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Review: Tarot Kaizen

Tarot Kaizen

Author: Alison Cross
Self-published
2016
ASIN  B01N7NS80Z

Tarot Kaizen cover

Kaizen is a Japanese term that derives from the business world.
“Kaizen” literally means “change for the better” and as a
business philosophy it has come to represent a philosophy based
on small changes that lead to overall continual improvement. Not
a bad philosophy or life, is it!
 

This is what we at Tarot Kaizen seek to do with our Tarot deck:
through small daily exercises we will work towards
incorporating the symbolism and meaning of a new deck into
our Tarot knowledge.
(from the book)

 In her introduction, Cross talks about decks that we as Tarot readers/aficionados tend to collect. We love our decks, but once we have them we may not, for whatever reason, work with them. She set up the Facebook group Tarot Kaizen to show people how to move their decks into the working deck category. The group itself has been running or about five years, but only runs once or twice a year. To that end, Cross collected all of the daily exercises used in the group into this e-book, so that individuals can begin this work any time they want to, whether a group is running or not.

This book contains over 100 daily exercises – it is suggested that the exercises be worked with on Monday – Friday, taking weekends off. On Monday – Thursday a new card will be worked with every day. On Friday Cross provides the reader with a 3-5 card spread so that they can work with the cards as they learn them, and that they have an opportunity to work with cards that they have not yet studied. Friday is also a review day, in that the reader determines which cards they like, which ones they are ambivalent about, and which ones they do not like. I love the advice that Cross gives he reader  at the end of their studies, if they do not like the deck they have been working with, they should set it aside (as opposed to selling it). In a few months time, take another look at the deck. You may find that it has grown on you!

What do you need you work with the Tarot Kaizen system? Time, this e-book, a Tarot deck, and a Tarot journal. (I will also add “the commitment to follow through”.)

I was pleasantly surprised to see that for some of the exercises the reader is required to write a Haiku! I have limited experience with Haiku’s, so I am really looking forward to this! Links are provided to show how this is done.

Okay – Here’s a concept that is completely new to me – Pidgin Tarot! What the heck? Pidgin is a combination of words, sounds, and body language from multiple languages and cultures. It is used to form a relationship between different pieces of information – in the case of the Tarot, it is usually associations made for numbers and Tarot suits. What Cross has done is thrown together keywords for the numbers and keywords for the suits. This allows the reader to apply the same principles to any deck. Yes!

I love how the exercises begin – with a “Flick Through” of the deck (come on – we all do this with a new/new to us deck!). An interesting thought presented here is that if the reader is not quite sure which deck they want to use in the exercise, to do the Flick Through with multiple decks, in order to see which one they really want to work with.

The exercises are short, with simple, easy to follow instructions. Divide you cards into three piles: attract, repel, and meh. Interview your deck. Establish the themes and systems within your deck for the Major Arcana. Establish the themes and quaternities (sets of four, such as the seasons). Determine your birth card. (I use the dual Birth Card system, which can be applied here.) Putting together the energy of a Court Card with the energy of the Suit. What does the Empress mean to you?  Write a Haiku.

Cross has a writing style that is very personable. You feel like she is in the room, egging you on (ummm Encouraging you!). You feel like you are in a very special space, doing magical work that is important to you, and getting to know yourself and your cards.

I am using this system to get to know my newest deck, the Third Edition of the Daniloff Tarot. It will be interesting, because this deck has extra cards, so I will be making up some of my own exercises!

Tarot Kaizen is a very special tool to add to your Tarot resources! How far you can go with it depends only on how far you are willing to go, how far you are willing to open your thinking about the Tarot, and your willingness to keep a commitment to doing the work.

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

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2017 in Tarot

 

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Review – Pithy Tarot:Quick and Easy Meanings For Tarot Cards

Pithy Tarot –
Quick and Easy Meanings For Tarot Cards

Author: James Ricklef
KnightHawk Books
Third Edition
2017
ISBN #978-154118899-0

pithy-tarot-review

I have followed James Ricklef’s work from way back when – from the days of his incredible “Ask KnightHawk” column, to his Tarot books (Tarot Tells The Tale (re-released as Tarot Reading Explained), Tarot: Get the Whole Story, Tarot Affirmations, The Soul’s Journey, and Tarot Spreads: Get The Whole Story), his Tarot coloring book (I have one – great fun to play with!), and his Tarot deck Tarot of the Masters.

 This is the third edition of the Pithy Tarot. What exactly is the Pithy Tarot? It is an incredible resource that presents easy to remember meanings and interpretations for the 78 cards of the Tarot. The intention is to stimulate further personal insights for the reader. They act as a jumping off place, if you will, for integrating the Tarot into real life. There is a whole range of meanings – from amusing (even us Cappies need to be amused from time to time!), to profound, to inspirational. They come from diverse sources, sources that will appeal to each of us in our own way. Words carry power – it is not wrong to say that this is a powerful book!

In his introduction Ricklef explains why he chose to use “pithy” meanings for the cards. They are not meant to encompass the cards, but to point towards a deeper meaning, and to encourage the readers exploration. This book began as posts in Ricklef’s blog. Soon people began to ask him to gather the meanings into a book … and so he did! Some of the meanings are meant to give advice, some to act as spiritual insights, and some act as warnings.

Ricklef’s suggestions on how to use the Pithy Tarot meanings include advice for the day, a caution or warning for the day, a card that can act to help interpret the events of the day, or pondering the message and allowing your imagination to take you where it will.

For each of the cards, pithy meanings are given, along with suggestions on how to us them in your life. For example, some of the meanings given for the Fool are: Look before you leap, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” (Alexander Pope), and Do not be afraid to march to the beat of a different drummer.

