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Category Archives: non-Tarot divination

Review: Revealed by the Letters – Guidance and Prediction by the Hebrew Alphabet

Revealed by the Letters –
Guidance and Prediction by the Hebrew Alphabet

Author: Orma Ben-Shoshan
Artist: Orma Ben-Shoshan
Kabbalah Insights
2016

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“Revealed by the Letters” is a 44 card deck based on the Hebrew alphabet. It comes with a 36 page interpretation booklet. It is the “little brother”, if you will, of Ben-Shoshan’s “Tokens of Light”, which was published in 2011. The cards are designed to provide focused answers and practical advice on life’s important questions. The inside page of the interpretation booklet carries an image of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, showing the placement of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In her introduction, Ben-Shoshan indicates that according to the Kabbalah, these letters are the building blocks used by the Almighty when creating the world (and everything in it), with each letter representing a certain energetic frequency, and is a world onto itself.

The answers contained within these cards help us to understand the forces that are controlling us at any given point in time, as well as what energies we are about to face. The individual is advised to focus clearly on their question, without any distractions. The answers they receive will be based on the clarity of their question. It is also advised not to ask more than two questions per session. It is also advised to not use the cards merely for entertainment purposes. If the answer received is vague, it may be due to lack of focus on the question, or that you were not meant to receive an answer at this time.

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The spreads presented in the Interpretation Booklet are simple One, Two and Three card spreads. It is also recommended that the reader read only for themselves, as this deck is meant for self-consultation. Each card is presented with a discussion of the card, and the advice given to work with the energy within the card.
The cards themselves are small (2 ¼” by 3 3/8”). The backs are a light lavender, with Hebrew lettering in gold. From the top right hand side of the card a hand comes down, with a finger extended that appears to “spark” an area above the letters. The card faces show a ¼” dark lavender border, followed by a thin gold border. The card number is centered at the bottom of the card in white, while the Hebrew letter is centered at the top as a “ghost” (light gray coloring).

Each card is presented with the card number, the associated Hebrew letter, an explanation of the energy of the card as it plays out in life, and advice on how to use the energy. The presentation is text only. There are two cards dedicated to each of the 22 Hebrew letters, representing different aspects of the letter.

The artwork is done in basic colors, with a clean, somewhat fantasy quality to it. It is easy to connect with the imagery.

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I love card 2 (Aleph). Here we see the back of a lively character appearing to enter the frame of a picture. From the book – Aleph is all about taking a new direction in order to scape a pressing reality, rather than dealing with it. The advice given is: “Appreciate the people who truly love you. Do not take unnecessary risks! Take a step back and reconsider your moves carefully.”

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Number 8 (Dalet) speaks of the individual having a sense of impending scarcity, which leads them to hanging on, and being stingy. The advice given here is: “Scarcity is a matter of attitude only. Keep the door open in both directions – giving and receiving, and thus you will take part in the cycle of life. Do not withdraw alone to your fortress, show interest in what’s actually going on around you and you will find the positive and beautiful things in life. In the area of health, a thorough and accurate diagnosis should be conducted by a specialist to a medical problem that might arise.”

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Number 19 (Yod) talks about an abrupt energy release, a spark that ignited plans into being. The advice given here is: “If you get stuck half-way and you cannot remember what led you into a situation that squeeze you from all of your energies, look back to the starting point. If you remember the cause and the source, you can return to the right path that will lead you to the goal.”

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Number 33 (Peh) says that destinies are determined by the power of the spoken word. Whoever has good verbal skills and compelling and authoritative speech, shall come out the winner. The advice here is: “Speak openly, say what is on your heart, and express in exact words what you think or feel. Life and death are in the power of the tongue: Your mouth and speech can grant you control, or – on the other hand – might destroy you.”

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Number 43 (Tav) speaks of the end of the race, termination of a process, closure of accounts and drawing conclusions. The advice given here is: “Avoid arrogance due to your talent or achievements, do not patronize or set apart above others, or take advantage of your power against people that you feel are inferior to you.”

