I was a member of the Tarot of Hope Facebook group, a group dedicated to making a charity Tarot deck to raise money for the blind (Fred Hollows Foundation). I had been a member for months, and rarely posted--since we were assigned cards to work on. Yesterday, I showed my version of the 5 of Swords, many said they liked it, and I asked the founder--Mark Watson--how many words he'd like the companion text to be. He, too, seemed to like my card--and said to keep the card title off so they can do it in PhotoShop. Well, a member of the group--who isn't even a Facebook friend--sent me a PM asking why I was removed. HUH? I thought. Lo and behold I was. No explanation.
So I contacted the founder directly. This is our Facebook PM exchange, word for word:
Me: Hi Mark! A fellow member just told me I was removed from the Tarot of Hope project. May I ask why in the world I was removed?
Mark: Hi Janet, sorry but I'm going to have to remove you from the tarot of Hope project as a lot of other people who have submitted cards say that they won't work with you. I personally think that this is a load of bullshit, but I need to make sure that the deck gets made, and I can't lose half the cards as a result of politics.I have no idea why your relationship with Marcus Katz should be such an issue, but it would appear that this is the case. Once again, politics trumps charity. Several other members said that they would pull their cards if you were allowed to contribute.
Mark: I have no idea why, but I believe it has something to do with your relationship with Marcus Katz, which I know nothing about to be honest. This isnt personal, and I am deeply annoyed that there is some form of political powerplay going on, but right now I am left with the option of either telling them to not be childish and losing half the cards that have already been completed, or removing you. There are three members who have all vocally stated that they would leave, totaling seven cards in all. But all of them were being so vocal that others were being dragged in too. And it seems to have spread on to the Tarot Professionals page, but I cant confirm that as I'm blocked from that page.
Me: And you're kowtowing to a group that has even blocked YOU?
Mark: Nope, Im not kowtowing at all - I dont support your removal, but know that if we dont do something then the Tarot of Hope project will crash and burn due to infighting.
Me: Well, I just had two members PM me telling me they're pulling THEIR four cards. So, you'll have to live with your cowardice.
Mark: I am impressed that youve gotten under Marcus' skin this much. Cowardice? Seriously? Fuck you then.
So, Marcus Katz strikes again. Tarot Professionals is a cancer and it's pathetic that so many published authors and Tarot readers not only suck up to this megolomaniac--but also do his bidding (like boycotting, slandering and harassing other Tarot authors and deck creators).
Or, maybe it's only the truth-telling ones...
Oh, by the way, below was going to be my contributions for the 5 of Swords, appropriately titled GLOATING.
More information, if you want to be enlightened:
Tarot Monopoly, Tarot Tyrant and Restoring Spiritual Dignity
Marcus Katz "The Tarosophist" Threatens Again
Aeclectic Tarot Forums, Censorship, World Tarot Day...Oh My!
Unsavory Tarot Professionals Unmasked
If you'd like to contact Llewellyn Publishing and Lo Scarabeo--who both enthusiastically support and publish this megalomaniac--below is their contact information.
Ron's been back at work on our Grande Edition of the Coffee Tarot. I thought I'd share some pics of him in his studio with you. Right now, he's working on the Court Cards for the deck. (If you want to keep track of his progress, visit and "like" our Facebook page here and sign up for the Newsletter here. Our website is Tarot.Coffee).
Scrolls and small white cups will be the symbols for the Pages, metal travel mugs and Horses for the Knights, black mugs and crowns for the Kings and dainty ivory cups and crowns for the Queens.
The elements are represented as Earth=Bronze, Fire=Copper, Air=Silver and Water =Chrome.
Elemental backgrounds for the Courts will be ivy (Earth), flames (Fire), clouds (Air) and waves (Water). Ron's working on the ivy background now. He found some wild ivy growing at the edge of our fence, and is using that as a model.
Here's one of the metal travel mugs (Knight) superimposed on the ivy background. The color of the symbol (in this case, horse) depends on the element (Earth=Bronze, Fire=Copper, Air=Silver and Water =Chrome).
He's using watercolor pencils with this project, and is now coloring the ivy.
