Ellen Lorenzi-Prince is one of the featured presenters at this year’s Omega Institute Tarot Conference, July 29-31st. She is creator of Tarot of the Crone and Tarot Paper Dolls, both available at The Tarot Connection, and she has a forthcoming tarot deck inspired by the ancient Minoan culture (see sample below). As well as being an innovative artist and writer, Ellen is one of our most outstanding tarot presenters, leading participants gently on their own personal journey, helping them find the story in the cards. Visit Ellen at Crone Ways. Here she is interviewed by Rachel Pollack.
Rachel: Where some people write books you create Tarot decks. The Tarot of the Crone, The Minoan Tarot, decks of just the 22 Trump cards–do each of these express a different side of Tarot? Do they expand Tarot’s possibilities?
Ellen: Do my decks express different sides of Tarot and expand its possibilities? Yes. But no. Yes, because they do provide other windows and passageways. But not really, because Tarot is more of a power than an artifact, more than something with a predetermined amount of sides. It’s a power that is generative and fundamental for the artist, reader and mystic in me. Tarot is a power that is alive, and it’s a realm that deepens the more I explore it. New card images are like keys in a hall of doors. The good ones take you places.
Rachel: In your Tarot of the Crone study group you have avoided the traditional way of teaching meanings and instead developed a great wealth of readings and exercises. Do you think we understand the cards and what they can mean for us primarily by working with them?
Ellen: Study is important. So is experience and exploration. We grow in understanding through both hands. I like to provide new experiences in Tarot because that keeps it challenging and fun for me. But the nature of the study group also reflects the philosophy of the Tarot of the Crone: immediate, personal, and transformational. I don’t take a formal approach because the deck is about the individual journey.
Rachel: You have traveled to sacred places, especially in Greece, and gone deeply into myths as living stories. Do the mythic figures come alive in the cards? What guidance do we get from them?
Ellen: Sometimes mythic beings literally come alive in the cards. I may get a reading that knocks my socks off, where I feel a deep and powerful voice speaking to me. Sometimes because of how the image strikes me, the context of the question or other cues, I recognize certain qualities in the voices. Qualities similar to those that speak in the sacred sites. Characteristics that allow me to give a voice a name, and through a name, a form and a story.
You can get good advice from these figures precisely because you do know their story (although never believe you know the whole of it). You know where they might be biased. You know what choices they made, what they believed and what they valued. Through understanding their story and recognizing where it touches your own, you learn how they would handle your situation, information which can help you create or avert the outcome suggested by the card.
See interviews with other presenters: