Tag: Tarot

The Gorgon’s Tarot, by Dolores Fitchie

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The Gorgon's Tarot, by Dolores FitchieThe Gorgon's Tarot, by Dolores FitchieThe Gorgon’s Tarot, by Dolores Fitchie
Schiffer Publishing, 9780764345906, 79 cards, instruction booklet, 2014

The Gorgon’s Tarot is an unusual deck: the cards are round, and the images are predominantly black and white. “Gorgon” appears to be a nickname for Dolores Fitchie herself, and also serves as the patron creature presiding over this deck, in particular, Euryale, the gorgon who defied the gods, seeking knowledge and truth.

The cards began life as a graphic project, not a divinatory tool, and The Gorgon’s Tarot was more than 10 years in the making. The black and white design is deliberate and is intended to remove colour symbolism, which Fitchie finds distracting, and has no interest in. There are two cards that contain splashes of red: The Blind Gorgon and the Devil. When they appear, the bright flashes of red make these cards seem all the more startling. Continue reading


Holistic Tarot, by Benebell Wen

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Holistic Tarot, by Benebell WenHolistic Tarot, by Benebell WenHolistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth, by Benebell Wen
North Atlantic Books, 158394835X, 896 pp (incl. notes, appendices, and index), 2015

Holistic Tarot is useful as a tool for personal growth and study, with fresh ideas for tarot enthusiasts from a variety of backgrounds. Tarot practitioners can glean inspiration and find structure for instruction, spiritual and magical use, yet at the same time, an argument is made that much of tarot’s usefulness comes not from mysticism but from analytical psychology.

Including notes, appendices and index, Holistic Tarot is nearly 900 pages, and is chock-full of tables, spreads, and writing that is practical, comprehensive, and transformative. The book itself is more than a vast instruction manual for tarot practitioners from novice to skilled levels, Benebell Wen also encourages its use as a volume for teaching tarot. It includes information for numerous disciplines, giving a nod to the Tree of Life, astrology, numerology and the author’s roots in eastern thought, with the I Ching, a Ba Gua spread, and a sprinkling of the concept of qi throughout. Continue reading


A chat with Lupa about bones

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Lupa

Lupa is an author, artist and nature-lover living in Portland, Oregon. Her most recent books are New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism, and Plant and Fungus Totems: Connect with Spirits of Field, Forest, and Garden.

Lupa has been making art out of hide and bone for nearly 20 years, and her latest project is The Tarot of Bones: A Natural History Divination Set, currently being funded through Indiegogo through to May 19, 2015.

Psyche: First of all, congratulations on having your Indigogo campaign funded within your first 100 hours, that’s wonderful! It’s an unusual deck, and I wanted to know why tarot, why bones?

Lupa: Back in October [2014] I had a piece in a local gallery that had a group show with a tarot theme. It was my usual assemblage style, it had a coyote skull and some other things, basically pointing toward the Five of Coins. Putting the piece together, enjoying the show and being able to see everyone else’s interpretation of the tarot and their works, by the end of the evening I felt really inspired. Continue reading


Chinese fortune telling, tarot, and divination

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I Ching, photo by Ross GriffHolistic Tarot, by Benebell WenOn page one of my book Holistic Tarot, I wrote, “I do not support fortune telling.” When I sat down to write my book, I made the conscious decision to state my position on that particular issue. I wanted to pull professional tarot practice outside the scope of anti-fortune telling laws that are still enforceable in many parts of the United States. More than that, my position comes from a definition of what fortune telling entails that might differ from Western perspectives, a personal definition influenced by the Chinese theory on fortune telling. I hope this article will provide context for my position.

While I wouldn’t dare assume that all Chinese metaphysicians think the same about fortune telling and divination, by general practice the Chinese metaphysical view seems to make a clear distinction between fortune telling and divination. In Chinese, 算命 (suànmìng) is fortune telling;卜筮 (bǔshì) is divination. Continue reading


Tarot Origins workshop starts Sunday!

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Tarot, photo by Kristin Andrus

Tarot Origins runs on Sundays from 3 May – June 28, 2015 from 2-4 pm EST, except for Sunday, May 24, which is a long weekend in Canada.

Most books and classes on tarot cover begin with how to read tarot, but Tarot Origins digs deeper, and looks at how tarot came to be, and where these divinatory meanings actually come from.

What it covers

In this 8 week Tarot Origins workshop series, we’ll look at tarot’s exoteric and esoteric histories: the Dance of Death (not as sinister as it sounds!), the Renaissance, the fin de siecle occult revival, and modern interpretations of the tarot today.

We’ll learn about important figures like Court de Gebelin, Papus, Eliphas Levi, AE Waite, Pamela Colman Smith, Aleister Crowley, Lady Frieda Harris, and more.

Over the years so many diverse systems have attached themselves to the tarot, and we’ll look at how and why, and if (!) this makes sense, particularly through alchemy, astrology, the classical elements, the I Ching, the Hebrew alphabet, kabbalah, and a myriad of other esoteric associations.

Sign me up!

The course fee is $160 for the full 8 weeks, and is offered in-person for those in Toronto, and via distance education with live video conferencing, podcasts, and one-on-one tutoring.

In addition to the live workshop you get:

  • Detailed notes and a tarot timeline
  • Figures and diagrams comparing dozens of decks
  • Podcast recording of in-class sessions

Following the course, distance students also receive a one-on-one 30 minute tutoring session via Skype.

Please contact me at nico@nicomaramckay.com to reserve your spot.

I look forward to seeing you in class!

 


8 swords and no hands

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Detail from 8 of Swords in the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

The 8 of Swords and I have a long history. It’s shown up in so many of my readings that for a long time I was surprised if it wasn’t there. But lately, as my life has changed (thankfully for the better!) I haven’t seen it as much, and in a way I’ve come to miss it, even though it always signified struggle and hardship for me. I’ve developed a close relationship with the 8 of Swords, and my own web of interpretations and associations, and now that the card stepping out of my life I feel compelled to share them.

The 8 of Swords, in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and in most of its other incarnations, depicts a woman, bound and blindfolded, standing in a field of swords which seem to cage her in. She wears a red dress and has dark hair — an interesting contrast to the archetypal blonde damsel in a white gown. Perhaps her life has been marked more by passion than purity. There are puddles of water near her feet (which make me think of a flood plain, perhaps adding an additional danger) and behind her is a mountain with a castle-like structure on it. Continue reading


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