I thought I would profile a few more cards from the deck with a Halloween feel leading up to this great festival, plus make some recommendations for your Halloween viewing pleasure. I'm kicking off with the Birth (Ace) of Swords from the Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot Deck.
This card was inspired by scenes from Barbarella (1968) a science fiction film featuring Jane Fonda as the indomitable stellar secret agent. Her mission is to find Doctor Durand Durand the inventor of the Positronic Ray before the weapon falls into the wrong hands. Barbarella crash-lands on the 16th planet of Tau Ceti where she is abducted by feral children who set their mechanised dolls on her. She survives and has many more adventures, including meeting 'Pygar The Angel' and 'The Great Tyrant' as well as falling into the 'Matmos' before completing her mission.
Fortunately, Barbarella is rescued. The children are captured and taken back to Matmos City.
I have reacted to Barbarella (1968) very differently over a lifetime of viewing. Some of those reactions have included being disgusted with the movie's sexism moving through to viewing the main protagonist as quite liberated and emancipated. The movie is at the same time beautiful and silly with lovely performances from it's actors.
Highly recommended Halloween viewing.
In honour of this great festival I'm profiling XX Judgement from the Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot Deck. I have reproduced Arthur Edgar Waite's description of the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) card from the Pictorial Tarot and I have unpacked the Golden Age of Hollywood version so you can see the detail better.
But first - one of the images that didn't end up in the final version, but one I like and am posting because it's Halloween.
Halloween is a good time to be looking at XX Judgement. Halloween is a celebration of and for the dead. The veil between the worlds is thinnest at Halloween so communication with those that have passed is thought to be easier than at any other time of the year. But the card is complicated so I thought Halloween would be a good time unpack it.
Wishing everyone a very happy Halloween. Get out there and party hard! And watch some movies too!
The symbol to the right is a stylised version of my initials "LD" which is a sigil for my work. It is meant to look something like an opening heart.
Numerologically my name calculates to an 11/2 which is the number of the Spiritual Messenger. My birth date number is the same so I get two hits on that front. It's a lot to live up to, LOL.
Needless to say, I have been interested in all things esoteric from an early age but my main love in that respect is Tarot.
One of my other interests is old movies and culture, so I created the Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot Deck. The deck employs Old Hollywood movies and personalities to convey the meanings of the standard Rider Waite System (RWS) of Tarot.
My next deck is also about culture but with a very different twist. Stay tuned.
Now for some pictures of the lovely Anita Ekberg...
Cavorting in the Trevi Fountain...
Other images from La Dolce Vita...
She was very beautiful ...
Most recently Ms Ekberg has fallen on hard times suffering from poor health and a robbery and fire at her home.
We wish her better things in the coming year.
We will leave with a quote from her from the Irish Examiner in 2013...
Claiming never to have under-gone plastic surgery, Ekberg believes “women who do that are crazy”.
“Forget about the surgeons lifting things, each age has its own charm, it’s all about living life to the full,” she tells me. “Age is a state of mind, who is growing old? I am certainly not, my mind is as clear as when I was 20.”
Some publicity shots for the movie.
The Matriarch/Empress in the Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot Deck
Key Words - Nurture. Fertility. Abundance. Cornucopia. Safety.
The Matriarch is the embodiment of mother love. Seated on her beautiful throne, with her cat, she is a symbol of fertility. She is blessed by the stars and surrounded by all good things that have flown from her cornucopia – flowers, wheat, fruit, nuts, money, luck and love. She symbolises nurturance, safety and growth. She is a safe haven, a place where the inner child grows and develops. A fierce protector when the need arises.
When you get the Matriarch, the advice is to look to your support systems especially your informal nurturing networks. They will be looking out for you. Things will develop in an organic rather than structured way.
Her androgynous appeal endeared her to both men and women and Garbo was reputedly bisexual although this was not public knowledge during her lifetime.
Garbo retired relatively early at the age of 36 having made 28 feature films in the previous 16 years. She continued to be offered roles all of which she rejected.
"I was tired of Hollywood. I did not like my work. There were many days when I had to force myself to go to the studio ... I really wanted to live another life."
Hollywood had played on this reclusiveness weaving it into parts of her dialogue in a number of films. But she later remarked about her private life,
"I never said, 'I want to be alone; I only said, 'I want to be let alone.' There is a world of difference."
Her later years were characterised by melancholy and a continuing avoidance of the limelight. She became an art collector and at her death had amassed a substantial and valuable collection.
The Four of Cups is a card that indicates ennuie, boredom, too much of a good thing.
When you get this card you are in a funk, bored with life and all it’s offerings. You want to be left alone. The things that used to inspire, no longer do. I sometimes call this the hangover card – too much of a good thing, possibly at the party with the Three of Cups!
The advice when you get this card is that it is time to get out and about. Go for a run, start that book, watch a movie. Anything to take your mind off yourself for a while. Your funk will pass.
The Four of Cups in the Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot is modelled on Greta Garbo as Mata Hari (1931) and is intended to evoke her famous desire to be ‘let alone’. Reclusive to a fault, Garbo shunned publicity throughout her career.
What a great week of birthdays coming up for the Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot Deck - Lauren Bacall, Anne Bancroft, Greta Garbo and Sophia Loren (who turns 80 this year). Also my grand-daughter Althea who turns 7 - what great company to be in! You are a star!
In honour of Ms Loren's 80th birthday, I am offering the Golden Age of Hollywood Deck and Pouch (International Version) with The Matriarch on the back of the pouch until September 20 2014 for US$39.99. That's $5 off the regular price.
Scenes from the movie...
The legend of the vampire is one of the most lasting themes in movies and culture since Bram Stoker's Dracula was published in 1897. Nosferatu (1922) was an unauthorised rip off of the novel and Stoker's heirs succeeded in gaining a court ruling to have all copies destroyed. Fortunately for us, one copy survived.
There have been many depictions ranging from Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Anne Rice’s Lestat through to the more recent TrueBlood series from HBO. There are few spectres that constantly rise from the dead like the vampire tale and it is constantly being refreshed.
And yet these vampires, they seem to get ever more beautiful...
...from the 1994 movie adaptation of Anne Rice's "Interview with a Vampire".
Until there is this...
...my personal favourite.
How to read XIII Transformation
Usually called the “Death” card - number 13 of the major arcana. Some people find this card quite disturbing when they draw it in a spread. In the Golden Age of Hollywood deck I have called it “Transformation” as that is how it is usually interpreted. In my view it is the major tipping point card of the tarot deck. There are a number of cards that are also tipping points including The Wheel of Fortune and the Knights (or Foci in this deck), but this one is the most potent.
This card takes it’s meaning very much from the surrounding cards in a spread. When you get this card, the advice is to go with the flow - swimming against the tide isn’t advised. The change in front of you isn’t optional. You will end up in a better place but things might feel chaotic and uncertain for a time. Your opportunity here is to work with the change and grow rather than resist it and languish.
The Transformation card indicates changes that feel quite sudden, irrevocable and inexplicable, and are often life-changing. Sometimes major change feels terrible as it requires new skills, talents, resources and often relationships, but this always makes way for something new and better.
Happy Birthday Gene Kelly (1912-1996) and thank you for all the wonderful movies you danced, sang or acted in, as well as the ones you directed produced or choreographed, particularly Singin' in the Rain (1952) the inspiration for the Eight of Wands in the Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot Deck.
Singin' in the Rain tops the AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals list. It also ranks fifth in the AFI's Greatest American Movies list.
The Eight of Wands is about success and happiness - everything's coming up roses, so to speak! All your hard work and plans are coming to fruition. Gene Kelly certainly epitomised that!
The trials and tribulations of indie publishing ...
I've always been strictly conventional in how I store my tarot cards, as you can see, I have a few...
My RWS which has always been my main reading deck gets very special treatment. I've had it for about 30 years now.
It has it's own box and lies in bed of blue silk. As you can see, the box has needed a few repairs from time to time. But I love it.
For my other decks (the ones I read with as well) they either get housed together in a box together (sorry guys) or get their own individual tarot bag. Here are a some of my favourites from Baba Studio.
They're great if you have a box for the deck, and it fits in the bag. I didn't like the box the Phantasmagoria came in so I ditched it and got a tarot bag. But there's a problem. The cards slip around in the bag and I worry the cards will suffer in the long term.
When I decided to offer the International Version of the Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot Deck I went with Printer Studio. Their international shipping is much cheaper than GameCrafter and their card stock is nice and robust. Every printer seems to be different and PS don't do boxes except on very large orders so that presented a conundrum. On single orders the deck comes in plastic shrink wrap which isn't very exciting and I wanted to be able to offer the option of some kind of protective cover for the deck.
The only other solution was customising one of PS's cosmetic pouches. So I printed one up with my designs and ordered it so I could road test it. I must admit I wasn't very optimistic that it would work but I thought I would give it a try.
I was very pleasantly surprised with the result.
The deck and LWB fit neatly into the pouch and there is even room to tuck in a crystal or two (but make sure they are smooth so you don't damage the edge of the deck).
What sold me on the pouch was that it encloses the deck snugly so the cards don't move around but not so snugly as to squash them. The pouch feels good in your hands and the padding is nice and protective. It's easy to slip the deck in and out with the zipper opening. It's also very easy to slip into your handbag or briefcase without the bulk of a box. I've been using it for a couple of months now and it has stood up to that quite well.
So, this formerly dyed-in-the-wool silk bag and wooden box gal was won over. In fact I might design some more for my other decks!
My only regret - I wish it was made of silk, but then, it would be 3-4 times the price.
Interested in the International Version of the Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot Deck with the customised pouch available during August?
Here's how it works....
What you usually get is the deck and the pouch for US$45 including shipping to most residential post boxes with the title card and deck back illustration as per the pictures below...
During the rest of August 2014 I will customise the back of your pouch with your favourite card from the deck. If you twist my arm, yes, you can have two favourite cards, back and front. But just for August!
I like the pouch - it has a silky feel and is padded to protect your deck so it's great for carrying in your handbag or briefcase.
How do I order?
Order by filling in the contact form via the button below. Please remember to nominate your card(s) of choice in the comments when you order.
Not sure what you want on your pouch?
You can see all the cards from the "VIEW" page in the menu above. Check them out and select what you want by nominating it in the comments section on the order form.
I recommend using your significator. For women this is the Queen (Glory) that corresponds to your star sign category (Cups - Water signs; Wands - Fire signs; Pentacles - Earth signs; Swords - Air signs). As a Cancerian I would choose the Glory of Cups on this basis, but I am also strongly influenced by my Leo Ascendant so I might choose the Glory of Wands instead. It all depends on what resonates with you best. For men it is customary to use the King (Power) of the relevant suit. I have made some suggestions below to help.
Remember - the bottom line is to pick the card(s) that you like the best and are happy to carry around with you.
Or you might feel more comfortable with Pages (Magic) and Knights (Focus)...
And here are a few more that might be fun...
And if you want to go with something a bit more creepy ...
... there are always these ...
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.