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Review: Tarot of the Golden Wheel

Tarot of the Golden Wheel

Author: Mila Losenko
Artist: Mila Losenko
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2019
ISBN# 9781572819764

The “Tarot of the Golden Wheel” is a 78 card Tarot deck that comes with an 82 page guidebook/companion book. The structure of the deck is based on the Rider/Waite/Smith deck, with the following exceptions: the suit of Pentacles has been changed to the suit of Wheels. Strength is VIII, Justice is XI, and the court cards are Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

The theme for this deck was inspired by Slavic folk culture, and the magic and wisdom of Russian fairy tales. The Golden Wheel acts as a sacred symbol of karma, symbolizing motion and the never ending cycles of life, and the four seasons.

The cover to the guidebook/companion book shows a vibrant picture of the Three of Cups, with three women in traditional dress. In her introduction, Losenko indicates that the most important issue addressed by this deck is man and his relationship to nature.

The Major Arcana are presented by number, name, and keyword. This is followed by a lovely story that describes the energy of the card. Upright and reversed keywords are given.

 

The Minor Arcana are presented by number and suit, an overall keyword for the card, a short discussion of the card, and upright and reversed keywords.

The Court Cards are presented by title and suit, a short discussion of the card, and upright and reversed meanings. At the end of the book an eight card spread entitled the “Golden Wheel Spread” is presented.

The cards and guidebook/companion book come in a heavy cardboard, lift-top box. The cards are 3.2 inches by 5.6 inches, with reversible backs, and are borderless. The card number and title (for the Major Arcana), number and suit (for the minor arcana), title and suit (for the Court Cards) are printed in black on a white background at the bottom of the card.

The artwork is quite well done, realistic in manner, and makes use of beautiful pastels. The colors are basic and minimal, making the cards a pleasure to read. It is magical the manner in which the culture comes through in the lovely costumes.

The one quibble I would have with this deck is that the cards are a bit longer than a normal Tarot deck, and the card stock is a bit stiff. Both of these things make shuffling a bit difficult (especially if you have small hands, as I do).

I recommend this deck for those that might want to peek into another culture through the Tarot, for those that like pastels, and for those that like cards without borders.

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2019 in Tarot

 

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Review – Tarot For Troubled Times: Confront Your Shadow, Heal Your Self, Transform The World

Tarot For Troubled Times:
Confront Your Shadow, Heal Your Self, Transform The World

 

Author: Shaheen Miro, Theresa Reed
Weiser Books
2019
ISBN #978-1578636556

I was drawn to this book totally based on its title – because these are troubled times. Then I started to think that denizens of all times might have considered their times troubled. The focus in this work is clear – it is on how the Tarot can help us deal with what we consider to be obstacles/difficulties in our lives. In other words, how we can deal with our shadows. Miro and Reed address the spiritual nature of the Tarot, and how we can move beyond our self-imposed limitations and discover the magic in our own lives.

The magic begins with the foundation of this book – that we can help ourselves through the use of the Tarot. That we can address our shadow sides through the 22 Major Arcana, and that we can come to embrace our shadows, and learn to work with them and through them. To heal ourselves, and to take that healing out into the world to help transform it. We are given a multitude of tools to work with, including specific Tarot spreads, affirmations, and journaling prompts.

In their introduction Miro and Reed acknowledge the general and political unrest that marks this time. They also note that this is a time when shadow work is a necessary part of life. They encourage us to be part of the solution. They define “Tarot For Troubled Times” as a handbook for personal evolution, social justice, and healing.

The Fool begins our journey, by defining the tools that we have available. The spiritual tools that we have available, such as meditation, affirmations, the Tarot, and magical rites. Anyone, from any background, can put these tools to best use. We are presented with journaling prompts to help us get a grasp on where we currently are in our understanding of ourselves. (These prompts continue on through the book.) My thought here would be to start a journal dedicated to working with this book. This is definitely not a read it and shelve it kind of book. It is a book to be worked with on a continuing basis, focusing on whatever most needs to be addressed in your life.

