Powers and Patterns
Poems from the Tarocchi de Mantegna
By: Stewart S. Warren
Soft Cover Book: 5.3” x 7.9” (13 x 18 cm)
Length: 128 pages, Card Images in Color
Published by Mercury HeartLink © New Mexico, 2014
Explores all 50 cards of the Tarocchi de Mantegna (c. 1465)

Powers & Patterns by Stewart S Warren
If I’m to be honest, I never gave Tarocchi de Mantegna the attention it deserved, despite my fascination with Tarot history. This was mainly due to the deck being a mere fifty cards; and from a distance, only a few of which seeming to show any direct correspondence to the traditional seventy-eight card deck. That is until I recently discovered this book, Powers & Patterns by Stewart S. Warren.

With a soothing cup of tea, in the tranquility of early dawn I lost myself in this enthralling meditation in just one luxurious sitting. I felt both head & heart linger on Warren’s carefully crafted poems which merged gracefully with the timeless teachings of each ancient card. From the historical perspectives offered by three wise scholars in the introduction section, through each thought provoking poem that Warren shares with corresponding card, new dimensions were revealed. Warren's insightful musings are accessible, relatable and elevate an understanding of this unique deck along with the Renaissance period that it so eloquently reflects.

This wonderful collection of poems is introduced beautifully by fascinating essays that add atmosphere, and historical insight into the era when the Tarocchi de Mantegna (1465) was conceived. Simon Wintle (curator of the World of Playing Cards Society, UK site), Patrick Cog (Author of The Mysteries of the Tarot of Vierville) and Morena Poltronieri, director of the International Tarot Museum in Italy, all set the scene and add texture to the mysterious imagery and meaning of these cards.

Sharing just a couple favorite poems by Stewart Warren from this book:


Before prose was poetry.
Before reason the music of the mind.

There is nothing so wise
as the curve of the swan,
no cure so complete
as the tides that sway within us.
Court her with awe
and uncertainty.

Mystery is the door.


I come as lover, as friend
as servant to thee.
I live by your light
in the simplest of ways –
on the coast with nets,
at the table with children,
on the street buckling and bold.

Investigation is the simplest right of all.
Only later
do we surround ourselves with books of books.

I greatly recommend this wonderful offering as well as other compelling explorations with Tarot in his impressive collection, which by the way, can all be found on  Stewart Warren's site , or tucked away in this comfy corner of Amazon. His fresh perspectives and eloquently penned prose make a meaningful, nurturing respite for fellow travelers.

Stewart S. Warren

Stewart S. Warren is the author of twenty poetry collections thus far. He was born in 1950 in Tulsa, Oklahoma and hit the road early on; engaging in a life of self discovery and creative expression. His poetry is both personal and transcendent with subtle mystical undertones. As a publishing coach, facilitator and community organizer he helps others realize their own intuitive nature and creative visions. Stewart resides in New Mexico where he does various workshops and conferences when he’s not off traveling the globe. He owns the indie printing press Mercury HeartLink where he also guides others in publication. You can find all of his current work on his site and Amazon.com. I would also suggest readding this fascinating interview with Bob King, who captures the essence of this wildly imaginative outlaw poet.

Commentary by Arnell Ando

Images & passages courtesy of Powers and Patterns © 2014, New Mexico