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? 

Update 31/3/17 - the deck can be purchased here  but only US sales, alas!

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.

<a href='' title='JustGiving - Sponsor me now!' target='_blank'><img src='' width='150' height='85' alt='JustGiving - Sponsor me now!' /></a>

Thank you

Monday, 17 August 2015

Page of Pentacles | Baking | Focaccia di Recco

Page of Pentacles
on his way to Masterchef
It doesn’t matter what age you are, we are all Pages at something or other. The Tarot deck's Pages show us in our tentative first steps, those beginner steps at anything: those moments where you wobble uncertainly forwards, sometimes falling - but always getting back up again.

The Page of Pentacles shows us the beginner in practical matters.

I am definitely this Page when it comes to cooking.  Most efforts turn out to be only fit for the inside of the swing bin - except my lasagna. My lasagna is TO DIE FOR.  Well, hopefully not DIE …. but you get the general idea. 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Alchemical Tarot | Robert Place |4th Edition

The Alchemical Tarot
on the Throne!
I've been coveting a Robert Place deck for a long time now and lo! because I'm a dozy mare and got my Alchemicals and my Sevenfolds all mixed up, I will shortly be the proud owner of both the decks and the book and poorer than a Church Mouse.

This is the 4th Edition of this deck and it has been funded via an Indigogo campaign.

We've got four families - Staffs, Swords, Vessels and Coins; nice and traditional.

Each family member sports their name and also the elemental glyph associated with that suit.  The first thing that you will notice about the courts in the Alchemical Tarot is that the Pages have been replaced with the rank of Lady and the second thing is that the King is not a figure but a creature.

Let's take a closer look ...

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

TABI's Tarot Conference 2015 | Court Cards

Saturday saw the return of TABI's annual Tarot Conference in Birmingham.  Here it is, in court cards:

So we checked in to our rooms and the speakers and organisers had been presented with a li'l hand-made bar of chocolate and a welcome card. Everyone was thrilled and posted photos like this:

© Viv Kacal 
As Page of Pentacles, my first thought was 'Thank God, something to eat. So my photo was like this:

*wipes chocolate smears from mouth to take photo*
We met up before dinner on the Friday.  My inner Queen of Wands became my Outer.  Are you digging the leopard print cardi and the gold high heels?

I'm working my Bette Lynch vibe like mad here.
© Viv Kacal or Ania Marczyk (I wasn't looking)
Our meal on Friday night was very tasty indeed.  I barely stopped eating to look up for photos.  Look - I'm not even drunk.  But my head can't do that Linda Blair 360 degree thing....

© Ania Marczyk
On Saturday morning I was the first speaker on the floor - the warm up act for our wonderful head-liners - Jane Struthers, Andy Boroshevengra and Caitlin Matthews.

I attended dressed as the Druidcraft's Queen of Swords:

© Viv Kacal (I think)
That's me in the spotlight! That's me as the Queen of Swords :-)
It's me! No, it's not - it's the Queen of Swords!

I didn't do the bare feet thing though.  Sometimes you can take something too far .... I wore the gold high heels though. See? My outer skin at the Conference was the Queen of Swords, but my feet are forever the Queen of Wands.  Until about lunch time and then they morphed into terribly unflattering running shoes and I went all Queen of Pentacles :-D

And also managed to double up as Queen of Cups in Ania Marczyk's forthcoming Meniscus Tarot too.  Tha' Queen of Swords outfit is VERSATILE!

Queen of Cups Meniscus Tarot Ania Marczyk
© Ania Marczyk
I brought home a throne - as you do!

And brought home one of Moti's beautiful prints!

Moti's original painting was there for us to see too - what a talent!

So, only one question remains ......Why have I not posted pix of the speakers as Court Cards?

Because they were all complete STARS!

Coming along next year?!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The Book of Shadows | Andrea Aste | Page of Swords |Kickstarter

Andrea Aste
I first encountered the delightful genius of Andrea Aste when I was on Arnell Ando's Tarot Tour of Italy back in April and I was struck a) by the amazing artwork that he showed us and b) the overall vision of his Tarot project.

So, here's a quick Q&A with the man himself about that vision and his Tarot deck - through the Page of Swords, of course!

Me:  Andrea - for those that aren't aware of your Tarot project can you briefly outline it here?

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Strength | Summer Solstice | Blog Hop

Welcome to the Midsummer Blog hop! If you've happened here by chance, then you are in for a treat if you follow the links below to all the other blog hoppers who are providing a chain that runs from 0 The Fool through to XXI The World.

