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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Review – The Dark Goddess Tarot

The Dark Goddess Tarot

Author: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Artist: Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Published By Arnell’s Art
2013
ISBN #978-0-989-1739-0-3

Dark Goddess Tarot cover

The “Dark Goddess Tarot” is a 78 card deck, which comes with a 27 page LWB (Little White Book). It is packaged in a medium gray lift top, heavy cardboard box, with the image of XIII Death (La Santa Muerte) on the cover, and the image of XVII Stars (Spider Woman) on the back. The deck theme is based on feminine deities from diverse pantheons, that flow seamlessly on two counts: the quality of the artwork, and the assignments of the deities to the cards.

I have obviously been living in the dark ages, because it was a surprise to me that a lady that I admire greatly (artist/author Arnell Ando) was the publisher! Kudos, my friend!

I have worked with Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s previous deck (“Tarot of the Crone”) for a long time now, and have been looking forward to working with this deck. Both decks touch a side of the feminine that is beneficial to all of us.

Note: The cover image for the LWB is that of the Magician (Isis).  There is magic in these cards … yes! Other full page color images interspersed throughout the LWB  include the Chariot (Ishtar), the Hanged One (Tiamat), Hag of Fire (Maman Brigitte), the Ten of Water (Ixchel), the Eight of Air (Crow Mother), and the Eight of Earth (Cailleach).

In her introduction Lorenzi-Prince notes that the Dark Goddesses may be beautiful or horrible, loving or wicked. What they share, what unifies them, are powers that are considered disturbing when in female hands. You will see suffering, magic, mystery, death, violence, and transformation. The Dark Goddess Tarot invokes these goddesses, so that their experiences may provide strength and guidance for us in difficult times.

The structure of the deck is traditional, with the following Major Arcana cards being renamed: Emperor/Sovereignty, Temperance/Alchemy, Devil/Corruption, Tower/Destruction, and Judgment/Liberation. Strength is VIII, Justice is XI.

The four suits are renamed after the four magical elements: Wands/Fire, Cups/Water, Swords/Air, and Pentacles/Earth. The goddesses that were chosen for each suit have both an affinity for the respective e element, and for the card they represent. The Court Cards are Page/Amazon, Knight/Siren, Queen/Witch, and King/Hag.  Each card is seen as being one view of the goddess represented, one part of her being. The spread that is presented in the LWB is entitled Substance and Shadow, and was developed to give the Seeker a quick, incisive look into everyday challenges.

The cards are presented in text only, with the card number and name, the goddess, what the goddess represents, and a short take on how to use the wisdom contained in the card.

At the end of the LWB is a short section on working with the goddesses. The Seeker is advised to develop a connection with the goddesses, to research them, to mediate with them, and to offer them tokens of affection. It is also noted that patience and respect are a good thing, and that the Seeker should suspend their disbelief.

A second Tarot spread is offered, this one entitled “Goddess Be With You”. It is intended to orient the Seeker to their true self.

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The cards themselves are 3” by 5 ½”, on quality card stock, The backs show a pattern of circles overlapping each other (looking somewhat like scales), in blue and light pink. The backs are reversible.

The card faces show a medium gray border. For the Major Arcana, the card number (in Roman numerals) and name is in white lettering across the op, with the name of the goddess in white lettering across the bottom. The Pips (numbered cads) show the card name and suit (in text) across the top of the card, with the name of the goddess across the bottom of the card.  The Court Cards show the card title and suit across the top of the card, with the name of the goddess across the bottom of the card.

The artwork is outstanding, as is to be expected from Lorenzi-Prince. The colors are deep and true, and the style is appropriate to the culture that each goddess represents.  Some of my favorite cards include the Magician (Isis), the Hermit (Baba Yaga), Justice (Maat), the Ace of Fire (Vesta), the Hag of Fire (Maman Brigitte), the Six of Water (Tefnut), Two of Air (Athena), and the Three of Earth (Norms).

This is an excellent deck to use for dark and difficult times, but it can also be used easily for meditation, ritual, and journey work. It is not a deck to learn to read the Tarot with, but it has great value on its own. It is very special, and should be approached with respect for he goddess energy that it contains.

