Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dreams and Nightmares Oracle of the NIght by Lucia Review

This oracle deck comes in a box, which opens to reveal the cards snuggled in a styrofoam like cushion, which is really firm, they arrived safe and sound!  The cards themselves are very, very
different from anything I have ever seen before.

The cards are 3 and half inches square.  They are not real thick, but they don't need to be.  My intuitive reaction was these want to be pulled, not shuffled,  I dare say you could shuffle them easily.
The cards in the picture above - the first card says "Constant renewal of values guarantees their future".    The picture card is an owl and white feather with a white candle.

The back of the box says:
     This exclusive oracle set includes 54 picture cards as well as 54 text cards.  If you are looking for answers to your questions these 108 cards will give you all the information you need.  Just pick two cards, one showing a picture and the other one providing some text.
      Lucia, an Austrian shaman, is the creator of this oracle, which was inspired by her very own shamanic journeys and personal visions.

Lucia's site

Her website is in German.  If you are using Chrome, you can right click and choose translate.

to purchase oracle deck

The picture above -  the two text cards say "The world is not a supermarket what you get cheaply you will pay for dearly."   and "Through thought and doubt a house was never built".
As a side note-  I didn't pull these, I just split the text pile and picture pile in half, and took a picture.
Oddly enough, both these texts relate to either myself or something someone I know is dealing with.  The pictures are (top) a white butterfly, white rose and lightening.  The bottom picture is a bright blood red chair sitting in the middle of what at first glance appeared to be a city, then rubble, then  I saw it was a graveyard.   So you see how this oracle works.  It really does interact with your subconscious through the pictures.

The images are really dreamy - they make you 'feel' the journey..  I believe they are going to be really great to mediate on and enter into a journey with.
The texts are small phrases that can mean a number of things, the point is to think about them, and match them with the picture you pull.

This is a really unique idea, and I truthfully do not know of any other deck out there that is anything like it.   I advise grabbing yours while you can!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fin De Siegle Kipper by Ciro Marchetti REVIEW

The cards come in a box that has a magnetic strip down the side.  When you open the box, the first thing you see is the book, then the cards under them.

Ciro has added 3 cards to the deck:
37 -  Poverty
38 - Toil and Labour
39 - Community

There are some other changes-
36 turns from Hope, Big Water into Distant Horizons
4 turns from Gathering to Courtship

These changes stemmed from Ciro's desire to make the cards more relevant to today's querents and readers.  To quote him "I felt the images needed to offer a wider and more realistic perspective, incorporating the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of human social interaction. I set out to provide a set of images that would collectively represent more realistic scenes of the characters depicted and how they actually lived."

The cards are absolutely beautiful.  They have gold on the edges, so you have to take some time to separate them when you first get them.  I love that the man and woman cards are very distinctive in the direction they are facing.   In Kipper directions are very important.  These cards feel very warm and inviting because of the colors used in the pictures.  I know a lot of you like to trim your cards, I do not see how that could be easily done here.  They are sturdy and easy to shuffle.  They are a good fit in the hand also.  They are 2.5 by 4 inches.  They are about two times larger than the standard Kipper deck. 

There is an app you can get to receive an animated and narrated video to help you become acquainted with the Kipper system, on Ciro's site -  

Ciro Marchetti

The Book is 83 pages, and fits inside the box the cards come in.
There are two spreads offered within the book, the first is the "Triple Pyramid Spread" which addresses Obstacles, Best Possible Course of Action and Outcome for a particular situation.
The other is "Susanne's SOS Spread".  It was created for emergency situations, where you need a fast answer,  

In the Introduction, we are treated to Ciro's musings regarding the reason, rhyme and purpose of the creation of this deck. Please do not pass by without reading all of the opening pages.  There is a lot of information about Kipper itself and he also explains his reasons for the choices he made within the deck.   This guy is very amusing and entertaining.  Did you know that at first, he was not going to make this deck?  Thank goodness he changed his mind about it, as it is truly an enjoyable deck. 

The book contains card descriptions and meanings from three different sources, all  experienced readers of the Kipper cards:
Susanne Zitzi
and of course Ciro Marchetti shares his interpretations.

You can purchase the deck, a bag, a cloth on Ciro's web site.
There is also a .pdf of the LWB available.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Vibrant Lenormand deck by Lynn Boyle Review

The deck comes with a nice pouch to keep it in.  Lynn Boyle is the creator of the deck, and she will also email a Card Meanings .doc to you.   The cards are very easy to shuffle, even if you bridge shuffle!  They are a really good size, 2.5 by 3/5 and they do have a small frame/border.  If you like to trim, you can, but they don't really need it, the border is very unobtrusive.  They are a bit shiny, but not slippery.  The colors are very nice, and well...  vibrant!!

Lynn told me she has 3 different backgrounds available for this deck,  stone colored, pale blue and a black.  When ordering you can pick the color background you want.

