Eden Gray & Tarot
Belated Happy Birthday to Eden Gray (June 9, 1901 - January 14, 1999), the "Godmother of the Modern American Tarot Renaissance". She was an actor during the interwar period, who in the 1950s opened Inspiration House Publishing, a metaphysical bookstore and publishing company. Gray self-published her first book on tarot in 1960, called Tarot Revealed, followed by two more titles in 1970 & 1971.
It was Eden Gray who made tarot accessible to readers in the US - she brought tarot out of the occult, into the everyday world, also paving way for tarot psychology. She likewise wrote on reading ethics, and without her we most likely wouldn't be talking about the Fool's Journey. The tarot world owes a lot to her. The top image is partly cropped from a wonderful photo featuring Eden Gray as the Sun, with Mary K. Greer as the Hermit on the left, taken at the 1997 International Tarot Congress. You can see the photo, and read Mary's brilliant article on her website here. It was here, at this congress, where Gray discovered just how huge her impact on the tarot was.
One of my favourite quotes from Gray comes from The Complete Guide to the Tarot: "Reading the Tarot is a great responsibility. It gives you the opportunity to help others gain an insight into what may be holding them back from their fullest self-expression. Other people are as sensitive as you are, and giving a discouraging reading with no hope held out for the future is a cruel and pointless thing to do. Besides, we have all seen seemingly hopeless lives suddenly take remarkable turns for the better. While there is life, there is always hope." Eden Gray on Wikipedia here.