Some of the meanings given for the Wheel of Fortune are: Change is the only constant in life. (paraphrased from Heraclitus), What goes around comes around, Shit happens. Get over it, and There you go again.

Some of the meanings for the Ace of Cups include: Before all else, see love first, Love yourself, and Listen to the wisdom of your heart.

Some of the meanings for the King of Pentacles include: Money talks, Believe in your ability to be abundant, and A man’s home is his castle.

In his appendix Ricklef talks about creating meanings from quotes, proverbs, and traditional sayings. He notes that what the reader creates for themselves will be special to them because they have a bit of the reader’s heart and mind in them.

On the back cover, Ricklef notes that brief, catchy meanings will tend to stick in the readers memory much more easily than lengthier explanations. This book is fun to work with, and encourages the reader to come up with their own pithy meanings.

Note: The “Pithy Tarot” page can be found here.

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

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Tarot

 

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Review – Trionfi della Luna Tarot

Trionfi della Luna
333

Artist: Patrick Valenza
Self-published
Deviant Moon Inc.
2016

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The Trionfi della Luna 333 is a 78 card Marseilles-style deck, with 10 bonus cards, an 2 alternate cards (Diavolo/Devil and Fulmine/Tower). (It is a cousin to the Deviant Moon Tarot.) The cards come in a flip-top box, wrapped in a stunning gold printed art wrapper that is signed on the back. (I am going to frame mine to hang in my office.) A little added flavor was the Devil card that was tucked into the wrapper! I opened the wrapper very, very carefully – it was folded with expert care, so that I could take it off in one piece, with no tears, and keep “forever”!

  • The bonus cards are numbered I-X.

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The deck itself evolved from a series of spontaneous ink drawings created on the wrappers of signed Deviant Moon Tarot decks. This was originally a majors only deck – I am so happy that Patrick decided to complete it! There is a downloadable LWB on the Deviant Moon site (or there will be soon – it was not up yet when I started this review).

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All of the titles in this deck are in Italian, with the suits entitled Spade (Swords), Bastoni (Wands), Coppe (Cups), and Danari (Pentacles). The Court cards are entitled Re (King), Regina (Queen), Caval (Knight), and Fante (Page). The Two of Pentacles follows form for a Marseilles deck and carries the information for the printer (Deviant Moon, New York).

 

 

 

 

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The cards are 2 ¾” by 4 ¾”. The backs are burgundy, with cream colored quarter moons within a diamond shape, and are reversible. The card faces show a ½” antique white border, followed by a thinner black border. The background for the images is an antique cream color. For the Major Arcana, the number is at the top of the card, in Roman numerals. The card title is at the bottom of the card, in Italian. For the Court cards, the title and suit are across the bottom of the card. As this is a Marseilles-style deck, the Minor Arcana show icons only, with the card number, in Roman numerals, centered on either side of the card.

The art style is uniquely Deviant Moon – strange creatures, other-worldly landscapes, and a sense of “in your face” reality. Bad dreams type reality! Perhaps I should say “surreal”, as opposed to reality! The background is medieval combined with 19th century lined illustrations.

 

Whatever it is – it works! It took me a long time to get used to the Deviant Moon Tarot, but once I was over that little bump in the road, I wanted every deck that Patrick could ever conceive of putting out there!

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We see La Papessa standing on a pile of books, with flames behind her. La Giustizia (Justice) stands with her sword and scales in an almost menacing manner. I love the eye that takes center stage in La Ruota (the Wheel of Fortune). Interesting that in the Re di Spade (King of Swords) he holds in front of him a shining sword, yet the sword that he holds behind him drips blood, There is a fire behind him, and the quarter moon in the sky drips blood.

 

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The Ten of Swords shows eight curved swords, with two straight swords in the middle, dripping blood. The Regina de Bastoni (Queen of Wands) shows the figure facing the left hand side of the card, with ghost faces behind her. The Fante di Dinari (Page of Pentacles) is quite the interesting figure, as it is shown running after the Pentacle icon, which has wings.

 

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of Patrick’s work. It is innovative, and exciting. I think that you will all enjoy this deck!

I am going to put in a plug here for the book that Patrick wrote concerning his journey with the Tarot, and how his art evolved. It is a huge, amazing book, and you all need to read it! It is called the Deviant Moon Tarot Book (U.S. Games Systems, Inc., 2015).

© December 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2016 in Tarot

 

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My Tarot World

This is the inaugural post for my new Tarot blog. I decided to start a blog that was dedicated to working with the Tarot, rather than mixing those posts in with my reviews. The reviews will remain on my other site – – http://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com/, and, of course, on http://aeclectic.net/tarot.

There are a couple of very interesting things going on right now in the Tarot world – both of which originated in the delightful imagination of Tarotist Amethyst Mahoney! Amethyst asked individuals within the Tarot community if they wished to participate in a Valentine’s Day Give-Away, and she got a resoundingly positive result! Many Tarotists on both sides of the pond have contributed articles, spreads, stories, and e-books – all free for downloading! (In honor of transparency, yes, I contributed an e-book to the mix myself! Blatant self-promotion!) You can see how to get the download here: http://amethysttarot.com/valentines-day-giveaway/#.
Amethyst is working with Mary Nale and “Attune Magazine” on a very special Valentine’s Day edition! This will contain many more contributions from the Tarot community. Check that out here – http://attunemagazine.blogspot.com/.

I have come across a Tarot blog that I think is equal parts wisdom, humor, and professionalism, and I would like to share it with you – http://moderndayruth.wordpress.com/, by Lena Ruth Stefanovic. Read down to her descriptions of the types of Tarot readers, and the people that come to them. Absolutely hysterical!

© February 2012 Bonnie Cehovet

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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