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Author Archives: Bonnie Cehovet

About Bonnie Cehovet

Bonnie Cehovet is a writer and professional Tarot reader, residing in the Pacific Northwest.

Review – Tarot For Cats

Tarot For Cats -
Unlock the Mysteries of Your Nine Lives

Author: Regen Dennis
Artist: Kipling West
MacMillan
1996

 Tarot For Cats cover

I was very excited when my friend Jamie Morris gifted me with this deck. I love the Tarot, I love cats (I have three male cats at present), and I love the two combined. The cards and 68 page companion book come in a lovely box where they can be pulled out of the side. The front of the box features what appears to be an orange tabby as High Priestess, while the back of the box features Magoo, a young orange shorthair that is doing his own reading to find out what awaits him at the Spay & Neuter Clinic! He drew the Tower, the Lovers, and Strength. All will be well, Magoo!

The companion book is smaller than normal (approximately 5 3/8” by 5”. The background color is a beautiful lavender, with the image of the High Priestess on the front, and the card back on the back. I love the small size… as if it contains lots of secrets! The book begins with a short history of the Tarot, a synopsis of the cards, and a short take on how to use the Tarot.

Each card is presented over two pages with a small full color image, what the card represents, the symbolism in the card, the card meanings, and what the card is as your Key Card. The meanings section of each card carries a bonus for cat lovers – a small image of different types of cats.

In the readings section at the back of the book, we see information on spreads, the question, and readings themselves. The creators of this deck offer unique spreads based around cats, each spread accompanied by a full color image. The spreads are: Bird and Pounce, Food Bowl, Pawprint, and Catnip Cross. Each spread includes a reading done for a cat. How cool is this!

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The cards are approximately 3 ¼” by 5 ¼”. The backs show a ¼” white border, surrounding a deep blue background with lighter blue imagery. In the center of the card are two cats, done in blue, looking out at the reader. The cards are reversible.

The card faces show a white border, with the card title at the bottom, in black lettering against a gold background. The art style is very clean and uncluttered (similar to the Halloween Tarot, which was also done by Kipling West). Almost hidden images in the cards are a delight – the green snake in the Wheel of Fortune, the roses and lilies on the window in the Hierophant, the globe in the Emperor, the ankh, lilies, and butterfly in Death.

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One of my favorite cards is the Empress. Here we see a beautiful white mother cat (Chinchilla), laying on a chair with her litter of kittens. Amongst the meaning are that of being creative, clever, and unique. As a Key Card, the Empress indicates that you have surrounded yourself with comfort, and that your domestic situation is secure.

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The Hermit shows a yellow cat (Asian Longhair) sitting on top of a stack of books, with a small black kitten in front of her. The front of the chest next to the cats shows a prominent lock. The Hermit is said to represent he search for truth and wisdom. As a Key Card, it is indicated that you are wise and understand the practicalities of life.

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The Magician shows a white cat (Turkish Van) on a sidewalk, with the sun and moon above him. He is surrounded by flowers, and various items on the sidewalk, including a mouse (earth), fish (water), box of matches (fire), and feather (air). In the grass in front of him we see a snake devouring its tail (the symbol for eternity).

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The Fool shows a yellow cat poised to leap off of a steep cliff after a red bird.  There is a rising sun in the background. This card is all about big change. As a Key Card, it indicates that the individual is creative, and often a trickster.
For me, there is a very “feel good” nature to this deck – it is a deck that I will pull out in difficult times.

© 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written authorization from the author.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2014 in Tarot

 

Review – The Alice Tarot

The Alice Tarot

Author: Karen Mahony
Designed by: Alexandr Ukolov and Karen Mahony
Illustrated by: Alexandr Ukolov
Magic Realist Press
2014

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“The Alice Tarot” has been on my desk since it arrived … and it will stay there, along with Ciro Marchetti’s “Oracle of Visions”, and my reading deck, the “Morgan-Greer Tarot”. It is always nice to have a choice in the cards one wishes to work with!

