Pagan Community Notes: Rachel Pollack, Conway Pagan Pride, Bay Area Pagan Festival and More

It was recently announced that writer and teacher Rachel Pollack was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Pollack is one of the world’s leading authorities on the Tarot and has written numerous books on the subject, as well as many fiction novels. In addition, she is a respected comic book writer who, according to one report, gave DC Comics its first transgender character in the Doom Patrol series. Pollack’s next book, a novel titled The Child Eater, is due to be released in July. In addition, Pollack is a regular and welcome presenter at the annual PantheaCon conference in San Jose.

The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck and the Public Domain

The Rider-Waite tarot deck, also known as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck to honor illustrator Pamela Colman Smith, is cited by many as the most popular tarot deck in the English-speaking world. Most of the popular tarot decks around today reference, or pay homage to, its designs and structure. The deck has been a perennial money maker for U.S. Games, who publish the Rider-Waite deck and several variations of it (Universal Waite, Radiant Rider-Waite, etc). Now, starting in 2013, all works by scholar and mystic Arthur Edward Waite are supposed to be entering the public domain, but it’s very likely the Rider-Waite tarot he co-created will remain on hazy copyright grounds for another decade. For the UK, the European Union, Russia, and most of the world, copyright lasts the life of the creator plus 70 years.

Quick Notes: Peg Aloi, Rachel Pollack, Michelle Bachmann, and Patheos Move Notes

First off, welcome to Patheos everyone! I’m still getting used to the new digs, but so far the hitches seem to be relatively minor. One thing, the comments from Intense Debate are still in the process of being exported to Disqus, our new commenting system. The comments themselves are safe, but it may take a bit before they all appear. So please be patient as we get that worked out.

Psychic Services and the Law: Rachel Pollack

The issue of how local governments regulate psychic and divinatory services has been slowly bubbling up into the mainstream consciousness. These efforts have gone beyond the simple business licences that other industries routinely apply for to include background checks, letters of reference, fingerprinting, and other personal information. Some places, like Chesterfield County, Virginia, limit shops to the “red light” district of town (next to the adult bookstores, pawn shops, and scrap yards), and for some areas obtaining a licence, even if you clear the hurdles, is ultimately down to a judgement of your “good moral character”. When questioned on these ordinances local politicians and officials say it’s to prevent fraud and will point to a con-artist who managed to bilk thousands out of his or her trusting clients. But are those news-making scam-artists the norm? Is there a greater level of fraud within the divination industry than there is in other industries?

It’s In the Cards

Enterprise News has published a remarkably even-keeled article on tarot cards by Kathryn Rem. No doubt the quality of this piece was helped immensely by the fact that she interviews tarot author and expert Rachel Pollack (who has a blog, by the way).”‘I loved the idea that there was a story involved with each card,’ said [Rachel] Pollack of Rhinebeck, N.Y., an authority on tarot and the author of 30 books, including “Tarot Wisdom” (Llewellyn, 2008) and “Tarot of Perfection” (Magic Realist Press, 2008). “The two biggest areas that people want to know about are love and work,” Pollack said. ‘Some readers focus on future events. But modern readers help people look inside.