This deck has multiples so you can chose the ones you like to work with, and Lynn says :
" I have provided free extra cards so the reader can customise the deck to suit them, the man & woman they like etc. Its common these days to make at least 2 men & 2 women so readings about these to people can be done more clearly, rather than using the Rider for the other man & the Snake as the other woman, its been found that if you use these cards as people cards for a specific reading, it removes the Rider & Snake & their meanings from other parts of the deck. I found when I was desiging this deck, so many lovely vibrant images, I couldn't choose which to leave out, so I added them as free cards. Use only one of each in a Grand Tableau or general reading unless you are specifically asking about 2 men or 2 women, then add the extra card"

I went through the deck as I always do the minute I get one LOL, and these turned out to be my favorite ones out of the deck, so I thought I would share with you.  It gives you an idea of how this deck 'feels' ---  it is very light hearted, and has a positive energy.  Also, that Man card looks kinda like either a young Gene Kelly or maybe Jean Claude Van Damme.... what say you?

You can purchase this deck here:

Aquarius Fortunes Etsy Shop Lynn Boyle

Lynn also has Kipper and Oracle decks for sale.  

I highly recommend these cards, they feel good in your hands, and they have a nice energy around them.

Kipper with Key Words Deck by Lynn Boyle

WOW!  I was super surprised when I opened the package. The deck comes with the cutest just right size bag to keep your new cards in.   The cards are 2.5 by 3.5.   They are MAGIC to shuffle,  I am not joking.  You can bridge shuffle them easily. They do have a very tiny border.

This particular deck came with extra cards.

Lynn Boyle is the creator of these cards ( and many others you can see and order here)-
Aquarius Fortunes on Etsy

I asked Lynn why she had these extra cards and here is her reply:

" In my Kipper deck, I have provided 2 Man cards, 2 Woman cards, for readings about 2 specific males or females as well as 3 Partnership cards, Male Female, Male Male & Female Female, to cover lots of different types of partnerships, (either personal or business). Kipper has a lot of "people cards" so there are plenty of options for allocating "the other person" in a reading to one card or another. .. so its not usual to provide extra free Man, Woman or Partnership cards in Kipper but if the reader doesn't want to use them, they can just select the cards they want & leave the rest aside"

Lynn also emails a purchaser a document with the card meanings.

I started out using just this Beginner Deck, then I stared a Kipper Course and I got another deck, BUT here is a really good use for these Beginner Cards to help you learn any other deck.

You see here the new deck I did the draw with on the bottom.  Then I went through the Beginner Deck and found those cards and laid them above.   It really does help with remember all the varients a card can mean. Another thing you can do is go through the Beginner Deck and highlight the main meaning you want for each card, or highlight an unusual meaning for each card.   For example the Get Together #4 card.  It's pretty easy to remember a party or meeting with that card, as the title is 'Get Together'   but it is not so easy as a beginner to remember that it can also mean Negotiating.
So by highlighting the word Negotiating on the card, when you lay it out your subconscious will notice and remember that.

I really like this deck.   I have my eyes on a few other decks she has available also- Steampunk Kipper, Days of Old Kipper and Roaring 20's Kipper.  Those are just the Kippers. She also has Lenormand,  rune cards, and oracle cards.

  I recommend this deck highly.  I need to make a star system or something......

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Tarot at a Crossroads Review

Tarot at a Crossroads
The Unexpected Meeting of Tarot and Psychology
Kooch N. Daniels, MA Kooch N. Daniels
Victor Daniels, PhDVictor Daniels

The contents of the book:
Part 1 Infinite Possibilities Beckon
Part 2: Representational Uses of the Cards
Part 3 : Further Travels on a Novel Path
Part 4: Unlocking The Mysteries
About the Authors

First, remember that I am just a plain ol' person, I did attend some college and oddly enough, wanted to be a psychiatrist. The second thing to remember is this book review will be from my point of view (as they all are) as a Tarot Reader and practicing Psychic.
The first thing I did was check out who the authors are. Victor Daniels taught psychology for 41 years. He discovered Tarot years ago, and has done many Tarot readings, according to his biography and website. Kooch Daniels has been reading Tarot for years, and writing books too, such as “The Art and Magic of Palmistry”. These two also wrote  “Tarot d’Amour: Find Love, Sex, and Romance in the Cards “ which I have owned and LOVE! So that information let me know I was in good hands.

There are pictures of Tarot decks scattered through out the book, I just wish there was a little title under each picture to tell what deck it came from. There is a list of decks used on page 12.

I am a person that marks their books up. You can see in the pictures I am sharing that I am very much enjoying this book. The book starts out getting you familiar with a brief history of psychology and Tarot. They compare using Tarot cards to the practice of psychodrama using a sand tray, or the hot seat, or puppets. And to find out about that you need to read the book! Tarot is becoming more recognized as a tool for healing in many ways. The book really does a good job on touching on methods that can be used without getting boring.

There is information on how to create your own Taro card, various ways in which to learn the card meanings, the role of numbers in Tarot and also the use of colors. There is information on how to keep a Tarot journal, and a free journal template in the back of the book. They show how you can let the client choose cards that represent people in their life, and do a kind of 'role-play' with that. Something I really did like was how they talked about TRANSFERENCE. How when a person carries thoughts and feelings over from an old relationship it can color how they see and interact with their new partner.

