Archive for November, 2009

Choose your card for the week of 11/29/09

November 29, 2009

Choose your card for the week from The Tarot of Trees by Dana Driscoll. When making your selection, don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel.

Let us know which card you choose—post a comment! (Put your cursor over each card to see its title.)

Isn’t this a gorgeous deck?! I recently stumbled onto tarotoftrees.com and was mesmerized. On her site, Dana Driscoll includes images of each of the 78 cards and discusses her artistic process, which I find fascinating. She even includes photos of the Three of Swords in various stages. There are decks and deck sets for purchase on the site along with other Tarot of Trees goodies such as incense tins, original prints, hand painted boxes, and silk wraps.

The cards are tactilely pleasing. They are a nice size for shuffling—2.5″ x 3.5″, have rounded corners and are thin and flexible, yet sturdy and slick with a glossy lamination. The colors are vibrant and the cards have a nice thin black border—not shown above.

It is fun to look through the images and discover all the creative ways Dana has used trees as metaphor. The Rider-Waite-Smith deck is a clear influence, but the tree theme provides new interpretations. See the Five of Cups and Six of Pentacles above and compare:

There are also refreshing and surprising departures such as the Ten of Wands. Compare the card above with this one:

This deck would make a great holiday gift for a tarot enthusiast, art or nature lover.

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Choose your card for the week of 11/22/09

November 22, 2009

Choose your card for the week from the Bosch Tarot by A. Atanassov. This deck is based on the work of the Flemish painter, Hieronymus Bosch, b. 1450. When making your selection, don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel.

Let us know which card you choose—post a comment!

Lunchtime Tarot Exercise for 11/20/09

November 22, 2009

For this week’s Lunchtime Tarot, we did an exercise that Sandra A. Thomson shared with me some time ago. Sandra is the author of these two terrific books:

Pictures from the Heart: A Tarot Dictionary and The Heart of the Tarot: The Two-card Layout: Easy, Fast, and Insightful

We also did the “Picture This” exercise on page 17 of  Nina Lee Braden’s wonderful book, Tarot for Self Discovery.

Tarot Class with Anastasia Haysler: The Death Card

November 15, 2009
Anastasia

Anastasia & Rose Red at Anastasia's Tarot Class in San Francisco

Just look at all that fun stuff on the table: cards and art supplies, handouts, tea and treats…. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I highly recommend attending Anastasia’s tarot class on the second Saturday of each month.

Yesterday’s class was on the Death card. Anastasia started by sharing quotations about death. She sent us home with three and a half pages of quotations to ponder. Here are a couple that I really liked:

We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future. It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance. –Marcel Proust

Don’t be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life. –Bertolt Brecht

Anastasia also talked about death customs as well as attitudes towards death throughout history and in various parts of the world. She is a an engaging story teller with a great sense of humor.

Before our break, she played us the song, “So Spricht Das Leben” by the Mediaeval Baebes.

Next we compared Death cards from many different decks. Anastasia pointed out an interesting detail in the Rider-Waite Death card that I had never noticed. Look at the spur on the foot of the skeleton. It’s an arrow, and it seems to be pointing to a cave behind the ship and to the left of the trees. Any ideas out there about what it might mean?

Death

death.spur

After looking at Death card images, Anastasia invited us to share stories of the Death card turning up in readings we have done. She pointed out that while the Death card is typically thought to symbolize transformation, sometimes it does reflect issues of mortality, such as in the case of a querant who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or someone who has just lost a loved one.

Our final activity was for each of us to draw our own interpretation of the Death card. What an interesting assignment! Anastasia had markers and crayons and pastels for us to use, and then we shared our cards and ideas.

The class ended with a drawing for two generous prizes: a deck and a beautiful deck pouch. Even those who didn’t win these prizes went home with a Forget-Me-Not key ring from the Tarot Media Company shop.

What a great afternoon!

