Monday, July 30, 2012

Witches Tarot is released EARLY & the Minor Arcana

Good Morning!
First things first... The Witches Tarot deck was released over a month EARLY! This was a big surprise for Mark and I. So if you were jonesing for the deck- go get a copy right now. They should be arriving in the stores this week and are shipping out directly from Llewellyn and from Yesterday, Mark Evans the talented artist from our deck, loaded up some images from each of the suits from the Minor Arcana onto our website. Here is the direct link-

Queen of Wands- Witches Tarot
Here is our beautiful Queen of Wands, from our Witches Tarot. In this deck I designed the Wands to each be a branch of blooming hawthorn, wrapped in flowing red ribbons. The hawthorn tree corresponds with the element of fire. The hawthorn is a magickal tree which is why I chose it for this suit. On her lap a fluffy orange tabby is holding court, and she holds a bouquet of sunflowers in the crook of her arm. I adore the feel of warmth from this card.

The following quote is taken directly from my companion book that comes with each kit. 
"The Minor Arcana cards show us the everyday, ordinary situations and personalities that we deal with and face in our lives. The minor arcana cards bring meaning to events, clarity to the challenges we face,  and provide illumination to the common questions we ask."- Ellen Dugan, Witches Tarot Companion

Three of Pentacles- Witches Tarot

This next image from our Minor Arcana is one of my personal favorites - the Three of Pentacles.  This card has a kind of sorcerers apprentice vibe to it. 

I love the illuminated trio of stained glass pentacles and the mystical cat with bright emerald eyes, patiently watching over the young apprentice while he carefully works his Craft. Potions bubble, the candles flicker and magick is in the air!

The next card we are previewing is from the suit of Swords.  The Swords suit is classically aligned with the element of air and this card is a fantastic example of the intense images and meanings, the Sword cards convey. 

My script for the Two of Swords called for the herb lavender to be growing alongside of the bench, at twilight with mountains and a calm lake in the background. With faeries flitting around in the lavender. 

Two of Swords- Witches Tarot
The woman is both alert and on guard. I am so delighted with the emotions that Mark's artwork invokes here. This card is one of reflection and expectation. Is the woman protecting herself ... or is she merely waiting calmly?  In this card, the blindfold has only heightened her other senses. This woman is aware of her surroundings in a way most people can only imagine. 

Seven of Cups- Witches Tarot
For our final Minor Arcana card preview I am sharing the Seven of Cups. This card shows a classic wizard, wearing flowing blue robes. The wise one is offering you a choice between seven magickal cups. Each of these cups holds something enchanting, and each has a lesson to teach. The choice is yours, which cup and lessons will you embrace? 

In my 312 page companion book, (Yes, the book and deck are sold TOGETHER. They are a boxed kit.) anyway, the symbolism and meaning of each card is thoroughly explained. Any astrological, elemental, and deity associations are listed. As well as "Keywords" that will help you to learn the definitions of each of the seventy-eight cards quickly and with a minimum of fuss. 

For a little something extra, you may choose to purchase a coordinating satin tarot bag from Llewellyn. They retail for $11.95. Here is the link straight to that page.  Witches Moon- Satin Tarot Bag  This 6 X 9 inch satin bag is large enough to hold the entire Witches tarot deck nicely, and it features the bewitching art from "The Moon" tarot card. 
Witches Moon Satin Tarot Bag
 In the meantime I have a new series of "in-person" Practical Magick classes that start next week, August the 5th. I have several articles to write for the Llewellyn annuals, and I just had my 15th book with Llewellyn Worldwide contracted. I have about 6 months to finish that book up. I am going to be a busy witch for a long time. Enjoy the art preview and the deck. Soon Mark will have art prints available for order so keep visiting the Witches tarot website and keep up on all of the news! 
Blessed be, Ellen 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Diversity in the Witches Tarot

I am home again from the Massachusetts "Seasons of Witchery" tour and it went great! My husband Ken, and I took the last day and played tourist and visited Gloucester and Rockport Massachusetts. Yes indeed we had lob-stah rolls for lunch! In a fun restaurant on the water- where we watched the lobster boats coming in with their catch. Here is a picture of us at the beach in Rockport.

I have spent the past few days catching back up on correspondence and paperwork, and things are starting to settle down. I have new orders for Garden Witch Pentacles to fill, and some 2014 Llewellyn annual articles to write. (It keeps me busy while I wait to hear about my latest book proposal to Llewellyn.) Fingers crossed.

Today I posted a snapshot of the Witches Tarot book, the card back and a sampling of the cards on Facebook. here is the picture.The boxed sets just hit the Llewellyn warehouse last week. So they will be all ready to go on September 8th on the official release day!
Recently I saw a post on the Llewellyn blog, from a person complaining that the Witches Tarot deck lacked "diversity" and was nothing but "white people".
This yanked my chain for a couple of reasons. First and foremost because it is simply not the case. So, I took a deep breath and politely responded, informing the post-ee that they were incorrect.

The angel in the Lovers card is in fact- Asian.
Justice Card Witches Tarot
Furthermore, Themis who is portrayed in the Justice Major Arcana card, (Pictured to the right) has gorgeous caramel/ golden colored skin and black curly hair with highlights.

I invited the person to take a closer look at the Witches Tarot Facebook page where they could see a large image of the Page of Pentacles, who is stunning and who is- by the way- a young woman of color.

