View single post by Keen
 Posted: Mon Jan 11th, 2010 01:38 am
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Keen

 

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I have one of the original pre-release Frown Strong tarot packs which predates the 1978 general printed release and I understand was only made available to a few members of Leo's original group. It has distinct wavy borders at the sides of the cards, has no numbers at the bottom and the drawings and style vary quite dramatically from the cards in the printed releases in 1978 and 1991. I also have the 1991 version. If anyone wants to sell their 1978 version I would be very interested to buy it. Please contact me if you have a copy.
The history of the cards as told to me by members of Leos group who were actually with him at the time was that the knowledge of the Tarot dumped on Leo from the unseen worlds one day out of the blue - he hadn't specifically been researching it at the time - when it dumped in on him Leo grabbed his son John's paint set and painted the outline characters of the Tarot in a childlike way with colours like a child would use but the pictures as I'm told were incredibly essence connected. At a meeting later with his students, the students drew the Tarot pictures on the floor of a rented hall in an all night session under Leo's instruction after which one of the students called Tagir (one of Leo's original students) produced the artwork.  The original "draft" version (which I have a copy of) was deemed as containing far too many mistakes in the style and content and the borders were seen as superflous and a different "clean" and more exact version was produced and formally printed.  I spoke to Tagir at a conference last year about the history and different versions of the Frown Strong Tarot pack and he explained that the later versions also had various mistakes in them especially in the colours of some of the cards - the reason being was that the printing company couldn't exactly reproduce the colours requested from them and Leo's students at that time also didn't have the funds to keep reprinting a master copy to get more exact colours. There were also some glaring mistakes that Leo pointed out to him including the Green Man (card 15) should be looking down rather than straight ahead and the people should be holding on to the Green Man instead of the rock - ie the Green Man shouldn't appear to be so dominent as the people are holding on to him of their own free will, in card 17 the bird should be a sparrow (instead of what looks like a vulture) so symbolise the silver essence, in card 1 the Juggler should have the bottom of his legs cut off and he shold be facing forwards with his hands in an inviting pose, in card 5 the Hierophant should be closer and not so threatening, in card seven the sphinxes were too big as the person should clearly be in control, in card 21 the Nymph of Ability should be dancing etc etc.
Interestingly Tagir said to me that he was still playing around on his computer with the Frown Strong Tarot cards to get it more accurate and he showed me some of his latest printouts but he didn't mention any plans to get it re-released.
There is further explanation of the cards in the archive "The Journey - The archives of the Emin Foundation Volume Two" and then further deeper detail in "The Journey - The archives of the Emin Foundation Volume Sixteen".
A further even more esoteric Tarot was produced by Leo called the Gemrod Taro (yes without the end t! The letter T esoterically meaning in the alphacuriobet "sense of gain" and at midlevel meaning "To do, make action. Doing letter" not being required). This Taro can be seen in Leo's book "Dear Dragon - Including the 21 Tabloids known as the Gemrod Taro". The Gemrod Taro was also released to Leo's students as laminates which could be stuck onto cardboard and I used to have a copy but it's been lost. Again if anyone has a copy I would be interested in buying it as it's out of release now.
If anyone is ever in London they are welcome to drop by for a chat to them about the significance and mystery behind the cards and the incredible life journey that Leo offered his students.  I have studied Leo's works since 1987 and have a wealth of incredible stories about Leo and many lessons behind the Tarot cards.

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