Tarot Cards Review: ‘Ancien Tarot de Marseille’, Grimaud Cartomancie

I have been fascinated by, if not the greatest practitioner of tarot since I was a teenager.

My love of astrology has generally kept me from continually using tarot over the last thirty years or so. This is no excuse, as both methods of divination are generally complementary.

For a time, somewhere in the 1980s, I did use a deck called ‘astro tarot’, which I think you can still buy, but I ‘lost’ these years ago.

In more recent times, particularly over the last few years, I have been drawn more fully into the mysterious and magical world of tarot, its practise and its disputed history.

Most particularly I have learned to respect and invariably use Tarot de Marseille (TDM), rather than the more well known Rider-Waite style tarot decks.

I much prefer the ‘unillustrated’ pip cards of TDM; I don’t like my intuition being influenced too much by the more illustrative and suggestive Rider-Waite, particularly in the swords suit, where, for example, if one draws the Nine of Swords, this can leave people quite worried!

No, I much prefer to stick to basics: swords is the mind, our thoughts and 9 is attainment. It is up to the tarot reader to interpret this. But more of this in another piece some other time.

One particular deck I’ve enjoyed for some time is the Grimaud Cartomancie TDM, ‘Ancien Tarot de Marseille’. It comes in a beautifully presented, sturdy box, with the usual mini-book with basic interpretive ideas – in French.

The illustrations are very clear and basic, with strong colours and bold black linework. The word is emphatic, which I like. The card stock is likewise quite sturdy with a grey-blue patterning on the reverse.

The history of TDM, like all tarot, is complex. There are many variations of TDM but this overall style developed, as the name suggests, in the south of France, but also has strong links to northern Italy, Switzerland and even southern Germany over the years.

In other words, this card style does not owe everything to the city of Marseilles, which could be regarded as a name of convenience – and it sounds good too, doesn’t it? After developing from the seventeenth century onwards, it was in 1930 when Paul Marteau of the Grimaud family truly established and perpetuated this particular artistic style of TDM.

I am very glad that he did, as these cards are a particular favourite of mine and I would very much recommend them.

Copyright Francis 2021

January 19, 1524 — Today’s Luther (Reblog)

Martin Luther writes to Lambert Thorn, an Augustinian monk, in the Netherlands. Thorn (or von Thorn) was probably the third of the trio of Augustinians who had been arrested at Antwerp and tried for heresy. The other two, Heinrich Voes (or Vos) and Johann Esch (or van den Esschen), had been burned at Brussels. Thorn […]

January 19, 1524 — Today’s Luther

January 14, 1524 — Today’s Luther (Reblog)

Martin Luther writes to George Spalatin in Nuremberg, [1] reminding him of Luther’s request for Spalatin to write some hymns in German and sending some other news. Quotation: Master George Spalatin, court evangelist, my dearest friend in the Lord: Grace and peace! I have no news to write you, my dear Spalatin, except that I […]

January 14, 1524 — Today’s Luther

December 4, 1523 (Part 5) — Today’s Luther (Reblog)

Martin Luther sends Nicholas Hausmann An Order of Mass and Communion for the Church at Wittenberg (Formula Missae). Today’s Quotation is an excerpt from the third major section of the Formula. Quotation: [continued from yesterday]  It remains to be considered whether both forms, [1] as they call them, should be ministered to the people. Here […]

December 4, 1523 (Part 5) — Today’s Luther

Movie Tuesday: Martin Luther — Truth2Freedom’s Blog (Reblog)

Originally posted on Michelle Lesley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSivGu_B3ls October 31 is Reformation Day, so to get into the spirit, grab your popcorn bowl, and enjoy 1953’s Martin Luther.

Movie Tuesday: Martin Luther — Truth2Freedom’s Blog

*October 31 is also Reformation Day. Martin Luther book.

