New Tarot Cupboards

I’m into my tenth day of trying to organize my bedroom. I have one tiny half rack I’m using for clothes in the walk-in closet, and the rest is all craft, art supplies and doll or dollhouse stuff. Yeah, I’ve got MY priorities straight.

These are flat-pack pantries or wardrobes. These are fairly light and hold a lot with the extra wire racks I put on the shelves. I had one extra shelf cut for each cupboard and still they are filled up.


Now I have to organize and put away the mess at the end of my bed. I have ordered a nice wooden blanket box in a “chocolate cherry” stain but that won’t be here for weeks. My quilts are reeking of plastic after being stored for 2 years or so in a Rubbermaid plastic bin. Never again. I’ve washed the ones I can, but the quilt tops can’t be washed so I’ll try to air them out in other ways.

I can actually get to my decks now and I found I had room to display my tarot bags facing toward the front—so pretty. I JUST had room for all the boxes too. While reorganizing the decks, I got rid of two so I’m still under 400 at 399 decks. I couldn’t fit my postcard collection in the cupboards, so they’ve gone into the closet for now. I wondered while looking at some of these decks why I bought them but I think the Internet has a lot to do with fuelling the purchase of stuff.

My next task is to enter my four new decks in my database. I received the 72 Names of God deck by Orna Ben-Shoshan yesterday and I really love it, it has such depth in information and artwork.


A Revisit and Overview of Database Monday

Database Monday is a category where I post about card decks and use the scans from my digital visual database to discuss them, perhaps adding a few personal notes and updates. Memory is a strange thing, I thought I’d done about twelve of these, but when I looked I discovered I had done twenty-eights posts on the subject, starting two years ago.

My last post was on October 29, 2015, over a year ago. Selling our old house and moving across the country, and home renovations swamped me, but several categories on this blog are subjects or exercises I’m fond of, so I made a list of the decks I have posted for Database Monday thus far. I remember duplicating a couple of them last year so I’ve now made a complete list so I’m organized when I start up again.


1) Lord of the Rings Tarot – Oct. 29, 2015
2) The Healing Deck (Zerner and Farber) – Oct. 12, 2015
3) Kazanlar Tarot – Sept. 3, 2015
4) Victoria Regina Tarot – Aug. 10, 2015
5) The Answer Deck – June 22, 2015
6) Javanne Tarot – June 15, 2015
7) Nature’s Wisdom Oracle – June 8, 2015
8) Tarot Francais des Fleurs (tarock deck) – June 2, 2015
9) Bird Cards – May 25, 2015
10) Silenus Tarot – May 18, 2015
11) The Mystic Rubaiyat – May 11, 2015
12) The Art of Japan Knowledge Cards – May 4, 2015
13) The Tarot of Vampyres (Ian Daniels) – April 27, 2015
14) Ancient Minchiate Etruria – April 20, 2015
15) The Essential Meditations Deck – April 13, 2015
16) Birds of China Playing Cards – April 8, 2015
17) British Wild Flowers Card Game – Mar. 30, 2015
18) Energy Healing Oracle – Mar. 24, 2015
19) The Secret Language of Color Cards – Mar. 16, 2015
20) Vacchetta Tarot (digitally coloured and printed) – Mar. 3, 2015
21) Black and White Photography Postcards – Feb. 9, 2015
22) Animal Playing Cards (published by WWF) – Feb. 2, 2015
23) The Circle Deck – Jan, 26, 2015
24) The Transformational Tarot – Jan 20, 2015
25) Buddha Discovery Deck – Jan 6, 2015
26) Bird Signs – Dec. 20, 2014
27) Creature Teacher Cards – Dec. 16, 2014
28) Robert E. Lee: Strategies for Leadership – Dec. 8, 2014

Here’s to further examination of the 398 card decks I own in the upcoming weeks and months. I do like to look at my cards.




Eagles Across Decks

I thought I had all my cards unboxed from our cross-country move but while searching for particular animal decks, I realized that some loose ones that I wrapped separately from their boxes were missing. Fortunately the spouse rounded them up for me. You would think with 394 decks I would forget but Judith never forgets a deck!

