Monthly Archives: March 2015

Review – The Minoan Tarot

The Minoan Tarot

Author: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Artist: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Foreword: Rachel Pollack
Arnell’s Art
ISBN #978-0-9894739-3-4


The “Minoan Tarot” is inspired by the people of ancient Crete – their devotion to their Goddess, their land, and their creativity. The imagery is based on frescoes, pottery, sculpture, and jewelry from various periods in Cretan history. The 78 card deck and 92 page companion book come in a sturdy, lift-top box with the image of the Moon on the front. Other card images flow along the sides and ends of the box.

This is a traditional deck, with the following cards being retitled: Lily Prince (Fool), Priestess (Magician), Oracle (Priestess), Goddess (Empress), God (Emperor), Singer (Hierophant), Visionary (Hermit), Wheel of Life (Wheel of Fortune), Balance (Justice), Hanging Woman (Hanged Man), Ancestor (Death), Flow (Temperance), Ecstasy (Devil), Shipwreck (Tower), Transcendence (Judgement) and World Tree (World). Strength is VIII, Balance (Justice) XI. The suits are Earth (depicting land animals), Sea (depicting water creatures), Sky (depicting feathered creatures), and Art (depicting humankind involved in day to day activities). The Court Cards are Worker, Priestess, Master, and Mistress, and reflect social roles and cultural traits.

In her foreword, Pollack talks about the 1980’s as the beginning of a time when Tarot deck creators began to work with cultural traditions, many of which have been set in the past. She notes that this is a great learning tool, and that Lorenzi-Prince’s images are both true to their source, and alive and meaningful.

Lorenzi-Prince, in her introduction, talks about the fact that the Bronze age people of Crete, unlike their contemporaries, did not exalt kingship. Nor did they perceive of a great distance between the gods and humanity. She notes that each card in the Minoan Tarot is based on an original work of the painters, sculptors, jewelers, and potters who lived thousands of years ago.

She goes on to define the chronological tables of the periods that she refers to in this deck: Neolithic Era on Crete, Pre-Palace Period, Old Palace Period, New Palace Period, and Post Palace Period, and gives us a brief history of the Minoan culture.

The cards are presented with a full color image, a history of the symbols used in the card, and three short messages. For the Minor Arcana, note is made that the suits (Earth, Sea, Sky, and Art) reflect the great powers present in the lives of the Minoans. The numbers are defined as: Ace/Individuality, Two/Sensitivity, Three/Creativity, Four/Practicality, Five/Adaptability, Six/Harmony, Seven/Spirituality, Eight/Power, Nine/Consciousness, and Ten/Transformation. The Court Cards carry the following qualities: Worker (physical, practical energy of the suit), Priestess (spiritual direction and action), Master/Mistress (aspects of the God and Goddess as reflected through each of the suits).

At the end of the LW (Little White Book) we see samples for several three card readings, and a list of selected sources.

Minoan Tarot_0001

The card backs are red, with a gold labrys – a double-headed axe-like symbol of the Goddess, and a ceremonial tool for ancient priestesses. The backs are not reversible. The card faces show a lavender/blue ¼” border, surrounding a central image. Across the bottom of the card in white lettering, we see the card number (in Roman numerals) and title (for the Major Arcana), suit and title (for the Court Cards), and suit and number (in text) for the Minor Arcana pips (numbered cards).

The images are modern renditions of ancient images, done primarily in shades of blue, purple, gold, and green. Symbols include snakes, Gods, Goddesses, eggs, and crescent moons.

Minoan Tarot_0002

Sky Master: This card is based on a gold pendant from the island of Aegina in the New Palace Period. The Master of Birds brings grounding and discipline to the soul’s search for meaning.

Minoan Tarot_0003

Art Mistress: The fantastical creature carrying the libation in this engraved gold ring from the New Palace Period is called the Minoan genius or demon. It always functions as a divine servant.

Minoan Tarot_0004

Sky Eight: This lovely crested bird is from a fresco of Knossos in the New Palace Period is a hoopoe. It is thought to rule all birds.

Minoan Tarot_0005

Sea Seven: The painted octopus, shown coiled around a terracotta vessel of the New Palace Period, shows the joy the Minoans felt in this creatures grace and flexibility.

Minoan Tarot_0006

Earth Ace: This finely carved ritual vessel comes from the New Palace Period. It shows how highly revered the bull was in Minoan culture.

Minoan Tarot_0007

The Moon: This image is from a fragment of a terracotta sculpture of the Goddess found in the Psychro cave. The Moon is the gateway to what lies beyond.

Minoan Tarot_0008

Balance: The image here is from an engraved gem seal from Knossos in the Old Palace Period. Two acrobats are standing on their hands, mirroring each other. The Minoans valued both physicality and deep religious feeling.

Minoan Tarot_0009

Wheel of Life: The Minoan Tarot Wheel of Life is from an Old Palace Period engraved gem seal, showing an interwoven design of egg and snake.

Minoan Tarot_0010

Singer: The imagery here is a group of terracotta figurines from the Cretan village of Palaikastro in the Post Palace Period. While less sophisticated than before the falloff the palaces, we are still shown that joyous religious rights lived on.

