A day that many of us will remember, which happened because of the woman who is the creative force behind the Game of Thrones Tarot.
This is not a deck review. It’s the diary of a day in which I got to experience first hand the London Launch of The Game of Thrones Tarot which was finally birthed this month. My friend Liz Dean, (of whom I am exceedingly proud), has battled, and collaborated, plotted and schemed to create a deck against what seemed at times to be insurmountable obstacles. A True Queen of Swords (in the most dignified, and badass aspects of her personification). A saga every bit as gripping as the one played out in the Seven Kingdoms, and I’m delighted that the completion of this chapter, appears to be leading into the beginning of a whole new adventure for her.
Although the planning of the London Launch at The Atlantis Bookshop had been arranged months in advance, and my part was a small supporting role (to be a back-up reader if Liz was swamped by hundreds of Game of Thrones fans needing a reading), my day began early as I was travelling from North Shields in the North East of England down to London for my very first visit, (a disgraceful admission from a person who lives in the UK). A three-hour train journey (which worked out less costly than a thirty minute one), and an adventure wandering the West End streets courtesy of Google Maps and I arrived – hot, fairly sweaty, (read very sweaty – London is the tropics, who knew?), and desperate for a wee and a cup of tea at around 11 am, and was greeted warmly and easily by Geraldine and Bali Beskin and Andrea Webb, and shown to the basement room where the readings were to take place.
The shop has an amazing heritage in the history of western esotericism, particularly the Golden Dawn, and Geraldine and Bali come from a fascinating lineage too. All of the women I met in Atlantis Bookshop, patrons and visitors alike are forces of nature. Strong women. Women with guts, unafraid to show it. I hope to write a blog post about the shop, and its history and people in the future – it’s truly fascinating for me, and I’m guessing many others who work with the Tarot or in any other esoteric field. There’s a brilliant story about an armchair with a very funny twist. But that’s for another day.
And the Loo! Oh. My. Word. I could have happily spent a good proportion of the day in the loo contemplating the treasures in there!
The day was a steady stream of Game of Thrones fans, I didn’t really have to do anything other than soak up the vibe as Liz, as ever, took the whole thing in her stride greeting and signing. The warm, giving professional to the core.
There would have been many more pictures, but the hospitality of the folks was so wonderful, (and included wine), that the time just flew by, so I’ll add a selection of pictures of the Game of Thrones cards taken this morning just because the light was so wonderful.
I know I said that this isn’t a review, but I think it is very fair to note that the deck is beautiful, moody, atmospheric, and most importantly for a reader of cards, it is very, very readable. Even for someone whose knowledge of the Game of Thrones is cursory. The language of the cards very much Waite Smith derived with one or two nods to Marseille style decks. I would imagine, as tends to be the case with heavily themed decks, that a good knowledge of the TV series will add depth and enhance the insights from the cards (yup, a GoT binge is definitely required for me).
I met too many brilliant people to mention, and whom I hope to meet again. I hope to properly meet the people I didn’t get a chance to spend time with, and am very grateful to Liz for inviting me along for the ride.
Sites I visited were the British Museum for a cream tea with a new friend, Bloomsbury Square, Bedford Square (by accident – where afternoon tea was ‘invented’ by a peckish lady of note), and Oxford Street (by accident). As well as a couple of other spots, that I’ve sadly forgotten the names of.
Warmest congratulations to you Liz, and thank you to all of the folks I met in London. What a brilliant experience for a country mouse.
Geraldine Beskin will be coming to the North East in the near future to give talks on various aspects of the Tarot – watch this space, and the facebook page of The Vault Creative Wellbeing Centre for details.
Liz will also be meeting and signing purchasers of the Game of Thrones Tarot in Selfridges. Date to be added when I can catch her!
http://www.theatlantisbookshop.com (you can purchase signed copies of the Game of Thrones Tarot here if you call in).
Just a quick addendum – the book and deck selection at Atlantis Books is varied and thoughtful. I came home with a couple of decks which I’ll talk about at a later date.