Monthly Archives: July 2013

BATS In Your Belfry?


I want to mention the BATS coming up August 17th and 18th in San Jose, CA. As I said last week, this marks the 22nd year for BATS. I am hoping that our Tarot tribe are supporting this event in whatever manner they can – by actually attending, by donating, or simply by mentioning it in your posts and blogs, on any and all social media sites.

General information can be found here, the registration page can be found here, and information on donating can be found here.

I had the great good fortune to review an awesome deck this past week – “The Gypsy Palace Tarot”, by Nora Huszka. My review can be found here, the cards can be seen on Nora’s site here.

I am looking forward to reviewing “Eleusis – Unveiling the Tarot Mysteries”, by James Bean within the next week. I will share that link in my next newsletter.

I would also like to chat for a moment about Attune Magazine, an e-magazine founded and edited by my good friend Mary Nale. This is a quarterly magazine, which focuses on a theme for each edition. The theme for October is the Wheel of Fortune. Mary accepts articles, poetry, videos, reviews,interviews … on all subjects metaphysical. Please contact here if you have an idea that you would like to explore. You can read more about Attune here. The July 2013 edition of Attune can be found here. Articles and advertising need to reach Mary by September 1st for inclusion in the October edition.

Advertising? Yes, Mary accepts advertising, and it is very cost effective! You can do a simple biz card, a 1/4 page, 1/2 page, or full page ad, or do a video. Overwhelmed by all of that? For a reasonable fee,Mary can help set this  up for you!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

(c) 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any format prohibited without the written permission of the author.

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Posted by on July 27, 2013 in Tarot


Review – The Gypsy Palace Tarot

The Gypsy Palace Tarot

Author: Nora Huszka
Artist: Nora Huszka
Graphic Designer: Matthias Furch
ISBN #978-3-00-042109-9


The Gypsy Palace Tarot is a 78-card deck following traditional structure – the Major Arcana titles follow traditional lines, with Justice at VIII and Strength at XI. The four suites are Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles, with the Court Card titles being Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

Gypsy Palace Tarpt booklet cover

There is no companion book currently, although one is being worked on. I am going to include a link to a wonderful video that Nora has placed on her site, that nicely explains her thoughts about her deck, and the process of working on the companion book. This video nicely presents the author/artist and the deck! . Keep checking Nora’s site – she is going to be doing more videos on interpreting the cards, and the symbolism in them!

In place of a companion book is a beautifully written two page “booklet”. The cover is the same as the cover of the box, while the back page shows a picture of Nora, along with publication information. Inside, the left hand page presents the reader with a unique spread to be used with this deck, entitled the “Caravan Spread”. I love the thought behind this spread, which features the four directions, a position for self, and positions for the Sun, Moon, and Stars. Before any cards are laid down, it is suggested that the reader make note of the first Ace from the bottom of the deck. The suit that this Ace represents will define the root of the spread. This certainly adds depth to the reading of the spread itself!

The right hand page contains a message from Nora. She notes that this is a Limited Edition version of her deck, and that the intention is to guide the reader to discover new, unexpected dimensions in both their fortunetelling ability, and their ability to connect with their intuition and creativity. (Aside from card readings, Nora encourages readers to use this deck in creative card games with family and friends.)

I love what Nora has to say about opening one’s mind, heart, and senses! I also love that all of this is handwritten, and not typed. It brings a different flavor to the table … one the encourages that inner child that perhaps does not get to come out too often!

extra card

The cards themselves are 2 ¾” by 4 ¾”, and of good quality card stock. (They will stand up under repeat shuffling.) The backs are a reddish-brown color, with a thin black border inset ¼” from the edge of the card. Inner imagery includes an interesting center made up of four eyes – two green eyes, side by side, and two blue eyes, one centered above the green eyes, and one centered below them.

The card faces show a ¼” border in reddish-brown. For the Major Arcana, the card number, in Roman numerals, is centered on gthe top of the card, in black against a yellow half-circle.  The card title is show across the bottom of the card, written in black and centered in a yellow box. The card titles are presented in English, German, Spanish, and Hungarian, ala Lo Scarabeo. (Note: Nora’s native language is Hungarian.) The Minor Arcana Pips (numbered cards) show the card number centered on the top of the card, with the suit centered across the bottom of the card. The Court Cards feature a number centered on the top of  the card … Page = 11, Knight = 12, Queen – 13, King = 14. The title and suit are centered on the bottom of the card.

The artwork is done in bright, vivid colors that jump off the page without overwhelming the physical lived! The imagery itself is abstract, but interesting and “believable”. Yes, there are fantasy creatures in this deck, but they “belong”. The inspiration for these cards comes from Balkan folk art and other Far Eastern art, and from tales and fables.

