I collect bats. My favorite bat maker is Samantha, one half of the awesome duo Frenchy and the Punk. This cute guy of Samantha’s was adopted by my niece Stacy when she trekked to New England with me for a steampunk convention. Little Ricky here has his own bat-size Isidore Tarot I made him. He delighted in giving us a reading during a break photographing my niece and the deck for my shoppe’s catalog a few years back.
Today’s card of the day is Temperance from my Isidore Tarot. This is actually the first version of the card. There are only a few special decks that included alternative versions of certain cards. There were very few card designs that were a challenge for me, but I struggled a bit with the Temperance card.
As for the card itself, I like to think of Temperance as the just take a moment to exhale and relax card. It’s about patience and knowing how to calmly balance things in your life. When I see this card it makes me want to take a moment and give thought to what is going on in my life and what it is I’m trying to achieve and am I still on track for that? It’s a card of quiet thoughtfulness.
While on the topic of Le Grand Tarot Belline (from my AHS Coven entry), it would make a good beautiful deck entry. The original Le Grand Tarot Belline is from the nineteenth century and was designed by Jules Charles Ernest Billaudot who went by the name Magus Edmond. He appears to be a pretty notable cartomancer in his day. The deck was published by Magus Belline after he acquired the rights to the cards from Edmond. The version available these days was printed by the Grimaud Company in 1966. Doing a brief search for available decks they’re mostly to be found on Ebay and will set you back a penny or two. The Tarot Garden site has some information as well as a translation for this deck that is worth reading.
Hollywood has always enjoyed using the tarot as a plot devise, especially when it comes to spooky or supernatural story-lines. Case in point: American Horror Story Coven. These images are from the third season episode The Axeman Cometh. The card seen in the climax of the scene is the grim reaper from the Le Grand Tarot Belline deck. (Spoiler Alert) The murderous axeman approaches the witch who dares play classical music on the night he demanded jazz music to be heard throughout New Orleans. She sits at her tarot spread and turns over her last card as he creeps up on her with axe in hand. She whispers that she always knew it would be death. The gotcha moment of the scene is when it turns out another witch is behind the axe man and comes for him just as he swings his axe for the fortune telling one and we see the edge of his axe pierce the grim reaper card before the axeman is taken out by the witches. In this instance the tarot’s most improperly used Death card is a major focus of the scene and used for dramatic effect. In such cases no one is so concerned that the Death card is typically never taken literally. It’s a card about endings, change and new beginnings, among other things. I can’t fault Hollywood for their literal use of the very grim visual aspect of the card.
I’ve said it before and I will most likely say it again, I really do enjoy the few moments spent making card of the day photographs. Today’s card is from my Tea Bats Lenormand.
I’ve already written a far longer entry for this card here that gets a bit more in-depth/personal. The ring represents a variety of things: relationships, repeating patterns, to coming full circle. I, like a lot of folks, tend to see a representation of cycles because of the circular nature of the ring. Like all of these cards there really is no strict rule as to how you read them, just suggestions to give you a place to start.
I don’t actually know the proper name of this deck. It’s most popularly identified online (in searches) as the IONA Tarot but I’ve recently learned has a different names. This deck was designed and printed by artist Giona Fiochi and, given its printing process, was produced in really small numbers. It’s a hard deck to find. I stumbled upon this forum conversation about it where a collector managed to purchase a deck as well as show photographs of it. After seeing the actual printed cards it not only makes the tarot collector in me squeal, but the graphic designer as well. I’m not going to be a bad aetherweb person and reprint those photos here, so check out that link! It gives quite a bit of information about the deck as well. The full deck is mature in nature due to nudity and themes, but simply beautiful.
The Paulina Tarot is new to my wish list, though cards from the deck have been bouncing around my pinterest for awhile now. This romantic and whimsical deck by artist Paulina Cassidy is based upon the Rider-Waite-Smith deck with some personal artist influences. And as a wonderful touch for deck collectors each deck comes with a hand painted water-color by the artist! You can purchase this deck here and see Paulina’s portfolio here. Check out her other beautiful decks while you’re there. 🙂
Today is a drive by carding, so to speak. I’m pleased to say this is because I’m up to my neck in commission work for an event in April. The Lenormand’s man card is pretty self explanatory though. Like the woman card, it typically refers to the man in your life; be that a lover, husband, father, brother, son, etc. If the person addressing the cards is a man, then this card represents him. Look to the cards around this one for answers.
