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Review – The Renaissance Origins of Tarot

The Renaissance Origins Of Tarot

Author: Giovanni Pelosini
English Translation: Arnell Ando
Interwideo
2016
ISBN #987-88996910-2-8

The Renaissance Origins of Tarot cover

“The Renaissance Origins Of Tarot” is a well written, 78 page book on the origins of the Tarot. In his introduction, Pelosini differentiates between playing cards (with their origins in Asia), and Tarot cards, which he defines as being an Italian innovation from the Middle Ages. Pelosini sees the Tarot as a Renaissance codification of cultural models of various origins, and as being an adaptation on an eastern matrix card game, which arrived in Europe most likely through Arabic contacts.

This was also a period when card making technology was becoming more advanced, especially in the areas of Fabriano (1276) and Bologna. The Minor Arcana were developed from early playing cards, which resulted in the suits of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. (It is interesting to note that the French suits were developed from the Italian suits.) The Major Arcana were developed from the original Triumphi.

Pelosini covers the people and texts that were in evidence in these early days, such as Court de Gebelin ( Mondi Primitif), with his belief that the Tarot had been brought to Europe by nomadic Gypsies, Eliphas Levi (Alphonse-Louis Constant), and Papus. Pelosini talks about the oral tradition of Tarot, about initiatory traditions, spreading these traditions through the use of Tarot as a card game. The game could be seen as a game, but to s select few it would also carry symbolic meanings and sacred teachings.

The background of the Trumps (Triumphs) is discussed, as reflecting the moral virtues and classical mythology of the parades/processions of the middle ages, including the Triumphs of Petrarch. The cards were played by royalty in the courts as a game, and in the taverns as a gambling device.

Another part of the cultural background of the Tarot that Pelosini discusses is Greek- Alexandria Hermeticism and Gnosticism. Included in this discussion is the Corpus Hermeticum (by Hermes Trismegistus).

The philosophy and theories of this time, and the individuals who espoused them, are well presented in this book. Solid research has been done, and footnoted abound, allowing the reader to follow the trail to wherever it might lead them.

Throughout this work we see color photos of Tarot cards, of the individuals being discussed, and the material being discussed. We are literally taking a step back in time, so that while we read the text we are simultaneously presented with a color visual of what was and what is.

Part of this “stepping back in time” for me was reading about the game of Tarot as it was played in the Courts. The Triumphs (Trumps) were used to make statements in quite an interesting manner!

This is a book that can be considered a resource – much more than something that we read once, then set aside. It is well written, well documented, and filled with bright visual imagery. It is an education, and well worth the reading.

© February 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2016 in Tarot

 

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Review: Tarot Tales Presents – Diamond Dust Blues

Tarot Tales Presents –
Diamond Dust Blues

Author: Tidal Ashburn
Edited by: Cindy Dooley
December, 2015

Diamond Dust Blues cover

 

I feel very blessed to have had this work cross my path. “Diamond Dust Blues” is an incredible story that I would place in the cozy mystery genre. It revolves around the character Ruby Perkins – a struggling actress who lives in the “mother-in-law” cottage on her Aunt Jenna’s property. It opens with Ruby baking her famous orange raisin scones for her Aunt Jenna’s birthday.  (Probably good to mention ahead of time that Aunt Jenna is transgender.)

Ruby takes her scones over to her Aunt Jenna’s house, and has a wonderful breakfast of tea, scones, and animated conversation with her. Aunt Jenna has somehow manufactured a reason for an eligible bachelor (eligible in her eyes, that is) to come over that evening to fix a non-existent problem in the plumbing, and to have dinner and meet Ruby. Ruby is not too happy with all of this, but agrees to come over, have dinner, and meet him.

On her way out the door she gets a call from a business friend that has an urgent need for her to do two singing telegrams for him. She agrees – and the next thing she knows she is waking up in a hospital, in great pain, with no memory of what happened. More than that – she has no memory of anything, including who she is!

Things go steadily downhill – she was shot while delivering the second singing telegram, as were several other people. The man who shot her is wanted by the FBI, and there is a question of whether he died in the shootout or not. Then there is her male nurse, who may or may not be a nurse, Aunt Jenna staying in the next hospital room so that she can be protected too from the people that the shooter was working for, and a female doctor that has an agenda of her own.