Euro-roadtrip Day 6: Hamburg, Germany — Life in Copenhagen (Reblog)

On the final full day of our roadtrip we headed to Hamburg as our last stopover. We were pretty tired by this point and arrived rather late in the day, so didn’t do as much exploring as the previous days. I did manage to capture a couple of photos in the centre though 🙂

Euro-roadtrip Day 6: Hamburg, Germany — Life in Copenhagen

*The Beatles in Hamburg here.

Who Are You? (Flash Fiction) Prosery

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

He said his name was Jophar Vorin, that he was looking for his long lost brother. I showed him a map, though it only seemed to confuse him more. “Where was Sakria and Euplar?” he asked. The funny thing was… we truly believed him.

Finally the Berlin authorities took Jophar; we never heard of him again — except in our endless musings ever since. I have to say it, I think the most enlightening speculation was written by you, my dear friend: “We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time.”

Jophar Vorin

Link to prompt

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Albrecht Dürer — Marina Kanavaki (Reblog)

German painter, draftsman, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance, Albrecht Dürer was born, May 21, 1471, in the Franconian city of Nuremberg. ❦ Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was in his twenties due to his high-quality woodcut prints. He was in communication with the major Italian artists of his […]

Albrecht Dürer — Marina Kanavaki

*This man was extraordinary: here‘s an interesting book.

*And my short take on him from an astrological perspective.

Poem: A Walk by the Sea

a walk by the sea

Without too much thought I took
to the beach,
followed the white lines of
breakers
leading me due north along that
fractured shore.

in no time at all the beach huts were
behind me,
removed by dunes and blurring
summer haze.

then suddenly
she was there
right in front of me, as if she’d
dropped
right out of the ether.

she was squatting down,
blonde haired and
quite young,
her blue-green dress hitched up a touch
showing small bare feet
half buried,
where the dry white sand
gave way to shingle.

I stopped
said hi
but she didn’t even look!
staring into that wide expanse
she could see
clear across the ocean.

looking down I admired her
gold-embroidered dress,
the delicate amber jewellery on
slim fingers,
her long hair matted by
the keen breeze.

then she looked up,
her eyes like cyan gems
and pointed to herself–
‘Elfhild’ I thought she said
sounding sort of German
or Dutch or maybe something
in between
but I didn’t speak a word.

not then.

she didn’t seem lost or in any distress
so I moved on,
giving her a faint wave,
after all, what business was it
of mine?
I carried on steadily
maybe half a mile or so,
felt the wind move round
south to south east.
I could’ve done with a jumper so I
turned back,
got up quite a pace in the end.
frankly I wanted to return
to see if she was alright –
but I saw only footprints
where she had been, where the shingle
gave way to sand.

walking to the shoreline something
caught my eye, a piece of amber
wet and shining.
I picked it up, held it
to the light
and smiled, looking out
to where the waves
were rolling in by the edge of
that German sea

poem and image © copyright Dave Barker 2020

What on Earth’s Been Going Down in Antarctica?

cold nature cute ice
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There have been rumours and several ‘conspiracy theories’ since the Second World War claiming that the Germans built a secret base in Antarctica, creating a kind of breakaway civilisation.

Now, with another story in the news about an apparently sophisticated 400 ft ship being found in an iceberg off the coast of Antarctica, these stories have resurfaced once again.

It is known that the Germans made several expeditions to Antarctica prior to the war. When by 1942 they realised they were going to lose, they apparently began to secretly transfer men and materials to a hidden base they had created in Antarctica, in a region called Neuschwabenland. Here, allegedly, they found areas free of ice, as well as areas under the ice they could inhabit safely.

Are Flying Saucers Real?

Of course, it would seem there is no way of verifying these theories and rumours, but it is definitely known that the Germans were also experimenting with some serious hi tech, in the form of flying discs. The blueprints for these craft are available and some of them were actually built and could fly.

However, it is indeed a huge leap of faith to associate these (as some do) with the flying saucer phenomenon, or UFOs, which exploded in to the news controversially in 1947 with the Roswell Incident.

How much actual truth lies behind these rumours I cannot say. As far as we know the biggest populations in Antarctica are still penguins. Nevertheless, it is intriguing to speculate.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020