This is a very strong and helpful deck. I really do appreciate the advice to only read for yourself, due to the nature of the cards. Our journey through life after all, is an introspective one.

© March 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction is prohibited without the written consent of the author.

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Posted by on March 6, 2016 in non-Tarot divination

 

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The World of Magazines

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What do magazines have to tell us? What place do they serve in our lives? There are all kinds of magazines, from the very, very general to the very, very specific. Today I am going to talk about magazines that focus on the world of divination – specifically Tarot, Lenormand, and oracle decks. We are going to look at two publications – The Cartomancer, a print quarterly that will have its birth into the real world in January of 2015, and Attune Magazine, a digital quarterly that has been with us for some time now.

The Cartomancer

The Cartomancer is a print quarterly, founded by Jadzia and Jay DeForest (Devera Publishing). The focus is on Tarot, the Lenormand, and oracle decks. The magazine will include articles, columns, book and deck reviews, art, advertising, and more. In a sense of transparency, I need to tell you that I am on the editorial staff. I will be contributing to the magazine, and I encourage all of you that have something to offer to submit your work too! You can also advertise your work here, which I think is a huge bonus, as the magazine is targeted to a specific audience. I am looking forward to seeing how well this magazine does. For more information, here is the link to The Cartomancer website. There is also a Facebook group that can be found here.

Atune Magazne cover

Attune Magazine is a digital quarterly founded by Mary Nale and Bill Back. The focus is on Tarot, the Lenormand, and oracle decks, as well as other things within the world of divination. The magazine includes articles, columns, book and deck reviews, poetry, videos, advertising, and more. Attune Magazine is also targeted to a specific audience, so advertising here is a bonus for your work. This magazine just keeps getting better and better! or more information, here is the ink to Attune Magazine. They also have a Facebook group which can be found here.

So, why exactly do I find magazines interesting, if not essential? Magazines put in one small space a lot of information on defined topics. I subscribe to fashion magazines, to financial magazines, to whatever magazines ill in the niche where I feel that I need information. I like the mix of text and images in magazines, and the articles are (usually) of a length where I can read  them in one sitting. I have gotten a tremendous amount of ideas from magazines – they have expanded my thinking, and my world. With these two specific magazines, we have the opportunity to express ourselves, and to grow both personally and professionally. I hope that you take the time to check them both out!

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2014 in non-Tarot divination, Tarot

 

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Networking & Tarot Conferences


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It is amazing to me how things have changed over the years that I have been connected to the Tarot world through the Internet (way back to 1997). As the Internet expanded, and we all got to know each other better, Tarot gatherings (under many different names) started popping up. They allowed us to meet each other in person, and to share out wisdom through conferences and classes. Many new friendships were forged, and many projects born. Whether you call them conferences, seminars, or by some other name, they are worthwhile venues. They are also expensive. What I would suggest is that at some point in time each year, we each take a look at the conferences/seminars being offered, and decide if we can afford to go, and, if so,  which ones we want to attend.

Just how do we do that … decide which ones we want to attend? I would look at the following:

1. Where is  the venue? East coast … west coast … middle america. Where is it most convenient to travel to.

2. Who are the presenters? Are they offering something of value that you want to learn?

3. Is there going to be a marketplace, where books and decks are being offered for sale? If you are an artist or an author, how much would it cost you to present your product?

4. Is there a discount for accomodations in connection with the conference/seminar? Are there reasonably priced accomodations nearby?

5. When is the event taking place? Does it fit into your schedule.

There are three events that I am going to talk about in this blog. There are many more, but these are the ones t hat I know about. The first one is the Reader’s Studio, founded by Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone of The Tarot School. It takes place in April, in New York City. I have attended several times, and was always happy that I did. More information on The Reader’s Studio can be found here. They SOLD OUT for 2014! How amazing is that!

