September 18, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I will no longer be posting here. I’ve decided to merge all my various little blogs into one big exciting blog.
Please visit me at Archer Tarot.
May 13, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The Wizards Tarot is now available to
pre-order (£19.99). Just thought I’d let you know.
What’s that? Oh, you want to know more? Hmm…
Actually, I didn’t think this deck would be my cup of tea and I was right: it’s far too exciting to be a mere cup of tea – a cup of magical transmogrifying elixir would be more like it. That said, wizards (much like vampires) are not my thing. HOWEVER, I do appreciate a deck with good structural integrity and attention to detail and this deck has that in spades. Just look at what they’ve done with the majors. Each major (except the World and the Fool) is represented by a professor at the fictional (I assume) Mandrake Academy. I think this works really well. For example, the Hierophant is suddenly cool again as the Professor of Mythology, and Justice is the Professor of Ethics. The Chariot is the Professor of Astral Travel and the Devil is the Professor of Dark Magic. Judgment is the Proctor of Final Exams. See! This deck is so much fun!
You can visit the excellent official website here, where you can see all the cards, read the study guide and be encouraged to buy it from a rival store. I know I can rely on you to ignore that last part.
February 23, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Is the Tarot of the Sidhe the most thrilling deck to make an appearance in 2011? It’s only February, so perhaps it’s a little early to say(!) but certainly these colourful cards have made a big splash in the tarot world. Not wanting to miss out on all the excitement, I stole a few moments out of creator Emily Carding’s busy post-publication schedule to find out more…
LC: Can you tell us a little bit about the Sidhe, and what they mean to you?
EC: Sidhe, (pronounced Shee), is the gaelic name for the Faery race, most specifically the noblest order of Faery being. In Irish mythology these are the Tuatha de Dannan and their descendants who retreated into the hollow hills due to the invasion of the Milesians. There are also myths tying them to the fallen angels who did not wish to enter Hell but remain in a realm between. Myths are a key by which we may access the truth, and when we spend time with those myths they become a living thing. I like to look into and beyond the myths, it is most important to me to look at the living energetic truth of these beings, who they are, what their nature is and how we can – and indeed why we should connect with them.
To me they are the guardians of the inner Earth, a radiant underworld in which the primal nature of our planet is preserved and a source from which we can draw to restore what has been lost. Faeries are a popular topic these days in the new age market, and it rather borders on the ‘self-help’. I do not believe we should be going to them for help with our lives, though our lives are enhanced by connecting with them. It is most important at this time to forge a working partnership with these beings to strengthen the connection with their world. This means we can be their hands in this world, and they can help us see and experience the world the way that they do. Our perceptions and way of being as a race need to evolve if we are not to destroy ourselves.
How did you decide what would be on each card? Can you describe the process you went through?
I couldn’t really describe it as a decision of what would appear on a card. This was a two-way channeled process, in which I would focus what each card traditionally meant, including colour symbolism and as many layers of meaning as possible, and the image as interpreted by the Sidhe would appear in my head. Sometimes that would translate straight to paper, sometimes it would change as I worked on it. Each one was drawn in ink, with no sketching or forward planning, so it was a very trusting process!
It was important to me to create images that would act as gateways, but also that could be read by anyone, regardless of prior knowledge of symbolism. Perhaps an idealistic aim as we all have our own personal symbolic language that we carry with us, and we all perceive differently. But for those who are called to work with these images, I believe it will be a powerful tool.
Did you find any cards particularly challenging to create?
Each card was its own experience, the energy of some was quite overpowering – The Empress and Pan, as well as Warrior Ten were overpowering and beautiful experiences to work on. I don’t recall struggling with any, but there were two cards that when I looked back on them, there was something not quite right, so I revisited and completely recreated those images. I don’t want to point out which, because they might then stand out for people!
Which cards are you most fond of?
I have an abiding love for Warrior Ten, strangely. It was the last card that I painted before the courts and I actually wept as I painted it. In many ways it is the deck’s and my personal significator- though I think I am still young on the journey that it signifies.
I also love The Sun, Maker Prince, Justice and Pan… oh, and that Dancer Prince too, the tortured poet…
How does it feel now the Tarot of the Sidhe is finally out there?
I am elated! This is such a baby of my soul, it’s like putting myself out there to be judged in a way. I have taken my path and put it into pictures and words and offered it to the world! I know it’s not for everyone, but the appreciation coming from those who love it is a great reward. And the Sidhe are happy too!
I was thinking world domination.