I am a great fan of thinkers such as Eckhart Tolle, the Dalai Lama, and Thich Nhat Hanh. A common thread with each of them is staying in the present, living in the present, being aware of what is happening around us, and how we are reacting to it. This is also one of the first things that Miro and Reed address. Specifically, they say “You cannot heal the pain or create the dream if you cannot be in the moment with every part of yourself as it is.” They also speak of the necessity of changing our perception about ourselves, so that we can become “coherent and congruent” with all of our parts. We have to know our shadow to come to peace with it.

From the book: “Shadow is the means by which bodies display their form. The forms of bodies could not be understood in detail but for shadow.” (Leonardo da Vinci)

I am very impressed with the tools that are offered in this book, including meditation, meta meditation, EFT, creating sacred space, working with ceremony, learning to go with the flow, working with breath, claiming your own space, working with energetic chords, empowering and protecting yourself, and visualization.

Miro and Reed view the Tarot as a mirror of ourselves. Every good Tarot reader knows this. They present the Major Arcanaas archetypes and ally’s on our journey of self-discovery and empowerment. They also present the birth card system as a way for us to know which cards in the Major Arcana lend their energy to us. There is a synopsis for each of the 22 cards, as well as suggestions for working with them. Each card is presented with a black and white scan (from the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot), an affirmation, the positive traits and the shadow side, and actions to take.

Part of the package includes the Minor Arcana – the four suits of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles, with their basic energy and elemental associations.

The three powers of the Tarot are listed as (1) Tarot is diagnostic, (2) Tarot is retroactive, and (3) Tarot is creative. It is through these avenues that we work with the Tarot to heal ourselves. Spreads included are Body/Mind/Spirit, When You’re Feeling Low, The Grief Spread, Twelve Steps To Freedom Spread, When You’ve Relapsed, When Your Loved One Is An Addict, Moving On, The Compass Spread, and When You’re Struggling To Make A Decision. There are also tips on creating your own spread.

Do you believe in magic? Miro and Reed do, and they have a wonderful section on placing magic into our lives, including creating magic, working with candle magic, and working with magical rituals.

Another wonderful tool is working with the enmagic,ergy of each year. Miro and Reed show us how to calculate the number for any given year, and associating it with the energy of each of the 22 Major Arcana.

“Tarot For Troubled Times” is all about doing the inner work, manifesting personal change, and then taking that change out into the world to effect global change. This is a powerful book, a book that shows us the path to self-empowerment. As a writer, I commend the author’s for the manner in which they present their work, and for their choice of words. Their work carries the expectation of a certain level of intelligence in their reading audience – bravo! Kudos to Miro and Reed for putting themselves on the front line for what the Tarot represents, and what we can accomplish through working with it!

© June 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written approval from the author.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2019 in Tarot

 

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Review: New Era Elements Tarot

New Era Elements Tarot

Author: Eleonore F. Pieper, Ph.D.
Artist: Eleonore F. Pieper, Ph.D.
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2018
ISBN #978-1572819214

“New Era Elements Tarot” is a traditional 78 card deck that is accompanied by a 116 page guidebook. The deck and guidebook come in a sturdy lift top box, with cutouts on the two longer sides of the top of the box to make it easier to lift off. The cover shows the image from the Daughter of Water. The bottom of the box shows information about the deck, along with small scans of the Father of Air and the Daughter of Fire.

The foundation (basis) of this deck was taken from both the Rider-Waite and Crowley-Harris traditions. Four things make this deck unique, and not so traditional. The suits are named after their associated elements – Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. The court cards are renamed Daughter, Son, Mother, and Father, and feature people from four distinct world cultures. For the Pips, the deck retains Crowley’s designations for each card (such as “Illusion” and “Victory”). The imagery on the cards has been updated to modern times.

The Major Arcana cards show either an elementary, planetary, or zodiac symbol, while the Pips show a planetary and zodiac correspondence. Each of the cards is presented in the guidebook as text only. Each card is listed by title, with correspondences, keywords, card meaning, and an exploration of the card. There are two lines for keywords: the “+” line is the card interpreted in the upright or well aspected position, while the “–“ line represents the card in a reversed position (or in a position in a spread that represents a blockage), or its shadow side. At the end of the book is a short section on reading the cards, and a six card New Era Elements Spread.

