Why, you might well ask, after spending almost 40 years studying and divining with the Crowley-Harris Thoth Tarot and The Book of Thoth, and then nine more years striving to master the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot (RWS), would someone want to take on the task of trying to fathom the Tarot de Marseille (TdM) and its non-scenic … Continue reading Why the TdM?
This morning I was thinking about the various "tarot factions" that exist and how I might write about them in a fresh (and satirical) way. The timeline for tarot-card development is fairly well-known, at least in broad terms: early Italian decks were appropriated by French, Swiss and German cartiers for the "Marseille" and "Besancon" styles, … Continue reading The Avatars of Tarot Past and Present
As far as I can tell, the publishing house of Rider & Son hasn't been involved with the tarot deck of Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith in over a century (except perhaps as the seller of reproduction rights until US Games bought them); it is now published in something approaching its original form … Continue reading Is It . . . RWS, or RSW, or WS or SW (or How About KSW)?
After a couple of recent conversations with what I can only think of as "traditional tarot snobs" (which is not necessarily a bad thing, it was just painfully obvious that I was talking to a wall), I decided to revisit my opinion of the Waite-Smith deck (if only because the traditionalists damn it so vehemently). … Continue reading Why Waite? Why Now?
Texas bluesman Freddie King once wrote a song titled Tore Down with the refrain "I'm tore down, almost level with the ground." This is a near-perfect expression of the customary take on the Tower card when it appears in a reading: a cautionary glimpse at some kind of calamitous "accident waiting to happen." In my … Continue reading Tore Down
A comment I encountered on Facebook recently caused me to revisit and reaffirm my reasons for working with the tarot. The woman was arguing against its use for divination, and said "We all know that the original purpose of the tarot was self-improvement." Well, no, actually we don't. Clearly this person doesn't have a clue … Continue reading Love at First Insight
It's a rare tarot deck that doesn't have a single fan of its charms, even if appreciation is limited to the deck's creator or reserved for a particular purpose (such as esoteric study, self-reflection or divination). Generally, it's the skill of the artist that garners the most interest followed by the accessibility of the symbolism … Continue reading The Gold Standard