Hey all you Tarot fanatics! I'm liquidating a lot of my Tarot decks--including OOP ones like the Gaian Tarot, Tarot of Dreams (2nd Edition), Jean Noblet (2007), Tarot of Cloisters, Alchemical Renewed (1st Edition), Ma'at Tarot with Hardcover Book (1st Edition Large Size 480/1000), Regretsy Tarot and Art Nouveau Tarot. If you're interested in any below, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your best offer. I'd love for these decks to find a good home!
Tarot of Cloisters - OOP (USGS) - Box a bit tattered, but cards like mint.
Tarot of Dreams 2nd Edition (Self-Published) OOP - Magnetic box has minor wear on corners. Cards are like new.
Alchemical Tarot Renewed (1st Edition OOP) - Cards like mint. Tiny tear on edge of LWB. Minor wear on box edges.
Ma'at Tarot (OOP) 1st Edition Signed/Numbered 480/1000 Large Cards with Hardcover Book - Book never read. Cards never used. Very slight wear on box corner.
Gaian Tarot (OOP) - Includes paperback book. No outer box (because Llewellyn boxes fall apart right after opening!). Cards and book like new.
Regretsy Tarot (OOP) - Original Kickstarter deck. Box slightly worn. Cards mint condition.
The countdown is on!
Now, Kayti Welsh, Trish Sullivan, Delphine Griffin and the rest of the 78 Tarot Dream Team are collaborating on a water-themed Tarot. Artists include Larry Elmore, Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and 75+ more talented artists! Watch the video below...then read on for the stretch goal goodies.
And here's a video showing all the unlocked goodies (including a screen-printed custom bag!)--and what will be unlocked if/when they reach the $30,000 mark. Woohooo!
I'm thrilled to get in on the Early Bird Sunken Treasure level--and just upgraded my pledge to get the paperback companion book, too. YAY!
Are you still here? Hurry on over to the 78 Tarot Nautical Deck Kickstarter page at this link to support these fabulous artists--scattered all over the world.
What’s your favorite breakfast food? Pancakes with Nutella, marmalade and a dollop of greek yoghurt, but most of the time it’s muesli.
What makes you laugh? Being silly for the sake of it. Most people are far too serious.
Song that never gets old: Too many to chose from.
Drink of choice: Wine, especially my homemade red currant.
Would you rather be hot or cold? That’s a tricky one, as I prefer temperatures more in the middle region. I will say hot, as long as I don’t have to work.
Mountain, beach, desert, or forest? It has to be forest. I just love trees and and the smell when you have a walk in the forest.
Favorite color? Green, all shades.
Best movie line: Not a big movie watcher, but “No,I’m your father” from Star Wars springs to mind.
Last thing you splurged on? A couple of board games. Have rediscovered my love for playing them with a few friends of mine.
Bonus Q: What is your favorite Tarot card...and why? Temperance. It has been my favourite from the start. First it was just the image, but the more I learned about Temperance the more I realised there are some connections for me. Trying to find a balance in life and helping others to achieve it too.
I use a spread inspired by the Temperance Card in most readings to see which part in someones life needs balancing and how to achieve this.
Johannes grew up in a little village in the Black Forest, Germany and now lives, after some moving around, in Brighton, England. Johannes became interested in Tarot in his early teens and bought his first deck of Tarot cards when he was 15. Since then he has been learning and always discovers something new in the cards.
Tarot is not his only passion. Gardening and growing things have been playing a big role since an early age too. Both keep him busy and his pockets full.
After trying out various other forms of divination, Johannes has created his own Oracle Cards and is currently writing the book to accompany it.
Over on my Witches and Pagans PaganSquare Symbolically Speaking blog (gosh, say that 5 times fast!), I share my Yellow Brick Road to Awakening Spread. Click here to read all about it (plus some insight on Oz symbols).
The spread can also be used with Runes, our Boyer Charming Oracle, oracle cards or other random draw tools. I created it specially for Illogical Associates and their Shadow of Oz Tarot deck (it's in the LWB). Enjoy!