The cards are 2 ½” by 5”, and show a sepia-like coloring on the back, with imagery for the four elements in inter-connecting circles in the middle of the card. The card faces show a ¼ border, with the card title and number across the bottom of the card in white lettering. Two of the cards have been retitled: The Magician becomes The Magus, and Justice becomes Adjustment. Adjustment is 8, Strength is 11.

The deck is monochromatic, in sepia-like tones of brown. The imagery has been updated to reflect modern life, rather than the feudal system of traditional Tarot cards.

The Magus is a male dressed in a business suit, with a lemniscate symbol over his head, standing in front of a “for sale” sign. He has his hands in the air, juggling modern symbols such as CNN, FOX, the symbols for Facebook and Twitter, Botox and Pfizer.

The Hermit shows an older man, in a suit and cap, walking with a cane.

 

The Wheel of Fortune features cards and other games of chance.

 

The Ace of Fire shows elemental fire centered in a circle on the card, with associated astrological and planetary symbols above and below it.

 

The 10 of Fire (Oppression) features a Leopard sitting on a branch in a cage.

 

The 10 of Water (Repletion) features a quiet lake with ten boulders in the water. The Daughter of Water features a Maori girl, shown in traditional feather dress, wearing a fishhook pendant.

 

The Father of Earth features an older man in simple street cloths.

For myself, I prefer traditional decks, with traditional imagery. However, I do feel that this deck has a sense of calm to it, that it is easily read, and that it would appeal to people of all ages, from all backgrounds.

© September 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without permission of the author.

 

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Review – Pamela Colman Smith – The Untold Story

Pamela Colman Smith
The Untold Story

Author: Stuart R. Kaplan, Mary K. Greer, Elizabeth Foley O’Connor, Melinda Boyd Parsons
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2018
ISBN #978-1-57281-912-2

Where to start! “Pamela Colman Smith – The Untold Story” is a gorgeous, 440 page hard-bound book that is filled with wisdom, full color photos, and amazing inserts. It gifts us with a whole new perspective on this iconic lady! It is a large book (10.3” by 2.2” by 13.5”), written by four distinguished scholars (Stuart R. Kaplan, Mary K. Greer, Elizabeth Foley O’Connor, and Melinda Boyd Parsons). It includes: (1) over 400 color pictures of Pamela Coleman Smith’s non-Tarot work, (2) excerpts from her personal documents, correspondence, portraits and photographs, (3) rare archival material from leading museums and libraries (4) an extensive bibliography, (5) essays on the events and people in her life (such as Bram Stoker and Ellen Terry), and (6) a chronological survey of her folktales, art and poetry.

Before I begin my review, I would like to share a bit of information about the authors, so that the quality behind this book is understood. Stuart R. Kaplan is the founder of U.S. Games, and the gentleman who really brought the Tarot from Europe into the mainstream of the U.S. He is the author of “Tarot Cards for Fun and Fortune Telling”, and co-author, with Jean Huets, of volumes I-IV of “The Encyclopedia of Tarot”.

Mary K. Greer is a Tarot scholar, writer (her books include “Tarot For Yourself” and “Tarot Reversals”), speaker, professional Tarot consultant, and featured speaker at Tarot conferences in the U.S. and abroad.

Elizabeth Foley O’Connor is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington College, where she teaches classes in modernism, twentieth century British literature, postcolonial literature, and journalism. Her published work on Pamela Colman Smith includes the articles “‘We Disgruntled Devils Don’t Please Anyone: Pamela Colman Smith, The Green Sheaf, and Female Literary Networks”, and “Pamela Colman Smith’s Performative Primitivism”.

Melinda Boyd Parsons is a retired  Professor of Art History at the University of Memphis, whose published work includes “The Rediscovery of Pamela Colman Smith”, and “To all believers : the art of Pamela Colman Smith” (exhibited at the Delaware Art Museum, and The Art Museum, Princeton University).

