Why the Shakespeare Quotes?

In each of The Tarot Mysteries Xana Bard or Thorne Ardall quotes Shakespeare. In The Fool Card the quote is from Hamlet: “The readiness is all.” In The Magician Card it’s “I will be the pattern of all patience; I will say nothing,” from King Lear. A new quote, relevant to the new story, appears in all the subsequent stories.

I didn’t make an overt decision to include a 500-year-old phrase in each book; in the beginning I was just trying to write my first novel, and “the readiness is all” fit the meaning of the Fool Card so aptly that the quote went in that book and in fact was Xana’s last comment. The Fool is about to walk off the cliff’s edge, in spite of the warning barked by his little white dog, and he doesn’t care. He’s ready to the experience and he’s trusting in the net the universe will provide at some point, and here he goes.

But meanwhile, how unwitting could the Shakespeare references have been, when I named my protagonist Rosalind Alexandra Bard? And how lucky was I to set things up that way, intentionally or cluelessly, when the source material Shakespeare provides is so rich a motherlode to draw from?

In The Beginning…

People ask me where the idea for The Tarot Mysteries series came from. Here’s the scoop. A long-time friend of mine in Santa Barbara passed away and I drove down from San Francisco to attend the funeral. As I passed the Earl Warren Showgrounds driving home afterward I thought of Sue Grafton and her wonderful… Continue Reading

How Do Tarot Cards Work?

Tarot cards are just a collection of colored images on pieces of thick paper. How can pieces of colored paper possibly give someone information about the future? The short answer is: they don’t. But they do, when you’re trained to use them, trigger something valid but inexplicable, something that every tarot reader will tell you… Continue Reading

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

In the late 1800s a trio of British Rosicrucians/Masons formed a society devoted to occult studies. The three men, Woodman, Westcott and Mathers, named their secret society The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The influence of this society drove an ever-expanding interest throughout Western civilization in pursuing spiritual paths that were not aligned with… Continue Reading

Starting a New Tarot Mystery

I get asked — a lot — how I come up with a new story. The answer is pretty simple: I do research and the research tells me the story. Some years ago I was inspired to write a screenplay. I’d been an instructional designer and trainer for decades, during which time I’d written training… Continue Reading

The Magician Card

Inspiration strikes. Our mind focuses on how to accomplish this new and challenging goal that has besieged our consciousness and won’t let us ignore it. We marshal our resources and put into practice those techniques that we have learned over time will assist us in achieving our new objective. We take the first few steps,… Continue Reading

The Fool Card

The Fool Card is the great mystery of the Major Arcana. Its number is Zero, the all-encompassing circle, the whole, as well as the cipher. The Fool is a conundrum, a summary of opposites. He is the only Major Arcana card to survive into our modern playing cards, where he’s the Joker, and the Joker… Continue Reading

The Queen of Swords Card

The 56 Minor Arcana in the 78-card tarot deck are the precursors of our modern playing cards. The four suits in the Tarot (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles) are now called Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds, respectively. There are four face cards in each suit of the Tarot, and in the modern playing deck one… Continue Reading

Bevan Radio Appearance Saturday, July 15

  This Saturday, July 15, at 11:00 p.m. PDT host Afrikahn Jamal Dayvs, the inspiration for the DeLeon Davies character in The Tarot Mysteries series, will interview Bevan Atkinson on his KPFA Radio B.A.J.A.B.A. on JaZzLine weekly show. If only because Afrikahn is indeed the world’s coolest human, stay up late and listen to some… Continue Reading

The Book Club Experience

As a kindness to my mother, Barbara, who had been a long-time and well-loved member of the Junior League of Monterey, California, her Junior League Book Club elected to read “The Fool Card” for its June book. They invited me to join them for a luncheon at a gorgeous chateau-like home on the ocean in… Continue Reading

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