Catching up on some reading during my staycation! 36 Secrets, A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot by Susie Chang is an incredible work, which she says was inspired by astrologer Austin Coppock’s 36 Faces, but here she focuses on the astrological decans that were assigned to the tarot’s Minor Arcana by the Golden Dawn.
In the book, Susie explores her one year “decan walk” of the Minor Arcana tarot cards. I haven’t seen this subject tackled like this before and I’m really loving it and inspired to do my own decan walk. I'll try to share if I do.
I highly recommend this to intermediate tarot students and beyond if you're interested in learning astrology connected to the Minors.
The Lua Tarot has been featured in PARQ Magazine, a Portuguese trends magazine dealing with art, photography, fashion and urban lifestyle.
“Portuguese American deck creator Maree Bento’s Lua Tarot is unusual in the way it manipulates obscure 19th Century engravings and is an attempt to create deck which appears at first glance historical yet is contemporary in its diversity and inclusiveness...”
Read the full article in English by tarotist Roger Winstanley.
Incorporating multiple decks in a spread brings unique dimensions to readings! I love and use the Sovereign Oracle, by my dear friend Theresa Pridemore, in this way. In this reading I combine it with the Lua Tarot.
I don’t do as many personal readings for myself as I used to. I much prefer to receive a reading from a friend, but I received an incredibly potent reading with this combo I wanted to share!
UPDATE (Oct. 11, 2021): Jim Maynard didn't release a 2021 PDF version of the Celestial Influences calendar, as we originally hoped, but I'm so happy he is enjoying his retirement. I had thought someone would have purchased the rights to reprint, but alas. I'm updating this post with alternatives that have worked for me as a replacement to his calendar.
UPDATE (May 14, 2020): I just heard from Jim Maynard that the lower calendar pages have been made available as downloadable PDFs for both Eastern and Pacific Times for the remainder of 2020.
I’ve been using Jim Maynard's Celestial Influences calendars for years and he’s retiring after 46 years of making this amazing calendar. Quicksilver Productions (what he publishes under) says that they are trying to find a publisher to take over the calendar for 2021! I really hope they can find someone who can do as good a job as they have.
When I first found out that there wasn't going to be a 2020 release, I went in search of another astro calendar. I thought this would be easy, but as it turns out, it wasn't because Maynard's calendar was an extraordinary and reliable resource.
After some time and research, I have purchased & used a few astrology-specific planners and moon calendars.
Here are my thoughts on them, and in order of preference. (This post has been updated to add my 2021 reflections.)
1. Llewellyn's Daily Planetary Guide: (UPDATE 10/11/21: This is still my top pick.) If I had to pick just one of these astro calendars to buy, it would be this datebook. It isn’t ideal, it's 4/5 stars for me, but it is complete with all the planetary aspects and ingress times that a professional astrologer needs. (It has all of the planetary aspects listed in the weekly section in both EST and PST.) I like that it lists the sign with the aspects too. It’s very helpful when I can’t remember which sign a planet is in, particularly the fast moving ones. The ephemeris in the back even includes the asteroid goddesses and Chiron. Love that! I also like that it includes a blank horoscope chart in the back.
It also includes info on the Cazimi Moon times, Mercury retrograde shadow/storm notes, and opportunity periods related to void-of-course moons, (opportunity times are boxed, which is visually helpful.)
However, the whole planner has a rather dull aesthetic on low quality paper and it doesn’t have a month-at-a-glance calendar, which I like in other datebooks (I do have the Astrocal Moon wall calendar (PST) nearby, which works for me).
It’s inexpensive at $13, and it shows! If they upgraded the paper quality and design, and added a metal spiral binding, I would pay more for it. It has so much potential to be the best astro calendar/planner if Llewellyn stepped it up just a little.
It is still a great astrology guide for the beginner and professional astrologer alike! It includes all the information one needs. There are weekly forecasts for the year, articles reflecting major cosmic events and how to find your opportunity days. There's an in-depth introduction about the building blocks of astrology with info on planets, signs, houses, etc. It also has charts for retrograde planets and planetary phenomena for the year, and a page with the list of New & Full Moons, as well as eclipses.
Even though it's not the prettiest datebook out there, its simple design could be seen as minimalist and practical. It has all the information I need listed for Pacific time, which is more important to me than I realized.
For reference, it’s about the same size as the We’Moon and Celestial Influences planners (5.5" x 8").