My card here is from my Butterfly Circus Lenormand deck. My gent is, as you can imagine, dapper, but also a performer for my butterfly circus. He’s a bit of an M.C. and master butterfly wrangler. Alright, I have poster art needing my attention. Have a good day!
These are a few cards from the Druid Animal Oracle. This is actually my gent’s deck and his area of expertise. I don’t have the companion book to learn it on my own at the moment. It’s incredibly beautiful though. There are thirty-three cards in all, each offering a different animal familiar in Druidism and Celtic mythology. The deck was created by Stephanie Carr-Gomm & Philip Carr-Gomm and illustrated by Will Worthington. It is readily available online in all the usual places. 😉
I happened upon this page while researching something else. This looks so cool! You can visit the site here. Take a moment to watch the video of the event! The living cards above are, left to right: The Lovers, The Fool and The Wheel of Fortune. Below is quoted from the site:
“As a hallmark that makes IONA stand out from other dance/theatrical groups, alternative venues and cutting-edge themes act as a muse for Artistic Director, Cheryl Flaharty. ‘The Living Tarot’ was the fourth interactive production of IONA’s diverse Salon Series which offered audiences a once in a lifetime provocative interpretation of eleven of the major Arcana Tarot cards.
“This production took place at the century-old house located on Oahu’s Pali Highway (dubbed, ‘The House of the Living Tarot’), in which the living installations became personal encounters as audience-members roamed from room to room to experience the cards they were dealt by their personal reader as they walked in the door.“
Oh how wonderfully beautiful and strange this animal themed tarot is. This deck was created by Italian artist Mibramig and published in 2013 by Lo Scarabeo. It’s at the top of my tarot deck wish list. I was already in love and then I found it had a Happy Squirrel card! I might have to make an entry for that to explain, but it’s neat. This deck is readily available for purchase online.
When you get the Lenormand’s snake card you can think of it in a variety of different ways. It’s not exactly a positive card, but neither should it be thought of as strictly a bad card. You will read that this card is associated with a woman, perhaps a dark haired woman and this may have something to do with the fact that it’s also associated with the Queen of Clubs. And with that a suggestion of a seduction or betrayal. It can represent maliciousness or deceit. When you find it in a spread look towards the cards around them and be wary.
In my Butterfly Circus Lenormand I kept my snake dapper. Because I wanted this to be a bright and more whimsical deck of cards, I kept all my characters a bit more light. This will sound silly but I always hear in my head Michigan J frog’s song only with lyrics for the cards at hand and a snake in a top hat belting it out. Sometimes you just have to keep things light hearted. 😉
I’ve been a part of the Michigan steampunk scene since around 2009. My first event was vending at the Steampunk Expo and there I met so many wonderful people who I’ve gotten to know over the years. There was one couple I first saw there and then at many events afterwards. Though I never knew them by name for a very long time, I always knew them. They were always dressed fabulously and always looked so happy. This couple I would learn was Don and Sue Watts.
I was asked to be a guest of honor at the first year of The Motor City Steam Con and as their guest artist I wanted to contribute something noteworthy to it. I’ve made a lot of decks, but never a simple deck of playing cards, so I suggested that. Sal, the event organizer (and great chick), and I worked out who in our Michigan steampunk community should be featured on the trump cards. Sal asked if I would put the Watts on the hearts suit. By this point Sue was very ill and we wanted to celebrate this wonderful couple and all they offered our community. So Don became my King of Hearts, Sue my Queen, and their son Kyle the Jack. (Kyle’s wife Jenny is also in the deck as the Jack of Diamonds.)
Sue has since passed. I never knew her very well, but I knew better the people around her and all of them have nothing but incredibly beautiful things to say about her. I’m very glad I was able to offer this small thing to the Michigan steampunk community, who have supported me through the years. This deck is no longer available for sale online, it’s a convention only type item. But I do have the whole deck to preview here. I wanted to highlight my hearts and the story behind them for this Valentine’s Day.
On a sentimental note: I came across my great, great grandmother Meike’s sentiment book. As best I can figure it’s well wishes to her on her wedding day. It’s written in Friesland Dutch so I can’t make out too much of what’s said. It’s a beautiful book, two pages which are under my heart cards. It’s from the turn of the 20th century so it’s pretty antique.