My card of choice is Strength.

Most decks published today show Strength as Major Arcana VIII, however this wasn't always the case. In older Marseille-style decks Justice is found at position VIII.

So why the switch? Well, Back in the early 1900s, The Golden Dawn's 
A E Waite (the creator of the Rider Waite Smith Tarot) was keen to add astrological references to the Major Arcana.  But if Strength (Leo), kept her position at Major XI, then pesky Justice (Libra) would disrupt their plan to show all the Astrological trumps in their correct order. 

And Lo! The switch was made!  Righting some ancient Tarot wrong, no doubt :)

Aleister Crowley, another but more notorious member of the Golden Dawn, stuck resolutely to the traditional numbering for his Thoth deck. But changed the names of the cards - Strength became Lust.  Contrary ol' coot!

Does this order-switching matter? Probably not really, because back in the day, the old decks didn't have numbered Major Arcana cards. 

Why were numbers added? I fondly imagine that the various City States of Italy – each more powerful and vainglorious than the next – ended up with different cards in different orders.  It's easy to imagine courtly gents in tights arguing heatedly about whether Temperance scored more points than Justice in their card game.  That's the sort of argument that can get you run through with a rapier....

But I digress, what I REALLY wanted to share with you is the evolution of the image:

Visconti Sforza - 1451
Hercules giving the Ebil Nemean lion a jolly good thrashing.
Pretty danged violent to our contemporary eyes, isn't it? 
The Sola Busca Tarot - 1491
A completely different viewpoint from a completely unique deck.
 This is Tulio, meditating on the night

Don't mix up card VIII which shows a child being dismembered over a fire by Nero - that's Justice, not Strength!

This is a deck crammed with alchemical symbolism :)
Tarot del Mantegna - 1470(ll Meneghello version)

A woman holds a club and wears a lion's mask.
There is also a lion behind her and a broken column.
The broken column is traditionally the symbol for Forteza.

BTW - this deck doesn't actually have anything to do with Mantegna :)

The Rider Waite Smith - 1909
The combination of lion, woman and physicality that we strongly associate with this card makes an appearance.

Tarot Sophistique - 2014
A contemporary version of a Marseille Tarot image 
Woman and Lion
we can see the nascent leminscate of the RWS in the circle of her hat.
Strength earned her place in the Tarot deck by dint of being one of the four Cardinal Virtues: Fortitude.

The other virtues are Prudence (The High Priestess), Temperance and Justice (represented by, erm, Temperance and Justice).

I like the virtue of Fortitude being part of the Tarot deck.  But Fortitude and Strength have slightly differing meanings:

Fortitude means courage in pain or adversary.

Strength means:

a) the quality or state of being physically strong
b) the capacity of an object or substance to withstand great force or pressure

The subtle difference is that Fortitude brings a moral strength, a valour (indeed a Virtue!) to the heart of the card, which Strength alone does not.

And there endeth the Lesson on Strength!

Hope you're ready to hop onwards to the next card?

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Page of Swords | The Tarot of Mr Punch | Doug Thornsjo

Sometimes you see a project and it's just such a perfect storm that you wonder why it was never done before! That's how I felt when Doug Thornsjo (Tarot of the Zirkus Magis, Tarot Lombardi Dannegiatto etc) began sharing images from his Tarot of Mr Punch: The rambunctious personality of Mr Punch will make a great 'no punches pulled' *groan - sorry, that was awful!* tarot deck.

I asked Doug if he could answer some questions about his new deck and woohoo!!!! HE SAID YES!!

Me: So, tell me how you got interested in creating Tarot decks?

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Queen and Kings of of Tarot! | TABI Conference | 25 July | Birmingham, UK

 This is me (well my HEAD at any rate), cunningly photoshopped onto a slender body, and a throne that comprises entirely of court cards - isn't it clever?

Caroline Blackler did all the high tech jiggery-pokery for this.

And you might wonder just WHY I have included it here on m'blog.

Well ...... pull your chair a bit closer to the screen because I want to whisper something in your ear ..... But not THAT close .... edge back just a smigeon *drops voice to conspiratorial whisper*

I'm one of the Tarot workshop Queens at TABI's 2015 Tarot Conference in sunny Birmingham!

Yes, on Saturday 25 July at Conference Aston, I kick off the whole day's Tarot mischief with a session on techniques for reading reversed Court cards.

From there we go straight into our next session - Tarot and Love - with the lovely author Queen Jane Struthers.

