Pocket size Rosetta – in a tin!

Pocket/mini decks are here! They look awesome. They were printed by the same company and on the same card stock as the full size decks. You will be able to get them on the Rosetta web store 5/24/13 at 6PM EST. An edition of 555, so mark your calendars and be ready to click if you want one of the first, or the first, one!

So here is a picture of the mini deck in a tin. This one has a red satin ribbon wrap, they also come in a dark blue. You can see they look really clean and nice, no words or advertising or bar codes or distractions on the tins, just the rose design:

Putting these together has been taking up all my spare time after work and on days off. It really is quite a production. Here are some shots of the process, this first picture shows 55 tins (the edition is of 555) and this shows the ribbons just glued onto the tins and drying in the sun. This was 55 of 555 taken on 5/5 (Cinco de Mayo) so it shows you how long I have been working on these darn things and still not done: (sorry picture has been lost)

So the pocket size edition will be signed and numbered, 555 decks, and a new thing is that I will still offer the personalized significator cards for a limited time, but this time the significator cards are professionally printed on the same stock as the rest of the deck, and I will just add the name of choice in hieroglyphs. I may only offer this service to the first X number of people who order, and then after that would include an insert of the hieroglyphic alphabet for you to do your own.

To make the tins, I first had to cut 555 sections of high quality double sided satin ribbon, with zigzag (pinking) shears so that the cut ribbons won’t fray. Then each tin gets a tyvek silica gel insert that cushions the decks in the tin (hidden by the ribbon) and also will protect the decks and tins from humidity. Then the edge of the tin gets sanded where the ribbon will be glued, to remove the protective coating the tins have and give a little tooth for adhesion. The ribbons get glued on, then decals with the card back design are applied to the cover of the tin, and over that goes two coats of matte varnish. Then the decks get unpacked, inspected, signed and nestled into their bed in the tins.

Sounds easy but to do 555 of anything takes more time than you might think. I have currently 387 of the 555 done and I have been working like a maniac. Here are some more pics of another day at the tarot mines: another day at the tarot mine


Bruno is saying, stop doing this human nonsense and take me for a walk, for the love of dog!

Stretch break

I also was thinking of offering some custom ones if people were interested, with your card of choice as a borderless image decoupaged to the tin and the card back design on the back. This one I inked the tin but the ones I will offer will be silver as the ink is too messy. Here is an example of some custom ones:

custom tins


I also did a few with the stele of revealing, front  and back.

What do you think, would people be interested? The custom ones will be silver not colored as the coloring process is too messy and time consuming, but if anyone wants the specific ones pictured already done the first one to ask can have them. *edited to add, I think AvAdon may have claimed one of the stele per his comment below, I will follow up*

Here are some details about the pocket size decks you might want to know. They come with the customizable significator card and a card that is signed and numbered as shown in the first picture. They do not come with a little white book, as there is not enough room in the tin to accomodate one. The cards are approximately 3 1/4 by 2 1/8 inches. This is the size as compared to the full size decks:

deck size comparison


I also have a friend in Latvia who is a very talented leather worker making leather pouches custom sized to hold the mini decks. You have to see these and feel them to believe how nice they are. They will only get better with age. So if you are the type to be bothered when your tin gets scratched up from carrying it around wherever you go, then I highly recommend these. I have one for my full size deck and really love it, it is a pleasure to use and touch. They have a strap that snaps the cards in securely and then another snapping flap. (Say that 5 times fast)

He has mailed me the first batch of 5 pouches, they should arrive any day, so if you want one I suggest you grab one ASAP as the next batch probably won’t be here for 2-4 weeks. They will be first come first serve, and since they are different colors if your first choice is gone or you do not make one I will choose for you.



Here are some words to you about the pouches, directly from Reinis of Latvia, who makes them:


words from Reinis:
“Hey, guys!




First of all and most importantly, I’m 10 thousand kilograms grateful for Melissa for her wonderful effort and this super_knowledge she is sharing with all of us through her Rosetta deck. Secondly I’m grateful to cosmos, because the idea of making several limited editions came up with the Rosetta mini deck in customly designed and hand sewed leather pouches.




