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Review: Tarot of the Crone, Third Edition

Tarot of the Crone –
Third Edition

Author: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Artist: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Publisher: Arnell’s Art
2017
ISBN #978-0-9894739-4-1

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Inspired by the ancient holy one. She is
grandmother, witch and hag. She has been
ignored or trivialized because she holds
powers that others fear or deny. Powers of
time and transformation, of death and shadow,
of wisdom and pain, of magic and wonder.
Ellen Lorenzi-Prince

I have followed this deck since its inception – as a handmade Limited Edition. To realize that this is the third birthing is absolutely amazing! The deck and companion book hold incredible power – power that we hold in our hands to help us to understand ourselves, to understand life, and to help others understand themselves and their lives. It is the power of transformation, the literal power of the Crone.

Tarot of the Crone is a 78 card deck with an 85 page companion book. Deck and book come packaged in a hard cardboard, life top box. The box has a black background, with a picture of the Star on the cover. The bottom of the box features pictures of the Priestess and the Wheel.

The Major Arcana follow traditional titles, with the following exceptions: High Priestess/Priestess, Hierophant/Tradition, Lovers/Crossroads, Wheel of Fortune/Wheel, Hanged Man/Sacrifice, and Judgment/Calling. Justice is VIII, Strength is XI. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Disks. The Court cards are entitled Beast, Witch, Grandmother, and Shadow.

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The cards are 3” by 4 ½”, with a glossy surface. The card backs are a solid black, which fits in well with the journey of transformation that this deck represents (the Crone’s journey). The card faces show a ¼” black border, with the card number/title in white at the bottom of the card. Roman numerals are used for the Major Arcana, with the numbers for the Minor Arcana written in text.

The companion book dedicates the deck to Hekate. In the front of the book is an explanation of who the Crone is, and how to meet her/bring her into your life. The Major Arcana cards are said to represent times when the Crone is speaking directly to the soul of the Seeker. The Minor Arcana represent qualitied or aspects of our magical, emotional, mental and mundane lives. There is a listing of the colors used in this deck, and what they symbolize. Each suit is based on two colors (along with black and white): Wands – Red and Yellow, for Power and Will, Cups – Red and Purple, for Feeling and Soul, Swords – Blue and Yellow, for Mind and Ability, Disks – Green and Brown, for Life and Flesh.

The prelude to the Minor Arcana defines the elements and the numbers, as well as the Faces (Court cards). Beast is defined as the primal instinct of the power. The wild and whole expression of the element. Witch is defined as the focused use of the power concerned with fulfilment and expression of self. Grandmother is defined as the mature expression of the power concerned with family and community. Shadow is defined as the element’s overdone, destructive and devouring power.

Each card is presented with a poem, an explanation of the cards energy, and a small, full color photo. (Note: Two cards are presented, with the full color photos following, side by side.) For the Magician, the poem reads:

I am the Something
That comes from nothing

 I am the Mistress of Illusion
I am the Mistress of Reality
 
I am the One
Who passes between

img014 The Fool is said to look beneath the everyday world. The Fool accepts the risk of becoming lost in the Void. Lorenzi-Prince goes on to say that we need to become formless and timeless to create a new future.

img015 The Magician is represented as a mask with living eyes. This is a force that manifests out of the void and into the world. Here we find will and confidence. We are reminded, however, that the mask is also an illusion. The Magician knows reality and illusion, and crosses freely between them.

img016 Crossroads features faces in shadow, with tripe Hekate standing at a crossroads on a moonless night. Hekate is not there to show us the way, she is there to challenge our path.

img017The Seven of Wands is associated with the theme of Risk. The cloaked figure stands amidst flames and lines of raw power. She embraces danger in the hope of further achievement. We are encouraged to trust our experience, and take educated risks.

img018The Beast of Wands is associated with the theme of Cat. A sleek black cat dominates this card. The cat combines instinct and intelligence to achieve her desires.

img019The Ace of Cups is associated with the theme of Grace. Lorenzi-Prince reminds us here that at the root of all emotion is the ability to feel.

img020The Five of Swords is associated with the theme of Contradiction. I love the five abstract swords in the card, and how they clash! We are asked to look at not only the other side of a situation, but to turn the situation inside out and look at that. Questions have a tendency to lead to more questions.

img021The Grandmother of Discs is associated with the theme of Homemaker. The small, loving acts of the Grandmother sustain the home, the community, and the world.

