Tarot of the Crone by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince

Review by Carmen Sorrenti

Keys of the Crone

Ellen Lorenzi-Prince has gifted us with the Tarot of the Crone. Truly, this is a multi-layered gift for any sanctum, home or traveler’s bag—wherever life takes you, you may turn to this deck and be sure to find answers, food, and a warm and knowing hand at your back. But there is mystery here, and the backs of these cards—shiny black—reveal the dark of the moon. These are scrying tools just waiting for your touch where power surges, and by an elegant yielding they usher you into the fertile soil of your limitless mind. Already you start to imagine, to tend to what moves within. As pictures are unveiled, whether they be an expanse of amethyst suspended in a gown of stellar grace, a golden serpent or a pyramid of rising fire, instantly you are in Her presence—the Crone in all Her guises. She is here, generous with her secrets, her ancient radiance of unfolding patterns, her song of wise love calling. Each of the cards has a poetic voice, a language for the heart, and from the heart, as with the Two of Cups:

There is One
Whom I would love above all others
I see Her, smell Her
Hear Her voice in my blood

How can She be resisted
When She is my own self singing?

I’m also reminded of our late wonderful poet Derek Walcott:

You will love again the stranger who was your self
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life…

In this compelling deck we hear magical language that extends and reveals necessary maps. Each poem is followed by a short passage. The texts are concise yet they imbue the cards with an entire life, a mythic pattern to work with. At the same time each message gets down to essentials—it speaks directly as any wise Grandmother would. And with each image comes a further layer. Stark and sophisticated talismans, there is much help to be had from these friends. Nature seems to conspire with us in every way. Take the Seven of Cups, blooming with beckoning flowers that sway like Venus of Willendorf figurines, almost smiling, or Strength calling in the magnitude of the Kundalini Serpent, reminding us that this is the stuff of which we are made.

Through the deftness of Ellen’s colors and shapes we are invited into the feeling of each element—the light breezy quality of swords, the mysterious and sensual spiraling of cups, the calm and safety of disks, the dancing excitement of wands. Each suit has a balanced structure with fascinating domains to explore. For example, Swords, that often difficult realm of nightmarish scenarios, is sometimes infused with visionary eyes beaming light. In the words of the Grandmother of Swords:

I am the weaver of words
A teller of stories

The little ones learn
How the world is woven

This Crone deck is dedicated to Hekate and here we consider the World card—the World Soul. It is a figure that holds the other 21 arcana within it. She is shaped like a keyhole. Hekate was known, amongst other things, as Kleidouchos or Keeper of the Keys. She is guide to liminal places and allows us passage through one realm to another, opening the doors to unknown spaces, far reaches, dreams, all that is Other. Hekate for the Neoplatonists was the World Soul, the one who guided us in and out, setting the rhythms of incarnation, the entering and leaving of a body. Keybearer to the deepest mysteries, She is Hekate Phosphoros, the Light Bearer who will illuminate your path with Her torches. Ellen’s deck is configured in such a way as to bear keys, open perception, shed light where it is necessary. It walks the domains of magic, primordial power and good practical advice; it embraces you like a mother, teacher, friend, willing to accompany transformation and any reaches that your soul requires.

— Carmen Sorrenti, artist, creator of Pholarchos Tarot

Tarot of the Crone is copyright protected. Card images may be used on blogs/websites as 'Card of the Day' endeavors or for review purposes but must contain the website along with Tarot of the Crone by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince. The images are not to form part of written teaching materials or otherwise be used without prior consent from the artist.

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