So, what is this?


The idea behind these small leather bags is to hold cards safely together not too tight and not too loose. You can use it as a travel set, or just to keep cards for a regular use. Me myself got a little sick of the regular paper boxes and it just felt like I want to keep my precious cards safely in a cool bag that would be perfectly fit and would look nice too. Then i red that tarot cards are better  to hold in a natural material like silk or leather. Since i’m a guy and not too much into silk, I decided to sew my first pouch from the leather. I designed it the way it felt better, so I can put in the cards and then close it over and button up, in order the cards to have a nice rest until the next time I was about to use them.




Two separate leather tissues are glued together and pressed under pressure, so they stick together well. Then I cut out the pattern, which I make different size for the particular deck, since the sizes varies and one template would not feel so good for all decks. So the each pouch is customly made with the exact size of the particular deck. Then it’s a couple of evenings with a needle and leather and strong fingers. After that buttons are added up and ready to use. Usually my own cards are not put in the pouches, so energetically the pouch is free and ready to get stuffed with all your unique individual light and power. Just don’t put pancakes in there, ok?  


For the technical issues that’s pretty much it.


How to use?


Leather is a very welcoming material, even if at the very beginning the pouch might feel a little tight, the leather will stretch itself and take it’s natural form eventually. There are no extreme conditions that must be considered, it’s just a regular piece of leather which after some time of use will have some scratches, which I just consider “the valuable scars” which will give the pouch even a better look and a softer feel.




If necessary, you can reach me in my email – reinis.kaneps@gmail.com / i’m willing to give further explanations and any necessary information.




Hugs to you all, and a special one to Melissa!”
end quote from ReinisOk hopefully by now you just want to know when they will be available! I just have to do some work on the web store to get it set up to sell the mini decks. I will make the site live to purchase the pocket size decks in a tin this Friday, May 24 at 6pm EST (Eastern time USA). These will be numbered and sold in order, so if you are a fast clicker you could get number 1!The first 22 sold are guaranteed to get their significators customized with hieroglyphs of your name or name of choice, after that at some point I may decide to just include an insert with hieroglyphs and directions how to self customize.

The complete, signed and numbered, pocket size decks with significator, in a tin, will cost $26.95 plus shipping. For a tin with your image of choice, add $3. The leather pouches cost $30 and since only 5 are in the first batch, I will take backorders for them once they are gone and ship them as they arrive for no extra charge. Hopefully we can keep Reinis busy!

So mark your calendars 5/24/13 at 6PM EST, the pocket size decks will be available and I hope to hear from you anytime!

An Orphic Egg for Easter

Temperance/Art is the card that is the astrological trump of Sagittarius, and this card was completed over the last few days, appropriately enough while the moon has been waning in the sign Sagittarius. And, over the Easter weekend, which amuses me as the card contains the Orphic egg, and it’s esoteric meaning has much to do with a womb.

In most traditional renderings one sees an angelic being transferring water from a red cup to a blue, or mixing fire and water. In the Thoth deck a dual being combines these elements in a cauldron, flanked by the eagle and lion of The Lovers with their colors interchanged. In the Rosetta Tarot, the dual human being is Artemis/Apollo, and the eagle/lion becomes one creature.

In Tarot M, the Dianic being is shown AS the Green Lion/Griffin, which alchemically represents Vitriol. The alchemical motto for vitriol is “Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem,” “Visit the interior of the earth and rectifying (purifying) you will find the hidden stone.”  The White Eagle and Red Lion of the Lovers have combined. This being also represents Diana/Artemis, the Huntress goddess of the Moon.

Temperance has much to do with tempering – as in perfecting with fire and water, like one does with a sword. Interesting that the opposite trump of Gemini, the Lovers, is the card of Zain, the Sword.

