LadyCristobel's Blog

Tarot readings and tarot parties

Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Great fun at successful beginners’ Tarot workshop!

Posted by LadyCristobel on January 8, 2011

well, we had a really good day at our first Tarot for Beginners workshop.

At least we didn’t have three feet of snow to prevent our delegates making it to the workshop. We introduced ourselves over coffee and agreed what we wanted to achieve during the day – and then we embarked on our busy, interactive, fact-filled, action-orientated workshop.

We looked at the symbols for Christmas – because they are fresh in our minds – and what symbols the tarot deck uses to direct our lives. We chose our own special card for the day and we explained what made it special for us and what story it was telling.

And we are on our own voyages of self-discovery, like The Hermit in our deck:

The Hermit tarot card

And of course, everybody got to receive a tarot reading and give a tarot reading, despite nerves and butterflies! And at the end of a busy but fast-paced day everybody agreed we need another session to follow up on all the wonderful progress we made today.

Our tarot journey is going to be an exciting one, and we are going to invite our friends to our next social tarot evening where we can talk tarot and exchange ideas and show each other new and beautiful decks of cards.

We were all agreed that Pamela Colman Smith is a design hero (heroine!) and we love her attention to historic detail and her superb spiritual illustrations with clever symbols to guide our path.

Watch this space for an invitation to our Open Tarot evening in Aberdeen.

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Posted in design, illuminating the way, medieval costume, Pamela ColmanSmith, riderwaite, Tarot, tarot reading, Tarot spread | Leave a Comment »

A meditation evening to meet new people

Posted by LadyCristobel on November 1, 2009

I have just made contact with the Tarts and Crafts centre in Balmedie near Aberdeen and hope to join them for a meditation evening in a couple of weeks time.

I see that they have some tarot enthusiasts and I hope to meet some new tarot friends when I go along there. Everyone speaks highly of the home-made cakes at the Tarts and Crafts cafe, so I hope to experience it at first hand myself.

It’s always a pleasure to speak to people about their own experience of tarot and look at the Tarot decks that they enjoy reading for themsleves and for others.

I am not very adventuruous with my decks just yet because I am so keen on my Universal Waite deck with its beautiful medieval scenes.

But who knows, I may branch out into another design soon.

Posted in balmedie, design, medieval costume, meditation, riderwaite, Tarot | Leave a Comment »

80 million people can’t be wrong

Posted by LadyCristobel on October 27, 2009

Below is a news story that I have distributed to the press today:

Devils, magic, death, heaven and hell all feature in Victorian tarot cards, the same symbolism as for Hallowe’en

The walking dead, black magic, monsters, and anything occult are familiar images of Halloween. One hundred years ago this month a young designer called Pixie put the finishing touches on 80 beautiful, yet some say sinister, illustrations that were to become the famous Arthur Waite Tarot Cards.

Her images were rooted in the same Halloween mythology. Nearly 80 million decks of these cards have been sold yet she herself never received financial recognition or critical acclaim for its sensational appeal and longevity.

‘Pixie took the design commission from her friend and esoteric scholar Dr Arthur Edward Waite,’ says Aberdeen-based medieval re-enactor and tarot reader, Shirley Muir, ‘She meticulously researched, planned and designed 80 beautiful illustrations with great application, intricate skill, historical knowledge, and layers of embedded religious, alchemical and occult symbolism.

‘The result was a deck of stunning and colourful tarot cards, published in December1909, and still available today through high street booksellers and specialist shops.’

History tells us that Dr Waite paid Colman Smith a very small amount of money for her efforts – we don’t know how much, but she apparently said she was short of cash very soon afterwards. And she never became rich.

The Christian connections of heaven and hell and the devil and magic are as real at Halloween as they are in these cards. Colman Smith’s tarot deck of cards includes The Devil, The Magician, the Hanged Man, the High Priestess, the Last Judgement, and other powerful images. These cards have been used as ominous metaphors to great effect in films, such as Bond film Live and Let Die, The Exorcist 3, Scoop and were featured on TV recently in Coronation Street.

Until 1909 most tarot decks had to be imported from France, because tarot card games were popular on the continent of Europe, but not in the UK. In the UK the cards were more and more being used by dabblers in the occult and so they attracted the sinister connotations they have today.

Colman Smith’s tarot cards coincided with an early 20th century upsurge in interest in the occult and spirituality, producing a demand for tarot decks. During the Victorian era interest in mysticism and the occult had flourished, and pastimes such as fortune-telling, consulting psychics, tarot, magic, and spiritual healing had found thousands of new followers.