A unique venue is being offered for the first time in November of this year. Founder Toni Gilbert is hosting the Northwest Astrology & Tarot Salon iat Brietenbush  Hotsprings, Detroit, OR. Conversation Leaders for 2014 include Toni Gilbert, Paul Nagy, Isha Lerner, Christine Payne-Towler, Jadzia DeForest, Robert Volkmann, Mary Jo Wevers, Alan Stein, and Cynthia Giles. There is an open group page on Facebook where everyone is free to ask questions and comment.

Another unique venue, the Northwest Tarot Symposium, is being offered for the first time  in March of 2015, in Portland,OR. Hosted by Jadzia and Jay DeForest, founders of Devera Publishing, the symposium will focus on Tarot, Lenormand, Oracle, and Cartomancy. More information can be found here.

I do not often make major errors … but in this blog, I did. If you are reading this now, you are reading corrected copy. The initial blog presented three Tarot venues, not four. And the venue that was unintentionally left out has been a MAJOR presence on the west coast for twenty-three years. My apologies to Thalassa, and the Daughters of Divination, for neglecting to present their information! Great effort goes into this symposium every year, and they certainly deserve recognition. And as readers of this column, you deserve to know about them!  Hosted by Thalassa and the DoD, BATS (the Bay Area Tarot Symposium), it will be taking place in August of this year in San Jose, CA. There is always mischief and mayhem at BATS … check it out! They can also be found on Facebook.

These are just four of many venues being offered to network and share Tarot, astrology, and other oracle wisdom. They are a wonderful way to meet people, network, and ck up some valuable tips!

Note: The Emperor is from the Magdalene Legacy Tarot, Casey DuHamel and Deborah L. Shutek-Jackson, Grail Quest Press, 2014.

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2014 in non-Tarot divination, Tarot

 

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Review – Art Through the Eyes of the Soul Oracle

Art Through The Eyes of the Soul Oracle

Author: Cheryl Yambrach Rose
Artist: Cheryl Yambrach Rose
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2011
ISBN #978-1-57281-722-7

“This oracle deck is a vehicle to provide persona
intuitive guidance from the mythic beings and
Divine entities that inhabit sacred sites and spaces.”
~ From “How to Use the Oracle”

“Art Through The Eyes of the Soul” is a 52 card oracle deck, accompanied by a 108 page companion book. The presentation is true quality – the cards and companion book come in a hard cardboard box with a lift off top. The image on the top of the box is that of the Lake”, which is also used on the cover of the companion book. On the back of the box is information on the deck, along with a small illustration of the card back. Did I mention that this deck is gilded? This deck would have been awesome without the gilding, but the gilding adds a sense of magic and “otherworldliness” to it. Kudos to the author/illustrator, and kudos to U.S. Games Systems, Inc.!

The original paintings for this deck were done in oil, giving the cards a stunning depth of color. Many of the paintings in this deck were featured in Rose’s book “Art Through the Eyes of the Soul”. Here she explains her journey as a visionary and Neo-Mythic artist, the four mythic lands that she bases her work on (Narnia, Avalon, Bohemia, and Lemuria), as well as her habit of tuning in to a subject through the eyes to paint a psychic impression. (I am brought to mind Johanna Gargiulo-Sherman, and her deck “The Sacred Rose Tarot”. Here the figures in the deck have black spaces for eyes.)

Rose suggests that meditating with the images connects the Seeker with the energy field of the location where the painting was conceived. The Seeker weaves their own fate by tuning into their higher self and allowing that spontaneous connection to answer their question or suggest advice. Drawing a single card to ask for daily guidance, or to use in meditation, acts as a catalyst to the Seeker’s own thought process.

There are also iPhone and iPad apps for this deck that include music and animation.

It is suggested that the cards be cleared before using them the first time, using either incense, or smudging them with sage. It is also suggested that they be placed on the Seeker’s sacred alter, along with other objects that are charged with significance by the Seeker’s own thoughts and intentions. The cards will absorb the Seeker’s vibration, allowing them to become a powerful personal tool. The bag may then be placed in a velvet bag, or some type of container, to hold the essence of the Seeker close. It is advised that the Seeker not allow anyone to play with the cards, or to treat them disrespectfully.

