Greetings to you all!
I have decided it is time to rework the cards and reassess the means of production so I plan to withdraw them from sale and rerelease them a few months later in a third edition. There will be changes to a few of the cards that I have decided are not completely satisfactory and also a rethink of the container issue. A tin or a pouch of some kind and hopefully a hard copy of the revised guide book. I’m looking at releasing the third edition at the beginning of the Year of the Rat (next year), which will mark new 60 year cycle. I also want to try and improve the site situation as well so there is a lot to do. I am hesitant to name a release date yet because these things always take longer than you expect.
Please note that on Septembers full moon I will withdraw the second and first editions from sale in case you want to get a copy of any of them before they go.
I still do see the deck and the book as a work in progress, and so I intend to continue being an independent creator, and keeping total control of my creative content. Of course I won’t mess with the core images. I’m too lazy to go through all that again! But there are one or two cards that really need to change.
The last year has been rest and recovery time for me, essential down time after more than ten years intense work on the cards, followed by moving to the opposite side of the world, but now finally I am starting to regain my strength and inspiration for the task at hand. Leaving the city to live on a beautiful island has done wonders for my health and happiness and I now feel I can get to work again. I am so very grateful to all of you for your support and love over the years. The response to the release of the Asherah Tarot totally exceeded my expectations and it’s thanks to you all that I am now inspired to get back to work and make this deck the best that it can be.
Second Edition Available Now!!
I have published the cards in a second edition with the Hong Kong based Print on Demand company, MakePlayingCards, releasing both a Large size (89 X 146 mm or 3.5” X 5.75”) and a Poker size (89 X 146mm or 2.48” X 3.46”). They are printed on premium 330gsm smooth card stock, which gives rich true colours and high definition. This is particularly important with the Poker size, as reducing such detailed imagery to a small size requires very clear definition to do it justice.
Cards are printed in sheets, which means that in the Poker size, 90 cards cost the same to produce as 78. I realised I could use these spare 12 cards to reproduce the booklet information from the first edition, and so the Poker deck comes with a booklet in card form. The options for a printed booklet in the Poker size were too small to be useful and so this is the only way I could have included it. There is also a signature card and two bonus art cards. You can see previews of every single card if you click on see preview at the deck page.
The Large deck comes with 80 cards, the two extras being a signature card and a Qabalah key guide that complements the eight page folding booklet, which contains all the other key information and is also signed. People seemed to want signatures so I did my best on that this time.
I decided to forego boxes, but I intend to create custom designed pouches that people can order separately. A tarot deck that is used is usually kept in a bag, preferably silk. Only ones that gather dust on shelves need boxes, and above all I want this to be a deck that people love to use.
I am happy to send anyone who contacts me the pdf of the User Guide. The only condition is that you will be added to my mailing list. Its best to use my gmail firstname.lastname@example.org, because I am having trouble with my Asherah Tarot email. Take the opportunity while you can, because once I format and re edit the book to make an ebook and print version I will stop giving it away.
I hope you enjoy this new version!
Asherah Tarot Release 24th June 2017
Today I pressed the publish button at the exact time of the New Moon in Cancer and so now the deck is available to purchase from my Game Crafter Shop. The price is $66.99 plus postage (US Dollars). I have chosen the best quality printing options; the Linen finish and UV coating are really luxurious, and the deck comes boxed with a 20 page colour booklet. I have uploaded some photos of the cards over at my shop so please do go and have a look.
The release of this Tarot deck a truly momentous occasion in my life after all these years of work, but circumstances are such that I now have other pressing concerns to deal with. It’s as if the goddess knows that my task here is finally done and has now presented me with a back log of unfinished business to attend to. If she hadn’t taken matters in hand I probably would have gone on frittering and frootering for eternity. Thank you goddess! And a heartfelt thanks to all of you who buy my Tarot. I hope you will find it enjoyable and useful and healing. I hope it will give you as much strength and sanity as creating it has given me.
A 121 page pdf version of the user manual is included with your purchase, and it will be updated and revised regularly. I will share these updates with anyone who has bought a deck through Game Crafter. Currently it is a basic A4 version, with quite large type (for blind bats like me), but I plan to reformat it and expand on it when I get some time. Keep an eye out on my pages for announcements or join my mailing list. Eventually I will also design and release a hard copy version of the book. I have enjoyed the writing process almost as much as I did the painting and its been wonderful to be able to use my two skills on one project. Like most Geminis I like to diversify!
There will also be a Poker size deck coming by the end of the year and more merchandise, including Art Prints. In the next few months I will have limited online access so I may be quiet but I will try to check my email regularly and field all enquiries. When I ordered my copy I chose the cheapest international shipping option to Australia (UPS Innovations) and it arrived within a week in a very sturdy box once it had been printed, which I was happy about. The nature of Print on Demand is that they have to print it before they send it to you so that can take about a week as well.
