Sunday, January 29, 2017

Silver Witchcraft Tarot Kit by Barbara Moore review




SILVER WITCHCRAFT TAROT
Barbara Moore
Lo Scarabeo 2014

The box that holds the book and cards is beautiful. It is one of those with the magnetized metal down one side to keep it shut. When you open it, you see images from the cards in gray-scale, and the book. The cards are nestled in their own little space under the book, with a ribbon running under them to help you pull them up and out.

The cards are so cool! (If you don't know, cool means awesome x 100) They are large, a bit hard for me to hold, 4.5 inches tall and 2.5 inches wide. They have a shiny silver on the edges.
 The backs are a beautiful blue with dark clouds and the triple moon.
 The cards have no borders (yeah!!!) and it is really easy to use them to meditate. Each scene pulls you into it's story. 
 I really like the people portrayed on the cards – they are different nationalities and they look REAL. The colors are vibrant and glowing.



The first thing I noticed were all the animals! Then I saw the undines, gnomes, salamanders and sylphs. Then I saw that the Fool card doesn't have a little dog!
The Knight of Pentacles rides a stag!! Swords have birds, the Hermit has 2 snakes.


There are dogs, cats (lots of cats), rabbits and squirrels.
They shuffle really well if I split the deck in half and shuffle each half independently.
The cards themselves are very easy to shuffle, they are nice and sturdy.


THE BOOK

The contents:
Introduction
Chapter One – Tarot Basics
Chapter Two – How to do a Reading
Chapter Three – Other uses for Tarot
Chapter Four – The Major Arcana
Chapter Five – The Minor Arcana
Chapter Six – The Court Cards
Chapter Seven – Spreads


The Silver Witchcraft Tarot creates a bridge between the world of traditional Rider-Waite-Smith tarot images and meanings and the world of magickal spiritual understanding. “ This tarot is made for not just divinatory purposes but also with a bent toward meditation and study.

BASICS - Chapter One
Structure, Intuition and Reversals are covered in this chapter.
Structure helps us to create a story and tie all the pieces together in a way that makes sense.” By the deck being divided into 4 'suits' and putting the suit with the number of the card, that gives an insight, then adding the symbols on the cards gives more information. This information put together in a structure way gives a narrative that makes the message understandable.

I really like the way the Major and Minor Arcana are explained here:

The Major Arcana represent large themes in our lives milestones, turning points, lessons or events that are outside of our immediate control.”
The Minor Arcana represent everyday situations and things that we can more easily control or influence.”

While this deck is based on the Rider-Waite-Smith, it does use different symbols.
Cups are now Silver Moons
Pentacles are now Silver Threads
Swords are now Silver Wings
Wands are now Silver Flames



In this deck, the numbers take on more meaning, they show the cycle of the year with the pagan holidays and are meant to be used for timing. Page 12 lists all the numbers with the information needed, one example:
3 is Imbolc, the world awakens (creativity or teamwork)”


INTUITION
It is suggested that with each card you look at the card and let it tell YOU a story before you look up the meaning in the book. Then take your meaning and see how it fits with the book.
I pulled one card, asking what this Silver Witchcraft Tarot Deck had as a message for anyone reading this review.
I got the Page of Chalices.



When you look at this picture, what does it feel like it is saying to you? I felt a welcoming energy, and some fun coming.
The book says she is a dreamer, sensitive and curious about relationships, open to metaphysical ideas.

REVERSALS
Whether or not to use reversals is always a personal choice. The author says if you don't use reversals pay special attention to any cards that come up reversed in a reading if you wish to. You can always just turn it right side up. Either way, reversals are listed for all the Minor Arcana.

DIVINATION

Well, I have to say this is about the best information I have ever seen in a LWB regarding divination itself! “The further out you look, the less reliable the forecast”.
I need to have that tattooed on my forehead LOL.
Here you will find guidance in checking the numbers, looking for any pattern, and dealing with individual cards, and some tips for a clear reading.