© 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited in an venue without the written permission of the author.

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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Tarot

 

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Review – Tarot Card Meanings app

Tarot Card Meanings app

Version: 1.0
Size: 32.5
Language: English
Developer: Kevin King
© 2012 Paranormality

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4S, iPhone5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.

tarot card meanings image 1

A fundamental foundation for working with the Tarot is having an understanding of the traditional meaning of the cards. From there, meanings that are unique to each reader are developed. What better way to learn than to work with an app that you can take with you wherever you go!

Based on interpretations that were developed by Tarot artist/author Karyn Easton, traditional card meanings are presented here in an easy to access manner. Both brief and in-depth card meanings are presented, along with handy hints and hidden meanings. (A tip from Karyn – the card images can be used as wallpaper!)

The landing page shows links to the Major Arcana, and each of the four suits. Across the bottom of the page are icons for The Cards, About, Tarot Shop, and Wallpaper. Clicking on The Cards takes the user back to the landing page. Clicking on About provides information about the Paranormality website, links to online resources, such as the Free Online Reader, the Tarot Diary, the Tarot Notebook, the Tarot Lovers Tarot, the Tarot Meanings Sheet, and the History of the Tarot. Clicking on the Tarot Shop icon leads the user to a page where they can purchase the Tarot Lover’s Notebook, the Tarot Card Meanings Sheet, and Zodiac Jewelry. Clicking on Wallpaper brings up a page with all of the card images, and a link at the bottom that can be clicked to add selected images to the Photo Library. (I chose to add the Hermit, one of my Birth Cards.)

tarot card meanings app image 2

To use the application, click on the card category that you wish to see  (Major Arcana, Wands, Cups, Swords, or Pentacles), then click on a specific card. In the upper right hand corner of the page is an icon to click to see the upright meaning of the card. Swiping your finger vertically over the card brings up the reversed meaning. There are keywords, a Brief Meaning, and a Full Meaning, along with general information about the card (Spiritual (Qabalistic) Name, Title in French, Card Number, Key Number, Rulership, Hebrew Letter, Translation, Numerical Value, Astrological Associations, Candle Color, and Crystal). To the upper left of the card is an icon labeled “Hint” – clicking on this icon gives a few words about the significance of the card. Loads of fun to play with!

This app is a true resource – a ton of information easily located, combined with an absolutely gorgeous deck!

I had a wonderful time playing with this app, and I think that you will too. I would also recommend getting all four apps (Tarot Quiz, Tarot Card Combinations,, Tarot Card Meanings, and Tarot Card Readings). They can all be seen here: http://paranormality.com/.

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any venue prohibited without written permission from the autho

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Tarot

 

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Review – The Tarot Quiz App

The Tarot Quiz App

Version; 1.1
Size: 27.4 MB
Language: English
Developer: Kevin King
© 2012 Paranormality

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone,3GS, iPhone4, iPhone 4.5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPos touch 4th generation, iPod touch (5th generation), and iPad. Requires iOS 5.1 or later.

tarotquizapp1 screen shot 1

This is the second of four apps from Karyn Easton and Paranormality.com, based on her Tarot deck (The Lovers Tarot). It is a wonderful way to learn the Tarot, and a really fun addition to a Tarot group meeting, or as a mentoring resource. The one thing I would advise here is that an individual become familiar with the manner in which Easton defines the cards – which is traditional, but also personal to her.

The first thing that I found out when I went to open the app is that it is considered a game (duh!), and that I had to set up a profile before I could even begin. The profile was easy to set up, after I reset my Apple password for the nth time! (My phone and iTines have a very iffy relationship, at best.)

The opening screen gives the reader the choice of playing an easy game, or a hard game. They have the option to start a game, or to go to the Game Center and check high scores  (from everyone who is playing!). At t he bottom of the screen are three small icons: Tarot Quiz, Share, and About.