In the Tarot world, we think of “Pixie” as the artist behind the Rider-Waite Tarot – but she was so much more! This book covers her personal history (early childhood and life in Jamaica), her work in miniature theater, her life as an art student, and her various personal projects.

There is an amazing section with work that most of us would not have seen before on her writing, poetry, and artwork. We are gifted with full color photos and text of her art and stories that could clearly make a stand alone book on their own!

We see Pixie in terms of her Tarot work, her work in film and media, her part in the mid-20th century Tarot Renaissance, how she fit in with A.E. Waite and the Golden Dawn Society, along with critical commentaries on her work.

There is an addendum at the end of the book that shows her birth and death certificate, an article that she wrote entitled “Should The Art Student Think?”, a black and white image of a brochure from 1911 from William Rider and Son’s advertising Tarot cards, Pixie’s passport application, a full page photo, and more. This is followed by an extensive bibliography.

Pixie was a woman for all seasons. Born in England, she lived for many years in Jamaica, where she recorded Jamaican folk tales and music. She was an artist and illustrator who attended the Pratt Institute (she is primarily known in the Tarot world for her work on the Rider-Waite Tarot cards), was involved in the theater in both an acting and a costume design capacity, and had forays into printing and publishing (she was a pioneer in publishing, founding the literary magazine The Green Sheaf). Her acquaintances included actress Ellen Terry, author Bram Stoker, poet and mystic A.E. Waite, photographer and promoter Alfred Stieglitz, actor Henry Irving, and poet W.B. Yeats.

“Pamela Colman Smith” is both an iconic work, and a very scholarly work. A great deal of time, energy, and thought has gone into it. Each of the four authors speak in their own voice, in their own section. Beginning with the cover, which shows a well-known photo of Pixie, with the title in gold inlay lettering, we are presented with quality and class. The front and back covers, with their facing pages, show male and female figures in colorful dress.

Throughout the book, at the sides and bottom of many pages, we see small artwork done in all black, monochromatic, and full color. It is eye catching, and amazingly well done. I had to ask what the term for this is – they are called “spot illustrations”.  In this book you will find material that has not been shared before, and that will give you a broader view of Pamela Colman Smith, her work, and how she fit into her times. This is a reference book all on its own! Many thanks to the authors for gifting us with such an in-depth, high quality work.

Many thanks to Stuart R. Kaplan for allowing me to share scans of the visual material from this book.

© August 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2018 in Tarot

 

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Review: Pholarches Tarot

Pholarchos Tarot

Author: Carmen Sorrenti
Artist: Carmen Sorrenti
Published by Arnell’s Art
2018
ISBN #978-1-5323-6489-1

 IMG_1781

Some of my favorite decks – decks that I might otherwise not have known about – have come to me through the auspices of my friend artist/author Arnell Ando. Such is the case with the Pholarchos Tarot. (I need to note that the copy that I am reviewing is an advanced copy –  currently the deck is only open to preorder (http://www.arnellart.com/carmen-tarot.htm).

This is a 78 card, Limited First Edition deck, accompanied by a 40 page companion booklet. The deck and companion booklet come in a sturdy lift top box. The suits are: Sparks (Wands), Spirals (Pentacles), Wings (Swords) and Coral (Water). The Court Cards are Dreamer (Page), Trail (Knight), Queen and King. The Major Arcana carry traditional titles, with Justice as 8 and Strength as 11.  

Pholarchos back

The cards are 3 ½” by 5”, of sturdy, semi-gloss, smooth finish card stock. The card backs carry an esoteric themed image, which is not reversible. The card faces have a ¼” black border. The Major Arcana show the card number (in Arabic numerals) and title in small white lettering, centered across the bottom of the card, or in one of the four corners. The Minor Arcana show the number (in Arabic numerals) and card suit, in small white lettering, in either in one of the four corners, or centered across the top or the bottom of the card. The Court Cards have the card title and suit in small white letters in one of the four corners of the card.