The “Minoan Tarot” functions well as a tool for journeying and meditation, as well as an oracle. The card meanings will evolve for the reader as they work with this deck, but it is important to work with the companion book when you first start using this deck in any capacity. The messages are all about stability and a grounded sense of well-being.

The work seen here reflects the exacting standards of both the author/illustrator, Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, and the publisher, Arnell Ando. It is a quality product, and a welcome addition for any Tarot reader/collector/afficianado.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written authorization from the author.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: , , ,

Review – Tarocchi Appropriati

Tarocchi Appropriati

International Collaborative Project
Limited Edition
Museo Dei Tarocchi

Tarocchi Appropriati_0001

The “Tarocchi Appropriati” is a 22 card, majors only deck and 96 page companion book that is a collaborative project under the auspices of the Museo Dei Tarocchi, hosted by Morena Poltronieri, in collaboration with Ernesto Fazioli, and overseen by Tarot historian Giovanni Pelosini. This is a Limited, Special Edition of 100 sets. The cards and companion book are packaged in a special, ribbed, corrugated box with the cover art on the lid (which carries the Museo’s Hot Wax Seal).


Note: There are two additional cards – a title card, and a card listing the artists. The booklet is available in English, translated by artist Arnell Ando (Transformational Tarot). Cover art is by Jessica Angiulli.

This deck is an homage from the hosts of Tarocchi Appropriati (Morena Polronieri and Ernesto Fazioli) to a time in Tarot history when nobility enjoyed playing parlor games with the cards. I loved the background given in the accompanying book – how the presence of the Tarot in Bologna was later than it was elsewhere, and that it was not always performed in verse. Each trump of “Tarocchini Appropriate” was inspired for a different lady, and was presented in two distinct parts – the first being the correspondences between the trump cards and the ladies, the second, in prose, provided an explanation of the proposed correspondence (which was at times rather wicked or cheeky).

The artists and their corresponding cards are listed at the beginning of the companion book, with artist bios at the back of the book.  They represent an international artistic talent:

Giovani Monti – The Fool
Lucio Mondini – The Magician
Caterina Forest – The High Priestess
Martino Barbieri – The Empress
Octavio Monaco – The Emperor
Alain Giannotti – The Pope
Eric Lerner – The Lovers
Claire Santi – The Chariot
Paride Cevolani – Justice
Jari Casagrande – The Hermit
Mariarita Frazzoni – The Wheel of Fortune
Tiziana Bertacci – Strength
Antonello Mantovani – The Hangman
Ornella Lamberti – Death
Giovanni Pelosini – Temperance
Rebecca Mietzelfield – The Devil
Francesca Ricci – The Tower
Payal Anil Padmanabhan – The Star
Rita Minelli – The Moon
Adolfina De Stefani – The Sun
Patricia Brown – Judgement
Franco Coletti – The World

The cards are presented with a small black and white scan, the artists interpretation of the card, and a poem from poet Jari Casagrande (who also was the artist for The Hermit). Tarot historian Giovanni Pelosini contributed the card Temperance. I love this way of looking at the Tarot – and hope that you do also!

Tarocchi Appropriati_0002

The cards are 2.75” by 5”, on matte cardstock (my favorite cardstock!). The card backs are done in a muted brown and gold, and are not reversible. The card faces are borderless, and include the card number and title.

Tarocchi Appropriati_0003

Ruota di Fortuna: “Continuous movement of life, I find you constantly, even if hidden among crickets and owls who rejoice. I know where to look, when the dark corners of memory require your eyes. You know where to find me, whenever I whisper of the love that brought us together …
Friends of the heart
Sisters forever”

Tarocchi Appropriati_0004

The Death: “Arcana XIII is obtained from the masque “headgear carved wooden with a clan c.1875”(Size: 100 X 100 cm – mixed media: Acrylic on canvas). It is a shamanic headdress topped with a totem animal. To protect people in the journey between life and death. To enter into another world, where chaos reigns supreme. Where good is in constant struggle with the evil dark forces of nature. It is the realm of the night, the womb, with felines looking hungry at coops with feathers that camouflage the head …Feast on a solemn transformation. A royal banquet.Death and then unmentionable passing – until it reaches the extreme point where fingers are touching, in a magical exchange that sets off sparks of new life. Roar. Rattle. Dance.It is a shamanic headdress topped by a totem animal, an object to overcome the illusion of life, believing in death, attempting a new journey. Vision quest.
Life does not die.”

Tarocchi Appropriati_0005

The Lovers: “My musical inspiration for composing the Amanti card was the punk music of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Ultimately it was the determining factor in employing digital media. When presented with the project, I pulled cards for both my friend Alain Giannotti and myself to let Tarot itself determine what we would do. He got Papa and I Amani. Initially I aspired to use a piece of classical music for inspiration. But the more studies I did, the more impossible I found it to decide to just one musical composition. For me, the meaning of the Lover’s card is distilled as conflict. In Marseilles inspired Tarots the lover is trying to choose between two very different women while he feels hapless victim to an arrow of fate about to crash through his consciousness in making his choice. Classical music excels in expressing pure emotional states or mimicking natural phenomena. A single composition that gave voice to Amanti would have to implode. Increasingly I realized many punk songs did an excellent job of such turmoil. Having been a performer on that musical scene myself I remembered how we put together cover art for our 45’s, gig posters, and cassette inserts. We used crude collage. If we had a lot of finesse maybe we used glue sticks, manicuring scissors and ball point pen to attack our material. More likely we used clear scotch tape, blunter craft scissors, and a photocopier. Digital composition is gthe closet thing to an equivalent today.”      