I am very happy to announce the imminent release of the Asherah Tarot!
I am planning to commence sales on the 24th of June. I will be offering a Jumbo size (3.5 X 5.5 inches or approximately 9cm X 14cm) deck through Game Crafter, with linen finish and UV coating, a 20 page full colour booklet and box, plus a pdf download of the guide book. Exact prices are yet to be decided but will be in the region of 60 – 70 US dollars plus shipping.
I will also release a Poker size deck (2.5 X 3.5 cm) by the end of the year, and it will be somewhat cheaper, but I do recommend the larger size to fully appreciate the richly detailed artwork. I have been very pleasantly surprised by the quality of printing from Game Crafter.
The great struggle has finally reached the point of manifestation! Eleven years of truly obsessive hard work has finally crystalized into a deck of cards. I am releasing the First Edition in as high a quality as I can find, because it has to do the art work justice, and because I want to generate maximum enjoyment. Production costs are high, especially as they are in US dollars, but the results are satisfying. I will work on finding more convenient distribution for other parts of the world, but that could take six months to a year, as my life is demanding urgent attention now. The shipping is quite fast to Australia, and I hope it will be so for other parts of the world.
I will email this announcement to everyone on my mailing list, and update it with details and links as they come to hand. If you wish to be added to the list please email me.
Thank you so much for all your enthusiasm and encouragement over the years…I doubt I could have made it to the end of the road without them.
Numerical Value : 3
Esoteric Title : Daughter of the Mighty Ones
Path 14 : Daleth (Door)
Chokmah – Binah
Planet : Venus
Double Letter : Peace – War
Sepher Yetzirah : Illuminating Intelligence
The Empress is the goddess of creation, giving life and taking it away. She is the Solar feminine, consciousness creating union. As the creative and destructive aspect of feminine energy, she is continuously conceiving new life in infinite variety and consuming it again it in death. As the motive power of love, she inspires creativity and passion of all kinds. When we love what we do our work shines. When we feel love for ourselves and for all created life forms, we become happy and productive. Love is the great creative energy of life, and so the Empress rules over all creation effortlessly. Who else but the great goddess can make things make themselves? She doesn’t bother forming men from clay, but simply delegates the endless perpetuation of material existence to the powers of attraction and reproduction.
The Empress is ruled by the planet Venus, or Aphrodite, who is a goddess of Love, in the broadest and highest sense. She rules not only sexual attraction, but the love between friends and colleagues, and even the love of an artist for their work. As passion in all its manifestations, her gift is the power to create new forms in any realm. She is the carrier of the dream who fertilises our aspirations. The mysterious phenomena of magnetic attraction goes much deeper than physical sexuality, and is an urge that is both psychological and spiritual. It is a desire to know and be known, the need of the soul for energetic interchange on higher levels. In the words of Dion Fortune, the cult of Aphrodite was “concerned with the subtle interaction of the life force between two factors; the curious flow and return, the stimulus and reaction, which plays so important a part of relations between the sexes, but extends far beyond the sphere of sex.”
The Empress is the Illuminating Intelligence, who fills us with enlightenment and inspiration. This title is a suggestion of her Solar Goddess origins, which are very clearly symbolised in this card, by her head dress and by the sun rising behind her. The Solar feminine is the life giving energy of the suns rays, which makes all things grow and heals our wounds and sorrows. The sun gives to all without favour, and under its blissful warmth we all come together joyously to create society and family. Its brilliant light gifts us with the power to see reality for what it is, and work with it constructively for the greater good. It can also bring death and drought, and so it has much in common with the great goddess. It’s very easy to understand why Sun Goddesses were so common throughout the ancient world and also why they have been so ruthlessly suppressed by the patriarchy.
The pink bat wings of this Empress are reminiscent of a birth canal, and they reach out to embrace the whole world. Her fingers elongating into wing bones represent our universal connection in spirit, and also reference the mega bat totem of the artist. She presides over the union of the waters of emotion with the fecund earth of material existence, the result of which is unlimited fertility, which is why a waterfall framed by lush vegetation forms her back drop. In the mythology of the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna, an earlier and more powerful version of Aphrodite, the rite of her sacred marriage to the vegetation god Dumuzi ensured the seasons harvest would be fruitful. Inanna was a goddess of both Love and War, reflecting the full spectrum of feminine divinity. Originally the deity was both dark and light, and only later became divided. The passions can lead to conflict as well as union, and in fact the two often come together, hence the meaning of the double letter of this card, Peace and War. If we are honest the desire to make love and the desire to fight are not so very different, either in intent or in result. The feminine archetype needs to be rebalanced by remembering its warrior aspect. Its all very well to hope for peace and kindness and love, but we also must be ready to fight when we have to. All nature must struggle to survive, and we are no exception.