CHAPTER 3 - OTHER USES FOR TAROT

Magickal work, Journaling, Meditation

CHAPTER 4 – THE MAJOR ARCANA

Every card of the Major Arcana gets 2 pages, one page is a full cover of the card, the other page is the description. The description holds:
The Sphere of Existence, The Area of Being, the Astrological Association, the Elemental Association, a description, an interpretation, a reflection and keywords for both the upright and reversed meanings. It would have been nice if each of these areas were clearly marked. The Astrological and The Element are, but the Sphere of Existence and the Area of Being are not. So I did a lot of turning back to page 28 until I made a bookmark that had the info on it.

This deck starts with the Magician, number 1. It ends with 0 the Fool.
8 is Strength, 11 is Justice, 15 is the Devil – a mirror with a dead tree inside, and 20 is Judgement.

SPREADS
One Card Spread
The Horseshoe Spread
New Moon Spread
Alternate New Moon Spread
Sabbat Spread
Wheel of the Year Spread
Spellwork Divination Spread
Spell Preparation Spread



Ms Moore is the author of:
Tarot made easy
Your Tarot Your Way
SteamPunk Tarot
Tarot for Beginners

You can see the work she has done and download some ebooks on her site.

 Purchase on Amazon

Purchase at Llewellyn

  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; Lo Scarabeo Tarots ed. edition (May 8, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0738741205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738741208







Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Everyday Witch Tarot By Deborah Blake Review

Everyday Witch Tarot Review
By Deborah Blake
illustrated by Elisabeth Alba
    Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; Box Tcr Cr edition (January 8, 2017)
    ISBN-10: 0738746347
    ISBN-13: 978-0738746340

The box the cards and book arrive in is really nice and sturdy. It has a magnetized strip that closes it, here is a picture of before it's opened, then one after...





CARDS:
78 cards that are 3” by 4.5” with no frames.
They are a tiny stretch for my hands, they are GREAT to shuffle either bridge or hand to hand. They are not real thick, so they bend easily but they are sturdy enough to not curl up. They are not that kind of card that is 'layered' where the ends will start to separate after a time.  The deck is based on the Rider-Waite.  Here is a picture of the back of the cards with a small 5.5"  ruler.  




I love the way they look! They actually look as if you are reading a book- they bring to mind those old time wood cuttings.

Another thing I really like is the cats moving through the cards, being active in their little lives. The King of Cups has one catching a fish. The six of cups has a cat on it's hind legs, trying to get momma's attention. In the five of cups, the cat is getting ready to lay into some lobster while mom's attention is elsewhere. And my favorite so far- the two of cups. A cat is offering another a fish. The WHOLE fish! If that ain't love I dunno what is!

Here are pictures of the Aces and the ones I really liked:




Book:
Chapter One:
About this deck and how to use it
The creator of the deck explains the reason for the 'lightning up' of the Death, 10 of swords, and Tower cards.
How to do a reading
The first thing suggested is to learn the cards, feel free to follow your intuition. The fact that most people that do well reading for others have a hard time reading for themselves. I have found that to be true over the years, so bonus points for addressing that issue. Also there is advice on forming your question, picking a spread, shuffling the cards, looking for patterns not just in symbols but also in numbers.

Chapter Two:
Common Questions and Answers
These include what a signifier is, what is a clarifier, what are reversed cards,
what if you get a bunch of bad cards in a reading, what if the reading doesn't make any sense, does a person need to be psychic to read tarot cards...
Some Tarot Extras
Three spells to use with the cards.


Chapter Three:
The Major Arcana
The Minor Arcana
Each card has a full picture, a 'theme' statement, description and 'things to consider'.
For example, the Moon card - #18. The theme is 'Mystery, Magic, and a hint of mayhem'. Things to consider- “The Moon card often indicates a time of feeling of uncertainty. Have you been restless, torn between two paths? Perhaps now is the time to choose which aspect of yourself will show its face to the world. If you have been having nightmares, perhaps your subconscious is trying to send you a message Make sure you are listening. The Moon card may herald a tiume of flux and change; neither good nor bad it simply warns you to look carefully at the reflection in the water. What hidden secrets will it reveal if you are daring enough to gaze directly at the moon's face?”

Chapter Four:
Has 3 Spreads, one is the Celtic Cross.

Conclusion
A note from the author

There is an empty page for notes after each card, which is nice, but the book is made up of glossy paper, so you will need a permanent marker or ball point pen to write in it. A normal highlighter will work, although a yellow one doesn't work too good because the pages are a creamy color. VERY much antique parchment look. Purty!




