Tarot Lovers' Calendar 2004 edited by Tom Schick
Review by Diane Wilkes
While some bemoan the loss of the Llewellyn Tarot Calendar (and I am in that group myself!), it is probably more productive to relish the two independently-published calendars available to tarot enthusiasts. One is the Tarot Art Calendar 2004 and the other is "Major Tom" Schick's second edition of the Tarot Lovers' Calendar. Last year's production was excellent, but this one is even more professional, more chock-filled with goodies to appeal to the tarot-minded readers of this site.
Nine different Lovers cards grace the cover of this calendar (named the Tarot LOVERS' calendar--get it?). Featured decks include The Ferret Tarot (Elaine Moertl), the exquisite Tarot of Prague (Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov), the whimsical Vanessa Tarot (Lynyrd Narciso), the Amun Re Tarot (AmounRa), the Geometric Tarot by Ravenswing, the Ator Tarot (Robin Ator), the World Tree Tarot (Ann E. Cass), the Police Tarot (John R. Ellison, aka Trogon), and BoomVoom's Tarot by Rod Sena. The month of February features Mari Hoshizaki's "Dreams from Pontarmo" Tower and Moon images, taken from her sketchbook on "Tales of the Naiads" and two other months depict images from the Aeclectic Community Collaborative Tarots (the Aeclectic website is a supporter of the calendar and receives a percentage of its profits).
Some of the calendar's featured decks are completed and available to the public, such as the Tarot of Prague, the Ferret Tarot, and the Ator Tarot. Because all of them are self-published, the calendar is a wonderful advertising resource for them. Others are from decks-in-progress (I am particularly charmed by the Vanessa Tarot, but, as yet, there are only 13 cards completed!). While the images depicted are enough reason to purchase this calendar, they are only one component of this calendar's features. Each entry includes comments from the deck artist (in the December commentary, the essay is cut off mid-sentence) or, in the case of the Aeclectic Collab decks, information about said decks.
Each month contains a unique tarot spread. Additionally, major religious holidays and moon phases are included, plus a listing of website addresses and essays on creating spreads, creating a tarot deck, and creating in general. While many of these features remind me a bit of the late, lamented Llewellyn calendars, there is something about a self-published calendar that makes them more endearing, if not as polished.
The quality of the images goes from the sublime (Tarot of Prague, Dreams from Pontarmo) to the eccentric (Police Tarot, Ferret Tarot). All are interesting and unique.
The calendar measures eight by twelve inches and is spiral-bound. The paper is matte and of good quality paper stock. Images are full-color and clear, though one can occasionally see scan marks of the card borders. I do have one gripe: there's no hole in the calendar for hanging purposes.
I know some of my readers are saying, "Great, Diane. Now which one should I get--Arnell and Leslie's calendar or this one?" And since both cost about the same amount and Jupiter is so influential in my chart, I can only respond by saying, "Why choose? Get both!" Each has its own special qualities and, if tarot enthusiasts want to be able to purchase independently-published products, they must support them.
The price of the calendar is approximately $27.50, including shipping, in US Dollars. You can order it from Tom Schick's website.
Images © 2003 Tom Schick
Review and page © 2003 Diane Wilkes