One of my favorite spreads in the book is one called 'Inner Dialogue' it is a way to help you (or someone else) make a choice between two different paths using the cards and freeform writing. There are a few spreads in the book that would be helpful for personal inner work, also when working with a client. For example, the “Family Constellation Spread” to illuminate family dynamics. Whew! That got my interest REAL fast. They also address group problem solving, reading for couples, meditation and the Tarot

Then we come to Chapter 12, the Major Arcana. You get the regular meanings of the cards PLUS a psychological perspective, and then Reflections which is meant to connect the traditional meaning of the card with the psychological perspective that was given. I headed right for the Hermit, number 9, as that is 'MY' card.
To quote the book from the Psychological link which for the Hermit is Existential Philosophy:
“Existentialism includes freedom of the self, thinking for your self about traditions, taking personal responsibility and making decisions based on inner, authentic being.”
The Reflections:
“The Hermit may refer to habits of asceticism, renunciation and detachment from everyday desires and cravings. He or she follows a quest for spirit rather than for material riches. Seeing the God-self in others and in the glistening cosmic web that connects the souls of all, eh or she has found, or is searching for, eternal values that transcent cultures and societies.”

Then we have an explanation and exploration of the Minors of the Tarot deck – the aces through tens, the pages, the knights, the queens and the kings of each suit and the meanings of the suits themselves. The authors take you through each number and how it connects with each suit.
For example:
The Twos: Share numeric energy with the High Priestess, Justice and Judgment.
The number of reflection, and the mirroring of inspiration and truth.
Keywords: the two sides of a coin (or story)
The Two of Swords: Linked with the element air and reflecting the power of ideas
Now that is just the bare minimum of what is in the book.
All in all, this book has opened my eyes to a lot of new ways of thinking and doing, and it should be helpful to everyone wanting to increase the depth of their Tarot reads whether for themselves or for others. I have had no formal training in Tarot, I taught myself, and I could easily understand this book and I have begun to incorporate some of the ideas within it into my readings.

This is not a book to casually glance through, it is one to be taken in, meditated upon, worked with, the re-read. It is a LOT of information, and I have already experienced it unfolding deeper thoughts to follow through on. Wonderful book!

You can see an excerpt of the book at:
I was given a copy of the book to review.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Fenestra Tarot Review

This is a beautiful deck.  I love the back! (very bottom card).  The deck was created by Chatriya Hemharnvibul.  She was born in Bangkok, Thailand.  She has also lived in Ethiopia and New Zealand.  She uses all the cultural elements in her travels to pull together this wonderful deck.
It is done in acrylic on paper with watercolor tones.

There is a small LWB that comes with, it does give reversal meanings.

The cards themselves are sturdy.  They are flexible enough to shuffle easily, but not thin and flimsy.
They are standard size for tarot.  If you like to trim your cards, these would stand up to that, and be easy to do.

purchase on Amazon

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Review of The Avalonian Oracle by Jhenah Telyndru

Very, very nice sturdy box holds the cards and the 128 page booklet that comes with.   The cards are smooth and slick, and thin,  I found them pretty easy to shuffle, considering they are a bit large. I do not think they would stand up to being used continuously over time. They are 5 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide.

The book contents:
Intro - The structure of the deck
      The Sight and synchronicity
Chapter One -
The Five Seeds of Wisdom
Chapter Two-
The Avalonian Cycle of Healing
Chapter Three-
The Goddesses of Avalon
Chapter Four-
The thirteen moons of Avalon
Chapter Five-
The Nine Morgans
Chapter Six-
The Three Realms
Chapter Seven-
The Cyclic Journey
Chapter Eight-
Divination and Transformation


Three of the cards randomly selected so you can see their beauty-
On the left is Rhiannon, the middle is Arianrhod, and the right card is Healer.

There are eight different spreads in Chapter Eight - Divination and Transformation.
I chose to do the Three Cauldrons Spread.  This is a three card spread, with the
cauldron of wisdom, cauldron of vocation and cauldron of warming.
The descriptions below are shortened versions of what is in the book.

Card 1 - The Cauldron of Warming - matters of health, abundance - our life force energy
I pulled Moon 7, moon of revelation - We can not sacrifice the whole of who we are for the sake of others. Once we discover the seed of what we must become, we must find a way to nurture it and allow it to grow.  Listen to the voice within you.

Card 2 - The Cauldron of Vocation - All our potential gifts, life's work.
I pulled Artisan -  It is our greatest service in the world to shine our light, to be who we are, so as the illuminate the paths of others.Trust in your abilities, use your tooks, and know that each step you take obn the path of rigt action brings you closer to the full manifestation of your Sovereign Self.

Card 3 - The Cauldron of Wisdom - This card brings insight into the essence of the actualized Self, our highest potential realized.
I pulled Realm of Land - Pay attention to the present moment and all that has been made manifest in your life.

I am very impressed with the cards.   They spoke directly to what is going on right now in my life. The information in the book is very good.

In the Introduction, the 46 cards are divided into 7 categories, this is GREAT because it saves a lot of time searching for the particular card you drew.   There is no index in the back of the book.
Each card has a description, key words, divinatory meaning and an affirmation.  They all have further information based on what category they are in.