I should mention that in addition to teaching tarot classes in the Bay Area, Anastasia is a luminary in the tarot community at large . Check out these projects which she has founded and directs:

Tarot Pathways blog and podcast

Tarot Media Company

Tarot-To-Go

Choose your card for the week of 11/15/09

November 15, 2009

Choose your card for the week from the Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set (aka Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Deck). When making your selection, don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel.

Let us know which card you choose—post a comment!

Three of Wands, Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set The Sun, Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set Five of Cups, Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set
Nine of Pentacles, Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set The Tower, Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set Wheel of Fortune, Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set
U.S. Games, Inc. put out this deck to honor the artist of the classic Rider-Waite deck: Pamela Colman Smith. The commemorative set includes a reproduction of the 1909 version of the deck, a blue organza pouch, a copy of Arthur Waite’s classic book, Pictorial Key to the Tarot, The Artwork & Times of Pamela Colman Smith by Stuart Kaplan, postcards of other artwork by Colman Smith and a photo portrait of her. Take a look at what you get:

Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set

Touchstone Tarot’s Painting Sources

November 14, 2009

Submerina of the tarot blog, the princess and the sea, chose the Eight of Wands from Kat Black’s Touchstone Tarot for her card for the week, and her description of the card, which she posted in comments, really turned me onto it.

Touchstone Tarot is digital collage, and the book that accompanies the deck includes the painting sources for each card, so I looked online for the various images that went into the Eight of Wands (see below). This gave me an even deeper appreciation for Black’s talent.

8wands

Eight of Wands, Touchstone Tarot

The Cumaean Sibyl

The Cumaean Sibyl, Domenichino. Source for girl in Touchstone Tarot's Eight of Wands.

Here’s some interesting information on the Cumean Sibyl. (Mary Greer said something to the effect that one could get a complete liberal arts education by studying the tarot. Ain’t that a fact!)

An Extensive Landscape

An Extensive Landscape, Paul Bril. Source for landscape in Touchstone Tarot's Eight of Wands.

Cosimo il Vecchio

Cosimo il Vecchio, Jacopo Pontormo. Source for wand leaves in Touchstone Tarot.

St. Christopher

St. Christopher, Vecellio Tiziano. Source for wands in Touchstone Tarot.

Lunchtime Tarot Exercise for 11/13/09

November 13, 2009
Debbie at Lunchtime Tarot

Debbie at Lunchtime Tarot

Lunchtime Tarot is a come-when-you-can group that meets each Friday at my office in San Mateo, CA. I post the exercises here each week for those who are unable to slip away to join us.

This week’s session was devoted to birth card(s). To learn a simple way to determine your birth card, click here. The Tarot School also has a birth card calculator.

Birth Card Reflection

  1. Explore the imagery of the card. What detail stands out when you first look at the card? What is happening in the card? Is there a story there? Consider what might have happened five minutes earlier and what might happen five minutes later. What is the mood of the card? Consider the setting, the weather, and the expression on the faces of the figure(s) in the card.
  2. When I look at this card I feel…
  3. These words and phrases come to mind when I look at this card:
  4. This card reminds me of this significant childhood experience:
  5. This card reminds me of this significant experience from my adolescence:
  6. This card reminds me of this significant experience in recent years:
  7. This card reminds me of this person who has shaped my life:
  8. This card challenges me to…
  9. This card represents my potential to…
  10. This card warns me against…
  11. I hate this birth card because…
  12. I love this birth card because…
  13. I wish was my birth card instead of this one because…
  14. Choose another card in the deck (perhaps your year card) to interview your birth card about what it sees as your strengths and weaknesses. Write a dialogue between them.
  15. Imagine that you are teaching a class on something that you enjoy doing and that your birth card is your student. Write the scene that unfolds.
  16. Imagine that your birth card is willing to barter the secret to its virtue for the secret to one of your own. Write the dialogue between you.
  17. Do a three card reading for your birth card.
  18. Calculate the birth card for a significant person in your life. Imagine each of your birth cards in conversation about the two of you. If you have the same birth card, you might use cards from different decks. Write a dialogue between them.
  19. Find your birth card in several different decks. Which do you like best? Which do you like least?

