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.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Tarot Apokalypsis review

Tarot Apokalypsis Kit
Texts by Kim Huggens
Artwork by Erik C. Dunne
based on Tarot Apokalypsis by Eric D. Dunne

The first thing that surprised me was the book that came in the kit! 457 pages of yumminess!
Beautiful, gorgeous artwork throughout the book, each card is represented in full color with at least 3 pages before you even get to the revelation (divinatory meaning). For example, the King of Swords has 6 pages of information, one full page replica of the card, and half a page devoted to the revelation.

Each card is just brimming over with symbols that speak to the psyche and draw forth numerous levels of information. Yes, you can use it for divining the future. It can also be used to go swimming in the depths of the whys of behavior, the root of the problem and the energies at play. There are 6 pages after the Introduction that have really good advice on how to read Tarot. There are 5 spreads – unique spreads- shared. They are all interesting looking, I plan to use the Hekate Triformis Spread to help me with a choice I need to be making.

Now, on to the cards! They are drop dead gorgeous. There are no borders, so when you lay them out they really flow into each other making the story they are telling very obvious. What is so cool is the symbols you need to see end up being highlighted when you look at the cards, I don't know if it is them or me, but it is awesome! I am sharing three cards that I randomly pulled from the deck, and they go perfectly together! It is very clear that a man and woman are having communication problems, and a tower of problems is building between them. OR they are working to tear the tower down, the rest of the read would reveal which. The point is how well the cards fit together and pretty much read themselves.

They are a big large for my hands, so I can only shuffle them by laying them on the table and messing them around, or moving the front ones to the back until I feel it's right, or spreading them out on the table and picking some. That is ok, they are worth it. For those of you who like to trim your cards, these will not allow it. Unless you want to lose some of the beautful art work. These cards are like miniature pieces of art. They use the Princess and Prince instead of the page and knight.

All in all, I love this deck they are fast becoming my 'go to' deck.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Power Deck Cards of Wisdom review

The Power Deck Cards of Wisdom
Lynn V. Andrews

The images on the 45 cards are beautiful. They are full of symbolism, ethereal colors, and small details that draw you in and speak to the soul. What I do not like about the cards is how thin they are – they are not easy to spread out to draw from, they stick together.

The two pictures I have shared here are of the stand up alter with a card and the book that comes with the cards, and individual cards: (trees) #13 Feminine, (hands) #8 Nurturing,
(Stonehenge) #36 Magic.
Part of the message on the back of the #36 Stonehenge is Magic. If you do not believe in Magic, your life will not be magical. Magic, like the power of Stonehenge is part of the unknowable – that which you cannot describe, but which exists and makes your life extraordinary/ It is part of the goodness of your spirit. It is that mysterious and intriguing part of your spiritual life. Magic is what we are all looking for, but if you try to hold it and name it and describe it, you will lose it.
The books chapters :
How to use the Power Deck
An exercise in working with fear
the power deck journal
A prayer for daily empowerment
The power deck
The self card
the south cards
the west cards
the north cards
the east cards

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Hobbit Tarot Deck Review

The Hobbit Tarot Deck
Peter Pracownik – Artist
Terry Donaldson – Author

The cover of the box caught my attention right away, as I figured this was Gandalf! And yes, it is.
This is their 4 of cups image. The definition that goes with the card -
We see Gandalf in a moment of reflection, calmly filling his pipe by the side of water. In this quiet enclave, he has an opportunity to think about things and work out what is to be done next.
Throughout the story, Gandalf periodically disappears, but thankfully comes back when he is most needed!
Divinatory Meaning – Reach out for new friendships, withdrawing from others, feelings of dejection. This card tells you that you are taking things too personally and becoming too apathetic. That you are becoming too stuck, unable to see the new people and opportunities being suggested by life.
Time to take down your defense mechanisms and have greater trust in the basic goodness of others.
Reversed -
It can show that you might need to spend more time in meditation, or personal reflection, becoming more separate from others in order to regain your center of gravity.

Wow! I tell you this little book that comes with the deck is great. Every card has a similar description that is very in depth, and psychologically sound.

The size of the cards is pretty standard. They will lend themselves well to trimming. They are not flimsy, yet they are not real thick. I don't imagine I will use them daily.

The cards themselves are very well done. I love the artwork – the entire deck has an 'otherworldly' feel to it. It very much feels as if you are walking in another world when you are working with them, I believe they will be great for meditations, for 'entering in' as in a shamanic journey. They do have an energy about them that sends out the corresponding vibration the picture is conveying.
The fool card pictures Bilbo setting out on his journey, and it immediately brought to mind his poem-

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

The artwork gives the feeling his feet are going forward while part of him is still reaching backwards.

There are three unique spread outlays in the back of the little book-
The Ring of Gollum Spread – 12 cards
The Sword of Aragon Spread – 9 cards
The Arkenstone Spread – 14 cards

I chose to do the Sword of Aragorn Spread, to see how the cards relate to 'real life'
When I laid them out, they started out with eerie accuracy regarding my present situation.

If you loved the Hobbit, you will love these cards.
purchase on amazon