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Review – Voyager: DIY Mindfulness Psychology

Voyager: DIY Mindfulness Psychology

Author: James Wanless, Ph.D.
Publisher: Buro Voor Tarot
2016
ISBN #978-907715376-5

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I have followed the work of James Wanless for … well, it seems like a lifetime! From the creation of his Voyager Tarot deck, through his books (Voyager Tarot: Way of the Great Oracle, Intuition At Work, Sustainable Life: The New Success. and New Age Tarot), and the Sustain Yourself cards. It is all about finding the resources to live our best lives, and leave the best imprint on the planet. In Voyager: DIY Mindfulness Psychology Wanless aims to create a path for becoming a “Universal Human” through the practice of “transformative mindfulness”.

In his foreword, Wanless speaks of being at a professional breakpoint,  not wanting to continue as he had, knowing that he had to take the next leap. The leap that he took was to commit himself to the path of aliveness.  He is now living his destiny! He feels that Voyager psychology works because it is the right message for the right times.

Wanless reminds us that we are free to be whomever we want to be, that we choose our own way of life, and in that way are becoming personally free. With that freedom comes a responsibility – to be responsible for ourselves. We are our own life anchor.

One of the essential skills for DIY psychology, according to Wanless, is being mindful. To see yourself truthfully, and as well as seeing what is going on in your life truthfully. It is important to see yourself as you are, and to not judge yourself. Wanless also reminds us that we do not want to project that which we “want” to see as our truth. He also makes the very interesting observation that mindfulness opens the doorway to self-remembering. Through “re-membering”, Wanless feels that we can regain our natural state of wholeness – that of being happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise.

The work of mindfulness psychology is based on the use of the Voyager Tarot cards. They assist the reader in attaining and keeping the basic state of mindfulness. One of the ways that this is done is that of picking a card a day from the deck, and connecting with the archetypes. The reader reflects on themselves, and their day, through the cards. Wanless explains that the intent of the Voyager cards was to act within the system of Tarot, but that it is also a multi-use tool, given its updated imagery. He feels that the Voyager Tarot is the right “media and medicine for the challenges and pathologies of the times”. Because it is inclusive of many psychologies, it is essentially a “hybrid brand”.

A very important thought in this book is that once the reader knows themselves, they possess the tools and inner resources to create their own future, and fulfill their own prophecy. It incorporates oracular divination, Hermetic psychology, depth psychology (the psychology of the collective unconscious), cognitive behavior, Holistic psychology, self-actualization, transactional psychology, a transpersonal psychology, and more!

Voyager psychology helps the reader to ground and center, to find their identity (termed self-identity in this book), and to find their sense of security (termed self-security in this book). The Voyager Tarot helps the reader create a life map – how to make decisions wholistically, to do what is purposeful and meaningful for you as an individual.

The reader is encouraged to embody the archetypes of the Tarot in their life, to keep on growing, and to improve themselves. It is interesting to me that Wanless speaks of trying to find his path in his 70’s, andhow many of his clients are women in their 50’s who are also trying to find their path. This is reflective of my clients also, and of my life – I am in my late 60’s … about to go into my seventh decade, and consciously trying to activate a new life path.

He talks about “folk therapy counseling” – basically kitchen table wisdom, which most of us are already familiar with. The Voyager cards become a map – a “Multidimensional Awareness Profile” – which includes seventy-eight stages of consciousness, symbolized by the seventy-eight cards of the deck. There is a nicely done chart that shows the association of the cards through numbers (i.e. the Magician, card number one, with the Aces; the Priestess, card number two, with the Two’s, etc.)

The plan here – to remember and be mindful of who you are!

There is a section on choosing a daily card that emphasizes that how we chose our cards gifts us with the ability to manage out life on a daily basis. We can trust the mystery (draw cards face down), or follow our curiosity (draw cards face up).

Different “maps” are described, including the Wholeness MAP, the Life Card MAP, the Fortune Creation MAP, the Hero’s Journey MAP, the Question and Answer MAP, the Mental Health MAP, the Mental Health Checklist MAP, the Physical Health MAP, the Health Checklist MAP, the Business Success MAP, the Relationship MAP, the Checklist Relationship MAP, and the Spiritual Illumination MAP.

