Welcome to the Samhain/Hallowe'en blog hop and to my Court Card blog. Many thanks to my next-door neighbours for this blog hop, Kerry and Ania, for linking through to me. If you haven't read their blogs for this hop, visit their sites via the links on my page and have fun hopping on to the other blogs taking part.
This time we are blogging about our MASKS.
When I was growing up here in Scotland, the most exciting part of Hallowe'en was getting your False Face.
In the first part of this two-hander, I spoke with Camelot artist, Will Worthington, with the focus on the portraiture and artwork of the new deck. Today it's the deck's author, John Matthews who chats about Camelot.
You are exceptionally prolific as an author! It seems only a
few weeks ago I was talking to you about the Tarot of Nostradamus and
here we are again, talking about another new publication - The
Camelot Oracle. Do you ever sleep?
OK, I hold my hands up - technically this is nothing to do with Court Cards REALLY, but ooooh the gorgeousness of the characters in these paintings simply BEGS me to tell you about them!
The other thing that I want to point out is that I do some work for Will Worthington and John Matthews on an ongoing basis, but neither of them has asked me to blog about this - but I think you can see from the images just why I HAD to tell you about them!
I put some questions to the artist, Will Worthington:
It seems only a few days ago that I posted my Queen of Pentacles card. I blame the school holidays - days either drag their heels or fly out of the window, depending on how busy my son is!
I really enjoyed my Queen of Pentacles moment - I busied myself with my son, travelling to Stirling and Glasgow, enjoying each other's company rather than me just nagging him to wash dishes/tidy his shoes away etc.
I'll miss her....
But now that the school holidays are ending and my small boy has to face up to the fact that school is looming large on his horizon again, I guess that it's appropriate that I've got the King of Swords.
This is the King from the Olympus Tarot by Lo Scarabeo, illustrated by Luca Raimondo. Meet Hercules, son of Zeus, complete with the skin of the Nemean Lion. The skin of this lion was impervious to damage - to the extent that even when Hercules killed the beast (one of his many Labours of Hercules) it could only be skinned using one of its own claws.
This is a much more active and dynamic King of Swords than we are usually presented with. Famed for completing his 12 Labours, set for him by the Gods, Hercules is revered more for his great strength than his brain power.
Yet this is who is to suffuse me with his energies over the coming weeks.
Perhaps his DETERMINATION will be of use when Sonshine returns to school next week and homework rears its ugly Hydra head?
Perhaps I too shall use my connections (he was ably assisted by various Gods - to whom he was related - throughout his Trials) or am I to beseech the deities themselves? I can see quite a lot of Gods' names being taken in vain as I try to cope with Sonshine, work, marking homework for TABI and cleaning the house for the imminent return of my own domestic demi-god from 6 weeks at sea.
Perhaps the blend of brains and physicality are key. I do a lot of sitting around *gestures to self sitting at keyboard* and I really should be more active. I *know* this, but I don't do it.
Time for a change, methinks!
What does Hercules as the King of Swords mean for you?
Now here's something a little bit different for you to peruse - the Page of Awareness from Teresa Deek's Gratitude Tarot.
I first came across Teresa's deck in the Tarot Blog Hop and thought that it was a lovely idea, well-executed.
The macro photo of pollen-dusted stamen of a lily represents this Page - tiny, upright and potent - it feels quite Wandsy to me because I associate the creative/fiery/summer with the hot Wands with cool Swords being more airy and Springlike.
Teresa's web page for this card features the following poem (I've retained the original formatting):
This post is a little bit late, but I wanted to include it even though the full moon was last weekend. I got caught up in posting the Lenny Oracle stuff and the gorgeous Page of Swords from Alexander Daniloff's Tarot.
Anyway, here's the post:
It was a glorious full moon here at the weekend and I felt EXACTLY in the right frame of mind for my regular draw to see whose energies will assist me towards the dark moon in a couple of weeks time.
I used the Rider Waite Smith deck (because, let's face it - it's a great Comfy Slippers deck!) and welcomed the Queen of Pentacles to my life. At least for the next little while.
While I like the practical nature of this Queen, it's more about appreciating it in other people rather than myself. I am so NOT the Queen of Pentacles. She's organised and nurturing. I'll tell you how nurturing *I* am. I abandoned my tomato plants a fortnight ago. Just abandoned them. Shut up the polytunnel and forgot about them because they were 12" tall, devoid of tomatoes and USELESS. A bit like Kim Kardashian.
When I first laid eyes on this new Tarot deck by Russian illustrator Alexander Daniloff, I was terribly excited! I was immediately sucked in by the characters and the colours; it's a veritable medieval carnival of delights! I had to know more! So, continuing on my meme for the Page of Swords (see here, here and here for other Pages and interviews), I asked Alexander whether he would be interested in talking to me a little about his deck. It's a 78-card deck with 3 additional cards - one blank and one each offering variations on Force and Justice. The cards will measure 141 x 73mm and the card edges are squared. Let's take a look at his Page of Swords. I'm loving the raven in his banner - they are clever, cruel and entertaining birds, a bit like the Swords family altogether. See how his banner partly obscures his face? I like that - it feels kinda sneaky - but what of the hand and head at his feet? I put some questions to Alexander, the deck's creator: How did you become interested in the Tarot?
"I have always been fascinated by the symbolism and medieval emblematic, iconography of miniatures and frescoes.
"The Tarot for me have been a reason to immerse myself in a medieval atmosphere, crawl between the nobles and the miserable, oscillate between the Moon and the Sun, between Life and Death.
"I do not know use the Tarot, but interpreting a state of mind, a sentimental message that contains each Arcana I began soon to feel its magic. They gave me a common thread, a compass to connect remote past with today, to create a deck in the classic style, addressed and strengthened a saving irony to avoid the risk of rhetoric."
Tell me about your Page of Swords: "The Page of Swords is about espionage, secret service investigation......his face is hidden and a large sword on his shoulder is not immediately visible. "I gave him a skinny black suit and a red circle on the flag to make him look like a Ninja! The circle is associated with the symbol of Pentacles - he uses it as camouflage. "The Raven with ring held in its beak is shown in the red circle - stealing. "He has one foot resting on the broken head of a statue. This is a reference to David and Goliath. He gets what he wants by cunning, guile and unpredictability. He can conquer brute force. All the Pages are limited by the platform under their feet, despite the fact that they are in an open area."
Alexander Daniloff is based in Italy and his work can be found here He has a 22-card Majors only tarot currently available and he is just about to start shipping his latest Tarot, from which this marvellous Page has been taken.
To ring some changes, I thought we could explore the Face Cards in the Lenormand Oracle, to see whether they work like Court Cards in Tarot (and if not - how in the heck do you use them?!). My search has led to two wonderful people - Helen Riding and Andy BC - both extremely talented and well-versed in the lore of the Lenormand Oracle.
I first came across it a couple of years ago when I bought one that had been damaged from our TABI Conference stock. Most widely used in mainland Europe, the Lenormand has not been as popular in the English-speaking world - UNTIL NOW!!! The Lenormand is enjoying a massive surge in popularity and I thought I'd call upon this duo of Lennie Experts to talk about the deck and its history AND the use of face cards in some of the Lenormand decks.
In this first post of two, Helen Riding very kindly agreed to help get us all up to speed with the deck: