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

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: , , ,

Review – The World

The World

Author: Robin Wildt Hansen

The World Cover

“I stand in front of my desk, feeling five pairs of eyes watching me
in the candle light. I point one hand upwards towards the sky,
and the other down towards the earth.”
~ Robin Wildt Hansen

When I sat down to write this review, I knew that I was going to use the term “Tarot sci-fi”. Even though I have since come to know that the “real” term for this type of writing would be “magical realism”, Tarot sci-fi certainly fits. Hansen has taken the Tarot Major Arcana, and used them as a background for writing about the initiatory process. The reader is taken into magical worlds, which contain magical elements, with the aid of a protagonist that inhabits the real world.

We are introduced to Hansen’s protagonist, Arkin, who is a high school age boy whose mental state borders on schizophrenia. His touchstone is numbers – everything around him must be in even numbers – the instability of the odd number having the potential to create danger. His books in his room at home are all placed in piles of eight – this is how it should be.

Arkin experiences a breakdown while at a party with his friends from school. When he wakes up, he finds himself still at his friend’s house, being addressed by his friend’s father, John Francis, who is a psychiatrist. He is offered help, if he is willing to be admitted to the psychiatric ward where Dr. Francis practices. In the end, Arkin decides to agree to be admitted. Here he meets another doctor, Dr. Memphis, who wants to put Arkin on traditional therapy.

Arkin is admitted for observation, and makes the choice to work with Dr. Francis, in his spiritual healing program. Dr. Memphis, however, insists on the stipulation that if Arkin dies within the next five years, his brain goes to Dr. Memphis for study.

The scenarios that follow present the path of initiation through the Major Arcana of the Tarot. The reader moves in and out of the physical world, into spiritual/magical worlds where wisdom comes at a price. The reader’s perception of what is real and what is not is tested, sometimes in very surreal ways. Anyone who has journeyed, or who has worked on personal initiation, understands that letting go of reality, and being willing to experience alternate realities (madness, if you will) is necessary for personal empowerment.

Tarot per se is not referred to in this book, except as the basis for each chapter. It would be helpful if the reader had a strong background in the Tarot, and some idea about the initiatory process, before they read this book. Otherwise, the story, as good as it is, is simply a story.

This is an excellent novel, very well written, with a solid basis in the Tarot, and with a solid understanding of the initiatory process. It will expand the thinking of the reader, and perhaps help them to see both the Tarot and themselves in a little different light.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 8, 2015 in fiction books, Tarot


Tags: , , , ,

What’s In A Number?

What’s In A Number?


What’s in a number? Numerology is a science in and of itself. For those of us that read the Tarot, numerology has a definite place. I recently had the privilege to read the book “Marseile Tarot – Towards the Art of Reading”, by Camelia Elias. Regarding numbers, Elias talks about the cartomantic oral transmission that numbers signify quantity and direction, or length. She also makes an important point in that cartomancy is a system that has developed from making logical inferences.

Aces are defined as new beginnings: Ace of Cups (house), Ace of Batons (an opportunity), Ace of Coins (wealthy means), Ace of Swords (death, or a decision).

The Two’s are viewed as either cooperation or “splits”.

The Three’s are viewed as either increments or scattering.

The Four’s are viewed as either stability or constraint.

The Five’s are viewed as health and the body (i.e. five limbs).

The Six’s are viewed as paths and choices.

The Seven’s are viewed as challenges.

The Eight’s are viewed as wishes and fears.

The Nine’s are viewed as changes.

The Ten’s are viewed as “a little, and a lot”, endings spilling over into new beginnings.

Elias adds another dimension – Cups and Coins indicating closeness, while Swords and Batons create distance. Cups and Coins are viewed as slower than Swords and Batons.

Allow the story to play out … allow the numbers to talk.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 7, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: , ,

Review: Marseille Tarot – Towards the Art of Reading

Marseille Tarot –
Towards the Art of Reading

Author: Camelia Elias
EyeCorner Press
ISBN #978-87-92633-42-2

Marseile Tarot cover

“If the cards address the querent’s issues in a
very direct manner, then they do so because
there is a question to begin with.”
~ Camelia Elias

I love Elias’ very direct approach to things – even though it sometimes has me mumbling to myself, and even though I don’t always agree with her. Let’s start at the beginning – Elias’ stated purpose with this book is to cover the following four basic questions:

  1. Why do we read cards?
  2. What’s so special about the Marseille Tarot?
  3. How can the cards uncover our blind spots?
  4. What does it mean to live a magical life, when we allow the stories that the cards tell us to offer solutions to our real problems?