Tarot Qui takes the player to the opening page. Share allows the player to share on Facebook, Twitter, or through e-mail. About gives information about the game, such as the two playing levels, The easy section is based on keywords, basic Tarot card meanings, and the spiritual (Qabalistic) name of each card. The Hard section tests he player on all of he elements associated with a card, including the rulership of each card, and its astrological association. It is noted that an overview of the information can be found on the Tarot Lovers website. It is recommended that the Tarot Card Meanings app be downloaded, as this is what the quiz is based on,

tarotquizapp2 screen shot 2

There are six possible answers to each question. If you choose the right answer, you will be moved on the t he next question. If you choose the wrong answer, you will lose a life, and have another chance to pick the right answer. Nice all five lives have been used up, you will be shown the correct answer, your score, and the time taken to answer the question. You can share your score through Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. Tapping on The Quiz will take you back to the home screen.

tarotquizapp3 screen shot 3

The quiz can be paused at any time, and then restarted. The clock feature can be hidden, and the Tarot card can be enlarged. When a reversed card appears, you have the option to skip the question. However, if you choose to answer the question, you get bonus points!

I had a wonderful time playing with this app, and I think that you will too. I would also recommend getting all four apps (Tarot Quiz, Tarot Card Combinations,, Tarot Card Meanings, and Tarot Card Readings). They can all be seen here: http://paranormality.com/.

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited in any venue without the written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2013 in Tarot

 

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Review – A Life Sketches A Tarot

A Life Sketches A Tarot

Author: Ricky Seagroves
Artist: Ricky Seagroves
The Game Crafter
2013

rsz_1img001“A Life Sketches A Tarot” is a 78 card deck formatted along traditional guidelines – traditional titles are used for the Major Arcana, with Justice at VIII and Strength at XI. The suits are entitled Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles, with the Court Cards titled Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

This is an artist’s journey through his own spirituality. There is a small, 15 page LWB (Little White Book) that accompanies the deck. The first few pages of the book present an elegant version of a creation story. It starts “Once upon a time”, with a God and a great void. In the end there is the Fool, beginning his journey n the art that is life.

The LWB is text only, listing meditative meanings, positive aspects and negative aspects (also listed for some cards as reversed aspects) for each of the Major Arcana cards.  From the book:

Tower

Meditative meaning: I must awaken from strongly held beliefs, perceptions, attitudes. And behaviors,  to release myself from bondage and feel the inspiration, freedom, reality of this necessary experience that from very destruction comes creation.

Upright aspects: sudden change, revelation, falling down, releasing

Reverse aspects: peace, serenity, victory, control 

At the end of the Major Arcana section Seagroves notes that “These are but notes of each card’s meanings. To find the truth of each meaning one must search from within. Such is the way of life.”

The four suits are presented with the Elemental association, and a chart of associations for each of the numbered and Court cards. The associations for Wands are Fire/Inspiration/Signs, for Cups Water/Emotion/Signs, for Swords Air/Thought/Signs, for Pentacles Earth/Material Body/Signs.

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The cards themselves are 3” by 5”, of quality card stock. The backs show a black and white tile floor, with an image of a two black and white Fools dancing upon it. The backs are reversible.

One very interesting thing about this deck is that the Minor Arcane came paired Kings, Queens. Knights, Pages, and each of the pips were all together, rather than sorted by suit, which made comparison of specific cards across suits very easy. .

The Major Arcana card faces show a ¼” black border, with a thin gold inner border. The card number for the Major Arcana is centered at the top in white Roman numerals. The card title is across the bottom in white lettering. Each image appears as if in a picture frame.

For the most part, the imagery is traditional Rider-Waite-Smith, The High Priestess is shown reclining, rather than seated, the Emperor is shown with a black bird flying in the background, Temperance shows an Angel with wings, the Lovers shows a nude male and ffemale embracing, with an apple hanging from a tree outside their window. The Wheel of Fortune shows a wheel filled with Hebrew symbols and astrological signs. Strength shows a figure facing a red lion, which has the figure eight symbol on its forehead. Death shows a figure facing a corridor of alternating black and white frames, each smaller than the last. The Devil shows a male figure facing away from the reader. The Sun shows the image of Vitruvian Man.

