I had picked up the 2006 Tarot Calendar featuring Arnell Ando and Leslie Cochran collage tarot cards at SF BATS in 2008. Even thought the calendar part was not relevant any more, the pictures were amazing. I cut them out and put them up in my office to inspire me with my work.
I was able to meet Arnell Ando at the 2009 SF BATS when she gave a talk about Tarot and Art and throwing Tarot themed parties. She shared some amazing art she had created such as her Tarot Mirrors and Tarot Masks. She shared with us ideas about how to make tarot themed invitations as well as activities to enjoy. She also shared with us music that inspired her art.
This lead me to her website, Arnell’s Art, and finding out that I could still get her Lucky Pack! So I ordered it without delay. I love collage decks and this one was amazing. I received it a week later, in a package with Tarot Stamps on it. =)
Inside I found four mini artistamp sheets of 6 stamps each, depicting details from the cards, as well as a lovely green cardboard box tied with a lovely rainbow ribbon. In the box was a scroll of authenticity, Arnell’s version of the Little White book and the cards wrapped with another ribbon of fall colors. I was in heaven. The backs of the cards have her stamp on the back with her special mark:
Upon looking through the deck I was amazed by the art and vision Arnell had created. She had made a Majors only deck with 23 cards which included two Lovers cards. Of course this made me even more enamored with this deck as The Lovers card is my birth card. As I looked through the deck I found that the beauty of this deck was best viewed in the Death Card:
I loved the use of the old fashioned type writer and typed message coming out of it. It expressed how I think of Death, being free of the body and able to be free from the conventional ties to one’s memories no longer. When it is time to go, I hope it will be like floating away from this plane. I like the image of the mask coming away and freeing one from the Ego.
I looked through the other cards and found the one that was hanging above my desk at eye level so I could look at it whenever I am feeling low: The Wheel of Fortune.
As I read through the accompanying book, Arnell had made sure to show the many different ways one could gain information about one’s future fortune, with a Magic 8 Ball, playing cards,a crystal ball, a wheel of fortune and of course tarot cards. Madame Fortuna challenges one to decide if they will take a chance of giving up what they have for what could be. And anything can occur if one take a spin at the wheel.
The next card that caught my attention was The Moon. I often get this card and thought that the two towers made from interesting blocks Arnell had made herself was just another layer she added to this card showing her personal style. The Moon, winking in the center of the card, seemed to be showing the playfulness that can be found in the moonlight. The two wolves in the picture also show the wild nature that can come out during a full moon, with one howling and the other seeming to invite the viewer to explore their own wild side.
And of course the two Lovers cards intrigued me.
This card shows many different ways of expressing love. It implies a simpler and gentler time. There are many types of couples in this card. They show romantic love as well as camaraderie between each other. I felt like this card could come up in a reading about love between couples but also as friendships and relationships between family members and siblings.
This was in contrast to the other Lovers card, showing a Wolfman, and his two choices in lovers:
The Wolfman has his feet in the waters of Venice clutching two love letters from the two women in his life. One of these ladies is depicted as a masked woman with a voodoo doll and the other as a beauty preparing for a visit with her love. These two women represent the Wolfman’s choices in his world between mystery and beauty according to the artist. I see this card as one that warns of the fickleness of love. It also caution one of the hidden motives of misguided lovers. It can warn of a relationship that is not completely as it seems.
The rest of the cards are just as lovely and hold many different views of the way to explore each of the Major Arcana cards. I am in awe with the art, thought and work Arnell put into each of the cards. I find that I see new things each time I pick them up. As I work with The Lucky Pack more, I will post what it reveals to me.
I will leave you with the last card I drew, the Hight Priestess and say “Ride Lady, Ride!”