I am very honored to be reviewing this deck. I want to personally thank Arnell Ando for doing the translation into English that allowed me to share in the wisdom that it presents. The work that the Museo de Tarocchi hosts is incomparable. This deck in particular is one that will appeal to Tarot artists, historians, and collectors.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 28, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: , , , , , ,

Review – New Earth Tarot

New Earth Tarot –
Tarot for a New Era of
Personal and Global Awakening

Author: Charlene DeLong
Artist: Kate Silver

Bookbyte Digital
ISBN #978-1-6136-156-5

ISBN #978-1-61306-123-7

New Earth Tarot

This deck is one of three that were on my wish list when I attended NWTS (Northwest Tarot Symposium) in 2015. One of the more simplistic reasons that I wanted this deck is because it is round, reminding me of Vicki Noble’s “Motherpeace Tarot” (which was a whole new experience for me when it came out!). When I stopped by the “New Earth Tarot” vending table I was able to speak with Charlene, who indicated that the “Motherpeace Tarot” had been her reading deck for many years, and definitely influenced her work on her own deck.

Note: The 78 card deck and 247 page companion book can be purchased separately, as indicated by their ISBN numbers. They can also be purchased together on the authors site.I am reviewing them together because they are a working “set”. Th deck comes with a LWB (Little White Book). The deck follows traditional lines, with the following cards being retitled: Triumph (The Chariot), Wise One (Hermit), Way SHower (The Devil), All and Everything (The World). Justice is VIII, Strength is XI.The suits are Wand, Cups, Swords, and Mirrors, with the Court Cards titled Child, Adolescent, Woman, and Man.

“The New Earth Tarot” is meant to be used not only as a divinatory tool, but also as a therapeutic tool, and a gateway for creating a self-directed life. With this deck, one can honor tradition (I am a traditionalist!), while opening up to the possibilities of the future. It is a culturally diverse deck, with images from both ancient and modern times. By nature of being round, the issue of using reversals versus not using them is negated. Instead, we are looking at degrees of interpretation. The imagery becomes a rich, vibrant mandala addressing life.

Charlene talks about the background for the “New Earth Tarot”, referencing that humankind is awakening to taking responsibility for their lives. She also talks about how time is speeding up, and changes are happening more quickly. She feels that a new perspective, and new skills, are needed to make changes in the present that are based on what will be (future). For that we need new insight and new tools. She states that working with the New Earth Tarot offers us the opportunity to glean wisdom from the past, present, and possible futures.

This deck is intended to function as a map for personal and spiritual growth, a manual for creation and manifestation, a therapeutic method, a tool of divination, and an archive of spiritual and metaphysical knowledge. Charlene states that the number on a Tarot card represents the highest and most significant piece of information on the card, as it represents the card’s Divine expression and creative energy.

The companion book covers the energy of the numbers 1-9, 0 – 10, and 11 – 21. There is a short section on the archetypes as universal patterns, the process of the Major Arcana, and the archetypal corespondences.

The cards are presented with a small full color scan, a write-up on what the card means, indications (upright meanings), and inverted (other than upright meaning – not to be confused with being the opposite of the upright meaning).

There is a short but interesting section at the end of the book correlating astrological signs to Minor Arcana suits, and which signs match which element. This is followed by a short section on how to read the cards.

Several spreads are presented, including the New Earth Tarot Spread, the Celtic Cross Spread, Single Card Reading, Relationship Spread, and a Past/Present/Future Spread.

At the end of the book is a bibliography that is well worth looking into!

New Earth Tarot_0001

The cards are 4 3/4″ in diameter. The backs show a gold border surrounding a blue inner circle. Within the circle we see a square, surrounding a circle, surrounding a triangle, with a smaller inner triangle. Under the outer triangle we see the words “First Edition” in gold.

The card faces show a white border, with a narrow gold inner border, surrounding the imagery. The Major Arcana show the card number, in text, across the top, with the card name across the bottom. The Minor Arcana pips (numbered cards) show the suit number at the top of the card, and the suit name across the bottom. The Court Cards have the title across the top of the card,in black, with the suit along the bottom of the card, in black. The imagery ranges from simple (the Page of Swords shows a young child, in a red robe, seated, holding a golden sword), to esoteric (All and Everything (Te World) shows a female figure, standing on the world, with a golden crown and a globe in her left hand. Behind her we see clouds, and a white dove flying. Above her head we see an eye, with golden rays emanating from it.

New Earth Tarot_0002

Child of Swords: Patience and practice are called for, as this is the would-be king. Inverted, we are seeing an individual that is attempting to lead without expertise or preparation.

New Earth Tarot_0003

The Lovers: Connection is the foundation of relationship. From connection comes a sense of belonging and contentment.

New Earth Tarot_0004

All and Everything (The World): As the Spiritual Fool you are ready to step into the unknown realm of All Possibility.

New Earth Tarot_0005

4 of Swords: Follow the opportunity that has come to you – use your intellect to bring organization and intention to a creative endeavor. The best of intentions are uprooted by disorganization and poor planning.

