Journey Of A Tarot Reader

Journey Of A Tarot Reader Serious research on the possible influence of the Mother Goddess Religion on the concept of Tarot

In 2006 Ella Jo made a trip to Greece to read Tarot on the beaches. Her journal reveals the realities of a Bohemian beach community life and the story unfolds as she decides to go exploring. Influenced by her desire to find the origins of the Tarot, she travels to Turkey to look for evidence. In 2005, Ella Jo visited India, finding evidence for the original structure of the Tarot cards; this 2006 journal charts her search in the Middle East.



Ella Jo relates her journey from Santorini to Crete and Rhodes, then on to Turkey returning to the UK through Bulgaria, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The book makes entertaining reading as she tells of her encounters with people and places she found on her journey.

The second part of the book, headed ‘Notes’, takes a deeper look at the subjects uncovered in her journey. She presents serious research on the possible influence of the Mother Goddess Religion on the concept of Tarot, seeking linguistic and historical material to provide insights. Ella Jo also investigates the mystery of Tarot’s appearance in Europe, providing glimpses of evidence from surviving historical data.

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This book is a must for those interested in the fascinating phenomena that is Tarot.

NEW! “Journey of a Tarot Reader” in E-Book for I-Pad and I-Phone

Attitude Is Everything Lyric Book

Attitude Is Everything Lyric BookAccompanies Attitude Is Everything CD Album

As her third album comes to fruition, the songs which were held back until now kick out with a vengeance into the collective consciousness. ‘Attitude is Everything’ is described as Ella Jo’s Gothic-Neo-Folk contribution to popular music. Reading the lyrics one can see why.

Embedded in the variety of songs present on the album are angsty lyrics that are intensely personal – although the actual issues are mostly hidden in the poetry. The lyrics deal with the nitty-gritty which we can all relate to, without giving personal experiences away.

In fact, the depth of the poetry contained in the lyrics of both contributing songwriters (Ella Jo and past associate Terry Bartlett), are far from depressing. They are reflective, dealing with human struggles in the process of finding identity and making ones own way in the world.

As with most Gothic material, there is intellectual influence from Punk through to Electro music, although, happily, total morbidity has been left out.

There are ten songs on the album, and at times one may sense passing agony in the lyrics, although some songs are more about poking fun.
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This collection of lyrical poetry touches the psyche with a refined etiquette already hinted at in the previous work. Best appreciated at midnight by candle light, in a heightened emotional state, with dark chocolate and a black lace handkerchief nearby!

Alter Ego Lyric Book

Alter Ego Lyric BookAccompanies Alter Ego CD Album

This is a collection of lyrics from the Album Alter Ego which was released by Ella Jo in 2009.

The book contains a section called The Stories Behind The Songs. It gives credit to the co-writers, Terry Bartlett and Steve Spon and an insight into the moods and issues, which influenced the song writing.

The book is semi auto-biographical as well as containing modern urban poetry which has been ultimately set to music.

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This book can be enjoyed on its own or as a companion to the album Alter Ego

Limits Of Milkweed Lyric Book

Limits Of Milkweed Lyric BookAccompanies The Limits Of Milkweed CD Album

This is a collection of lyrics from the Album Limits Of Milkweed which was released by Ella Jo in 2009.

The book contains a section called The Stories Behind The Songs. It gives credit to the co-writers, Terry Bartlett and Steve Spon and an insight into the moods and issues, which influenced the song writing.

The book is semi auto-biographical as well as containing modern urban poetry which has been ultimately set to music.

Purchase book here

This book can be enjoyed on its own or as a companion to the album

Update – the news from Diamond Seeds this Autumn

Well it’s been a few months since we had the chance to update this site – it’s been a busy old time! The summer is nearly over and we are settling down to web stuff yet again.

