The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has been active in the American Tarot Association and has spoken at tarot conferences around the United States. Barbara’s articles on the tarot have appeared in several tarot publications and in Llewellyn Publications New Worlds of Mind and Spirit magazine. She has also sat on the Tarot Journal editorial board. Barbara’s own education in the tarot has been and continues to be broad and enlightening. She has studied under renowned tarot scholars Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack, and she has taught the tarot to all manner of would-be tarot readers.
Barbara enjoys the challenge of giving a voice to tarot cards and oracle decks. She has had the good fortune to write books for several decks, including A Guide to Mystic Faerie Tarot, The Gilded Tarot Companion, The Hip Witch Tarot, Enchanted Oracle and The Mystic Dreamer Tarot.
I am really proud of the court cards for both volumes of the Book of Shadows Tarot. Because Lo Scarabeo encouraged me to push the boundaries and explore new possibilities, I tried to meet the challenge.
Because Book of Shadows, vol. 2: So Below is meant to be closer to the RWS tradition (whereas As Above was meant to be a kind of re-imagining of what tarot can be), the court cards are grounded in the familiar Rider-Waite-Smith tradition. However, I did two things that I think shake things up and mess with our expectations.
Instead of letting rank decide the gender of the characters, I let the suits decide. And to play with our heads even more, I designed the “passive” suits (Cups
The Fairy Lights Tarot was created in an interesting way. The artist made paintings that were scenes containing two cards. The scenes were then split to create the two separate cards. The designer says that because of this method of creation, there are special ties or resonances between the split cards. They were painted in pairs that we might not automatically think of as natural pairs, so we are encouraged to push our thinking about the cards beyond our normal bounds.
Here are some of the original images and the resulting cards.
PLEASE NOTE: the cards used here do NOT show the final card design. They were preliminary designs and I used them because those were the scans I was
Right. I like RWS-style deck as well as the next person. I like cat decks pretty well (which is good, considering I designed the Pagan Cats Tarot) even though I am more of a dog person. I certainly did not expect to fall in love with the fabulous felines of the Black Cats Tarot. Seriously. In. Love.
I like novelty decks just fine. I like it better if a deck that could be novelty reaches further and achieves more. The Black Cats Tarot does that. I have picked out oodles of images that either charmed me or made me think or delighted me with their cleverness. I’ll comment on some, but I am sure these expressive creatures can speak for themselves.
This must be the most serene High
The Book of Shadows Tarot, volume 2: So Below is now available!
This morning, I shuffled my deck, fresh from the box and drew a card for this entry. The 4 of Cups:
Now, I would have wanted a card that I considered "more positive" than the 4 of Cups. But this caused me to reconsider the card. Maybe it's not all bad...I the Rider-Waite-Smith version, the man is clearly dissatified. His ideal is making him unhappy with his lot. This woman seems to be dreaming Muse-Inspired dreams. Is this good or bad? Will she achieve these new dreams or will they only cause her to be bitterly disappointed with what she already has? Is this Water Muse trustworthy, giving a blessing, or more