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Review – Devil (An Unauthorized Autobiography)

I recently received an incredible package from an incredible lady – Lena Ruth Stefanovich. She shared with me two of her books, and the decks that go with them. I am both honored and humbled to be able to have this material in my hands. The first book was “Lo Triumpe”, which you can see here: https://theworldoftarot.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/lo-triumpe/.

The second book is “Devil – An Unauthorized Biography” (OKF, Cetinje, 2011), a collection of stories based partially on Jewish culture and the Tarot, and partially on urban living in general. The deck that accompanies this book is the “Vaudeville Tarot”, by Spanish artist Francisco J. Campos. More on this deck can be seen here – http://www.orphalese.net/decksbydominatrix.aspx?chosenculture=en.

I love this book – it comes in the original language, with some English translations at the back of the book. In his preface Sanjin Sorel notes that Tarot, like the Jewish culture, provides the framework, without which reality would be the metonymy of emptiness. He feels that Stefanovic writes of an absent presence, the figure of melancholy seems to be the solution that brings salvation.

Also from Sorel’s preface: “Dreams, inner disputes and doubts, the continuous contrast of reality, imagination, and memories … these are all the elements from which Lena Ruth’s literary world is built.” Sorel gives Stefanovic the highest praise when he states “Interestingly, Lena Ruth executes the concept primarily through poetry, which additionally, by genre, destabilizes the concept. In any case, the book is diverse, but thematically coherent.”

In his preface Tanja Bakic speaks of the genre of Stefanovic’s previous work as contemporary fairytale. The implied dilemma between the esoteric and the mystic form the foundation for her current work, this time through the genre of poetry. Is this book poetry, fairytale, mystical, esoteric … or a combination? Stefanovic addresses the archetypal images, and the darkest parts of the soul.

I loved the preface by Stephen J, Mangan, as he describes Stefanovic as a lady who “gets things done”! (Mangan played the role of friend and translator for this book.) From his preface: “When Tarot, poetry, the devil and his burlesque meet therefore, they need no introduction – it is no meeting of strangers – but a reunion.”

Pavle Goranovic, in his preface, speaks of poetry in prose as an artistic expression in which language itself serves as a tool of evocation and estheticism. He defines different pieces of this book in different ways: microfiction (Baruch and Olyechka), poetry (The Cleaner), narrative poetry (Tzadikkim; Burlesque), and vignettes (Carte Fine).

In his preface, the artist, Francisco J. Campos, describes Tarot as a tool that combines symbols in a random manner to give an answer. Campos both acted in vaudeville, and worked on the production end. He saw this as a magical world, and brought it into the world of Tarot.

Several stories and poems have been translated at the back of the book, including “Darkness and I”, “Burlesque”, “The Devil (An Autobiography)”, and “Baruch and Olyechka”.

From the book:

The Devil (An Autobiography)

Do you not know me!

I am your adversary in this tale;
that arrogant voice born of doubt
and fostered by fear.

I dwell in the constant storm
of your uncertainty,
sprouting in darkness,
fed by your fury
and drinking up your pain
until you stumble and fall.

Still you dismiss me with a smile,
denying my existence
as I bury you alive.

© April 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Tarot

 

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Lo Triumpe

I recently received an incredible package from an incredible lady – Lena Ruth Stefanovich. She shared with me two of her books, and the decks that go with them. I am both honored and humbled to be able to have this material in my hands.

The first book is “Lo Triumpe” (OKF, Cetinje, 2008), a book of short stories based on the Tarot. The stories themselves I cannot comment on, as they are not in English. The 22 card Major Arcana deck that accompanies this book is entitled the “Black Mountain Tarot”, and is illustrated by the inimitable Emily Carding. The deck came nicely presented in spreadsheets of four cards each. In her foreword, Emily notes that Lena left the choice of the theme for the deck up to her – Bravo Lena! You two ladies together are incredible! A not so small point – this was the first deck to be published in the newly independent Montenegro!

More of the cards can be seen here, on Aeclectic Tarot- http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/black-mountain/ . Images in this deck were inspired by historical figures, architecture, modern life, ancient mythology, folk tales, Christian, Pagan, and Muslim spirituality, Montenegro’s stunning countryside and rugged mountains, and, as Emily states, even a view of an optimistic future.

The incredibly good news about the “Black Mountain Tarot” is that a second edition ( which will include an intro written by Lena, along with a couple of her stories) is due to be released by the Tarot Media Company (http://tarotmediacompany.com/upcoming-releases/tarot-of-the-black-mountain-by-emily-carding/). Yes, it was supposed to be out in 2011 – keep an eye on this page – the deck, along with Lena’s stories, is worth it!

© April 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2012 in Tarot

 

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My Tarot World

This is the inaugural post for my new Tarot blog. I decided to start a blog that was dedicated to working with the Tarot, rather than mixing those posts in with my reviews. The reviews will remain on my other site – – http://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com/, and, of course, on http://aeclectic.net/tarot.

There are a couple of very interesting things going on right now in the Tarot world – both of which originated in the delightful imagination of Tarotist Amethyst Mahoney! Amethyst asked individuals within the Tarot community if they wished to participate in a Valentine’s Day Give-Away, and she got a resoundingly positive result! Many Tarotists on both sides of the pond have contributed articles, spreads, stories, and e-books – all free for downloading! (In honor of transparency, yes, I contributed an e-book to the mix myself! Blatant self-promotion!) You can see how to get the download here: http://amethysttarot.com/valentines-day-giveaway/#.
Amethyst is working with Mary Nale and “Attune Magazine” on a very special Valentine’s Day edition! This will contain many more contributions from the Tarot community. Check that out here – http://attunemagazine.blogspot.com/.

I have come across a Tarot blog that I think is equal parts wisdom, humor, and professionalism, and I would like to share it with you – http://moderndayruth.wordpress.com/, by Lena Ruth Stefanovic. Read down to her descriptions of the types of Tarot readers, and the people that come to them. Absolutely hysterical!

© February 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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