The hard work has been paying off and there is now another book available on Diamond Seeds Publications, the second issue of Tarot Decoded – for the High Priestess Tarot Card. The research for this book by Ella Jo Street resulted in giving more than a simple explanation for the card; it is probably best described as a pagan source book. Reading back the proof copy has been a pleasure – this book really is indispensable for understanding the meaning behind the card and gives a complete mythology into the background behind magic with a factual look at witchcraft, designed to educate and widen the horizon of those with an interest, and enrich a reading for anyone training in the art of Tarot Reading!

Next up we have not one but two CD albums now available from the genius fingertips of sound-master Steve Spon. He tells me that he will be writing a new album with his band UK Decay this year, so we are lucky he has made time to re-mastered and release two eclectic albums first conceived in the 1990’s. It seemed touch and go to the outsider who may have wondered at leaving one CD in the freezer for a week, but when it was time to dust it down and record it onto modern equipment the icicles dripped dry and the music was re-born!

First album to hit the light of day was the Nostramus Earthlights album. A long process of digging out the masters and re-booting them for today’s technology began in December 2009, but this summer all was completed and the world was blessed with some magnificent intelligent Drum and Bass – reborn. There are classical elements in this album which makes no apology for having a life force all of its own. As with all of Nostramus’ material it enriches the everyday experience of music into a festival of warped realities and harmonic vapour trails. Listening to it I firmly believe that Steve Spon writes sound tracks to sci fi movie’s that haven’t been thought of yet! The tunes and the sound-scapes create inspiration for anyone with a vision for art or film; in short, he is way ahead of his time.

And it’s not like the stuff I’m hearing is complicated. It goes from pretty moments to dark tragic times – all eventualities may be present, yet it is timeless and simple without being repetitive. Spon’s other new album, under the name THC, is called Dark Ambience, and I swear it actually breathes. For my taste, the music really has reached another level with this album – and I think the genius was born of pain and passion which was sieved and refined into the most delicious mix of tunes and rich instrument sounds – as if it were a magic music box found in Merlin’s cave – reflecting the future into the present whilst mixing up sound elements from the past; there’s something reassuringly recognizable – only to disappear into weirdness that is nearly hypnotic. My copy of this CD is already nearly worn out!!!

The summer was topped off by a couple of gigs that went well – UK Decay played again at Blackpool’s Rebellion festival, this time in the picturesque Winter Gardens, and Ella Jo played an enjoyable hour at Luton Fringe Festival giving her songs an acoustic airing to an appreciative crowd.  She said, ‘I got to the bottom of what caused my legs to shake on stage – it stopped when I stopped wearing heels, and I do so love my boots, but in the end, wearing sandals cured the problem!’

An Exclusive Interview with the Reclusive Ella Jo

Diamond Seeds talks with Ella Jo about her groundbreaking trilogy of Album’s

January 31st 2010

It’s not easy putting an album together when you are on your own and  female in a male dominated business. Ella Jo has put together not just one classic album, but three!
We caught up with the reclusive genius Ella Jo and talked about her three albums…

Ella Jo in serious mode

Ella Jo in serious mode as she discusses her music

DS# You’ve just finished your third album, are they related and if so did you intend that to be so?

All of the albums contain my original material. Earlier songs were co written, but every piece is my own interpretation. The first two albums were recorded at the same time in 2008. ‘Limits of Milkweed.’ and ‘Alter Ego’ are from a catalogue of songs written over the previous two decades.

We recorded three tracks at a time. I selected songs from around forty tracks, having the luxury of recording whatever matched my mood at the time. The third album, ‘Attitude Is Everything’ was written in 2009 and comes from the same core material, spanning from 1985 to present day. It was recorded with more confidence, probably gained from the five years of previous recording experience.

So essentially the albums are all related, four tracks on each album were co- written with Terry Bartlett before 1994, and there is one track on each album by Spon using samples of my vocals. Also each album has an a cappella track.

DS# Music scene (mis)conceptions of female singers is myopic in that they are usually younger, hence more exploitable – where do you see your market?