This is a traditional, 78 card deck, following the structure of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot. This gives it form, a form within which we are encouraged to play, and expand our wisdom. It is certainly not a Rider-Waite clone. Oh, no … it has wisdom and imagery of its own, based on the Alice books (written by Lewis Carroll), and the creator’s desire to merge the enchantment of Alice with the magic of Tarot. The intention of this deck is to allow the reader to “go down the rabbit hole”, and see what they will find. This can be a strange, surreal world, one in which imagination is allowed to run rampant, and understanding comes in leaps and bounds. The deck is accompanied by a 40 page LWB. (Note, there is a larger, more definitive book available for purchase separately.) The cards and LWB come in a beautifully decorated, heavy cardboard box.

The card titles follow the traditional structure, with the suites being Wands, Cups, Swords, and Coins. Strength is VIII, Justice is XI. The court cards are Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

The LWB offer several spreads: a five card “Down The Rabbit Hole”, a four card “The Caucus Race”, a four card “The Tea Party”, and a five card “My Own Wonderland”.

For the Major Arcana, the creators matched the classic attributes of each Major Arcana card with scenes and characters from the Alice stories.

Each card is presented with what the energy is, keywords, and Alice meanings. For example:

The Hermit

The Mock Turtle

 A deep spiritual or philosophical thinker*Taking time out on your own to consider the deeper questions of life* Cutting yourself off from others because you need a space to think clearly* Stepping aside from the business of everyday life in order to develop your spiritual side*Loneliness

Alice Meanings

An injustice*someone who pretends to be fair, but isn’t*Watch out! Don’t trust someone who is telling you what to do*A “cat and mouse” game … being lured into something under false pretenses

The cards are 3” by 5”, with a reversible blue and white floral background featuring two rabbits. The card faces show a ¼” white border surrounding the central image, with the card title in black letters against a white background along the bottom of the deck. The Major Arcana show title only – no numbers. The coloring is intense, with beautiful cold stamping on each of the cards that gives areas within the cards an iridescent look as the light catches them.

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The High Priestess portrays Alice going through the Looking Glass. Alice meanings include going into another world, or finding another way of thinking in this world.

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The Hanged Man features the Cheshire Cat. Alice meanings include giving yourself up to a joyous madness, and advice from someone who is perceptive and also, perhaps, somewhat irresponsible.

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The Queen of Wands is the chess Red Queen. Alice meanings include someone who is always in a rush, and warm sexuality.

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The King of Coins is the chess White King. Alice meanings include someone who thinks he is more practical than he is, and a kindly but ineffective man.

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The Six of Wands shows the characters turning into cards as Alice wakes up. Alice meanings include realizing that a threat has no real substance, and refusing to be intimidated.

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The Four of Swords shows the Dormouse sleeping. Alice meanings include calm amidst chaos, and sleep and dreaming.

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The Ten of Coins shows the Mad Hatter juggling cakes. Alice meanings include having it all, and having fun with it, and a playful exuberance.

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The Two of Wands shows Alice finally getting into the Wonderland garden. Alice meanings include seeing clearly where you want to go next, and longing to get to a better place.

“The Alice Tarot” is a rabbit hole that you will not regret going down!

 © 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Review – The Chrysalis Tarot

The Chrysalis Tarot

Author: Toney Brooks
Artist: Holly Sierra
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2014
ISBN #978-1-57281-689-3

Chrysalis Tarot cover
The “Chrysalis Tarot” is a 78 card Tarot deck that comes with a 60 page companion book (LWB). It follows traditional format, with the following changes.

The Major Arcana has been retitled:

The Fool – Merlin
The Magician – Ravens
The High Priestess – Sorceress
The Empress – Gaia
The Emperor – Green Man
The Hierophant – Divine Child
The Lovers – The Lovers
The Chariot – Herne the Hunter
Justice – Ma-at
The Hermit – Storyteller
The Wheel of Fortune – Wheel
Strength – Papa Legba
The Hanged Man – Celtic Owl
Death – Ariadne
Temperance – Golden Flower
The Devil – Bella Rosa
The Tower – Kali
The Star – Elpi
The Moon – Moon
The Sun – Sun
Judgment – Phoenix
The World – Psyche

The four suits are Stones (Pentacles), Mirrors (Cups), Spirals (Wands), Scrolls (Wands). The court cards in this deck fill the function of a Troupe (an ensemble of medieval merrymakers):

