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Category Archives: Tarot

Review: Tarot of the Holy Light – Esoteric Continental Tarot

Tarot of the Holy Light –
A Continental Esoteric Tarot

Author: Christine Payne-Towler, Michael Dowers
Noreah/Brownfield Press
2015
ISBN #978-0-9673043-2-8

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“Tarot of the Holy Light and its companion volume Foundations of the Esoteric Tradition supply the key to unlock Tarot’s significance as the premier magical calculator of the Renaissance. The correspondences demonstrated in Tarot of the Holy Light apply to any historical Tarot that conforms to the Marseilles order and numeration. These timeless fundamentals reveal the inner architecture that has been carried forward in the Tarots of Etteilla, the so-called Egyptian Tarots (Belline, Falconnier, Zain), the literary works of Christian, Levi and Papus, right up to classic 20th century Continental esoteric packs like the Tarots of Oswald Wirth and Manly P. Hall. This Volume 1 of the set is dedicated to the creators of Continental Tarots in the past, present, and future in honor of the magical philosophy that inhabits the historical Tarot’s outline and inherent meanings.” ~ From the back cover.

Christine came to my attention way back in the hay day of the Tarot-L Internet group. I am a night person, and there were many discussions in the middle of the night between Christine and those who disagreed with her. Fascinating discussions that I could only sit back and watch, because I didn’t have the knowledge to contribute anything. Kudos to Christine for hanging in there!

I was very pleased to see Christine publish her deck (Tarot of the Holy Light), and I am even more pleased and excited to see the text to accompany the deck seeing the light of day in print. A great deal of thought and research has gone into this book, a book that reflects a lifetime of work in the field of Tarot. I am fond of the esoteric side of Tarot, and follow Christine’s work through her site,   http://www.tarotuniversity.com/.

Tarot of the Holy Light is softcover, 5” by 7”, and 492 pages. The cover art, by Patrick Dowers (brother to Michael Dowers) is the same as the cover of the box for the deck. The book contains 100 images and original graphs that help to make it quite unique! There is an introduction to the Minor Arcana, a separate chapter on each of the suits, and a separate chapter on the Trumps.

In her preface Christine talks about the Tarot of today being the same as the Tarot of yesterday. She posits that the visual format of the graph, or information grid, penetrated into Europe from their Arabic neighbors to the east and south during the pre-Renaissance of the 12th and 13th centuries. This allowed westerners to understand the related values that make up the layers of the Tarot. This book includes the influences on the Tarot of the Holy Light cards that are not expressly detailed on the faces of the cards.

In the very first pages of the book Christine has shared her Tarot of the Holy Light icon – a detailed graphic that includes the planets, their associated Major Arcana card, and the Major Arcana and planetary associations for Primal Air, Primal Water, and Primal Fire. Well worth the price of admission!

In her introduction, Christine indicates that the title of this book “states her case boldly” – that her deck represents the summation of her studies in the field of esoteric Continental Tarot. She notes that she is referencing Europe proper, and not Great Britain, or the Iberian Peninsula.

Her stance is that the very first pack of cards with enumerated Trumps, showing numerals on the faces of the Major Arcana, demonstrate the coherency with its implied body of correspondences that would allow it to become an esoteric computer for the Renaissance and all that followed.

In her introduction to the Minor Arcana, Christine makes some interesting statements, including that the Tree is the Fallen Tree, and specific to the pips (numbered cards), that each suit circles the grand trine of its element, and that the three cards representing each sign occupy the triangular centers of the Tree in a very deliberate manner. She also talks about Essential Dignities as Alchemical Catalysts. She regards reversals as an opportunity for the practitioner to stretch their intuition and open hidden layers of influence. Included in this chapter are graphs of the planets on the Unfallen Tree, and the Signs on the Unfallen Tree, Upper & Lower Countenance, the Fallen Human, the Lightning Struck Tree (The Fall), the Sexagesimal Grid of the Mysteries, the Ladder of Light with Lullian Triangles, the Tarot of the Holy Light Mandala, the Boehme Star of Restitution, and the Maze (by Patrick Dowers).

