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Review – The World

The World

Author: Robin Wildt Hansen
Kindle
2015
ASIN #B00Q20ZC7I

The World Cover

“I stand in front of my desk, feeling five pairs of eyes watching me
in the candle light. I point one hand upwards towards the sky,
and the other down towards the earth.”
~ Robin Wildt Hansen

When I sat down to write this review, I knew that I was going to use the term “Tarot sci-fi”. Even though I have since come to know that the “real” term for this type of writing would be “magical realism”, Tarot sci-fi certainly fits. Hansen has taken the Tarot Major Arcana, and used them as a background for writing about the initiatory process. The reader is taken into magical worlds, which contain magical elements, with the aid of a protagonist that inhabits the real world.

We are introduced to Hansen’s protagonist, Arkin, who is a high school age boy whose mental state borders on schizophrenia. His touchstone is numbers – everything around him must be in even numbers – the instability of the odd number having the potential to create danger. His books in his room at home are all placed in piles of eight – this is how it should be.

Arkin experiences a breakdown while at a party with his friends from school. When he wakes up, he finds himself still at his friend’s house, being addressed by his friend’s father, John Francis, who is a psychiatrist. He is offered help, if he is willing to be admitted to the psychiatric ward where Dr. Francis practices. In the end, Arkin decides to agree to be admitted. Here he meets another doctor, Dr. Memphis, who wants to put Arkin on traditional therapy.

Arkin is admitted for observation, and makes the choice to work with Dr. Francis, in his spiritual healing program. Dr. Memphis, however, insists on the stipulation that if Arkin dies within the next five years, his brain goes to Dr. Memphis for study.

The scenarios that follow present the path of initiation through the Major Arcana of the Tarot. The reader moves in and out of the physical world, into spiritual/magical worlds where wisdom comes at a price. The reader’s perception of what is real and what is not is tested, sometimes in very surreal ways. Anyone who has journeyed, or who has worked on personal initiation, understands that letting go of reality, and being willing to experience alternate realities (madness, if you will) is necessary for personal empowerment.

Tarot per se is not referred to in this book, except as the basis for each chapter. It would be helpful if the reader had a strong background in the Tarot, and some idea about the initiatory process, before they read this book. Otherwise, the story, as good as it is, is simply a story.

This is an excellent novel, very well written, with a solid basis in the Tarot, and with a solid understanding of the initiatory process. It will expand the thinking of the reader, and perhaps help them to see both the Tarot and themselves in a little different light.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2015 in fiction books, Tarot

 

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Review: Marseille Tarot – Towards the Art of Reading

Marseille Tarot –
Towards the Art of Reading

Author: Camelia Elias
EyeCorner Press
2015
ISBN #978-87-92633-42-2

Marseile Tarot cover

“If the cards address the querent’s issues in a
very direct manner, then they do so because
there is a question to begin with.”
~ Camelia Elias

I love Elias’ very direct approach to things – even though it sometimes has me mumbling to myself, and even though I don’t always agree with her. Let’s start at the beginning – Elias’ stated purpose with this book is to cover the following four basic questions:

  1. Why do we read cards?
  2. What’s so special about the Marseille Tarot?
  3. How can the cards uncover our blind spots?
  4. What does it mean to live a magical life, when we allow the stories that the cards tell us to offer solutions to our real problems?

The images in this book are from Carolus Zoya’s Tarot de Marseille, a rare Tarot deck made in Turin at the end of 1700. The deck is from the private collection of K. Frank Jensen, and the images are being used with his permission.

Elias notes that context is everything, and that the answer to the question unfolds from the question itself via the images in the cards. In her readings she combines the cunning-folk method of reading (based on making logical inferences about the meaning of the cards) with the visual argument method (which relies on the subjective and individual art of perceiving).

“Marseille Tarot” features full-length readings, based on real-life tarot consultations, which is a tremendous boon to understanding Elias’ method of reading. The stories that evolve in Elias’ readings are based on first hand observation of the categories of Embodiment (human, animal, celestial), Function (to lead, to split, to cut, to illuminate), Gesture (sitting, walking, pointing, howling), and Voice (silence, loudness, beyond the verbal).

Each card is presented with a full color scan, a short discourse on the card and its function, a short question (with three cards drawn in response, all presented as full color scans), an interpretation of the cards, keywords for the card being discussed, function for the card being discussed, health indicators, and public life.

Sample questions include: The Fool – “Can I trust my partner?”, The Charioteer – “What is my strength?”, and The Moon – “I would like to buy a new house for my family. Is this a good time?”