New Earth Tarot_0006

Judgement: Judgment is internal, not external. Self-forgiveness leads to self-acceptance. You are being gifted with a new chance at life. Inverted, judgment acts as a self-imposed punishment.

New Earth Tarot_0008

1 of Wands: This is the essence of all that is the element of fire. Use your inner fire to motivate. With complacency, we lose personal power and individuality.

New Earth Tarot_0009

Hanged One (Hanged Man): Change takes place in the unconscious, but we can initiate it consciously. Hanging on to old habits gets in the way of needed change.

 New Earth Tarot_0010

8 of Wands: You find balance by viewing the past and the present in light of the future. Self-punishment and self-indulgence turns the wheel of karma.

New Earth Tarot_0011

Wheel of Fortune: There are no accidents – life is a result of our choices. If we do not accept responsibility, we resign ourselves to our fate.

I love the vibrant nature of this deck, and the thought that went into it. I do feel that this deck can act as a gateway into a future that we need to gain perspective on.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 27, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: , , ,

Review – Tarot de St Croix

Tarot de St. Croix

Author: Lisa de St. Croix
Artist: Lisa de St. Croix
Devera Publishing
ISBN #978-0-9858321-9-3

Tarot de St Croix cover

“Tarot de St. Croix” is a 78 card deck that comes with an accompanying 96 page booklet, both enclosed in a sturdy box with a lift-off top. The box is in the same lovely orange that dominates the deck, with a scan of the Sun on the cover, and smaller card images running along three sides.  It is structured along traditional lines, using traditional titles for the Major Arcana, with Strength as VIII and Justice as XI. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles, with the Court Cards as Page, Knight, Queen and King.

Note: I am proud to say that this deck was published through Devera Publishing, an independent publishing house in Portland, Oregon.

In her introduction, Lisa talks about this deck as being both contemporary and multi-cultural. Inspiration came from current events, personal experiences, mythology, and synchronicity. Lisa describes the Tarot as a visual encyclopedia to the soul.

Lisa’s introduction to the Tarot came from accompanying her mother to a Tarot reading in Johannesburg, South Africa. Some time after her mother’s death the Marseille deck that her mother had purchased at that reading came into her hands, and she began her study of the Tarot. At this time, Lisa was living near a Zuni Indian reservation. At the winter solstice Lisa took a shamanic journey, where Isis instructed her to paint a Tarot deck. She painted this deck as if it were a Tarot reading, and she were receiving wisdom. The introduction also includes thoughts on reading the cards, drawing a daily card, Tarot journaling, a three card spread, a five card spread, and a nine card spread.

While the commentary in the booklet is minimal, Lisa does have a blog where she expands on the card meanings, sharing what they are to her, and her experiences as she was painting each card. It is well worth checking out her blog. The companion booklet shares Lisa’s life experiences, and her philosophy.

The Major Arcana are presented as a two page spread, with commentary on the left hand page, and the card meaning, along with a ¾ page color image on the right hand page. In the commentary Lisa talks about what inspired her for the card, and bits of her own life experience.

The Fool

The Fool is both the beginning and the end of the Major Arcana in the archetypal journey of the soul.

The Fool is inspired by the Pueblo Indian sacred clown Koshare. He wears the mask of Coyote, the trickster. He represents a playful way to look at a situation. The Fool makes a shadow puppet scene of danger. The message is to look beyond our fears to see what really lies behind it. The path leads towards the full moon which symbolizes the cyclical nature of life. The boat represents a journey into the mystery. The Fool’s knapsack lays open in front of him, what will he take with him? The aspen stick with eyes symbolizes the witness and the wisdom gained on his journey.

I lived for a number of years on the Zuni Indian Reservation, where I was fortunate to see their ceremonial dances. One evening as I stood on the rooftop watching the dances below, a Koshare, the sacred clown climbed up the ladder and tricked me into buying a plastic turquoise necklace for twenty dollars, the crowd roared with laughter. I felt embarrassed but also delighted to play the fool n their ceremony. I treasure that necklace, it reminds me to laugh at myself.

The Minor Arcana pips (numbered cards) are presented as groups – i.e. Ace’s together, two’s together et cetera. There is short commentary on what each number means, followed by the number in each suit, a short commentary, and its meaning. Small color scans for each of the four cards appear at the bottom of the page.


Aces offer the potential of something new that will succeed. Aces are linked to the Magician, the great manifester.

Ace of Pentacles

The full blooming sunflower against the brilliant sky is an expression of abundance.

Meaning – Begin a new project with confidence knowing that it will grow to its fullest potential and flourish.

The Court Cards are presented as groups – Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings. A full page is given to each card, with commentary about the card at the top, a full color scan in the middle, and the meaning at the bottom.

Page of Cups

This young Page dreamily looks at the water cupped in her hands, imagining romance. She is sensitive and vulnerable as she sits on the lotus, nestled between the stamens.

Meaning: In order to blossom in love and relationships it is necessary to expose tenderness and vulnerability.