They are a little spooky LOL.  Considering I pulled the Artisan in the Cauldron of Vocation.  I do weaving and crochet and crazy quilting, I also make my living as a psychic/tarot reader online.

purchase at Amazon

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review of The Celtic Oracle John Matthews

The Celtic Oracle
John Matthews

The Celtic Oracle comes in a very sturdy thick box.   When opened, the first thing you see is the 224 page book, then the 40 cards.   The cards are not thick, but they are firm enough to handle a good shuffle.  They are a bit large for me, they measure - almost 5 and 1/2 inch tall and 3 and 1/4 inch wide.

The book Contents:
The Card Pack
Chapter One        Between the Worlds (the celtic shaman's craft)
Chapter Two       The Shaman's Pack (carrying the world on your back)
Chapter Three     Reading the Cards (telling yourself stories)
Chapter Four       Roots and Branches (ways into dreaming)

Further Reading
About the Author

This is one of the better books I have seen that came with a deck.  It has beautiful full color pictures of all the cards, also of some spreads that are included in the back of the book.
The cards are divided into 6 subsets.
The Card of Vision (the world tree)
The Movers
The Empowerers
The Worlds
The Elements
The Totem Beasts
The Shapers

The Celtic Oracle is not a exactly a divination tool, but it can be used as such. It is very shamanic in nature, helping you to access the Otherworld through the cards and their guidance as to the paths to take.
The Movers represents you as the Shaman, The Empowerers represent beings who will support you in your journey, The Worlds are the 3 levels you will move in, The Elements represent the elements and also the kingdoms of Earth, The Totem Beasts are your helpers in animal shape, The Shapers represent the Celtic Deities.

There is a very good explanation of the Shaman's world and how to make a journey, all from a Celtic point of view, and all very easy to understand and incorporate which makes for a great time with this Oracle System.

There are some spreads in the back of the book:
The Triad Spread - for an answer to a specif problem   3 cards
The Shaman's Path Spread -  helps you see 'where you are'  7 cards
The Element Spread - to help deepen your awareness of the Elements  13 cards
The Inspirer Spread - To help you have a more creative and connected life  13 cards
Fionn's Window Spread - A powerful spread that can give an overview of a specific problem or of a whole-life pattern.

There is information on how to use the pack to train yourself for shamanic journeys, and for inner developement.   For these purposes you are given a 7 day program, a 7 week program, and a 12 month cycle.
There is also a very advanced spread named The Cosmic Spiral Spread.  It is designed for those who have been working shamanically for some time.

There are guidelines for using the Pack in a Healing Ceremony, and working in groups.
There are pages of Power Songs and Chants you can use!!!!!
A chapter on Meditation is followed by 'Divining with the Cards'.

Above is a snapshot of the first spread I did with these cards. I have done shamanic journeying for 30 some years now.   The cards you see above are:
30 Horse,  15 Second Circle,  37 Lord of the Sea.
I was thrilled to see these particular cards as My totem is a particular horse!
I took the journey suggested, and found it very helpful, as sometimes I go into a journey and I get so caught up that I go off on a rabbit trail.  Having these cards in front of me, and reading the definitions of them, it 'pre-programmed' my mind, and I didn't get distracted.  I used a half hour drumming track and it worked out great.

I also did the divining spread, and the past cards fit exactly what I had done the day before because of the Triad Spread (above).

I have tried out a few different 'Shamanic' tools out there, but I honestly have to say this is the easiest to understand and it also resonates with me.
Highly recommended!

John Matthew's site Hallowquest

purchase at amazon

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Merlin Tarot Review R J Stewart

I was super lucky to find the Merlin Tarot in a little boxed set!!!    It came with a journal, and a BIG white book with the cards.

This is NO ordinary tarot deck.   It looks like it could take a lifetime to absorb all the nuances.

The cards-
The card stock is silky smooth.  It is not really thick, so it is easy to shuffle them.  They are 4 and 3/4 inch tall and 3 and 1/8th inch wide, so a tad wider than most decks.  
Here is a picture of the back of the cards, and the Creation view card, and the 3 worlds card.

The Merlin Tarot is based on These 3 worlds and 3 wheels.  The three worlds are those through which we take our transformative journeys - Moon, Sun, Star.  Then we have the three wheels which act as thresholds of energy and consciousness-  Fortune, Justice, Judgement.

The book shows the way that is best to use the deck, as it is "designed to give you insights long before you use the cards for divination, and will empower any divinatory work that you undertake... the great arts of tarot being meditation and visualization, particularly with the powerful Trumps."

You are told to lay out the Trumps in the order shown in the two reference cards above. This will reveal the living pattern, the energies from Earth to the stars, the same energies that resonate inside us, and their ancestral pattern.  The Merlin Tarot is based upon Sacred Space.

There is a book available to help work through this deck to make the most of it.  
'The Merlin Tarot Images, Insight and wisdom from the age of Merlin' by R J Stewart
ISBN -10   1855380927

After becoming familiar with the  Trump patterns, you are led to work through the number cards.  There are four suits, one for each Element - air, fire, water, earth.  

Of course the Merlin Tarot can be used in the same way as any other tarot deck, and there five new layouts just for the Merlin Tarot. 