There are some interesting things to note – one of which is that the art medium is acrylic painting. The Aces are done in shades of gray and white, each showing a face with the eyes loosely covered with some type of scarf. The Trails are all also done in shades of gray and white. The overall impression of all of the cards is that of a fluid, imaginary world. There is a flowing to the art, rather than solid definition. I am a traditionalist when it comes to Tarot, but I do thoroughly enjoy these cards.

The companion booklet reflects the author’s ability to walk in the worlds of alchemy, mythology, dreamwork, astrology, and Tarot.  In her introduction she talks about coming from mountains that plunge into the sea, where the elements are forceful, and myths are dear. She shares the following quote from Charles Laughlin: “A society’s cosmology and symbolic system is ultimately the product of the creative imagination of its people.” This thought process has clearly been brought to the fore in this deck! Sorrenti talks about passion being with us all of the time, animating everything. This is so true!

The names of the suits are listed, along with a short explanation of them:

Sparks:  Here essence sparks into life, potency ignites. (In alchemy hints at calcinatio, trial by fire.)

Spirals: Incarnation spirals in and spirals back out, breathes in and breathes out. (In alchemy hints at coagulatio, trial by earth.)

Wings: Soar through realms of consciousness, conceive reality. (In alchemy hints at sublimatio, trial by air.)

Coral: Once a year, all coral around the globe spawns in unison by the flux of the August full moon, love’s orchestration. (In alchemy hints at solutio, trial by water.)

Each card is presented by number and title, number and suit, or title and suit, along with a short paragraph. Scans are not included with each of the cards, but full page, full color scans of the following cards are included:  The Lovers, Strength, Star, Dreamer of Spirits, King of Spirals, 10 of Wings, and 10 of Coral.

Pholarchos Tarot Ace of Sparks

Ace of Sparks

… that which ignites potency, engenders vision, pumps action. The trinity of flame, Aries child of Mars, Leo beloved of the Sun, Sag fledging of Jupiter. Here roars conquest, the spark of creation, what can you imagine, and what can you become? Hoodwinked, it is still every potential gaining speed, exhilaration, faith, reverberating flashes of excitement.

Pholarchos Tarot Dreamer of Wings

Dreamer of Wings

She’s often busy championing the underdog babies and she offers classes on the theory of knowledge – she can tightrope her way out of argument or convince you to play the spoons, eat parchment, celebrate your birthday at the opposite end of the year … and she may lend you thaumaturgical words for a rough night.

Pholarchos Tarot Strength

Strength

Inside your belly. The lion’s hunger insatiable, its eyes yellow alarm, claws ready-made scythes. It will not hesitate to rip right through you and make a mockery of your life in order to find food. It will have you unless you turn and look into those eyes, offer of yourself. Exchange on its own terms. Then it will, like the cards of old, open its mouth for you and let you take what you need when you need it. Your resolve and your fortitude must shine forth. Do not think you can bypass the wild center – it generates your will to live. Etch its mane somewhere along the castle walls, feed it the flesh of your devotion, practice touching your molton core.

 

Carmen-1-magician-100

The Magician

Mercurius, male and female both, orchestrator and instrument, dreamer and dreamed, begins the alchemical operations, that each voice may partake in the great unfolding. The male head drinks from the wolf and her moon while the female head sips the dragon and his sun; thus oppoites unite. The sky measures time that we may know what is ripe and what is moving – stones, waves, roots will do the same if you can perceive the echo.

Carmen-18-moon-100

The Moon

She may open a vein of longing to last for generations or take you back further than the usual couple thousand years; a bridge to a much older time. You find it in the dreaming, all those voices. we’re in that boat again. A man demonstrates an elemental feat, makes striking sounds instead of words, becomes the night. Mesmerized, you ride the swell of magnified feeling, Dionysian, electric. Our captain docks with her eyes closed as she considers those teachers that work with the Other side. She senses land mass changes through the ages, sees that piece of curve and strait while deep within she hears: the sea the sea the sea. How many turnings of pattern and labyrinth can you float in at once?

 

Carmen-trail8-wings-100

Trial of Wings

Just step through that small portal and meet the psychopomps who will ferry your journeys back and forth between the worlds. Do not be afraid, you travel every night – this is the way of things and the raven has your back. In air, you will be led to calm the frenzied mind or to brilliant argument or question: who is being dreamed?