If that doesn’t work out, then I have Tarot of the Black Mountain, which is a majors only deck I did for an author in Montenegro a few years ago, that will be coming out for a new release from Tarot Media Company. It’s been very difficult to get hold of as it was previously only published as a set of pull-out sheets at the back of a book of short stories, which were in Serbian and published in Montenegro! I have written a new little booklet to go with it, and Lena Ruth Stefanovic has translated a couple of her stories and written a foreword, so that will be a lovely thing for collectors.
I am also slowly working in the background on a new Tarot…though I have so much other work going on it may take a while! That is the Neverland Tarot based on J.M. Barrie’s work.
My current big project though is a book called Faery Craft, which will be coming from Llewellyn Publishing. This is about the contemporary faery scene, and also how to work with and connect to these otherworldly cousins of ours. It will have everything from meditations to festival pics, I don’t think there’s been anything quite like it before! I’m very excited about it!
Also my dog, Albus Dumbledog, has been busy working on his own oracle deck…
Finally, what five words would you use to describe the Tarot of the Sidhe?
Potent Gateway To The Otherworld
Thank you to Emily for taking the time to answer my questions! Click here to order the Tarot of the Sidhe from Tarot Chest. Video review coming soon!
February 10, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The Lukumi Tarot is unmistakably the work of Luigi Scapini. His wild, colourful style is perfectly suited to the wild and colourful world of Cuban Santeria on which this deck is based. His ability to depict movement in still images works wonders here – the deck almost seems to be dancing at times, its leggy characters caught up in the rhythms of invisible drummers.
Without any knowledge of Santeria, would-be readers will probably struggle to make sense of the deck’s non-traditional imagery – even though many cards (particularly the Majors) do bear some of the Rider-Waite-Smith’s familiar markings. But if you’re looking for a deck to get your teeth into and you love to learn new things, the Lukumi will keep you busy for weeks, endlessly researching Gods, orishas, and the rich, complicated history of this fascinating religion.
You can order the Lukumi Tarot here.
January 5, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I’ve just added scans for the Tarocco Indovino. This is an unusual little deck, full of quirks and inscrutable expressions. The characters are simultaneously charming and a little bit scary, and the illustrations are intriguing and colourful, although a little bit drab in places. If that all sounds contradictory, then you’re starting to get an idea of what this deck is like.
‘Indovino’, apparently, is Italian for fortune-teller or sooth-sayer. The name fits the deck, as the Italian keywords (both upright and reversed) on each card lean towards the prophetic with, for example, Eredità (inheritance) on the 5 of Cups. Actually, calling it the 5 of Cups is wrong. I should say 5 of Hearts, as there are no suit names - only playing card symbols printed in the corner of each card. Finally, there are two extra cards – La Consultanta and Il Consultante – which can be used as significator cards.
If you’re put off by all of this, then the Tarocco Indovino probably isn’t for you. However, if you like the challenge of picking up a deck without a clue how to read it, then the Indovino is worth a look. And when all’s said and done, it IS a tarot deck – it does have 22 majors, and four minor suits and four court cards – and the major arcana is certainly recognizable to anyone who’s seen a Rider Waite before. It’s just a very individual tarot deck – with a personality that’s as eccentric as its King of Spades.
Order the Tarocco Indovino from Tarot Chest
Images copyright Dal Negro
September 8, 2010 § Leave a Comment
This is the question I’ve been pondering since I heard about Llewellyn’s upcoming Tarot of Vampyres. Thankfully, they’ve spelled it with ‘y’ to set it apart from all the other vampire tarot decks on the market. There’s the Gothic Tarot of Vampires, the Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night, two Vampire Tarots, and now this:
Is there room enough for all these vampires, I ask you? Are they taking over the tarot world? And who’s feeding them? :-0
When I think of what could have been…Where is the Werewolves Tarot, for example, or the Zombie Tarot? Why has no-one created a Tarot of the Loch Ness Monster? There is still so much scope for original and imaginative tarot decks, but what do we get? More vampires!
You must forgive me. I am not a fan of vampires. If I was, I would probably be much more kind about the Tarot of Vampyres because, as vampire tarot decks go, it looks quite good. The artwork is dark and luxurious and (yay!) borderless. It seems to have a good mix of historical and modern styles – essential for any fashion-conscious vampire-about-town. And, well, it’s all gothicky, innit.
So, what do you think? Is it a case of this coffin ain’t big enough for the five of us? Or do you believe there can be no such thing as too many vampire decks?