Temperence is on the path between Yesod the Moon, and Tipareth, the Sun. She launches her flaming arrow from the bow, in the form of the crescent moon dripping water, upwards to the sun. Fire and water combine to form air, and a rainbow, which connects earth and heaven – all four elements present. The rainbow is a symbol of this card as the arrow of Sagittarius pierces the rainbow – the paths on the tree of life that spell QShTh, meaning bow or rainbow. Below is an alchemical vessel  representing Yesod in which fire and water combine. Above they show the paths leading to and from Tiphareth. Around their conjunction is a crown of light.

The arrow is the “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower drives my red blood” (Dylan Thomas) and the red and blue serpents are the colors of Chokmah and Binah and the twin channels of Kundalini.

The Hebrew letter is Samekh, meaning “to support”. The colors per the Golden Dawn color scales are Blue, Yellow, Green and Dark Vivid Blue.

It feels like I could write a whole book on this card alone. But right now, I can barely write this post, as it is midnight and I have had too much Italian wine, I probably should not have been painting and definitely should not be posting (no Temperance in that sense here, haha) and am not sure if what I have written is even understandable as I need to elaborate and have much more to add. But I will save it for the book I guess.

The card is a bit bright – but I guess the path leading between Sun and Moon would be the brightest of all.

I will leave you with these sentences from Crowley’s Book of Thoth, about the Art card:

The Arrow

Now, then, behold how the head of the dragon is but the tail of the Aethyr!

(The card is ruled by Jupiter but the Dragon’s Tail is exalted)


The moon waneth. The moon waneth. The moon waneth. For in that arrow is the Light of Truth that overmasterest the light of the sun, whereby she shines.



 Art Tabula Mundi Tarot

copyright M.M. Meleen




Ride the snake…

This is the end, beautiful friend.

Death rides in, but not on a pale horse. He rides a Feathered Serpent, a hybrid creature of the three archetypes of Scorpio: the Eagle as upper nature, the Snake central, and the Scorpion as the lowest form. The beast clutches a salmon in it’s talons. I mentioned to someone that I wondered if it was a faux pas to put a salmon in the Nile. Around here they spawn in rivers, but they are not likely there. Or maybe they are, I don’t know. Anyway he said he thought it was funny that I was concerned about the authenticity of the salmon’s habitat when it was being clutched by a mythological creature ridden by a skeleton in a hat (actually, it is an Atef Crown). Point taken though; I honestly had not thought of that. Salmon for their spawn cycle of life and death; also, the Hebrew letter for this card is Nun, meaning fish.

Just in time, as the moon passes full and is about to wane into the sign of Scorpio tomorrow. Death is the astrological trump of Scorpio, whose GD title is “Child of the Great Transformers, Lord of the Gate of Death”. We also currently have a stellium of four planets in Aries, sign of Mars, which is the co-ruler of Scorpio along with Pluto. Pluto, appropriately, is in Capricorn – sign of Saturn, the sign of old age and Chronos, the old man with the scythe.

In the background, the Great Pyramid is shown on the banks of the Nile, in schematic form so that the King and Queen’s chambers are revealed, along with their star-aligned shafts. The King’s chamber aligns with the alpha star of Draco, the Dragon, and a belt star of Orion (Osiris). The Queen’s chamber aligns with the beta star of Ursa Minor (the Little Bear or Little Dipper)and with Sirius, the Nile Star (Isis). (In those days, both Ursa Major and Minor were considered part of Draco and associatied with goddess Tawret, the Hippo.) Death points towards the current Pole Star, around which “the world turns”. Behind him, the wormhole-shaped solar barge drifts down the stream. Life is but a dream.

From the churning of the Nile mud, and the actions of putrefaction, air bubbles rise with draconic embryos.

This might be the end, for now, as I am debating whether to postpone posting cards for awhile. Or not, who knows? Would you rather they were a surprise, or known in advance? Could ask the same about Death, I guess.

The Golden Dawn color scales for this card are Green Blue, Dull Brown, Very Dark Brown, and Livid Indigo Brown.

