Golden Dawn Tarot

Well we were happy to announce our big research project at the TarotCons in the UK and USA this year. We have been working on it for over a year, and it has been a tricky process. We are happy to announce that we are to publish over 50+ original Golden Dawn tarot manuscripts and illustrations, from the original documents, which we’ve been working with for 18 months.

The publication will be called A NEW DAWN FOR TAROT and feature a commentary on the images, many of which are from the members of the Golden Dawn and the founders, particularly W. W. Westcott and S.L. Macgregor-Mathers. We also discovered some unpublished Tarot work by Florence Farr which I hope to work upon for publication.


It has been a beautiful experience to hold and read these papers, and really connect with the spirit of the time. We were also delighted when – after several months of work and presentations, meetings and panels – the owners of the archive approved our approach and presentation of the material. We think it was our work with the Waite-Trinick Tarot that helped, to show we could present this material in a sensitive manner and with due respect to the original vision of the content. We hope to live up to that vision in sharing this material with you.

The book should be published in the second quarter of 2013.

Taking the Leap

How does the Tarot teach us to take a leap? Whether it is into a new year, a new life, a new job, life is full of change, and Tarot holds the keys to make the most of that change. It is the Fool who shows us how to take this leap, and in this article I’d like to share with you different Fools and their ways of leaping, so you can choose the leap most appropriate for your life – this New Year, adopt a Fool and take his journey into 2012.

All of these Fools have been following me in my own research for the forthcoming Tarosophy Tarot Deck; the Tarot of Everlasting Day™. I have been working through a large library of Tarot encyclopaedias, academic treatises and online repositories of Tarot images to inform Marcus Katz and Janine Hall in the tradition of Tarot. I’ve been lucky to see lots of private collections and archives, with decks too numerous to name, and I’m now attempting to make sense of all that the Fool encounters on his journey.

Flornoy Fool

Flornoy Fool

In the earliest depictions of the Fool, in the Marseilles decks of Jean Noblet, Jean Dodal, and Nicolas Conver, there really is no cliff – the Fool is a vagabond simply trying to get down the road, whilst a dog nips at his buttocks. In fact, in the Noblet version, we get a hint of more of the Fool’s, er, “equipment”, and that is fairly wince-inducing.
This situation for our hapless life, full of trials and setbacks – or perhaps they are “opportunities not problems” – is seen even more in exaggeration in ‘Le Fol’ from Le Taro Sacerdotal, 1951. I found this one in The Encyclopaedia of Tarot Vol. I, (Stuart. R. Kaplan, p. 218).

Here the card depicts the trial and tribulation of the Fool as he journeys onwards. We see that a crocodile has munched off his leg and is holding the severed limb in his jaws. The Fool appears very blithe about this trauma, and we see him stride on as if all is well and he has not a care in the world. One interesting aspect of this hand-drawn deck is that the fonts used in the verses on each card reflects the nature of the card, rather than being standardised across all the cards. It is these design choices that I am researching most thoroughly – the decisions made when creating a deck.

In the meantime, spare a thought for the single-legged Fool, although I get the idea that Crocodile will follow him, bearing his leg, for when he might need it. It may even be that the creature is bringing the Fool his leg back, for the Fool has not yet realised he is incomplete.

The Fool also has to encounter all the other cards before he makes his leap into the void. In ‘The Devil’, in The Painted Caravan, (Basil Ivan Rakoczi, The Hague: L.J.C Boucher, 1954) we see a rather strange encounter. In this unusual and rare book depicting the nature of Tarot as a “gypsy” device, there are very garish and striking Tarot images throughout the text. It was the Devil card which attracted me here, as he is depicted as getting rather up close and personal to the hapless Fool, who appears on the card and gives the impression of being reconciled to being a mere plaything.

Painted Caravan Devil and Fool

Some other decks do tend to go for the Fool as a puppet, with strings held by a divine hand – perhaps this is our first question, and the eternal quest of the Fool – what is freedom?

The text barely touches on this relationship of the Fool and the Devil, however goes on to speak in guarded tones about the mysteries of the Templars, the gypsies, the witches Sabbath and Freudian concepts of neuroses. Heady stuff! I do feel for the Fool though, on his journey he has had his leg chewed off and now is supping with the Devil.

On the other hand, it reminds me of the scene in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (Gilliam, 2009), where the Fool leaps off the cliff and is caught by a fishing hook, as the Devil himself is fishing just underneath the cliff edge. As the fishing hook is a literal meaning of the Hebrew letter/word Tzaddi, and is a symbol of faith, who knows what mysteries are described by the Fool and the Devil dynamic …

So, how do you approach the edge of anything – a change in your life, a threshold, an initiation? The Fool tells us all the ways we have of making that leap into the new life.

We can ascend and master the void, as a Shaman, or we can simply give in, as in the macabre and terrifying Giger “Necronomicon” Fool, or perhaps it is best just to take the leap!

Whatever Foolishness you choose to adopt into the New Year, I wish you all the brightest blessings of a full deck, in which every moment is a new card.


Tarot Transformation

How can we use Tarot for transforming our lives? They say it is not all about YOU but it is! We can all transform when we take time to listen to our inner wisdom; the voice that wants us to grow, if only we would trust ourselves. Now is the time – and with Tarot to hand! So let’s be receptive, let’s listen and trust in our own inner knowledge. The Major Arcana is a Well of Divine Inspiration for change and in this series of articles I will show you ways to apply transformation through Tarot to your life.

We start today with the first four cards of the Majors. You might take each one of these transformations for a day, a week, even a month or year. We can transform at our own speed.

0. The Fool.

The fool says that to transform you and I have to let go of desire, the desire not to fail, we have to let go of doubting ourselves and in turn doubting others. We have to live in the moment at all times and trust that all will be well.

“And all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well”

Today let the above sentiment settle into your mind, repeat it to yourself as often as you can, as you would a Mantra.

Repeat “I let go of desire, I let go the need to succeed, I will not doubt myself or others. All shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well”. Before sleep repeat.

1. The Magician

The Magician says to transform you and I have reach up and outwards and then draw in towards us the knowledge and wisdom resource in order to fulfil our true potential and Discover your life journey theme.

Today connect with the divine that is all around us, connect with your inner magic and discover your life journey theme, do the tarot spread specifically for this, The well of inspiration spread, this is 3 cards of truth to find wisdom in your past, present and future and forge it in the now.

Shuffle the deck of your choice, focus on an image from your past when you first grasped how to do something difficult. Select a card. Do the same with an image of a something in your life that you cannot work out. Select a second card. Then next focus on something you would like to potentially do in the future. Select a third and final card.

Now lay out the cards as below:

1. Your past – what wisdom has come though to now from your past.
2. Your present – how do you use this wisdom wisely.
3. Your future – how you can shape it now.

Take these three cards and read as one story, then try and read them together as one single word; this is the theme of your life journey.

My cards dealt are the:

1. Wheel of Fortune
2. Nine of Swords
3. Eight of Wands

My interpretation is as follows:

The Wheel of Fortune: I have learnt that we are all in the hands of uncertainty, that something that we are sure of one day, we can not be sure of the next. Nothing in life is guaranteed, we are at the mercy of good luck and bad luck.

9 of Swords: By accepting that unhappiness is transient, and I must accept this too will pass.

8 of Wands: I need to stop fear from paralysing me in the now and thereby restricting my future potential.

The word I condensed these to is “Work”. My life journey theme is work. Discover yours.

You can have a reading done for you using this spread by any of the readers at the site, as a straight three-card reading or custom spread.

2. The High Priestess

The High Priestess says to transform you and I need to silent, we need to listen to the message beyond the silence, the message that we are all one, but at the same time many, alone but not alone, knowing but unknowing, here but not here. She says let it be, just be, in the moment and beyond. She preaches that we should take the line of least resistance.

Spend a day of silence, get away from the usual bind of your everyday life, if possible get away into remote countryside.

3. The Empress

The Empress says to transform you and I have to fall madly in love with ourselves. We must be the star of the show, call all the shots and have total creative license, you are I running our own creative block buster, we can hire and fire and flounce but still be in total control of our life. The balance of power lies within our control.

Create a new image for yourself; go for total revamp of style. Create a whole new persona.

4. The Emperor

The Emperor says to transform you and I need to rule ourselves before others rule us!

Consult an Astrologer; find out where the Planets are in your chart that rule self-governance, Saturn, Leo, sun, Capricorn, and Mars. Aries is a very important part of the mix. Many a great Emperor consulted an Astrologer before taking action.

In my next article I will continue the transformations suitable for the next Major cards of the Hierophant to the Hermit. I would love you to let me know if you take up any of these transformative tarot tasks!

Tarot Illustration: The Sun from the Frown Strong Tarot (Major Arcana Only Deck)


Welcome to the Speakeasy

Welcome to the Speakeasy

Welcome to the Tarot Speakeasy, the world’s only time-travelling Tarot blog, powered by shindigtarot. Join me, your hostess, Tali Goodwin (aka TaliTarot) for a journey into the very heart of Tarot, across time and space. As we travel you may notice time-shifts, do not panic! We have landed in the heart of the 1920’s at the start of this adventure – so make yourself at home as I introduce my love of Tarot, blending into the period. Sit yourself down with some giggle-water!

I’ll provide handy guides and links so you can blend in too – and who knows who we’ll meet in our time-hopping, trip-hopping, bunny-hopping adventure. Is that Josephine Baker we see in the corner of the Speakeasy? Wow! She was the only person I know to dance the Charleston on the World card! As we say in the 1920’s “Get Hot! Get Hot!”

Each week I’ll introduce incredible Tarot images from around the world, beautiful and evocative, timeless and enigmatic. I’ll tell you the story of Tarot from its own cards and from my own discovery of the wonderful mystery of the deck and its magical enchantments.

In speakeasy chin (chat) we would not refer to the Death card other than as the button man. The button man brings in change and regeneration. Let’s not bump gums (talk idly) in this joint (social blog site) and keep it totally Tarot in speakeasy style. There is no prohibition in this joint; we are not going to just punch the bag (small talk) let’s do the Real McCoy (genuine item) – but let’s also have whoopy!

We are going to introduce a little cats meow (something splendid or stylish) to Tarot, so get your getaway sticks (legs) down here and chin (talk) the chin (talk) and be a live wire! It’s going to be a lollapalooza (humdinger)!

Over the course of this month, we will be meeting the livewires of the wands, seeing why the Hierophant is a Mrs Grundy and you may also discover why that Chariot is the hayburner of life.

We’ll learn why the 3 of Cups is on a toot, and I’ll ask you which of the Page cards is most likely to be an Owl – and why. I will even reveal some secret humdinger tarot spells to get you some scratch.

So be an egg and not a flat tyre – all this and more – join us regularly for Tarot hip to the jive!

TaliTarot, Time-Traveller of Tarot.


Falling in Love

THE New Palladini Deck

Falling in love again
Never wanted to
What am I to do?
Can’t help it .

New Palladini Lovers

New Palladini Lovers

Oh … the heady state of love and the accompanying self-abandonment, the very thing that inspired the lofty likes of William Shakespeare and Emily Bronte to pen tales of ambition in the pursuit of love. My passion has been ignited by a box of 78 pieces of cardboard. I have fallen madly, truly in love with a Tarot deck, this deck is the New Palladini deck (US Games, 1996).


I am, I proclaim “falling in love again”, as echoed so hauntingly in the Marlene Dietrich song.


