Ace of Pentacles/Coins Across Decks

I saw in my statistics page that someone had come to my site searching for images of the Ace of Coins. I thought to myself that this might make an excellent study.

Danger, danger, hours later after searching through dozens of decks and scanning, adjusting, rotating and labelling in Photoshop, I’m a bit punchy. When you’re in a funk, nothing helps like a bit of sorting, categorization, and organization. This was more than a bit, but hey it made for a keenly interesting day.

Dealing mostly with the Rider-Waite model (here used in the Universal Waite deck) I decided that there were three kinds of imagery with this card: the classic “hand of God” approach; the figurative approach related to the theme like in the Golden Tarot; and the pattern and shape decorated or changed similar to a pip in transformation playing cards, like in this marvelous Ace of Pentacles in the Sun and Moon.

In this study I am ignoring the figurative approach, and looking more at the other two.






I don’t see too many people using the Fradella deck but it’s one of my favourites.

















I’ve talked about that Universal Fantasy card before, it reminds me so much of an old brooch.

So that’s it, about 8 hours of work and 39 decks!




The Sun, Moon, Art and Thoth Clones

Daily Draw October 23rd, 2011

I finally felt like sitting down with the new Sun and Moon Tarot. I pulled out five cards that appealed to me and then got some Thoth clones and pulled the corresponding cards.

The Fool
Art or Temperance
Ace of Disks
3 of Disks
7 of Cups or Debauch

The decks I chose to work worth for this comparison:

Parrott Tarot
Liber T Tarot
Haindl Tarot
Tarot of the Spirit
Tarot of the Sephiroth
Magickal Tarot
Universal Tarot
Via Tarot
Thoth Tarot

That’s a lot of cards to scan so I won’t discuss interminably. I chose The Fool because she depicted a crocodile on the card and to my mind that is only right and proper for a Thoth-like deck. I always look for the croc in Thoth clones! It disappoints me when he’s not there. Here I am batting six crocs out of ten. I can call him the 60 Per Cent Fool.

Mister Sixty Per Cent, a new jazz song by Kurt Elling. And you know who to call for lyrics Kurt. Oh and for those not familiar with my collection, I have a few demo decks that used to be kept on a chain in a tarot shop I loved to go to that has since closed. The Tarot of the Sephiroth is one of those, in case you’re wondering about the holes.


My absolute favourite in the Sun and Moon deck is XIV – Art-Temperance. I love the yin-yang aspect of the sky, it’s one of the most visually enticing takes I’ve ever seen on this card and worth the price of the deck. Here it is by itself because it’s my favourite.

Some of the cards have the eagle and lion, but most don’t. It’s hard to beat that wonderful depiction in the Via Tarot, which also reminds me of the Rohrig Tarot, another Thoth-y clone. There seems to be an odd asymmetry with regard to Thoth clones. Some use the same titling, some don’t, some are vague and some aren’t. As usual, I don’t care about nitpicking stuff like that. They are as they are, as they were created and envisioned. I take them that way.

Aren’t they lovely though? All kinds of colours going on and symbols, mixing and morphing and fire and volcanic outbursts. The card has lots of alchemical symbolism which is why Haindl called this card Alchemy.


The next one that really caught my eye was the Ace of Pentacles. I love simple Aces that have some sort of impact or unusual design element. Here she has used Sacred Geometry and leaves, presumably displaying their Fibonacci twists and turns as all good plants should. I love this depiction and I don’t usually like a lot of gold but with the blue it’s quite beautiful.

The Magickal Tarot uses a tree on this card, an oak, which is also a symbol I like. The rest use abstract wings and pentagrams or seven-points, ten points stars or circles. Everyone seems to have their own ideas, most often with wings or feathers, some roses, a cross or Maltese cross. Crowley had all kinds of stuff about the Mark of the Beast or his own motto, The Great Beast, and the Sun and Moon conjoined which you can see a suggestion of in some of these cards, a crescent for the moon and a circle for the sun.

I never thought if it before but we make paper money from trees, Frieda Harris suggests that in her green underlay which looks like the engraving on bills, so this is a nice, earthy tie-in to coins and disks. That’s one of those things I read about and forget but a comparison like this might cement it more in my mind.



I liked the Three of Pentacles in the Sun and Moon because it echoes the Rider-Waite model and yet manages to get some Thoth symbolism in the graffiti the figure is creating. Equilateral triangles, spokes, wheels, the tetrahedron on other cards; lots of alchemy roiling around here.



I’ve always loved the version of the 3 of Disks in the Parrott Tarot. The symbolism of the hand with the branch of a rose tree is clearer in this card, plus it has a goat for Capricorn which makes the astrological and Tree of Life references clearer.

And lastly, I pulled the Debauch card, which suggested being so full of water or alcohol that you could barely keep your head above water. There is also the feeling of going through the motions or treading water having sex with someone you don’t know or can’t remember. The idea of desperately holding onto someone, anyone, is something I find appealing with this. Years ago I did a study of the Debauch card, and the gunky, green fountain on the Thoth card reminded me of throwing up after drinking too much. Imagine gunking up a nice fountain with junk like that? The Via Tarot has lilies, one of my favourite flowers (I wore it in a corsage at my wedding), and the idea of burying that in vomit really gets the message across.

But that’s just me.



Oh yes, there is no doubt, it is very, very  useful to have several Thoth clones about to play with.

Happy Sunday!







Feel the Cool Surface, Ready for the Heat of Action

Daily Draw June 10th, 2011


This is from the Tarot of the Sephiroth, which is a demo deck I purchased from a tarot store that went out of business some years ago, which is why the card has a hole punched through the cardstock, it was on a chain. I have the full book but I can’t find it in the mess that has become my den. I have so many books and art supplies and fabric and unfinished projects in there.

When I looked at this image I kept thinking “He’s got all the angles covered.” The shape also reminds me of Swarovski crystals and making jewellery and then I’m back to all the stuff I have. I live by creativity, some days it’s the only thing keeping me alive, but Jeez Louise, I’ve got to stay on top of the organization or I get swamped in bits and pieces.

The Magician has all the tools to hand, he can do anything, but he’s got to keep things tidy and available or he can’t work. I like this line from the booklet: “Possessing the tools to turn possibilities into realities…” His work surface is ready for action, he has his hands laid out feeling for what to do today, and his other hands like a secret weapon uplifted for inspiration, opening to the Universe, the stars. His toes feel before him tentatively before finding balance and solidity in the waves; he walks on water and air.