Review of Merlin Shaman, Prophet, Magician by John Matthews

The oldest stories of Merlin are from Celtic origin, much earlier than the French and Germanic influenced Arthurian legends.  John Matthews states in the Forward:

"I have set out to explore the complex figure of Merlin through several of the different guises
he has worn in his long career: as a possible historical figure, as a character from literature and, above all, as a carrier of ideas and dreams that still move us today.  Trends come and go, but Merlin's story outlasts all such ephemera, making him as fascinating to use in the 21st century as he was in the fifth."

The medieval authors who made him famous saw him first as a Magician, then Prophet.  Modern
researchers lean toward the oldest roots of Merlin - the Shaman.   Mr. Matthews investigates all three of these titles, along with Merlin as Lover and Sage.

The contents of the book:
Merlin the Shaman
Merlin the Prophet
Merlin the Magician
Merlin the Lover
Merlin the Sage
The Return of Merlin
APPENDIX:    The Poems of Myrddin Wyllt
Further Reading

At the time, 2004, this was the first fully illustrated book on Merlin.

On page 146 there is a picture of Alderley Edge in Cheshire, where a carving of Merlin's face is found in a mossy outcrop.  This is just one example of the wonderful pictures in this book.
The Poems of Myrddin Wyllt are translated by John and his wife Caitlin in an attempt to provide versions that give an idea of the original poems.

purchase on amazon

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Maori Tattoo Tarot Review

Roxana Paul has made a bang-up deck!    BONUS- "This deck's copyright owner, the Rising Sun Publishing House, and Roxana Paul, the creator of the deck, give a truly purchaser of the deck a
licence to use the deck's art patterns for a personal tattoo"   How cool is that?

The Maori, a nation of Pacific warriors developed highly ritualised arts, including a face and body tattooing system full of sacred symbolism and unique art patters - page 3 of LWB.

You can visity the site below and download a free LWB (little white book) for the deck.  There is also an illustrated companion for the deck, which I highly recommend!  It has a list of some of the symbols used in the deck. For example:
Whale tail: symbolizes protection, speed, and strength and a symbol of the connection between people and animals.

Below you see a picture of the Moon card, and the Aces of all 4 suits in the deck.
There are (from left to right), the Ace of Wands, the Ace of Gourds (cups), the Ace of Swords and the Ace of Disks. There are the standard Ace - 10 of each suit, also four Cards of Court, including the Apprentice (Page), Warrior (Knight), Chieftainess (Queen) and Chief (King).

The Moon card is one of my favorites in most decks, and I love the one here.  I just love
seahorses anyway.  Here we have two seahorses on either side of a lobster.  A small quote from
the illustrated guide "The ancient Maori developed the lunar calendar, according to which the New Year begins with the first new moon at the beginning of June. It was a period when the star cluster of Pleiades (Matariki) appeared on the horizon. The Mairi understood how phases of the moon affected the rhythms of land and water to keep balance with Mather Nature."

The cards are a really pretty orange color, and about the same size as a normal tarot deck - 4 and 3/4 inches tall and 2 and 3/4 inches wide.   The card stock is thin enough to do a bridge shuffle easily, but I would not recommend doing that often.  After 8 straight bridge shuffles, some of the edges are turned back a teeny tiny bit.  Not torn or anything bad, but a bit of a warning not to shuffle in that manner a lot.
The cards are borderless.

The cards are really intuitive, and the LWB and the free illustrated guide made it easy and fun to do my first reading with them.
I didn't ask a question, just was thinking about the readings I do for people.

Ace Gourds, - being open to others; - experiencing thorough understanding; - establishing a relationship; - being led by heart. Upright meanings: Spirituality, feelings. Expressing deep feelings, empathising with people.

Ace Swords  =  represents situations where it is necessary to apply mental force and intellect to solve a problem. Logical thinking and reasoning help to find the truth and overcome obstacles. The notable features of this card include: - having a clearer focus; - showing a sharper mind; - applying intellect; - relying on logical approach. Upright meanings: Intellect, clarity. Thinking a path through, seeing things clearly.

Those are the two cards I pulled, and I promise I DID shuffle!   These two cards also represent the reviews that I do.   I started doing them because I wanted to help people get their decks and books seen.

This is a very nice deck, it feels good in the hand, the stock is nice and smooth, the pictures are clear, the symbols are easy to understand, and the information she gives makes it easy to use them for divination and for self growth.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


From today (Nov 6th) untl Nov.30, I am running a contest.

For every purchase made through the blog you get one entry to win a FREE half hour reading.
The winner has 24 hours to respond, if not, then another winner will be drawn.

You can keep up with who wins by following the blog or liking
LilaMoonshadow7 on FB.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Celtic Book of the Dead by Caitlin Matthews review

I had a bit of a time finding a full set, the book, cards and spread cloth.
Here is what I saw when I opened the package it was mailed in-

After lifting the box lid-

The first thing I reached for was the cloth.  It has a beautiful silky feel to it.  I am not sure what fabric it is, it does feel like silk.  The scarf has the Imram one layout  printed on it.