We have a massive youth culture which demands commercial music. I have no problem with this. However, I think the standard of the songwriting tends to be poor. Being a tad cynical, I would say there will always be a thread of insincerity in a music scene which is obsessed with sales figures. I enjoyed the experience of busking. Street entertainment has a place in social history but seems undervalued in modern society.

I think the commercial market is flexible enough to take on board my material. The songs were crafted to satisfy my own taste; I chose the textures, rhythms and moods and I enjoy the poetry of it. I like to celebrate the world, but there are so many other layers, I have no choice but to present the songs as organic outpourings.

But I think because the songs smack of the human experience they appeal to a huge market, and I don’t see age as a barrier. Songs written in my twenties easily appeal to others of that age. The material exists on its own now, it lifts the atmosphere all over the place… especially good for radio. I think I could call myself an Urban Folk Singer! You cannot classify the listening public into neat little boxes. People’s tastes do span the genres. In today’s world, music lovers access music from the distant and recent past, and from other cultures.

DS# All three albums covers have a definite feel. What importance do you place on the artwork, did you design it yourself?

Yes I designed the covers myself. With new technology I had the tools to manifest my visions. The ideas behind the music have always been strong and passionate, and the art work is integral to each album’s identity. Each front cover carries an icon. So the cover of ‘Limits of Milk Weed’ depicts a stone griffin which stood in ancient Delphi. ‘Alter Ego’ shows a little clay Venus figure, sitting in a shell. ‘Attitude Is Everything’ shows a metallic Babylonian cow goddess. Objects from antiquity give an insight into ancient people’s view of the aesthetic. People were inspired to make these objects and they survive today. Music has the same capacity, to survive and inspire through time.

Ella Jo "I think I could call myself an Urban Folk Singer!"

Ella Jo "I think I could call myself an Urban Folk Singer!"

DS# Where would you like to see your music go, once its out in the market place?

Many songs have a sound track quality; they would work well in films. The albums are played at parties and whilst on the move. I remember the thrill of listening to one of my demo’s whilst cruising on the Aegean, it gave me the confidence to continue. The production is appropriate for the ‘I’ player, and mobile phones. My music appeals to an international audience, it is capable of pleasing listeners everywhere.

DS# The differing styles across all three albums – did you plan it that way – what was the process?

For me there are absolutely no rules for songwriting. In 1985 I teamed up with Terry Bartlett, a songwriter who was in a very creative phase at the time, and we tried out a wide variety of musical styles.

By the time I came to record the songs, the material had been thoroughly developed. I learned guitar and busked the songs; they had been stripped down to bare voice and guitar chords. From this foundation Spon was able to envisage a ‘flavour’ to suit a song, and, after experimentation, the style developed. The songs actually went through three stages – the original form – from their first inception (some performed with a band), then secondly into my busking format, and lastly into the recording production phase.

During the recording project I had absolute control of the whole process. I made all musical decisions and some of the engineering and production choices. Hence I have three albums which reflect my musical vision almost to the letter. Spon’s creative influence was welcomed and became integral in developing the songs. So the styles of the songs come from strong original ideas, but with the flexibility to incorporate appropriate influences.

Steve Spontaneous: Partner in production!

Steve Spontaneous: Partner in production!

DS# What are your main influences?

When I was a kid the music in our house ranged from Joan Biaz to early Beatles, along with classical stuff like Tchaikovsky. We had the sound track from South Pacific. My fave song when I was three was ‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair’.

In the mid seventies I used to record TOTP on a little tape recorder – I would get the middle third of each song – but this is where I discovered Stevie Wonder and Glam Rock. Later, I saw The Beat perform ‘Tears of A Clown’. I had never heard ska before and I realized what fun you could have with music. The Beat have remained an influence, as did stuff from my hippy phase, including Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd. I liked some Punk and discovered the Pixies, The The, and strong female singers such as Natasha Atlas, Rosa Zarogoza and Bic Runga.