**Update: SOLD OUT.** I am thrilled to be hosting the Nosotras Tarot! I have never hosted someone else's deck on DivineMuses.net, but I felt compelled to invite Elisa Riemer and Paula Mariá's gorgeous indie deck, Nosotras Tarot, to be a tarot guest here. One reason is because I am really struck by the collage artwork and overall energy of the deck. There are so many interesting and magical details throughout. Plus, I love that the titles are in Portuguese! (I'm Luso-American.) And, it felt like a good fit to support a fellow collage artist and tarotist from abroad.
This is a Brazilian feminine/feminist tarot deck with antique photo collages featuring a diversity of ladies of varying ages and sizes. Hence, the name Nosotras, meaning "we" or "us" women.
It's interesting that they chose to use the feminized Spanish word, nosotras, as opposed to the Portuguese word, nos, which is not feminized. (Though Portuguese does have feminine and masculine words like the other latin-based languages, nos, meaning "we" or "us," considers everyone—masculine and feminine. However, Nossa, is the feminized word for "our," as in Nossa Senhora, or Our Lady.) So it seems that they specifically wanted to feminize the title, as they did with the whole deck. (I'll have to confirm this!)
It's of note that each card's title in the deck has also been feminized. In Portuguese, the Sun card would be considered masculine and therefore named "O Sol." In the Nosotras Tarot, they rename it "A Sol." (In Portuguese, O is the masculine word for "the" and A is feminine for "the.") Another example is the Chariot card: In Portuguese it would be called "O Carro," but in Nosotras, they feminize it and rename it "A Carrauagem". "O Diabo" became "A Diaba" (the Devil), "O Louco" became "A Louca" (the Fool), "O Mago" became "A Maga" (the Magician) and "O Imperador" became "A Imperadora" (the Emperor).
ABOUT THE LWB
The LWB is in Portuguese, but has translations in Spanish and English. There are short descriptions of the artwork, and a bit more than general meanings for the cards in the Major Arcana. The Minor Arcana has general meanings and no descriptions of the artwork. The Major Arcana cards include an affirmation to go along with the interpretation of the card. Sometimes the translation from Portuguese to English is a little off, but it's charming, and you really get the feeling and overall meaning of each of the cards. Pretty good for a LWB!
I am enjoying this deck so much right now! It's a great size, it's a little smaller than what we consider standard tarot size around here. It's narrower (2.5" instead of 2.75") and a tick longer. The card stock is matte and feels thick. It almost seems too thick to riffle shuffle, but it does so well enough. Overhand shuffling works well, but prefer to riffle this deck. If I trim the borders, overhand would work better.
(UPDATE: about card stock and shuffling this deck. I've been using this deck quite a bit and read with it at a ladies night party. Sadly, there is no core inside the cards, it's just paper stock. Riffle shuffling bent and broke a couple of my cards, so PLEASE be careful riffle shuffling this deck. It's small enough to overhand shuffle so I'm now exclusively overhand shuffling this deck. I do prefer to riffle shuffle at events, as this is the quickest way to mix all of the cards before reading for the next sitter.)
I love collage decks. This deck looks like a mix of handmade with digital collaging. Most of the collages work really well in this deck. Even when some of the digital collages aren't seamless, they're still interesting and beautiful...I think because of the coloring used throughout. The skies used in the backdrop are colorful yet muted giving the collages an otherworldly vibe.
I will have to be conscious with who I use this deck with, since there are so many nude images in the deck. I've been using it for daily draws and readings for myself, and I love how it's reading so far. It's definitely a Waite-Smith clone, so a breeze for me to use, but there's also extra intriguing symbols to glean from. E.g., Death has a third nipple!
I'm really enjoying the extra card, Anima Mundi, the Soul of the World, which is supposed to represent the creative energy of the deck. It is meant to remind us of our infinite creative potential. From the LWB, "This Arcana is always about essence before form and guides you toward the most creative and lively ways to share with the world." To me, it seems like a merging of the Empress and the World. It's a lovely bonus card and I shuffle it and use it in the deck.
It's really interesting that the creators chose to release this deck in three stages between 2017 and 2019. They started creating the Major Arcana in 2014 and released it on its own. They then released the Cups and Swords as a separate edition, and then the Wands and Pentacles as another. The complete set was released earlier this year. I've not seen this before. I imagine they did this for their fans to be able to purchase the later editions separately. This is such a kind thing to do for them! The separate editions are all available on their website.