In my book Back in Time Tarot, I introduced my BIT Tarot Method, which helps readers learn the cards by "backward" association. That is, starting with a memory, story, event, conversation, movie, etc.--and THEN looking through Tarot cards to make meaningful, cemented associations. (Learn more about it here, here and here.) I even connected 80s songs with Tarot cards!
Similar exercises can be done with any oracle deck or symbolic system, including the Boyer Charming Oracle.
What's the point, you may wonder?
Well, symbolic associations don't happen in a vacuum. Sure, there's universal keywords--but, ultimately, the power of symbols like in our personal meanings and application...whether doing intuitive readings, creating art or writing poetry. The more symbolic associations you add to your personal cache, the more your intuition and imagination has to draw from.
So, if you were to think of a song or watch a video about a symbol--bee, wolf, camera, airplane, eye, dice, knife, clock, feather, wing, etc.--any memories or associations connected with that song (via lyrics, videography or remembrance) then becomes "glued" to the symbol, making a constellation of meanings for any particular motif.
You can then use your personal cache of associations for ritual work, spread creation, divinatory interpretation, spiritual art, storytelling/poetry--or receiving important intuitive guidance when a particular symbol crosses your path.
In our secret Facebook group, some Charmers and myself brainstormed some songs that matched up with one of the 60+ charms in our Charming Oracle. Here's a few associations we came up with:
WOLF - "Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran
DICE - "Roll the Bones" by Rush
AIRPLANE - "Leaving on a Jet Plane" sung by John Denver and Cass Eliot
GLASSES - "Somebody's Watching Me" - Rockwell
BUTTERFLY - "Butterfly (Come My Lady)" - Crazy Town
COMPUTER - "Window to the World" - Geddy Lee
NO - "Rehab" - Amy Winehouse
FLIP FLOPS + SUN - "Walking on Sunshine" - Katrina and the Waves
CAMERA - "Freeze Frame" - J. Geils Band
WING - "Wind Beneath My Wings" - Bette Midler
PAPER AIRPLANE - "Hot for Teacher" - Van Halen
What’s your favorite breakfast food? Croissant and a Honey Crisp Apple
Book you’d like to give everyone (or wish they would read)? The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans
What makes you laugh? British Humor
Song that never gets old: "Get Together" by The Youngbloods
Drink of choice: Tea
Would you rather be hot or cold? Hot
Mountain, beach, desert, or forest? Forest
Favorite color? Green
Best movie line: "We’re gonna need a bigger boat…" ( JAWS)
Last thing you splurged on? Books and Incense
Bonus Q: Who is your favorite band? Jethro Tull was always my favorite band. And then The Moody Blues
Holly Sierra's illustrations speak of that which is visually enchanting with particular attention to decorative, mystical, historical and multicultural themes. Aside from a penchant for detail, the defining aspect of her work is her ability to combine her brand of realism with folk art and decorative fantasy elements. Were you to wander inside, you'd find Holly's studio full of tributes to her interests ~ The Green Man, A Myriad of Gorgeous Goddesses, Indian Tapestries, Sun Faces, Icons, Ancient Runes, Mosaics, African and Asian masks, A Medicine Wheel, Southwestern Artifacts, Celtic Castings, Incense Ablaze and hundreds of BOOKS! (Books on everything from the ancient world to elaborate herb gardens)
Holly Sierra now makes her home in colorful Sedona, Arizona and finds the area very inspirational to her new work. Regarded by Native Americans as sacred, Sedona continues to be recognized as a place of healing and spiritual renewal. Many come to experience the vortex energy centers, others to explore the art galleries and healing centers. Holly is often found hiking or four wheeling amongst the Red Rocks, if she is not busy attending a gallery opening or supplying a local shop with Chrysalis Tarot Decks, Greeting Cards or Canvas Prints! Holly's daughters, Gabi and Esme, as well as Pearl, a beautiful grey cat, helps keep her company.
Holly received her fine arts education at SUNY Purchase in New York. The next six years found her working and living in Asia; Amongst the countries that influenced her most were: Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China and the Phillipines. As well, she visited and loved much of Europe with special attention to Ireland and England...Holly later returned from Asia to pursue a career as a Children's Book Illustrator in the states. Most recently, US Games has published the exceedingly popular CHRYSALIS TAROT DECK written by Toney Brooks and featuring seventy-eight new paintings by Holly. In the past, her work was published by Harper Collins, Source Books, Scholastic Books, Publications International, Silver Burdett and Ginn, and Micmillan McGraw Hill.