From there we break for lunch (and lunch is included in the day attendee ticket price, folks!)

And then we dive headlong into our next session, all about the Lenormand Oracle with Lenny expert, King Andy Boroshevengra.  If you're coming along and you are a bit panicked about not having a Lenormand deck, worry not - there will be enough to go around!

A 30 minute coffee-injection break and then our final session for the day, my fellow Italian Tarot Tour traveller Queen Caitlin Matthews explains how to get to grips with those pesky unillustrated pips of the Marseille deck.

I *know*!! It's going to be a splendid day of Tarot shenanigans!

And TABI has a few places still available - so if you can get to sunny Brum on the last Saturday in July, I'd absolutely LOVE to see you there! Or even if you can come down the night before, there's a package available that includes overnight accommodation, a group dinner, the quiz AND attendance at the Conference.

Monday, 25 May 2015

The Visconti Sforza Tarot

Academia Carrara, Bergamo
Milan was just as shimmeringly hot and magnificent as it was when we arrived a fortnight earlier.  My God, how had two weeks passed so quickly?! We rendez-voused (is that even a word?!) together outside the jaw-droppingly OUTSTANDING Cathedral (these Italians, they never knowingly-under statue anything).

It was time for our close encounter with the Visconti Sforza!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Sola Busca (or Giordano in the Giardino)

Earwigging on academic chit chat
Giordano Berti and Caitlin Matthews
©someone on the tour

Another reason that I was desperate to take part in the Tarot Tour of Italy was the thought of perhaps linking up with Giordano Berti.  This gregarious author, historian and deck creator has been a charming facebook friend for AGES and we have bonded over our mutual love of toasted hazelnuts from Cavanzana :)

One of his many talents is as custodian* of the most marvellous Wolfgang Mayer 78-card Sola Busca Tarot.  If you have been keeping up with my posts on the Tarot Tour of Italy (*looks wounded* You haven't?!) you will know that on Day One I basically died and went to heaven after seeing the Sola Busca Tarot in the FLESH.

I already own a Lo Scarabeo copy, which is fine .... but I really, REALLY wanted a full copy with BIG cards and CLARITY.  Truthfully, I wanted to steal the original from the Brera!  The Mayer deck is the very next best thing, I promise you...

Queen of Cups - Polisena
depicted her slightly larger than card life-size

So, before I departed for Italy, I purchased a copy of the Mayer Sola Busca from Giordano (copies still available folks!) and arranged to pick it up from him in person in Italy!

Would this be tricky to organise?!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Queen of Swords | Alexander Daniloff

I have purchased a companion for the beautiful Queen of Hearts that was gifted to me by Alexander Daniloff: the Queen of Swords.

Isn't she pretty and sweet-natured? A far cry from the unhappy profile and bolt-upright sword that we associate with the Rider Waite Smith Queen of Swords, below.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Pholarchos Tarot | Carmen Sorrenti |

Queen of Swords
You can never have too many owls!
Amongst the presentations at the Tarot Museum's garden parties was a display of four Tarot Queen paintings by Carmen Sorrenti.  

There was so much going on and loads of people interested in talking with Carmen, I waited until I got home and then dropped her an e-mail to see whether she was up for being interrogated interviewed for m'blog.

Fortunately for you, dear reader - she is!

Me:  Fantastic images you've got going here, Carmen - you need to tell me aaaaallll about your self and your deck! 

First of all - how did you get involved in creating Tarot art - Did your background in acting attract you to the Tarot? 

Friday, 8 May 2015

The Queen of Hearts | When Ali met Alexander

Another sweltering hot Italian day. Another day where I whine pathetically about having a dodgy inner thermostat and bringing all the wrong clothes on holiday.  Honestly, Scottish people should really never go abroad.....

Our Merry Band of 31 souls hopped onto our coach, drove out of the baking piazzas of the gorgeous city of Bologna and up into the blue and hazy hills of Riola to visit the Tarot Museum.

The 400 year-old property that was once a shop has been magicked into a Tarot Museum by the hard work and arty touches of Ernesto Fazioli and Morena Poltronieri - two of our guides on our 14-day Tarot Tour.

The view from the Museum garden is breathtaking. My God, if I had those mountains to look at every morning, you would never find me on facebook again!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Princess Charlotte | Court Card

Princess Charlotte | King of Pentacles
Also, looks like her brother, George!
I was so caught up in Naked Gardening Day on 2 May that I almost completely over-looked a new arrival in the Windsor stable.