DS# It must have been hard producing your three albums yourself? Who else was involved in the making of your three albums, what was their involvement and why?

I met Spon in 2004, and he helped me instigate my recording project. He had no idea that I had so many songs; I just kept coming back and recording more. It became clear pretty early on that we worked well together. He is a very experienced sound engineer and has been making music all of his life. I had permission from Terry to use the material from our association in the eighties and Spon’s input to these and my own songs really brought them alive.

Spon is able to communicate very intuitively and listens very intensely to the work. It was hard work, but six years on I am pleased with the results and I have learned much from our partnership.

Spon asked a couple of friends to contribute some guitar parts and he also played on some tracks. Felicity Nihil contributed to two tracks on the violin, and Eddie Branch, the bass player for UK Decay played on the third album. Veteran Californian groovster, Dexter Theobald Carakas, also laid down some keyboards on the third album.

Ella Jo: "my taste isn’t that different from most people"

DS# Why should anyone want to buy your album?

I learned my craft from a master songwriter and made my albums with a master sound engineer. The serious commitment I made back in 2000, when I decided to go for it, has exceeded all of my expectations. To begin with I just wanted a CD of myself to listen to, but other people have been very ambitious about the material. If they believe in the value of my work I won’t argue, I put everything into it, and I love it – and my taste isn’t that different from most people.

These songs are my contribution to 21st Century music, and, like all good popular songs, they can find a place in the modern, urban experience. For listening quality and variety these albums are a good investment.

DS# What are your future plans?

I have performed solo with guitar a few times, but I would really love to get together with a band to write new stuff and do some live performances.
I also want to get some more of my Tarot material published. This is a massive project that I need to keep chipping away at.
The future will also hold some traveling. Scandinavia appeals to me and I think I would find Norway and Sweden very exciting.

DS# Why have you published lyric books?

All of my life experiences over the last twenty five years have found an expression somewhere in my songs. They contain comments on life and explore things that caught my attention. They hold observations on my inner landscape as well as the world outside.

Years ago it was important to me to read the lyrics on the back of my LPs. Nowadays CDs are just not big enough. I wanted to put the lyrics into a format that would be enjoyable to read. Each book contains pix and the stories behind the songs. I produced these books for poetry lovers as well as to accompany the albums.

Ella Jo: "Iwanted to put the lyrics into a format that would be enjoyable to read"

Ella Jo: "I wanted to put the lyrics into a format that would be enjoyable to read"

DS# You are working on another – different project – could you please give a background to it, what stage are you at and what is the final result?

Yes I have begun writing books on Tarot. I gathered so much material in my private notes that I decided to compile a manual on how to read Tarot Cards. The series is called ‘Tarot Decoded’. I have just finished the first edition of the first card, the Magician, which helps explain the structure of the Tarot.

DS# Does this reflect in your music?

I was studying Tarot back in the early Eighties before I met Terry, so I guess the Tarot always had an influence on my songwriting, although I was not aware of it. I think it can come through sometimes, as it has affected my view of the world, but it is a subtle influence and I can choose whether I want to magnify that or not.

More information on Ella Jo and her music including streams, can be found at her Myspace site:


New Books at Diamond Seeds ‘Limits Of Milkweed Lyric Book’ by Ella Jo

Peeling off the layers behind her music, Ella Jo has given a frank and revealing forward to her new book, Limits Of Milkweed Lyric Book.
The Limits of Milkweed songbook frontNot only does the book give all the lyrics to the songs on the album, but she discusses the history and meaning behind the songs in the interesting chapter, The Stories Behind The Songs. This is actually a book of poetry written by herself and other music partner’s spanning the 1990s and beyond. Further to it’s literary delight, the book is peppered with her original black and white art work. It makes a great accompaniment to her album, but serves as a great poetry book in its own right.
The book shall be available by the end of 2009 and will be the first of three books to accompany her three albums. All will be available in our bookstore.