Tarot Skills for the 21st Century by Josephine McCarthy

Josephine McCarthy is one of the preeminent magicians of our time. She is the founder of Quareia and author of several incredible tomes, among which I’ve read The Work of the Hierophant and The Exorcist’s Handbook. I’m also a big fan of her deck, LXXXI, which I’ve reviewed here. I am now so excited to be sharing with you my thoughts on her latest endeavor, a comprehensive book on tarot that covers both the mundane and the magical meanings of each card.

The edition I received for review is hardcover, with a beautiful velvety matte book jacket. I love that the title anchors the book in the 21st century, while the book’s aesthetics feel Old World to me. I haven’t seen this quality and caliber of production value in a tarot book for quite some time now, so there is something quite exquisite about learning tarot from McCarthy’s text.

The book begins with a strong introduction, giving you a sense of who your teacher, the author, will be, and the context from which classical tarot interpretation sprang. Having read dozens of tarot books published in the last few years, this one is refreshing in its traditionalism, formality, and also its design as a handbook to teach tarot as a venerated practice.

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Simplicity Tarot by Emilie Muniz: A Tarot Deck for Everyone

The Simplicity Tarot by Emilie Muniz is this perfect RWS-based deck that checks all the boxes that people keep saying they want in a tarot deck, but don’t seem to notice that Simplicity Tarot exists. It flies quietly, humbly under the radar, and I have no idea why. Muniz’s deck features all the hallmarks for what our community keeps saying we want in a tarot deck, and yet this deck isn’t trending. Why is that?

Here is this deck with imagery that feels classic, timeless, not overly modern, with refinement and elegance, beautiful on any reading table spread, and has the diverse representation so many of us readers today want in a deck.

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The Sevens: Tarot Card Meanings

New to this video lecture series?

Start Here

The above-linked Introduction page will give you an overview of what this series is about and provide a course contents listing.

The Sevens is the ninth of seventeen videos in this series. This is the realm of choice, mental reasoning, and philosophical discernment, where:

  • the Seven of Wands is the discernment between fight vs. flight;
  • the Seven of Cups discerns between vice and virtue;
  • the Seven of Swords is risk vs. control; and
  • the Seven of Pentacles/Disks is action vs. non-action.

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Tarot Deck Piracy and Anti-Chinese Sentiments

See also: 7/07/2020 Edits below

“My legal counsel advised me to never do business with Chinese companies, because all of them will rip off your intellectual property.”

Paraphrased, but an accurate representation of what was said by a very prominent deck creator in our community. She’ll tell you my paraphrase isn’t accurate and that I’ve misrepresented her. She takes issue with me saying she used the word “all.”

I can’t recall if that precise word “all” was ever used, so let’s believe her and say I’m mistaken. She never said “all.” It was me who read into what was absolutely, unequivocally implied in the subtext.

Oh, wait. The below was sent to me, after I started feeling pretty terrible about maybe misconstruing what she had said. I was beginning to second-guess myself, thinking, man, I now feel like crap for thinking she said “all” when she didn’t. Many of her friends were messaging me, privately and publicly, telling me I got her all wrong, I am remembering her words wrong, and she never, ever said “all.”

Some deck creators saw that same post I saw and immediately thought it was problematic and insensitive.

Other deck creators believe she means well, but perhaps she worded her sentiments wrong– let’s chalk this one up to poor word choice. Maybe. But what I’ve seen from her, she is one fine writer.

And still others think I am the one who is way out of line, being overly sensitive, probably because I’m Asian, and poor, poor Karen for getting misunderstood.

I’ll concede that the truth is probably somewhere in that middle “no man’s land” intersecting point of the Venn diagram. I’m not 100% right, but then neither is she.

Here’s the thing. That was not her first offense. From what I have personally witnessed, it was her third. If we consider what the entire community has witnessed, who knows how many times she has repeated this rhetoric.

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Show Me the Numbers: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing of a Tarot/Oracle Deck

While so many of us are still sheltered in place during the pandemic, I’ve noticed a spike in interest for creating a tarot or oracle deck and selling it. This is particularly relevant to artists and spiritual creatives who are looking into a stream of income that might help them stay afloat through uncertain economic times.

For you, we’ll talk numbers in self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. If this subject matter is really of interest to you, then read on. Don’t just watch the video, because I left a lot out of that video, which I’ll get to in this companion post.

