Friday, January 19, 2007


Temperance from The Millennium Tarot
Images: Dorothy Simpson Krause
Text: Marina Dubois
With assistance from: Mary Taylor, Mary Ann Kearns, Jan Doucette, Linda Serafin, Lisa Padovana
Published 1994 Viewpoint/Printed in India/$25.00

When I first saw cards from this deck online I kept thinking "wow" and "gorgeous." Now that I've seen and held all of the cards I'm still saying to myself "wow, gorgeous." I'll also add that it's beautifully produced (and very decently priced for all that), and obviously lovingly and carefully thought out. I only wish there were at least a little information about the sources for the classical art -- paintings, statues, maps -- used in these designs. Though I hasten to add that this lack in no way effects its use in readings, and may only be of any interest to avid Tarot collecting folk, such as myself. :-)

The Major Arcana are stunning in their sumptuousness and elegance, evoking worlds of antiquity and myth. (Just look again at Temperance above.) The gold-colored borders and backs create this lavish appearance, supporting and amplifying the richness of Spirit the images point toward. The deck even comes in a gold-colored light net bag.

Temperance above is fairly traditional in design, while others of the Majors are not and on those the innovations really "work." Here's the female Magician, one of my favorite cards in the deck, who's usually depicted as male. Though as I wrote this review and then scanned in this card, I was less sure of the gender of this card, and that's also just fine with me:

The Court cards are fairly traditional and appear to have ancient statues on them. (I say "appear to" as photos of performance art were also used in creating this deck's images.) The first below is The Knight of Wands, and following that is The Page of Swords:

The Minor Arcana are traditional and a little less satisfying, but I may feel that due to my tendency to prefer fully illustrated pips. However, they are artistically pleasing and for those who like plain pips such as these, they should be more than fine. All the Minors have the suit symbols on a background of old maps or charts, which does seem appropriate for the cards in the deck often seen to address worldly matters. Here's The Six of Cups:

On opening a new deck I always do at least one reading with it before I even crack any accompanying literature. I shuffled this deck* asking "What's with my recent incredible crankiness (other than just getting old :-D)?" I got The Five of Pentacles:

The card precipitated these thoughts: Although I am an Urban Hermit and, therefore, used to and happy with being alone a great deal, I'm not at all used to feeling distant from my spiritual core. I've been letting the material realms and changes in my life "run the show," letting them take too much of my time, energy and will. These material concerns have their place in the scheme of things, but are not the scheme itself. They are only one of the pentacles in the outer array of five on this card, all of which are circling the central core of Spirit.

Not only is this deck luxurious, but also the accompanying booklet (no frustrating Little White Book here :-D). The card-sized -- 2-3/4" x 4-3/4" -- booklet has a slick full-color heavy paper cover, with Temperance on the front. It's 94 pages include a very brief Tarot history; meanings clearly written for this deck -- i.e., no "cookie cutter" LWB meanings, along with small pictures of the cards; basics of doing a reading; and instructions for the Celtic Cross layout and a clarifying reading.

From the little I could learn at the site (link under the Temperance card above) this deck must have a very interesting history, having begun as an art exhibit, then becoming on online interactive reading site. Maybe some day the creator(s) will give us a full version of this history, along with more about the classical sources of much of the art used in the designs. In the meantime, we have this lush deck with which to read for others and ourselves. I highly recommend The Millennium Tarot for readers, collectors, and beginners alike, and believe it would make a particularly lovely gift deck.

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*The corners of these cards are rather more pointed than I've run across, and I had to stay aware of this on handling them. Not a big problem at all, just not one I've had before.

‘til next time, keep dreaming,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)****My other blog: ROSWILA’S DREAM & POETRY REALM.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007


[This is an edited excerpt from a recent post to my dreams and poetry blog. The poem is in a haiku-based form called scifaiku (science fiction/fantasy/horror themes) that I've been writing in for years, too. The graphic is The Queen of Swords in The Gothic Tarot of Vampires, published by LoScarabeo. I will review this deck here in the future.]

she styles her long hair by touch
petulant vampire

I'll address The Queen of Swords in my usual way in a future post. For this post I'll simply say that I just finished a book in which a vain and ancient female vampire has never gotten used to not being able to see herself in a mirror. She is an exceptionally evil and powerful vampire, and this lack of self-reflection is true in both senses of that term. This lack of self-reflection, and the pain and trouble it precipitates for this Queen and those in her life, can be a reading for this card at its most negative.

