Monday, 8 February 2016

Chinese Elements | The Fire Monkey Year

In the West, we tend to use the classical elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.  However, this is not the only system of elements available and as we move into the Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey, I thought that we could take a look at their elements.

Why the interest in China? Well, hubby has just relocated there for maybe the next two years and, with any amount of luck, I'll be able to go and visit him from time to time (worry not! he will still be coming home every eight weeks, for eight weeks!) but I am delving into all things Chinese.  And you cannot escape my burgeoning interest in all things Chinese either!  :-D

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Robin Wood Tarot | Review

Confession time: I've had this deck for years and never really used it. Why? I don't know - too many new decks flashing their eyes saucily at me, if I'm honest.  But I recently had cause to dig the Robin Wood Tarot out because my good friend Nancy Hendrickson wanted to use it for an exercise that we were doing together. What can I say? I fell in love with the damned thing!

I've made a li'l video to celebrate the fact that by changing my broadband supplier, it no longer takes me DAYS to load up a 1 minute long creation.

Take a lookie at the video and then see what you think of my observations - I'd love you to add your tuppenceworth in the comments at the end :)

There is a clear elemental colour palette for the suits.  This always makes me very happy!

Wands are fiery/sunny in yellow/red
Cups are watery in blue/pink
Pentacles are earthy/land-orientated in brown/purple
Swords are Airy/cloudy in blue/white

First up, let's look at the Pages.

To me these all look like girls, but you know what, it doesn't matter a jot. If you read them as long-haired boys, that's totally fine.  Each Page holds a gleaming symbol of their suit and each sports a little clue to their personalities on their belts:

Page of Cups has an artist's palette
Page of Swords has a spy glass
Page of Wands has fire-crackers
Page of Pentacles has a book

Onwards to the bold Knights! As you would expect, they are all mounted:

Knight of Swords - Pegasus
Knight of Cups - Seahorse
Knight of Wands - very fiery steed
Knight of Pentacles - a proper, solid-looking horse

The Knight of Cups is actually quite a foamy and active looking horse.  Although he himself is not as dynamic as the Knights of Wands and Swords.  The darling Knight of Pentacles is absolutely rooted in the ploughed fields that surround him.

The Queens are glorious creatures.  The first thing that I noticed is that the two active/Yang suits of Swords and Wands have standing Queens while Cups and Pentacles are seated.

Each Queen (bar one) has a flower and an animal associated with them:

Queen of Swords - rose and butterfly
Queen of Pentacles - fruit and rabbits
Queen of Wands - sunflower and cat

The Queen of Cups doesn't have anything obviously associated with her.

The Kings are worthy consorts for their Queens.  They too stand and sit, to match their Queen.

I love how the King of Swords has a starry night-sky lining to his cloak. The King of Cups drinks from a cup with the Yin/Yang symbol.
The King of Wands continues his RWS reputation as the Lizard King.
The King of Pentacles looks comfortable, sitting with his slippers on!

The Robin Wood is so comforting in its similarities to the RWS, yet its different enough to warrant having both in your collection!  It's a joy to shuffle and so easy to read with.

*** Note*** There is also a companion book for this deck, but I don't have it.  Thanks to Nicole Diamond for the info <3

*** Note 2 *** There is an App (iOS and Android) - by The Fool's Dog (who make great apps!)  Thank you for the heads-up on that from Nancy Hendrickson <3

What do you think of it?

Monday, 28 September 2015

Tarot | Scottish Opera

Just thought I'd share some images that Scottish Opera had printed to promote their season. I cannot tell a lie, this post was scheduled to post a looooong time ago, and failed.  So am popping it out now, because it's good to share!

No, they are not proper Tarot cards, nor are they my raison d'etre court cards, but I am sharing them here to remind you to keep your eyes open for Tarot-inspired artworks everywhere.

These items of ephemera are worth seeking out and procuring to add to your collection.  One day they might be worth something to a collector. But in the meantime, they look excellent in little clip frames on the wall!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Marseille Sophistiqué | TPC Games | Review

So, I decided to hazard another foray into the Dark Arts of Imovie, this time with the Marseille Sophistiqué.  The MS is a rather gorgeous little deck from those clever comic book artists at TPC Games.

click on the photo to visit TPC Games

Before we get into the review, I know that there are a couple of glitchy things there in the video, but it takes about an hour for me to load up a video of this teeny tiny size to youtube. Fibre optic? I think we've got string here ...  

As you can see from the photo, the box is a sturdy lift-top box that depicts 4 cards from the deck - a Major and a Minor, flanked by a King and Queen.

The cards themselves are 4 3/4" tall x 2 3/4 wide and printed on a linen-effect card which results in delightfully slippy shuffling.

It's a 78-card deck with Justice at VIII and La Force at XI.  Yes, the titles are in French.  It's a Marseille, so, yanno - get over it :)  The deck is based (fairly faithfully, I think) on the Conver Marseille Tarot (1760s).

The Unnamed Chappie
First up, this is a Tarot that has been created with GAMES in mind, not divination.  There IS a LWB with the deck, but it is stuffed to the gunwales with rules for game playing and details of games, such as Baronetti and French Tarot.  They do mention divination in an Appendix at the back of the LWB, but there are no card meanings included. 

The first thing you'll notice are the non-traditional hues of the colour-scheme. If the primary colours of a traditional Marseille have you reaching for your sun-glasses, then this might be the deck for you.  It's in muted shades of green, gold, blue and red, with white highlights.  Very tasteful!

The colouring-in is deliberately quite scrappy - like an old deck - with lines clearly visible. However, although you can see the 'pencil marks', they colour outside of the lines just enough to be attractively arty and not so much that the untidy artwork shifts the gear-stick on your OCD into overdrive.  

Scribbly colouring.  I like it.

It's a 78-card deck, with traditional Marseille pips.  The suits are Deniers, Epees, Batons and Coupe.  The Minors have coloured borders - Cups is red (more like pink, really), Deniers are gold, Swords blue and Batons are green.  These borders also go around the Courts.  The Majors don't have such a border.

Above are the four 10s of the deck, to illustrate the Minors.  There is a X symbol for 10 in the top left, bottom right corners.  Where the X coloured yellow is in the bottom right, the card is right-sides up.  Where the yellow X is in the upper left, it is upside down. 

The back (shown at the end of the video above) is suitable for reversals.

So, what do I think? It's a nice size for handling and it shuffles beautifully.  It's easy to distinguish Swords from Wands thanks to the colours selected.  The muted, almost sugar almond, shades are delicious. And of course, the design is a proven classic.

I think this deck is gorgeous and a worthy addition to anyone's collection. 

Do you have the Marseille Sophistiqué - what do you think of it?
Do you use it or just admire the artwork?
How are you at reading with unillustrated pips?

Want more games to play with it? 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Tarot Thrones is Supporting Syrian Refugees

No court card humour from me today.  And believe me, be glad that there is no photograph to illustrate today's blog post.

I'm appalled  by the humanitarian crisis that we are seeing as a result of Syrians fleeing their homes.  The newspaper headlines would break your heart.

So, TABI has set up a justgiving page to show the world that Tarot people CARE about what's happening to these people in their time of crisis.

No more drowned children.


Let's put a stop to it.

You can make a donation through that portal.

You can take this code and put it as a button on to your website or your blog and also support us that way.

To add to your blogger blog, select the 'add html' widget in 'layout' and drop the code in, save.  That's it.

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