Mansions of the Moon Tarot by Diane
I remember a time when the only collage deck I knew of was
Wanless’ Voyager Tarot. I found
these cards difficult to “enter;” they seemed dissonant, distracting.
While I could read with them, I didn’t much want to.
Then I saw Arnell Ando’s Transformational Tarot and fell in love.
These were cards I could enter. Not
only that, I wanted to do so. Their
cohesion made them positively enticing. However, I was so ignorant of artistic techniques that I
didn’t realize that Transformational Tarot was a collage deck.
It certainly didn’t resemble Voyager, the one I knew.
Now I am the proud possessor of several beautiful collage
decks, and would say that, when done well (ie., Jumbledance Tarot by Alexandra
Genetti, Evolving and Aleph-Beth Tarot by Michele Jackson, and all of Arnell
Ando’s decks), they are my favorite Tarot decks of all.
It’s time to add a new name to that august list: Dennis
Hogue. His Mansions of the Moon
Tarot has the qualities I seek in a deck of any artistic persuasion: pleasing
and cohesive imagery, a nice use of color, and a way of conveying new insights
within an old system. Justice has
the requisite scales and sword, but the blind woman is the statue balancing
bowls in each hand and is seen most
recently in promotions for Midnight in the
Garden of Good and Evil. Since
that book/movie is centered about a court case that makes us look at
“justice” a bit differently, this enhances my understanding of the
Hogue occasionally repeats symbols within the cards.
Justice, as seen earlier, has scales and the echoing image of the blind
woman balancing bowls—both are weighing images.
Temperance has a lady with vessels in both hands, as well as one ritual
cup pouring magically into another in the upper left hand corner of the card
(Look Ma—No Hands!). The cards
are filled with Suns and Moons and pagan imagery abounds.
the Mansions of the Moon Tarot appeals to me most because of the vivid colors
and the wonderful images mixed with flair and depth.
The Queen of Wands, my significator, is not just fiery, but magical and
creative. She bursts with energy
and drive—a perfect card to inspire me when writing or engaged in creative
ritual. The Six of Cups is a
particular favorite; it not only arouses a pleasant nostalgia, but speaks of
universal exchange as children of different races dance in a circle on a field
of flowers. The Two of Cups bubbles
like champagne, and a couple is ensconced in a small bubble of their own,
Hogue’s artistic expression is powerful and striking; his
execution, however, is not always perfect.
“Emperor” is misspelled and the scissorwork isn’t consistently
dextrous. But this just adds to my
enjoyment of this deck—the flaws make it less polished, which, in this case,
equates to a kind of Tarot verite¢.
If I were to assign a suit to this deck, it would be that of
Wands—Mansions of the Moon Tarot has a pulse.
It reverberates, it positively vibrates with life and energy.
I love its spark.
I recommend this deck to collage fans and those who like
vibrant colors and images. I also
believe that the Pagan imagery would appeal to some Tarot enthusiasts.
Images Copyright Dennis Hogue
Review Copyright Diane Wilkes