Nora has combined her love of art, her love of Tarot, and her love of people into a traditionally based Tarot deck that takes one beyond the borders of the physical world into the worlds of intuition and imagination. It is a wonderful deck for children and adults alike.

One of my favorite cards is the World, where Nora personifies the earth as a living thing. The Devil shows a unique touch in that, amongst other things, we see a female figure in white (indicative of innocence and spirituality), conversing with a male figure in red (perhaps representing the Devil). The Empress is a colorful figure with an almost “Fool like” quality. The Two of Cups makes me laugh out loud – a happy looking female figure seated in front of two cups of coffee – one red cup, and one blue cup.

This is a deck t hat I feel will be enjoyed by all who choose to work with it. My personal kudos to graphic artist Matthias Furch for the tremendous job he did with bringing out the vibrant color in this deck!

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited in all venues without written permission from the author.

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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Tarot


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BATS, ATS, & Destined


Let’s start out with BATS, shall we. Now, they might be flying around in your belfry, but they are also congregating in San Jose on August 17th and 18th at the  Doubletree Hotel. This would be the Bay Area Tarot Symposium, not those darling little birds that rest hanging upside down. This year celebrates the 22nd year that this gathering has been held … mind boggling, in today’s world!

Sponsored by Thalassa and the Daughters of Divination, this symposium offers something for everyone! There will be Tarot presentations, workshops, readings, a Tarot Bazaar (participants include the awesome Tarot Garden!), a raffle, a mixer on Saturday night … and the chance to meet in person the wonderful people that you know through the Internet! More information can be found here. 

I would like to see the Tarot community to take the time to support this effort in any way that it can. Many of us, myself included, will not be able to be there this year. The lovely Thalassa has gifted us with a very easy way to help … she has organized an Indiegogo Kickoff campaign! Through this campaign, individuals can donate funds, starting as low as $15. And yes … swag is involved! For more information, go here. 

I send my very best wishes for a stellar turnout for 2013! And yes, I gave to Indiegogo, and intend to do so at least one more time. Tarot is important to me, as I know that it is to you. Please donate whatever you can!

The next mention that I want to make is also very close to my heart. Most of us know about the Association For Tarot Studies (ATS), and the wonderful work that is has been doing under the leadership of Jean-Michel David. I went into complete shock this week when I opened the ATS newsletter, to see that the Association is closing down. Jean-Michel will be keeping the newsletter going, under the title “Tarot Newsletter”. It will not be a monthly newsletter, but it will still be there for us.

The reason for this is something that we can all understand – Jean-Michel’s very demanding personal workload. I look forward to continuing to receive his newsletter, and want to take this opportunity to thank Jean-Michel and the volunteers that kept this organization going for so long. You accomplished some amazing feats, which we all appreciate. Wishing all f you continued success in your personal and professional endeavors. You can read more about this here.

On a lighter note,let’s chat for a moment about a lovely novel entitled “Destined”, by Gail Cleare. I am currently re-reading this book, just because it is a gentle, relaxing story that brings in bits of Tarot, other esoteric topics, a delightful cat, a European love interest, and a colorful multi-cultural community together in a very believable story line. Illustrated with card images from the Payen Tarot of Marseilles, Each of the 22 chapters (the first chapter is entitled Chapter 0)  starts out with a scan of the card (the cards go in sequence), and a short description and meaning. It can be purchased here. The Kindle version can be purchased here.

(c) 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any format prohibited without the written permission of the author.

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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Tarot


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Review – The Portland Tarot

The Portland Tarot

Author: Jamie Morris, Theresa Pridemore
Artist: Theresa Pridemore
Independently Published

There definitely is such a thing as serendipity! I had been hearing about the Portland Tarot, and kind of filed it in the back of my mind. Then I was contacted by Jamie Morris, co-author for the companion book for this deck. We chatted a bit on Facebook, and she asked me if I would like to see the cards. I told her I would love to see the cards, and I now have them in my hands! I am absolutely thrilled!

Portland Tarot The Weird

The Portland Tarot is an ongoing project … the 23 Major Arcana cards have been finished, with the completion of the Minor Arcana tentatively scheduled for the end of 2014. (Funding for the Minor Arcana, and publication of the full 78 card deck, is currently being sought.) And yes, I did say that the Major Arcana consists of 23 cards! As with the Touchstone and Sakki Sakki Tarot decks, there is an extra card. In this deck, the card is entitled The Weird. Morris talks about this card representing the “space between spaces”, the moments when all has dissolved and has yet to re-gel and possibilities whip in the wind around you. The card acts as a bridge between worlds, a time when your current reality feels all “wibbly” and anything seems possible. Not yet The Fool, in The Weird, the tides of connectedness, magic and trust tug at you. Stay alert! Shapeshifting is possible! This card will be kept in the full 78 card deck, but the imagery may undergo some transformation. It’s all good!