The cards are 3.5 by 2.5.  So they are a little smaller than a standard size deck of playing cards. They are firm, and feels as if they can stand up to a long time of use.  They are not glossy, nor slick. I don't think shuffling would be very good, moving hand to hand feels much better to me.
Here is a picture -

The cards are illustrated by Danuta Mayer.
 They do have an 'otherwordly' feel to them, and remind me of both wood cuttings and the old cave paintings. They just ooze Celtic.
There are dragons, trees, horses, salmon, apples, the silver branch, falsons and otters to name a few.
There are a few of the cards that feel like 'home' to me - the Island of Invisible Riders has horses running on the shores of a lake - very much reminds me of a place in Kentucky where I grew up, along with the card Island of the Hermit, reminds me of a small beach outside of Carlisle, Ky.  I grew up in Kentucky right down the road from the Horse Park.  There is another card that just made me laugh, it is the Island of Giant Ants- so you even get a touch of Science Fiction!!!

So now we get to the book!
It is a nice hardback book, and it lays open easily.  There is a nice Bibliography in the back.  I love a good bibliography.  My poor aching book shelves can attest to that!  For me, bibliographies are recommended reading lists.

Music to my ears- "The Celtic Otherworld exists as a complementary reality that can be visited."
Doesn't that just make you want to go exploring?  I remember when I was a young'un (I am 58 and will be 59 on the 21st of Nov) going exploring out in the fields surrounding the farm house where we lived.  Climbing the cherry tree and grabbing a handful of juicy fruit then following the dirt path down between the waist high weeds to the crik to go fishing with my bamboo rod. Yes, I did live like that, not making it up.  I was between 4th and 5th grade,  The feeling of excitement and what could be down at the crik (creek) never went away.  That is the way that one sentence makes me feel inside.
Like I am going to be drawn into an adventure that might take me far away from home.

Caitlin goes on to say "Sacred sites are often distinct gateways to the Otherworld."  Those gateways are everywhere when you are a child.  Caitlin's writings continually take me away to another world.  This book is full of descriptive images that fill your mind with hills and valleys and strange animals and people who are tall and small, light and dark.
Here is a picture of one of the cards sit in the middle of the page that describes it-

Here is a small sample of what is on this page- I don't want to share too much because of copyright.
The meaning of this card- Caution is needed. Respect.  Restlessness and dissatisfaction.  Impulsiveness.  Theft.  Appropriation of other's things or resources.
The challenge:  Have you violated the rules of society by your actions?

Every card has  a background, meaning, challenge and image description.

This deck is very unique in that it is intended to be consulted when you are in a hard time, a crisis.
Caitlin explains that the true definition of divination is 'a method of asking the Gods'. The cards are meant to help us access the answers that are lying within us.

In chapter 4 it is explained how to use the deck, the kinds of journeys that can be done with it and how to interpret the deck.

It is going to take some time to build a firm connection with these cards, but I know spending time with them, getting to know them will be fun, interesting and life changing.  I am serious.
This is no deck to just grab up and do a quick 3 card read with. I am excited to start my journey with them.

I would suggest that if you resonate with things Celtic, if you like to do journeys, then you really need to search out this book and deck.

The Death Card ..... November Tarot Rebel Blog Hop!!

Here we have the Death card from the Cathar Tarot Deck by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan.  This deck will be released in Dec. 2016.

Death - let go of all the things that hold you back.
Death to the Cathars was not something to be feared, but rather embraced as a means of leaving  behind the fearful state of life in the false world created by the Demiurge.  Seeing thstemselves as trapped in matter, they sought to depart this life in the best state of preparedness possible.

Upright (light) - transformation, change, transition, renewal, rebirth, mortality, disillusionment, end, finish.

Reversed- (dark) - stagnation, immobility, inertia, discouragement, failure of plans to manifest, inconclusive or unsatisfactory end.

Don't you love that skull?  He is a happy looking fella with a touch of BOO!  I really like the main definition that John Matthews gives for Death- Let go of all things that hold you back.

In the reading I do, that can be anything from an attitude to all that junk up in the attic.  Well, the attic could be your house or your head!!  Death can be the ending of all kinds of things, but it is not to be feared.   It is actually the beginning of transformation into a new beginning!

The Death card is fitting for this time of year.  It can stand for winter as a timing card in a reading also.

Monday, October 31, 2016

An old woman

An old woman
I might just be one in a billion.
An old woman who spent her life
washing, cooking, cleaning
listening, watching, humming
mending tears in skin and clothing
soothing sore throat and broken hearts
But I once was
young and full of hope
believing and trusting in all I was taught
hiding the visions, hiding the premonitions
until they hid from me
Until in the time of life when shadows grow long
the knowing called yet again.
Turning my head, my hair now grey and thin
I see as never before
again I share, trusting and believing
the circle continues
by Libby Jones  2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Tarot Coloring Book by Theresa Reed Review