The plan here – to BE the map that you create! The powers that transform you are those of awareness, symbols, surprise, play, positivity, payoff, practice, and counseling (including conversational counseling, archetypal counseling, and self-creation counseling.

In the section “The Book of You”, Wanless presents the 78 cards of the Tarot, what they mean, and how they work in your life – both as positive energy, and as shadow energy.

At the back of the book is a template for daily card draws, as well as a listing of references sources, other works by Wanless, his social media contact information, and available training in his systems.

This book is a great source and resource, aiding the reader into exploring understanding themselves, and living authentically.

© November 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2016 in Tarot

 

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Review – Tarot Decoratif

Tarot Decoratif

Author: Ciro Marchetti
Artist: Ciro Marchetti
Independently Published
2016

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“A Tarot deck if a magical illustrated book like no other.
Every time you open its cover it offers you a different
and unique story.”

from the companion PDF

The Tarot Decoratif  is a 78 card deck that combines features from both the Marseilles and Waite-Smith schools of Tarot. It is self-published as a Special Edition, aimed primarily at collectors. The images follow traditional images close enough that the deck can be used easily for reading, if one is familiar with the Tarot. Marchetti is a digital artist, with several decks to his credit (Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Tarot of Dreams, Tarot Royale, The Gilded Tarot) – all of which are unique and outstanding in their own way.

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This Special Edition comes with a plethora of goodies – a signed signature card; a themed, satin lined bag; and a heavy, black, lift top box. (I am partial to black – I find the box stunning!) Reading cloths are also available for separate purchase. The option to personalize the card backs is no longer available, as the cards have already gone to the printer. There is no companion book, but there is a PDF available for download in which Marchetti describes the thought process (rational) for his personal design choices.

A small note about the PDF: I fully appreciate hearing the “story behind the story”. Seeing what is in the mind of the creator as he is creating. Those who have followed Marchetti’s work know that each of his projects is stand-alone, with vibrant energy and compelling story-lines. Many of us know that Marchetti had effectively “retired” from creating Tarot decks, and was focusing on Kipper and Lenormand oracles. He was nudged into changing his mind when he attended a presentation by Russell Sturgess at a TarotCon in West Palm Beach. Sturgess presented what to Marchetti was an entertaining and compelling view of the history of the Marseilles Tarot, the core of which was that its symbolic content was a “hidden in plain sight” reproduction of the religious beliefs of the Cathars, as expressed through the imagery of the Major Arcana. Hence, the interest to create a Marseilles based Tarot was ignited. To maintain the integrity of the deck, Marchetti reached out to a select group of people (including readers, publishers, authors, and artists of Marseilles style decks) that are acknowledged to be experienced voices in the world of the Marseilles Tarot.

Marchetti talks about the early woodcut decks, and how commercial appeal would have factored into the production of the decks. In designing the Tarot Decoratif, imagery from multiple decks was cross-referenced, as well as interpretations and views from various sources. The imagery that made the most sense was then chosen to be used. The result is imagery that is decorative, but still easily recognizable, and easily read.

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The Tarot Decoratif is a reflection of Marchetti’s personal style, and personal choices. While deeply imbued in the Marseilles style, there is enough imagery to make it interesting to those that find it a bit difficult to read with icons only.

While reading the PDF is not necessary to understanding this deck, I found it of personal interest. I did not agree with all of it, and you may not either, but it does give us insight into why the imagery in this deck is presented in the manner that it is.

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The cards are 3 ¼” by 5 ¼”, on a glossy card stock finish. There is a contrasting matt spot varnish over the outer border design. The backs have a black background, with gold inner borders and imagery, and are reversible. The card faces show a black background, with the same dual gold borders as the card backs. The Major Arcana (Trumps) show the card number, in Roman Numerals, centered at the top of the card. The card title, in French, is centered at the bottom of the card. The card of Death is numbered, but not titled.

The Court cards show the insignia for the character centered at the top of the card, with the card title and suit centered at the bottom of the card. The pips (numbered cards) show the card number, in Roman Numerals, centered at the top of the card, with the suit name centered at the bottom of the card.