Tarot de St Croix_0001

The backs show a ¼” orange border, surrounding a mirror image of clouds, the moon, and a figure. The card backs are reversible – and they really draw one in! The cards are 3” by 4.5”, sturdy and semi-gloss. The card faces show a ¼” orange border surrounding a central image. For the Major Arcana, the card number (in Roman numerals) and title run across the bottom of the card. For the Court Cards, the title and suit run across the bottom of the card. For the Minor Arcana Pips (numbered cards), the number and suit, all in text, run across the bottom of the card.

The colors in this deck – predominately orange, yellow, and gold – are intense, vibrant, and absolutely command your attention! This is a very personal deck for Lisa, not only that she was instructed to paint it while on a shamanic journey, but that it reflects her thoughts, her travels, her early years spent in South Africa, and her meditative practices. I purchased this deck while I was at NWTS (Northwest Tarot Symposium). At this time, Lisa was in India meditating and painting … very reflective of the life of this deck.

Tarot de St Croix_0002

Queen of Pentacles: The Queen Sheba is carried on a gold palanquin, surrounded by the riches of the earth (ripe fruit, fragrant flowers, and abundant herbs). She embodies the qualities of abundance, nurturing, and generosity. “Meaning – Enjoy the senses, and share with others.”

Tarot de St Croix_0003

Knight of Cups: This Knight welcomes the flow of feelings. Lisa notes that her son has always followed his heart, and as a result he has been able to make his dreams come true. “Meaning – A person who acts from the heart.”

Tarot de St Croix_0004

The Empress: As the great mother, the Empress nurtures and provides. Her rule is through love. This painting was begun on the spring equinox. As she painted this card, Lisa watched the blossoms on the tree across from her studio open, and the bulbs flower. “Meaning – If we open ourselves to what we need and give and receive love, abundance will flow.”

Tarot de St Croix_0005

Ace of Swords: “The wisp of smoke at the end of the sword suggests that something is smoldering, ready to ignite. The new moon suggests the beginning of a new phase that will develop.” “Meaning – Innovative ideas will expand bringing clarity and wisdom.”

Tarot de St Croix_0006

The World: “The World is the culmination of the Tarot archetypal journey, it speaks of wholeness and numinous revelation.” “Meaning – The World shows you that you are connected to all that is.”

Tarot de St Croix_0007

The Hermit: “The Hermit spends time alone in contemplation. The Hermit is an ally when it comes to dealing with shadow. Look within, and let it be illuminated. Questions will be resolved.” “Meaning – The Hermit invites you to spend time alone to allow your inner wisdom to reveal itself.”

Tarot de St Croix_0008

Three of Wands: “The Mother watches her progeny’s boat come in. Three wands blossom with the promise of success. The figurehead leads the boat towards the spirit world. “Meaning – Visionary leadership will see a project flourish.”

Tarot de St Croix_0009

The Magician: “The Magician uses will, the elements and Spirit to manifest that which is desired.” “Meaning – The message of the Magician is that through focused energy we are able to harness the means to create our destiny.”

Tarot de St Croix_0010

Seven of Pentacles: “The girl in the leopard skin reaches eagerly towards many projects.” “Meaning – Pause and evaluate your goals, before  unleashing energy to achieve them.”

I am impressed with this deck to the point that I am in awe! The vibrant colors draw the reader in and make them feel at home – warm and protected. There is a very sacred feel to these cards, partially because of the archetype that the Tarot is, and partially because Lisa has shared so much of herself and her sacred life journey with the reader. I highly recommend that the reader make best use of Lisa’s blog, where she goes in-depth into what the cards mean to her, and where she was in her journey when she painted them.

Lisa has placed herself in some of the cards along the way, and has included other individuals from her life. Quite an interesting card is the Page of Swords, which integrates her son drawing the golden mean on a blackboard with a sword. A subtle way if showing that the golden mean is at work in this deck. This is a comfortable deck for all levels of Tarot student, and certainly what one could term a “teaching deck”.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent from the author

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: , ,

Northwest Tarot Symposium – Part 3

Northwest Tarot Symposium – Part 3

In Parts 1 and 2, I shared my impressions of this awesome symposium from an overall perspective, and took a closer look at the presenters. In Part 3, I will be sharing thoughts on the vendors. Overall thought – they were awesome!

Ailynn – Carried the Queens of Tarot aromatherapy sprays (for all four Queens and the Moon).

Amaris Rising ( – Carried Tarot, crystal, and potion bags, crystal pendulums, and more!

Cat’s Eye – Carried hand-crafted Tarot decks and hand painted Lenormand boards and cloths.

Charlene DeLong – Carried New Earth Tarot deck and books, along with hand crafted crystal necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

Chocolate Fandango – Everybody’s favorite stop! Incredible chocolate treats, including chocolate bark, truffles, and gift sets, with milk, dark and white chocolates.

Christine Payne-Towler and Toni Gilbert – Carried The Underground Stream and Tarot of the Hoy Light books and decks, with readings by Christine and Toni.

Crystal Quarry – Carried crystals, rocks, and minerals in many forms, including points, spheres, clusters, runes, chakra sets, and more!

Devera Publishing – This wonderful booth featured no only self-published decks, books, and learning cards, but also carried displays from U.S. Games Systems Inc. and Schiffer Publishing.

Divine Muses – Carried hand-made, self-published collage motif Tarot and Lenormand decks.

