Hello and welcome to the tarot site of that deck with the really long name! We’ve nicknamed it either the Autumn Tarot or the Lydia Tarot for short. Madam Lydia Wilhelmina’s Tarot of Halloween, the Macabre and Autumn Scenes is a deck inspired by the turning of leaves of fall, the smell of burning wood on the night breeze, and all those dark and spooky things that go along with the Halloween season. You’ll find classic movie monsters as well as small windows into hidden masquerades: All of these dark scenes having been offered through classic art collages that are at first blush very familiar while being completely unknown. Above you will find links to everything you need to know about the tarot, from previews of the entire deck to a little information about how it came into being, as well as how to pre-order your own deck or give a home to some of the deck’s artwork. Not to mention who is this Madam Lydia Wilhelmina anyway? Below are updates for the deck’s IndieGoGo campaign, as well as little previews and tidbits as deck creator Bethalynne finishes them. And every now and then we take a page out of the very eerie diary of Madam Lydia and take a moment to ponder the truly unusual life she lived. Thank you for visiting and if you like the deck we’d love it if you spread the word!
I’m pleased to announce I hit my first stretch goal for the Lydia tarot’s IndieGoGo campaign. This means grimoires for everyone that has purchased a deck! Here’s another peek at the grimoire. 🙂
FROM ATTIC CARTOMANCY: So I will say at the beginning – it was only when creating the artwork for this deck that I fully appreciated the meaning of this card in the deck. The process of studying it to better understand it before I worked on my collage made me somewhat exhausted. It reminded me greatly of what this year has felt like: A year of battling back to full steam, only to continue staggering here and there when lingering remnants of my accident (now a year old) came back to call. I still get vertigo at the top of stairs. I still feel panicked at times when out in crowds. This past weekend I suffered dizzy spells from lingering head trauma, which led me to having a nasty fall one night. It brings things back into a clear picture. The healing is still going on and the fear of something worse being out there still bothers me. So I have to keep that in mind always.
The four of swords comes after the trauma of the three of swords. In this deck I represented that card with a still human heart being pierced by the scalpels of Dr. Frankenstein, looking for ways to get back in and kick-start it in a new body. It would be a shock to the system for whoever finds themselves at the end of this Dr’s quest. On the other side of that is someone who has been through something and maybe needs to pull back – either to catch their breath or to flat out retreat from further harm. I thought a lot about that as I was creating this card. I have been trying to rush rush rush and rush some more to get back to whole. In that rushing, I have had moments where I have over taxed myself and worn down as a result. It’s been a year right? It feels like I’ve spent too much time on my back resting, healing. Then I hit that moment where I realize we don’t always heal on the schedule we feel is appropriate.
In this deck, as the cards are all dark, I still didn’t portray a crypt scene. I have my heroine laying on a comfortable last bed. She is wrapped up and treated from the many things she’s suffered through. She looks content, relaxed, a little worse for wear and understanding where she is going, but she has found her resting place and she is content with it. I gave her a bright stained glass window off to the side to keep her in the light. Even as a lover of the darkness, a little light is terribly comforting.
Being the huge American Horror Story fangirl that I am, as well as being the compulsive card designer, I’ve been making fan related cards while I watch the show. I like some seasons better than others, and I really LOVE this season so far. And the witches are back! And Stevie Nicks is coming back! Eeeehhh! Alright, a couple samples. 🙂 And this is just a fan-art thing. I’m not actually doing a tarot for the show, but man that would be great! Now, ten minutes and counting to showtime and what the witches are up to!
And yes, this is not related to this deck, but I do believe those who like this deck might get a wicked smile out of this. 🙂
Wouldn’t you love to love her?
Takes to the sky like a bird in flight and
Who will be her lover?
All your life you’ve never seen
A woman taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven?
Will you ever win?
She is like a cat in the dark and then
She is the darkness
She rules her life like a fine skylark and when
The sky is starless… ~ Fleetwood Mac
FROM THE COMPANION GRIMOIRE: The Trinity Masquerade is an annual event for the Frightener Society. Society members come together to talk of their exploits over the past year and plan what they will do the month of October to bring the year to a close.