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The card imagery is bold, with bright, intense colors. The pips are Marseilles style, with icons and no imagery, with the exception of a single image in the top, middle or bottom of the card. For example, the IV of Deniers shows the top of a male figure in the center of the card, with a shield beneath it. The X of Deniers shows treasure chest in the middle of the card, while the VI of Batons shows a rider seated on a horse centered at the top of the card.

 

 

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There is interesting symbolism throughout the deck, including three dice in mid-air in Le Bateleur, the Alepha and Omega signs on the page of the book in Le Pape, the cherub over the male figure in L’Amoureux, the flaming cauldron between the male and female figures in Le Diable, the family pictured in the IV of Batons, and the male figure appearing to study in the VIII of Deniers.

 

 

This is a vibrant, well done deck that would be a welcome addition to any Tarot collection, both from a collector’s point of view, and from a reader’s point of view.

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

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2016 in Tarot

 

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Review – Oriental Tarot (Tarocchi Orientali)

Oriental Tarot (Tarocchi orientali/Tarocchi Foudraz)

Edited by: Giordano Berti
English translation: Vic Berti
Images by: Claudio Foudraz
Araba Fenice S.a.s.
2016

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Giordano Berti has presented us with the reproduction of a delightful deck, created by Claudio Foudraz in 1845, in Turin, Italy. The original deck (in the form of uncut sheets) is preserved at the Academy of Sciences at Turin, which graciously allowed this reproduction. This is a Limited Edition of 700 copies, printed on a special “Vellum” paper. The deck was rediscovered by chance by Giuliano Cripps, president of the Italian section of the International Playing Cards Society. It was made public by Nicola De Giorgio in the Playing Card Magazine in 2014. The publisher commissioned an expert artist to add delicate watercolor consistent with mid-nineteenth century style. A comparison between the original and the colored version can be seen here –  https://rinascimentoitalianartenglish.wordpress.com/oriental-tarot-1845/.

The Oriental Tarot, or Tarocchi Foudraz, is a Chinese style deck, done in the manner of the Marseilles Tarot (pips are not illustrated).  Claudio Foudraz, through his research, reinterpreted many characters (in both the Triumphs (Major Arcana) and the Court cards). Berti also notes that even the pips have been reinterpreted, in both form and geometric arrangement.

The cards and 18 page companion booklet come in an amazingly special box done in a beautiful marbled gray, with silver inserts. (It looks exactly like a book!) It is held together on the side with gray ribbons that thread through a central eyelet. The inside of the box is done in a beautiful burgundy velvet. The booklet is a treasure in and of itself, where Berti shares his wisdom on the fashion of “chinoiserie” that inspired Claudio Foudraz in the creation of this deck.

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The cards are 2 5/8” by 4 5/8”. The card backs show a repetitive pattern of black images on an antique colored background. The backs are reversible. The card faces show a minimal white border, followed by a thin black line. The background is the same antique color as the card backs. The Major Arcana (Triumphs) show the card number in Roman numerals across the top, with the card title, in French, across the bottom. The Court cards show the card title across the bottom. The pips show the card number, in Roman numerals, either in the upper left and lower right corner, or in the middle on the right and left hand side of the card. The Ace and Deuce of Cups, the Ace of Deniers, and the Ace of Swords show no number at all.

The artwork and coloring are phenomenal! Basic line drawings with minimal background and soft coloring that does not detract from the image. La Papesse shows a female figure, seated, oriental style, with he hands folded into her sleeves, holding a rose colored fan. La Lune shows two castles, with a wolf and a dog between them, and a rose colored crayfish in the forefront, in the stream.

Le Monde shows a male figure, dancing on the world, holding a wreath in both hands. I love the Roi De Baton! We see a male figure, seated on his throne, looking to the left of the card. He wears yellow trousers, with spirals on them, an embroidered, rose colored tunic, and a yellow hat. A rose colored umbrella rises over him from behind. He holds his baton in his right hand.

The V of Batons and the III De Coupe both show a reinterpreted symmetry for the symbols.

The Cavalier De Denier shows a traditional pose, with the character on horseback, holding the symbol for the Denier in his right hand. The horse faces the left hand side of the card, with his head turned to face forward. The Roi De Coupe shows a male figure, seated, facing forward. He is wearing an embroidered blue tunic, with lavender trousers. In his right hand he holds a cup. A blue umbrella rises behind him.