Functions include: The Popess (cunning woman, study), The Lovers (partnership, dividing), Strength (overpowering, dominating, enduring), and Temperance (measuring, moderating, regulating).

Health indicators include: The Magician (stress, nervous agitation, migraines), Justice (respiratory problems), and The Devil (binding, enslaving, manipulating).

Public life includes: Death (with Justice, forensics analyst), The Stars (with The Moon, a spa), and Judgment (with The Hermit, gurus).

There is note made of color and numbers, and how they apply to the cards.

For the Court cards, Kings are seen as symbols of power, Queens as emblems of truth, Knights as Emblems of development, and Pages as symbols of initiation.

At the end of the book we see several readings interpreted.

The card images are full color, and gorgeous! This book is well written, beautifully formatted, with a stunning full color interior and a list of references that impresses! It is packed with information that is meant to be put to use. Whether you are a beginning student, a Tarot Sage, or somewhere in-between, you will find wisdom and value in this book.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2015 in Tarot

 

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Chocolates Starring At The Northwest Tarot Symposium!

chocolate

Image “borrowed” from Casey Scanlon on Facebook! She is the lovely lady that will be manning the vendor table with the chocolates!

I am sure the chocolates got your attention! Jadzia and Jay DeForest (founders of Devera Publishing) are presenting what we all hope will be an annual event this coming March – the Northwest Tarot Symposium. The focus, however, is not limited to Tarot – also included are oracles and the Lenormand. The Northwest Tarot Symposium (NWTS) will be held at the Monarch Hotel in Portland, Oregon, March 6th – 8th 2015.

This years presenters include Barbara Moor, James Wanless, Julie Cuccia-Watts, Jadzia DeForest, Jay DeForest, Jaymi Elford, Toni Gilbert, Miriam Jacobs, Mellissae Lucia, Marcia McCord, Heather Mendel, Teresa Michelsen, Carrie Paris, Christine Payne-Towler, Leeza Robertson and Amy Barilla, Casey Scanlon, Major Tom Schick and Valentina Burton, Pamela Steele, Carmen Waterman, Courtney Weber, and Katrina Wynne.

There will be vendors carrying books, cards, decks, ritual tools, jewelry, crystals, statuary, Tarot boxes, aromatherapy sprays, chocolates (ilk, dark, and white), learning cards, and more!

A potlatch table will be available, where people can place decks and books to be given away, or they can pick up a deck or book that they may not have, but are interested in.

Pamela Steele (The Steele Wizard Tarot, The Wizard’s Pets Tarot) is the driving force behind an incredible silent art auction – this will be a first for me, and I am really looking forward to it!

Enough for now! Check all of this out, then make your reservations post haste! Hope to see you all there!

Event Page on Facebook – Northwest Tarot Symposium

Community Page on Facebook – Northwest Tarot Symposium

Internet Site – NW Tarot Symposium

Northwest Tarot Symposium – Registration

(c) 2000 – 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Tarot

 

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Review – Wizard’s Pets Tarot

The Wizard’s Pets Tarot

Author: Pamela Steele
Artist: Pamela Steele
Devera Publishing
2014

The-Wizards-Pet-Tarot-Pamela-Steele-

“Awaken your inner Wisdom.
Believe in yourself.
Connect to your highest truth.”

(The ABC’s of Tarot.

The Wizard’s Pets Tarot is the latest deck from artist/author Pamela Steele (The Wizard’s Tarot). The kit contains a 78 card playing card size deck that follows the Rider/Waite/Smith tradition, a companion book, and a black and white coloring book. The box is heavy duty cardboard, with a magnetic close on the right hand side. The cover shows a pictures of The Fool, while the back contains information about the deck, along with quotes from Den Elder, Juno Lucina, and Erik C. Dunne.

The thought process for this lovely deck evolved from the antics of Steele’s children when they were young. It started with the painting of a baby dragon as a gift for a baby shower, which morphed into requests for dragons doing all sorts of things! In 2010, Steele wrote and illustrated three children’s books (incredible books!) based on dragon characters. In 2012 Steele’s then nine year old granddaughter asked for a Tarot deck. When told she would have to wait (Steele could not find a deck that she felt was appropriate for children), Paige (Steele’s granddaughter) asked her grandmother to make a deck for her. What grandmother could refuse! And so … we have the Wizard’s Pets Tarot!