Divining/Designing – Carried an assortment of Goddess bracelets, necklaces, Lenormand charm bracelets, Tarot and Lenormand bags.

Gaean Allusions Pottery – Carried wheel-thrown, hand decorated stoneware, goblets, mugs, and plates, clay amulets, beads, and buttons, featuring New Tarot-themed designs, as well as Celtic, Pagan, Fantasy, and NW Native American.

Global Mineral – Carried rocks, minerals, stones, and jewelry. (Yes, I added to my stock of rose quartz! One can never have too much rose quartz!)

James Wanless – Carried several goodies, including his Sustain Yourself deck and companion book.

Other Worlds of Wonder – Carried Pagan and humor bumper stickers, wood burning art, Native American cards, totem cards, and framed house spells.

Pye Wackets – Carried alternative, earth based spiritual tools. Intuitive readings were available from Reverend Camille Moritz, Oracle and crystal divination from Rondell, and Oracle, Angel Card, and aromatherapy with Sheila.

Rare Earth Designs – Carried wood and leather journals, Runes, oghams, geomancy sets, boxes, cases, wands, Ouija boards, and fiber arts tools.

Raven’s Reflections – Offered oracle readings with her own uniquely designed divination cards.

Rosarium  Blends – Carried hand-crafted ritual incense, naturalperfumes, enchanting oil blends, and erotic apothecary goods and accessories.

Tarot of Empowerment – Featured the Tarot of Empowerment deck and book set, card prints, greeting cards, and more!

The Guiding Tree – Carried statuary, home décor, alter decorations, ritual tools, Tarot boxes, and body/mind/spirit products.

The Green Wolf – Carried costumes, ritual tools (made from hides, bones and skulls), and books.

Disclaimer: No, I do not have a wonderful memory, and no, I did not take good notes! Complete credit for the above (except for any errors!) goes to the awesome Jadzia DeForest, who included this comprehensive listing of the Vendor’s Bazaar in the NWTS printed programme.

 Northwest Tarot Symposium Part 1

Northwest Tarot Symposium Part 2

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 15, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: , , , ,

Northwest Tarot Symposium – Part 2

Northwest Tarot Symposium – Part Two

In Part 1 I gave you an overview of just how well thought out, and well presented this weekend was. (Many thanks to the DeForest’s and their helpers!) In Part Two I am going to share who the presenters were, and link to their work. I adored the format of this venue – fifty minute presentations, which allowed attendees to experience more presentations, and get a nice sampling of what is being offered in the Tarot world at this time.

There was a schedule of presenters and rooms in the (full color!) programme, which made life very easy! It was also noted which interest level ach presentation was aimed at: Novice, Adept, or Master. And yes, anyone could attend any of the presentations. This just made it easier to choose presentations that would interest you, and fit your comfort level.

Just as an aside – the hotel provided water and coffee, which was much appreciated. Sitting in an air conditioned venue for several hours can be a bit dehydrating.

Note: I was not able to attend all of the presentations. If I have gotten something wrong here, please let me know, and I will correct it.

Jadzia DeForest talked about “Tarot Suits & Numerology”. Jadzia refers to the four suits and the number cycle within the Tarot as building blocks. By learning the keys of the suits, elements, and numerology. An excellent base is developed for further Tarot studies.

Jay DeForest talked about “Beyond the Cards: How Does Divination Work?” Jay has a marvelous sense of humor, and it was a delight to hear him talk about what goes on during a reading, about where the information comes from, and how symbols work with our subconscious to help provide information, and expand our range of observation and awareness.

Jaymi Innowen Elford talked about “Inspiring The Muse”. The focus here was on helping writers use the Tarot to brainstorm stories, characters, and settings using the pictures, symbolism, and structure of the Tarot.

Toni Gilbert talked about “Archetypal Dreamwork and Tarot Cards”. I have admired Toni’s work for a long time now, and felt badly when I was unable to attend her presentation. Toni defined what archetypes are, discussed archetypal imagery (such as Chaos and Black Hole), Fusion, and the ubiquitous Big Bang theory. Shen then showed how these translate into the Tarot.Also discussed were Freud’s levels of consciousness, and how if we contemplate and understand our dreams,  we will find guidance for healing in our waking life.

Miriam Jacobs talked about “Tarot and the Chakras”. Her presentation connected the chakra system with the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. The two systems used together guide us to choose meditations that address the challenges presented by the cards.

Mellissae Lucia talked about “Crowd Funding Your Deck”. Mellissae offers an insider’s perspective on navigating a crowd funding campaign, including both the practical and spiritual aspects.

Marcia McCord talked about “First Steps With Lenormand”. This is another presentation that I was unable to attend, so I cannot tell you much about it. I will say that Marcia is a lovely and talented lady, with a great sense of humor. Attendees no doubt left with a whole new perspective of the Lenormand!

Heather Mendel talked about Intuition and the Sacred Feminine. Our lives are a mystery as we walk through the dark and the light. In her work, Heather blends the Tarot and the Kabbalah in search of the Sacred Feminine. Heather shared insight from her own life, relating it to her journey, and the journey that we all face in connecting with the Sacred Feminine. I could have listened to Heather all day long!