Yes! A Spare has been born to keep young George (the heir) on his toes.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Full Moon | May | Scorpio | The King of Cups

Today the full moon lights up the astrological sign of Scorpio.  This means that the Court Card energy we are looking at belongs to the King of Cups.

This chap is regarded as the most diplomatic of the Kings.  In touch with his emotional centre, but not governed by it, the King of Cups understands other people's points of view but (if he's at the top of his game!) is not caught up in the drama of it all.

He is compassionate and empathetic and so his challenge is to hold those feelings and still be able to take action.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Face to Face | The Sola Busca Tarot

Our first full day in Italy was kicking off in grand style!  Half of our merry band would spend the morning at Il Meneghello, Milan's marvellous Tarot shop, and half would visit the Sola Busca Tarot at the Brera.  Then a bite of lunch and the groups swapped over.

To say that I was excited doesn't even touch the ankle-socks of how I was feeling.  It was like a first date - what should I wear? Not such a barkingly mad question because we were going into a temperature-controlled room to meet the cards.

I opted to take my fleece.  Good decision.

We got to the Brera early and stood in the tiny back courtyard as groups of Italian students and staff milled backwards and forwards like casually fabulous film stars.

Eventually we were given the go-ahead to enter.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

This Game of Thrones ...erm...CHAIRS!

With thanks to Claudia who found this and shared it with me on facebook.  Since I'm off in Italy, I thought I'd leave it here with you while I'm gone.

Game of Thrones: Sesame Street Stylee

"The Game of Chairs is played with a DECK OF CARDS'  

Yes.  It IS!


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Holiday to Italy! The Tarot Pages

I cannot believe that my long-anticipated holiday to Italy with Arnell Ando's Tarot Tour will begin this weekend!

It has been booked for about 8 months and suddenly IT IS HERE!

On Saturday I will fly from Glasgow to Heathrow and spend the night at the Heathrow Thistle Hotel.  Not that I'll be able to sleep much - too excited for that!

Then on Sunday morning, I and Caitlín Matthews rendez-vous in Departures and fly out to Milan together!

I hope she's able to cope with my nervous excitement - I've not been abroad since 1997!!  Unless you could the Isle of Man a couple of years ago.  And I don't!

Once safely landed in Milan, we take the train to Milan central and hop over to our hotel (which is near to where the train station).

We check in and hopefully meet up with some of the others.  Perhaps factor in a bit of exploring ... maybe an ice-cream.  Well, it's ITALY, isn't it? And then we ALL get together for a pizza dinner at a nearby restaurant.

And then what will we do?

Gosh where to begin?! 14 days of Tarot-orientated history, surrounded by like-minded people, visiting the Sola Busca Tarot in the Brera... and tons more!

I illustrate this post with the Rider card from the beautiful Celtic Lenormand by Chloe McCracken and Will Worthington to capture my excitement about the journey and the whole holiday shebang!

In my heart I will be carrying the Tarot's Pages - eager to travel, eager to learn, eager to make new friendships and eager for new experiences!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Poldark | King of Hearts?

Ross and Demelza
Well, he's exceptionally easy on the eye, isn't he?  In case you have been living under a rock (or in America *waves to the cousins over the pond*) let me bring you up to speed:

The 1970s BBC TV drama series, Poldark, has been remade with the smouldering Aiden Turner as the eponymous hero.  Captain Poldark returns from the American Civil War after an absence of 3 years with an amazing scar and Elizabeth, his beloved, on his mind.

Here he is in uniform.  You are welcome.

He is no sooner plonked in a chair at his uncle's house (the man hasn't even stopped to have a wash or shave - which makes him even more touselled and utterly divine) when he discovers that Elizabeth is now set to marry drippy cousin Francis. Well, he had been gone for a LONG time and the poor girl thought he was dead.

In Poldark, there is much in the way of galloping over the Cornish clifftops - dark hair streaming behind him, his (frankly) GODLIKE visage darker and stormier than a night at sea.  Chuck Heathcliff and Mr Rochester into a blender and flick the switch: you would pour out Captain Ross Poldark...

Here he is again.  Because: I don't need a reason.
If the characters are not galloping across storm-tossed clifftops, then they are standing looking out to sea (waiting for the herring).

He rescues a boy from a beating in Truro and discovers that when out of the baggy trews and unbecoming hat she is actually a 18th century version of Lily Cole - fiery of hair, blue of eyes and winsome of smile. Only with a flatter chest.