The companion book shows each card with a black and white scan, card title and date painted, an expanded meaning, and the story behind the card. Card subjects include Anastasia, Ariadne, Sophia, Eriu, the Goddess Sovereignty, the Glastonbury Goddess, the Hermit, Iona, Lady of the Lake, the Lord of Lyonesse, Merlin, Oceana, Redwood Shamanka, the Third Pillar, Wolf Child, and more.

 

 

 

The cards are approximately 3 ½” by 6”, of glossy card stock. The backs show a blue/black cave like setting, showing a path moving into light on the left hand side of the card. At the bottom of the card we see the eyes and forehead of a female figure, wearing a decorative headpiece. There are two thin gold lines around the edge of the card, with gold imagery at each of the four corners. The edges of the cards carry a gold gilt.

 

 

 

The card faces have a ¼” plain gold border, followed by a ¼” gold border with imagery. At the bottom of the card is a cream colored block showing the card title and a key concept.

 

 

 

The card entitled “Lady of the Lake” carries the key concept “find and hold Your Own Power”. The imagery shows a female figure, standing, both hands holding a sword, pointed down, with a waterfall behind her. The expanded meaning reads: “Stop giving away your power to others. Have the self-confidence to stand firm. Others will be Inspired by your strength and commitment.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The card entitled “Eriu’s Eyes” carries the key concept “Look through the Mist – find the Mystery”. Here we see a body of water, with swans in the foreground. In the background we see an island, with a larger than life head of a Goddess appearing in the sky behind it. The expanded meaning is “don’t cloud your judgment with doubt – believe! The secret of Divine creation is within you. The Goddess is waiting to help yu manifest your dreams.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The card entitled “Faery Goddessmother” carries the key concept “Magic is Alive – Ask Your Divine Child”. Here we see a female figure, standing, with a bowl of magical orbs in her hands. A young girl in a beautiful dress stands in front of her. In back of them is the forest, with Mt. Shasta in the distance. The expanded meaning is “Ask your question with a sense of lightheartedness. Adopt the unhindered enthusiasm of youth to open the free flow of ideas and answers from your guides and guardians. Keep your child-like wonder and imagination active, while living in the world. Dream …”

 

 

The card entitled “The Great Goddess” carries the key concept “Regeneration – Death and Rebirth”. We see a female figure, dressed in a blue gown, her left hand at her side, her right hand held out in front of her. The expanded meaning is “One life cycle ends and another begins. Flow with the cosmic rhythms to become the master of your own fate.” The year listed under this card is 1989.

 

 

The card entitled “The Burning of the Sage” carries the key concept “Visualize healing”. Here we see a female figure, facing the left hand side of the card. In her right hand she holds sage. Over her right shoulder we see a white bird/ In the distance, in the left hand corner, we see the pinnacle peaks of the Castle Crags. The expanded meaning is “Address health issues with positive visualizations. Use your intuition to connect into your energy field and identify the causes of your distress. Research may be necessary to get a balanced view.”

 

 

 

The card entitled “The Goddess Sovereignty” carries the key concept “Become Your Own Sovereign”. Here we see a female figure, in a lavender dress and veil, holding a cup in her hands. Behind her we see a lavender rose opening up. The expanded meaning for this card is “Envision and insist upon being treated with integrity and respect.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The card entitled “Libuse, Prophetess of Prague” carries the key concept “A New Door is Opening – Step Over the Threshold.” We see a female figure, standing, with a falcon on her left arm. In the background we see a castle, as if she is seeing it in her mind. The expanded meaning for this card is “Doors open to allow us the opportunity to reach our fullest potential. Do not fear unknown territory.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The card entitled “An Cailleach Bhearra” carries the key concept “Break free – Regain Your Youth and fly”. We see a female figure, facing the left hand side of the card, a white bird in front of her, holding up a corner of her cloak. The expanded meaning for this card is “Transcend time and space and all known boundaries. Adopt positive patterns that regenerate your body to begin a new cycle of growth and opportunity.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The card entitled “Redwood Shamanka” carries the key concept “Retreat Into Nature – Solitude”. We see a female figure, with red hair and a red gown, seatged, facing us. In front of her right shoulder we see an animal allie, in back of her left shoulder we see a second animal allie. The expanded meaning for this card is “Take time out for yourself. Leave the daily routine and return refreshed and renewed.”

