Started in 1991 by Thalassa, and currently produced in association with the Daughters of Divination, the San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium (SF BATS) is the oldest continuously produced Tarot even in the country. It has been the inspiration and/or the model for virtually every large Tarot-centred gathering in this country for more than a decade.
SF BATS is a day long event devoted to covering all areas of Tarot and related topics. Many established authors and teachers use SF BATS as an opportunity to try new and different approaches and projects as well as polishing existing work. Exhibitions of new (and often as yet unpublished or privately published) Tarot decks and artwork are an especially important feature of this event. In addition to providing networking opportunities and community building for Tarot enthusiasts of all levels of interest and experience, SF BATS has facilitated or furthered the careers of several noted Tarot artists, authors, and teachers, as well as being instrumental in the publication of several books and decks.
Thalassa is the producer of the San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium (SF BATS), founder of the Daughters of Divination (DOD), and publisher of The Belfry. She teaches and produces divination events in the SF Bay Area, and has presented at the World Tarot Congress, the New York Tarot Festival, PantheaCon, and LATS (LA Tarot Symposium). She lives in San Francisco with a collection of swords, too many books, more tarot decks than one can safely shake a stick at, and a tribe of semi-feral dust bunnies.
No more borders
This is my jumbo Thoth deck without the ugly gray borders on it. The links below show the process in greater detail. The Universal Waite Deck posts details the supplies I used to modify the cards.
I know the process is a little scary at first. You might want to practice on the extra cards in the deck or color copy your decks on card stock to practice trimming.
You might find, like I did, that the deck becomes more attractive and nicer to use.
Welcome to the Hermit’s Journey. My name is Bonnie Cehovet, and today we will be continuing on our journey through the symbols in the Major Arcana. As I noted in the first Pod Cast of this series, that of the Fool, the imagery and symbolism in the Tarot is what connects us to its archetypal qualities and wisdom. It acts as a gateway between our conscious and our unconscious worlds. Each deck carries with it its own unique brand of imagery and symbols. For the purposes of this discussion, I will be referring to the Waite-Smith Tarot (also known as the Rider-Waite Tarot), as it is a traditional reference, and quite often used for teaching purposes. Interpreting the imagery and symbols is done in two ways: through the intent of the author/illustrator (and here we need to remember that the background for the Rider-Waite deck is that of the Golden Dawn), and how the Seeker sees it through the veil of their own personal life experiences.Let’s continue our journey through the symbols of The Devil and The Tower. The major theme for The Devil is that of acknowledging the hidden parts of our personality – our shadow side. These are the forces behind how and why we imprison and limit ourselves.
In “The heart of the Tarot”, Sandra Thomson notes that the Devil is perched on what is considered to be a one-dimensional pedestal. This is the illusionary base of many of our decisions. The bondage of the two humans in this card is also seen as illusional – i.e. self imposed chains. Thomson further notes that the figures look not at each other, nor at the Devil figure – they are totally alone and vulnerable.
At the pit of the Devil’s stomach is the sign of Mercury. The Devil’s right hand is upraised and extended, the reverse of the benediction given by the Hierophant. A reversed Pentagram is on his forehead. His wings indicate that he is a creature of the night. His goat-like body connects this card to Capricorn.
The torch in the Devil’s left hand represents will directed at the material plane.
The tails on the human figures are symbolic of their animal nature. The tail on the female bears the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, and the tail of the mail figure bears a flame, like the Tree of Life.
When the Devil appears in a reading, we are being asked to acknowledge hidden aspects of our personality. We are also being asked to note how and where we may be projecting those hidden aspects in our lives. This card is also very connected to the physical, material world.
The major theme for The Tower is that of change – abrupt change that is thrust upon us without warning. In “The Heart of the Tarot”, Sandra Thomson suggests that the Tower represents the defensive aspects of our personality. The falling male figure represents rigid attitudes based on ego, while the falling female figure represents rigid emotional attitudes.
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