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Review: Vintage Tarot Texts

Vintage Tarot Texts

Author: Antoine Court de Gebelin, 1781; Louis-Raphael-Lucrece de Fayolle, Comte de Mellet, 1781

Translated and Annotated by: David Vine

Editions letarot.com

2022

ISBN #978-2-914820-18-9

“Vintage Tarot Texts” is an annotated English translation of 1781 French essays by Antoine Court de Gebelin and the comte de Mellet. These texts are supported by biographical and historical analysis, in this debut volume of “Vintage Tarot Texts”.

Essentially, Vine has given these two 18th-century scholars a modern voice.  Robert Place notes that these two articles are pivotal to Tarot scholarship, and that they are the foundation upon which all later occult theories about this deck rest. (My comment – they are also very easy to follow and understand.)

Before I take a look at the book itself, it is important to look at the author’s credentials. David Vine is a writer, translator, instructor, and Tarot scholar who is also trained in modern and classical languages and medieval literature and art history. “Vintage Tarot Texts” is the first of a series of books showcasing foundational European Tarot literature of the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries.

Vine notes that in presenting his translations, he paid meticulous attention to the linguistic and cultural vintage of the original texts. He also felt that it was essential to remember who these authors were – educated men, quite imaginative when the shortage of facts invited speculation and showing universal honesty.

Throughout this book, I was impressed by the use of in-depth footnotes, along with the complex background Vine presented for each author. It is both interesting and pertinent to see which of their contemporaries they corresponded with, which societies they belonged to (such as the Masons), what their personal interests were, and what their political leanings might be.  

In the section on Antoine Court de Gebelin, Vine noted that the popular culture of the eighteenth century, on both sides of the Atlantic, was steeped in the classics. We see reflected in “A Wicked Pack of Cards” such things as a persistent disregard for de Geblin’s learning and methodology, along with a projection of the personal views and prejudices of Decker, Depaulis, and Dummett. Vine also commented on the use of “faulty logic” and a perhaps willful misunderstanding of what de Gebelin is asserting.

I was fascinated by Vine’s translation of de Gebelin’s Articles. They start out by explaining how the Tarot is divided in Trumps and the four suits, which is followed by a discussion of the individual cards. Of interest here is how the cards represent things such as leaders of society, marriage, the four cardinal virtues, death, the wheel of fortune, and time. The definition of the suits is also in keeping with the time. This is followed by an article on how to play the game of Tarot and how the game of Tarots can be considered a game of geopolitics. Other articles include commentary on Spanish and French Tarot cards.

The section on Louis-Raphael-Lucrece de Fayolle (the Comte de Mellet) begins with the fact that the basic facts about his life are readily available, including that of his military career, and that he was an extremely wealthy man.

Vine also notes that de Gebelen published de Mellet’s essay along with his own – an indication that the men had been carrying on a correspondence in which they exchanged ideas. In fact, Decker et al noted that the two essays agreed in their main conclusions (such as the Egyptian imagery for the cards), and their designations for the four suits, although they differed concerning the symbolism they attached to each of the cards.

De Mellet gave a short synopsis of each card, going from the 21st card (Universe) down in a succession of series: the Golden Age (21-15), the Silver Age (14-8), the Age of Iron (7-1).

I found the translation of this book compelling, as it offers the students of the Tarot a solid foundation for their understanding and a look at how the Tarot developed. This book is the first in a series – I would consider following the series to develop one’s understanding of what the Tarot really is.

© July 2022 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.

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Posted by on July 17, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

An Introduction To Transformative Tarot Counseling – The High Art Of Reading

Author: Katrina Wynne, M.A.

Editors: Jaymi Elford, Thomas Martin Anderson

Sacred Rose Publishing (KDP)

2022 (First Edition copyright 2012)

ISBN #978-8-411823-79-0

“Transformative Tarot Counseling” is a small book (80 pages) that carries a big wallop! In her preface, Wynne suggests that the real message in the Tarot is in the reader’s relationship with it. She presents an interesting thought in that the Tarot can be studied for its wisdom, or through the experience of working with the cards.