An overview with an attendant eagle figure, this one by Schleich.


And don’t forget those other four decks Jude. The eagle in the card with the yellow border has taken a fancy to my figure, he’s zooming toward him with some urgency. Figures inspire everyone I suppose.


The KING OF SWORDS  was the card I drew today from the Animal Totem Tarot that started the eagles flying. I had mentioned to someone recently how my deck collecting had gone down lately because I just want to buy art created by hand or at least created by hand in Adobe Illustrator. Upon taking these cards out my heart sang with the impact and beauty of the art and each artist’s expression and composition. It does not get better than this for me as a collector, this stuff makes me happy and inspires my own artwork.

The King, in his highly analytical way, enjoyed this comparison. In this card as you fly higher you strip away what isn’t important, your soaring height makes things clearer, shifts the focus, lets you drop nonessentials. Not a bad reflection of how I currently feel about card decks.


The Magical Menagerie was one deck I couldn’t find this morning so I knew I had another box somewhere. The Pathfinders deck holds up, it’s one of my favourites. Susan Seddon Boulet has been dead since 1997, but her Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards are still in print, and no wonder; what a legacy.


I think the Animal Messages deck is out of print now but I’m so glad I bought one when it was readily available, it’s a treasure, and Sue Lion’s Spirit Animals always looks so fresh and comes in a tin with a window so you can put your card of the day in view. The Animalis deck is also a fresh vision with lots of bones and unusual compositions.


More decks that hold up for me: the Tarot of Reincarnation is one you have to hunt for the species and some of the names have changed. I have a fuller discussion and small review of it here. It has nothing to do with reincarnation, unless you figure the original illustrations (long out of copyright) have been reincarnated.


I absolutely love both these bird decks, they are definitely treasures both for the art and the variety of images. I rarely use the Medicine Cards but they are neat in their own way. At the time they were published I don’t think there were many animal decks in existence, so it was important.

Ah, the satisfaction of a card comparison after a long break from my cards. It’s like coming out of a desert to drink a glass of ice water. Cool baby.

Happy Sunday!







Database Flies to the Birds Again

I already discussed the Bird Signs deck in Database Monday but I thought I’d give equal time to my other major bird oracle: Bird Cards – The Healing Power of the Bird Kingdom by Jane Toerien; Joyce Van Dobben (illustrator)

This was published in 2007 and I had trouble hunting a copy up. It has been republished and released in October 2014 by Connections so more widely available. I’m not sure how the book and card size is in the new edition but they are large in the first edition at 140 x 90 mm for the cards. The book has 159 pages. I love big cards, they are so worth doing larger, particularly with animal art.


Birds are not just beautiful according to the book, they can support us with healing powers. I’m not sure about that but I’ve enjoyed this deck. The book describes each of the 55 birds and their characteristic energies, and for each bird there is also a meditative affirmation.

I like Joyce’s illustrations and often just look at those and look up information on the particular bird. I seem to get enough out of it that way.


Another beautiful Raven in this deck, pulling back the curtain of the sky. Is that not gorgeous?

I don’t know, I tend to shy away from the sappier, feel-good aspects of this deck. Many oracles seem to embrace this attitude but it isn’t me, I’m not a lovey-dovey, healing power type of person.

I do however appreciate the artwork and depth of thought that went into this deck. It’s a big project to pull something like this together, and the fact that it has been republished is testament to the endurance of its good art and ideas.



The Banyan Sings and Brings Cheer

Daily Draw May 21st, 2013

My word, where did May go?

Well, it’s back to painting cupboards this week. Our contractor has to redo some tiles and cap a counter in the kitchen yet, but I can’t worry about every little thing, I’m going to forge on to paint my bedroom closet and get my mind off the nigglies.

After our frazzling month, my husband very kindly told me I could get the Wisdom of Trees Oracle as I found a copy for $15 with free shipping, so I’ve ordered that and should get it in two to three weeks. I do love my tree decks, they really cheer me up!

Here is some eye candy of trees today from that deck by Jane Struthers to cheer us all up.


