Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bookfest 2015

This is Bookfest weekend here, a time when authors come to speak about their work, read from their latest offerings, sign copies, and mingle with the locals. Our city welcomes writers of fiction and non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels.
Lovers of the written word (both weavers and readers) gather to celebrate the wondrous world of the book. All three theatres are up and running, along with a bookstore and snack/wine bar. I love it!

In honour of Bookfest, I thought I'd review some tarot companion books that I find particularly delightful.

First up, Lunaea Weatherstone's enchanting Victorian Fairy Companion
Even without Gary Lippincott's beautifully imagined and detailed Victorian Fairy deck alongside it, this book is an absolute treasure trove of information.

Things I love about it ~

There is a snippet of a Victorian-era poem to accompany each major.
IX The Hermit
Down a winding glade with leaflets wall'd,
With an odorous dewy dark imbued;
Rose, and maple, and hazel call'd
Me into the shadowy solitude...

XIV Temperance
The dregs and foam together
Unite to crown the cup --
And well we know the weal and woe
That fill life's chalice up!

And a poem to introduce each suit.
The Spring Court
Gorse has lit his lanterns all, 
Cobwebbed thrift's a fairy ball,
Earth it smells as good as new,
Winds are merry, sky is blue,
Spring has laughter, Spring has tears,
Life has courage, life has fears...

There is an Appendix entitled "The Language of Flowers".
Here's a taste:
"In the Victorian era, messages were conveyed by subtle means: flirting a fan across a crowded ballroom, folding the corner of a calling card, and, of course, offering a gift of flowers. The Victorians took centuries-old symbolism of plants and made it the fashion. 

The Bibliography is extensive, and lists all the books, anthologies, and dictionaries from which came Lunaea's information about fairies, Victorian dance, the Caledonian forest, songs and poems. Should you decide to dip into the life and lore of the Victorians, you'll find a leg-up here!

Next, Corrine Kenner's Wizard's Tarot Handbook.
Fans of Harry Potter, boarding school, student/teacher interactions, learning, astrology, gems, symbolism, alchemy, magic, elemental dignities (I'll stop, but there's more!) will find something here.
Welcome to Mandrake Academy and the Wizard's Tarot.

Every Major has its own spread.
For instance:
The Charioteer's Time Travel Spread
The Wheel of Fortune's Web of Fate Spread
Transfiguration's Past Life Spread

The Professors share some of their specialist esoteric knowledge.
The Hermit, Librarian and Professor of Candle Magic, instructs us in Colour Magic.
The Hanged Man, Professor of Runes, lists the runic alphabet, its symbols, pronunciations, and meanings.
The Hierophant, Professor of Mythology, supplies charts of the Greek and Roman Pantheon of Gods and Goddesses.

There are informative sections on so many diverse topics.
Herbal magic, crystals
The Zodiac, astrology of the Court Cards and the Majors
The Elemental Creatures of the Royal Court

Last, but not least, in keeping with the season, Karin Lee's companion to the Halloween Tarot.
 As you might expect, it's full of tricks and treats, Pumpkins, Ghosts, Bats, and Imps. Kipling West's cheerfully spooky artwork brings just the right touch of the macabre.

History of Halloween
From the long-ago Celts to the present.

Symbols & Traditions
Why Jack-o-Lanterns, Skeletons, Black Cats? Look no further!

Halloween Booklists
For kids and adults, tarot and non-tarot.