Tarot of the Crone continues to be the story of the transformation of the Crone. The white borders of the second edition have been replaced with (more appropriate, IMHO) black borders. The original poems are included, along with the interpretations that appeared in the second edition. Published in conjunction with the illustrious Arnell Ando, the deck, companion book and black box scream quality and professionalism. IMHO, this is a collectors item, and a must have for ritual work of many types. And yes – it flows well as a divinatory deck too!

© March 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

 

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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Tarot

 

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Review: The Tarot Coloring Book

The Tarot Coloring Book

Author: Theresa Reed
Forward by: Mary K. Greer
Sounds True
2016
ISBN #13-978-1-62203-790-2

Tarot Coloring Book cover

Books that are well done will reflect the personality of their author – The Tarot Coloring Book certainly does this. Throughout its 180 pages we see all 78 cards of the Tarot presented through imagery, symbols, the meaning of their colors (and why choosing your own colors is sometimes better), their history, and how they work in a spread.

The book is 9.1” by 10.9”, making the illustrations a really nice size to work with. Physically, it is spiral bound, with a hard binding on the left hand side, allowing the title and author to be seen while the book is shelved. The front and back covers are glossy hard cardboard.

There is commentary in the front of the book from several different sources, with a forward by Mary K. Greer. In her introduction Reed talks about experiential learning … a very hands on way of experiencing the Tarot. She comments that each individual, as they are coloring the cards, will find themselves seeing symbols that they have not noticed before, that patterns and stories will begin to emerge. The student will begin to develop their own meanings for the cards, while learning traditional ones at the same time.

In her chapter on “How To Use This Coloring Book”, Reed presents the following steps: (1) Get a Tarot Deck, (2) Gather Your Coloring Supplies (there is a caution here that felt tip pens will bleed through the paper), (3) Set the Scene (organize your work space), (4) Begin Coloring! Yes – it is just that easy! One important thought here is that Reed views coloring as a contemplative experience – which I totally agree with! (I am a decidedly “non-artistic” person, so if I am working with a coloring book, it is not with the intent of being artistic. It is with the intent of taking a time out in my day, and melding with the material that I am working with.)

As each card is finished, Reed recommends taking a moment to examine the finished image. Some of the questions that she recommends the student asking themselves are: What did you learn about the card? Do certain cards trigger emotions for you? Do particular cards deliver a message to you? Reading this over, to me it makes sense to keep a separate journal as you are working your way through this coloring book to record your journey.

There is a brief history of the Tarot in general, and the Rider-Waite deck in particular, along with short meaning for the colors used in the deck. There is a short section on reading the Tarot, along with a list of ten ways to use the Tarot in everyday life.

Each of the 78 cards is presented with text on the left hand side, and a full page card image on the right hand side. The text includes the card name and number, the element for the Court cards, a sentence describing the energy of the card, how the card may be interpreted in both upright and reversed positions, the main symbols in the card, and suggestions for coloring. (I noted the same thing in James Rickleff’s The Tarot Coloring Book – the suggestions for colors to be used. In both books the colors are only suggestions.)

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Please note: I colored the above Tarot card – the choice of colors was mine.

Let’s take a look at the Queen of Pentacles. The sentence that appears under her title is “The Queen of Pentacles symbolizes material success and abundance.” The upright interpretation is one of caring and reliability – the “earth mother”. The reversed interpretation is that of being clingy, scared, unfocused, and having trouble trusting the world. The symbol mentioned is that of the rabbit. Suggested colors include a yellow sky, brown earth, light blue mountains, green trees, a blue river, and a yellow crown with red decorations. You can see my version of life above. (She is the Queen that represents me in the deck, which is why I choose to color her as an example.)

