Tarot Blog Hop: Commune, Communicate, Commemorate

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Welcome to our stop on the Samhain blog hop. The subject our wrangler, Arwen, gave us is to “Commune, Communicate, Commemorate with those who have gone on before us.”

We can’t think of a better person to commemorate than artist Pamela “Pixie” Colman Smith. Her art work has become the iconic representation of the Tarot for the world. When you think of the Fool, the first image that comes to most of us is her Fool.

Side by side comparison of two versions of the Rider Waite Smith Fool

Commemorative (l), Regular (r)

Pixie’s story is a sad one as she died in relative obscurity. But her life was filled with amazing people. She was mentored by Alfred Stieglitz (he was the husband of Georgia O’Keefe). He featured her work in his New York gallery.

From Stieglitz's collection

From Stieglitz’s collection

She knew actresses, actors, poets, artists and more. Her life was filled with eccentric, interesting people. Pixie did many sketches. Here’s a sketch of poet William Butler Yates that she did in 1901.

William Butler Yeats by Pamela Colman Smith, 1901

William Butler Yeats by Pamela Colman Smith, 1901

In 1898, she had an illustration published for Yeats’ poem “The Land of Hearts Desire” which was part of _The Illustrated Verses of William Butler Yeats_.

The Land of Hearts Desire by Pamela Colman Smith

The Land of Hearts Desire by Pamela Colman Smith

And her legacy continues with the new Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand. Lovingly created with artwork from the Smith-Waite® Tarot deck and “The Golden Vanity”, this charming 36-card petit Lenormand deck pays tribute to Pamela Colman Smith. It includes a 132-page booklet.

Pixie Astounding Lenormand 29 Lady Pixie Astounding Lenormand 1 Rider
Pixie Astounding Lenormand 28 Gentleman Pixie Astounding Lenormand Tin

How has Pixie’s work influenced your life? Leave a comment answering that question to be entered into a drawing to win your own Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand tin. Get extra entries when you share this post on any Social Media using the tag #astoundingpixie . Just leave a comment letting us know where you shared it.

Happy Halloween! May you get more treats than tricks. Now hop off to the next in our Tarot Blog Hop. Don’t forget to share this post to win the deck.

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TarotBlogHop:Imbolc 2015

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Crystal Visions Unknown

Crystal Visions

Welcome to our offering for this Tarot Blog Hop. Our blog hop wrangler, Karen, asked us about Oracular Anomalies. She was curious to know about “basically anything that’s made you pause and think -What are you doing here?”

Because we work with so many artists who all have different interpretations of their decks, it’s hard for us to question what a card might be doing in a deck. That comes from the heart and mind of the creator or team of creators.

Japaridze Tarot Six of Fire

Japaridze Tarot

Chrysalis Tarot Merlin

Chrysalis Tarot

Now we do field questions from our clientele. One recent deck has raised more than one set of eyebrows with its portrayal of the Fool as Merlin. That’s the Chrysalis Tarot. Of course the Japaridze Tarot with its swirling colors is gorgeous, but we still get asked about the suits since they are not named in a traditional way.

Goddess Tarot Fool

Goddess Tarot

Ghosts and Spirits Tarot Hierophant

Ghosts and Spirits Tarot

Or decks that feature lovely goddesses but no gods like the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr. And decks that choose a darker theme like the evocative Ghosts and Spirits Tarot of Lisa Hunt.

GildedReverie_3Ship

Gilded Reverie Lenormand

UnderTheRoses_28GentlemanB

Under The Roses Lenormand

Even the Lenormand decks don’t escape someone asking “what is that card doing there” because of the set meanings. A ship in the sky? No way! What about a deck that offers more than one Lady?

ArtStarstream_26MoveWithFlow

Art Through The Starstream

VintageWisdomOracle_Expression

Vintage Wisdom Oracle

Let’s not even get started on the oracles we sell. From Art Through The Starstream to the Vintage Wisdom Oracle we hear from our purchasers.

We remain committed to publishing the decks that speak to us in such a way that we think they will also speak to you. If you have a deck idea, you can submit that here. Who knows. Maybe your oracular anomaly will join the rest of our amazing products.

Leave a comment about your favorite card on this post to win your choice of one of these decks. Congratulations to Gwenne M. who is our winner!

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May We Introduce Mlle. Lenormand

003bWith the Lenormand decks growing in popularity, we wanted to share a bit about the woman this system is named for and her original deck.

Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand was born in 1772. Her date of birth, May 27, puts her in the Gemini house. She was orphaned very early in her life so she was sent to a convent to receive her education. It is said that she left there at the age of 14 to head to Paris.

Blue Owl Lenornmand

Blue Owl Lenormand

Per her own writing, Mademoiselle Lenormand read

her cards for many important people including Tsar Alexander 1. The Empress Josephine was arguably her most famous client but she also read for Robespierre and other French revolutionaries such as Marat. It is an interesting thing to think about, isn’t it?

If she read for those revolutionaries as well as French nobility, could she have been setting both sides against one another? Purely speculation on this writer’s part, of course, but it is fun to consider.

Under the Roses Lenormand

Under the Roses Lenormand

There are many references to her readings and predictions. It is said that she told Bonaparte that he would meet a widow who would make him happy. She also advised that he would, “achieve a very high rank by his influence; but that ye be ungrateful to it” thus losing any happiness he might find. I think we all know how that one turned out.

At the age of 42, she began writing. Some of her literary works ended her up in prison a few times. Madame Lenormand never spent too much time in jail though. It seems our card reader was a bit of a rabble rouser. Her death came at less than a month after her seventy first birthday in 1843.

Gilded Reverie Lenormand

Gilded Reverie Lenormand

A misconception is that Mlle. Lenormand created the Lenormand deck. That is not correct. She popularized the reading of cards. Card reading was fairly common but generally done by the travelers or Romany people. The term gypsy is offensive to many in that populace so we will not use that here. Mlle. Lenormand did say that her first pack of cards was given to her at the age of fourteen by that group. It would be intriguing to go back to that time to discover if getting that deck of cards was what precipitated her leaving the convent to head into the grand city of Paris.

A deck created by Madame Breteau was named “Le Grand Jeu de Mlle. Lenormand” in honor of Lenormand after her death. This Madame Breteau claimed to be a student of Mlle. Lenormand. The deck was the fifty-four card version. Another deck was also published around the same time called the “Petit Lenormand.”

Mystical Lenormand

Mystical Lenormand

That 36 card deck is the one that is most popular now. German in origin, it is said to be based on the “Game of Hope” card game, which is based on a board game where you raced around the board based on cards drawn. Similar games would be Candyland in today’s world. I can only hope that one hundred years from now we do not have a Candyland oracle.

So from 18th and 19th century Paris, a young orphan girl still shines. Do you think she knew her legacy would stretch so far into the future? I like to think that she did.

We are celebrating our Lenormand line today. Which of the four decks featured here appeal to you the most? One commenter will win their choice of these four Lenormand decks.

Comments must be entered by Friday June 20 no later than 12 midnight PST.

Winner announced on this blog Tuesday June 24, 2014.

 

Cards shown:

Blue Owl Lenormand (rhymes written by Stuart Kaplan)
Gilded Reverie Lenormand
Under The Roses Lenormand
Mystical Lenormand