Review by Solandia
The Tarot Lovers' Calendar was put together by Tarot enthusiast and artist, Thomas Schick. Showcasing cards from published and unpublished Tarot decks with commentary and explanations, a Tarot spread for every month, and articles and links of interest to beginners and experienced alike.
The cover of the calendar shows nine Lovers cards from nine different decks. The art styles are contrasting - there are collage, illustrated, photographic and painted styles. Black has been used as a background for the colourful card images and it provides the perfect backdrop.
The cards included are mostly from unpublished decks, though there are two exceptions - the Tarot of Prague and the Ator Tarot, which have both been self-published in limited runs. Of the rest, there are:
The Ferret Tarot
The Vanessa Tarot
The Amun Re Tarot
The Geometric Tarot
The Ator Tarot
The World Tree Tarot
The Police Tarot
First & Second Aeclectic Community Tarots
My favourite part of the calendar - the twelve new Tarot spreads - is located in a left hand sidebar next to the calendar grid. Their topics vary widely - one is for finding lost things, getting to the bottom of the meaning of a recurring card, for insight as a mother-to-be. (There is even a spread for finding out why certain pets & people don't get along.) However, this handy spread location does cause a lack of room in the actual calendar section. As the squares are not separated by printed lines and contain plenty of religious festivals, the squares can look a bit crowded. (Personally, this doesn't bother me, as I'll be hanging up the calendar for its aesthetic and informational purposes, but it may be an issue if you intend to use it as a diary or appointment book.)
Last year's calendar astounded me with the number and variety of the religious festivals marked throughout the year and this year is no different. 2004 even has the addition of Southern Hemisphere seasonal festivals: for example, May 1 is marked as Beltane (Pagan Northern Hemisphere) and Samhain (Pagan Southern Hemisphere). Along with Pagan, there are also Buddhist, Islam, Hindu, Baha'i, Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Shinto, Swedenborgian and Interfaith holidays (i.e., New Year's Day and Thanksgiving), plus moon quarters, equinoxes, and solstices.
Once the year is over, there is still more to keep you occupied. The three articles, Creating On The Spot Spreads by Kiama, On the Creative Process by Dan Pelletier and Learn Tarot - Create Your Own Tarot Deck by Major Tom, are followed by a very comprehensive list of Tarot website addresses and resources featuring more than 100 links to artists, course, reviews, mailing lists, readings, even Tarot sites in other languages.
In short, this is a Tarot calendar made by a Tarot lover for other Tarot lovers. The first printing for the 2004 calendar is only 100 copies, so get yours while you can.
A percentage of the profits from the sale will be donated to Aeclectic Tarot.
Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) is the founder and editor of Aeclectic Tarot, and has reviewed more than 200 decks over the years.