I hear Steely Dan singing “Chinese music under banyan tree….”



Updating Deck Reviews

Instead of a daily draw, I spent hours and hours working on this update. I had been meaning to transfer my card deck reviews to this blog once my web site was gone and I finally did most of them yesterday, so you can now view them and they have separate pages listed on the sidebar.

I don’t often do reviews, I just really like the artists of these decks or something about the decks inspired me. That inspiration is an ongoing response, as these decks all have lasting value. I was going to forget about it and leave these reviews on my hard drive, but they are important to me.

Reviews also go out of fashion somewhat as decks become unavailable or tastes change. I am often staggered by how quickly the next great and latest thing comes along in card publishing. I persevere, excited about my odd decks and artists; they are as fresh today as they were when they caught my attention. My reviews are very long and my response to decks often involves creative exercises and projects. That’s what I do, that’s what I write about, that’s me.

I updated the Luman Deck review because it is still wonderful to work with. Mindy Sommers still makes beautiful things, as does Lily May who created the Mirrors of the Heart deck. Natalie Zaman has a young adult book coming out, and Kat Clark has also published books since their Graven Images Oracle was published. Michele Penco has gone on to create another deck with Lo Scarabeo and probably garnered much interest for the writing of H.P. Lovecraft with the Dark Grimoire deck. Ash Abdullah, having found a voice in art and creation of the Diary of a Broken Soul Tarot, continues to create and inspire others.

Dreaming in Color Luman Deck by Mindy Sommers
Mirrors of the Heart by Lily S. May
Tarot of Reincarnation by Lo Scarabeo
Graven Images Oracle by Natalie Zaman and Katharine Clark
Dark Grimoire Tarot by Michele Penco and Lo Scarabeo
Diary of a Broken Soul Tarot by Ash Abdullah (still working on my review)

The endless chain of people who inspire growth, grows itself. Influence is a funny thing, it has a quiet way of seeping into the mind, as does art, as do the inspiring lives of people I have known through my cards.

My Card Database

Daily Draw August 24th, 2009

Instead of a draw today, I’m going to talk about my card database. I bought book collector software and use it for the simple reason that it has the option to scan in the back of a book and post it to the entry. Instead, I scan in cards and card backs and sometimes special boxes or bags I have for a deck and post that instead of a back cover.

According to my database I have 322 decks.

135 tarot
74 oracle
63 miscellaneous
50 playing cards

This includes my collection of postcards and botanical postcards too which may include about 700 single cards. I Ching and Rune cards are nice, I have several of those. Odd things in the Miscellaneous category include Knowledge Cards, religious decks like the Gita Deck or The Saint Deck, self-help or business-related cards like the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People deck, The Language of Letting Go cards  or Susan Woldman’s Contemplation Cards, my Lewis and Clark expedition cards and the three U.S. Games Strategies For Leadership decks. Two Tao-related decks, a deck on yoga, one on Kabbalah by the Bergs, the Mystic Rubaiyat by Penelope Cline, the wonderfully scientific Elemental Hexagons. This and that.

I just managed to get a scan in of the playing card category showing the thumbnails for the fronts of boxes. Three of the decks are ones I made myself: two using playing card software, and one using collage on an old Bicycle deck.

Click to enlarge the images.


Here is one of the scans I made to use in the database instead of the back of the book. It shows the Victoria Regina Tarot deck and the handmade insert I made for the bag that was included with that. The insert uses a scottie dog button and white cotton lace, silks and tartans to give the flavour of Balmoral.


These are some further examples of card samples from my database. This is the lovely Vacchetta Tarot deck that is copyright free and can be downloaded off the Internet to print. I tinted my cards olive green and made a special bag and tuckbox for them.


This is the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg that I decoupaged and painted a box for plus made a handmade tuckbox for the deck.


The Tarots Suzanne M. is an odd deck that I trimmed of its borders, and then I painted a bag for it using bright colours from the deck. I don’t often trim borders off things, but this really needed it to let the art pop out. It’s not a tarot deck it’s more of a personal art oracle.


And that’s today’s exciting exploration into cards.