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Review: Tarot of the Crone, Third Edition

Tarot of the Crone –
Third Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am the Something
That comes from nothing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Tarot

 

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Review – The 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 – Dark Goddess Tarot Companion

Dark Goddess Tarot Companion

Author: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Natural Press
2014
ISBN #978-0-9894739-1-0

DGT cover

The “Dark Goddess Tarot” is based, quite literally, on dark goddesses … goddesses who, as Ellen notes in her introduction, represent aspects of life that people may be uncomfortable with, such as the powers of age and death, sex and sovereignty, ferocity and judgment, suffering and shadow, magic, mystery, and transformation. To be worked with to the depths that they were created for, there needed to be a companion book … a guide into this vast expanse of feminine wisdom. And so it shall be … and so it is. A 172 page book of wonders, written by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince as only she can write … an intuitive guide into some of the strongest powers that you will ever encounter!

A bit of background about the deck: It follows a traditional structure, elemental: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. In choosing goddesses for each suit, attention was paid to elemental affinity, as well as the meaning of the card. The court cards are renamed to represent fearsome female powers:  Amazon (fierce and independent), Siren (sexuality), Witch (practitioner of magic), and Hag (one who walks with death). I love that the deck is NOT meant to be used with reversals! There are specific instructions for working with the energies of each card … to show respect, to honor the energy, and to protect one’s self. Probably the best advice … to suspend ones disbelief. In the companion book, each card is dedicated to someone in Ellen’s life that for her has a connection to that energy.

Each Major Arcana card is presented with a black and white photo, who the card is dedicated to, the card name and number, the associated goddess, what the goddess represents, and what happens when she appears in a reading. For instance … the Fool is dedicated to Mary Greer. The mythological figure represented is the Sheela Na Gig, the British Spirit of Warning and Invitation. When this card appears in a reading, the Seeker is advised to open their eyes, to not see only what they already know, to release expectation and judgment, and to allow wisdom to come in unexpected ways.

The introduction to the Minor Arcana give a short summation of the elemental nature of the suits, and a listing of the goddesses for each suit. Each card is presented with a black and white photo, who the card is dedicated to, the suit and card number (title and card number for the court cards), the associated goddess, what the goddess represents, and what happens when she appears in a reading.

At the end of the book are several Dark Goddess Tarot Spreads: a two card Substance and Shadow spread, a three card What, Why, and How spread, a two card Dark Goddess spread (thanks to James Wells), and a five card  Goddess Be With You spread. At the end of the book we find the Dark Goddess Circle, which was inspired by an online ritual hosted by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince and Nancy Antenucci Dark Goddess Lodge.

In her introduction Ellen notes that the Dark Goddess Tarot was inspired by an intended for troubled times. In my life, I would read that as “Troubled Times”! We are not denying the pain we are going through, and we are not celebrating it … we are taking an honest look at our issues, honoring them, and then doing something about them!

This is not a deck for the faint hearted … this companion book will take the Seeker deeply into their psyche, which can be very scary territory. Proceed at your own risk … but please do proceed if you want to grow, and be all that you can be!

 © 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Tarot

 

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Review – The Dark Goddess Tarot

The Dark Goddess Tarot

Author: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Artist: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Published By Arnell’s Art
2013
ISBN #978-0-989-1739-0-3

Dark Goddess Tarot cover

The “Dark Goddess Tarot” is a 78 card deck, which comes with a 27 page LWB (Little White Book). It is packaged in a medium gray lift top, heavy cardboard box, with the image of XIII Death (La Santa Muerte) on the cover, and the image of XVII Stars (Spider Woman) on the back. The deck theme is based on feminine deities from diverse pantheons, that flow seamlessly on two counts: the quality of the artwork, and the assignments of the deities to the cards.

I have obviously been living in the dark ages, because it was a surprise to me that a lady that I admire greatly (artist/author Arnell Ando) was the publisher! Kudos, my friend!

I have worked with Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s previous deck (“Tarot of the Crone”) for a long time now, and have been looking forward to working with this deck. Both decks touch a side of the feminine that is beneficial to all of us.

Note: The cover image for the LWB is that of the Magician (Isis).  There is magic in these cards … yes! Other full page color images interspersed throughout the LWB  include the Chariot (Ishtar), the Hanged One (Tiamat), Hag of Fire (Maman Brigitte), the Ten of Water (Ixchel), the Eight of Air (Crow Mother), and the Eight of Earth (Cailleach).

In her introduction Lorenzi-Prince notes that the Dark Goddesses may be beautiful or horrible, loving or wicked. What they share, what unifies them, are powers that are considered disturbing when in female hands. You will see suffering, magic, mystery, death, violence, and transformation. The Dark Goddess Tarot invokes these goddesses, so that their experiences may provide strength and guidance for us in difficult times.

The structure of the deck is traditional, with the following Major Arcana cards being renamed: Emperor/Sovereignty, Temperance/Alchemy, Devil/Corruption, Tower/Destruction, and Judgment/Liberation. Strength is VIII, Justice is XI.

The four suits are renamed after the four magical elements: Wands/Fire, Cups/Water, Swords/Air, and Pentacles/Earth. The goddesses that were chosen for each suit have both an affinity for the respective e element, and for the card they represent. The Court Cards are Page/Amazon, Knight/Siren, Queen/Witch, and King/Hag.  Each card is seen as being one view of the goddess represented, one part of her being. The spread that is presented in the LWB is entitled Substance and Shadow, and was developed to give the Seeker a quick, incisive look into everyday challenges.

The cards are presented in text only, with the card number and name, the goddess, what the goddess represents, and a short take on how to use the wisdom contained in the card.

At the end of the LWB is a short section on working with the goddesses. The Seeker is advised to develop a connection with the goddesses, to research them, to mediate with them, and to offer them tokens of affection. It is also noted that patience and respect are a good thing, and that the Seeker should suspend their disbelief.

A second Tarot spread is offered, this one entitled “Goddess Be With You”. It is intended to orient the Seeker to their true self.

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The cards themselves are 3” by 5 ½”, on quality card stock, The backs show a pattern of circles overlapping each other (looking somewhat like scales), in blue and light pink. The backs are reversible.

The card faces show a medium gray border. For the Major Arcana, the card number (in Roman numerals) and name is in white lettering across the op, with the name of the goddess in white lettering across the bottom. The Pips (numbered cads) show the card name and suit (in text) across the top of the card, with the name of the goddess across the bottom of the card.  The Court Cards show the card title and suit across the top of the card, with the name of the goddess across the bottom of the card.

The artwork is outstanding, as is to be expected from Lorenzi-Prince. The colors are deep and true, and the style is appropriate to the culture that each goddess represents.  Some of my favorite cards include the Magician (Isis), the Hermit (Baba Yaga), Justice (Maat), the Ace of Fire (Vesta), the Hag of Fire (Maman Brigitte), the Six of Water (Tefnut), Two of Air (Athena), and the Three of Earth (Norms).

This is an excellent deck to use for dark and difficult times, but it can also be used easily for meditation, ritual, and journey work. It is not a deck to learn to read the Tarot with, but it has great value on its own. It is very special, and should be approached with respect for he goddess energy that it contains.

© 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited in an venue without the written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Tarot

 

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