The Tarot Coloring Book
by Theresa Reed

The first thing I thought when I picked the book up out of the box was Wow! I thought it would be like a regular coloring book with the pages stapled in the spine. No way. This is spiral bound within a heavy cardboard cover. So I am sure I don't have to worry about the pages ripping out. There are 4 pages that could be colored before you get to the Table of Contents.
The Table of Contents promises a forward by Mary K. Greer. An introduction, How to Use this Coloring Book, A Quick Intro to Tarot, The Major Arcana, The Minor Arcana, The Court Cards, Tarot To Go – Quick Interpretations, Spreads and Layouts, Resources, Acknowledgments, About the Author.
The first place I looked was the Resources. What a nice surprise! Full of Theresa's favorite decks, and Tarot books, also Tarot blogs and online places to drool over. In the Spreads and layout chapter there are instructions for a One Card Spread, Two Card Spread and a Three Card Spread with an example for you to see how to interpret the cards. These are great to get a person started working with the cards. Realize these are not in depth instructions or teachings, they are there to help you 'wet your toes' in the ocean of Tarot.
One of the most important things to do in order to get good instructions or help from Tarot is to form a good question. I was very happy to see a page devoted to this.
Also on page 4 is a list of the various colors used in the Rider Waite deck and what they mean.
Now, on to the fun part – the coloring of the Tarot!
Ha! I randomly opened the book, and here is the 9 of cups! This card is (for me) always that I will get what I wished for and be happy. On the right side of the opened book is a huge black and white copy of the 9 of cups by Pamela Colman Smith, so you are getting the 'real deal'. On the left side is a nice description of the card, with a reversed meaning, a list of the symbols and the colors traditionally seen on that card.
The pages are sturdy, I believe they could hold up to watercolor, if you put an insertion behind the page. I would not try anything denser than that such as acrylics.
My erasable and watercolor pencils worked and looked great, and regular crayons are great too. I love the way my Water Soluble Oil Pastels work on it also.
This is a really good way to learn the Tarot. A lot of fun while using your creativity and allowing you to get into 'the flow' so more personal meanings of the cards can float into your awareness. A nice meditational practice.
Well, I hope you get your copy and join me in the ethers. Highly recommended!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Lost Tarot of Nostradamus by John Matthew and Wil Kinghan Review

Review of the Nostradamus Tarot Deck
by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan

Oh, oh, oh! The box is sooooo pretty! This gal loves velvet, antique anything, parchment paper and old maps. The front of the box brings all those things to mind. I have hand and wrist problems, so it was a bit hard for me to open, but not as difficult as some I have had. When you open the box you see the book. It looks old. It has a picture of Nostradamus himself on it.

To quote from the Preface:
In the pages that follow we will explore the astonishing story of a long lost book containing a set of visual keys to Nostradamus' prophecies, the parallels between these images and the landscape of the tarot, and the way we recreated this important lost card deck using the seers own words and images.”

In the back of the book we have some chapters you do not want to over look. In Part Three we have Working with the Lost Tarot - The Nostradamus Spreads Meditating with the Lost Tarot, The Art of Seership and in keeping with Mr. Matthews wonderful attention to detail and our desire to know everything, we have Further Reading, About the Authors and Acknowledgments.
There are couplets applied to each card, drawn from Nostradamus' writings and are newly translated by Caitlin Matthews, an added bonus!!!

The first spread I did was the first one suggested, very simple. The first card that came to me was the Hermit, which made my jaw drop as that is my birthday card, and also I have been having the Hermit pop up for the last couple of weeks. AND this weekend is a new moon which is in Scorpio and I am a Scorpion. So this is just me, me, me!

So I will share with you the couplet from the Hermit card:
Two revolutions made by the evil sickle-wielder (Saturn), Changes both kingdoms and their dispensations.
That actually fits right in with the energies I am working with right now! These cards are very sensitive.

Each card has the reversed meaning with it also.
The way the quatrains were interpreted then worked with is very unique, I am not going to spoil it by telling you here, but the possibilities of working with these cards are endless.
They are nice to hold, they are just the right thickness to shuffle or to pass hand to hand. As you can see by the pictures, they look old. They are little mini works of art.

The process Wil Kinghan went through to make the art on the cards is explained in detail in the book.

In the Spreads chapter of the book, there are 3 spreads each a bit more in depth than the previous one. There are instructions on how to meditate with the cards, also.
The first Spread is the Alchemist Spread which has both explanation and interpretation in order to help you become familiar with understanding how the cards work with each other and you.

I am well pleased with these cards. I just love them! I can not think of anything about them that I do not like. Well done, guys!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Review of the Cathar Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan

Cathar Deck Review

The Cathar Deck comes in a beautiful box that is very easy to open thanks to a little silk ribbon tab. You see on the box “The Cathar Tarot The Secret Wisdom of the Perfecti” by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan.
My first question was what is the Perfecti? Well, I was answered on page 13 of the book:
“The 22 cards of the Major Arcana, known as the Book of Life, describe the journey of the Bonjomme (Good Man or Woman) on his or her path from Credent (Believer) to Parfait (Perfect). Perfecti is plural for Perfect.
The book that comes with the cards is full of information about the Cathars. The Cathars were a spiritual group that ended up pretty much in southern France. They were pretty much wiped out in the 1200's by the Albigensian Page 104 gives some translated (by Caitlin Matthews) pages of actual Cathar writings!
There are three unique spread for the Cathar cards- The Cathar Cross, The Court of Wisdom, The Grail Knight. I did the Court of Wisdom spread, you can see the layout and the cards in the pictures. I have to say the cards were very accurate and related to what is going on in my life.
The cards have a nice feel to them. They are sturdy and a bit wider than normal. They shuffle easily. I am always concerned with the size and sturdiness as I have wrist and hand problems. These I can work with. There are 78 cards, but if feels like more. They have a nice gloss to them, the artwork is beautiful. I do wish there were explanations of the symbols and artwork in the book for each card, but the meaning of the card is done well, the divinatory meanings (both upright and reverse) are done well.
The book is easy to understand, and information builds upon more information. There is information on Getting to know the deck, activating the cards, and Further Reading and Resources!
There is also information telling the relationship between the Cathar deck and a regular Tarot deck.
Such as The Fool is now the Bonhomme.
The cards definitions are based on the Cathar's belief system. They are very different from the Catholic belief. I found myself becoming more and more intrigued with the Cathars, and the life they lived. For that I am grateful.