Carmen-2-sparks-100

2 of Sparks

Gallop on my back, as hooves strike the cymbal of your rounded soul. Yearn for me. I am your West, your undiscovered territory, your untamable song of plenty, unchartered far horizon, the percussive calling of your life.

Carmen-12-hanged-100

The Hanged One

An archaic lineage comes calling. It is your turn to allow control to flood away, not knowing who you will be when it returns. The great river rushes through you. You are not alone in this surrender and everything moves in surprising ways. Ancient memory may return that you have been this way before at another turning of your soul’s necessity. Paulina risked being burned at the stake for bringing the queen back to life. She waited sixteen years for it to be the right moment. And her only words to the expectant and condemning crowd were: “It is required you do awake your faith”. And so the tale of winter becomes the tale of hope.

 

Each time you return to these cards you see something new – a new symbol, a nuance of color and flow. These cards can be used in all types of readings, but I would also recommend them for meditating and journeying. Do this only when you are ready for the journey!

© April 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2018 in Tarot

 

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Review: TarotNav – A GPS For Life

TarotNav – A GPS For Life

Developed By: Linda Marson
Artwork: Images from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems Inc.
GlobalSpiritualStudies.com
2017

 

I have followed Taroist Linda Marson’s “TarotNav – A GPS For Life” from its inception. Her work is incisive, inclusive, and a tremendous resource for an individual to take control of their own life through the energies in each of the 78 cards of the Tarot. Using her own lifelong experience in reading the Tarot for herself, Marson has created a set of 23 videos (based on the Major Arcana), with an accompanying e-book, that act to help the reader work through everything from life changing issues to simple, everyday life. The material in the videos was drawn from Marson’s “Ticket, Passport and Tarot Cards” 2006 TV series (which was based on a book by the same name that used stories of Marson’s travels around the world to explain the meaning of the 22 Tarot trumps).  

Each video is from 7-10 minutes long, which makes them very easy to work with. What better way to help interpret cards that may be giving you difficulty in a reading. Or, what better way to choose a card (or cards) to work with on specific issues!  There is an overview of the basic energy of each card, as well as how the directions that evolved from  “TarotNav – A GPS For Life” readings have actually played out in life.

Background from The Lovers video:

Here you see the Hindsight Spread which I designed as a way of reflecting on decisions made in the past. This opens the way for your TarotNav GPS to set you on a path where only the positive aspects of the past repeat themselves. In 2014, I used the Hindsight Spread to reflect on a decision in 2009 to spend a year studying Kabbalah. I knew the decision was right for me at the time, but it was fascinating to see a fuller picture emerge from the reading, one that reminded me of the importance of that decision and how I should keep using the map of the Tree of Life as a reference point in my life.”

What I consider to be a real bonus are two videos that demonstrate popular Tarot layouts – the Celtic Cross and the Horseshoe Spread.

The “TarotNav –A GPS For Life” e-book (51 pages) consists of basic meanings for all 78 cards, navigation tools or road maps … a series of layouts and guides to navigating your way through anything that life throws at you, and a workbook/journal for you to keep track of the questions you ask, the readings you do and the action you take as a result. (Marson notes that documenting your journey is an important element of the TarotNaving process.) The journal can be downloaded from the site as either a Microsoft Word document, or as a PDF. If the reader is working with the USB drive, Marson recommends printing out the e-book.

Note: The journal entries  include the readers name, the date, the layout used, the area of life being addressed, the question, a photo of the cards in the layout, an interpretation, a summary of the interpretation, an action plan based on the reading, how many time the question has been asked, the dates it was asked, what has happened since the question was asked previously, any recurring cards, and any other thoughts.

There is a choice of how “TarotNav – A GPS For Life” is delivered. You can purchase it on a USB flash drive (approximately 6 GB), or you can download it as files. More information (and sample videos) can be found here: https://globalspiritualstudies.com/product/tarotnav-a-gps-for-life/.

