ITaly was a *totally* life-sized Tarot experience. I'd like to share some highlights. Click on images to see them larger (in a new window). Names changed to cover for the guilty.

Wed, Aug 18

I arrived mid-week feeling like the Fool. I had my pack on my shoulder, and my suitcase stood in for the dog, following along behind me. I was on a journey to new experience, not knowing what to expect. It was also a new beginning in more ways than one . . . though I didn't suspect all that at the time. Standing on top of the hill, the Magician appeared. He brought the Chariot and off we went to the castle. After being duly admonished for my foolishness, and feeling like a green newbie, I was glad to meet a friendly young Page, who showed me around.

Castello di Montalto
(Yes, this is where we stayed!)

I settled under the Tree of Knowledge, and there I met a Pixie. A short while later, the entire Court gathered for the very wonderful and moving handfasting of the Lovers. The World was Transformed as blessings and gifts were exchanged.  

Thurs, Aug 19


The day started early as we piled into the Chariots and headed to the Tarot Garden*. We were surprised to discover that it didn't open until the afternoon. So we pulled a Trump XII, suspending our visit and hanging around the nearby village for three hours. It was a terrible sacrifice, as we had nothing to entertain us but the fruits of vine and sea. Waaah. = P  

We were finally able to enter the gaudi temple of the High Priestess, Niki de St. Phalle, and partake of her silent wisdom. Like so much of Tarot, some of it was revealed and some remained hidden. As the H.H.H. sagely commented: "You have to go INSIDE."  

inside the EmpressTemperance angeltop of the Hierophant

We also visited the 'Park of Monsters*,' which was extremely cool. By evening, we were so exhausted that it took a lot of Strength for eight of us to go out to dinner. I had to practice Temperance, alternately imbibing water and wine.  

Welcome to Hell!Welcome to Heaven!

Fri, Aug 20

I spent most of the day under the Tree. The Great Mother gave blood, sweat and tears preparing to nurture us with food. That Sword was sharper than she realized! (Healing thoughts to ALL the Genettis.) I happily acquired a new deck (WoC), and was then blessed by observing the Wheel cover a little more ground. I've never before had the opportunity to sit by a deck's creator while she talked about her cards. Although I was only eavesdropping, it was wonderful, both intellectually and spiritually.  

We had a 10 of Pents evening (Healing Tarot-style), gathering in the "Granary" to share many wonderful dishes. I scuttled off with a beetle (yes, a real one) for my Moon costume for the evening's party. I could only shine with 16 chief rays, though, as I didn't have room for the 16 secondary rays. ('The light of the body is the eye.') DeltaLady made a great Fool. I greatly admired her meaningful and creative accessorizing. Woof, woof!  

We held a meeting of Secret Chiefs. Maniacal laughter rang through the Tuscan hills as we traveled the narrow road to madness--farther. The meeting adjourned with the coming of the golden dawn (and the Three Bears). It would be improper to comment further upon an official ritual of the (iii).  


Lemme tell ya more 'bout IT

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created Aug. 17-24/Sept. 1-9, 1999