Wynne notes that the highly developed and interactive skills that are presented in this book can be applied by Tarot consultants to their readings. There is also a suggestion that the process used her can be applied to readings with other metaphysical modalities, such as astrology, palmistry, numerology, and oracles, to name a few.

The definition of Transformative Tarot Counseling is the high art of reading cards for yourself or others. “Transformative” is defined as allowing change to occur. “Counseling” is defined as interacting with others in an affirmative and supporting manner. The skills used here respect the client’s wisdom and boundaries.

Wynne mentions something that is familiar to all Tarot readers, and that is that clients often present old patterns in their lives. She notes that in the Tarot transformation comes through symbols, dynamic archetypes of change, and the journey itself, which she terms the Sacred Journey of the Soul. In this section, we also learn a bit about Israel Regardie’s definition of the four basic stages of magic, and how they appear in a reading.

Other work that is referenced includes psychologist Carl Jung’s exploration of the magic in the Tarot. Here we see the concept of the Tarot having its origin in the collective unconscious and expanding into the areas of individuation and the shadow.

Separate chapters are present on counseling skills, ethics, and responsibilities for readers. Sample readings are presented, with key concepts noted.

At the end of the book, there is a bibliography and a listing of resources.

I highly recommend this book for beginners and for those that have already started on their Tarot path. The information here helps the student set a strong foundation for the work they wish to do.

© February 2022 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on February 16, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

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Review: Tarot Rituals – Ceremonies, Ideas & Experiences for the Tarot Lover

Tarot Rituals

Ceremonies, Ideas, & Experiences for the Tarot Lover

Author: Nancy C. Antenucci

Llewellyn Publications

2022

ISBN 978-0-7387-6444-3

“Tarot Rituals” is a 212 page portal into the land of Tarot magic. Through her own experiences Antenucci has created an amazing resource for readers to connect with the cards, and through this connection gives deeper meaning to their own lives. Tarot and ritual combined create a powerhouse of energy that, backed by intent, can transform normal life into a sacred life.

Antenucci has over 30 years of experience as a Tarot reader, as well as being a teacher of visionary strategies. She is also the founder of Minnesota’s Twin Cities Tarot Collective, which produces the annual North Star Tarot Conference.

With the nearly 100 Tarot spreads and ceremonies that are presented in this book, the reader will find rituals for giving readings, celebrating holidays, and connecting with themselves and others. These rituals may be used for individual work, or in a group setting.

In his foreword, James Wells refers to Antenucci as having set up a spiral path for the reader, a path of structure, technique, and theoretical leaps of faith.

In her introduction, Antenucci talks about the church as a constant ritual, and dance as becoming a religious form for her – with its costumes, music, and lights. Music became a place she could lose herself in. Tarot came to her through the auspices of a co-worker. He gave her her second Tarot deck, the Morgan-Greer (which has been my working deck for over 25 years). Not aligning with traditional Tarot teaching methods, Antenucci began to study the Tarot on her own, intuitively. Along the way, she became a tour guide for other readers. This book is a reflection of sorts of her own journey with the Tarot.

One of the things that Antenucci said really resonated with me, and that is that ritual is intention and action, and that combined with the visual power of the Tarot there can be a strong focus on intention, as well as designing/creating structure.

“Tarot Rituals” presents the reader with information on grounding, creating rituals, and working with ritual. Rituals included are the Grounding Ritual and the Calling The Circle Ritual.

There is a chapter that is devoted to the solo reader, and using the Tarot as a primary tool for ritual (whether for divination, personal exploration, celebration, or honoring an event). Amongst the ritual in this chapter are Anointing the Deck, Entering The Card, rituals for each Tarot family (Swords, Wands, Cups, and Pentacles), and for the Court Cards. Several spreads are also included in this chapter.

The chapter on the Major Arcana asks the reader to flow with their curiosity. Antenucci refers to the Major Arcana as 22 Acts of Magic. Each card is presented with The Portal (how each card acts as a portal), the Shadow, Preparation for the Ritual, Intention, and ritual suggestions.