Leilia Abercrom was an exceptionally popular society member and infamous for the devious nature of her work. For years she helped keep the urban legend of the Turkish suicide song alive and terrifying young lovers. She led by example and needless to say a man or two fell prey to her methods and became her victims. This was frowned upon, but sadly an accepted part of carrying out the goals of the society.
I always felt Leilia was much like a dragon in her ways. She had a very dangerous beauty about her and her actions burnt things down like a blazing fire. More than that, everything she claimed for herself she horded over like the dragon that sits guarding his treasures.
I was reminded of her dragon like ways at one of the Trinity Masquerades as she sat on a lounge wearing a mask of demons. The look on her face was one of absolute smug satisfaction. She horded over the admiration the society gave her, she clung strongly to the trinkets she took as mementos of her fear spreading. I don’t know if I envied her this pride over her accomplishments, or if I despised her for what I saw to be greediness.
I will always remember the vision of that beautiful woman and her smirk.
POSTED ON ATTIC CARTOMANCY: I adore this card, for both its meaning and the collage process to create it. I have a heavy dose of French-Italian painter Frédéric Soulacroix’s work in my coins suit. There is a sleek elegance to his style and his paintings almost always feature a lavish and comfortable scene. These worked very well as a foundation for many of the coin cards. The thing I wanted to make more drastic in each collage were the faces. I wanted less cheerful faces to peer from behind the many masks used in the suit. Many of the cards aren’t dark, so I wanted the masquerade aspect of Halloween to play heavily in them.
My queen is a strong woman. She’s the master of her domain. The mother to those around her who keeps a good home for them. The ruler over her working domain and practical keeper of her coins. And she does all of this with a simple grace and a level head. As the keeper of my home and my own business I identify with her quite well. There is a sometimes an intense balance that must be maintained to keep home and business both equally successful. It is far too easy to let time with a business take away from time that should be spent in the home and with family. Learning that type of balance doesn’t always happen over night. It took me two decades, but my reward was having a better home, my own independence in my business, and just enough extra to be generous with others where I can.
In my card my queen relaxes with a book in the very comfortable world she has worked hard to create. She is surrounded by nature and those things she feels are her creature comforts. She is keeping an eye on her coin. In the theme of the Lydia deck she is a part of the last masquerade of summer that comes on the night of the autumn solstice. Her masked affair begins in those last green moments of summer and ends in the first changing colors of the start of autumn. She’s one of the prettiest cards in the deck.
FROM POST ON ATTIC CARTOMANCY: Who is this card, this king? I want to be selfish and craft him around my zodiac sign. Let me say I find astrology fascinating for a few different reasons. In part because I am slightly nerd minded and how long standing mythical ideas and their influence on people do finding people shaping those things to their lives as an act of suggestion. After that? Simple belief.
My great grandmother was a Rosicrucian. I found this out as an older person when my aunt passed along to me all the books of hers that her grandmother had given her. At that time what I knew of my great grandmother was that she was an incredibly kind and loving person. She’d lived life from a kid with rheumatoid arthritis and only used copper bracelets to treat the pain and joint issue. If you visited her she always sent you away with something beautiful or thoughtful she’d clipped from a magazine or book. She was that elder I wish I had met. She also created astrology charts for people, which was something she created as a Christian, which was one of the first times I realized: You can be raised in a loving environment of something not quite what you’re thinking and still have rooms for your own thoughts.
What does that mean? It means that as I look upon my King of Coins and think about how I relate to being a Taurus, I can relate to this card because it says a lot of the same things to me, without quite as much of the stubborn bullishness I also know. Yet these are things of comfort, materialism, and just what makes me feel safe. As it relates to my family (as mentioned) is being surrounded by people who are providers, they made sure my world was surrounded by what I needed and made me feel safe. We always wanted better, but we realized what we had and appreciated it. I didn’t always get what I needed from my mother when it came to envisioning a prosperous and stable life. I had to look around me at those who were living that life and extending to me when they could.
