“I met a lady in the woods
A Faery’s child;
Her hair was long,
Her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.”
-- John Keats, “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”
Two of the images selected from Linda Ravenscroft’s whimsical artwork are decidedly Tarot-related, with one not having a faerie in sight! For example, for July, there’s only an image of lightning hitting a tree (The Tower card from the Mystic Faerie Tarot). For Novmeber, there’s a blindfolded faerie holding scales in one hand and a sword in another (the Justice card).
There’s nothing inherently wrong with these images, of course. It’s just that if this is in fact a FAERIE calendar, then why the direct Tarot references? If any of you have seen the Mystic Faerie Tarot, you already know that it contains lovely illustrations—especially the lively Minor Arcana. So why in the world depict the mostly static images from the Major Arcana for each month (except for February, which is the Seven of Cups image) rather than some of the more arresting images from the Mystic Faerie Tarot? As I looked through Llewellyn’s 2009 Mystic Faerie Calendar, I was very disappointed. I had planned on hanging it in my kitchen or library next year, but the lackluster (to me) images will have me giving this one away, I’m afraid.
There are no “extras” in this calendar, either, as you would find in the information-packed annual Astrological Calendar from Llewellyn. Only the usual federal holidays are noted in this calendar, as well as observances from the big three monotheistic religions.
Here are the card choices they selected for each month:
January – The Fool
February – Seven of Cups
March – The Priest
April – The Emperor
May – Temperance
June – The Hanged Fae
July – The Tower
August – The Sun
September – The Empress
October – Death (the best selection, in my opinion)
November – Justice
December – The Star
Although the cover of Llewellyn’s 2009 Mystic Faerie Calendar promises animated scenes (the fae with various symbols from other cards—e.g. the elongated mushrooms from The Hermit, hamsters from the Pentacles suit, spotted mushrooms from the Wands suit, a blue rose from the Swords suit, a dragonfly from the Cups, etc.), there is no variety among the images WITHIN the calendar.
In fact, the card imagery is only one HALF of the actual page; the other half is blank with a brief quote from literature ABOUT faeries.
So many gorgeous, lively cards COULD have been chosen for this calendar! The Strength card with the green-clad female fae on a dragon comes to mind, as does the bountiful illustration from the Ten of Pentacles, the flying fae pulled by birds in The Chariot, the Lovers embrace, two youth pondering an egg in the Five of Wands, and so on.
If you’re a fan of the Mystic Faerie Tarot, especially the cards listed, then you’ll no doubt enjoy Llewellyn’s 2009 Mystic Faerie Calendar. However, if you’re a faerie enthusiast who prefers seeing all manner of fae in action (as opposed to sitting for a portrait!), then you’ll probably be confused at best (what does a lighting bolt hitting a tree have to do with faeries, after all?) and dissatisfied at worst.
In my opinion, Llewellyn (or whoever chose the calendar images) passed up a great opportunity for offering a spirited, whimsical, attractive calendar for faerie enthusiasts and those who appreciate the art of Linda Ravenscroft.
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