Anyway, this is the Death card from my new deck in progress, currently known as Tarot M:



Death Tabula Mundi Tarot
copyright 2013 M.M. Meleen

To see more of this deck in progress, visit http://www.tabulamundi.com/tabula-mundi-major-arcana-tarot/

Water, water everywhere! So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Another synchronicity. Currently in the sky the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Neptune and Chiron are all in Pisces, which is mutable water and thus the wateriest of water signs, and the new moon Monday (aka moon day) March 11 joins them! Add in Saturn in Scorpio and most of the zodiac is now in a water sign.

It fits, that I’ve recently completed the Hanged Man card, as the Hebrew letter for the card is Mem, meaning water, and it is the elemental trump of Water and associated with nebulous Neptune, ruler of Pisces.

The Hanged Man is associated with resurrected gods and heros: Odin on the world tree Yggdrasil, Attis on the Pine, Osiris who washed ashore in the roots of the Acacia, and many others.

Here are the different stages of the artwork for the card.


The Hanged Man pencil lo res web size

Hanged Man pencil version
copyright M.M. Meleen


First, the pencil sketch above. Just roughed in ideas at this point. Looks like shite!

Next stage is to begin inking in the lines and refining things.


The Hanged Man Stage1 ink lo res web size
Hanged Man, stage 1 inking
copyright M.M. Meleen

In the above version the basic shapes have been drawn in black ink, and some of the shading has been started. It looks a little better at this point! But some areas are too flat, so now the rest of the shading and details need to be added.


Hanged Man Tabula Mundi Tarot black white

The Hanged Man
black and white version
copyright M.M. Meleen

The above is the completed black and white version of the card. Next up, the card gets painted with colored india inks.

Hanged Man Tabula Mundi Tarot
The Hanged Man
copyright M.M. Meleen

This is the completed card of the Hanged Man for Tarot M. Following the Golden Dawn color scales, the appropriate colors for the Hanged Man are deep blue, sea green, deep olive green and white-flecked-with-purple.

The sea serpent is wearing the mask of a man wearing the mask of a sea serpent, whose horns form a trident. The color radiating out behind him is the color of the glow of light though the deep sea waters. How Neptunian is that?

The next card to do is Death, letter Nun, the Fish. Guess I’d best start it while all these planets are in fish. Then they move on to a stellium in Aries next month, which is fine for a transition to the Death card as Mars ruler of Aries is also the ancient ruler of Scorpio.

To see more cards from Tarot M, deck in progress, go to http://www.tabulamundi.com/tabula-mundi-major-arcana-tarot/

And for the latest news about my other deck, the Rosetta Tarot, I am soon to release a mini pocket size version in a tin, which is something I have longed to do from the very beginning and am finally feeling able to get on with. I hope to also have custom tailored leather cases available in very limited quantities, handmade by a very talented friend across the waters. And, there are still some copies left of the original full size special numbered edition of the Rosetta at http://shop.rosettatarot.com/ so if you want one or want a backup, there they are for now. I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford to do a second edition of those so get them while you can.

Hope you are swimming and floating through the waters of Pisces with ease!

A Rose by any other name

Here is the pen and ink version of Strength/Lust/Fortitude/Vigor (whatever you want to call it; I am leaning towards Vigor – what do you think?) The card needs a little touch-up work before painting the colors, but is pretty much done.


Lust Tabula Mundi Tarot
copyright 2013 M.M. Meleen

To see the rest of the posted cards of this deck in progress, go to


The Hebrew letter for this card is Teth (serpent). Happy Year of the Snake!

Jupiter goes direct and the Wheel turns

Fortune Tabula Mundi Tarot black white
Copyright 2013 M.M. Meleen

Synchronicity keeps on turning. Funny how the cards seem to come at the right astrological time. Finally, after a long dry spell, I got inspired and drew Fortune. Appropriately enough, this is the trump of Jupiter and the card showed up just as Jupiter stationed direct, after a long retrograde period. The J-man was transiting my 5th house of creativity and with him moving backwards, I guess I got really stuck. This is the black and white version, the full color one will be posted soon.