I'd also like to thank One Deep Breath for the writing prompt that resulted in the above scifaiku.

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Resource: Hippopotamouse/Victorian Surrealism, a few really unusual Tarot card designs. For all their strangeness, though, they really capture the essence of each card, better than many prettier, less odd renditions, IMHO.

Please see the top of the sidebar for my background with the Tarot and a recommendation to beginners.

‘til next time, keep reflecting, and enjoying The Tarot,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for some articles about Tarot.****

Monday, January 15, 2007


TODAY'S CARD IS The High Priestess (II). The below version is from The Millennium Tarot by Dorothy Simpson Krause, and is used by permission (I will be reviewing this sumptuous deck at length in the future):

For comparison, here's The High Priestess in the Rider/ Waite/ Smith deck:

THE HIGH PRIESTESS: I've hesitated to address II here yet as She is so strongly associated for me with a dear friend I took care of as she died and I wanted to present this card in a more objective fashion than that might allow. But when it comes down to it, our relationship to The Tarot is nothing if not highly personal. So, here I go... Brenda was the one who introduced me to The Tarot. She loved The High Priestess especially as her first and middle name initials were B and J, the letters on the pillars on either side of the High Priestess in the RWS version.(see Footnote) Brenda's birthday was January 8th (along with Elvis :-D), so now seems the appropriate time for me to explore this card. As synchronicity would have it, doing other sorts of Tarot research I came across the Millennium Tarot's High Priestess and was bowled over. The woman on the card above, reaching toward a sketchy outline of a traditional High Priestess or Goddess in the background, could be Brenda in the bloom of her healthy youth. So I feel my dear friend has yet again checked in to say "hello."

DIFFERENT OR LESS COMMON, EVEN QUIRKY MEANINGS FOR THE HIGH PRIESTESS (i.e. the below is not intended to be an exhaustive exploration of this card; a quick google will produce a wider variety of takes should you not be familiar with this card):

Rarely, but can represent addiction or an addictive personality (devotion is a quality of this card, and addiction can be seen as it's "lower octave").

A disconnetedness from one's deepest intuition and wisdom. Maybe due to the necessity of focussing on outward and material challenges and needs.

Someone so introverted and concerned/fascinated with their own inner processes as to be unavailable for intimate relationships.

If she/he is seemingly hard to relate to, it may be for a good reason on their part. Consider if you are ready for the challenge or even want to take it on.

Can indicate a very wise but distant teacher.

Usually, if referencing a close relationship, it would be a platonic one. However, it can be someone whose passions are not obvious because they run so deep. Someone who has to first actually be perceived, or sought out; or who requires that a lot of trust be developed before deeper and/or physical intimacy can occur. (Just contrast Her to The Empress, who is open and available, and readily embracing.)

"Let go, and let God/dess."

Above all, for me, The High Priestess is about intuition and deep inner wisdom. She shows up in a reading and I am on even higher alert than ever. She asks us to listen, deeply. She is not an "easy" card to read, does not readily let Herself be unveiled, but rewards the efforts Her appearance precipitates in us.

Lastly, the RWS version of II is a glyph of the entire Tree of Life in the Qabala. For instance, the pomegranates on the curtain behind Her are placed as the Sephirah (globes/lights) are on The Tree of Life. (For a Tree of Life link, see "Resource" below.) This, for me, goes along with what I've read that all the waters seen anywhere in The Tarot, flow from Her robe. If it can be said that there's a central figure in The Tarot, She's it to my mind and in my heart.

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Footnote: The letters stand for Boaz -- strength, and Jachin -- establishment. I've also seen them referred to as the active and passive principles; and as the pillars of severity and mildness in the Tree Life in the Qabala (see Resource link below).

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Resource: Tarot Moon: The Tree of Life in the Qabala.

Please see the top of the sidebar for my background with the Tarot and a recommendation to beginners.

‘til next time, keep listening for the depths in yourself and others, and enjoying The Tarot,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for some articles about Tarot.****