All in all, I love this deck and look forward to getting more and more acquainted with it in the coming years.  The Deck is available to purchase now, it will be out Dec. 20th, 2016 as far as I know

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ladies of the Lake book review

Ladies of the Lake
authors – Caitlin and John Matthews

First off there is a GREAT index! I love indexes, they are the first thing I look for after the contents page. There is also a nice bibliography. This one is 8 pages long! (I see my library expanding soon!)

This is not a new book, it was published in 1992 as far as I can find out. It is only available used. I found it a bit hard to find, hopefully more copies will be discovered. While it seems a bit out dated at first read because a lot of things have changed in the world, this book is still very relevant for women of today. If you picture our world as an iceberg, the top (tip) would be the fraction of the world where women are powerful and visibly making a difference while what is not seen is the movement of women steering the world in a new direction where people are enabled to do what they do best. Where women are not relegated to standing in the kitchen (unless they want to).

The forward is written by none other than Marion Zimmer Bradley – if you love all things Arthur you surely know her! There a a few sections before the proper book: Approaches to this book, The initiation of the Lake, and the Ninefold Sisterhood. Please do be sure to read them all before doing any of the visualizations. I love the Matthew's style, I always feel as if I am tiptoeing down a dark hallway eavesdropping on fairies who are whispering secrets.

Another thing I love about the Matthews is their definition of myth as a 'sacred story on many levels', as that is the definition I myself have come to after all the studying I have done. Myths are built around truths.

Monday, October 17, 2016

arthurian tarot deck review

Arthurian tarot
The box the book and cards come in is a nice sturdy box, not hard to open. When you lift the lid you see the book, when you lift it up the deck is divided in half, each half in a little recess. A nice added touch- half moon cut outs on each side of the recesses to make it easy to get your fingers in there and get your cards out! I love that. There is not much more I hate than to almost tear your cards or to have to tear the box up to get the cards out! No worries of that here.
As you can see in the picture, the book is a nice size. It is almost 6 inches across, and 7.5 inches tall. There are 240 pages, which tells you right off you are in for a fun time! I love a good book, and when it is all about Arthurian times and tarot what more can you ask???

Below you can see a picture of the Moon pages and also The Stone three and four pages. The pages are a cream color, which actually makes them a bit soothing to the eye, and they make me feel otherworldly as they are so different from a regular book's pages. Each page has a beautiful silvery/green border at the top and bottom, and the divinatory meanings are within a silvery box. The divinatory meanings also have a few questions to help you expand your personal interaction and meaning for the card.
For example with the Moon Card you are asked;
What are your dreams telling you?
What grows in the darkness?
What messages do your instincts bring?

On page 85 we have Working with the cards, which has one of the best descriptions of the difference between divination and fortune-telling I have seen.
There is advice on formulating the question, which is SO important! There is information on how to interpret the cards, AND........ TIMING! Yes, you read it right!
Timing is something everybody wants to know, and there is a method given here that can help. There are 5 unique spreads given.
On page 93 we come to the Hallowquest Course!!
From the book-
The Hallowquest Course explores the realms within that are depicted on the Arthurian Tarot cards. It is a template of our own quest and of the soul's journey. As you meditate your way through successive seasons of study, the path of the Lands Adventurous (as the trail of the quest was known in Arthurian legend) subtly becomes your own landscape. As you continue, you will find divining with the cards much easier, because you have personally discovered information from each card.”
There are breathing instructions, meditations, journeys to do with the cards.
This is a treasure trove! I don't want to give too much away, but trust me, if you take the course you will gain much inner wisdom and great knowledge.

Now for the cards themselves. They are on sturdy cardstock, they are not flimsy. They feel good in your hands, they are the perfect size for shuffling and holding, 4.5 inches tall. Each card is sit within a frame so it seems as if you are peeking into another world through a window. The colors on the cards are so pretty. My pictures can not do them justice. They glow with warmth. Really! The #14 Cauldron feels warm and inviting due to the beautiful golden glow in it.

You have the 21 Major Arcana cards, the Sword Hallow, the Spear Hallow, the Grail Hallow and the Stone Hallow. Each Hallow has cards from Ace to 10, then Maiden, Knight, Queen and King. Instead of a Devil card, there is the Green Knight.
Card #11 is Sovereignty, Justice. The very first card is #0 The Seeker, and card #1 is Merlin, the Magician. So you see these are different from a regular Ryder-Waite based deck.
I am 58, and my hands are not as agile as they used to be, but this deck is super easy to handle. Some decks the cards stick to each other and it's hard to get them to spread out on the table so you can pick one. This deck is not like that, the cards are fluid and smooth. Honestly they just feel good when you hold them.