Here I am, ‘like a moth to the flame’. I embrace the object of my desire, lovingly so I behold the images; this newly discovered desire inspiring me, giving me new life and enthusiasm. I see Tarot through new eyes, my vision helped along with the spirit of optimism and the trusting which accompanies a new relationship.  I have finally succumbed to the draw of the cards.

A new experience, new perspective, the different and unique personality of the cards, it would seem that each deck has its own personality, and its own attitude to life and relating. Within these realms of archetypal images that have been lovingly crafted to tell their own story. Transfixed I relate to the deck, listening to its message and I face it head on. I have a partnership with the deck.

Like the Magician, David [Palladini] seems to have channeled a higher energy and devoted soul in making this Tarot. Energy resonates from every image. As an artist, he applied a scholarly knowledge—yet one innate and emotional—into the symbolism that makes this deck eternal. Beginning readers are able to decipher David’s artwork instinctively, while at the same time, it assists devoted Tarotists to keep growing. For all enthusiasts, his artwork prompts development, growth, and inspiration.

Susan Hansson, Reading Tarot Cards: A Guide to the New Palladini Tarot. Extracted from her interview and large feature on David Palladini, with exclusive interviews, rare photographs and more, by Michael Orlando in Tarosophist International #5.


The cycle of the relationship with the deck; the broody deck, the vibrant deck, a deck that makes you laugh and makes you cry. A deck that makes you sigh so as you unwrap it. The stubborn deck, the sordid deck, the brainy deck, the deck that makes you desire, the cute deck that makes you want to rush out and adopt a cat, the unrequited love deck, that very deck that eludes you.

What is love? Is it cherishing something or some being above yourself, so that it is an all-encompassing obsession? Or is it that needing of something which is absent in your life? Or is it more truly speaking the realization of self-love?  A tarot deck containing images such as Palladini’s can offer a lifetime of inner knowledge to the seeker. We only need to open ourselves up, and come face to face with the shadows that lurk within, and perhaps one day we will discover the one and greatest love of all: the unconditional love known to the ancient Greeks as agape.

What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

So my darling, my most beloved of decks, I whisper to you as I hold you tenderly in my hands.

Love’s always been my game
Play it how I may
I was made that way
can’t help it …

I will return to explore more about the path of love, longing and loss through time and space with my next blog posting on the secret patterns of the Cups and Swords – and what this tells us about the head and heart, love and relating.

For now, and for always, in Tarot

TaliTarot, the time-travelling Tarot Blogger.


Rare Tarot Decks

GreenSheaf magazine with illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith (1904)

Widecombe Fair Image by Pamela Colman Smith (1899)

Di Mi! What a collection of swell cards! I recently found myself hot-footed to Denmark, where I met the legendary K. Frank Jensen, a real stroller in the Tarot world.

Frank has been collecting decks for a lifetime and his collection spans four large rooms, piled high floor to ceiling of decks, books and magazines across time.

A time-travellers delight! We didn’t pipe down our tarot chin for fourteen hours, and not once did we punch the bag. He was a real Tarot baby grand (heavyweight).

I got to handle and stuck on the real McCoy of many Tarot decks, and will provide lots of peppy photos very soon!

TaliTarot, the Time-Travelling Tarot Blogger.

We’re Working on It.

Currently Under Development

Currently Under Development

On Floor 25 of Tarosophy Towers, a dedicated I.T. workforce of duds labours away under the most demanding of conditions in order to bring you the best of Tarot worldwide, on the hour, every hour. They’re total Ostriches!

Fed only on packets of pretzels and the occasional Key Lime Pie on Sundays, their only pleasure in life is to serve the latest news on Tarot to you, the worthy audience. There are no dewdroppers in this team!

Watch out for the inclusion of jumping tintypes very soon and much more.

Once a month, when the moon is full, they take a ride and head over to the juice joint for a right shindig. So grab your coat and head on over, join in the debate and we’ll see you soon.