Ostara tarot. Created by four fabulous illustrators who reside in Vancouver, this is the second Canadian deck I have been really impressed with. The four illustrators, Molly Applejohn, Eden Cooke, Krista Gibbard and Julia Iredale have produced a beautiful, gentle, thoughtful deck that reaches into the heart of the reader and entices her to explore the knowledge hidden within it. It's mystical and mythical, it's shamanic and varied. The animal custodians are equal to their human counterparts, all the worlds unite in this pastel coloured universe.   For a combined project this deck pulls together very nicely. We can sometimes get great art but not a great deck, this however manages to hold together the storytelling within the deck. Maybe because the illustrators have an interest and knowledge of the occult that allowed them to create a working deck.

The accompanying book is beautiful too. Very concise with coloured illustrations of all the cards and a fabulous tribute to the i…


There are quite a few tarot decks set in Venice but they are not easy to get your hands on. This beautiful High Priestess by Eugene Vinitski and many other fabulously Venice iconic images can be found on Behance. Eugene is a Swiss illustrator and his work is magnificent. Is there an actual deck that I can get my hands on? I don't think so I suspect it is a deck in progress. I really love the deck so far.
To confuse the matter even more there is another deck that comes up with a very similar title. This one is produced by Roxana Paul and can be purchased from her website. This is a new trend for tarot illustrators to have their own web pages and sell the deck directly to the buyer. This is a good idea but these decks are expensive. Not that I don't agree with the price but it makes one think a lot before buying.                                            
This deck by Roxana Paul is also a beautiful deck of  masked characters portraying the Tarot fraterni…


A reading of aces is an uplifting experience.   The client is up for new beginnings, new starts and a new journey through the Minor Arcana.  Often this is received with a sigh of relief.
Many readings contain both the ten and the aces which is telling the reader we are ready to let go of old patterns and begin afresh. I always look to see when I'm reading, if I'm dealing with the closure of the tens thus trying to get to the ace or if I'm at the beginning of new ventures.
The ace is a seed card; we don't know much but we do know the thought or emotion or action or vision has shifted depending on which suit we are dealing with. Every suit in the Minor Arcana begins with an ace; it is marking the start of

new emotions if in Cups,new thoughts if in Swords,new vision or creative exploits if in Wands                                              new projects or business if in pentacles.

We start our exploration of aces by looking at the Ace of Wands from the Dragon Tarot by …


TEMPLE WORK IS SACRED AND VARIED. The concept of working in a temple is a technique that encourages us to seek a broad perspective on matters. It usually begins with setting a middle feature altar and then forming the four directions around the altar to hold the space and offer protecting pillars or to give four differing perspectives to journey to and from.  This spread when used in Tarot is a way of delving more deeply into issues and fleshing out what's lying beneath questions.  Using any deck the querant  usually sets the altar first. So for example if we were looking at the issue of seeking direction the first card is the Altar Card depicting where the situation of direction is to begin with. The Modern Spellcaster's is a great deck to use in this type of work as the fabulous text by Melanie Murphy has a spell to go with each card and as in this type of reading we are trying to flesh out and alter a situation then it is useful to read her ideas. To get the eight of penta…


QUEENS OF THE COURT. The Court of the Japaridze is a stunning mixture of characters. We all love the Queens and traditionally they have often been the only feminine characters in the court. These ladies are all adorned in the most amazing costumes. The Queen of Winds is a highly intelligent woman and in this deck appears to be an older and more mature figure than her King. There is a suggestion she may be divorced, she faces the King and would certainly hold her own. Often the Queen of Swords is cold and harsh which is interesting but perhaps not surprising that the Tarot portrays the woman of intellect to be cold and aloof. The beautiful Queen of Fire pictured right,  is a gentle but independent woman of warmth.  She too faces her King but he is an authority and business tycoon who I doubt is a very emotive companion. He is a great provider whilst she walks gently and quietly with her lamp of light for all to warm by.
Queen of Tides pictured above is the illustration on the booklet …


What a wonder of a tarot deck is Nino Japaridze's Tarot. Nino is a surrealist artist from Paris and her interpretation of the Tarot is exquisite. Although the artwork is unique, the structure of the deck runs to tradition, so it is not hard to read once you align with the intensity of the illustration.
The Majors are traditional as are the Court and the Minor Arcana. What stands the deck on its own is the brilliant illustration. It comes in a box set with a very clear and concise text by Steve Lucas and the deck is produced by U.S.Games.

The suits of the Minor Arcana have been changed to winds, fire, tides and gardens. Although they differ from the tradition it is still very easy to read these as an elemental journey. Some of the minor cards represent certain traits; for example 5 Cups = grief,  3 Cup is card of happiness, 9 Cups is the wish card and so on. As we can see the Japaridze  portrays these concepts very clearly. (See card on right) this is a beautiful image for grief of …


Working with a deck like the Shaman Tarot by Lo Scarabeo with artwork by Sabrina Riganello and Alessia Pastorello , we begin a journey into shamanic concepts. Even though the deck is based on a traditional tarot structure  of major arcana, minor arcana and court cards the story is a shamanic journey story so our characters are new to us. To begin to work with a deck like this I propose a strong meditation practice. Rather than set this deck out in traditional reading spreads I would work in an individual process approach and get to know my new characters.

The path of the shaman is the path of spiritual healing of oneself and the world. It is hard to get past the wonder of the major arcana when you open this deck. Even though the minor arcana made up of drums, bows, bones and stones is fascinating, I love the power in the majors and the wonderful vivid colours.

We begin as always with the fool but in this deck he is a sacred fool and his dog is a kelpie size familiar. As our fool tranc…