However, we all carry our own identity. Through Mr. Lotterhand’s work, we hope to clarify who we are to those who carry our energy.

Mr. Lotterhand, just the very title “The World” indicates a sense of connectedness and completion. What does that term say to you?

Jason C. Lotterhand: The World is our oyster, it truly is! When we have reached the World, we have gone through seven stages of spiritual unfolding. Who we see in front of us is a New Being, the Being that walked through all of paths of the Major Arcana, and assimilated the lessons. The image on the World is you, when you are free to enjoy yourself, and dance the dance of life. Your ego trip is over, and you are living and functioning in a higher realm of consciousness. Take a timeout to enjoy this time!

World: Who and what does the figure of the dancer represent?

Jason C. Lotterhand: The dancer is our Innermost self, Master of all of the twenty-two Intelligences associated with the Tree of Life. The ellipse surrounding the dancer is Life Itself in the form of a victory wreath. We are victorious over the challenges that life has presented us with. We are a microcosm … we contain all of the powers inherent in the cosmos.

World: Should we look at the fifth dimension as a kind of consciousness?

Jason C. Lotterhand: By all means! The fifth dimension is superconsciousness. It can be seen as a point wherein the unity principle is concentrated. Everything is encoded at that point, and all creation comes from it.

Fool: Thank you, World, and you, Mr. Lotterhand. Empress, you have the podium.

The Empress: Thank you, Fool. I would like to thank the World and Mr. Lotterhand for being here, and the Fool for acting as host.

Mr. Lotterhand,  In what way does the Empress represent Venus?

Jason C. Lotterhand: The Empress represents that aspect of Venus as the “desirable one”. She balances the male principle found within the Emperor. She is the part of life that we can touch and get close to.

The Empress: Why is the heart the main symbol for the Empress?

Jason C. Lotterhand: Venus embraces the heart with her right (active) hand, indicating that love is her primary concern. If you want to connect with the Mother, you have to practice love. The Dove that represents the Holy Spirit is seen moving in the heart (not the head).

The Empress: Is the red triangle on the Empress dress associated with desire?

Jason C. Lotterhand: Yes. It is the fire of Chokmah that is hidden within the body of Binah. This is the explanation for the Empress always being seen as pregnant. The red triangle represents ou sacred inner life.

The Empress: Do you have any final thoughts for our audience?

Jason C. Lotterhand: One last thought – the Empress rests her foot on the Moon to indicate a conscious understanding of the cyclic nature of life.

Please note: These are, of course, imaginary conversations. The information has been taken from “The Thursday Night Tarot”, Jason C. Lotterhand, edited by Arisa Victor, Newcastle Publishing Co. Inc, 1989. Any errors in translation are mine, and mine alone.

Images are from the Tarot Lovers Tarot (Karyn Easton, http://paranormality.com ).

 © November 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Thursday Night Tarot

 

Tags: , , ,

Thursday Night Tarot – Judgment/High Priestess

This is the eleventh in a series of conversations between the Birth Card pairs and Jason C. Lotterhand, through “The Thursday Night Tarot”, (edited by Arisa Victor). The host for this series is the Fool, representing the individual taking the journey. The eleventh Birth Card pair up is Judgment/High Priestess.

Fool:  Welcome to this series of conversations. Information discussed here is based on Jason C. Lotterhand’s work, as presented in “The Thursday Night Tarot”. Something to keep in mind before we enter into the following conversation is the theme for the Judgment/High Ptiestess duo: “The ability to observe, to the point of making good judgment in an objective manner. The ability to access ones intuition, to communicate, and to accept new ideas. ” To my left is Judgment, to my right is the High Priestess, and to the High Priestess’s right we have Mr. Lotterhand. Thank you all for being here. Judgment, you may begin.

Judgment: I would like to thank Mr. Lotterhand and the High Priestess for being here, and the Fool for hosting this series. As we all know, Birth Cards work in pairs. However, we all carry our own identity. Through Mr. Lotterhand’s work, we hope to clarify who we are to those who carry our energy.

Mr. Lotterhand, Judgment has quite the image, with the angel, trumpet, and all. Yet Judgment can be very misunderstood. What does the archetype Judgment represent?

Jason C. Lotterhand: When we reach Judgment, we have moved beyond the conventional universe. We emerge from this three dimensional universe into the fourth dimension, where there are no limits. We are living and experiencing things on a completely different level than the ordinary. Our consciousness has expanded to include an inner awareness of ourselves.

Judgment: What does the coffin represent? That can be a bit off-putting to some people!

