Updated Link for UK readers searching for my books on Amazon.co.UK
Updated Link for UK readers searching for my books on Amazon.co.UK
You will next see a brand new novel from me this May – entitled Eternal Witch. It’s all ready, but I have chose a May launch date to give me enough time to get my publicity in gear. And because I figured it was the most auspicious time Astrologically.
Meanwhile, I am currently updating my existing releases – such as my 2014 novel Taromancer, my story about a jaded tarot reader who finds new meaning in her life through the power of Theurgy. Taromancer is available in paperback and on Kindle (click here to download a free Kindle reading app).
OK I’ve been tagged by fellow author Maria Savva to take part in this blog-tour, about the main-character from one of my novels.
The character I have chosen is Miranda T Warren, from Taromancer.
Miranda is a forty-something single woman who lives alone with only her cat Nixie for company. To supplement her income from her not particularly well-paid job she works as a Tarot reader – a profession with which she is becoming increasingly disenchanted. Miranda is a strictly fictional character, although I do put a lot of my own words into her mouth.
Modern day England, mostly in Miranda’s home-town which I left unspecified but for the fact that it is relatively near London.
Miranda was raised a Christian but lost her faith roundabout the same-time her mum died, when she was a child. In her teens she turned to paganism. Now however she is at a spiritual cross-roads – seeking idealism, but not sure how or where to find it.
Her long-time frustrations about how her life has been diverging from what it ought to be come to a crisis point one fateful evening, when she finds herself staring over the edge of a bridge into the river beneath… As it happens, a crazy old man saves her from herself, and persuades her that to solve her problems she ought to go on a Spiritual Quest, which turns out to be even more radical than she ever expected.
Her quest to re-kindle her interest in the Tarot comes to represent her quest for spiritual wholeness, and closure on all the negative issues in her life.
(The Demon Detective and other stories)
A Fairy Story By Any Other Name
and Taromancer, which is a stand-alone novel in its own right. I also have written several short-stories and a novella in the “Demon Detective” series.
Full details can be found on my website: http://solascendans.com
The books themselves are all available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/alexsumner
I have several WIPs – probably later this year.
I may be taking a liberty in catching them unprepared, but nevertheless I’d like to shout out some authors I admire:
This is a follow up post to my original blog World Tarot Day, which was first proclaimed in 2003 and is celebrated on May 25th each year. Since I first wrote that blog post, more Tarot decks have come into my possession, so I thought I would write a completely new blog post reviewing them as well.
This deck was created by Sandra Tabatha Cicero of the Golden Dawn-fame. I once attended a public talk in London where she explained the complete background of this deck. It turns out that Tabby is a bit of a nut for Babylonian mythology! Each minor represents an aspect of ancient Babylonian folklore or mythology in general, whilst each Major is an actual Babylonian deity or pair of deities, apart from the “Wheel of Fortune” and “Temperance.” The former is “The Tablet of Destiny,” an artefact first mentioned in the Enuma Elish, whilst the latter is the “Tree of Life” – the point being that the Babylonian version is more primordial than that mentioned in the Book of Genesis, upon which the Qabalistic Tree of Life is based.
Unusually, this is an 83 card deck. There is an extra Major called “Genesis” which is without number or attribution. Tabby explained that she had created this card because in her view the Babylonian concept of the creation of the Universe was not well represented in the conventional Major Arcana.
The four other extra cards are additional Court Cards named “Kerubs,” thus allowing the five elements (i.e. Spirit in addition to the other four) to be represented.
IMHO, Tabby is to be congratulated for having created a truly original deck. It is completely unlike the Golden Dawn deck, a version of which she also created. Also, it has the distinction of being a completely illustrated deck which is not just another Rider-Waite clone or variant. Meanwhile, going through the meanings of the cards is a lesson in Babylonian mythology in itself.
The Tarot of Marseilles is a classic deck, the original design dating from 1760, although cognate decks can be found dating from 1650. Nowadays there are many reproductions of the original version available – some good (e.g. the Jodorowsky / Camoin version), and some which are quite frankly cheap knock-offs.
Incidentally, in his book The Way of Tarot, Alejandro Jodorowksy appears to have been labouring all his life under the misapprehension that the Tarot of Marseilles is the oldest known version of the Tarot, this due to the fact that Max Ernst once told him so whilst warning him against the Rider-Waite deck. Unfortunately, Max Ernst told Jodo a crock of shit! The oldest two decks are in fact the Visconti and Sola-Buschi, both mid 15th century… the latter of which inspired the artwork in the Rider-Waite.
This deck is essentially a variation of the Rider Waite, but with the key difference that that artwork consists of digital photography of the eponymous “Sensual Goddess” acting out the scenes depicted on the cards. As it happens, this Sensual Goddess is a buxom glamour-model (actually the photographer’s wife), often (but not always) in a state of undress.
Fortunately, however, the deck stays on the right-side of artistic nudity. Indeed, the creators make a point of the fact that they have tried to keep it glamorous without being smutty.
Nevertheless, this deck will not please those of a prudish disposition. This makes me wonder: this deck may be great for doing readings for oneself, but one would have to exercise a great deal of discretion if one wanted to give readings for other people. Even if the nudity did not bother them, it might still distract them from the seriousness of the Tarot reading!