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The interpretation for Le Pendu is quite interesting, showing a figure holding onto a line that has been strung between two poles. He wears a rose colored tunic, with yellow trousers and rose colored slippers. In his left hand he is holding something circular.

The booklet starts out talking about the European infatuation with Chinse arts and crafts, reaching its peak between the XVII-XVIII centuries. Berti goes on to talk about the impact that Chinese art had in France in the second half of the 17th century, and how the Chinese style reached Italy through the Piedmont region. The late 18th century was to see the rapid decline of the Chinese style in Europe.

Berti leads us through the history of Turin lithographer Claudio Foudraz, who produced both French playing cards and Tarot cards. The imagery for the French playing cards (which can be found on existing sheets), shows one sheet of 24 figures, 12 of which are done in the Chinese style. Berti reminds us that, rather than representing historical reality, these figures reflect conventional representations that were fashionable until a few decades earlier. The point is also made that similar imagery can be seen in the paintings of aristocratic and upper class mansions of the eighteenth century, as well as in furniture and porcelain decorations.

There is a short background given on Foudraz, along with an in-depth note section at the end of the booklet. I would also like to note that color images are used throughout the booklet.

I love paintings from the orient, the beautiful fabrics and the flow of both clothing and surroundings.  Here we see sumptuous embroidery on the silk dresses, reflective of the aristocracy and upper class in China in the 18th century and the early 19th century. It is an amazing, seductive deck that lives in a world of its own.

This is a collectors deck, not only because it is a Limited Edition (700 copies), but because of the companion booklet, in which Giordano Berti shares his knowledge of Chinese fashion as it relates to the Tarot. A beautifully done work of art, that is all about art!

While not a learning deck, it can easily be used by beginners to Tarot, as well as those that are well versed in Tarot lore.

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

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2016 in Tarot, Uncategorized

 

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Review – A Year In The Wildwood Tarot

A Year In The Wildwood:
Explore the Wildwood Tarot

Author: Alison Cross
Foreword: John Matthews
Kindle
2015
ASIN: B01D00N4VS

A Year In the Wildwood Tarot cover

I was absolutely thrilled to hear that Alison Cross had taken her work on the Wildwood Tarot and turned it into an e-book. A Year In The Wildwood contains all of the entries Alison wrote for the Wildwood Tarot’s Facebook page. With humor and style, she takes us through a  year-long journey through the cards.

I have to add a note here that I might not place in other reviews, and that is because these are names that are recognizable in the Tarot world. This book was edited by Sara Donaldson (many will recognize her as a member of TABI), and converted to epub and mobi formats by Gavin Pugh.

The Wildwood Tarot is the creation of Mark Ryan, John Matthews, and Will Worthington. It is a based on the seasons and the Wheel of the Year. In his foreword, Matthews talks about the magical place that the forests and woodlands that act as the background for this deck are. Matthews and his fellow author Mark Ryan had always intended to write a more complex workbook to accompany the original deck and companion book that came out in 2011 but to date have not had an opportunity to do so.  Matthews notes that Alison’s work is a splendid addition that acts to deepen the study and the use of the imagery for both personal use and the use of the cards for reading.

Cross gifts the reader by beginning the book with an explanation of what the Wheel of the Year is, and that, as defined by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, the Wheel consists of three concentric circles, with the hub representing the core energy of the year, and acting as the Heart of the Forest. Each quarter pivots upon one of the Wildwood guardians (Spring – The Shaman, Summer – The World Tree, Autumn – The Seer, Winter – The Wanderer). The second ring shows the eight major festivals, and the pairs of Major Arcana cards that rule over each festival. The third ring consists of the Minor Arcana suits – Ace through Ten.

There are notes on how to use this book, which consists of four chapters – one for each of the suits (The Time of Arrows, The Time of Bows, The Time of Vessels, and the Time of Stones). At the beginning of each chapter there is an outline of the Majors that will be encountered, the associated element and season, the names of the Court Card guardians, and key words about what this time represents. Each Wildwood card is then presented according to the date its energies begin on the Wheel of the Year.

The cards are presented text only, beginning with the cards associations. This is followed by a short text on the card, and questions that the character in the card asks of the reader. For example, the Shaman asks:

What stirs you to be close to nature?