Ruby is offered the witness protection program, but balks when Aunt Jenna is not to be included. Oh, and there is a pipe bomb that goes off in her hospital room. Ruby digs her heels in, and Aunt Jenna is included in the witness protection program. Her male nurse (who she finds out is a U.S. Marshall) and one other marshal are to be responsible for relocating Ruby and her aunt, which results in quite an interesting cross country journey!

I did not want to put this book down! (Okay – I am reading the digital version, in which case I did not want to walk away!) The story is fast paced, with well defined characters and a nice dose of humor. There is depth in a multitude of areas – baking, cooking, cloths (I loved the marabou feathered poofs on Aunt Jenna’s slippers!), the art world, the world of the hospital, the world of the U.S. Marshals, the witness protection program, the world of smuggling jewels, and so much more. Intertwined are the personal relationships between the characters, which contain many levels of reality.

I loved the small details – such as the “painted lady” Victorian houses in Tennessee. A great deal of research and caring went into the writing of this book – I hope to see many more by this author!

© February 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in fiction books

 

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Review – Explore The Major Arcana: A Workbook For Empowerment

Explore the Major Arcana:
A Workbook For Empowerment

Author: Judyth Sult
Tarot of Empowerment
2016
ISBN #978-0-9864446-1-6

Explore the Major Arcana - coveruygfd

“Explore the Major Arcana: A Workbook For Empowerment” uses the art from the “Tarot of Empowerment”, the Tarot deck that Sult co-created with artist Gordana Curgus. The interpretations and technique in this 90 page book are meant to empower individuals to put the archetypal energy of the Tarot to work in their lives.

In her introduction, Sult speaks of the many ways that the cards can be read. This book represents her personal journey into reading the Tarot. In exploring the Tarot, card by card, her focus is on helping readers discover the empowering energy in each card. She goes on to define empowerment as the courage to make decisions for the highest good, based on information the higher self reveals through the cards. The focus of her readings is to make the best decision in the present for the future.

Sult believes that reading with the Major Arcana alone is more concise, more empowering than reading with the entire 78 card deck. In her words, “… the Minors color between the bold strokes of the majors in readings”.

Starting out with an excellent chapter on communicating with, and building trust in your guides, Sult moves on to creating an empowering reading, including how to frame a question, how to lay the cards out, and how to interpret the cards. She has included spreads such as Best Course of Action, Next Best Step, Choice Between Two Options, Looking For a Relationship, Four Stages, New Year Reading, and Discussion. She also talks about how to create your own spread.

There is a delightful chapter on Tarot and Numerology, with the association between the numbers 1-9 and the Major Arcana cards. She also covers determining your Life Path number, what the Life Path meanings are, determining your Personal Year number, and something Sult calls the Age Influence.

The cards are each presented with a small black and white scan, with the card name, with a short poem about the card, and with questions the reader can ask themselves about the card, with a lined space to write in their responses.

Some title changes have been made in the Tarot of Empowerment: Fool/Questor, Empress/Sustenance, Emperor/Authority, Hierophant/Advisor, Lovers/Choice, Chariot/Determination, Hermit/Introspection, Hanged Man/New Perspective, Death/Life Cycle, Devil/Entrapment, Tower/Chaos, Judgment/Awakening, Unknown (extra card).

For the Questor (The Fool), the poem reads: “What are you seeking? Who do you meet? Risk to explore, to learn, to trust, To find the truth of who you are.” The questions presented are: What tools do you have as the Questor to begin the journey? What characteristics would make this an empowering card? How would you interpret this card if it were in the position of the theme of the reading? How would you interpret this card in the position of best course of action? How would you interpret this card as the challenge card? What is hidden from the person or situation according to this card? How would you interpret this card as the hope and fear card?

“Explore the Major Arcana: A Workbook For Empowerment” is a well written book that gently leads the reader into new ways of thinking, and new ways of interpreting the cards. I loved it, and I think that you will too!

© February 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Tarot

 

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Tarot Pink For Cancer

Tarot Pink For Cancer –
For Inspiration, Empowerment, and Support

Artists: collaboration of 65 Tarot artists
Author: personal interpretation from the artists
Introduction by Mary K. Greer
GameCrafter
2015

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“Tarot Pink For Cancer” is a project under the auspices of Ron Leong and WizardToo, LLC that involved 65 talented artists within the Tarot community that came together and created a Tarot deck to inspire, empower, and support breast cancer awareness, and those going through the breast cancer treatment process. It is meant to be a fund raising tool to benefit breast cancer research.