The companion book starts out with a foreword from Kim Huggens (The Complete Guide to the Tarot Illuminati). She talks about falling in love with the Tarot at the age of nine, and her desire for a deck that she could relate to. In the “Wizard’s Pets Tarot”, Huggens has found a deck that appeals to her inner child, and calls the cards playful, mystical, and welcoming. She talks about the immersive world that Steele has created with this deck, and the magic and wisdom contained within. Seriousness, combined with playfulness, joy, and creativity.

Also included in the companion book are sections on What Is Tarot?, Tarot Myths and Truths, Tarot Ethics, caring for your Tarot deck, Asking Questions, and more. Spreads include a three card Past/Present/Future spread, a four card Decision Making Spread, the six card Soul Quest spread, and the ten card Celtic Cross spread.

Each card is presented with a color photo, a few words on the nature of the card, Guidelines, Reversed, and Instincts (questions for the individual being read for). Note: in all transparency, I need to let readers know that I had the honor to develop the questions for each card.

IMG

The cards are 2 ½” by 3 ½”, with a lovely linen finish. The backs feature a black background, with a slender blue inner border, followed by a wider green border in a celtic pattern, and a slim lavender inner border. In the center we see two trees of life, mirrored to each other, so that the card is reversible. The card faces are free of borders, and show the card title/suit at the bottom. The artwork follows the Rider/Waite/Smith pattern, with some cards given over to delightful dragons.

Wizard's Pets Tarot_0002

The Magician carries the thought “As you think, you create.” The guidelines talk about creating through desire, and manifesting thought into form. Reversed talks about misuse of abilities and talents. Instincts includes the question “What do you want to create in your life?”

Wizard's Pets Tarot_0003

The Hermit carries the thought “Your heart knows the truth.” The guidelines talk about confidence and inner wisdom. Reversed talks about immaturity, and rejection of wisdom. Instincts includes the question “What are you refusing to listen to?”

Wizard's Pets Tarot_0004

Judgement carries the thought “Time to reinvent yourself.” The guidelines talk about awakening on many levels. Reversed talks about ear of change. Instincts includes the question “Why do you doubt yourself?”

Wizard's Pets Tarot_0005

The Page of Wands carries the thought “Be confident the news that you need is coming.” The guidelines talk about information coming from a new source, or perhaps a birth. Reversed talks about news pertaining to blockage in growth. Instincts includes the question “What new sources are coming your way?”

 Wizard's Pets Tarot_0006

The Queen of Pentacles carries the thought “Comfort and security crate a feeling of home.” The guidelines talk about intelligence, security, and creativity. Reversed talks about self-pity leading to lack of abundance. Instincts includes the question “Where are you being creative?”

Wizard's Pets Tarot_0007

The Queen of Swords carries the thought “You are stronger than you think.” The guidelines talk about strength and honor. Reversed talks about energy directed at chaos and destruction. Instincts includes the question “Where do you need to be flexible?”

Wizard's Pets Tarot_0008

The Six of Cups carries the thought “Learn from the past.” The guidelines talk about a pleasant meeting with someone from the past, or a memory from the past. Reversed talks about the inability to adapt to change, and the emotional failure that follows. Instincts includes the question “What memories from my past are coming to me”

Wizard's Pets Tarot_0009

The Two of Swords carries the thought “Overthinking a situation causes confusion.” The guidelines talk about being at a stalemate. Reversed talks about a release of tension. Instincts includes the question “Where do you need balance in your life?”

The Wizard’s Pets Tarot opens up a whole new world, with characters such as Edlyn Whiteoak, Sydney Brightscales, Jasper Stripetail, and Emo Rattlebush. I love the feel of the deck, and the small size. The coloring book takes the understanding of the cards to a whole other level. Suitable for you, your children, your grandchildren, and anyone that wants to connect with their inner child.

© 2000 – 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2015 in Tarot

 

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The World of Magazines

magazines cover

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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Tarot – The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

professionalism

Those who are reading this will most likely be, like me, someone who walks in the world of Tarot. Like any world (professional or non-professional), it has its issues. Lately I have seen more than a few of the shadow sides of Tarot. Cyber bullying, poor business practices, posts on social media sites that are major rants, and that draw commentary that just adds fuel to the fire.

There are real issues out there – people who are known bullies, people who throw their weight around without thought of the consequences, and people that want to out those that connect professionally with less than stellar individuals/organizations.

I don’t think we gain anything in flame wars. We spend way too much time either attacking someone, outing someone, or defending either ourselves, or someone else. There are worlds within worlds in the Tarot community, and we all need to recognize that. Some of the people in those worlds are professionals, some are there to add the study of Tarot to their life skills. We all need to respect each other.