The Minstrel: King of Pentacles, King of Stones
The Artiste: Queen of Pentacles, Queen of Stones
The Illusionist: Knight of Pentacles, Knight of Stones
The Acrobat: Page of Pentacles, Page of Stones
The Sojourner: King of Cups, King of Mirrors
The Watcher: Queen of Cups, Queen of Mirrors
The Dreamer: Knight of Cups, Knight of Mirrors
The Healer: Page of Cups, Page of Mirrors
The Companion: King of Wands, King of Spirals
The Muse: Queen of Wands, Queen of Spirals
The Corsair: Knight of Wands, Knight of Spirals
The Mime: Page of Wands, Page of Spirals
The Poet: King of Swords, King of Scrolls
The Weaver: Queen of Swords, Queen of Scrolls
The Visionary: Knight of Swords, Knight of Scrolls
The Pilgrim: Page of Swords, Page of Scroll

The deck and companion book come in a beautiful box with an image of the moon and butterflies on the front, and the Page of Mirrors (The Healer) on the back. In his introduction, Brooks talks about the concept of achieving your destiny in the Tarot. He also talks about the balance between ego and psyche.
The characters found in the imagery of this deck represent Otherworld characters and archetypes (Major Arcana), as well as the day to day of life … inspiration for personal reflection, intuition, and imagination (The Pips/Numbered cards), and the troupe of medieval troubadours, representing real life messengers (the Court Cards).

The cards are presented by text only (no images). Each Major Arcana card includes the new title, the traditional title, attributes, and a discussion of the card, and the symbols within it. Each Pip (numbered card) includes the card number, suit, keyword, and a discussion of the card. The Troupe (Court) Cards include the new title, the traditional title, attributes, role, and a short discussion of the card.

For example:
II Sorceress

Traditional Title: The High Priestess
Attributes: Mysticism, Magic

 Sorceress Morgan Le Fay is pictured in vibrant hues of mysticism and magic. Her talisman represents the pomegranate, food of the Otherworld, and a symbol of the Triple Goddess. We can feel the fruitful energy swirling in the background as it explodes in a crescendo of bursting light from Morgan’s hand. Woven spirals symbolize the infinite transformative energy of the sorceress.

 In your reading, Morgan points to one of your challenging encounters in attaining transformation. Morgan does her magic as the curtain that separates the seen and the unseen worlds. The ravens, insatiably curious when magic is active, swoop in to flavor her cauldron with magical synchronicity, those coincidences that confirm you’re on the right track.

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At the end of the companion book (LWB) a five card Pentagram spread (including significator) is presented.
The cards are 2  ¾” by 4 ¾”. The card backs show gold and blue imagery in each of the four corners, with a blue background in the center, covered in spirals. In the center of the card is a gold circle, with a mandala in the middle. Multi-colored butterflies appear on either end of the gold circle. The cards are reversible.

The card faces shows a gold border, with the new title and the traditional title in black lettering against a white background at the bottom of the card. The coloring on the cards is a beautiful pastel, with the imagery drawn from myth, Celtic, Pagan, Egyptian, and VooDoo traditions.

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In Ravens (The Magician), we see black ravens sitting in a tree that features an open eye in the trunk. They are playing a game with pearls, which represent moonlight, mysticism, and synchronicity.

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One of the cards that I feel represent the traditional archetype well if Green Man (The Emperor). We see the face of the Green Man in the foliage, looking down on a birds nest, with his companion butterfly in the upper left hand corner.

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Bella Rosa (The Devil) is another card that represents the traditional archetype very well. The mystical figure wears a mask as she looks out from the card, which symbolizes who she really is deep within. She wars

A beautifully done hat, while carrying a rose in her right hand, and a mirror in her left hand. We see an infinity symbol to her right.

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The Aces are very simple cards. The Ace of Stones shows a sacred megalith.

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The Ten of Mirrors is a beautiful card, showing a rainbow colored dove of peace in flight in the center, against a blue background. The dove carries ten mirrors that represent an emerging new cycle.

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The Pilgrim (Page of Scrolls) shows a figure dressed in a lilac tunic with a darker lavender skirt. She carries a lantern in her right hand, a staff in her left. In the upper left hand corner we see a butterfly, with an animal of some type behind her right shoulder.

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The Companion (King of Spirals) shows a male figure, seated on a stool, with a small bird at his feet.