Teresa Michelsen talked about “Bringing the Tarot to Life”. Teresa addressed her topic by showing attendees how to step into a Tarot card and live it for a day, or a week, or however long they want to. In entering a card, we move away from thought and emotion, and into the realm of acting, speaking, and doing. Her stated goal with this method is to directly put into practice approaches to living and interacting with others, that achieve our best results.

Barbara Moore talked about “What Is My Soul’s Purpose?”, using the 3X7 format as a baseline. Her presentation included scans from various decks, which was a really nice addition (which also meant that in the creation of her Power Point, she ended up having to match loose cards to the decks that they came from!). Attendees were also presented with a handout including spreads that brought her topic home.

Carrie Paris talked about “The Magpie Oracle: Casting Shiny Objects or A Bright Future”. In this presentation, attendees learned about the rich history of collection oracles, and how they can be put to use. This is one oracle that I am going to have to work with!

Christine Payne-Towler talked about “Sophia Among the Alchemists”. This is one presentation that I fortunate to attend, and was very happy that I did! Christine’s focus was on the key concepts associated with Sophia’s appearance among the Renaissance and reformation Magi. Quite an in-depth presentation, and well worth attending!

Leeza Robertson & Amy Barilla talked about “Tarot and Tea”. The presentation was designed to build, grow, and expand an individual’s relationship with their deck. Focus was on enhancing knowledge of each card, while creating a spread to show the message that was needed for the situation right now. This is paired with a crystal or gemstone, and a power mantra.

Mark Ryan; talked about “The Wildwood Tarot”. Concepts discussed were those inherent in the Wildwood Tarot.

Major Tom Schick & Valentina Burton talked about “Using La Loteria cards as Oracle Cards”. I count myself blessed to have met Major Tom and Valentina, even though I was not able to attend their presentation. Major Tom created his own version of La Loteria cards, a Mexican bingo type game. Valentina wrote a book on using La Loteria for divination.

Pamela Steele talked about the “ABC’s of Tarot”. This was a broad spectrum presentation, addressing things like ethics, and how to phrase questions.

Gina Thies talked about “Keys XV to XXI – The 4 Natural Enemies on The Path”. This is one lecture that I was unable to attend. Hopefully at some point in time she will talk about this again. Her presentation centered on The Devil, and doing shadow work with the Tarot. Here we are confronting our demons/obstacles.

James Wanless talked about “Tarot Is Psychology” … and that it is not beyond the pale to read the Tarot without drawing the cards! (You learn this technique quickly when you are doing readings over the radio, and suddenly discover that you don’t have your cards!) He addresses the Tarot as a reflective mirror for self-knowing. The exercises included in this presentation (exercises that the attendees did) were both insightful and fun!

Carmen Waterman talked about “The Creators Journey”. Carmen is an awesome artist, and a compelling presenter! She shared her journey with her deck – what she did right, what could have been done better, and what was a learning experience. She has a sense of joy and humor – the time spent with her was magical!

Courtney Weber talked about “Tarot For One: The Art of the Self-Read”. Addressed are such things as ego, and the internal voice, and the attendee’s personal relationship with their deck. Work was also done on creating personal spreads that help with self-readings.

Katrina Wynne talked about “Sexual Symbolism In Tarot”. Katrina considers sexual energy and symbolism to be integral aspects of Tarot wisdom. The focus of this presentation was on learning immediate ways to relate to the message of each card, and their deeper, more personal meanings.

I want to thank all of the presenters for sharing their wisdom, and making NWTS a memorable experience!

Northwest Tarot Symposium Part 1

Northwest Tarot Symposium Part 3

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 14, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: , ,

Northwest Tarot Symposium: Part 1

Northwest Tarot Symposium 2015: Part 1

The weekend of March 6th through March 8th saw the inaugural event for the Northwest Tarot Symposium (NWTS), in Portland, OR. The symposium, founded by Devera Publishing (Jay and Jadzia DeForest) was an outstanding success – so much so that I am going to do a three part blog on this – a general overall impression (Part 1), a synopsis of the presenters (Part 2), and a synopsis of the vendors (Part 3).

Note: The symbol for NWTS became the delightful little newt. The west coast now rocks with BATS and NWTS!

A tremendous amount of work went into this event, beginning with Jay and Jadzia themselves. The location of the venue (The Monarch Hotel) was a very good one. The rooms were nice, the staff very courteous (they held my luggage for me behind the desk when I checked out on Sunday, as there were still presentations to see, as well as a final walk through the vending area), and it was quite easy to get to both the presentations (which were in one area), and the vendors area (which included a showing of art for the silent auction), which was completely separate.

A special note of thanks to Pamela Steele, who vetted the art auction, and to Jadzia and December for the time and effort they put into making this part of the symposium go off without a hitch. It was awesome to see this much art in one place.

Totally not connected with the Art Auction, but of interest anyway, was the fact that Theresa Pridemore (The Portland Tarot), and Courtney Weber (Tarot of the Boroughs) were both present. Each lady has a deck out representing her own unique city – to me this was incredible!

Registration was in an area directly off the lobby, which was very handy. I was very lucky when I registered, as Katrina Wynne was doing the registering, and she is someone that I very much wanted to meet. Katrina did more than her fair share throughout the event, making sure that everyone got where they needed to go, and had what they needed to have. And she did so in a very unobtrusive manner.