Under the sponsorship of WizardToo, LLC (the publisher of the Tarot e-cards app), there is a printed deck available through Game Crafter (Tarot Pink For Cancer), and a Tarot app for both iOS and Android mobile devices.

This is a full 78 card deck, accompanied by a 22 page companion booklet, and a bag to store the cards in. (Note: A digital download of the companion booklet is available after purchase.)

In her introduction, Mary Greer (author of “Tarot For Yourself”) talks about the fact that we have all been touched by some form of cancer, or a life-threatening illness, whether it is ourselves, a loved one, a friend, or someone we admire. She refers to it as an emotional, transformative experience for everyone involved.  Greer notes that many of the artists found the experience of creating one or more cards was healing in and of itself. This deck is seen as supporting a healing journey – along these lines, Greer suggests giving the deck to someone that is going through the cancer experience, and then perhaps helping them out with something that they need help with.

Some of the artists are working in remembrance of someone they know, others are cancer survivors themselves. Greer notes that there are no rules for working with this deck – that each individual should use them in the manner that works best for them. She sees the 78 cards of this deck as 78 gifts and prayers for well-being – as indeed they are!

The 22 page companion booklet (which features the card Strength on the cover) includes a small write-up from each artist of what the card means to them. Color scans, including the Queen of Cups, the Eight of Coins, the Seven of Swords, and the Three of Wands are scattered throughout the booklet.

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The cards are 2 ¾” by 4 ¾”. The backs feature a pink background with white clouds, and a pink lemnescate in the center. The card backs are reversible. The card faces feature a light gray border, with the card name at the top, in black, against a pink strip. The card image is outlined with a thing strip of pink. Under the card we find the artists name, along with a short bio.

Here is some of the incredible work that came out of this project:

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The Magician (by Ciro Marchetti):

“The Magician represents making best use of personal power and skills. Through concentration and accessing resources, the individual determines the actions they want to take. The books on the shelf represent knowledge from study, the raven speaks to information coming from afar, and the owl speaks to spiritual/intuitive wisdom.”

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The Fool (by Arnell Ando):

“Fortune visits after misfortune. Allow yourself to be surprised by unusual synchronicities & gentle gestures. Fresh perspective during a challenging time. Revisit a sense of optimism and belief in an inner journey. Look to friends who cherish you. Trust your gut. Don’t forget to reward yourself with spontaneous, unexpected treats when things get overwhelming.”

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The Page of Swords (by Ash Goh):

“We face challenges on a daily basis. This word means Patience in Chinese which brings to mind the importance of governing our thought processes as we face obstacles that seem insurmountable. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we lay the hand. Randy Pascal, The Last Lecture.”    

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The Hanged Man (by Chanel Bayless):

“It’s time to let go of fears and give yourself a moment to reflect on the positives of life. Time is suspended for now. Meditate. Allow your spirit to speak to the universe. You are seeing life from a different perspective. Connect. Accept. Everything is turning around.”

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The Hierophant (by Sue Silva):

“The Hierophant raises her right hand giving a peace sign that represents blessings to all and especially to ourselves. It is now that we know we hold the keys to our own destiny. We are strong and everything is possible in this life journey.”

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The Ace of Wands (by Chris Ernest Paradis):

“When the Ace of Wands appears, your passions have sparked a a creative instinct to manifest new possibilities in your life. You have the tools and energy to do it. It is up to you to overcome your obstacles and allow this spark to become a reality.

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The Page of Cups (by Paula Millet):

“The Page of Cups brings you messages of love from your circle of family and friends. Their support will carry you through whatever is to come.”

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The Eight of Swords (by Rhonda Delaune Welch):

“Isolation, self-imposed restrictions, imprisonment, stagnation, confusion. The Eight of Swords represents someone who considers herself trapped and isolated. This card mage shows a woman who has intentionally disengaged from her surroundings, unable or unwilling to see the mental stairway leading up and out of her current situation. Swords, representing her thoughts, impede her from more positive possibilities.”

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The Four of Cups (by Paula Millet):

“Signifies a time to retreat and reflect upon the choices before you. This is an opportunity to evaluate how you feel about your options and the possible outcomes.”