In her chapter for deepening rituals for one, Antenucci focuses on self-awareness and growth. This is a must-read chapter for those readers that only read for themselves, and for professional readers that can use these ideas to help their clients. Rituals presented here include the Quadrinity Ritual, the Chakra Ritual, the Dream Ritual, the Beloved Ancestor Ritual, and the Light/Shadow/Dark Ritual.

In her chapter on Rituals For Reading For Others, Antenucci reminds the reader that they are both the storyteller and the story. She talks about divination as being its own form of communication. Spreads in this chapter include the Bias Free Spread and the Current Cycle Spread. She talks about the six principles: Grounding, Intent, Form, Synchronicity, Closure, and Integration. I was truly drawn to the chapter on calendar rituals because I do like working with the seasons. Rituals in this chapter include the Sunday Grid Ritual, the Moon Ritual, the Birthday Spiral Ritual, the Birthday Council Ritual, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasadh, and Mabon.

There is also a chapter on group rituals, which talks about how to do a group ritual – the opening, confidentiality, expectations, and closing. Rituals in this chapter include the Icebreaker Ritual, the Stranger In Town Ritual, the Celtic Cross Ritual, and the Initial Image Ritual.

I love formal rituals, and there is a chapter on just that! Rituals included here are the Quest Ritual, the Holy One Ritual, the Mother Ritual, and the Ring Blessing Ritual.

Do you want to create your own rituals? There is a chapter that covers this. I love the idea of a personalized ritual. Through the creation of a ritual questionnaire, the reader is able to bring intent and focus to a ritual of their own creation. Topics addressed are intention (if you don’t know what your intention is you are going to flounder), structure, how the Tarot cards will be sued, what activities will be done, visuals, sound (I love chimes myself), space, text, movement, and time.

There is a suggested reading list at the end of the book. Full disclosure – I was very happy to see that my own book on Tarot and Ritual was included!

I view “Tarot Rituals” as a resource book, not something that you read one time and set aside. It is a working tool that everyone from someone new to Tarot and/or ritual can use to someone that has worked with Tarot and/or ritual for some time. It is a joyful book, and I highly recommend it.

© January 2022 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on January 24, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

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Review: Eternal Seeker Oracle

Author: Pamela Steele

Artist: Pamela Steele

Red Feather

2021

ISBN# 978-0764361258

“The Eternal Seeker Oracle” is a 33-card oracle deck that comes with a 128-page companion book. Cards and deck come in a sturdy box with a magnetic closure on the long side.

The 33 cards, inspired by the Rider-Waite Tarot, are meant to act as a tool for enlightenment, a tool that will help the reader gather fragments of themselves, and bring them together in a healing manner. The intense colors and symbols in this deck are meant to speak to the reader on a soul level.

What we experience in this deck are the Major Arcana from the Tarot, along with 11 additional cards. Through the archetypes, and through Steele’s expert use of imagery, color, and flashes of fantasy, the reader is gifted with the ability to move forward to new levels of self-awareness.

In the foreword, Benebell Wen addresses something that everyone who follows Steele’s work has noted, and that is that as an artist Steele is able to open portals to other worlds. Wen also notes that The Eternal Seeker Acts as a sage grandmother sharing her wisdom.

The cards themselves are 3 ½” by 5”, of sturdy, glossy cardstock. They are borderless, which I appreciated, as they make it effortless to enter the cards for journeying or meditation. The card backs feature the Fibonacci Spiral (Sequence), also known as the Golden Ratio, or the Golden Mean.

The cards are based on the archetypes of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Steele notes in the companion book that each archetype came to life with a purpose and a title, along with sounds and movements. Titles for the cards in this deck include The Weaver, Rebirth, Magus, Attachments, and hope.

The book that accompanies the deck begins with a page that I consider very important and that is Reader’s Ethics, followed by pages on what an oracle is, how to respect the oracle, keeping a journal, composing questions, shuffling and dealing the cards, and several templates for oracle spreads.

Each card is presented with a full color image, the Tarot card that it was inspired by, the essence of the card, Guidelines (how to interpret the card in an upright position) and Reversed (how to interpret the card in a reversed position). The is room for notes at the end of each presentation.

