Tarot Art Calendar 2004 by Leslie Cochran and Arnell Ando
Review by Diane Wilkes

Every year, I hang a calendar in our kitchen.  Usually, it's a tarot calendar of some kind. One banner year, I had a choice of three different tarot-themed calendars, but last year only one. This year, I'm prepared way ahead of time with this new offering from Arnell Ando (Transformational Tarot, Hero's Journey Tarot, etc.) and Leslie Cochran.

It's no secret that I am a huge and long-time fan of Arnell's work.  I have been collecting her artwork for years and Transformational Tarot is one of my two main reading decks.  There are no limits to my admiration for her as an artist and as a person.  Because I was also very impressed with Leslie Cochran's first tarot calendar, I was eager to see what they came up with together.  I knew that both women had been studying Photoshop, and that these collages would reflect that course of study.

Surprisingly, most of the images don't utilize the visual pyrotechnics that usually accompany high-tech computer art programs. Yet virtually all of the collages are multi-layered and complex, offering the viewer an intricate palette on which he or she could meditate for some time.

January's offering is the Hanged Man. For those of us living on the East Coast, it is certainly a shift in perspective to see tropical waters and glossy green trees, yet Cochran's image provides that reversal and more.  It's a reminder that snow and ice are not eternal, or even universal.  In honor of Aquarians, The Star is featured for February.  Balancing the solar need to create with the lunar need for reflection is nourishing and necessary, and Arnell's use of symbolism brings that point home beautifully.

My favorite of all the images is March's Moon. Many of the standard symbols are included, such as the baying wolves, the murky waters, and the moon itself, but the pillars are anything but standard; they are constructed from textured boxes, one topped with a lobster, the other a crescent moon.  A coy and naked siren is posed and poised on a rock-- she looks innocent enough, but could lure a man to his doom. The full and winking moon lies low overhanging the water; an intricate spider web glows high in the sky where the moon usually rules.  It's a fascinating, deep meditation that demands the intensity that the Moon itself commands. April's Fool is a study in southwestern colors.

In honor of Mother's and Father's Day, May's card is the Empress and June's is the Emperor.  July is sunny with The Sun, but August features The Hermit. I know that Virgo, which rules The Hermit, begins in late August, but I always see it as a Leo month.  Still, the dark, cooling image will be a visual relief when the sun is blazing.

Other cards include Justice, The Chariot, Temperance, and The High Priestess. The artists offer a blurb on each card in their featured month, and full and new moon phases are delineated. Holidays are also demarcated. There is not a lot of room for making notes, but you can certainly write in times and names for an appointment a day.

The quality of the artwork is matched by the excellent duplication of the images, which are incredibly clear and vivid.  The paper is high-quality and glossy, and each image is framable and signed. This is a limited edition of 100 copies, so the sooner you order, the more likely you will be to receive a copy.

I recommend this calendar without reservations -- and would do so if I didn't even know Arnell.

Tarot Art Calendar by Leslie Cochran and Arnell Ando

Click here to see more images and/or order this calendar.

Images copyright 2003 Leslie Cochran and Arnell Ando
Review copyright 2003 Diane Wilkes