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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Review – Tarot For Cats

Tarot For Cats –
Unlock the Mysteries of Your Nine Lives

Author: Regen Dennis
Artist: Kipling West
MacMillan
1996

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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