Each pip (numbered card) is presented with the following associations: Astrological, Sephira, Essential Dignity (upright and reversed), and Angelic Dignity (upright and reversed). Each Court Card is presented with the associated planet. Each Major Arcana card is presented as part of the Septenary scheme, with the Hebrew Letter, the Path on the Tree of Life, and the Quality. Each card is accompanied by a black and white image, and an in-depth write-up of what the cards esoteric qualities are, a bit of its history, and how its energy works.

In the appendix we find the Horoscope Spread, the Celtic Cross Spread, Tarot deck citations, a Graph of Minor Arcana Values, a graph of Major Arcana Values, a graph of the Shem Angels, and a Bibliography.

What is laid out in this book is the foundation of the Continental esoteric Tarot. Through text and graphs, we maneuver our way through the myriad layers of information and come out with our own idea of what brings the Tarot to life, and how we can use it in our own life. Our task is to learn this information well, and incorporate it into our lives. Remember, there is a Volume 2 coming that will take us into the foundations of the esoteric system!

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2015 in Tarot

 

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Review: Tarot Travel Guide of Italy – History of a Mystery from the Renaissance

Tarot Travel Guide of Italy –
History of a Mystery from the Renaissance

Author: Morena Poltronieri, Ernesto Fazioli, Arnell Ando
Translated by: Arnell Ando
Museo dei Tarocchi
2015

Tarot Travel Guide of Italy cover

I truly honor my friendship with co-author Arnell Ando. If we had never met (in cyberspace), I would have missed out on so many things – this lovely book included! The 200 page, 100 copy first printing of “Tarot Travel Guide of Italy” takes the reader on an incredible journey of the Tarot through the Renaissance period in Italy. We see the Tarot as it develops in Italy from its early roots, with a peek into the actual physical places connected with this history. Reflected in this book are the Tarot tours that Arnell Ando, along with Morena Poltronieri and Ernesto Fazioli of the Tarot Museum have led over the past several years, including a map with key locations and an actual itinerary of their tour. What a nice time out from the day to day of life, to be able to step into the world of Tarot in a significantly unique manner! Where else could you get even a glimpse of the richness of the Tarot world, from Ferrara and Milan, to a Mediterranean garden of incredible sculptures, to an amazing museum dedicated to the Tarot!

From the back cover:

Morena Poltronieri and Ernesto Fazioli have been working for over thirty years in the field of anthropological research of symbols; specializing in major art work and architecture, both in Italy and abroad. They have written numerous books on these and related subjects, and direct the International Museum of Tarot in Italy. www.museodeitarrochi.net.

Arnell Ando is the creator of “Hero’s Journey Tarot”, “Transformational Tarot”, and “Lucky Pack Tarot”. She co-organizes the Tarot Art History Tours with the Museo dei Tarrochi. www.arnellart.com”.

What a rich background the co-authors have and what a depth of knowledge they bring to their subject! (Note the front cover, with illustrations from the “Tarot Monteiri”, an eighteenth century Tarot deck.)

The “Tarot Travel Guide of Italy” begins with an introduction to the possible origins of Tarot, including China, India, Gypsies, Egypt, Cabala, the cards of Fez, Morocco, the Crusades and more. The Tarot is discussed as being a series of symbols holding primordial energies of existence. The information given is interesting, with a plethora of research points for further study.

From there we move on to the city of Bologna (where Tarot was born). Included here is a beautiful graphic of the Rosenwald Tarot, the Aces from the Tarocchino Tarot Bolognese, a chart showing the major arcana titles in the regional dialect, as well as Italian and English, and much more! The text discusses the evolution of the major arcana, the numbering (or lack of numbering) of the cards and tidbits such as Saint Petronius being the first Hanged Man image in history. Another interesting tidbit is the burning of all the Tarot decks in the city under the auspices of the historical figure Saint Bernardino (Bernardino da Siena). (Remember – Tarot was considered a game at this time.)