I love the content, the way the book is organized, and the fact that while this book is aimed at those new to the Tarot, making best use of the material is also beneficial for all levels of Tarot students/readers. And … it is fun to play with!

 © March 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2017 in Tarot

 

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Review: Tarot Kaizen

Tarot Kaizen

Author: Alison Cross
Self-published
2016
ASIN  B01N7NS80Z

Tarot Kaizen cover

Kaizen is a Japanese term that derives from the business world.
“Kaizen” literally means “change for the better” and as a
business philosophy it has come to represent a philosophy based
on small changes that lead to overall continual improvement. Not
a bad philosophy or life, is it!
 

This is what we at Tarot Kaizen seek to do with our Tarot deck:
through small daily exercises we will work towards
incorporating the symbolism and meaning of a new deck into
our Tarot knowledge.
(from the book)

 In her introduction, Cross talks about decks that we as Tarot readers/aficionados tend to collect. We love our decks, but once we have them we may not, for whatever reason, work with them. She set up the Facebook group Tarot Kaizen to show people how to move their decks into the working deck category. The group itself has been running or about five years, but only runs once or twice a year. To that end, Cross collected all of the daily exercises used in the group into this e-book, so that individuals can begin this work any time they want to, whether a group is running or not.

This book contains over 100 daily exercises – it is suggested that the exercises be worked with on Monday – Friday, taking weekends off. On Monday – Thursday a new card will be worked with every day. On Friday Cross provides the reader with a 3-5 card spread so that they can work with the cards as they learn them, and that they have an opportunity to work with cards that they have not yet studied. Friday is also a review day, in that the reader determines which cards they like, which ones they are ambivalent about, and which ones they do not like. I love the advice that Cross gives he reader  at the end of their studies, if they do not like the deck they have been working with, they should set it aside (as opposed to selling it). In a few months time, take another look at the deck. You may find that it has grown on you!

What do you need you work with the Tarot Kaizen system? Time, this e-book, a Tarot deck, and a Tarot journal. (I will also add “the commitment to follow through”.)

I was pleasantly surprised to see that for some of the exercises the reader is required to write a Haiku! I have limited experience with Haiku’s, so I am really looking forward to this! Links are provided to show how this is done.

Okay – Here’s a concept that is completely new to me – Pidgin Tarot! What the heck? Pidgin is a combination of words, sounds, and body language from multiple languages and cultures. It is used to form a relationship between different pieces of information – in the case of the Tarot, it is usually associations made for numbers and Tarot suits. What Cross has done is thrown together keywords for the numbers and keywords for the suits. This allows the reader to apply the same principles to any deck. Yes!

I love how the exercises begin – with a “Flick Through” of the deck (come on – we all do this with a new/new to us deck!). An interesting thought presented here is that if the reader is not quite sure which deck they want to use in the exercise, to do the Flick Through with multiple decks, in order to see which one they really want to work with.

The exercises are short, with simple, easy to follow instructions. Divide you cards into three piles: attract, repel, and meh. Interview your deck. Establish the themes and systems within your deck for the Major Arcana. Establish the themes and quaternities (sets of four, such as the seasons). Determine your birth card. (I use the dual Birth Card system, which can be applied here.) Putting together the energy of a Court Card with the energy of the Suit. What does the Empress mean to you?  Write a Haiku.

Cross has a writing style that is very personable. You feel like she is in the room, egging you on (ummm Encouraging you!). You feel like you are in a very special space, doing magical work that is important to you, and getting to know yourself and your cards.

I am using this system to get to know my newest deck, the Third Edition of the Daniloff Tarot. It will be interesting, because this deck has extra cards, so I will be making up some of my own exercises!

Tarot Kaizen is a very special tool to add to your Tarot resources! How far you can go with it depends only on how far you are willing to go, how far you are willing to open your thinking about the Tarot, and your willingness to keep a commitment to doing the work.

© March 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2017 in Tarot

 

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