Review by Solandia
For a few years since the demise of the Llewellyn-published Tarot Calendar, there has been a gap in the market for tarot enthusiasts. I for one have missed having a calendar that concentrates on my favourite topic, until last year, a limited run of the Tarot Lover's Calendar 2003 was edited and printed by Thomas Schick.
Overflowing with images of cards from unpublished tarot decks and original tarot spreads contributed by members of the Aeclectic Tarot Forum, this calendar also marks the phases of the moon and major religious holidays. Important days on the Pagan, Christian, Jewish, Moslem, Hindu and secular calendars are all marked. (My only quibble with this: the moon phases and seasonal holidays are aligned with the northern hemisphere!)
The front of the calendar is a starry universe background with five Lovers cards from different unpublished decks. Inside, each month has a new tarot spread with a picture of the card layout and a detailed explanation; plus two to five tarot cards with text by the tarot artist explaining their cards. (The articles are interesting, but can be a little hard to read where the text jumps to the next month, as happens in most months.) The unpublished decks featured include full colour images of the Mary-El Tarot, Kayne's Celtic Tarot, Major Tom's Tarot, International Icon Tarot, and the Masque Tarot.
I always enjoying seeing new spreads, and this calendar has several. My favourites were Tarotphelia's Daily Spread, a five card daily spread created to give more specifics on actions for the day; and the "New Quickie Oracle Spread" by Wetsheep, which offers a new way of reading with those cards that leap out of the deck on their own. The back of the calendar even contains three extra spreads, as well as 'A Tarot Lecture' by Sir HOLMES, sharing his thoughts about the tarot and its mysteries.
Independently published and distributed, the Tarot Lovers Calendar 2003 is a little rough around the edges where presentation is concerned. That said, it is also a source of unique tarot information, and a functional date calendar to hang on your wall. Look out for the 2004 calendar, it's coming soon.
Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) is the founder and editor of Aeclectic Tarot, and has reviewed more than 200 decks over the years.