Llewellyn's Tarot Calendar 2002 Review by Diane Wilkes
Every year since 2000, the Llewellyn Tarot Calendar has provided tarot enthusiasts with an artistically pleasing tool for keeping time and learning more about our favorite subject. This year's 10" x 13" calendar seems to burst with even more goodies than previous years, which were always more than generous.
Each month features an image from either a Llewellyn or Lo Scarabeo deck (which is new to this year's calendar, since Llewellyn only recently became the U.S. distributor for Lo Scarabeo), an essay on some area of the tarot by various authors, and a related spread. Each day includes the phase and sign of the Moon and a tarot card to study for the day--with several of the days showing a section of a card from the featured deck of the month. These images are muted, so you can write legibly in the spaces as needed.
The decks and cards featured are:
Buckland Romani Tarot (The Fool)
Nigel Jackson Tarot (Four of Cups)
Crystal Tarots (Lo Scarabeo) (The Magician)
Shining Tribe Tarot (The Empress)
Celtic Dragon Tarot (The Hierophant)
World Spirit Tarot (The Lovers)
Tarot of the Saints (The World)
The Witches' Runes (The Sun/Sowelo)
Pythagorean Tarot (The Ace of Cups)
Ancient Tarot of Bologna (Lo Scarabeo) (Death)
Robin Wood Tarot (Nine of Pentacles)
Wild Spirit Tarot (The Fiddler/Devil)
Several of the featured decks have yet to be released (Pythagorean Tarot, Wild Spirit Tarot) and one isn't really a tarot deck (The Witches' Runes). I would have preferred all the images be from tarot decks, though the card chosen from The Witches' Runes could "pass", what with it being a "Sun" card. And the artwork is by Nigel Jackson, who has certainly won my heart with his drawings for the deck that bears his name.
Not only does each month have a featured article, there are more extensive pieces included in the calendar. There are some introductory pieces, such as "The Cards of the Tarot," and a Minor Arcana Table of Correspondences. John Michael Greer's contribution, "The Round Dance of Tarot: The Daily Card System in the Tarot Calendar" sets the schedule for the recommended daily card study printed on each day in the tarot calendar. Arnell Ando (Transformational Tarot, Storyteller Tarot, Hero's Journey Tarot) has written an exhaustive article on creating your own deck, Valerie Sim-Behi, Comparative Tarot (CT) Listowner, has written a piece near and dear to heart on the CT method, where you use two decks to compare each card in a layout. One of my favorite tarot authors, Thea Bloom, doesn't have a book published, but contributes two articles to the calendar. Nina Lee Braden, webmistress of Moonstruck and soon-to-be Llewellyn author, is another favorite of mine; her essay is on "The Fool's Journey." Gina Pace of Wicce's Tarot Page writes on "Identifying the Self."
Needless to say, there are numerous Llewellyn authors who have contributions in the calendar. The aforementioned John Michael Greer, Tracy Porter, Robert Place, Anthony Louis, Stephen Sterling, Yasmine Galehorn, and Marguerite Elsbeth all have at least one piece included. Porter, Place, and Louis have more than one. New to Llewellyn Publishing are two tarot legends who grace the 2002 calendar. "Tarot by Number" by Mary K. Greer teaches the Minor Arcana through a story that shows how the numbers build on one another. It even includes a charming stick-figure illustration. Rachel Pollack's Tarot Gematria is a wonderful lesson in using Hebrew numerology with the tarot.
As you no doubt have realized from the above descriptions, there is something in here for all lovers of the tarot. Even if one essay doesn't strike your fancy, the next month's just might. I frequently recommend to tarot novices that they look for ways to integrate the cards into their everyday existence. Talk about creating an easy daily ritual--this calendar makes that process a given. I give it my highest recommendation.
Images © 2001, 2002 Llewellyn Publishing
Review and page © 2001 Diane Wilkes