At the end of the book is a section on Resources, including Wicca Symbols, the Elder Futhark, and Internet sites that were used for reference.

This small (33 card) deck presents the reader with an excellent tool for exploration of self, and for personal growth. It can be used alone, or with any other divination tool. While the masculine and the feminine is balanced, this lovely deck can be seen as Goddess inspired. It can be used as a daily draw, a tool for divination (the spreads presented are gentle pushes to “get real” with yourself), or for meditation.

The colors and imagery are extremely well done and will appeal to a broad spectrum of people (of all ages and backgrounds). This is a journey that we can take infinite times and learn something new each time.

Note: This is not part of my review, but I would like to share Pamela Steele’s interview with Red Feather. Excellent questions, excellent responses, excellent interaction! An incredible interview! https://www.facebook.com/REDFeatherMindBodySpirit/videos/354561265887392?comment_id=356214162388769&notif_id=1617387692863609&notif_t=comment_mention&ref=notif

© April 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on April 5, 2021 in non-Tarot divination

 

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Thoughts On “Tarot of the Cat People”: A Traveler’s Report

“Tarot of the Cat People” came back into my life recently, thanks to the work of artist/author/creator Andrea Aste. Not having not used the deck for years, I still did not have too much trouble finding it, as I remembered that I had placed it in a decorative wooden box that was residing in my guest bedroom. It was a joy to look at and work with those cards again! Andrea based one of his ongoing divination sessions on artist/author Karen Kuykendall’s work with this deck, which literally included her imagining a totally other world for the Major and Minor Arcana to inhabit. During the session one of the other attendees, Robbie Pearson, mentioned that Kuykendall had written a companion book for this deck (one that I was not aware of). This is the book that I am referencing here.

Please do not take this as a review of the book – it is merely a stream of thought on what came to me as I was going through the book. The very first thing that just about had me dropping the book out of my hands was the fact that the introduction was written by the late, esteemed Stuart Kaplan, an individual that has done so much work in bringing the Tarot to the attention american divination audience. I fell right into the introduction, as Kaplan talked about the Major Arcana being allegorical in nature, and representing Vapala, the Diamond Kingdom, home of the Sky People. The Minor Arcana are defined as follows: the Suit of Swords, Thnossis, the Ruby Kingdom, home of the Fire People; the Suit of Wands, Twahihic, the Emerald Kingdom, home of the Sand People; the Suit of Cups, Azhengir, the Topaz Kingdom, home of the Salt People; the Suit of Pentacles, Kahulawe, the Sapphire Kingdom, home of the Rock People.

Kaplan notes that Kuykendall had a long and varied career in the creative world, including medieval inspired painting developed for the Jamestown Lounge Furniture Company, teaching for several years inthe Arizona public schools and at C entgral Arizona College (extension courses), and the University of Arizona. Her works have been shown inthe Phoenix Art Museum and the Tuscon Art Museum, and in many private homes. She also did papier-mache jewelry.

And … she likes cats!

I feel like I have read the book already – Kaplan has the capacity with words to make reality a very intense moment! This is not just a book that accompanies a deck, it is a reflection of the artist, her life, and her work. (And yes, she lived with multiple cats!) Sometimes we need to enter another world – now I feel that I can enter the worlds of the Cat People with a guide at my side – someone who will walk me through her world, and with a look or a gesture make me feel at home.

Each world is described in detail, so the reader feels as if they are there. I am not really a science fiction fan, but this deck and these worlds appeals to me. (As did the world’s that Frank Herbert created. I felt as if I belonged in them also.)

Thank you to Andrea Aste and Robbie Pearson for bringing this wonderful book to my attention!

(c) March 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on March 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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Which Ancestors Do I Want To Work With?

I have recently started working with Nancy Hendrickson’s book “Ancestral Tarot – Uncover Your Past and Chart Your Future” (Weiser Books, 2021). The very first question that the reader is asked to work with is “Which Ancestors do I want to work with?” The reference is not to specific ancestors, but to categories of ancestors. There is a three-card spread that the reader works with, to determine whether they want to work with Ancestors of Blood (card number one), Ancestors of Place (card number two), or Ancestors of Time (card number three).