One of my favorite stories revolves around the church of St. Stephen, in Bologna. There are full color pics of the church, and of the symbols that were built into it. It also contains the Martyrs (the place for sacred relics), the Holy Garden, and the Anastasis.

Two of my favorite images in this book are the full color images of Triumph of Fame, and Triumph of Death, both by Lorenzo Costa.

Moving on, we come to Milan, and the Visconti Sforza Tarot. It is amazing to follow the actual people behind the decks, and how the culture of their time influenced the presentation of the cards.

This book is unique in that it was written to accompany an actual present day journey to visit the places of historical interest in Italy, with an emphasis on the Tarot. The historical background is in depth, allowing this book to serve as a stand-alone guide, but also to act as a template for any individual who chooses to visit these historical sites. Once there, an individual would also have a sense of what to look for at each site, and of the history of the individuals that once lived there.

This book also serves as a historical resource and is graced with both black and white and full color images that bring the magic into being. I loved the section on the Tarot Garden, a literal garden of Tarot sculptures created by Niki de Saint Phalle. One venue that is not to be missed is the Mueso dei Tarocchi, in Riola. Incredible work is being done here, both in the preservation of history and historical objects, and in the production of new, limited edition decks.

In the back of the book is a beautifully done section including maps of Italy, and the individual cities of Bologna, Milan, Ferrara, Bergamo, Varese, Clusone, Siena, Capalbio and Riola. Each map is marked with must see historical sites.

For anyone with an interest in Tarot or Tarot history, this is a must have book. Each order is accompanied by a bonus of at least two Tarot art postcards, a magnet, and matching artsy stamps which reference details in the Travel Guide. Aside from being well written and well researched, the book is filled with black and white scans and full page, full color reproductions. I highly recommend this book, as it takes you deep into the history of the Tarot, while at the same time showing you actual physical places where you can check out Tarot history, and see the mark that it literally left on the landscape.

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

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Tarot

 

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Review – The Parallel Worlds Tarot

Parallel Worlds Tarot

Author: Astrid Amadori
Artist: Astrid Amadori
Independently Published
2014

Amadori had me at the name – “Parallel Worlds Tarot”! I am a firm believer in parallel worlds! The 78 card deck, and the 65 page companion book are packaged in a lift off top box. The predominate colors on the box are blue and white, with black lettering. My eye was naturally drawn to the little hummingbird on the upper left hand side of the box cover. The same bird is featured on the card backs.

This deck was created over a period of several years, and reflects Amadori’s  life experiences as a Tarot reader and artist. The aim of the deck is to encourage individuals to read intuitively, aided by the detailed images and bright colors within the cards. From my personal point of view, I also appreciate the fact that this is a borderless deck, which allows the mind to wander a bit. In her introduction, Amadori refers to the Tarot as a mirror of the soul.

The images can depict events (past, preset, or future), but they can also depict dreams, hopes, and astral visions. The Minor Arcana reference situations and feelings pertinent to their suit.

The Court Cards are depicted in a specific manner. From the Guide:

  • King and Queens are powerful characters, shown in their sphere of action.
  • Knights are depicted with each corresponding (biblical) creature, and are emphasizing the atmosphere that corresponds with their element. Those four creatures (lion, eagle, human and bull) combined form the sphinx.
  • Squires are young males who travel on foot. Mostly they represent a message or chance, or people we meet only for a short time.

The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords, and Coins. Strength is 8, Justice is 11. The Court Cards are King, Queen, Knight, and Squire. The Hierophant has been retitled the High Priest.

In her Guide, Amadori emphasizes the fact that the cards should be read intuitively. The words beneath the images are to be used as guidelines only – each individual needs to intuit the meaning for themselves. As the reader looks at each cars, they are to ask themselves what story the card tells that resonates with the question. What feelings and associations are represented? After all – a Tarot reading is the story of what s going on in the client’s life at the time of the reading. For the Court Cards, Amadori suggests that only the Kings and Queen’s be read as people. The Knights represent atmospheres and surroundings. The Squires represent messages or chances.