Jason C. Lotterhand: The coffin represents three dimensional existence, which has us literally “boxed in”. When we leave the confines of the coffin, we leave these constraints behind and move to a higher vibrational level. Please note: we are still living in the physical world, we simply perceive it, and interact with it, in a different manner.

Judgment: What is the symbolism of the flag attached to the trumpet?

Jason C. Lotterhand: This is the same equal armed cross that appears on the High Priestess. The flag suggests where we can find our answers.

Fool: Thank you, Judgment, and you, Mr. Lotterhand. High Priestess, you have the podium.

The High Priestess: Thank you, Fool. I would like to thank Judgment and Mr. Lotterhand for being here, and the Fool for acting as host.

Mr. Lotterhand,  Can you talk a bit about the High Priestess as the chief feminine principle in the Cabala, please.

Jason C. Lotterhand: The High Priestess is the Divine Mother on the Tree of Life, enthroned in Binah, Root of Water. She is the responsive nature in life that makes magic possible. She is referred to as Universal Mind. Think of it this way … the universe is mind-conceived, mind-constructed, and mind-supported. Our mind is sustained by the Great Mind. She represents the Sub-Conscious, the feminine element that corresponds to the Self-Conscious that we find in the Magician. There must be an exchange between male and female before anything can happen.

High Priestess: Is the archetype of the High Priestess as distant as some people make her out to be?

Jason C. Lotterhand: The High Priestess is in actuality very tender hearted. She protects us because we are her own … we are born of mind. We often say “I have a mind.” We could just as well say “I am mind.” The nature of mind is the nature of spirit.

High Priestess:  What does the symbols of water bring to the archetype of the High Priestess?

Jason C. Lotterhand: Water flows around the High Priestess. It represents our sub-conscious, and the unknown. Water holds everything in solution. In a like manner, the mind holds all possibilities.

High Priestess: Do you have any final thoughts for our audience?

Jason C. Lotterhand: The equal armed cross is reminiscent of Hecate, the Greek goddess of crossroads. She was also a patroness of magic.

Please note: These are, of course, imaginary conversations. The information has been taken from “The Thursday Night Tarot”, Jason C. Lotterhand, edited by Arisa Victor, Newcastle Publishing Co. Inc, 1989. Any errors in translation are mine, and mine alone.

Images are from the Tarot Lovers Tarot (Karyn Easton, http://paranormality.com/ ).

 © November 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Thursday Night Tarot

 

Tags: , , ,

Thursday Night Tarot – Sun/Wheel of Fortune/Magician

This is the tenth in a series of conversations between the Birth Card pairs and Jason C. Lotterhand, through “The Thursday Night Tarot”, (edited by Arisa Victor). The host for this series is the Fool, representing the individual taking the journey. The tenth Birth Card pair up is the only triplicate Birth Card – the Sun/Wheel of Fortune/Magician.

Fool: Welcome to this series of conversations. Information discussed here is based on Jason C. Lotterhand’s work, as presented in “The Thursday Night Tarot”. Something to keep in mind before we enter into the following conversation is the theme for the Sun/Wheel of Fortune/Magician triplicate: “Dealing with the concept of time in all of its forms, and the change that comes with it. The Sun gives us clarity where there was darkness, as it moves across the sky. The Wheel of Fortune works in cycles, with past, present, and future intertwined. The Magician creates time, and has the ability to suspend it. ” To my left is the Sun, to my right is the Wheel of Fortune, to the Wheel of Fortune’s right is the Magician, and to the Magician’s right we have Mr. Lotterhand. Thank you all for being here. Sun, you may begin.

The Sun: I would like to thank Mr. Lotterhand, The Wheel of Fortune, and the Magician for being here, and the Fool for hosting this series. As we all know, Birth Cards work in pairs. However, we all carry our own identity. Through Mr. Lotterhand’s work, we hope to clarify who we are to those who carry our energy.

Mr. Lotterhand¸ Can you tell us a little bit about the basic energies of the Sun? What can we expect from this archetype?

Jason C. Lotterhand: How do you feel about the Sun ? It provides light and warmth, and carries a sense of joy and happiness with it, don’t you think? The Sun can be seen as a joyful process, the process of the self growing (flowering) into itself. Remember, the Cabalistic method of attainment is that we come to enjoy the simple and beautiful things in life in the here and now … they are not something that is a promise for another time. From the viewpoint of the Cabala, there is no difference between our inner and our outer light. All is one!

The Sun: What does the wall that the children are dancing in front of in this card represent?

Jason C. Lotterhand: It represents accumulated wisdom. The children are having such a great time simply because they have moved beyond the need to accumulate wisdom. The children are living in the Now!