A 3 card Spread I did for myself:
My question: how do these cards feel about me, will they work with me?
Ace Pentacles:
It's all good! There is unlimited potential for unlimited success. This card is a resounding yes.
19 Sun:
Let the sun shine in. It doesn't get better than this. Enjoy the good moments when they show up.
10 Pentacles:
And they all lived happily ever after. Happiness is more than money: success is more than wealth. Abundance coms in many forms, be sure you live each moment to the fullest, especially those shared with others. This card is all about getting what you want.

Well, I would say they like me as much as I like them!




Deborah has written a series of books titled 'Everyday Witchcraft'. Also The Goddess Is in the Details: Wisdom for the Everyday Witch, The Witch's Broom: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Broomsticks, Witchcraft on a Shoestring: Practicing the Craft Without Breaking Your Budget plus many others.


Elisabeth has illustrated many books and decks mainly fairy tales, fantasy, and historical themes. She did Llewellyn's Witch's Coloring Book. You can see some of her work at the link above (click on her name) - there is a link on her site there that leads to her etsy store where you can purchase works.

purchase from the publisher Llewellyn








Friday, January 6, 2017

Spiritual Alchemy by Steve Seven Review

Spiritual Alchemy
Steve Seven
First Edition First Impression
@2016




The book is not really divided up into chapters, and there are no page numbers. I have created an outline of the book here, with small examples of what lies within.
This booklet is 28 pages, and is Printed in Germany by Spiritual Instinct Press

It has a distinct 'Old World' feel to it that I just love!




Contents
Introduction - Explanation of the purpose of the book and the foundational theme is set.
Concepts and symbols of Western Mysteries
Occult (hidden) significance of numbers
The Seven stages of Alchemical process
Alchemical Toad Stone Formula and magickal ritual





The theme of the booklet is to de-mystify and simplify some of the classical principles of spiritual alchemy. The steps (how to recognize and work with them) to personal transition, to enable modern day seekers to partake of the alchemical system to achieve self-realization, salvation, wholeness or enlightenment.

Concepts:
“The metallurgical magick turns on the understanding that an animating life energy penetrates all of the creation and by certain chemical procedures and the will of the alchemist, the natural properties will be physically changed because they are not dead and static, but living and permeable”
There is a description and illustration of the Star of David and the Pentegram.

Occult (hidden) significance of numbers:
The author gives a brief but succinct summation of the spiritual meanings of the numbers 1-7 followed by in depth descriptions of these numbers as they work within the 7 stages of the Alchemical Process.

The Seven stages of Alchemical process
We learn of Nigredo: blackening. Where the alchemical fire is loosed upon the person who is seeking transformation.
Then comes the second stage: Calcinatio- when the seeker looks at themselves with brutal and objective honesty. The result is an 'unpacking' of the soul, much like peeling the layers off an onion, removing the masks we have created to protect and hide ourselves. Where we begin to realize who we really are.

Within the pages of this book, these things are touched upon and explored-
why we keep drawing the same type of people and situations to themselves, and the seeker is helped to uncover the root of their own personal pain. This is the “essence of the Dragon”.
The reason so many of us are attacked by people “of the world” - the stage of our own individual, personal '”holy war” which affects the World Spirit.
Addressing the Shadow – the 'Dark Night of the Soul”. Facing and overcoming our 'inner demon'. Purging and ridding oneself of the primal root pain discovered earlier.
After all this hard work of ridding ourselves of our inner demons, one by one, we are shown what to do after being freed- what to fill those empty spaces up with, and we discover the transpersonal nature of the Higher Self.
Alchemical Toad Stone Formula and magickal ritual:
We start out with a reference to how we can project our own faults onto our neighbor, we find out what exactly the shadow within us IS. There is an explanation of the toad as a symbol in alchemy.
There is a really nice illustration from Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum Elias Ashmole. (London, 1652) along with an explanation.

The spell included is easy enough and 'do-able' for anyone.

I really enjoyed reading this. It took a while to get the review done, because I found myself going 'down the rabbit hole' over and over. (That is a huge compliment).

Steve Seven is the author-
You can go here to see the Alchemy Series he is releasing this year-  the first two are available now-


A FB page for those who  are interested in learning about the arcane art of spiritual alchemy