First off, I apologize for the convoluted, loopity-doop link after link organization (or lack thereof) to these web pages. I had initially put the pre-order information page here, but it doesn’t make sense as a blog post, so I moved it here:
And now I’m going to re-write this page into an informal chat to give you some of the behind-the-scenes.
I apologize in advance if my mode of presentation here is going to be a bit overwhelming. In retrospect, I should have taken more time thinking on pedagogy and how best to organize this material so it’s less everything-all-at-once. =)
Wayne Rodney’s Global Fusion Intuitive Tarot is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary tarot decks. If you want a case study for diverse representation in tarot art done well, look no further than Global Fusion.
Rodney is a Jamaican American painter and illustrator who runs a martial arts studio. As an artist his work is heavily influenced by Rosicrucian mysticism, values of cultural diversity, and what I found throughout the Global Fusion Intuitive Tarot– Taoist metaphysics.
In this deck, Rodney orders the Minors before the Majors. The Sticks correspond with Wands or Clubs, expressing the traits of creative will and intuition. Of the four temperaments, he connects it to the Sanguine. Gems, Pentacles or Diamonds, signify the Phlegmatic, of the sensory and the practical. Vessels, Cups or Hearts, correspond with Melancholy, with emotions and feeling. Blades, Swords or Spades, signify the Choleric temperament, of reason, logic, and thought.
The Endless Oracle is a hand-drawn myriorama deck by artist Eric Maille, creator of the Ink Witch Tarot and the Lenormand-inspired Paper Oracle. Myrioramas were 19th century picture decks intended as a game for children. You could rearrange the cards in any order to create different landscapes. The arrangements would then tell a story.
Thus, the Endless Oracle tells an infinite number of tales. The silhouette outlines around the card edges connect any order of cards together to form a seamless landscape–a brilliant feature by Maille.
Inspired by Greek and Arthurian myths, the illustrations tap into collective knowledge, rendering these oracle cards remarkably readable. The Fisher is symbolic of leisure activities and our hobbies. The Forest is straying from the beaten path to go on an unconventional adventure. The Gathering Clouds is an omen of a plot thickening. The Giants is wonder and grandeur. Thee Goddess is religiosity. The Graveyard is loss and endings. In The Graveyard card you’ll also see the constellation Scorpio.
Published through Schiffer Red Feather, The Poe Tarot by Trisha Leigh Shufelt is a delectable black and white illustrated deck that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. I was one of those kids who loved Edgar Allan Poe. I’m also a big admirer of pen and ink illustrations.
And I really love a narrative-driven and thought-out tarot deck that has clearly been rendered with depth, passion, and copious amounts of research.
So it’s no wonder I’d take so easily to The Poe Tarot, which is all that and more. Bringing her depth of knowledge in Poe, weaves his life’s work, his struggles, passions, and motivations into the tarot, presenting each card as a lens through which you will ultimately find personal meaning.
The deck art illustrates scenes and characters inspired by Poe’s classics, from The Raven and Annabel Lee to The Masque of the Red Death and many more, bringing to life traditional tarot archetypes through a macabre meets whimsical 19th century pen and ink style.
For instance, the Six of Wells (Six of Cups) pictured above illustrates Poe himself reflecting on a portrait of his childhood sweetheart and fiancee before his death, Sarah Elmira Royster Shelton, with a quote from “Spirits of the Dead.” The composition itself was inspired by Poe’s short story “The Oval Portrait.”
Don’t forget– if it helps, turn the closed captioning on! =)
When I say “open tradition,” I mean a culture-specific practice of a magical system and set of doctrinal beliefs integrated into that practice that anyone at all can work with for themselves, that it’s free and open to the public.
When I say “closed tradition,” I mean a culture-specific practice of a magical system and set of doctrinal beliefs integrated into that practice that can only be honorably accessed if certain conditions are met, such as initiation; heredity; clan or ethnic group membership; or a formally established master-student bond.
My third book, I Ching, The Oracle: A Practical Guide to the Book of Changes, published by North Atlantic Books, is forthcoming mid-2023. It’s my translation and annotations of the Oracle with cultural and historical references that honor the shamanic origins of the I Ching.
What it really is, though, is a magical grimoire. I began with an aspiration to write a grimoire on Taoist mysticism and magical practices, and then decided to do so through the framework of the I Ching. This is going to be a practical hands-on primer on East Asian modalities of witchcraft and folk magic. A deep-dive learning experience into the history and mythological references found in the Book of Changes is the bonus.
Leading up to the release of I Ching, The Oracle will be this series of videos where I lay the foundation for working with this third book. If this is of interest to you, stay tuned! ❤
In my previous blog post recapping NWTS 2022, I talked about how much I enjoyed the “Which Witch is Which” lunch panel discussion. So that you don’t have to click between pages, here’s what I said about it:
The best part of all? Hands down, the Which Witch is Which lunch panel discussion. Each practitioner on the panel represented a different perspective on witch identity and witchcraft, from whether they identify with the moniker “witch” (some yes, some no), what is witchcraft anyway, and their takes on covens, solitary practice, closed vs. open traditions, altars, ancestor work, and more.
Thank you, Mat, for giving a shout-out to Taoist ceremonial magic! And wish the incredible Onareo, who was present in the audience with me, could have also been up there on the panel to represent brujeria.
In this Bell Chimes In video chat, I wanted to ruminate on my own responses to the questions “Do you identify as a witch?” and “What is witchcraft, to you?”
Answers to those two questions are not at all easy to arrive at.
Whew! NWTS 2022 was a blast! This was Michelle and Roger of SoulTopia’s inaugural year as the organizers of NWTS, the Northwest Tarot Symposium in Portland, Oregon. And wow, what a comeback for NWTS, thanks to SoulTopia’s tireless efforts, persistence, and stewardship. This year, the tarot community really showed up for an impressive turnout, to the point where we might’ve outgrown the Monarch Hotel! Time for a bigger even more spacious venue? =)
Anyway, this is a casual recap of the event from my vantage point.