Thursday, August 28, 2008


When I first saw the enchanting images on Mexican loteria cards (used to play to the Bingo-style game of the same name), my first thought was that they could be used for readings. Many of the images are archetypal, and some, like Death or the Sun, also appear in the Major Arcana.

Turns out that I'm not the first to have this idea, though so far I haven't found any resources that give meanings for the cards or suggest ways to use them in readings. Readers are free to reflect on the images to ascertain the meaning that applies. While some cards, such as Death, are fairly obvious, others, such as my favorite La Sirena, invite further exploration. Lucky Mojo sells a loteria game, and recommends a three cut spread.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Tower

Inspired by Craig Conley's magical Trump L'Oeill - Tarot of Portmeirion, I decided it would be fun to look for Tarot images where I live.

My quest recently led me to the Heublein Tower at the Talcott Mountain State Park. Built in 1914 by food and liquor magnate Gilbert Heublein, the structure stands at the edge of a precipice and is accessible to the public by hiking a mile long trail. Designed as a summer residence by the firm of Smith and Bassette, the architecture of the Tower was inspired by Bavarian buildings in Heublein's native country. Indeed, the building has a distinct European feel to it that, combined with its location in a wooded area, gives it an otherworldly quality that easily evokes its counterpart in the Tarot. While I visited on a sunny, late summer's day, it was easy enough to imagine the building on a stormy night, with a full moon partly shrouded by billowing clouds.

The Promise

While perusing a volume of the art of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, whose depictions of Britons in classical settings ("Victorians in togas") enthralled 19th century England, I came across a painting that brought to mind the Tarot card The Lovers.

Entitled "Promise of Spring," it is part of the collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Still Learn

I recently finished rereading Johanna Gargiulo Sherman's Guide to the Sacred Rose Tarot. It is a book I revisit from time to time, and it never fails to provide me with fresh insights into both her deck and Tarot in general. As I grow in my understanding and appreciation of the Tarot, the Guide reveals yet another dimension to me, helping to further my explorations of this endlessly fascinating realm.

I admit that when I first encountered the Sacred Rose Tarot many years ago, I was intimidated by its stark power. While I could appreciate the amount of research that went into the deck's creation, as well as Johanna's artistry, I found myself resisting the Sacred Rose and not fully understanding why. The reasons for my avoidance are obvious now. It is a deck that challenges both the practitioner and the querent to face the unvarnished truth regarding their particular dilemmas, spiritual growth, and chosen path. When a person is not willing or prepared to do so, as I was back then, the deck appears daunting.

As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears; or, in this case, the Tarot deck. I have only in this past year begun to truly understand the richness and depth of the Sacred Rose, which continues the legacy of the Western mystical tradition into the 21st century.