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The Sixes: Tarot Card Meanings

New to this video lecture series?

Start Here

The above-linked Introduction page will give you an overview of what this series is about and provide a course contents listing.

The Sixes is the eighth of seventeen videos in this series, “Tarot Card Meanings with Benebell.”

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Intuitive Tarot: Throw Out the Books?

Thank you to the hundreds (according to YouTube at least, who knows, right?) who showed up to participate this morning in the chatroom when the above video premiered.

By the way, can any of you help me with this? I really thought I had the recorded LiveChat transcript function turned on. I checked it several times before the video premiered and I checked it after. It’s on. However, it seems like the chat transcript from this morning has disappeared.

Does anyone know how I can make the chat transcript from this morning available to all? What everyone shared was so insightful and more valuable to the topic than just what I had to say in this video, so I want that chat transcript to be available to you. However, the function doesn’t seem to be working for me. Any help you’re able to give is welcomed. Thanks!

Tarot Tableau: The Fool’s Journey & Card Journaling Therapy

Click on photo to purchase book

Tarot Tableau: The Fool’s Journey (2020) by Thomas of Hermit’s Mirror is a versatile, power-packed tarot reading method based on the Grand Tableau from the Lenormand tradition. Thomas takes that method many steps further and presents a way of reading the cards that you’ll turn to time and time again, for your personal readings and for your professional client readings.

Skill LevelAdvanced

To start, let’s introduce the basic tableau, the foundation of Thomas’s Tarot Tableau: The Fool’s Journey. I’ve put together a Sightsee the Tarot video to guide you through the basic spread along with 22 tarot journaling prompts excerpted from Tarot Tableau.

In this workshop, we’ll be using the Tarot Tableau for a long session of free-writing as therapy. Writing therapy helps you to process your thoughts and experiences, which opens you up to new insights on how to get back to equilibrium, facilitate much-needed spiritual healing, and grow emotionally.

Working with your reading results from the Tarot Tableau method, you’ll answer 22 questions inspired by the 22 Major houses of the spread and after you’re done, you’ll attain newfound clarity in the situation you were inquiring about or, at the very least, understand the “why.”

22 Journaling Prompts with the Tarot Tableau

DOCX   |   PDF

Click above to download.

Print out the PDF linked above and free-write your answers to the journaling prompts. If you have a particular tarot journal layout and design going on already, you can download the DOCX and edit accordingly.

Click on worksheet to download fillable PDF

Download the above-pictured worksheet and either print it out or copy the layout into your tarot journal before you start the video. You’ll be recording your reading results on the worksheets.

The rest of this post will be my review of the book.

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The Fives: Tarot Card Meanings

New to this video lecture series?

Start Here

The above-linked Introduction page will give you an overview of what this series is about and provide a course contents listing.

The Fives is the seventh of seventeen videos in this series, “Tarot Card Meanings with Benebell.”

Continue reading “The Fives: Tarot Card Meanings”

Ciro Marchetti’s Encore Tarot (& New Media Art vs. Old Visual Arts)

If there is one Ciro Marchetti deck to have, it’s the Encore Tarot. This is the deck that fully showcases Marchetti’s talent as an artist, the consistent clarity of his vision, and evinces the magnificence of tarot art, taking what had been possible traditionally to new modern heights.

When future tarot scholars look back at our era, the one deck artist’s name I am very sure will come up time and time again is Ciro Marchetti. His style is so distinct, so unique that it has indelibly trademarked itself in the collective consciousness. I can spot a Marchetti deck by the artwork before knowing he was the creator, just as I (and all of us) can spot a Marchetti wannabe.

I’ve always been a huge admirer of Marchetti’s talent, though admittedly, in my own past I’ve been known to be ambivalent about digital art decks or, more specifically, new media art. But then that’s been a long-raging cold war in the arts community anyway– new media art vs. the old visual arts (or “fine arts”).

Marchetti is the new media artist who changed my mind. New media art is defined as art created by using digital technology, forms of digital art and computer-generated graphics. Old visual fine arts would be drawing by hand, painting, sculpture, in essence what is “hand-crafted.” However, these definitions can get a bit dysfunctional, especially when you get into hand-drawing with a stylus digital pen on a computer pad vs. hand-drawing with a pencil on sketch paper.

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