On of our Charmers (my nickname for those who own our Boyer Charming Oracle), Zach, is using the charms for healing focus. He writes:
My father has been dealing with some serious health issues over the past week, so I went through my charms and chose one that I felt represented him well (the light bulb, since he was an electrician before he retired) and several others that I felt represented health and healing (the sun, the sun & moon, and the apple). I stuck them all on a large safety pin and I've been wearing them on a cord around my neck every day since his health problems started. I believe that it has helped me focus, pray, and meditate for him. I also believe that it has helped me send some healing energy his way!
Below are pics of Zach's healing charm selections:
Let's keep Zach and his Dad in his prayers!
You can also string your charms (from random draws or conscious selection) on a ribbon or piece of jewelry cord (to wear as a bracelet or necklace). The charms can be actual readings, or selections to represent manifestation (finances, courage, focus, healing, stamina, creativity, increased opportunities, love, etc.).
Would you like your very own set of charms? Please visit CharmingOracle.com (now in its 3rd run!) to order yours today--and check out the bonus goodies like Chakra Focus Stones, Zodiac Coins and more.
I'm proud to have edited The Psychic Twins' new book Died Too Young--and it's now available on Amazon.com.
Terry and Linda Jamison channel messages from eleven dead celebrities, including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Wood, Nicole Brown Simpson, Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) and more.
Get your copy for Kindle here. It's a fascinating read!
Also a collaboration of 80 artists, this water-themed deck is fully complete--and absolutely gorgeous.
To see some of the vibrant artwork, discover pledge goodies and back the 78 Tarot Nautical project on Kickstarter, click here. (I did...and snagged the last Sunken Treasure - Super Early Bird Special).
Check out the video below!
What’s your favorite breakfast food? Jimmy Dean Sausage and Egg Croissant
Book you’d like to give everyone (or wish they would read)? Entangled Minds by Dean Radin
What makes you laugh? Wit
Song that never gets old: "A Night at the Opera" by Queen
Drink of choice: Red wine
Would you rather be hot or cold? Cold
Mountain, beach, desert, or forest? Mountain
Favorite color? Green
Best movie line: “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”
Last thing you splurged on? Red wine.
Bonus Q: Who is your favorite artist? Holly Sierra.
Toney Brooks is a retired broadcast executive, journalist and author of The Mystic Rose (Arthurian mythology). He writes on the theory of cycles, metaphysics, mythology, consciousness and spirituality. He and artist Holly Sierra created a unique, holistic approach to tarot titled Chrysalis Tarot. Our new deck, which has received wide critical acclaim, is available from Amazon, Holly's Etsy Store and other booksellers.
Was having so much fun doing Boyer Charming Oracle charms for the annual A to Z Challenge. Unfortunately, my back decided to act up--so I must stay away from my computer chair for long periods. Ah, maybe next year. :o)
Below is the DICE symbol from our Boyer Charming Oracle that my teen son, Noah, and I have created. While this shiny divination and creativity tool features 60+ charms, I'm now creating a deck based on the charms (click here to keep track of progress on Facebook).
The keywords I've associated with DICE include Games; Risk; Chance; Gambling; Randomness; Shot in the Dark. The Tarot card I've connected to DICE is the Wheel of Fortune--governed by the fickle "Lady Luck" (aka Fortuna).
My favorite definition of luck is "Preparation meeting opportunity".
Throwing dice, also known as "rolling the bones", is intimately connected to all the keywords I've provided. In cruder terms, it's "shit happens"...but also, it's taking a chance, a risk, for a big payoff.
There are several ways to divine with dice. In fact, Richard Craze created a nifty tool called Decision Dice.
But for the most part--whether signified by fuzzy pink cubes hanging from a rear view mirror, a tattoo or even jewelry--DICE connotes a game of some sort. The game of life? Of fate? Of fortune?
When the DICE symbol crosses your path, ask yourself:
Until next time!