Three spreads are included in the Guide: a six card Healing Spread, a nine card spread entitled The Junction, and the traditional ten card Celtic Cross Spread. The write-up on the cards includes a small black and white scan, a word that represents the card, a short piece on what the card represents, and keywords.

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The cards themselves are 2 ¾” by 4 ¾”. They are borderless, with a colored strip across the bottom. The backs are reversible, and show a hummingbird in flight, against a night sky, with a quarter moon in the upper right hand corner, against a background of stars. The Major Arcana show the title across the middle of the strip, the pips (numbered cards) show the card meaning, while the Court Cards show title and suit.

I love the fact that there are no borders, and that there is a lot of beautiful color used. The style is very basic (primitive), use some traditional imagery, and some of the Amadori’s own choice. The more non-traditional includes the Eagle on the Eight of Wands, the biblical animals alongside the Knight’s horses, the Devil depicted as a clown, the rainbow coming from the bottom of the glass in the Magician’s hand, Death showing figures in white tethered to a figure in a black cape, the Fool in a juggler costume, juggling the cycles of the moon, and the Hummingbird above the Six of Cups.

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The High Priest (Hierophant) shows a figure clad in white, standing behind a tree, against a background of flames. The Guide refers to the High Priest as incorporating the virtue of listening to the inner voice, or guidance from within.

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The Hermit shows a figure standing on a cliff, facing water. His left hand is at his side, his right hand is extended in front of him. Golden light radiates from his heart. The Guide speaks of prudence and wisdom, of letting go of all baggage and concentrating on the essential things in life.

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The Moon shows figures going up into the sky, into a full moon. The Guide speaks of Dreams, twilight, and intuition – but with the danger of getting lost.

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The Three of Wands shows three upright Wands, connected with a red ribbon. They have been placed in green grass, next to a small body of water. Each Wand has a gold tip. In the background we see the sun shining over mountains.

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The Ten of Cups shows a figure standing within an eye, surrounded by the twelve astrological signs. Ten cups are lined up in two rows underneath the figure. The association on the bottom of the card reads “Perfected Success”. The Guide speaks of great bliss, and a happy family life.

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The Six of Swords shows a red rose centered on a gold shield, surrounded by a blue-green motif. Six swords are lodged in the gold shield, with choppy water under them. The Guide speaks of success after endured troubles. The association on the bottom of the card is “Earned Success”.

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The Nine of Swords Shows a male figure in black, with his head in his hands. Above his head we see nine swords aimed at him. The Guide speaks of pain, depression, and nightmares. The association along the bottom of the card is “Despair and Cruelty”.

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The Five of Coins shows a darkened room with light streaming in through a barred window. Five golden coins are on the floor, along with three dark birds (perhaps raven). The guide speaks of loss of money or job, or long periods of poverty. The association along the bottom of the card is “Material Trouble”.

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The King of Coins shows a male figure, dressed in black, seated in a red chair. His right arm is on the arm of the chair, while his left hand is raised, holding a large coin in it. The Guide speaks of a reliable, even tempered man, who is patient and hard working.

This is a very refreshing deck, beautifully done, that is very easy to read with. Stories flow! I would feel comfortable offering this deck to any of my clients.

© 2014 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2015 in Tarot

 

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Tarot Steps Up For Cancer Awareness!

Tarot Steps Up For Cancer Awareness!

