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.