Review by Bonnie Cehovet
The "Kaleidoscope Tarot" is the precursor to Leisa's independently published Tarot of Color card deck. Based on the color and attribution system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, this deck consists of 80 opaque, stained glass colored tiles (the traditional 78 tiles, plus two additional tiles - one for Earth, and a clear tile for Spirit), each bearing an appropriate symbol (Elemental, Planetary or Astrological symbols for the Major Arcana; the Pips numbered 1 - 10; "K" for King, "Q" for Queen, "k" for Knight, "P" for Page. Note: One change that I would make here is to use "Kn" for Knight - the poor guy should have a capitol letter in his title! ;-)
The tiles come in a 2 1/4" by 3" clear plastic box, well padded, so that the tiles are not scratched or broken. Four plastic cards line the box - one on each side. Two cards show graphics of the Major Arcana tiles, in different arrangements; one lists the Elements and the Planets, with their symbols, color and card associations; one lists the signs of the Zodiac, with their symbols, color and card associations.
The concept here is truly interesting - using the geometric form of the tiles (elongated diamond), spreads take on a whole new meaning! Leisa has some great examples on her site of how this can be done. What an amazing way to open up a reading! A hint here - move your cursor over each individual scan, and you will see what the scan represents (i.e. a one card spread, a three card relationship spread, a three card Past/Present/Future spread etc). The limits here are only those that the reader places on themselves.
One of the other gifts of note on this site is a very unique comparison of traditional Universal Waite Tarot cards, Tarot of Color cards, and Kaleidoscope Tarot tiles. Seen in this manner, it is easy to imagine how these decks can be used to compliment each other (as well as how the Kaleidoscope Tarot and Tarot of Color decks evolved). Backing this up are easy to read charts on color and symbol associations great references for any Tarot student.
The downloads aren't too shabby either - a Tarot of Color e-book; Tarot of Color in the Orphalese format; Hello Tarot (colored by Leisa) in Orphalese format; samples of the Celtic Cross Spread using the Tarot of Color, the Hello Tarot, and the Universal Waite Tarot; a Plain Tarot (black and white, not illustrated); and templates for spreads using the Kaleidoscope Tarot (note: the templates are done to size, so that they can be printed out and used "as is").
At this time there is no companion book (or e-book) for the Kaleidoscope Tarot. There is an in-depth e-book in process, which will include a section on the colors (association with specific cards, issues connected with each color, what too much of a color indicates, what too little of a color indicates, associated crystals and essential oils, life illustrations); sections on Elemental, Planetary and Astrological associations - including charts relating the Colors/Planets/Trumps, Colors/Elements/Trumps, Colors/Zodiac Signs/Trumps; and a very unique section on the Zodiac Signs, which includes glyphs of the signs, the associated Sun Sign, Opposite Sign, ruling planet, charts on polarity/mode/season, keywords, and associated Tarot cards. In case you don't think this is enough information, there is a graphic showing the seasons, the Fixed, Mutable, and Cardinal signs, and the associations with the Pips - accompanied by a list of quotes on color.
This lovely "stained glass" Tarot opens up many avenues: it brings out a wonderful sense of how color is related to the Tarot, is a unique tool for learning/teaching esoteric associations, gives an entirely new look to comparative readings (note: try setting the spreads out side by side, rather than placing the tiles by the corresponding cards), lends itself well to meditation/journeying (these are stained glass tiles, folks - you can use essential oils with them, and you can choose to either hold them in your hands, or hold them in place over your third eye with a piece of cloth), and can be used in scrying to great effect (place the tile in a clear, low container of water, light a candle (or candles) behind it, darken the room and gaze into the surface of the water). Because the tiles are flat, energy workers could also make use of them in healing by placing them on their clients body - especially effective when working with chakra balancing!
The only limitations with this deck are those that a reader places on themselves. This deck can be used by all levels of students, for learning, teaching, reading ... for whatever you want to do with it! The deck comes in two versions: a complete 80 tile deck (Earth and Spirit are the two extra tiles), and a 24 tile Major Arcana deck.
© January 2006
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.