Both the dove and the serpent are connected with the Tree of Life, the dove being the representative of the higher worlds and the serpent that of the lower chthonic realm. They are also often characterised as two types of love energy, one passive and the other aggressive, Agape and Eros. The dove represents the ability to give life and it appears in Christianity as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, which is fertilising the womb of the Grail in the Ace of Cups. The “Holy Spirit” has usurped the throne of Asherah, the original feminine divinity in the Hebrew triad. Father, Son and Holy Ghost are represented in the Qabalah by Chokmah, Tiphareth and Binah respectively, and Binah is very much the sephirah of the goddess. In this card the dove is perching on an alchemical symbol for Salt, which is the attribution of the Empress and the function of feeling. Salt represents Love and Tears and its properties are bitterness and wisdom. It also refers to the great primordial sea of Binah from which all life emerged. Tears and sorrow are bitter but they teach wisdom. Binah is ruled by Saturn and this is reflected in its emphasis on material restrictions. The gift of life is also a responsibility, and often a very demanding and limiting one.
The Hebrew letter that rules this card is Daleth, the Door or the Womb. The Empress is the womb of nature in all its abundant fruitful glory. She is all mothering and sublimely beautiful but also quite ruthless and brutal. Being born is the beginning of dying because what lives must inevitably die. So the door of Daleth goes both ways, being the Gate of Heaven from which all life emerges and through which it returns to dust. The path of Daleth on the Tree goes from Binah to Chokmah, linking the All Mother with the All Father, and forming a cross with the path of the High Priestess. Metaphorically she is the outpouring of life energy that results from the equilibration of the feminine and masculine polarities, natural creation in all its glory. Her crown is a flaming solar symbol of her ancient origins as a Sun Goddess, and it is surrounded by the twelve stars of the zodiac. Her gown is the green of the sphere of Netzach, which is the sphere of Venus. The number three refers to the product of the union between the one and the two, and is traditionally the number of the goddess.
If we want to have a future, we must learn the art of the gardener and the healer and become the faithful stewards of all creation. Our mechanistic, money driven society is toxic to anyone with a heart and soul, male or female, and at the core of its dysfunction is a lack of respect for our own feminine side, for the feminine divinity or archetype, and for Mother Earth herself. In order for us to evolve as individuals and as a species we must all learn to respect and value our creativity, and our emotional connection to the planet and all its inhabitants. Acknowledging the intrinsic spiritual unity and material interdependence of all life on Earth is the only hope we have to ensure our survival and the preservation of this beautiful planet. This profound realisation is the gift of consciousness, the illumination of the Solar feminine.
The values and qualities of the Empress are integral to our well being. She is compassionate, loving, and sensitive to the needs of all, with her arms open to embrace the world. There is a great power in her vulnerability, and in her uninhibited gift of love, especially when she remembers to include herself in her loving and caring, and establish healthy boundaries. An unbalanced manifestation of the Empress can result in an excess of self sacrifice, and a tendency to smother and over protect. It’s important not to try and compensate for the lack of Empress ability in others by doing everything for them. The power to nurture and create is available to all of us regardless of gender, and we don’t do anyone any favours when we allow them to avoid developing it. Our souls are bisexual, and we all have a feminine side and a masculine side. A balanced, sane individual has integrated both equally and actualised all four modes of self expression; intuition, feeling, thinking and sensation.
The Empress is a very powerful and demanding influence, requiring us to get real with our dreams and plant them into fertile earth. She judges by results and is not impressed by big talk and empty promises. She can also be a destructive and limiting force, because she binds souls into form and in doing so dooms us to experience death. This might be why our society has pushed her to the edges of consciousness, and denied the Goddess in our religion. We fear the Mother archetype, because she consumes us and controls us and we spend our formative years trying to escape her. Life is a journey in which we run from her grasp and then are unwillingly returned into her arms, and there is no escaping that fate, so we might as well relax and allow life to unfold as it wishes. The first lesson of creativity is the humble acceptance of what is given to us. We cannot consciously control or will our creations, but simply prepare to receive them. We prepare our tools, hone our skills and wait for the inspiration to arrive.
The great goddess is an inexorable force of nature who makes a mockery of our pretensions of mastery and control. We are free to act on our desires, but we do not choose our desires. Due to our cultural conditioning, when we envision the divine feminine we see only her light aspect, loving and maternal, but the truth is there is a much more elemental and sexual side to her. A limitless sexual energy and a limitless creative potential, which truly scare those not able to freely express their own elemental nature. Love is not just nurturing, it is all consuming, and often quite destructive. When people fear the feminine within, they fear loss of control and the forces of chaos. And yet it is from that chaos that all creativity and life energy emerges. Without surrender we become barren and lifeless. The divine feminine is the forces of nature, our animal passion, and the deep underlying connection to all life and to the Earth itself. It is the root chakra, the source of all our power and material existence.