Today’s beautiful deck is the Mary-el Tarot. This is a gorgeous deck featuring original oil paintings by artist Marie White. From what I’ve read fans of this deck were able to watch its creation over a ten year period. It was published by Schiffer Books a few years back. Please take a moment to visit the Mary-el Tarot website here. She offers prints from the deck artwork. And you can pick up the deck itself here.
A few years back my shoppe prepared to offer the second edition of the Isidore Tarot. We did some fundraising to get the second edition printed and one of the options was handmade tarot bags in one of these materials, and hand painted Isidore prints. They were fun to make, but the size and scope of fundraising like that means A LOT of work at the end of the day. I got really sick of metallic paints for awhile there. :p
I’ve been systematically organizing my many external hard-drives and with that task stumbling upon past work. These were the first prototypes for the Black Ibis Tarot’s minor arcana. Specifically the King and Queen of Coins. I ended up nixing the idea because they looked very close to the Sepia Stain’s minor arcana, which wasn’t a bad thing. The Sepia and Ibis are companion decks from the same story so there are some similarities between them. I want the Black Ibis minor arcana to be more unique though, as well as more colorful. As a result my dark King and Queen went into the unused folder. One day I’ll make a bat-poop crazy deck that is made up of nothing but unused or left over art. 😉
Here’s an interesting find, though a bit dated as far as when the article was posted: Photographer Teams Up With Haitian Artists to Transform Tarot Cards Into Real Scenes. The photographs are wonderful. This is a good, wordy article with photographer Alice Smeets about this project.
“The creativity of some photographers astounds me. Just when you think you’ve seen every creative, strange, and unique photo idea, another comes along that would never have crossed your mind.
“That was the case with Ghetto Tarot, a creative photos series created by award-winning documentary photographer Alice Smeets and a group of Haitian artists known as Atiz Rezistans.
“These fascinating images transform the mysterious (and, depending on what you believe, prophetic) cards into real life scenes captured in the ghetto of Haiti, using found items that the Haitian artists themselves provided and created for the project.” – from article
Being a bit of a comic book geek I’m rather surprised I didn’t run across this deck sooner. This is the major arcana devoted to Marvel’s Avengers. It’s cute, whimsical, with just a dollop of the gratuitous considering some of our Avengers’ modesty is only maintained by a perfectly placed cloth. (See Thor and Captain America ;p) So far all I can find out about this deck is that Julia Cross created it and I can’t find a website for her, not even a deviantart page. It is readily seen all over pinterest and tumblr though. It’s very well done, but given that it’s a fan deck I doubt it would be readily available for purchase without some licensing hiccups. I’ve only seen nine cards so far so I’m not sure it’s complete yet.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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. 😉
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. 😉
The Black Ibis third edition is all done and formatted. I have a sample copy being printed right now to see how it looks. I’m very happy with the new look. A sample companion book should be here soon as well. 🙂 Above are some samples of the deck.
The Knight of Cups is a charming card, or should I say that knight offers a bit of feminine charm. It’s also a card that is about going with your heart, whether that makes good sense or not. As it happens, it’s one of my favorite cards from my Isidore Tarot. Yes, probably because I went with a mermaid to represent the knight and she rides her trusty water steed. As I’m pretty sure I was a mermaid in a past life, a mermaid never disappoints. It also represents the fantasy side of my brain.
As I’m still trying to get my strength back from my downtime (and juggling much needed site revamps to my portfolio and writing site as they make the move to this server) I’m going to be a pinch lazy today. The Biddy Tarot site was one of my first online resources years back when I was trying to broaden my understanding of tarot symbolism. It’s still one of the best online resources for quick card go to. I’m going to take a quote from their Knight of Cups page:
“The Knight of Cups represents the undertaking of the creative adventure hinted at in the Page of Cups. Whereas the Page encounters the mystical fish out of the golden cup and is thus initially inspired with creativity, the Knight has already encountered his inspiration and is about to undertake the journey of imagination and creativity to which the unconscious has impelled him. If you are about to start a new creative project, direct your imagination into the ‘real’ world. True imagination feeds on ‘action’ thus if you do nothing with your dreams they will remain vague and unrelated to the rest of your life. The Knight of Cups brings a warning about getting too caught up in fantasy and the romanticism of life. Fantasy excites but it lacks any real meaning as you deny your basic commitment to the world and your imagination produces nothing. ”
There is a bug going around and I don’t recommend you invite it in for tea. Tell it there is no tea, no soda crackers, no coffee, and absolutely no girl scout cookies to be had so it better move on to the next house. Now, if it tries to tempt you to let it in with offerings of tea, soda crackers, coffee, and thin mints be strong and point it up the road. It’s taken my household about four weeks to get this bug out of our systems and we still sound like a bunch of chain smokers who occasionally gargle broken glass for the ambient noise. Now, with that said, back to the card of the day posts!
This will be my first card of the day that is not from one of my own decks. Today’s card is the Empress and it was drawn from the very first deck I ever bought myself, the Haindl Tarot. If you’re unfamiliar with this deck let me start by saying it’s incredibly beautiful. It was created by Hermann Haindl and was first published at the start of the 90s. The symbolism is very non traditional and features imagery that spans Native American, Quabbalah, I Ching, and Runes themes. It was absolutely not a beginner tarot reader deck. I simply fell in love with the artwork.
For a long time I used this deck for my daily creative writing. Writing, for me, is a skill that needs to be maintained to keep it from getting rusty. So I usually set aside a half hour for a quick bit of creative writing. I would shuffle this deck and pick a random card and use the artwork and symbolism as the topic of that writing. I especially loved the Empress card because of how haunting and mysterious it was. It didn’t matter if I picked it on multiple occasions, there was always something new there for me to write about.