The Aces have the title and suit written in white across the bottom of the card. The Pips (numbered cards) show the number centered at the top, in Roman numerals.  The images all appear against a scroll-like parchment background, with the Ace of Wands and the Ace of being held by a hand.

The Court cards show a ¼” black border, with the title and suit in white lettering across the bottom of the card, with the symbols for the element and signs across the top. The Pages of Wands, Swords, and Cups face towards the right hand side of the card, while the Page of Cups face to the left hand side. The Pages in this deck are interesting, as the are presented with a Mardi Gras type mask floating above the body, rather than a head. The Knights show a silhouette of a horse’s head, with the Wands and Swords facing to the left hand side of the card, and the Cups and Pentacles facing to the right hand side of the card. The Queen of Wands faces forward, while the Queen of Quips and the Queen of Pentacles face towards the left hand side of the card, and the Queen of Swords to the right hand side of the card. The King of Wands faces to the left hand side of the card, while the King of Cups, the King of Swords and the King of Pentacles all face forward. All of the Kings show mature men, with the exception of a young looking King of Cups.

The pips are not exactly Marseilles style, but they do use minimal imagery. The images are on a scroll like, parchment background. Some of the borders are done in white, some are done in black. Some of the imagery has intense coloring, some is black and white.

I appreciated the subtle use of esoteric symbols, as well as the use of elemental and astrological symbols. This is a deck that can be used for meditation and ritual, as well as for normal reading purposes. The one thing that I would have liked to have seen was a more extensive LWB, especially with a bit of background into the deck.

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any venue prohibited without the written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in Tarot

 

Review – Tarot Combinations App

Tarot Card Combinations App

Version 1.0

Language – English

Size – 19.5 MB

Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

Optimized for iPhone5

Requires iOS 4.3 or later

Author/Artist – Karyn Easton

Developer – David Wong

© 2013

tarot-card-combinations-2

I truly wish that I had had this app when I was learning the Tarot! It provides detailed meanings for each of the 78 cards of the Tarot, and then takes it on step further by discussing the cards in relation to their position to each other within a Tarot spread or layout. Anytime a reading is being done, and the reader hits a snag in interpretation, this app can be pulled out, the exact cards pulled up, and interpretations pulled up.

The initial screen shows the following options: Introduction, How To Use, Additional Spread Information, bios for Karyn Easton and David Wong, legal, help, and info.

Under “How To Use”, the user is lead through a sequence of ten steps that easily bring up any card combination, from one to four cards. Essentially, you access the screen with the four blank cards, pick the suit that you want to work with, scroll through the cards, picking the card or cards that you want, dragging the card to the chosen slot (blank card space). Repeat the process until you have up to four cards in a combination to be assessed. Once your cards are chosen, press the Reveal button. You will see relevant keywords relating to the combination, as well as a rating for the combination.

What is the Ratings System? According to the app, it is the Ratings System that makes both the Tarot Card Combinations app and the Tarot Lovers Tarot Reading app unique. The cards carry ratings for Love, Health, Wealth, Happiness, and the Character of a person.

tarot card meanings app cards screen

For each card, the app shows upright and reversed meanings. An added bonus is that there is a rhyme for each car … in combination with other cards, the rhymes make a delightful poem for each card combination.

Under Additional Spread Information, we see what multiples of any of the numbers mean in a spread, what multiples from the Major Arcana or any of the suits indicates, the meaning of traditional card combinations (such as the Empress with the Eight of Cups), and positional meanings from the spreads in the Tarot Lovers app,

Under Legal” we see Terms of Use.

Under “Help” the user is guided to specific pages for specific information.

Under “Info” the systems info for this app is presented.

I am not a techie by any definition of the word, but I found this app very, very easy to download and work with. Information is provide on the cards individually, on the cards as they relate to each other, and much more! Everyone from a beginning student to a dedicated Tarot expert will find something for them in this app.

Drag and drop … the information comes up, and the story is formed!

I had a wonderful time playing with this app, and I think that you will too. I would also recommend getting all four apps (Tarot Quiz, Tarot Card Combinations,, Tarot Card Meanings, and Tarot Card Readings). They can all be seen here: http://paranormality.com/.