As I work with it, I get the feeling that it is a third wave feminist deck. This could turn into its own topic, but if you're interested, research the difference between first wave, second wave, third wave and the current fourth wave feminism. I'll summarize quickly:
Since the creators are from Brazil, the definitions of the different waves of feminism might not line up with the above model since it's based more on American history. The reason I was thinking about this and comparing it is because of another feminist deck I acquired this year, the Modern Witch Tarot, which seems to align with modern fourth wave feminism. It got me thinking about other feminist decks and how they fit into this feminist model, like the Motherpeace Tarot and the Daughters of the Moon.
I'm just pondering here, so don't read into anything more than that. It's just been interesting to consider feminism and the time and place a tarot deck is created. Perhaps this is a subject for another blogpost?!
The Nosotras Tarot creators are self-proclaimed feminists, as they indicate in the LWB, and political, openly objecting to the "fascist" Bolsonaro being in power! "We will not let them take down our utopia." "Already whole, already strong, robust and indestructible. You woman". Yes!
I only have a limited number in the shop right now, so it might be sold out by the time you read this!
UPDATE: It's now sold out. I was going to get more, but I will not be restocking for a couple reasons: one being an increase in shipping costs for me to order more decks. It'd be more affordable for you to just buy directly from them. You can get the complete deck from them here and have it shipped from Brazil. The website is in Portuguese, but you can navigate to their email for easier communication.
Lo Scarabeo is celebrating 30 years with this limited numbered edition of 1,987 copies to honor the year they were founded in Italy. The gorgeous, colorful artwork is by Fabio Listrani, artist of the Night Sun Tarot.
LS says this limited edition is printed on the highest quality paper. It is, indeed, a thicker card stock, but it's also glossier than their standard decks.
Coffin box: 7" x 4" (178mm x 102mm)
Deck: 4.75" x 2.75" (120mm x 70mm)
Book: 4.75" x 2.75" (120mm x 70mm) 128 pages on glossy paper with a few of the cards in color. English (pg. 5-54), Italian (55-68), French (69-82), Spanish (83-94), Portuguese (95-106), Russian (107-118) and Chinese (119-128).
At first glance, I like how the suit colors are similar to the Albano-Waite Tarot's coloration
Happy Samhain! Here's something a little different—a leisurely browse through some
When all the Witches
are to be seen!
Some in black
and some in green
Hey Ho for Halloween!
I recently received the Smith-Waite Tarot Deck, Centennial Edition, in a tin & compared it to the Pamela Coleman Smith (PCS) Commemorative Set (2009) in a video I just made. In the video I go through the whole commemorative set, for those of you interested in seeing that. There is a size & slight card stock difference between the two decks. Other than that, the artwork & color is identical.
I love the deck that comes with the commemorative edition, but I tend to avoid using it since I view it as a collector's edition & want to keep it in the best condition possible. Anyway, I usually just end up using one of my Waite-Smith or Albano-Waite decks. Not
A "show and tell" of the recent Lauren Forestell & Le Fanu Lenormand collaboration.
Here's Le Fanu's wonderful blogpost about the cards: http://mycuriouscabinet.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/the-destroyed-dondorf/
I made a video of my latest acquisition of the Buckland Romani Tarot. Call it a review or call it "show and tell" but I go through all the cards and make some comments about the deck.
This deck has been on my wishlist for some time and I didn't realize it was still in print! The original Llewellyn edition has been OOP for a while, however, Galde Press has been printing the 2nd edition of the cards since 2008 and there were still a few left.
The Buckland Romani Tarot's suit names have replaced the standard RWS. Koshes (Wands), Koros (Cups), Chives (Swords) & Bolers (Pentacles).
The print quality is superb & the colors are beautifully saturated with very clear images.
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Maree Bento is a collage artist and practitioner of the mystical & healing arts.
She’s a professional tarot reader and veteran deck creator born under a Sagittarius Sun with a Libra Rising & Capricorn Moon conjunct Pallas Athena. She's been stepping up her astrology studies the last few years, after a years-long hobby interest in the subject.
Maree has been a licensed massage therapist for 17 years practicing various holistic modalities for body, mind, and spiritual well-being & connection.
Her background in the healing arts deepened her intuitive abilities and inspires her present approach to tarot, creativity, ritual, and divination.
She loves to travel and enjoys connecting with family, friends, & animals. She lives in Pacific NW U.S.A. with her beloved, David, and their huggable hound, Dante where they hike rain or shine.
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