The Haindl Empress shows a woman standing atop a moon-like crescent shape that floats on water. One arm is encircled by a snake and in the other she holds a pine-comb topped scepter. Above her is a floating eye and behind her an open doorway. The symbols above is the symbol daleth, the 4th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and comes from the word door. Floating directly above the woman’s head is a shape like the hagal rune. From the book Pictures from the Heart: A Tarot Dictionary (by Sandra A. Thomson) it explains “In the Renaissance card, the figure is Eve. The ‘mother of runes,’ Hagall, enclosed in a hexagram, is one of the runes that appears on the Haindl Empress card. As the ‘framework of the world’ rune, it represents cosmic harmony.” This Empress card has a lot going on.
Try as I might this card still inspires me to write. So my intentional reading ended with me spending an hour writing about a goddess whose name has been forgotten to history, forever standing just outside a door to reality, peering in but never returning to it. That in itself is rather therapeutic. I haven’t done much these past few weeks creatively except find new and interesting ways to complain about how crappy I felt. A good somber story about a mysterious woman makes my heart happy.
Once again I’m temporarily leaving you in the good hands of my best tea-mate Kate. I really do like her take on things and I can, from personal experience, attest to her making work fun. Remember to pay her a visit at The Wormwood Queen.
Kate’s Card of the Day: The Isidore Tarot’s Three of Cups: “It’s been awhile since I’ve pulled a card. Tonight in particular I was called to pick up the deck. The Three of Cups jumped out as I shuffled. Since that was the one that seemed to want to talk, I decided to listen.
“I think it’s been talking to me all day. I’ve been mulling over in my brain the idea of play. I mentioned something about that in my reading for the year that I did in January. Now a couple of months later I am beginning to see how that might work in my life. Play, as a sustainable way of living. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
“The Three of Cups traditionally represents friendship and celebration, creativity and community. As a culture, we tend to work an awful lot. We work through our lunch breaks, we work on the weekends, we work through the night. For most of us, we don’t see much return for all that work we put in. So why not play once in awhile? What have we got to lose?
“There is something to be said for doing that thing that brings you joy, makes you laugh, connects you with others. When you celebrate life, celebrate living, your energy changes and you begin to bring to you all those juicy things life has to offer. Who wants to hang out with someone who only works, is stressed, doesn’t take time for love, beauty and joy?
“This card will pop up in your life when it’s time to celebrate. It’s YOUR time now. Maybe you don’t think you have anything to celebrate, but you do. If you’re reading this, you’re alive. Celebrate that. You will begin to see more and more things in your life that are good. You will shift away from anxious feelings. And more and more good things will come to you.
“Play with your work, make it a game. Play with your money, make it a game. You know it really is. Most of us take it so seriously. We get caught up in a mentality that keeps us forever stuck in a certain kind of relationship, a certain socio-economic status, certain jobs. We buy into the idea that we must work, work, work, work to be of any value. But what of the value of play?
“Play brings laughter. Play brings joy. Play brings a creative mindset that allows us to see solutions to our problems. Play brings people together so that we can support each other and help each other. Play allows friendships to grow and relationships to flourish. There is great value in that.
“Take the time. Make the time. You hereby have my permission. Go have some fun. You’re worth it.” – Learn more about Kate here!
In my absence I’m reposting some of my best tea-mate Kate’s previous card of the day posts that make use of my decks. Even though this one features an unhappy card, it also features Kate’s beautiful original Isis Oracle board. You can find out more about Kate and her many talents by visiting her at The Wormwood Queen.
Kate’s Card of the Day: The Isidore Tarot’s Nine of Swords: “I will be working on an Isis Divination Board for a client today so I thought I’d cast some stones for myself this morning. Then I realized my stones were ALL THE WAY downstairs. My cards however, were right next to me! I pulled the Nine of Swords.
“Well, there ya go, the card of nightmares. It’s still weird to me how these cards, pulled at random reflect what is going on in the moment. Yes, I’ve been stuck living in a nightmare. My anxiety levels are pretty high. I’ve been pretty tough on myself, trying to do too many things at once. I’ve been trying to make something happen to move us to where we need to be. Even though it is apparent that I don’t have control over it. Not over all of it anyway. I’m not an advocate of doing nothing. I think we all must do our part. But to expect that I have ultimate control over the situation and therefore ultimate responsibility is silly and harmful.
“This card tells me that my suffering is really of my own making and it is not necessarily reflective of my true situation. I think it’s human nature to see the negative before the positive and that can be overwhelming. I need to remind myself that my attitude really is everything. How I approach my situation affects the outcome. We are all, at some point in our lives, faced with tough situations. The trick is to stay flexible, stay hopeful. And for me, I think I need to approach it like a game. There are strategies to be applied and maybe even some fun to be had, if I can remove my personal expectations and attachments. It’s time for an attitude change.
“When you are in the grip of fear from a nightmare, it’s time to wake up, splash some cold water on your face and reassess your surroundings, your reality. Move forward with a new approach. Fear can be debilitating and right now, ain’t nobody got time for that!” – Visit Kate’s site!
Back in 2010 I had the pleasure of providing the Lovers card for the Super Punch Tarot, a multi-artist tarot deck curated by Super Punch blogger John Struan. This is my card art and the corresponding flyer for the deck’s art gallery show.
The Isidore Tarot is my take on the classic Rider Waite Smith deck using J.J. Grandville illustrations to recreate the original scenes and symbolism. These are side by side samples to show details. Today’s cards are Death and the Devil