Poldark sees the suffering of the ordinary man in the field.  Or mine.  And resolves to make things better.  He re-opens Wheel Leisure (The Wheel of Fortune if there ever was one!) and gets his people back to work, but looking for copper, not tin.

And on Sunday, Demelza pulled on a lovely frock that just happened to make her hair even more fiery and her eyes even more like sea-glass and poor old Ross could not resist.

A quick roll on the bolsters and lo! They are married.

So, which court card is Ross Poldark?

Well, he's several of them, actually - just as you would expect of a multi-layered and realistic (albeit stunningly, wolfishly handsome) character.

'Parently he wasn't happy when the BBC released this image of him topless.
I'm not complaining ....
In his treatment of his tenants and the poor, he is generous and sympathetic - handing out jobs and houses.  In caring about people and SHOWING he cares about people, he is the King of Cups.

Grateful tenants getting married.
Ends up in pokey for 2 years for not listening to Cap'n Poldark's anti-poaching advice.

His heart still beats faster for the Elizabeth and her billowing pillow lips, but he also beds the innocent Demelza (oh don't worry, she's as keen as mustard to do it).  And then marries her.

He has loved Elizabeth for years - and I'd associate that steadiness with the suit of Pentacles.  But he is fairly quickly smitten with Demelza and marries her in the space of about 3 minutes.  That's rash and impulsive action and that's Knightly.  So I'm going to go with the Knight of Wands for this one (edit:  I had originally written Pentacles in error! Put it down to my Poldarkian excitement! Thanks to Viv for the heads up!)

He reopens the Wheal Leisure mine - he uses his Swords logic and communication skills to persuade men to invest in his new venture - mining copper instead of tin.  King of Swords, I think for that one.  Or, because it is a new and untested venture, is the Page of Wands more appropriate?

And when the mine is open, he can be found every day, deep in the mine, working alongside his men, leading by example .....working in his white shirt, delightfully sweaty and hands-on with honest toil.   For me that's Pentacle energy!

He's a marvellous mixture of traits - as REAL people are.

Demelza to follow.... :-D

So, even if you haven't seen this series, but know the Robin Ellis series, chip in with your observations of the lovely Captain!

All men should immediately return to wearing long hair and tricorns....
Frock coats also welcome :)

Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Tarot Masters | Editor: Kim Arnold

I was very fortunate to be invited as a speaker at Kim Arnold's UK Tarot Conference in London a couple of years back.

I spoke about how to interpret Court Cards - which won't surprise you, I'm sure!

Kim invited all those Tarot speakers from her previous Conferences, such as Rachel Pollack, Mary K Greer, Caitlin Matthews, Ciro Marchetti, Carrie Paris, Alfred Douglas ... and *cough* me to write an essay on a Tarot Major Arcana card and then compiled them into a book which has now been published by Hay House.

Tarot Masters wrote this.
What I'm doing in amongst them, no-one knows....
It's not a 'reference' book, but gives you some nice insights into lots of Tarot authors, how they got started on their journey and their opinions on their chosen Tarot Major.

You can purchase the book direct from Amazon by clicking on

The Tarot Masters: Insights From the World's Leading Tarot Experts

In the interests of transparency, please note that if you purchase using this link, I receive a small shekel from Amazon.

*holds cap out plaintively* got a shekel for an ex-leper? *spurious Monty Python reference*

Monday, 30 March 2015

Tarot Knights | Musketeers

For the past 6 weeks, Friday nights have been dominated by my obsessive need to watch the swash-buckling gorgeousness that is The Musketeers on BBC1.  Who better to illustrate the fast-moving antics of the Tarot's Knights?

Athos, Porthos, D'Artagnan, Aramis - the Tarot's court card knights

The incredibly handsome cast of Muskys have been a delight to watch as they struggled with the evil Rochefort as he plays the spineless French King against his Queen like the consummate player (and Spanish spy!) that he is.

The second series drew to a close on Friday (what do you mean, you haven't watched Series 1?!) and I await news of a third series with bated breath.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

King of Pentacles | Google's mobile friendly algorithm change

King of Pentacles | Rider Waite Smith Tarot | US Games Systems
I've heard from a couple of colleagues now that Google is changing their algorithm to weight in favour of mobile friendly sites.  That clearly also affects Tarot sites, so, with both my web-design hat and my Tarot hats perched precariously on my head, I am impersonating the King of Pentacles.

Here are a couple of things you might want to take a look at before you pay your webmaster any more money:

First, run all urls for your website through google's own mobile-friendly checker:

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