I also noted that the 3 of Pentacles, the Knight of Pentacles, and the Queen of Pentacles are all beautiful people of color. Actually the 3 of Pentacles is one of my favorite cards in the entire deck! There is a sorcerer's apprentice vibe to this particular card. Just wait until you see him!

Honestly when I designed and scripted the Witches Tarot it only made sense to me to have some diversity in the deck art. The artist Mark, and I had several conversations about this topic.

To my delight I noticed when I came back from touring there was a new post on the Llewellyn blog. Where the person noted that they had gone and looked at the website and the Facebook pages. That they were "super pleased", and  then they added,"Thanks, I am glad I was wrong about that!" 
I am thrilled that they took the time to look again and are happy with what they see. 
Just today I found a lovely comment on the card image of the Page of Pentacles, from a Facebook follower thanking me, "for including brown-skinned Witches in the deck!" That their favorite decks "are the ones that represent people of all ethnicities in them." Which just made my day.

Witches come in all beautiful shapes, sizes, and colors. I hope that with the Witches Tarot deck, everyone will find something to relate to and identify with. So they can make it their own.

May the Mother Goddess smile down on us, reminding us that we are indeed all her children!
Blessed be, Ellen
The Empress card- Witches Tarot

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

This Garden Witch is Salem Bound!

Good Morning,
This is going to be a brief blog as I am getting ready to catch a flight to Boston. I will be doing a mini-tour in Massachusetts. First stop, Salem, Massachusetts. Witch City USA of course! Here is the tour info.

Author Event -Book signing and Class in Salem! (Pyramid Books)
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Time for Book signing Meet and Greet: 6:00-7:00pm
Class: "Herbs of the Sabbats" 7:00- 9:00pm
Class Fee: $35.00
Place:Pyramid Books
214 Derby Street
Salem, Massachusetts  01970
Store Phone: 978-745-7171

Pyramid Books Class Description: Ellen is thrilled to return to her favorite shop in Salem, Massachusetts- Pyramid Books to celebrate the release of her newest book "Seasons of Witchery".
Herb magick is available to us through every season. Join award winning author Ellen Dugan for a lecture on the Herbs of the Sabbats and learn new ways to incorporate practical herb magick into your Witchery all year long. In this lecture Ellen discusses the practical plants that you can grow in your own gardens easily at home and of course, magick throughout the seasons. Come out to Witch City, and have your book signed and stay for the class! Call today and reserve your spot in the class!

Author Event- Book signing and Class in Central-Massachusetts (The Robin's Nest)
Date: Thursday, July 12th, 2012
Time: Book signing Meet and Greet- 5:00- 6:00pm
Class: "Practical Protection Magick" - 7:00- 9:00pm
Class fee:$35.00
Place: The Robin's Nest
799 S. Main Street
Bellingham, MA. 02019

I am bringing the advance copy of the Witches Tarot with me for folks to get a look at. And I'm bringing some give-aways to lucky class attendees.
I'm also really looking forward to having the chance to visit with some of my Witch and writing friends while I am in Salem, and of course I can't wait to shop at all the fun little stores and boutiques. Okay I have to go get ready and get myself to the airport!

Blessed be, Ellen
Salem Lighthouse

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Full Moon- Happy 4th of July!

And Happy Fourth of July!
Baby it is HOT outside! We have had blistering heat and dry conditions here at home in the St. Louis area. Over the last few consecutive days we have topped out at 107, 104, 102 and finally 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Yesterday some rain came through the area but missed my house and town all together! The temperatures dropped from 100 degrees to 84 degrees with the wind and thunder but only a little sprinkle fell in my town. Doing our trees absolutely no good at all. Here's hoping we get some rain today. As the humidity is back up, we have another chance for rain this afternoon. (Fingers crossed.)

Tonight we have a full moon. Which is sometimes referred to as the "Thunder Moon", due to the thunderstorms that are common in the summer months. I can only hope that it lives up to its' name.

In my town they ARE going ahead with the fireworks and the local parade tomorrow. I think because they shoot the fireworks off from a barge in the Missouri River, they can pull it off. Many cities around us have cancelled their fireworks- its too dry and there are real concerns about wild fires starting. Today they are calling for 98 degrees, which sounds fabulous- considering where we have been.

So for now I carefully water the perennial gardens in the morning and the pots and containers get watered once in the morning and once at night. The lawn I have given up on. It can go dormant. It will always green back up in the fall- or if we get rain again.

If you would like to learn more about the full moon and its' magick, consider taking my affordable online class on "Full Moon Magick". The mini-class comes with an introduction, syllabus, and the lessons. Of course it comes with 14 full moon rituals and there is a Blue Moon ritual and lunar eclipse ritual included as well. Here is the direct link to my website. Ellen's Online Classes
Just scroll down and choose the class you'd like and use the handy Paypal buttons on the page. Simple, safe and fast!

That Blue Moon ritual will come in handy next month- as we will have a 2nd full moon at the end of August this year. The first full moon of August is on August 1st EST and the second full moon (blue moon) occurs on the 31st of August EST.

I finished up a new book proposal and shipped it out to Llewellyn yesterday. So I am ready to relax and enjoy the holiday. My family is getting together tomorrow to celebrate the fourth of July. I am making pulled pork in the crock-pot, coleslaw, pasta salad, veggie crudites and red white and blue cupcakes. My adult sons are bringing the beer, wine coolers and chips. I am really looking forward to relaxing and spending time with my family.

I hope you and yours enjoy a safe and happy Independence day!
Blessed be, Ellen
Fireworks in Downtown St. Louis