So now I relate it to myself, as I tend to always do a one card draw as a thing of meditation or reflection. I look at this card and I am reminded that this is where I want to be in life. I want to be in a position to look after those around me and encourage them forward. I want to be a person who loves someone so much, and in loving them that way, is able to (sometimes) very harshly advise them on how they may be f*cking up and how to pull away from that. I think I might be obnoxious in saying this, but that for me this is the aunt towards niece card. Slowly I’ve turned into the aunt. Bittersweet. full post
I’ve been working on the tins for the full packaging option of the deck. They’re coming along. 🙂
FROM THE COMPANION GRIMOIRE: I was at the book dealer’s shoppe today to inquire about a rare book that I hoped he might have some information about. It was as I stood at his very old counter watching him thumb through his index of book titles that my eyes drifted and I came upon the old man.
The old man was not so strange for this place. With its dust that smelled like spent time and forgotten knowledge, he was but one more aging relic there. There was such utter sadness on his face though. Within the details of his eyes and mouth was a perfect caricature of loss. Before him were stacks of books, but he never moved to open them. Instead, he was intent on clutching a glass to his chest that he never once took a sip from. He just held it like it was the most precious of things to him.
POSTED ON ATTIC CARTOMANCY: … With my Halloween deck there is no symbolism offered within the card’s artwork. Each card presents a scene, like you’re peaking your head through a window and for a moment catching something you were not meant to see. In this respect I consider the cards more of a meditation through traditional tarot card meanings. The Chariot card, in general, is a triumphant card. It’s about winning the battle and what you’ve learned from fighting the battle itself. It is about feeling your full self confidence when taking on a challenge and meeting that challenge head on strong and confident. There is also a quite literal meaning to it as it pertains to traveling. It might be a time to hop in your chariot and hit the road.
When I was designing this hidden scene for my deck the mummy came to mind. I don’t know why. I just saw this classic painting of a woman who has battled up and out of the tomb and now sits in a pleasant scene with her wrappings coming off. In front of her are the spoils of that fight and the travels she has taken since winning it. I thought it fit the Chariot. full post
POSTED ON ATTIC CARTOMANCY: If the Emperor is the father of the tarot the Empress is its mother. She represents fertility, beauty and expression through creativity. She represents how I look upon the world. I see the beauty in nature, the beauty in creation, and just how incredible our world is when we take a good look at it. I think after having gone through all that fuss of the first major holiday in my home, the days after felt like a moment to take a breath and smile; to look around me and see how beautiful my world is and how that beauty tries to present itself in all that I do. I hope it does at least.
That said, the Empress card here is from my Attic Halloween Tarot. The appearance of this Empress may seem to contradict a few of those thoughts and I’m not sure if my explanation behind it will help that any. The card is also titled The Immortal Masquerade and pictures a once beautiful woman who has lived many years and puts her beauty back on in the form of a mask before she goes back into the world. She’s surrounded by beautiful things, but also reminders that beauty is fleeting. Her eyes are bright though and she has learned a thing or two over her many years. What you see might be cracking but what lay beneath is eternal. When I made the card I played Berlin’s Masquerade over and over. Lyrically it’s a bit of a strange melancholy song, but the melody is upbeat and it just makes me happy, just as the Empress card makes me happy. The strange lass looking over the card is my Lizzy Borden Living Dead Doll (why yes, I am the keeper of strange things) and she was helping me with some product photography and just had to throw herself into the mix. full post
I am pleased to say the Lydia Tarot has already funded on IndieGoGo for its initial goal. I have stretch goals of course, but I honestly just wanted to make sure it funded for the minimal amount I needed to get the deck going. In the past it’s taken me nearly the entire course of funding to achieve my minimal goal (which was considerably lower than goal set for this one) and I was pleased when it went past that goal towards the end of the campaign. So I wasn’t sure what to expect. Now that it has funded color me ecstatic. Thank you to all my first backers. 🙂