Taking responsibility for ourselves – for what we say, and for our actions – is of paramount importance. Recognize that in the real world we are who we are, but we are also who we associate with. Agreeing to work with a person or organization has consequences. You may view it as a limited connection, perhaps for a specific project. Other people may view it as you aligning yourself with the person or organization that you are working with.

The consequences of working with an individual or organization that is perceived poorly can be far reaching. Your reputation is at stake here, as well as your ability to earn a living. You could very well be boycotted.

Before you decide to enter a project of any kind, take a close look at who you will be working with, and how they are perceived. Use Google to check out everything that you can. Quietly (as in a pm, not a public post) query friends and business acquaintances about any dealings they may have had with the individual or organization. Ask their opinion about what you are considering doing. The decision is yours in the end, but it needs to be an informed decision.

In my opinion, while someone’s work does represent them, so do their actions, and the actions of those they associate with. There are people in the Tarot world that I will not associate with, that I will not work with. I don’t find the need to announce it, but I do feel better for it. I have to look in the mirror every morning, and I don’t want to have any questions about who I am, where I am headed, or what mask I am wearing.

Let’s be real, let’s be transparent, and let’s support each other in an authentic manner.

 © 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Tarot

 

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Review – The Tarot Readers Companion

The Tarot Reading Companion

Author: Thirteen
Aeclectic Tarot
2014
ISBN #978-0-9871104-6-6

 Tarot Reading Companion cover

The Tarot Reading Companion is exactly that – a companion on your journey of Tarot reading. Included are both upright and reversed meanings for all 78 cards, instructions on how to read the cards, sample spreads (including one card readings, past/preset/future readings, relationship readings, and the Horseshoe Spread), and a resource guide.

Note: The Tarot card images in this e-book are from the Sacred Isle Tarot, by David Higgins.

The book starts out by noting that the best way to use it is to take in what seems important to you personally. In other words, start wherever you want to start, and go from there. This encourages Tarot students of all levels to make best use of this material. Perhaps you are a beginner, unfamiliar with how to do a reading, and unfamiliar with the card meanings. There is a section on how to read, and sections on both the upright and reversed card meanings. Perhaps you want to go straight to the reversed meanings, or you want to check out the templates for a diverse group of spreads. Or perhaps you want to check out the Tarot resources section. There is no one way to work with this book!

The card meanings are basic meanings, meant to be built upon as you continue your work with the Tarot. It is suggested that the cards have a range of meanings, rather than one specific meaning. The student is encouraged to trust their intuition, and proceed with their studies at their own pace.

Each card is presented with a beautiful, full color illustration, a listing of the common symbols, the basic story, the basic meaning of the card, and Thirteen’s observations about the card.

For The Fool, the common symbols are listed as the Fool in colorful motley, the pack tied to a staff, a small dog, and a cliff. The basic story talks about the journey that the Fool is on. The basic meaning of the card is one of infinite possibilities. In Thirteen’s observations of the Fool, she talks about the Fool ultimately standing for new beginnings, with the Fool representing the querent. The Fool can also be naive, or overly optimistic.

In the section on reading the cards, Thirteen talks about reading with and without a spread, specific card positions within a spread, sequences and patterns, and using the right spread. She then addresses asking the right question, and how Yes/No questions can be limiting. “How”, “What”, and “Why” questions tend to open things up a bit more.

I love that Thirteen addresses doing the same reading over and over again! I feel the same way that she does … you will annoy your cards big time! She also makes the very astute observation that it is best to wait to read for others until you have a good understanding of the card meanings, and feel comfortable working with them.

She also notes that the Tarot reader’s job is to deliver the Tarot’s answer to the querent’s question, not the reader’s answer. Certainly our own perception can act as a filter for interpreting the cards, but the reader really needs to get out of their own way and deliver the message within the cards, the message that spirit wants delivered. Thirteen advises that the reader trust their instincts, and trust their cards. She notes that the cards show the future that the querent is creating for themselves.

Each spread is presented with a sample reading – which is accompanied by full color images of the cards drawn. The deck used, the Sacred Isle Tarot, is absolutely gorgeous!

Under reading reversals, Thirteen notes that three of the most common ways to read them are opposite (the opposite energy to the upright meaning), blockage (the energy of the card is blocked or diminished), and upside-down image.

The resource guide includes asking Thirteen questions on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum, suggested decks to use with this book, and sending feedback to Aeclectic Tarot about the book.

I found this to be an easy to use reference book that covers the basics, and will open the door to anyone who wants to learn to read the Tarot.

 © 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without permission of he author.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Tarot

 

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