So a five card spread for your Lenormand deck is really good for beginners or as a quickie for pros. Shuffle your deck and then think upon what you want to ask it as you cut the deck. Draw your first card and set it down. Draw your next card and lay it to the right of the first. Do this till you have five cards. The center card will be your focus card.
To begin, read the cards around your focus card. Gradually all the cards will create a picture for you. So my spread presented here is not random. It being Valentine’s Day I decided to do the make my gent peer over his book as I read this out loud spread. Ha! Or the Ohmahgawd look at that spread on V-Day! spread. So my focus is the Ring. This is an engagement, a commitment. To the immediate right is the Man card that I will say represents my gent. To the immediate left is the Heart card. Next to that is the Woman card, which we’ll say represents me. On the opposite side is the Moon. I was just saying this the other day about the tarot, but I love the moon card. In the Lenormand it represents romance, desire, intimacy, and dreams. It’s a good card.
So if I were to look at this spread and paint a picture for myself I see me and my gent and we are very much in love. Not only that, as cliche as it sounds, he’s been my best friend for a very long time. I see a commitment, which we have. We’ve been engaged for most of our relationship, though a legal marriage has not been something we’re rushing towards. That’s my focus card and I ask myself what I feel about our commitment. I’m quite happy with it and the surrounding cards (especially the Moon) remind me why I’m happy. He’s my moon in all ways, but especially in dreaming.
With the five card spread you can also go a step further and read the first and fifth card together and then the second and fourth. This is called mirroring. For this spread it just further sums up what I wrote above. So there is a little bit about reading the Lenormand and how to compare cards to one another and a stab at Valentine’s Day all in one! <3
Today is Valentine’s Day so of course the card of the day should be the Lenormand Heart. My little Ghosty girl helped me with card prep, which usually translates to let me sniff that a second… no really, put that over here mah nose needs to be on that! This time around it kind of looks like she’s giving the card a smooch, to which I said a few dawwwwww! and got back to work. 😉
There is no special meaning to the heart card, it’s pretty much what you think it’s about: Love. All kinds of love. Romantic, familial, yourself, and so on. In cartomancy is represents the Jack of Hearts. When you turn to the lenormand with questions about love the heart card is what you focus on and what other cards surround it. As you can imagine some card pairings are self explanatory. When the heart is near the ring card it suggests a partnership like marriage. To the other extreme having it near the whip card is more le rowr (eh hem, the sexy sex). The scythe a break-up. The dog might be a best friend and so on. Later on today I’m going to do an example quick five card layout with my Tea Bats lenormand and go a little deeper into that. 🙂
A very fluttering hearts happy Valentine’s Day to you! The original heart image is Lousie Brooks illustrated and featured in 1928 in La Vie Parisienne, an old saucy French periodical. Illustration by Cheri Herouard Samedi, 21 Avril 66 Année, No 16.
I have just stumbled upon a new artist crush. Originally I came upon Renee’s work because of the beautiful tarot reading photograph below, which is all over pinterest. Upon finally moving through different links to her actual pinterest account I was able to visit her active site. There I found beautiful work and that she has her own tarot deck! Please please please take a moment to visit her site and support her fine work! rensarasvati.com *I added the day of the dead portrait to sample her work for you because… well… you may have noticed I’m a bit about that. 😉
This type of fortune teller machine is called Grandmother’s Predictions, also known as Cleveland Grandma. This style of machine was designed and distributed by William Gent Vending Company between 1929-1932. Cleveland Grandma holds a series of cards in one hand and when you offer her a coin she moves her hands over a display of cards below. She stops on your card and it falls into the tray below. Depending on the style the card has a basic fortune or a longer story. There have been several variations on this particular style over the years by different manufacturers. Still an old favorite!
Tonight’s Winter Moon also corresponds with a penumbral eclipse. Penumbral type eclipses typically aren’t as exciting as a regular lunar eclipse as there is just a light shadow cast over the moon. This one, however, will be darker than most. One celestial site suggested we think blood moon. I’m a star-gazer through and through so any excuse to stare at the moon makes me happy. In honor of this event today is all about the tarot’s moon card. Here are a few of mine. 😉