The Rider-Waite deck has sold astonishingly well over the past century and it is acknowledged as the most influential tarot deck of the last 100 years.

‘I am interested in medieval history,’ says Shirley, ‘and am actively involved in medieval re-enactment to bring the 15th century alive. As a maker of medieval costumes myself, I am impressed with Colman Smith’s attention to historic detail – the rich, flowing gowns made from heavy, elaborately patterned fabrics, the court cards with kings and queens in truly regal costumes and settings, and even the armour worn by the knights on horseback. All has been well researched and is a fairly accurate representation of fifteenth century life.

’And her representations of the devil and of the grim reaper who is on the Death card are truly spine-chilling.’

A hundred years on tarot itself is again seeing another resurgence. There are thousands of different tarot decks of cards now on the market* – for fortune-telling or game-playing – angel cards, dragon cards, lovers’ cards, Shakespeare cards, cat cards, Australian animal cards, Baseball tarot, and there is even a Halloween deck of tarot cards.

In the UK, as the Christian churches see fewer and fewer members in their congregation, and scientific progress – like evolutionary theory – casts real doubt on literal interpretation of the scriptures, people are turning more and more to New Age mysticism to find modern ways of managing the conflicts and dilemmas of daily life in the 21st century.

‘Perhaps the global recession is fuelling people’s need for guidance and a peek into the future,’ says Shirley, ‘but there is certainly a lot of interest in self-awareness, spiritual healing, psychic powers, and complementary medicine and therapies, as well as tarot.

‘Tarot is not magic, it’s not occult, but it’s an interesting and fascinating pastime,’ says Shirley, who is herself a successful tarot card reader called Lady Cristobel.

Tarot parties are becoming popular, where ladies get together in groups and have a night in – and everyone has a reading done. It’s a different girlie evening – an unusual girlie night or a hen night, and there is always a frisson of expectation when the tarot cards are dealt and the person sees what ‘the future holds’.

‘One thing Is for sure – if you draw the Death card it certainly does not mean you’re going to die. It’s much more exciting than that.’

Posted in art, botticelli, celebration, counselling, design, medieval costume, Pamela ColmanSmith, parties, riderwaite, Tarot, Tarot party, Tarot spread, the three graces, wealth | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Three Graces enjoy their Tarot role

Posted by LadyCristobel on October 24, 2009

I was delighted and amazed to discover the artistic connection between Pixie’s three of cups tarot card and Botticelli’s The Three Graces, thanks to TarotTeachings.com.

What a clever way to invoke friends, happiness and enjoying life with a truly a classical connection.

Tarot card pictures are copyright of US Games Inc

Posted in art, botticelli, celebration, design, enjoyment, happiness, the three graces, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Appreciating Pamela Colman-Smith’s tarot deck

Posted by LadyCristobel on October 23, 2009

Today I have enjoyed whiling away some considerable time looking at the work of Pixie, as I discover Pamela Colman-Smith was called. I have read that more than 78 million decks of her Rider-Waite tarot cards have been sold worldwide since she designed them in 1909.

What a centenary this is! What a fantastic success! But we must remember Pixie died in 1951 penniless, and her possessions were auctioned off to pay her debts. How sad.

But I would like to imagine how happy she would have been to have the admiration of so many people so many years later, and to be appreciated as the creative free spirit that she must have been. Of course now I must research her life in more detail, and find out about this intelligent, artistic lady.

Pamela Colman-Smiths king and nine of pentacles tarot cards

Pamela Colman-Smiths king and nine of pentacles tarot cards

As a medieval re-enactor, I am impressed with the attention to detail in the medieval costumes that her characters are wearing. Most of them wear headgear, as no-one went bare-headed in the 15th century. Her fabrics are colourful and her costumes are accurately portrayed, complete with dagged sleeves, generous fabric, often trailing along the ground to show off their riches, and lined in contrasting material.

The hawking lady is even wearing a hawking glove and the bird is hooded, as it would have been when not being flown.  Perhaps the king of pentacles has made his money as a wine merchant, because his cloak is made from a heavy colourful fabric patterned with grapes and vines?

Tarot card pictures are copyright of US Games Inc

Posted in design, medieval costume, Pamela ColmanSmith, riderwaite, Uncategorized, wealth | Leave a Comment »