Thursday, August 30, 2012

Every Card Tells a Story- A "Behind the Scenes" Look at the Witches Tarot

Good Morning,

Follow this link to read the article I wrote for the Llewellyn Journal about the "story behind the cards". It's informative and funny-- and I think you will all get a big kick out of it. Witches Tarot Llewellyn Journal article by Ellen

In the article I talk about the "Behind the scenes" of the deck art. I include a snippet from the script I wrote and the sketch and finished card that I posed for (The Nine of Pentacles). Here is the finished Nine of Pentacles card.
Nine of Pentacles- Witches Tarot

In other news my oldest son Kraig just bought his first house! He closed yesterday and got his keys- it's official! Today he and I are going paint shopping- as I promised to spring for paint for his kitchen. The house is charming, with a new kitchen and bath. However, at the moment, the kitchen is a ghastly shade of a chalky pale yellow. Not quite the "manly look" a guy is going for. So he has chosen a new earthier shade that compliments the stylish oak cabinets and gorgeous tile...and today we bust out the paint and start painting! For the next week the family is going to help him clean, paint and then the big move will happen in about a week or so.

Knight of Cups- Witches Tarot
Traditionally Knight cards in the tarot symbolize "Movement." How's that for synchronicity? My son Kraig actually posed for the Knight of Cups card and it looks just like him.

I talked my husband and adult kids into each posing for a card too. Want to know who's who? Read the article by clicking on the link above.
When you read my Llewellyn Journal article you will find out the real story behind the cards and why I chose specific relatives and friends to pose for various Court and Minor Arcana cards.

I bet you will enjoy the anecdote behind the Page of Cups and Page of Sword reference photo shoot. All I ask is that we keep the story about my nephew swinging fireplace tongs next to my mother's china cabinet all to ourselves.

Blessed be, Ellen

Friday, August 24, 2012

Best laid plans....

Good Morning,
As a Virgo, I always have a plan, a schedule, and actually- I work better when I stick to that. But when something  throws off my plans, it sends me in a tail spin. At the moment I have several annual articles that are due- two in a matter of days, I am finishing up teaching one class, and then I decided to offer a new class in September on my Witches Tarot...

Fall tour dates are fast approaching, not to mention various coven gatherings, and planning and preparing for my families big Gothic Halloween party we throw every year. I actually have a -- wait for it-- a list hanging above my desk with all of the classes, author events, article and book deadlines, and coven gatherings from now until March 2013.

Yeah, yeah go ahead and snicker. But I gotta admit, that list helps me stay sane- sort of. If that wasn't enough to keep me hopping.... I just got the contract back all signed, sealed and delivered for magickal book #15. (So now I have a new 6 month deadline looming to finish writing that book.)
Jeez I feel out of breath just listing that all down.
If I had a theme song it would be "Flight of the bumblebee".)

I typically am hard at work writing, so you may be wondering, what's got my knickers in a twist?
Answer: The tarot deck was released a month early. While it was a wonderful surprise, it still caught me off guard- and that sent me scrambling.
While we, (and by we I mean Mark, the artist and I) thought we would have August to get the art prints, and other assorted goodies together and be ready to roll by early September, the early release of the deck pushed everything forward. Its been fun and exciting and the art prints are coming... so I hope that folks will hang in there. Mark is working as fast as he can to get the prints ready. For more information follow this link to see about the prints.

 On a personal level, my master plan included quietly taking the month of August and calmly writing all those articles while teaching my summertime 4 part Practical Magick class.  The plan was that this would give me a month to psych myself up for the craziness that I knew would hit when the deck was released in September.

So now I'm in a panic trying to get the articles done and keep up with the requests and correspondence generated from the new deck. We won't mention that next book tapping it's foot at me while I scramble to get everything else done- so I can focus solely on that. No, best not to mention that- at all.

Ah well, best laid plans. Last night,I sat down and made up a new schedule of deadlines (including the next book) and typed it all up nice and neat. I printed it out an hung it on the wall. While the sheer size of the list makes me flinch, I am going to cross projects and events off my list one by one.
Hopefully this will keep me from being too overwhelmed and scattered.
There.  All organized.
All is right with my world.
I think.

You know what? I need a minion.

Blessed be, Ellen

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy Hecate's Day!

Good Morning,
Today, August 13th is the old Pagan festival day of the goddess, Hecate. Hecate is a triple goddess and could appear in any number of guises. Many folks assume that she is just a haggard old Crone. This is simply not the case. Hecate was described as beautiful, glorious and  "she of the shining headband". Hecate could appear as a maiden, a lovely matron or as a silver haired woman who wears her years beautifully. It was this last manifestation that I chose to portray in the Witches Tarot.

Hecate makes an appearance in my new Witches Tarot deck in The Moon card. As you can see all of the classic symbolism associated with Hecate are portrayed in the card. The waning moon, the silver-haired, torch bearing woman. She is standing at the foggy crossroads and is accompanied by three wolves.

"The Moon" card- Witches Tarot
Around Hecate's throat is a Hecate's wheel pendant. At her waist is the pentagram and three skeleton keys. In the background we see two willow trees. The willow is not only associated with the moon and magick, this tree is also associated with Hecate herself.

Here is more information on Hecate. Please Note: The following information on Hecate is from my book, Book of Witchery.  And it is protected under copyright laws.
"Hecate was one of the original Titans. Even after Zeus defeated the Titans, he kept Hecate in power to assist the mortals. Zeus honored Hecate greatly by granting her a share over the earth, the sky and the sea. Originally Hecate was considered a generous and compassionate goddess, it was in later myths that she became associated with darker and more frightening magicks. She developed into the patron of sorcerers and became associated with the underworld, dark mysteries, crossroads and graveyards. Hecate became known as the Queen of the Witches and the guardian of the crossroads.
Today, Hecate is a powerful and protective deity for Witches. If you feel the need to defend yourself, your property or your family, Hecate is the one to call upon."- Book of Witchery

Today we have a Monday (the day associated with the moon), and we are in a waning moon phase. This is a most auspicious time for Hecate's festival.  Remember that Hecate is not to be called lightly. She is a powerhouse, and you can experience many strange things when she is near. Candles may flicker and snap, dogs will howl- as they sense when Hecate is near. The following general invocation can be used when you would like Hecate to assist you or simply to honor her presence in your life. This invocation is copyrighted and also comes from my Book of Witchery.

Cauldrons, three keys and black dogs that bay at the moon,
Grant me wisdom and strength, pray hear this Witch's tune.
Goddess of the crossroads, Hecate, I call on you,
Come lend your magick to mine, my need id strong and true.
Hecate Invocation Copyrighted- by Ellen Dugan

Book of Witchery- Ellen Dugan
For more information and magick with Hecate check out the, Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every day of the Week.
Happy Hecate's day and Blessed be,