Alchemical Thoughts

Archive for January 2016

Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

I fell a little behind on this, so here they are. Feel free to check out the reviews. As I have said before, just because I reviewed them this month, it does not mean I read them in the same month. In terms of review writing, this was a pretty productive month for me. If you read any of these, or you have other comments, feel free to comment below.

The Hermit, from the Marseilles Tarot.

I chose to illustrate this post with The Hermit, which is a card I often identify with.

I received a nice deck of Marseilles Tarot cards as a holiday present from The Better Half. I will start by saying that I do collect card decks, mostly playing cards, and I collect them mainly for the art.  I have playing card decks with themes such as Star Wars, Hot Wheels, a replica deck of those “wanted” poster cards that soldiers got during the Iraq War, and a few others. I also collect other decks; in fact, this Marseilles deck is my second tarot deck. Anyhow, I was drawn a bit more to the world of Tarot after a presentation by a Tarot card reader, Charla, a spiritual advisor, at my local public library. I am intrigued by the possibility of using the cards and maybe learning about their lore as well as learning to read them mostly for my own meditation and reflection.

You can find a review of the book that came with the card deck over on my book blog, The Itinerant Librarian. This post is one of what I hope will be a few down the road where I write a bit about what I learn along the way. I read the book at least once so I could write the review, and I know I will be keeping it handy for consultation as I get to know the cards.

In the book, the author discusses a bit about choosing your deck in order to find one that you can enjoy and relate to. Though the Marseilles deck did not thrill me initially, as I think the art is a bit too basic, it has grown on me. I can see myself now using it on a daily, casual basis. There are other decks I have looked over that draw me in more in terms of their rich imagery. For instance, prior to getting the Marseilles deck as a gift, I had acquired a Luis Royo Dark Fantasy Tarot deck. Royo is one of my favorite fantasy artists, so at the time I acquired the deck as a collector’s item to add to my collection. Now that I am starting to study and learn about Tarot, I may bring the Royo deck into use once I get the hang of the basics with the Marseilles deck. I will likely use the Royo deck for special times. At any rate, the Royo deck is a favorite of mine, which I treasure, and I look forward to trying it out down the road.

A little later, I added a Ciro Marchetti Gilded Tarot deck to my collection. The colorful and rich art on this one definitely drew me in. It is not as dark as the Royo deck; it is a bit more bright in colors, and it has rich imagery. Once I finish studying the book and feel comfortable with the Marseilles deck, I will begin exploring the Gilded Tarot deck. On a side note, Marchetti is also the artist who did the deck I gave The Better Half as a holiday gift, the Legacy of the Divine Tarot, which I knew she was very drawn to.  It made me very happy to get it for her. The style is pretty similar to the Gilded deck, but the art and symbols are different.

Going back to my deck, another reason I am sticking with the Marseilles deck is that it was a special gift. Charla said that some folks believe a Tarot deck should be given to you. While I am fine with the idea of buying my own, since it is the way to assure you find a deck you enjoy as the book’s author suggests, the Marseilles came to me with love and affection, so I think it is a great reason to use it as my learning deck and in daily life. Plus I am finding much of the medieval lore and symbols associated with the deck to be quite interesting.

We’ll see where this journey takes me.



Here is my first post on this series for 2016. My TBR keeps growing, but I also hope these lists help other readers out there find ideas for new books to read.

Items about books I want to read:


List and bibliographies:

January 2016
« Dec   Feb »


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