In the LWB (Little White Booklet) that accompanies the deck, it is noted that Portland (Oregon) and this deck have a lot in common – that eccentrics and independent thinkers will find inspiration and insight in both. Both are at the same time forward thinking and grounded in tradition, and through both one can take one’s first steps on the path to intuition.

Portland Tarot Molount St Helen's

Pridemore talks about the Portland Tarot as being dark, but funny (and it is!), modern, yet infused with symbols of the ages (and it is!). Probably my favorite card in the entire deck is Mount St. Helen’s (The Tower). Here we see a very calm looking gentleman, dressed in a white shirt, black vest, and black bow tie, wearing a black bowler (hat) that has been blown off his head. All kinds of symbols come exploding out of his head! Profound, insightful … and incredibly funny! (To me, anyway.)

Portland Tarot The City

The deck is meant to act as a bridge between the old and the new, reimagining ancient themes with modern whimsy. This it does, and does well. The bridge theme is carried forward into the three unique Tarot spreads that are presented. Developed by Morris and Pridemore together,  each of the three spreads is based on three cards: (1) You Are Here, (2) View Across The Bridge., and (3)  The Bridge. Each spread is designed to answer a specific type of question. Spread 1, The Fremont Bridge, is used for practical advice on daily matters. Spread 2, The St. John’s Bridge, is used for inspiring insight into self-initiated transformation. Spread 3, The Vista Bridge, is used for guidance and encouragement during times of difficulty or loss. The three positions retain the same name in each spread, but are defined in a different matter. And yes, these bridges do exist in Portland!

The LWB covers background on the deck, how to use the cards, a short bio on Pridemore, what is coming up for the Portland Tarot, a lovely section on the Tarot Daily Commute (discussing using the Portland Tarot as your daily bridge to the Divine, with three suggested routes: (1) The Daily Draw, (2) Three-Card Stories, or (3) Dream A Little Dream. The three spreads are presented in depth, and there are keywords presented for each of the cards.

Portland Tarot back

The cards themselves are 4” by 6”, which are a bit large for smaller hands. However, the deck is so much fun to use, the reader will find a way to shuffle! The backs are a turquoise color, with a large white merkaba in the center, and a smaller nerkaba on each side. Over and under the merkaba is a bridge, with  a small merkaba under it. The backs are reversible.

The card faces show a ¼” turquoise border, with a thin black border on the inside. Centered on the top of each card is a white half-moon. Across the bottom of the card, in black lettering against a white background, is the card number and title. The cards carry traditional titles, with the following exceptions: House of the Seeker (Hierophant), the Hanged Woman (The Hanged Man), Mount St. Helens (The Tower), and the City (The World). The extra card is The Weird.

Portland Tarot The House of hte Seeker

The House of the Seeker shows a male, dressed in a white turtleneck and a suit, against a sci-fi looking background. Centered where his heart is we see what appears to be a globe of the world. The Lovers shows a male and a female figure, standing on a black and white checker-board, with a white dog with wings hovering above them  There is a white rope in  the shape of a heart, with each figure holding on to one end of it.

The Hermit is a very poignant figure – that of a woodsman, his foot on a tree stump, a staff held in both hands, and a lantern at this feet. The High Priestess is beautifully done, showing a Priestess, dressed all in white, standing in front of a bridge. Surrounding her, seated and standing, are a group of women. Strength shows a woman, seated, with the infinity symbol above her head. A lion stands behind her, and she appears to be petting or feeding a dog that is seated in front of her.

The Chariot will bring a smile to everyone’s face! We see a female figure seated in a blue convertible, with both doors open. Behind her appear to be curtains, with the word “Hollywood” appearing on one side, and “Portland” on the other side. Seated in front of the car on the left hand side is a white dog, on the right hand side a black dog. By the way – the car wheels are not touching the ground!

This deck has character, and spunk, and is clearly well thought out. What a fun deck to work with! It has already been shown in some really neat places, like the World Domination Summit’s “Portlandia Village”, and at Sarah G.Creative. The Portland Tarot can be purchased from the deck’s site –

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any venue prohibited without the written permission of the author.


Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Tarot


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Tarot Tid Bits


This is a trial run … writing a Tarot blog. I write all the time, but my Tarot offerings tend to be in the form of reviews. I have a few things that I would like to share, so I am going to see if doing a weekly Tarot blog works out.

