Review by Bonnie Cehovet
For the past three years I have enjoyed the work of artists Arnell Ando and Leslie Cochran in their Tarot Art Calendar. The calendar for 2007 is their fourth, and final calendar. As usual, it exceeds expectations! (And my expectations are always high, with these ladies!)
The calendar is 8 1/2 by 11 inches, and is made from sturdy, high quality, glossy cardstock. It is a two part, spiral calendar, with the illustration on the top half, and a discussion of the illustration, along with each months calendar, on the bottom half. Each lady does six of the illustrations, which are based on the Major Arcana, every year. The illustrations are collage work, and are absolutely stunning both from the point of view of color and the point of view of content. Each image is individually signed by the artist. They are whimsical, they stretch the imagination, and they make us think. (A small version of Arnell's The World from 2006 sits in a gold frame on top of my computer. It portrays a woman, dressed in white, seated at the base of a tree, with both of her arms embracing a globe of the world, with a male figure laying on the globe and embracing it. Many, many days this card has grounded and centered me in whatever work I was doing. Many thanks to Arnell for this bridge to reality!)
Most major US and religious holidays are included, as well as the new, quarter and full moon phases.
One of the cards from this deck that struck me immediately was January's card: the Magician, by Arnell Ando. The scene is a pastoral one, with a large tree on the left hand side of the page, green grass and trees in the background, and the edge of a house seen on the right hand side of the page. Towards the front of the scene, on the left hand side, we see a young boy, wearing a black top hat and a flowing blue scarf. In each hand he holds a white bird. Behind him we see a rabbit racing across the yard. To the left hand side of the boy we see a large tree stump, with a black top hat sitting on it, and a human head, wearing rabbit ears, coming out of it. Arnell's description is as follows:
The Magician - Happy New Year!
A backyard Magician entertains the neighborhood while a rabbit takes one look at the hat trick and runs for cover. The Magician's table is an ancient tree stump with roots that go deep, spanning generations. Wind chimes with the four elements blow int he breeze, as white doves prepare for their spectacular act of illusion. Our young magician is mesmerizing the crowd and sharing in the collective dream. Personal will in union with the mysterious forces of nature.
Leslie Cochran's Moon (the card for February) is equally stunning! In fact, it is a bit scary! Taking center stage is a hand, holding up an old fashioned hand mirror, which reflects a woman's face. On one side of the hand is a candle, while on the other side are perfume bottles - items that would be placed on a dresser top. In the background we see a night scene, with a calm lake, trees, and stars dotting a lavender sky. Leslie's description is as follows
The Moon Asces
She sees in her reflection the rising full moon. Evening deepens and moonlight shimmers across the lake, glinting off the polished silver and cut crystal on her dressing table. This "mooning over oneself" is not vanity, but a rising awareness of the connection between our inner countenance and the cyclical rhythms in nature.
Each illustration is food for thought in its own right. My wish - that these lovely Tarot calendars would continue forever!
© Bonnie Cehovet
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.