Review by Bonnie Cehovet
Packages in the mail are wondrous sources of joy. I opened one the other day to find a top of the line Tarot Journal – a quality product, at an economical price ($18.95), that clearly showed that the author/artist was not only a skilled artisan, but had put great thought into the “mechanics” of her work.
The Journal, at 9” by 12”, is fairly large. The good news is that it is spiral bound, so that it will lie flat. The front and back covers are hard cover, in solid black, with the name of the journal in gold foil on the front cover, as well as a gold foil circle surrounding a very “other-worldly” night sky scene.
I was so entranced by this scene that I contacted Montalbano to see what was behind the artwork on the cover. It turns out that it is a genre that she has created, termed Galactic C.H.I. (Celestial Healing Infusion) Art. Montalbano uses images taken from the Hubble Telescope as inspiration for her art. The circular star in the upper right hand corner is one of the later phases of the “birth of a star”. The reddish colored cluster in the lower left hand side of the picture is a “star birthing cloud cluster”. The design around the background of the image is a labyrinth to meditate by.
The inside pages are heavier than standard weight, with a matte finish (so that a jelly role pen can be used and not have smear issues, or work left handed and not have smear issues). There are 22 blank layout spreads (two pages each – one for the spread itself, and one for notes), and 256 blank card stickers. (These are so cool! You write in the name of the card drawn, the position number and definition, and fill in the circle at the bottom if the card is reversed.)
The page facing the Layout Space includes space to fill in the question asked, personal notes about the reading, occurrences/later happenings, the date, the name of the Seeker, the name of the Reader, the time and location of the reading, the spread type, and the deck used.
In the front of the journal is an information page explaining how to use the Tarot Journal, how to use the stickers, and how to put it all together. There is also a page to write in the date the journal was begun, the date that it ended, and who the journal belongs to. The imagery for the Layout Spreads contains the Andromeda Galaxy in the background, with the card stickers showing a spiral galaxy.
This journal is elegance personified – thoughtful and playful at the same time.
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.