The first item that I want to share is information about upcoming BATS (Bay Area Tarot Symposium). There are not that many Tarot related conferences or symposiums here in the U.S. BATS has been ongoing for 22 years, under the auspices of the Daughters of Divination and Thalassa. This year it is being held at the Double Tree Hotel in San Jose, CA on Saturday, August 17th and Sunday, August 18th. Presenters include Pamela Steele (The Steele Wizard Tarot), Lon Milo DuQuette, Major Tom Schick (Major Tom’s Marseille Tarot), Valentina Burton (The Fortuneteller’s Guide To Success), Arisa Victor (Thursday Night Tarot), and Pamela Eakins (Tarot of the Spirit). More information, and how to register, can be found here. Thalassa has gone to a great deal of effort to keep this symposium going over the years. With the downturn in the economy, this has not always been easy. This event offers unique Tarot information, a change to meet and greet with other Tarot professionals, and my personal favorite … vendors booths! Penciling this into your calendar will certainly help support this event, and our Tarot tribe in general.

There is a very interesting Tarot deck that has come to my attention – the Portland Tarot. Conceived by artist Theresa Pridemore, with a LWB written by Jamie Morris, this deck looks to make a strong statement on Portland, and on living life large!

From my friend Mary Nale we have Attune Magazine – an on-line e-zine featuring Tarot,and other metaphysical subjects, articles, artwork, reviews, videos, articles and stories. The theme for October is the Wheel of Fortune. Check out the site for submission guidelines. Mary is also host to Attune Magazine Radio, where a wide range of metaphysical subjects is discussed. Her newest venture is a radio show entitled “Sessions”, co-hosted by Mary, my friend Brad Tesh, and myself. This is going to be offered twice monthly, on Tuesday nights. The first show will be Tuesday, July 16th, where we will be introducing ourselves, the show’s concept, and discussing visualization. Also hosted on Attune Radio is a Thursday mid-day show entitled Personal Empowerment For Your Soul with Maggie Lukowski and Jean Maurie Puhlman.

I also want to head you over to one of themost outstanding Tarot blogs that I have ever seen – Jordan Hoggard’s blog – The Land Of Mystereum – Tarot, voice, and Story. Incredible connections with the cards, complimented by amazing videos!


(c) 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any venue prohibited without written permission of hte author.




Posted by on July 10, 2013 in Tarot


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Review – The Tarot Wheel

The Tarot Wheel

Author: Jim Edward Lucier
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
ISBN #978-0-7643-4439-8

The Tarot Wheel cover

‘The Tarot Wheel” is based on the Rider-Waite template. Through the spinning of seven interconnected wheels, a reading is formed. The seven wheels are defined as:

Ring One: The Present

Ring Two: The Past

Ring Three: The Future

Ring Four: Ambitions – Your desires, hopes, and dreams relating to your question.

Ring Five: Influences – The spiritual influence behind your question.

Ring Six: Strengths – The strengths behind your question.

Ring Seven – The outcome of your question.

Lucier makes the claim that through this simple format an individual can be reading the Tarot within minutes. Information obtained references the past, present, and future, an individual’s strengths, influences, obstacles, and the outcome of any questions asked. Together, they bring your life’s path into focus.

The wheel, along with a laminated cheat sheet containing basic meaning for the Major Arcana, and the four suits of the Minor Arcana, comes in a hard cardboard, magnetic lift top box. The cover shows a picture of the wheel itself. The underside of the cover gives information about the author, a dedication, and acknowledgments on the right hand side, with publishing information on the left hand side.

The cheat sheet gives instructions on how to use the wheel. In general, an individual turns the wheels in any direction until they feel satisfied. The transparent arm may also be moved. Read only the words that appear within the transparent dial. When two tabs appear within the transparent arm, both cards are to be read. Read only the words that appear (in majority) within the transparent dial.

When looking into the full past of a situation, all wheels are to be tuned counterclockwise. When looking into the full present or future of a situation, the wheels are to be turned clockwise.

The “Tarot Wheel” system is one way in which basic Tarot information can be used. The basic information provided on the cheat sheet is adequate, and the card names on the Wheel itself are easily read. The problem for me begins with the lack of cards … the focus is on the Wheel … is that going to be enough to carry the Seeker’s energy? Without cards, there is no imagery, so essentially the Seeker and the reader are focusing on the card name alone.

While this system comes across as a fun experience, I am not all that sure that it is a good way to teach the Tarot. I am less than impressed with the pooh poohing of the study of Tarot, and of Tarot research. I would look at this as a “for fun only” Tarot system.

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited in any format without the written permission of the author.

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Posted by on July 7, 2013 in Tarot


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