I drew the Knight of Cups, the Haindmaid of Coins (Page of Pentacles) and the Four of Swords from Brian Williams “The Minchiate Tarot”. Hendrickson suggests that when we choose which card to follow, we look not only at the type of ancestor that is best for you to begin working with at this time, but also you are likely to encounter. For me, at this time, the Knight of Cups (representing Ancestors of Blood) would be emotionally supportive, but might be the easy path. The Handmaid of Coins (representing Ancestors of Place) for me speaks of grounded and centered study. The Four of Swords (representing Ancestors of Time) contains a great deal of truth, but also a great deal of pain, and would require addressing many shadow issues (IMHO). The Handmaid of Coins (representing Ancestors of Place) is my choice of these three cards.

We are then asked to draw three more cards to show the impact that the first three cards would have. From the same deck I drew Love (Ancestors of Blood), the Four of Staves (Ancestors of Place), and the Queen of Staves (Ancestors of Time). Amazing at the emotional context Ancestors of Blood brings to me. However, this is energy that I don’t need in my life right now. My work is going to be with Ancestors of Place, which actually surprises me!

I will share more as I go deeper into this work.

(c) March 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on March 8, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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Review: Ancestral Tarot – Uncover Your Past and Chart Your Future

Author: Nancy Hendrickson

Weiser Books

2021

ISBN #978-1-57863-741-6

“Work with the ancestors, and the person

you will find is you.” (Nancy Hendrickson)

“Ancestral Tarot – Uncover Your Past and Chart Your Future” is a 202 page book whose intention is to act as a guide to using the Tarot to connect with our ancestors. In doing so we are gifted with their wisdom, their insights, their ability to heal, and their power. They are there to help us understand ourselves, to heal, and to find our own power.

In her foreword, Theresa Reed talks about perceptions that we may have about the family that we know, and how we can expand those perceptions by looking into our ancestry. Tarot can be used to address the past, as well as the future. Having always felt that I was the “black sheep” in my family, that I didn’t really belong, this was great news! I use the Tarot and dreamwork to connect with family that I knew that have passed on, but now there is a way to connect with ancestors that I did not know. Reed notes that tending to the roots of our past assures that the future of our families will flourish.

In her introduction Hendrickson notes that she knew at a very young age that her ancestors were part of the special tribe that she belonged to. As she grew older, she knew without a doubt that there was a world beyond the world that we know. She also notes that ancestral work is multi-faceted, and that while some of our ancestors are willing to work with us, some are not. Ancestral work can trigger memories – hurtful ones, as well as loving ones. She reminds us that our ancestors were real people with real dreams. She also reminds us that ancestral work is sacred work.

Tarot spreads are included throughout the book, but the most important spread may just be the one that she asks the reader to do before moving into the book. It is a seven-card spread called The Journey Spread. She strongly suggests that the spread be kept in a journal for reference after the reader has completed reading this book. It is a powerful spread and sets the tone for the work ahead.

One of the first things that the reader finds out is that there are three major types of ancestors: Ancestors of Blood, Ancestors of Place, and Ancestors of Time. It is up to the reader which ancestor they want to work with at any given time. Instructions are given on meeting and working with your Spirit Guide, as well as creating a team of spirit helpers. Each chapter includes a Tarot spread relevant to that chapter, as well as journal prompts.

To work with this book you will need one or more Tarot decks, a journal to write in, and a pen or pencil to write with. I make my notes in an e-file, because my handwriting is not easy for even me to read. Come to this work with an open mind, and the exercises in this book will give you a deep knowing of yourself and your ancestors. A bonus to this work is that Hendrickson shows the reader how to develop their own Tarot spreads, which is very empowering. She also addresses Sigils, Runes, working with a Pendulum, Oracle decks, and sacred tools (such as Petitions, A Personal Devotion, Gratitude, and Prayer.

At the end of the book there are resources: Appendix A: Tarot 101, Appendix B: Tarot Practice Resources, and Appendix C: Genealogy Resources.