The journey for this deck was not an easy one – not with 65 artists, each with their own perception and opinions! I was with it all the way, as an observer. I thank everyone involved with this project – especially Mr. Ron Leong, for holding it all together. The end product is a delight to work with, and is definitely the tool of empowerment and healing that it was meant to be!

© October 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Travel Guide of Italy – History of A Mystery From The Renaissance

 

Tarot

I am really not going to say how late I am in getting this information out! Let’s just say embarrassingly so! I have always wanted to go on one of Arnell Ando’s Tarot tours of Italy, but have never been able to do so. In this 150 page guide (PDF version), Arnell (in collaboration with Morena Poltronieri and Ernesto Fazioli of the Museo dei Tarocchi) gifts the reader with a detailed guide to landmark artworks that contributed to the development of Tarot, along with esoteric, literary, and historic lore. (Tarot did not evolve in a vacuum!) It is a wonderful, expanded version of the original print book, including poetry, maps, early Tarot images, and so much more! It is a privilege to have this material in your hands!

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Tarot aficionados on all levels will find themselves drawn into this material. One of the things that the authors could do with the Kindle/PDF format that they could not in the print book was provide live links – a true bonus!

Here is my review of the earlier print book – https://theworldoftarot.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/review-tarot-travel-guide-of-italy-history-of-a-mystery-from-the-renaissance/. On Arnell’s site – http://www.arnellart.com/museodeitarocchi/msdk48-pdf.htm – you can purchase the Kindle version of the updated book, as well as a PDF version. The price of admission is minimal … what you take away is entry into a whole new world!

Gift yourself, gift a friend, and please remember to share the link! It doesn’t get this real very often!

© October 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2015 in Tarot

 

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Holy Light Tarot Classes!

Tarot of the Holy Light

Christine Payne-Towler has given me permission to share this with you in its entirety. An incredible three month class cover the different layers of her deck, Tarot of the Holy Light. I hope to see each of you there!

“Here’s the news about our upcoming 3-month webinar over October, November and December. Everything we are going to talk about is in my recent book, so participants will need to acquire their own copy. The Kindle version is inexpensive, complete (except for bibliography), and in full color. The black and white softback can be bought at Amazon.com, or else from me at www.tarotuniversity.com (which helps me out if you are in the US or Canada).

The focus of our time together will answer the question, ”What are the layers of meaning in the Tarot of the Holy Light?” We’ll be looking at the Icon, the illustrations and the appendixes, which detail the system of signs/planets/elements inhabiting the cards. In the course of teaching to the deck, I’m simultaneously teaching to the traditions present in the early 1600’s. Therefore this class represents a way of encountering the older magical worldview that maps over to the Tarot outline. I intend to demonstrate the practical applications for all the features that a Renaissance magus would project onto the cards. Topics will include using the deck as a magical calendar, using the Horoscope Spread as a diagnostic tool, deriving personal remedies from the Doctrine of Essential Dignities, approaching the Shem Angels, and more.

The 8th of October makes a great day to start, because if we can meet every other Thursday we’ll manage to escape the holidays. I am proposing that we meet at 4:00 Pacific Time, which will mean the class crosses the dinner hour for some people. The software we are using allows for up to 25 people in the chatroom at a time, but I’m not going to expect every person to attend every class. Each episode will be recorded and therefore people can encounter the material in their own favorite time and situation. I’d like to give it an hour and a half each sitting, if participants don’t consider that overkill.

My charge for this class will be $50 per month per person, though couples can pay $75 per month if that will make it easier for both to attend. That makes $150 total over the 4th quarter of the year. Feel free to get in touch if you want to participate. My e-mail is christine@tarotuniversity.com, or you can find me on Facebook. Please tell your friends, since this letter and announcements in the ArkLetter and at FaceBook are my only forms of advertising. I will be happy to include people right up to the day we start, and possibly after as well. (Frankly, I hope this group continues into next year! But we shall see how it goes….)

Thank you for your interest, please let me know if you need more information before you make up your mind. I might be out of town this week with a family issue in Portland, but after than I’m home until class starts.

Blessings, I look forward to being with you soon!”

Tarot Arkletters

(c) September 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Tarot

 

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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

THL cover

“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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