That aside, it’s clear from the LWB that the creators know their Tarot, and have done their research into the subject. In this regard, I would like to relate a story: on receiving the deck, went through each card with the LWB. As I did so, I picked up a psychic vibe from the cards: that the whole project to create the deck had been a *magical operation* undertaken by the photographer and his wife (i.e. the Sensual Goddess), and that here I was, effectively participating in it down the line, as it were. So one could say that I am writing this review because I am caught up in the spell. 🙂
Maxwell Miller, the creator of this deck, has not done himself any favours by giving it the exact same name as a number of completely dissimilar decks, (so says the author of The Magus – :::shudder:::). That being said, however, I must say how much I really enjoy the artwork in this particular deck, which contains Astrological, Alchemical, Qabalistic, Sufi, Hindu symbolism and more. In other words, it is “Universal” because it draws on traditions from across the globe.
This is a 74 card deck instead of the traditional 78: instead of having King, Queen, Prince (Knight) and Princess (Page), the court cards are simply King, Queen and Knave. But the quality of the artwork is almost enough to tempt me to overlook this detail.
This is an amusing take on the Rider-Waite Deck. It attempts to imagine what Pamela Colman-Smith’s artwork would have looked like if the scenes had been observed from the reverse-angle, i.e. behind the characters depicted in the cards. This allows for a scope of creativity… which is only realised in some of the cards.
So for example, in “The Magician” we find out that there is a cheeky monkey hiding behind the eponymous main character, thus pointing out the tricksterish associations of the card. In the 4 of Chalices (i.e. Cups), we find out that the thoughtful looking man is actually Bellerophon, awaiting Pegasus to come to him, whilst the King of Chalices is revealed as Noah – i.e. because he was master of the deluge.
Unfortunately, though, a number of the cards are no more than depictions of original Colman-Smith version, from a different angle but adding nothing new in the way of symbolism. Also, because many of them are facing away from the viewer, one cannot see the character’s facial expressions. Taken to the extreme, in the 4 of Pentacles the main character, by having his back to the viewer, conceals all of the traditional symbolism associated with that card!
I mention this because of the striking art-work (much use of Photoshop, methinks). Whilst visually this is an appealing deck (always an important consideration if you are doing Tarot readings for clients), in some cards it lacks some of the traditional symbolism.
If you are the owner of an Apple iPhone, there are three ways you can improve your enjoyment of the device, to wit:
Yes! Taromancer is now available via iTunes. Quite by coincidence (not a coincidence at all actually), it is also available for Nook, as well as for Kindle. It is, in addition, available in print (I even have a limited number of autographed editions available – get in touch via the Contact Alex link for more details.
Yes, you. There are hundreds of you that have a copy of my book Taromancer – and I would like to hear from you. In particular I would like to read your reviews of my book. To this end, I have created a survey on SurveyMonkey.com in which you have the opportunity to give me your feedback.This will benefit you by making sure I will be able to tailor future output to the needs of you, my readers.
In order to take part, all you have to do is click on the link below and answer a few simple questions.
Shock! Horror! Sordid revelations! These are just some of the tabloid-style headlines which have nothing to do with my “Interview” at Smashwords.com. Instead, you will get fascinating information about my background, influences, my thoughts on the writing profession, and the real story behind my latest book Taromancer.
Smashwords is the website if you want one of my ebooks in a format other than Amazon Kindle. Taromancer will be available therefrom from March 11th 2014 onwards.
For more information, see:
Further to what I wrote about in the post New Beginnings I have spoken to my contacts in the Illuminati and I can confirm that I will be appearing at Salford Masonic Hall (click on the link for directions from Google maps) on Saturday 1st March 2014 (next weekend) – where I shall be presenting a talk and making myself available to answer questions thereafter. There will actually be several speakers that day – all taking part in a day of talks devoted to Tarot and Divination.
The fun starts at 10am! 🙂
Saturday March 1st 2014 is an auspicious date, astrologically speaking. The previous day, Mercury will have turned direct again after its most recent retrograde period. Whilst in the early hours of Saturday morning (GMT) is the precise moment of the New Moon.
What better day than to start some new adventure? Indeed, and I myself shall be marking the day by hitting the road to promote the print edition of my latest* book Taromancer. On that Saturday I shall commence my nation-wide tour of the United Kingdom with a book-signing / tarot-reading session in Manchester. The print edition is available from Amazon, although I will be bringing along a limited number of copies myself.
Please get in touch if you are interested in coming along and I will keep you informed as to the precise time and place!
* When I say “latest” I mean I came out with it on Kindle as long ago as December 2013. Yes! Believe it or not I am still on the promotional trail of the last book, unlike some writers I could mention! 😉
You now have the opportunity to win a free print-copy of my novel Taromancer – which I am bringing out in March. This is my story of a woman who goes on a spiritual quest involving the twenty two major arcana. This has been available to download via Kindle up to now, but I will shortly be publishing a paper version as well. I will autograph a copy and mail it to the lucky winner anywhere in the world.
All you have to do is tell me your favourite non-divinatory use for the Tarot.
Most people are aware of using Tarot for giving readings, but I am here interested in all the creative and unusual ways it can be employed in addition. Magical, mystical, or otherwise. From the well-known to the obscure, and all shades in between.
To enter, please reply to this post in the comment section below!