The images in this book are from Carolus Zoya’s Tarot de Marseille, a rare Tarot deck made in Turin at the end of 1700. The deck is from the private collection of K. Frank Jensen, and the images are being used with his permission.

Elias notes that context is everything, and that the answer to the question unfolds from the question itself via the images in the cards. In her readings she combines the cunning-folk method of reading (based on making logical inferences about the meaning of the cards) with the visual argument method (which relies on the subjective and individual art of perceiving).

“Marseille Tarot” features full-length readings, based on real-life tarot consultations, which is a tremendous boon to understanding Elias’ method of reading. The stories that evolve in Elias’ readings are based on first hand observation of the categories of Embodiment (human, animal, celestial), Function (to lead, to split, to cut, to illuminate), Gesture (sitting, walking, pointing, howling), and Voice (silence, loudness, beyond the verbal).

Each card is presented with a full color scan, a short discourse on the card and its function, a short question (with three cards drawn in response, all presented as full color scans), an interpretation of the cards, keywords for the card being discussed, function for the card being discussed, health indicators, and public life.

Sample questions include: The Fool – “Can I trust my partner?”, The Charioteer – “What is my strength?”, and The Moon – “I would like to buy a new house for my family. Is this a good time?”

Functions include: The Popess (cunning woman, study), The Lovers (partnership, dividing), Strength (overpowering, dominating, enduring), and Temperance (measuring, moderating, regulating).

Health indicators include: The Magician (stress, nervous agitation, migraines), Justice (respiratory problems), and The Devil (binding, enslaving, manipulating).

Public life includes: Death (with Justice, forensics analyst), The Stars (with The Moon, a spa), and Judgment (with The Hermit, gurus).

There is note made of color and numbers, and how they apply to the cards.

For the Court cards, Kings are seen as symbols of power, Queens as emblems of truth, Knights as Emblems of development, and Pages as symbols of initiation.

At the end of the book we see several readings interpreted.

The card images are full color, and gorgeous! This book is well written, beautifully formatted, with a stunning full color interior and a list of references that impresses! It is packed with information that is meant to be put to use. Whether you are a beginning student, a Tarot Sage, or somewhere in-between, you will find wisdom and value in this book.

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

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 31, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: , ,

Chocolates Starring At The Northwest Tarot Symposium!


Image “borrowed” from Casey Scanlon on Facebook! She is the lovely lady that will be manning the vendor table with the chocolates!

I am sure the chocolates got your attention! Jadzia and Jay DeForest (founders of Devera Publishing) are presenting what we all hope will be an annual event this coming March – the Northwest Tarot Symposium. The focus, however, is not limited to Tarot – also included are oracles and the Lenormand. The Northwest Tarot Symposium (NWTS) will be held at the Monarch Hotel in Portland, Oregon, March 6th – 8th 2015.

This years presenters include Barbara Moor, James Wanless, Julie Cuccia-Watts, Jadzia DeForest, Jay DeForest, Jaymi Elford, Toni Gilbert, Miriam Jacobs, Mellissae Lucia, Marcia McCord, Heather Mendel, Teresa Michelsen, Carrie Paris, Christine Payne-Towler, Leeza Robertson and Amy Barilla, Casey Scanlon, Major Tom Schick and Valentina Burton, Pamela Steele, Carmen Waterman, Courtney Weber, and Katrina Wynne.

There will be vendors carrying books, cards, decks, ritual tools, jewelry, crystals, statuary, Tarot boxes, aromatherapy sprays, chocolates (ilk, dark, and white), learning cards, and more!

A potlatch table will be available, where people can place decks and books to be given away, or they can pick up a deck or book that they may not have, but are interested in.

Pamela Steele (The Steele Wizard Tarot, The Wizard’s Pets Tarot) is the driving force behind an incredible silent art auction – this will be a first for me, and I am really looking forward to it!

Enough for now! Check all of this out, then make your reservations post haste! Hope to see you all there!

Event Page on Facebook – Northwest Tarot Symposium

Community Page on Facebook – Northwest Tarot Symposium

Internet Site – NW Tarot Symposium

Northwest Tarot Symposium – Registration

(c) 2000 – 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Tarot


Tags: , , , , , , ,


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 103 other followers