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The Weaver (Queen of Scrolls) shows a female figure, in a light lavender dress, at work. There is an orange tabby cat in a basket at her feet.

I found the imagery well done, but not always reflecting the traditional meaning (such as the tear the Sun is shedding). The inclusion of both the new title and the traditional title on the card to me is disruptive. If you want to retitle a card, then use that title, and that title alone, on the card.

Redefining the Court Cards as Troupe seems to diminish, rather than expand, the nature of the card.

I found this deck nicely illustrated, and the notes in the LWB well written. While this deck is easy to read with, I would not use it as a learning deck.

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Tarot

 

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Northwest Astrology & Tarot Salon – Introducing Karen Campbell

Karen Northwest Astrology & Tarot Salon

In November of this year the inaugural Northwest Astrology and Tarot Salon will be held at the Breitenbush Conference Center, near Detroit, OR. (More information about the Salon can be found here – nwsalon.com.) I would like to introduce you to Karen Campbell, one of the Conversation Leaders for this event.

As a teenager, Karen began using Tarot in 1961. She describes it as a “teen age rebellion” type of thing. She got serious in the early 80’s and took classes from Christine Payne Towler and then began reading for others. She was a reader at Womyn Spirit Continuum, has participated in the “Pathways to Transformation” in Yachats for the past 17 years and last year had a tent at the Shrewsbury Faire. Since retiring from her work as a prison guard at the Oregon State Penitentiary in 2010, she has increased her involvement in fairs and events.

Karen is a SoulCollage® facilitator, a Reiki and Alchemical Healing® practitioner, and offers workshops in Journal reading and writing. She is ordained with the Church of Universal Love and performs special ceremonies. She describes her work with Tarot cards as Spirit Guided Counseling.

Karen Campbell — Whispered Healings

 www.brokenwingcounseling.com

The subject that Karen will be bringing for discussion is the use of Tarot and Journal writing to further your personal and professional goals. She will use her own goal of having peaceful personal relationships as a kick starter to the exploration. Journaling with the Tarot can take many creative and purposeful paths. It is hoped that you will bring innovative techniques to share and Karen will too.

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Review – Dark Goddess Tarot Companion

Dark Goddess Tarot Companion

Author: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Natural Press
2014
ISBN #978-0-9894739-1-0

DGT cover

The “Dark Goddess Tarot” is based, quite literally, on dark goddesses … goddesses who, as Ellen notes in her introduction, represent aspects of life that people may be uncomfortable with, such as the powers of age and death, sex and sovereignty, ferocity and judgment, suffering and shadow, magic, mystery, and transformation. To be worked with to the depths that they were created for, there needed to be a companion book … a guide into this vast expanse of feminine wisdom. And so it shall be … and so it is. A 172 page book of wonders, written by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince as only she can write … an intuitive guide into some of the strongest powers that you will ever encounter!

A bit of background about the deck: It follows a traditional structure, elemental: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. In choosing goddesses for each suit, attention was paid to elemental affinity, as well as the meaning of the card. The court cards are renamed to represent fearsome female powers:  Amazon (fierce and independent), Siren (sexuality), Witch (practitioner of magic), and Hag (one who walks with death). I love that the deck is NOT meant to be used with reversals! There are specific instructions for working with the energies of each card … to show respect, to honor the energy, and to protect one’s self. Probably the best advice … to suspend ones disbelief. In the companion book, each card is dedicated to someone in Ellen’s life that for her has a connection to that energy.

Each Major Arcana card is presented with a black and white photo, who the card is dedicated to, the card name and number, the associated goddess, what the goddess represents, and what happens when she appears in a reading. For instance … the Fool is dedicated to Mary Greer. The mythological figure represented is the Sheela Na Gig, the British Spirit of Warning and Invitation. When this card appears in a reading, the Seeker is advised to open their eyes, to not see only what they already know, to release expectation and judgment, and to allow wisdom to come in unexpected ways.

The introduction to the Minor Arcana give a short summation of the elemental nature of the suits, and a listing of the goddesses for each suit. Each card is presented with a black and white photo, who the card is dedicated to, the suit and card number (title and card number for the court cards), the associated goddess, what the goddess represents, and what happens when she appears in a reading.