I am impressed with the ease of using this material – and I have to say that I adore the music used in the videos (from Canadian composer Rejean Paquin). There are printed instructions that come with the USB drive. Marson notes that the material can be downloaded onto a hard drive for easy reference, but she also notes that this is copyright material that should be respected – i.e. it cannot be reproduced or shared without written permission from her. This is common sense, and she delivers the message in a tactful, gracious manner. I hope that everyone who purchases this delightful life tool will act appropriately.

Note: Kudos to Marson’s daughter Marion Marson for the beautiful logo for “TarotNav – A GPS For Life”.

© December 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2017 in Tarot

 

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Review: The Spiritsong Tarot

Spiritsong Tarot

Author: Paulina Cassidy
Artist: Paulina Cassidy
U.S. Games Systems Inc.
2017
ISBN #978-1572818231

Spiritsong Tarot cover

The “Spiritsong Tarot”, by Paulina Cassidy, is a 78 card deck, accompanied by a 105 page guidebook, that follows the traditional framework of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards. Cassidy, whose work includes the Joie de Vivre Tarot, the Paulina Tarot, the Witchlings oracle, and the Faerie Guidance oracle, has added yet another level to the Tarot by placing animal guides in each card to act as gateways between the physical world and the spiritual world. Her selection was based on both Shamanic and Native American symbolism, matching the animal to the traditional attributes of the card. The cards and deck come packaged in a hard cardboard lift top box, with the image of the card Strength on the top of the box, and information about the deck on the bottom.

The Major Arcana retain their traditional titles, with the exception of The Fool, which becomes The Traveller; the Hierophant, which becomes the Shaman; the Lovers, which becomes Love; The Wheel of Fortune, which becomes The Wheel; Death, which becomes Transformation; The Devil, which becomes The Shadow; and Judgment, which becomes Awakening. Strength is VIII, Justice is X. The suits are Acorns/Wands, Shells/Cups, Feathers/Swords, and Crystals/Pentacles. The court cards carry the traditional titles of King, Queen, Knight, and Page.

Spiritsong Tarot card back

The cards are 3” by 5”. The card backs are a lovely antique white, with brownish lotus like imagery going up the center of the card.The card faces have a ¼” outer border, with a thin black border around the imagery. The card title is at the bottom, surround by delicate artwork. The Major Arcana title includes the card number and title, with two keywords in smaller letters under it. The pips (numbered cards) include the card number (written out) with the suit, with two keywords under it, in smaller letters. The Court Cards include the court title and suit, with two keywords in smaller letters under it. While I normally do not like to see keywords on a card, the fact that they are written in small lettering to me makes them acceptable, as they do not really “claim place” in the card. The artwork is fantasy style, with a pastel color palette.

 

 

 

 

The Ace of Acorns features the Ram as the animal guide. Keywords are “creative force” and “confidence”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ace of Feathers features the Goat as the animal guide. Keywords are “mental clarity” and “foundation”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eight of Shells features the Starfish as the animal guide, with the keywords “quest” and “renewal”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Empress features the Rabbit as the animal guide, with “beauty” and “abundance” as the keywords.

 

 

 

 

In the introduction to the guidebook, Cassidy talks about bringing together the world of Tarot, and the world of animal guides. She also talks about the elemental signs, and the four suits and their attributes. Each card is presented with the card title, the animal guide associated with it, the cards message, keywords, reversed message, and reversed keywords. No images are included.  At the end of the guidebook is a section on connecting with the cards, as well as templates for the following spreads: The Spiritsong Star Spread, the Spiritsong Healing Spread, the Spiritsong Tree of Life Spread, a One Card Oracle Reading and a Three Card Oracle Reading. There are two blank pages at the very end for notes.

I love the gentle nature of the pastel coloring and the fantasy artwork, and the wonderful manner in which animal guides are introduced. This deck can be used for such diverse purposes as divination, meditation, card a day guidance, and personal growth (to name a few). It would also work well in a comparative reading, where the same cards are pulled from two or more decks, placed in the same template, and read together.

 © November 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2017 in Tarot

 

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