Review by Solandia
“Tarot Spreads, Tarot Card Meanings, Illustrations and Calendarial Information”
While it has a very similar title to the Tarot Lovers’ Calendar which is produced by Major Tom Schick, the Tarot Lovers’ Diary, created by Paranormality.com, is more complement than competition.
The Diary is solid, spiral-bound and A6-size - a handy small size for a bag or handbag – and has sturdy clear plastic front and back protective covers. Inside, the beginning of the diary offers plenty of calendarial and astronomical info: the eclipses and equinoxes; the year in the Indian, Byzantine, Japanese and other calendars; religious and civil holidays in the UK; and phases of the moon.
Each diary page is sliced horizontally into four, and both Saturday and Sunday receive the same amount of space. This is a nice feature - so many diaries make the weekend share the same amount of space as is given to each weekday.
Each day is colour-toned in white and grey for AM/PM, and the eighth slice is given over to the month’s calendar and a space for notes and weekly priorities. Each day of the year also has an unusual event in small print, which range from facts and famous birthdays (both fictional and real people). For example, the 5th of February = “Maarten Schmidt discovers enormous red shifts in quasars (1963)” or 22nd October = “First Xerox copy made (1938)”.
As well as the daily diary and calendar information, there is (naturally) Tarot info throughout. There are card meanings throughout the diary at the beginning/end of each month (without illustrations, however – those are all together at the back of the diary). Six tarot spreads are scattered through the diary (the same spreads as printed in the Notebook) but helpfully have been included in the contents page. The spreads are:
This deck featured in the diary and on the front cover is an original creation of Pararnormality.com. While not yet a published deck, the diary does include an extra 40 pages at the back with small-size glossy prints of the cards that can be cut out and used as a mini deck. The major arcana and their backs are in full-colour, while the minors (which are, a little disappointingly, non-scenic and follow the Marseilles tradition of decorated pips) and backs are in black and white.
- Question and Answer Spread
- Seven Card Horseshow Spread
- Six Card spread
- Yes/No Answer Spread
- Three Card Spread
- Seven Card Infinity Spread
- Question and Answer Spread (different to the first)
I already have the Tarot Lovers’ Calendar hanging on my wall at home for the year, and now I have a well thought-out and beautifully-produced Tarot diary to use through the year as well.
Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) is the founder and editor of Aeclectic Tarot, and has reviewed more than 200 decks over the years.
Review by Bonnie Cehovet
There certainly is something about synchronicity – the year ending, my needing to replace the small calendar that I keep by my computer, and the arrival in my life of the “Tarot Lovers’ Diary”! I knew I was going to have to replace my small calendar, because this is where I note my day-to-day activities (such as the time for teleconferences and web conferences), but I had done nothing a bout it. Now I don’t have to do any thinking about where to find small calendars - I absolutely love this diary, and plan to purchase the latest copy in future years.
This diary is the result of Karyn Easton brainstorming for a product, coming up with the idea of producing a diary, and then fine tuning that idea with her extensive knowledge of the Tarot world, and what the denizens of that world would be looking for. The result is an approximately 4 ¼” by 5 ¾”, spiral bound, 197 page diary – one that fits nicely into someone’s purse, and does not take up too much space on a desk or computer area. The added bonus this year is that it has a hard plastic, see through cover – front and back – which will greatly extend its working life (at least – my enjoyment of its working life!).
The diary itself is set up in the “week at a glance” format, with a small area for notes for the week, as well as a complete calendar for the month. Holidays are noted (please remember that this diary is produced in the UK, meaning that the holidays reflected are for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland), along with interesting little tidbits, such as the birth day (or day of passing) of well known people such as Joan Baez, Kahil Gilbran, Alexander Graham Bell, and Michelangelo, or when the Challenger astronauts completed the first in-space satellite repair.
There is an inclusive table of contents in the front of the diary that lists the pages where you will find astrological information, chronological cycles and eras, a religious and civil calendar, holidays in the United Kingdom, phases of the moon, where the upright and reversed meaning for each of the Tarot cards can be found, as well as where sample Tarot spreads are located. (I really like the fact that the spreads are not corralled in one section – they are interspersed throughout the diary, so that they can be specifically looked up and used, or they can be experienced in an “Oh, cool … look what I found!” manner as the diary is used.
The spreads presented include an Question and Answer Spread, a Seven Card Horseshoe Spread, a Six Card Spread, a Spread, a Six Card Spread, a Yes/No Answer Spread, a Three Card Spread, a Seven Card Infinity Spread, and a second Question and Answer Spread (with a different format from the first spread).
The upright and reversed meanings are those developed by Karyn Easton for her own use, and the card illustrations at the end of the diary are illustrated by her. The cards follow a somewhat traditional format, with the exception of the High Priestess being entitled the Papess, the Hierophant being entitled the Pope. The Major Arcana card titles are done in English on top of the card, and in French at the bottom. The Pips are done in Marseilles style, with no imagery other than the icons, and carry the card number in Roman numerals on top, and the suit, in English, on the bottom. The Court Cards carry the title across the top, in English, and the suit across the bottom, also in English.
The Major Arcana are done in color, with the background differing from white to beige (some with a more yellow tint, some with a more brownish tint). The Pips and Court Cards are done in black and white. I would like to note here that Karyn did say that if all goes well, the intent is to try for a full color diary for 2010.
The cards are presented in a large enough size that they can be clipped out, laminated, and used as a mini-deck. I may have to get two diary’s next year, so that I can take the cards from one diary, laminate them and use them as a deck, while keeping the other diary whole (for reference).
I am extremely pleased with this diary, and I think that Karyn should be too! This diary has been available for a couple of years now, and each year they have sold out. Also, each year Karyn has been able to upgrade the diary, and the material used in it.
Information included in this diary – such as dates for solstices and equinoxes, year at a glance, holidays, and the four quarters of the moon, are practically a necessity for someone who truly works with the Tarot. The card meanings (upright and reversed) are a wonderful bonus, as is the inclusion of the spreads and Karyn’s own deck imagery.
Sample pages from the diary, as well as sample pictures of the Majors, can be seen here.
I hope that you enjoy this diary as much as I do. For those of you who are U.S. based, like myself, I don’t think that you will feel the loss of U.S. holidays not being listed. The diary works so well (and is so delightfully portable!) that you will have a great time with all that is there.
One last note – beautiful Celtic Knot imagery is used as a divider on the pages – this has always fascinated me, and I think that it will intrigue you too! Enjoy!
© 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.