At the end of the book are several Dark Goddess Tarot Spreads: a two card Substance and Shadow spread, a three card What, Why, and How spread, a two card Dark Goddess spread (thanks to James Wells), and a five card  Goddess Be With You spread. At the end of the book we find the Dark Goddess Circle, which was inspired by an online ritual hosted by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince and Nancy Antenucci Dark Goddess Lodge.

In her introduction Ellen notes that the Dark Goddess Tarot was inspired by an intended for troubled times. In my life, I would read that as “Troubled Times”! We are not denying the pain we are going through, and we are not celebrating it … we are taking an honest look at our issues, honoring them, and then doing something about them!

This is not a deck for the faint hearted … this companion book will take the Seeker deeply into their psyche, which can be very scary territory. Proceed at your own risk … but please do proceed if you want to grow, and be all that you can be!

 © 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Tarot

 

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The Tarocchi Della Luna Nuova

2 Tarot New Moon Box 1 LQ

I just received the Tarocchi Della Luna Nuova (the New Moon Tarot) from Giordano Berti. The current offering is a repackaging of the original deck, accompanied by a 16 page pamphlet on the artist, Maria Teresa Monti, with full color illustrations.(The pamphlet is in Italian, by Giordano Berti.) This is a limited edition deck (300 copies) published by the Museo dei Tarocchi in 2008. It was published posthumously in honor of the artist by her close friend, museum curator Morena Poltronieri. It came to my attention through my friend artist/Tarotist Arnell Ando.

The cards can be seen here. my review of the deck can be seen here.

The titles are in Italian, and there is no companion book. There is a four page insert with the current deck, two pages in English, two pages in Italian. the first page discusses the deck, the second page presents the artist. In this short page, we get to know the artist, how she lived, including the fact that she added a personal interest in magic to her artist world. Note: In honor of transparency, I need to tell you that an excerpt from my original review of this deck is included in the insert. The original packaging was envelope style.

For this presentation,  Giordano Bert commissioned a sturdy, lift top box by Italian art designer Letizia Rivetti. It was handcrafted in Italy by “RINASCIMENTO: Art Style”. There are only 88 numbered copies of this box. It is done in lovely shades of brown and gold, with Imperatrice (the Empress) on the cover. The figure is surrounded by a gold border, which is surrounded by an inset border. This is an absolutely stunning box, which meets its goal of matching the quality of the artwork in the cards. Both the deck and the box carry authentication as being limited edition items. 

I am thrilled with both the box and the deck … quality craftsmanship that lends itself to working with the Tarot in a very deep manner.

For further information on how to purchase this incredible deck, please contact Giordano Berti at giordano.berti@gmail.com ..

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the written consent of the author.

 

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Tarot

 

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Northwest Astrology & Tarot Salon – Introducing Jadzia DeForest

jadzia_deforest_tarot

In November of this year the inaugural Northwest Astrology and Tarot Salon will be held at the Breitenbush Conference Center, near Detroit, OR. (More information about the Salon can be found here – nwsalon.com.) I would like to introduce you to Jadzia DeForest, one of the Conversation Leaders for this event.

Jadzia DeForest is a Tarot reader, instructor, and author residing is Portland, Oregon. Her approach to Tarot is practical and positive; working with divination as a tool for self discovery. Jadzia is co-author to both the Tarot Learning Cards and Astrology Learning Cards decks, published through her and her husband’s company Devera Publishing & Distribution. She is also the director of a group of dedicated Cartomancy enthusiasts who are putting on the Northwest Tarot Symposium (NWTS) in Portland in March of 2015.

 At the Northwest Astrology and Tarot Salon, Jadzia will be leading a conversation on Tarot in our modern world. How do you see the traditional meanings in the Tarot carry forward to our high-tech, fast-paced society? With her, you’ll explore this question and more. The conversation will revolve around modern imagery decks, how as a reader you may apply updated card meanings, and what does the modern Tarot look like in a world that doesn’t have Pages or Knights.

 You can find Jadzia online at several locations. Learn about her publications at www.DeveraPublishing.com. For readings, classes, and workshops she’s at www.TarotByJadzia.com. Northwest Tarot Symposium information is at www.NWTarotSymposium.com and on Facebook.

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

 

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Tarot

 

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