Tarot Pink For Cancer

 Westport, Connecticut, April 28th, 2015 – Sixty renowned Tarot artists have come together to take on the challenge of funding breast cancer research. Under the sponsorship of WizardToo, the publisher of the Tarot eCards App, they have created a special collaborative Tarot deck to be used as a tool of inspiration, empowerment, and support in the wellness journey for those dealing with breast cancer. The project for this noteworthy cause is multi-faceted, including a full 78 card Tarot deck, a Tarot Pink app for iPad, iPhone, and Android, along with the ability to simply donate. The project is being funded through an Indiegogo campaign and preorders for the deck or App, or donations to the cause can be made at: http://www.tinyurl.com/TarotPink

Tarot is a healing tool that offers insight and perspective on the challenges that we are facing. For those dealing with breast cancer, this deck offers inspirational images and messages created by each artist to embody the healing theme underlying the deck. The sixty artists are the creative power behind several hundred published Tarot decks and books, and recognized with over a dozen Top Ten titles among them. The deck is a beautifully rendered collection of inspirational images created by Tarot’s best talents, with a special message of empowerment and healing.

Under the sponsorship of WizardToo, the publisher of the Tarot eCards App will issue both a Tarot Pink for Cancer Mobile App and a printed Tarot deck. The Tarot Pink App will be released for both the Apple iPad and iPhone, and Android devices in July. The Tarot Pink for Cancer deck will be published in September, in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month (October). Tarot eCards is committed to make this an important outreach to the world community to show how Tarot can be an effective empowerment and inspirational tool in the fight against breast cancer. Support this noteworthy cause by preordering this special deck or App, or to make a donation at: www.tinyurl.com/TarotPink. And help spread the word by telling your friends about the Tarot Pink for Cancer project.

CONTACT: Ronald Leong, Managing Director WizardToo, LLC
eMail: WizardToo@optimum.net
Phone: 203-984-7180

Creators and Project Team:

Alison Stone, Andi Todaro, Andrew Kyle McGregor, Anissa Morello, Arnell Ando, Ash Goh, Barbara St. Jacques, Benebell Wen, Beth Seilonen, Bob Greyvenstein, Carrie Paris, Casey DuHamel, Chanel Bayless, Cheryl Fair, Chris Ernest Paradis, Ciro Marchetti, Diane Brandt-Wilkes, Donnaleigh de LaRose, Elizabeth Hazel, Emily Carding, Erik Dunne, Eric K. Lerner, Erika McGinnis, Gaby Merman, Gina Theis, Gordana Curgus, Heather Mendel, HeeWon Sohn, Isha Lerner, J.r. Rivera, James Battersby, James Ricklef, Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Jason Ng, Jeffery Donato, Jill Scott, Johanna Gargiulo-Sherman, Jonathan Saiz, Katalin Csikos-Gould, Katherine Skaggs, Kathleen Ryan Anderson, Katrina Wynne, Kenjii Liu, Kris Waldherr, Lee Bradford, Lisa de St. Croix, Major Tom Schick, Margaret Letzkus, Marie Roberts, Marie White, Mary Greer, Mary Griffin, Mellissae Lucia, Michelle Jackson, Pamela Steele, Paula Millet, Rhonda Delaune Welch, Robert Place, Ron Leong, Roxi Sim, Stacy Bergener, Sue Silva

Special Contributors:

Anita Perez, Astrid Amadori, Bonnie Cehovet, Christiana Gaudet, James Wells, Jenna Matlin, Jennifer Lucero-Earle, Judyth Sult, Kendra Hurteau, Kooch Daniels,  Kristine Gorman, Nadine Bernadette Roberts, Nancy Antenucci, Prudence Theriault, RuthAnn Amberstone, Sasha Graham, Sheila Hiite, Thomas Michael Caldwell, Toni Gilbert, Wald Amberstone

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Tarot

 

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Review – The Minoan Tarot

The Minoan Tarot

Author: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Artist: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Foreword: Rachel Pollack
Arnell’s Art
2014
ISBN #978-0-9894739-3-4

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Tarot

 

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Review – Tarocchi Appropriati

Tarocchi Appropriati

International Collaborative Project
Limited Edition
Museo Dei Tarocchi
2015

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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).

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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!

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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.

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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”

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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.”

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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.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2015 in Tarot

 

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Review – New Earth Tarot

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

Author: Charlene DeLong
Artist: Kate Silver

Book:
Bookbyte Digital
2013
ISBN #978-1-6136-156-5

Deck:
2012
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2015 in Tarot

 

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