I found this to be a very profound book, and the Ancestral journey to be a very sacred one. This journey can bring up memories – both good and bad. If you hit a bad spot, put the work down for a short time. Work through it at your own speed. This is all internal work, and you will be a changed person if you choose to take this journey.

© March 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on March 2, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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Review: The Tarot of Light and Shadow

Author: Andrea Aste, John Matthews

Artist: Andrea Aste

Watkins

2020

ISBN #978-1-78678-411-7

“The Tarot of Light and Shadow” is an amazing project co-produced by New York Times best-selling author John Matthews and multimedia artist/writer/animator/film make Andrea Aste. It consists of two 79 card decks and a 157-page companion book. The decks and book come in a sturdy, lift-top box.

The card stock is sturdy, and easy to shuffle. The cards are 2 3/4 inches by 4 ½ inches. The “Light” deck is a mauve color, while the “Dark” deck is a blueish color. Both decks have a ¼ inch plain border, with the card title/suit across the bottom. Aste has an amazing ability to take just a few simple lines and create a whole “other” world. The illustrations are an exciting gateway into another world!

The theme for these decks is the ability to explore both sides of a question at once. The Shadow deck representing our inner, instinctive world and the unknown, and the Light deck representing our rational outer world and that which is known.

The Major Arcana retain their traditional titles, with Justice at VIII and Strength at XI. The Minor Arcana suits are Swords, Cups, Serpents (Pentacles) and Wands. The Court cards are entitled Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

There is one addition card with each deck entitled “The Cosmic Mirror”, considered to be the equivalent of “wild cards”. Each card is depicted as a mirror, a blank speculum on which anything can be reflected. Some of the ways suggested in using this card are: (1) if you are using one deck, as opposed to using both decks shuffled together, this card can indicate that you need to switch decks, (2) look at the card before or after this card, or (3) use this card as a significator for the individual/situation being read for.

The card backs represent the mistress of Tarot as she presides over the mysterious city of Sapientia, where all knowledge is kept, and which lies between the realms of Light and Shadow. The card back is reversible.

In his introduction, Matthews emphasizes that it is important to understand that when we choose to work with a double deck we ae seeing truths from two different angles, mirroring each other.

Matthews also addresses how to work with this deck. He notes that many readers already draw a card from another deck to expand their understanding/perception of a reading already done. The concept of these two decks is to understand that they are two ways of viewing the same thing. What we do not want to do is look at Light as being positive, and Shadow as being negative. Three distinct methods of using the deck are listed, as well as ways to use the Cosmic Mirror cards.

In presenting the Mirror Spread, Matthews suggests that “The Tarot of Light and Shadow” is a parallel universe, similar to our own but subtly different. For me, the spread acts as the gateway between the two universes.

All cards (Major Arcana and Minor Arcana) are presented with an overview of the card’s energy, along with a paragraph each on how the card would be read in a Light Reading and a Shadow Reading. Color illustrations for both decks accompany the descriptions. The Cosmic Mirror card discusses how to use the cards (Light and Shadow), with color illustrations.

The section on new spreads and sample readings includes The Divine Fool Spread, The Eternal Truth Spread, The Cosmic Spread, and The Directional Reading. At the end of the book are links to the artist and author’s sites, and suggestions for further reading.

I highly recommend this deck to anyone wishing to experience reading with unlimited possibilities and greater depth.

© January 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on January 11, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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Reading For 2021 From The Tarot Of Light And Shadow

I decided to use “The Tarot of Light and Shadow” (John Matthews and Andrea Aste) as the deck for my New Year’s reading. I used a three-card spread defined as follows:

  • What do I need to leave behind from 2020?
  • What do I want to take into 2021?
  • What is my focus for 2021?

I drew the following cards: VII of Swords, Justice, and The Chariot

My first thought on drawing the Seven of Swords for what I need to leave behind from 2020 is that this is a very appropriate card. While my 2020 was not as bad as it was for other people, it did have its up and downs. From the “Light” reading of what I need to leave behind, I am looking at the fact that I allow myself to become frustrated, which limits my perception of both people and situations. I need to learn to accept that I am going through change, and not fight it. From the “Shadow” reading of what I need to leave behind, is the thought of becoming entangled with people and situations. While I need to move forward slowly, I need to keep moving forward. I need to believe in myself.