Choose your card for the week of 11/8/09

November 8, 2009

Touchstone Tarot, 3 of Swords Touchstone Tarot, 4 of Swords Touchstone Tarot, 5 of Cups

Touchstone Tarot, 8 of Wands Touchstone Tarot, 10 of Coins Touchstone Tarot, Empress

Choose your card for the week from the Touchstone Tarot by Kat Black. When making your selection, don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel.

Let us know which card you choose—post a comment!

I love the Touchstone Tarot and carry it everywhere in my iPhone. See the Little White Book Tarot iPhone app for details.

Did you know this deck was made possible with the support of a secret benefactor, who admired Kat Black’s first deck, The Golden Tarot?  How cool is that?!

Like the Golden Tarot, Touchstone Tarot is a digital collage, blending elements from old European paintings. What makes the deck unique is that each card features a portrait of a figure whose posture and expression conveys the meaning of the card. Black says in the book that accompanies the Kunati edition, “I felt like a casting agent, seeking the perfect candidate for each role within the deck.” Because the deck features personalities, it is particularly suited for those who enjoy using the tarot to tell stories and inspire creative writing.

Leisa ReFalo of Tarot Connection published the first print edition of this deck, and then Kunati Books put out a second edition. I’m sad to learn that Kunati closed their doors in September due to the economic crisis. On her site, Black says that decks will be available for some time through Amazon. I see that Leisa ReFalo also has a few more left at the Tarot Connection shop.

The Tarot Connection edition comes in a special pouch made by Kat Black’s mom, and a touchstone amulet made by Kat Black.  The Kunati edition comes in a nice, sturdy flip top box. The cards are larger in the second edition and the coloring is a bit lighter—the details therefore more clear. The Kunati edition also comes with a terrific book that includes a list of the painting sources for each card as well as card meanings. The book also includes deck reviews by Dan Pelletier, and Bonnie Cehovet, a dedication by Mary Greer, a foreward by the secret benefactor, and an introduction by Kat Black. Deck collectors will want to have both editions.

Tarot Connection has a fascinating interview with Kat Black on the making of this deck. You can find it here.

Lunchtime Tarot Exercise for 11/6/09

November 7, 2009

Lunchtime Tarot is a come-when-you-can group that meets  each Friday at my office in San Mateo, CA. I post the exercises here each week for those who are unable to slip away to join us.

I developed the exercise below from one I posted a couple years ago.

Anastasia Haysler of Tarot-To-Go participated in this class and wrote about it here on her blog, Tarot Pathways. I’m looking forward to attending Anastasia’s next Second Saturday Tarot Class in San Francisco. Check out her schedule here.

Point of View

Go through the deck and pull out all the cards that a particular person in your life might use to describe you. This person in your life might be

  • someone who is a significant ally in your life right now—someone who knows you and supports you. This might be a partner, a parent, a sibling, a co-worker, a friend, etc.
  • an acquaintance who doesn’t know you very well. This might be a store clerk, your mail carrier, a co-worker from a different department, a friend of a friend, etc.
  • a family member or a pet.
  • a childhood friend that you have lost touch with.
  • a teenage friend that you have lost touch with.
  • an ex love.
  • a nemesis.

For each round, record the cards that you have selected, so that you can see how many come up multiple times.

Consider that each card has a light side and shadow side. You might discover that one person in your life might describe you as the shadow side of a card while another might describe you as the light side of the same card.

For reflection:

  • Are you surprised by any of the cards that you have chosen?
  • Have any forgotten memories surfaced?
  • Have any surprising feelings surfaced?
  • What have you learned about yourself and the way others might see you?
  • Which cards do you feel best describe who you are, or who you were at another time in your life?