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Posts from the ‘Tarot Books’ Category

The Cartomancer December 2016 Issue

This magazine just keeps getting better. The latest issue has several articles that especially intrigued me.

In the Tarot Art section, Monica Bodirsky’s Lucky Lenormand deck caught my eye. Its swirling, free form watercolor background appeals to me since I adore abstract art. Bodirsky appears twice more. Bonnie Cehovet reviewed her deck, then Bodirsky contributed an article on cartomancy, the proliferation of Lenormand decks, and the role imagery plays in a reading. Read more

From My Bookshelf: Courts and Courtly Arts in Renaissance Italy

If you want to immerse yourself in the world that gave us the Visconti-Sforza and Sola Busca decks, this book, subtitled Arts, Culture and Politics 1395 to 1530, will deliver.

Nothing was ever the same in Italian politics and society after Gian Galeazzo Visconti purchased the title of Duke from the Holy Roman Emperor in 1395. Other rulers soon followed suit: the Gonzaga of Mantua, Montefeltro of Urbino, d’Este of Ferrara and the rulers of Savoy.

Unlike a French or German aristocrat who could trace his pedigree back to Charlemagne, a newly-minted Italian duke did not have a divine right to rule. These parvenus were acutely aware of their modest origins as merchants or condottieri who had usurped civic power. They felt tremendous pressure to over-compensate by amassing a trophy art collection and building ostentatious palaces that were stage settings for elaborate ceremonies and festivals. Read more

Mutus Liber: The Bookstore of the Museo dei Tarocchi

The Museo dei Tarocchi’s new online bookstore makes it very easy to order their books and decks using Paypal. I celebrated their grand re-opening a few months ago with my usual lack of self-restraint and ordered a pile of books and one very interesting deck. Ordering was a breeze, and it took less than three weeks for my loot to make its way from Italy to California. Read more

The Cartomancer Summer 2016

There’s plenty in this issue of The Cartomancer to keep a history nerd happy! Read more

The Cartomancer Spring 2016 Edition

Congratulations to Jadzia and Jay DeForest, Bonnie Cehovet, and everyone else involved with this beautiful publication. The latest edition of the Cartomancer celebrates their first anniversary of publication.

Here are some highlights from this issue: Read more

The Cartomancer Winter 2015

The third issue of The Cartomancer just landed in my inbox, and it’s a beauty.

My favorite section contains luscious full-page layouts of decks. I love the black background that intensifies the colors and makes the cards sizzle. One deck caught my attention: the Tribal Secrets Tarot where the creator photographed belly dancers interpreting the cards in their own way.

Some of my favorite articles: Read more

The Cartomancer Autumn 2015 Issue

The second issue of this beautiful quarterly magazine just arrived in my mail box. I thoroughly reviewed the initial issue here, so this time I’ll just run down my favorite articles.

The feature article is an interview with Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov, the owners of Baba Studio in Prague and the creators of The Alice Tarot (the cover illustration above). I was amazed at how much time and care went into the deck. The cards are not photoshopped collage. Mahony and Ukolov gathered costumes and props and went out on location to photograph each card. Their Tarot de Marseille is scheduled for 2016. I can’t wait. Read more

The Cartomancer: A Quarterly Tarot Journal

Something very exciting hit my mailbox today: A gorgeously illustrated, 60-page magazine devoted to Tarot, Lenormand, and oracle cards. The magazine is such a pleasure to look at and hold. I couldn’t stop flipping through it; and simply didn’t want to put it down.

The Cartomancer is packed with color illustrations (often eight or ten cards on a two-page spread) printed on sturdy, glossy paper. The colors are very crisp, and a pleasure to view. Seeing so much gorgeous art all in one place was an intense experience, and a celebration of the immense creativity bubbling through the tarot community. Read more

From My Bookshelf: Mystical Origins of the Tarot by Paul Huson

The other day, when I needed to check something concerning 15th-century suit symbols, I knew just where to go — Huson’s book on the history of tarot. The title is rather misleading, since there’s no mystical hokey-pokey; just solid, well-researched history.

The book is especially strong on the fifteenth century, which many authors skim over in their rush to the better-documented 19th-century occultists. Huson also gives a thorough discussion of the origins of the suit symbols and possible symbolic attributions to the four suits — another subject most popular authors gloss over. Read more

Tarot de Marseille Books in English: The Big Four

Recently, I’ve been rotating through the four TdM books listed below, reading about each trump card in turn. I’m struck by the individual voice and unique viewpoint in each book. It’s like holding a gem up to the light and turning it back and forth to appreciate each facet individually.

Ben-Dov supplies meat-and-potatoes card meanings and practical advice for readers. J-M David gives us a foundation in art history and 15th century iconography interspersed with practical exercises. Jodorowsky is an original who shares his deep understanding of the cards while presenting the deck as an organic structure. Elias invites us to look over her shoulder as she interprets spreads for her clients. Read more