 

 

 

 

 

The card entitled “Beneath the Veil of Sophia” carries the key concept “Create – Activate Your DNA”. Here we see a figure dressed in a lavender robe, unveiling herself as a creatrix. The expanded meaning is “Let the arts be a catalyst to bringing your inner visions and ideas into form. Anything you can dream you have the power to create.”

 

 

 

 

There is incredible energy in this deck – I feel that it is a valuable tool for those from all backgrounds, and those of all ages. In these cards we see the world of myth and magic – it become so real to us that is feels like a parallel world, a parallel reality. This is a wonderful deck for these changing times!

© April 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in non-Tarot divination

 

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Review – Voice of the Trees

Voice of the Trees
A Celtic Divination Oracle

Author: Mickie Mueller
Artist: Mickie Mueller
Llewellyn Publications
2011
ISBN #978-0-7387-1554-4

“Voice of the Trees” is a 25 card oracle deck based on the Celtic ogham (the sacred Celtic Tree alphabet). It comes with a 216 page companion book (Voice of the Trees – Companion). The only quibble that I have with this deck is the packaging. The boxes that Llewellyn uses are apt to come apart rather easily. So far, the outer box is intact, but the inner white box that the cards would be kept in has come apart. It would be nice to actually have a nice box to store the cards in.

The imagery in each card reflects a specific tree, with its associated symbolism, lore, spiritual traits, divinatory meaning, and ogham letter. It is indicated on the back of the box that this material is easily adapted to work with meditation, affirmations, tree magic, and use as a guide for personal transformation. The image on the front of the box is that of saille (Willow).

The image on the cover of the companion book shows a warrior, kneeling on one knee, spear in her right hand, shield in her left hand, forest behind her. In her preface, Mueller talks about watching the branches on the polar trees outside of her home. She knew that these branches contained the answers to some deep mystery, and pondered the trees deep roots, mirroring the branches that reached up into the sky.

She also wondered what we have in common with trees, and whether we are part of each other, or are perhaps both part of something greater. She notesss that trees give us shelter, that we harvest food from them, we have made weapons and shields from t hem, and used them for fire to keep warm. Mueller notes that it is around these fires that we shared fellowship, stories, and ritual.

Mueller talks about the tree as being a sacred symbol representing t he three mystical realms: the branches reaching into the sky where we access our higher powers; the trunk representing the physical world; and the roots representing the gateway to the lower spiritual realms and inner mysteries. An interesting note here is that knotholes are used by shamans a passageway for spiritual travel.

In her introduction Mueller speaks of the deep wisdom contained within all trees in general, as well as the important teachings that specific varieties of trees have for us. She notes that shamans develop a connection with the trees that flourish in their specific areas. The ancient Celtics developed a simple alphabet for teaching their spoken traditions, called the ogham. The tree ogham assigns three ranks of trees: chieftans, peasants, and shrubs. Mueller goes further into the differentiation, and notes what to expect in the section on each tree: the Celticname’s pronunciation and definition, the status, letter, divinatory meaning, reversed meaning, symbolism and lore, physical information, and a divining charm.

(There is an important note that the last five oghams in the book were included because Mueller believed that they further contributed to the readings, but it is up to the individual whether they want to use them or not.)

In the section on how to use this oracle, the reader is encouraged to pay attention to how the images make them feel. (I assure you – it would be hard NOT to connect with these images!) Mueller talks about reading the expression on the figures, as well as their stance and gestures. The associated ogham and tree names are at the top of the card, with keywords along the bottom.