What “magic” can you use to make changes in your life this season?

How can you apply magic to everyday life, today?

 What I really liked was the suggestion that the student could return to the Shaman at any time to work with him. This, combined with the questions, makes this book special, and will help to open up the perspective of anyone who works with it – whether new to the Wildwood Tarot, or a seasoned reader.

The technical information presented here, along with suggestions on how to use it, are invaluable. Those already working with this deck will appreciate it, and those who do not have this deck yet will more than likely want to purchase it to work with.

At the end of the book Appendix I lists each card in the deck, and the dates they are activated. Appendix II lists Moon and Sun cycle exercises, and is followed by a list of useful resources.

Alison Cross has a knack for writing, for looking into the heart of things. She also has an innate sense of humor that anyone who follows her blog will understand.  She has made this book a valuable resource that stands on its own feet.

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

 

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2016 in Tarot

 

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Review – Tarot of Empowerment

Tarot of Empowerment

 

Author: Judyth Sult
Artist: Gordana Curgus
Tarot of Empowerment
2016
ISBN #978-0-9864446-7-8

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“Tarot of Empowerment” is a 22 card, Majors only deck that comes with a text only LWB (Little White Book). (There is a companion book that can be purchased separately, and is absolutely amazing!) The cards follow the structure of a traditional Tarot deck, with the 22nd card entitled “Unknown”. This card represents a situation where the universe is not quite ready to respond to our question, to give us information. Patience is needed before making a decision, or taking an action. Quite a relevant card, but one would need to be prepared to explain this to a client in a manner that they would understand!

The card titles are traditional, with the following exceptions: Questor/Fool, Sustenance/Empress, Authority/Emperor, Advisor/Hierophant, Choices/Lovers, Introspection/Hermit, New Perspective/Hanged Man, Life Cycle/Death, Entrapment/Devil, Chaos/Tower, Awakening/Judgment. The renamed cards are meant to give a contemporary interpretation to the traditional archetypes.

The cards are 2 ¾” by 4 ¾”. The backs show a black border around a golden door that is opening to the universe. There is a mandala-like figure in the middle of the card, outlined in purple. The backs are reversible. The card faces show the same black border, surrounding a thin gold border. The card number is entered at the top of the card in a gold oval, with the card title across the bottom, in an oval gold banner. The artwork is done largely in pastels, with a muted quality to it. I find the cards very compelling!

In her introduction, Sult talks about doing a reading for Curgus, and coming to the realization that as an artist, Curgus work reflected the Tarot archetypes as she had imagined them. They worked together on both the words and the images, consciously eliminating he symbols and religious allegories with hidden meanings that can be found in traditional decks. (I am very attached to exactly what they eliminated, but I find value in both versions of the Tarot.)

Sult sees reading the Tarot as being on a quest to become engaged with universal truth, and with your own intuition. To do this well, one needs to set aside one’s ego and any attachment to the outcome. She also talks about framing questions (she does not see yes/no questions as empower, which I have to agree with, as I find them limiting).

The cards are presented as text only, with the card name and number, a short saying, a description of the card and its energy, upright and reversed meanings, empowerment (how the energy empowers the client), and numerology (the energy that the card’s assigned number carries).

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The deck starts out with a bang! We see the Questor (Fool), backpack on his back, opening the golden doors and stepping through them, out into the universe. A white dove is flying in the sky, welcoming him. Empowerment: “Questor is empowered by being spontaneous and optimistic about the issue in question.”

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Sustenance (Empress) shows a lovely, long haired woman standing. She is dressed in a lovely blue gown, and her hair is flowing. There is a cross at her neck. Empowerment: “You are empowered when you use your words and skills as tools to strengthen worthy causes and people around you.”

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Determination (Chariot) shows a golden bird in the center of the card, flying through the night sky. An intent male image is being carried by the bird. Under the bird we see an image of the world. Empowerment: “You are empowered to have faith in yourself and the decisions that you need to make, and to travel with your personal beliefs and values as your compass.”

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Justice shows a yin/yang symbol in the center, over back to back images of a woman reflecting. Empowerment: “You are empowered by Justice when you make fair decisions based on the rules, no matter the emotions or relationships involved.”