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any venue prohibited without written permission from the author.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2013 in Tarot

 

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BATS, Gift Catalog’s & More!

Tarot

Sending good thoughts to Thalassa, and to  BATS, which is happening the weekend of August 17th and 18th in San Jose, CA. This marks the 22nd year for BATS. My personal thanks to everyone that is helping to support this event!

I had a major coup yesterday when iTunes decided to recognize my iPhone! As a result, I have <ahem> a few Tarot apps to play with now! Woo Hoo! Doing the happy dance! Reviews coming up, starting with Karyn Easton’s apps for the Tarot Lovers’ Tarot!

Not strictly Tarot related, but I am co-hosting (along with Brad Tesh and Mary Nale) Sessions, a monthly Blog Talk Radio Show under the auspices of Mary Nale and Attune Magazine. Sessions can be found here. Stay tuned – September’s Sessions will feature a journey lead by Brad Tesh!

I would also like to chat for a moment about Attune Magazine, an e-magazine founded and edited by my good friend Mary Nale. This is a quarterly magazine, which focuses on a theme for each edition. The theme for October is the Wheel of Fortune. Mary accepts articles, poetry, videos, reviews,interviews … on all subjects metaphysical. Please contact her if you have an idea that you would like to explore. You can read more about Attune here. The July 2013 edition of Attune can be found here. Articles and advertising need to reach Mary by September 1st for inclusion in the October edition.

Advertising? Yes, Mary accepts advertising, and it is very cost effective! You can do a simple biz card, a 1/4 page, 1/2 page, or full page ad, or do a video. Overwhelmed by all of that? For a reasonable fee,Mary can help set this  up for you!

Attention everyone who is marketing products for the holidays! Mary is doing a holiday gift catalog, which will be available from October 15th through December 1st. More information can be found here.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

(c) 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any format prohibited without the written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in Tarot

 

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Review – Eleusis

Eleusis –

Unveiling the Tarot Mysteries

Author: James Bean
Independently Published
2013
ASIN #B00DVDOUV8

Eleusis cover

“Eleusis” adds yet another level to the mystery of the origins of Tarot. Here we see the 22 cards of the Major Arcana connected to the sacred initiation rites at Eleusis. (In mythology, Eleusis is the place where the cult of the Goddess Demeter existed, and where the famous religious festivals, called the “Elusinian mysteries” , were performed.)

Normally I do not include the chapter headings in my reviews, but in this case, it will help to show the foundation and flow for this book.

Introduction

0 the Fool – The Initiate

1 The Magician – Hermes

The Legend of Demeter and Persephone

2 High Priestess – Demeter

3 The Empress – Persephone

4 The Emperor – Hades

5 The Hierophant

6 The Lovers

7 The Chariot – Triptolemus

8 Strength – Hercules

9 The Hermit – Hecate

10 Wheel of Fortune – The Narrow Bridge

11 Justice – The Gate

12 Hanged Man – Descent

13 Death – The Lord of Death

14 Temperance – Dionysus

15 The Devil – Hieros-Gamos

16 The Tower – Climax

17 The Star – Mystery Ritual

18 The Moon – Womb of the Earth

19 The Sun – Helios

20 Judgment – Ascent

21 The World – Son of the Sun

 

In his introduction, Beam notes that his belief is that the origins of the Tarot reflect the principle players and the secret rites that took place in ancient Greece that showed the initiate the secrets of life and death. His belief is htat the cards of the Tarot represent sacred, secret cults. While these rites were forbidden to be spoken about, they were eventually depicted in visual form.

Each card carries information about the images depicted, the meaning of the card within the context of the Elusinian mysteries, and keywords. Interspersed are author’s notes, such as the one on not confusing Hades with Hell, and under the Hierophant we see the progressive schedule of the initiates.

In this short book (44 pages) we get a basic overall image of the connection between the Major Arcana of the Tarot and the Elusinian mysteries. It is a good read, but I for one would like to have seen this material expanded upon.

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any venue prohibited without the written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Tarot

 

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