The Sun: Is the Sun our source of spiritual awakening?

Jason C. Lotterhand: In a word … yes. The Sun is our source of illumination, in the sense of illuminating our physical world with light, and in the sense of illuminating our spiritual world with wisdom.

Fool: Thank you, Sun, and you, Mr. Lotterhand. Wheel of Fortune, you have the podium.

Wheel of Fortune: Thank you, Fool. I would like to thank the Sun , the Magician, and Mr. Lotterhand for being here, and the Fool for acting as host.

Mr. Lotterhand, How does the energy of the Wheel of Fortune support our life?

Jason C. Lotterhand: Through the concept of rotation, or movement. Everything is constantly moving (spinning). Every activity that you and I take part in is supported by this spinning wheel of energy. Here we see the forces of both involution and evolution. Consciousness descends into denser and denser areas of physical life, until it makes a little U turn and starts ascending back up into the more “rarefied” atmosphere.

Wheel of Fortune: How does the Wheel of Fortune relate to Ezekiel’s vision?

Jason C. Lotterhand: The (prophet) Ezekiel saw the pattern of life as wheels within wheels. In his vision, the four sacred animals came from astrology. This was part of the religion at that time, and tied in with the seasons and the sun. The orange coloring in the wheel indicates that it is fueled by a solar source. Key 10 (the Wheel of Fortune) is attributed to Jupiter, who rules change of form … energy moving from one form of manifestation to another.

Wheel of Fortune: Does meditation with the Tarot and the Cabala offer a way of resolving inner conflicts?

Jason C. Lotterhand: In a word … yes. If your meditation is focused on understanding yourself, and what is going on around you, you will resolve any inner conflicts that you may have.

Fool: Thank you, Wheel of Fortune, and you, Mr. Lotterhand. Magician, you have the podium.

Magician: Thank you, Fool. I would like to thank the Sun , the Wheel of Fortune, and Mr. Lotterhand for being here, and the Fool for acting as host.

Mr. Lotterhand, What function does the archetype of the Magician serve in the Tarot?

Jason C. Lotterhand: The Magician shows us, first of all, how to contact Life Force (note the bringing down of energy from the spiritual world into the physical world through the gesture of his upraised wand). The Magician, in the form of our Self-Consciousness, recognizes that all of his powers are derived from the basic reality that is the universe. Here also we see the techniques of concentration and dedication. The Magician shows us how to liberate ourselves through mental methods.

Magician: How does the Magician help us to remain attentive to the higher power?

Jason C. Lotterhand: People readily see that the archetype of the Magician is an ideal, not something that they will see in the everyday world. To make a success of your life, you have to assume the role of the Magician … you have to BE the Magician. You have to act on your capabilities, and move forward in an orderly fashion. The Magician gives us the elemental tools that we need to do this.

Magician: Don’t we have to want to transform, before we can transform ourselves?

Jason C. Lotterhand: Yes, we do. This is the purpose for the Magician living in the house of desire. The red roses surround him in the form of an arbor, creating a private place in which to practice his magic. (Interesting note here: Lotterhand talks about the desire nature being reflective of experiences gone before.)

Magician: Do you have any final thoughts for our audience?

Jason C. Lotterhand: Life is ever moving, ever evolving. We are the masters of our own destiny. What we focus on, what we fill with intent and purpose, is what manifests in our life.

Please note: These are, of course, imaginary conversations. The information has been taken from “The Thursday Night Tarot”, Jason C. Lotterhand, edited by Arisa Victor, Newcastle Publishing Co. Inc, 1989. Any errors in translation are mine, and mine alone.

Images are from the Tarot Lovers Tarot (Karyn Easton, http://paranormality.com/) .

© November 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Thursday Night Tarot

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Review – The Son Tarot

The Son Tarot

Mysticism, Meditation, and Divination for Gay Men

Author: Chris Butler
Artist: Chris Butler
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
2012
ISBN #978-0-7643-4227-1

Before I begin this review I need to make the disclaimer that Schiffer is also my publishing house. I am doing this because I am very impressed with this deck, and there are people out there who will think that the review reflects the fact that both this deck and my book are published by Schiffer. If that bothers you, then you will need to stop right here, and go on to read someone else’s review.

The “Son Tarot” is designed specifically to be used by and for gay men. It is a deck they will relate well to, and one that gives readers a tool to reach this audience with at a very deep level. It is empowering for both the reader and the Seeker. It combines the divinatory power of the Tarot with guidance for both personal and spiritual development. It is a traditionally based deck, along the lines of the Rider-Waite and Golden Dawn traditions.