The intent of this deck is to have Tarot serve as a tool to empower individuals to make the choices that will improve their life. The images reflect both strength and beauty, and draw the reader (and their client) in. This is a powerful deck, and could be used in any number of ways (for readings, journeying, meditation, journaling, in comparative readings, etc.).

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

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2016 in Tarot

 

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Review – The Chrysalis Tarot Companion Book

Chrysalis Tarot –
Companion Book

Author: Toney Brooks
Artist: Holly Sierra
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2016
ISBN #978-1-57281-798-2

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The “Chrysalis Tarot” is the 216 page companion book for the Chrysalis Tarot deck. The cover illustration shows a cosmic version of the Nine of Spirals, featuring Aeolus, Master of the Four Winds. The reader’s eyes are immediately drawn to Aeolus face, with the eyes connecting on both a real-time and a soul level. It is time for each of us to re-examine our own world view!

In his introduction, Brooks talks about how creating a Tarot deck is a transpersonal process, including imaginary conversations with the characters in their “dramatis personae”. In retrospect, he realized that perhaps those conversations, at least in part, were not so imaginary after all. The Chrysalis companion book is then not only about the Chrysalis Tarot, but also about his efforts to uncover the hidden realities of the universe that shape our lives and compel us towards our destiny.

The most talkative cards for Brooks were those representing the Troupe (the Chrysalis version of Tarot’s Court cards). I love that Brooks refers to the Tarot as a metaphysical looking glass that pinches the higher realms of reality. I also love the statement that if something unseen or imagined resonates with our consciousness, then it is real.

Part One examines the Chrysalis Tarot, and other forms of magic, while Part Two provides an in-depth interpretation of each of the 78 cards in the deck.

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”  Nikola Tesla, from Chapter 1

Tesla’s comment on the secrets of the universe are really at the foundation of this deck. Brooks talks about Elpi, a Goddess from Greek mythology that is the archetype featured in card 17 (Elpi/Star). He talks about viewing the universe in a holistic manner, versus the “dead universe” worldview. Elpi represents the living universe. Brooks talks about experiential spirituality, defining spiritual alchemy as having a conversation with the numinous.

He goes on to discuss the Holy Grail, the Celtic Cauldron of Rebirth, and the return of the Shekinah. I loved the section on the Storyteller’s Vision Quest. The storyteller is a female shaman schooled in the ways of a holistic wise woman. (A shaman being defined as someone that is an adept at manipulating subtle energy.) Here Brooks notes that the Tarot as a healing modality emphasizing the sacred ideals of self-knowledge and self-acceptance. He talks about energy and archetypes, and about magic being real. All of this is a very thorough prelude to working with this deck – which is energetically different from a traditional Tarot deck, although it follows the same 78 card format.

Part Two present the individual cards – their meaning, and the meaning within the artwork. One thing that I did note, and like, is that Brooks does not recommend using reversals with this deck. Each of the Major Arcana cards is presented with a half-page black and white scan, the reasoning behind why each character was chosen to represent that archetype, and a page on what the archetype itself is all about. Some of the archetypal energies chosen are Merlin as the Fool, Gaia as the Empress, the Phoenix as Judgment, and Psyche as The World.

The section on the Minor Arcana begins by discussing the renaming of the suits (Stones/Pentacles, Mirrors/Cups, Spirals/Wands, and Scrolls/Swords). The Pips (numbered cards) are presented with a half-page black and white scan, information about the symbols within the cards, and the energy/meaning of the card.

The sixteen cards that represent the Court Cards in a traditional deck are replaced with something called the Troupe – they are archetypes, eight male and eight female, that are divided up into four roles (Mentors, Muses, Mystics, and Messengers). Collectively they are akin to a band of medieval troubadours whose purpose was to travel the land bringing news, gossip, wisdom and entertainment. They are presented with a half-page black and white scan, who the character is, and what the symbols within the card mean.

At the end of the book we have the nine card Fairy Ring Spread.

This is a very different take on traditional Tarot – yet it serves the same purpose. I found the material interesting, and easy to follow. I personally would not use this deck for ritual work, but it works well for readings, journeying, and for meditation purposes.

© March 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproductionprohibited wthout written permission of he author.

 

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2016 in Tarot

 

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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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