I definitely want to take a sense of justice/balance into 2021! IMHO, the balance is always there, if we choose to see it. From the “Light” reading I see that I need to take with me into 2021 my ability to see myself and my situation honestly and clearly. I need to continue to see my truth and act on it. We draw to us that which we hold in our minds, so I need to hold in my mind that I want to deal only with truth. The “Shadow” reading tells me that I need to be fair and impartial, and not look to play the blame game. My actions need to reflect my words.

My focus for 2021 is taking my life in the direction that I want it to go in. The “Light” reading asks me to take responsibility for the life that I create. I can move through uncertainty, I can move forward in my life. Balance of mind and heart is necessary here. The “Shadow” reading asks me to get up when I fall down, dust myself off, and keep going. I should use my best qualities to nuture myself. Keeping my goals in mind is paramont – but I need to stay in the present and see at what cost I am accomplishing these goals.

These are just a few thoughts, and I will come back over time and add to them. Many thanks to John Matthews and Andrea Aste for gifting us with such an in-depth deck!

January 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

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Posted by on January 1, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Review: Twelve-House Tarot Spreads – Uses and Variations

Twelve-House Tarot Spreads – Uses and Variations

Author: Elizabeth Hazel
Kosmic Kitchen Press
2020
ISBN#: 978-1-73537701-8

I am thrilled to see a book coming out, from someone I trust, combining Tarot and astrology. I have a very basic understanding of astrology, at best, so it means a lot to me to have astrology-based Tarot spreads that someone at my level can work with.

In her introduction, Hazel talks about new ways to use the basic twelve-house spread, and how digital publishing allows authors to add “copious amounts” of images to their written work. (I think this makes a huge difference in all fields of writing and adds a sense of panache to any work.)

One sentence stands out for me from the introduction (probably because I have spent the morning reading about our current president, and how he plans to contest a loss in the upcoming election): “Uncertain times drive people to seek knowledge of the future in any way they can get it.”

From the very beginning, you will see why I admire Elizabeth Hazel. She has an in-depth understanding of both Tarot and Astrology,  combined with a true “take no prisoners” sense of humor.

Hazel begins by explaining the construction of the twelve-house chart form. She explains the symbolism of the circle, along with the horizontal division of the circle into two hemispheres – the upper hemisphere being an individual’s public life, while the lower hemisphere is the individual’s interior life. She then goes on to explain the vertical division of the circle, resulting in self (left hemisphere) and others (right hemisphere).

These two-axis intersect to form the Cosmic Cross, with the Future on top, the Past on the bottom, Self to the left and Other to the right. Explanations are given for the four axis points: the Ascendant, the Descendant, the Nadir, and the mid-heaven.

Chapter Two provides an explanation of each of the twelve houses and their relationship to each other. There is a listing of meanings for each of the twelve houses, describing the energy that is covered by that house. For instance, the First House covers the self, the body, the identity, as well as the condition of the self and the body.

Spreads in this book include The Cosmic Cross Spread, The Sequential 12-House Spread, The Polarity 12-House Spread, The Spiral 12-House Spread, The Vala Cross, The Expanded Cosmic Axis Spread, and the Etteilla 12-House Spread.

At the end of the book, there is a list of suggested reading, and an appendix with blank spread forms.

Each chapter in this book is written for ease of understanding, with a review of the information provided at the end of the chapter. Sample spreads are included for each spread, which I find to be a huge benefit! Included in the chapter on the Expanded Cosmic Cross Spread is a delightful eight-card spread entitled the Eight-Fold Path (Sabbats) Spread. I am going to use this spread on October 31st for Samhain, the Wiccan New Year.

I am impressed with the professionalism shown in this work, including the note to print shops on the back of each blank spread form that the owner of the book has permission to make copies for personal use only. The forms are not for resale, or to be shared on the Internet in any form. This is a book that all levels of astrologers and tarotists will appreciate and be able to work with.

© September 2020 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2020 in Tarot

 

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