The deck and accompanying 208 page guidebook come in a beautiful sturdy cardboard box, with the magnetic close top (and ribbon pull) that Schiffer is famous for. (I have cats – I appreciate that they can knock this box over, and the cards will not be disturbed!) The box is light blue, with an image of the Knight of Cups on the cover. The back carries images of Strength, the Lovers, the Sun, the Fool, and the Emperor. The message above them is: “Created by a gay man, for gay men, The Sun Tarot celebrates who we are and all the richness that entails.” Further notes on the back of the box talk about the wisdom needed to celebrate life as a gay man. Each image in the deck represents an aspect of gay male living. Butler  (“The Butler Tarot”, “The Inner Landscape Tarot”, and “The Alchemical Elements Deck”) notes that the spirituality found here is free of the prejudices of established or formal religion. The cards also reference the traditions of Astrology, Runes, the Elements,  and the I Ching.

The LWB (Little White Book) begins with wonderful acknowledgments to Patric Stillman (Brotherhood Tarot) and Lee Bursten (the Gay Tarot), the first individuals to put decks out there that addressed the gay male community. Butler credits Bursten with influencing the direction of both the “Son Tarot” deck and book, and with impressing upon him the necessity for gay men to “come out” to their community, and “come in” to themselves. In his author’s note, Butler talks about the “Son Tarot” opening a door where gay men can explore their friendships, relationships, sexuality, and spirituality.

Note to Schiffer: The black background and gray type on the author’s note page is nicely presented, but it was difficult for these older eyes to read!

In his introduction, Butler talks about the rites of passage that we all go through our entire lives. He notes that for gay men, coming out is the most potent rite of passage. The first version of the “Son Tarot” took ten months to complete, and effected a great change with Butler himself that he had not expected. This is a deck where gay men can be seen living the truths of the Tarot in each and every card.

There is a nicely done introduction to what Tarot is, and what Butler views as two of the most important Tarot decks to date – the “Waite Tarot” and the “Thoth Tarot”.

The structure of the “Son Tarot” is a traditional one – it is a 78 card deck, with traditional meaning for the Major Arcana, with the following exceptions: the High Priestess becomes the Mystic, the Empress becomes the Bountiful, and the Tower becomes Tower of Destruction. Strength is VIII, Justice is XI. The four suits are Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. The Court cards are Herald (Page), Knight, Prince (Queen), and King.

Each card is presented with a half-page black and white image of the card, a description of what the card represents, what is means when it appears in a reading, and how it challenges us. Each card is presented over two pages, with the keywords for the card running across the bottom of both pages, in alternating black and gray print.

The Court cards are presented in a section of their own. Where the Major Arcana show the higher realities of life, and the Minor Arcana show snapshots of our everyday experiences, the Court cards represent real people – ourselves, and the people that populate our lives. In the deck, by the nature of the deck, all of the Court cards are represented as being male. Butler notes that each Court card in essence carries both male and female energy. In the Son Tarot, the King and the Prince are bound in same sex marriage. He goes on to say that the Knight and Herald represent modes of growth and learning, while the Prince and King are states of wisdom and experience.

Each Court card is presented with a half-page black and white image, and the different ways the cars works (as an elemental force, as a role model, as a lover, as ourselves, and as a shadow character).

At the end of the book is a section on working with the cards, including exercises on visualization (stepping into the images, having the images step into your room, and becoming the individual in the card), telling your story with the cards, and sharing (“How do we see each other?”, “Tell people how you see yourself.”, “Spiritual and life mapping in groups”). In the section on doing readings, Butler presents the traditional Celtic Cross spread, a Six-Card Challenge Spread, and a Three Card Spread.

The cards themselves are 3 ½” by 5”, of sturdy, glossy card stock. The backs are black, with a black background, and two images of male figures floating. (The backs are reversible.) the card face shows the image going to the edge (there is no border). There is a section across the bottom with the card information. The Major Arcana show the card number in Roman numerals, along with the card title. In the Minor Arcana, the Aces show the title and suit, the numbered cards show numbers only, in Roman numerals, while the Court cards show the card title and suit.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The imagery in this deck is rich, complex, and subtle. You will see what you need to see each time you look at a card. The art is digital, with many layers to it, and the color is, for the most part, muted. Some of the cards that attracted me the most were the Mystic, the Herald of Swords, the Ace of Pentacles, the World, the Hermit, the Magician, the Six of Wands, and the Two of Swords.

This is a well thought out, nicely rendered deck. It is beneficial to both the reader and the Seeker, and it a wonderful addition for any Tarot collection.

 © November 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Tarot

 

Tags: ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 83 other followers