Mueller notes that a reading shows the energies in the Seeker’s life at the time of the reading. The reading becomes a map of where the Seeker has been, where they are now, and where they are likely to be heading, were no further action to be taken. Instructions are given on dedicating the cards, as well as creating a crane bag.

In the “field guide” section of the companion book, readers are encouraged to note how the people and animals are interacting with the trees in each card. The images are meant to evoke an emotional response. The divining charm is seen as a poetic gift from the tree, drawing upon the old teachings, as well as the tree’s status.

Each card is presented with a full size black and white illustration, the card’s Celtic Name, Letter, Status, Divining Charm, Divinatory Meaning, Reversed Meaning, Symbolism and Lore, and Field Guide.

At the end of the book is a chapter devoted to Ogham Tree Devotionals, along with a meditation. In the following chapter on Ogham Tree Magic we see how to use the energy of the trees to heal, to find an answer to a question, to create a protection talisman, to bring love, prosperity, unlock success and heal the earth.

Spreads presented include the Dragon’s Eye Spread, the Oak Tree Spread, and the Newgrange Spread.

There is a significant bibliography at the end of the book for future reference.

The cards themselves are 2 ¾” by 4 ½”. The backs are a brownish-yellow, with four trees around a concentric circle in the middle of the card, which is reversible. The card faces show a ¼” brownish-yellow border, with the Celtic name and the name of the tree across the top, with keywords across the bottom. The cards are done in pastels of green, reddish-brown, gray-white, light yellow and light blue.

Every single one of these cards drew me in! However, it is technically illegal (and unethical) to show scans of all the cards in a deck, so I will talk about a few, and show scans of others.

Fearn (Alder), shows a long haired male figure, seated on a little island in the middle of water. He is wearing a yellow shirt with what appears to be a red sash over it. Surrounding him is the forest. The keywords here are oracle and teacher. Gort (Ivy) shows a female figure wearing a green cloak and an ivy headdress. The keywords here are tenacity and self.

Quert (Apple) shows a female figure in a white dress with a black hooded cloak, holding apples in her hands. She is surrounded by apple trees. The keywords here are choice and healing. Coll (Hazel) shows a fish jumping in a stream, with the forest in the background. The keywords here are inspiration and wisdom.

Ngetal (Broom or Reed) shows a female figure dressed in white, with a light green covering over her head. She is sweeping in front of a hut with a thatched roof, with herbs hanging from it. The keywords here are cleansing and vitality. Ur (Heather) shows four hand clasping, bound lightly by a cord. A green valley shows in the background, with a planter in the foreground showing purple flowers. The keywords here are transition and partnership.

Saille (Willow) shows a female figure in a red dress and green cloak, holding a bowl of water in her hands, and looking up towards the sky. Surrounding her is the forest, with an owl in the air to her left.

Duir (Oak) shows an oak tree with a deer standing in front of it. The keywords  here are strength and endurance. Tinne (Holly) shows a green forest, with a warrior ghost face set into it, holding an ax. The keywords here are challenge and justice.

Muin (Vine) shows two hands holding a red container. Behind the hands we see a grape vine, loaded with grapes. In the middle of the picture we see the image of a face in the leaves. The keywords here are completion and harvest.

Idho (Yew) shows a female figure in a yellowish-white dress, standing in the middle of a tree, stirring a cauldron. The leaves on the tree above her are green. The keywords here are gateway and mortality.

This is a wonderful deck, and a great way to align ones-self with tree energy. It is appropriate for individuals of all backgrounds, and all ages. I read for myself using the Dragon’s Eye Spread – it affirmed what was there, and showed a great prognosis! I was highly pleased! This is said tongue in cheek, as you know. We work with the energy that universe deals us. In my case, it did happen to show a happy outcome.

© April 1212 Bonnie Cehovet

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in non-Tarot divination

 

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