Wizards, wizards, everywhere!

May 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Wizards TarotCrikey, is it May already?

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. 😉

Typeface Tarot

February 25, 2011 § 12 Comments

What do you get when someone with no artistic ability decides to create a tarot deck? That’s right, you’re looking at it. The Typeface Tarot is a majors-only deck in which the only thing allowed on each card is the name of that card. All meaning has to be conveyed through choice of font alone.

The Typeface Tarot is mine – I made it by ruthlessly appropriating the creative talents of font designers who foolishly made their work available for free on FontSpace. Mwa-ha-ha!

I, in turn, have made the Typeface Tarot free – if you want it, you can have it, as long as you don’t mind downloading it and printing it out yourself (ah, there’s always a catch).

Anyway, here are some of the cards. Click here to see more!

Behind the scenes of the Tarot of the Sidhe

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!

You’ve made the Transparent Tarot, the Transparent Oracle and the Tarot of the Sidhe. What’s next for Emily Carding?

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!

Tarot Lukumi

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.

Blown Away

January 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Science Tarot arrived today. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so impressed, so fired up and so excited by a deck. I’ve recently, for reasons unknown, developed a massive crush on all things scientific and – as a former liberal arts junkie – spend most of the time reading and studying science images with my jaw permanently dropped.

Now I have the Science Tarot and it’s a work of Art. The cards are both beautiful and incredible, and the subject matter makes me want to jump right in with both feet and devour everything I can about all the different things I see – even though I don’t know what half (or more) of them are. Fermat’s Last Theorum? Haven’t got the foggiest. Meson Dance? Don’t mind if I do. Schroedinger’s Cat? What about it?

And even though all the suits and the major arcana are illustrated by different people, it doesn’t look like five different decks – unlike the Mage the Awakening Tarot for example. The cards all form a perfect symbiosis (whatever that is).

Tarocco Indovino!

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

The Orange Tarot – XIX The Sun

November 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Orange the colour and orange the fruit – both are happy, healthy and full of vitamin C. The Sun is the last card I have to share with you from the Orange Tarot (for now) and Orangutan Awareness Week is almost over. So, do you feel more aware?

Well, perhaps not, because unless you had oodles of time on your hands and a sudden hankering to do lots of reading, you probably didn’t follow (m)any of the links I posted. Which is totally understandable. So here’s a quick summary – How To Be Orangutan Aware in 3 Easy Steps:

1. Know that orangutans are endangered (Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered) because their rainforest home is steadily being wiped out. 90% has gone already and almost 3 million hectares are lost each year. If things carry on the way they are, wild orangutans will become extinct within a few decades.

2. The main culprits of deforestation are: OIL PALM PLANTATIONS, illegal logging, acacia plantations (for wood pulp), mining and fires. Of these, the most evilest is PALM OIL. Huge swathes of rainforest are cut down and replaced with miles and miles of oil palm monoculture, which is devastating not only to orangutans but all the thousands of species the rainforest supports. Orangutans and the majority of biodiversity supported by tropical rainforests cannot co-exist with oil palm plantations, yet the demand for palm oil is increasing.

3. What we can do:
– buy sustainably source wood and paper products
– campaign for supermarkets and large manufacturers to use sustainably source palm oil (which is found in all sorts of foods such as biscuits, cakes, bread products, as well as soap and various other things – often disguised as ‘vegetable oil’).
– write to MPs, sign petitions and generally kick up a huge fuss about rainforest destruction. Orangutans aren’t the only ones who need trees to survive…

And if you do have oodles of time and a sudden hankering to do lots of reading, this site has amazing info about palm oil and other issues concerning orangutans and does a much better job of explaining things than I do.

Well, that’s me done. Seven cards, seven days and the Phantomwise auction ends at 14:45 GMT on Saturday 13th November (that’s tomorrow). You have been warned…

Thanks for putting up with me. I’ll shut up now.

The Orange Tarot – XVIII The Moon

November 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Orange Tarot - The MoonEveryone knows the moon is made of cheese – Red Leicester cheese in this case, which was very tasty.

The Moon is a deep and complex card, with hidden depths, and the Orange Tarot version is no different. No doubt tarot scholars will spend hours examining and analysing the particular shape of the bite marks, for instance – how they ulitise sacred geometry to both conceal and convey the secret teachings of the Golden Dawn. And note too the subtle markings on the Moon’s surface: Hebrew letter? Yods? Stellar constellations or the strange familiar hieroglyphs of a language not yet discovered? And what of the cheese itself? A flight of fancy, like some child’s nonsense verse, or a nod perhaps to an ancient tradition of cow worship?

Only 1 day and 18 hours until the Phantomwise Tarot gets squashed by the auctioneer’s hammer. Can you feel your heart racing? Are your palms clammy? Is your index finger twitching excitedly on your mouse? I thought so…

The Orange Tarot – XVI The Tower

November 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Tower - Orange TarotAnother card made possible by the unstinting generosity of my little girl. As she will testify, the higher you build a tower (and the smugger you get about how high it is) the more likely it is to collapse.

There’s a short film (well, shortish – it’s 48 minutes long) called Green that you can watch online that’s about a female orangutan rescued from an oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Although many parts aren’t easy to watch, it shows directly the very real, and unnecessary damage, caused by deforestation.

Happy Orange for Orangutan Day! May there be many many more to come…

The Orange Tarot – XIII Death

November 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

How lucky am I that Orangutan Awareness Week falls in autumn? Death was such an easy card to make, all I had to do was step outside my back door and look for the nicest – and orangiest – leaf I could find.

Pretty self-explanatory this one so I won’t waste anyone’s time trying to say something profound about it. By the way, have you noticed? The Phantomwise is now at £62!! I’ll say that again because it’s so awesome…the Phantomwise is now at £62!!! I think that is enough to buy an orangutan a PSP or something. 🙂 Nah, orangutans don’t like PSPs. They have much more fun on the Wii…

Tomorrow is Orange for Orangutan day. If you’d like to join in, wear something orange – or eat something orange, or buy something orange, or drive something orange. And make sure you get other people to notice and ask you about it. When they do, point them to www.orangutan.org.uk

Anyway, that’s enough for today. Tomorrow’s card is going to be…

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