A full color programme covered everything that participants needed to know about the symposium: presenters (with bios and topics), presentation times and rooms, a map so it would be easy to move around, the story behind the little newt logo, and a list of vendors. Several of the presenters and vendors carried ads in the programme – thank you for helping support NWTS! I have another big shout out to make to the publishing community – Devera Publishing, U.S. Games Systems Inc., and Schiffer Publishing all carried full page ads! Kudos to The Fool’s Dog, The Tarot School, and the San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium for supporting NWTS with ads.

Both Jay and Jadzia were all over the place, making things happen. What a gracious, professional couple! They also had a booth to maintain for Devera Publishing, but they managed to get everything done, with the help of Jay’s sister Pat, Tom McConnell, December, Lizzie, Sierra, Pascale, and Tracie.

The Friday night Meet & Greet in the Monarch Hall was a tremendous success. The vending and art auction areas were open, there was a bar set-up, and wonderful finger food. What a treat to have a chance to meet some of the lovely people from the Tarot world that I have only interacted with online!

A cold cut, cheese and salad lunch was available both Saturday and Sunday. A nice break to sit down and have a longer chat with new friends! And there were also raffle drawings!

Saturday night saw us back in the Monarch Room with a bar set-up, finger food (which was very good!), raffle drawings, a great talk from the incredible Mark Ryan, and an awesome lineup of belly dancers, followed by music from Three For Silver.


I had a fabulous time, considering that I arrived sans Tarot deck (when I usually bring three or four!), and had to stop at Safeway and pick up a notebook to take notes on the presentations! (NWTS will be presented again next year, so I am going to make best use of this notebook and save it for all coming NWTS events. What a history that will be!)

Hope to see you all here next year!

Northwest Tarot Symposium Part 2

Northwest Tarot Symposium Part 3

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: ,

Review : Le Tarot Noir – Imagerie medievale popuaire

Le Tarot Noir
Imagerie medivale populaire

Author: Justine Ternel
Artist: Matthew Hackiere
Editions Vega
ISBN #978-2-85829-618-7

 Le Tarot Noir cover

Many thanks to Alison Cross (reviewer extraordinaire!) for bringing this deck to my attention. I knew going in that I would be purchasing this deck directly from Mr. Hackiere, that it was a full 78 card, Marseilles style deck, and that the companion book was only available in French. I knew that I had to have it anyway!

It came wrapped so well that a sharp knife and I had a difficult time opening it! Needless to say, it got here in excellent condition! Included was a well-constructed, lift top box, a 128 page companion book (in French), and the 78 card deck. I fell I love immediately!

The cover to the companion book and the top of the box are the same: all text in gold, against a black background. The image of the Two of Cups is done in a lighter gold. Throughout the companion book it is the same – gold text against a black background. There is a short introduction, with the text for each Major Arcana card on the left hand page, and a full page, full color image of the card on the right hand side. The pips have a short write-up on each suit, and on the Aces. For Two through Ten of each suit there is an image only. The suits are Baton, Coupe, Deniers, and D’Epee. La Justice is VIII, La Force is XI. At the end of the book is a bibliographie.

Since there is not all that much text in the book, I am going to use an online translator to create the English version of this book. It will take time – but it will be worth it! From what I understand, the text leans more towards card playing than the divinatory aspect, so I am not losing anything by not rushing to do the translation.

Tarot Noir_0001

The cards themselves are a sturdy 4” by 5 ½”. The backs are black, with an inset border in gold (a fine border, followed by a wider border). In the center of the card we see the same border, in an oval shape, surrounding a flower. (The image is also in gold.) The backs are not reversible. The card faces show a black border, followed by a thin gold border, which is followed by a slightly wider gold border. The background for the images is a cream/bone color. The cards are gilt edged.

For the Major Arcana, the card title is presented in French in black lettering against a cream/bone background at the bottom of the card. For the Court cards, the card title and suit is presented in French in black lettering against a cream/bone background at the bottom of the card. The pips, which are presented Marseilles style, do not show a title, but do show the card number in the middle of the card on the right and left hand sides.  The color palate is subdued, using green, brownish-red, blue, black, and yellow.

The pips are Marseille style, showing suit icons only.

Tarot Noir_0002

The Valet de Baton shows a figure standing, looking to the right hand side of the card (the future). Both hands are placed on an upright baton.

 Tarot Noir_0003

La Roue de Fortune shows a wheel with three animalistic figures on it. They all have tails, and the same face (almost like a mask). They are differentiated by their bodies, with the central figure wearing a crown.

Tarot Noir_0004

Arcane XIII (which is not named in this deck, but is known as Death), shows a skeleton wielding a scythe as he walks through a field with arms coming up from the soil – and one lone flower in the background.

Tarot Noir_0005

Reyne de Deniers shows a female figure, facing the left hand side of the card (the past). In her right hand she hold her suit symbol, inher left hand she holds a scepter.

 Tarot Noir_0006

La Justice shows a female figure, wearing a crown, seated. In her right hand is an upright sword, under her left hand the scales of justice.

I found this deck to be very well done, with quality materials and presentation. I would not hesitate to use it in different ways, such as divination, meditation, journeying, card a day, personal growth, and storytelling.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author


Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: , , ,