RSS

Tag Archives: Tarot

Review – A Year In The Wildwood Tarot

A Year In The Wildwood:
Explore the Wildwood Tarot

Author: Alison Cross
Foreword: John Matthews
Kindle
2015
ASIN: B01D00N4VS

A Year In the Wildwood Tarot cover

I was absolutely thrilled to hear that Alison Cross had taken her work on the Wildwood Tarot and turned it into an e-book. A Year In The Wildwood contains all of the entries Alison wrote for the Wildwood Tarot’s Facebook page. With humor and style, she takes us through a  year-long journey through the cards.

I have to add a note here that I might not place in other reviews, and that is because these are names that are recognizable in the Tarot world. This book was edited by Sara Donaldson (many will recognize her as a member of TABI), and converted to epub and mobi formats by Gavin Pugh.

The Wildwood Tarot is the creation of Mark Ryan, John Matthews, and Will Worthington. It is a based on the seasons and the Wheel of the Year. In his foreword, Matthews talks about the magical place that the forests and woodlands that act as the background for this deck are. Matthews and his fellow author Mark Ryan had always intended to write a more complex workbook to accompany the original deck and companion book that came out in 2011 but to date have not had an opportunity to do so.  Matthews notes that Alison’s work is a splendid addition that acts to deepen the study and the use of the imagery for both personal use and the use of the cards for reading.

Cross gifts the reader by beginning the book with an explanation of what the Wheel of the Year is, and that, as defined by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, the Wheel consists of three concentric circles, with the hub representing the core energy of the year, and acting as the Heart of the Forest. Each quarter pivots upon one of the Wildwood guardians (Spring – The Shaman, Summer – The World Tree, Autumn – The Seer, Winter – The Wanderer). The second ring shows the eight major festivals, and the pairs of Major Arcana cards that rule over each festival. The third ring consists of the Minor Arcana suits – Ace through Ten.

There are notes on how to use this book, which consists of four chapters – one for each of the suits (The Time of Arrows, The Time of Bows, The Time of Vessels, and the Time of Stones). At the beginning of each chapter there is an outline of the Majors that will be encountered, the associated element and season, the names of the Court Card guardians, and key words about what this time represents. Each Wildwood card is then presented according to the date its energies begin on the Wheel of the Year.

The cards are presented text only, beginning with the cards associations. This is followed by a short text on the card, and questions that the character in the card asks of the reader. For example, the Shaman asks:

What stirs you to be close to nature?

What “magic” can you use to make changes in your life this season?

How can you apply magic to everyday life, today?

 What I really liked was the suggestion that the student could return to the Shaman at any time to work with him. This, combined with the questions, makes this book special, and will help to open up the perspective of anyone who works with it – whether new to the Wildwood Tarot, or a seasoned reader.

The technical information presented here, along with suggestions on how to use it, are invaluable. Those already working with this deck will appreciate it, and those who do not have this deck yet will more than likely want to purchase it to work with.

At the end of the book Appendix I lists each card in the deck, and the dates they are activated. Appendix II lists Moon and Sun cycle exercises, and is followed by a list of useful resources.

Alison Cross has a knack for writing, for looking into the heart of things. She also has an innate sense of humor that anyone who follows her blog will understand.  She has made this book a valuable resource that stands on its own feet.

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

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 21, 2016 in Tarot

 

Tags: , ,

Review – Tarot of Empowerment

Tarot of Empowerment

 

Author: Judyth Sult
Artist: Gordana Curgus
Tarot of Empowerment
2016
ISBN #978-0-9864446-7-8

IMG_1032

“Tarot of Empowerment” is a 22 card, Majors only deck that comes with a text only LWB (Little White Book). (There is a companion book that can be purchased separately, and is absolutely amazing!) The cards follow the structure of a traditional Tarot deck, with the 22nd card entitled “Unknown”. This card represents a situation where the universe is not quite ready to respond to our question, to give us information. Patience is needed before making a decision, or taking an action. Quite a relevant card, but one would need to be prepared to explain this to a client in a manner that they would understand!

The card titles are traditional, with the following exceptions: Questor/Fool, Sustenance/Empress, Authority/Emperor, Advisor/Hierophant, Choices/Lovers, Introspection/Hermit, New Perspective/Hanged Man, Life Cycle/Death, Entrapment/Devil, Chaos/Tower, Awakening/Judgment. The renamed cards are meant to give a contemporary interpretation to the traditional archetypes.

The cards are 2 ¾” by 4 ¾”. The backs show a black border around a golden door that is opening to the universe. There is a mandala-like figure in the middle of the card, outlined in purple. The backs are reversible. The card faces show the same black border, surrounding a thin gold border. The card number is entered at the top of the card in a gold oval, with the card title across the bottom, in an oval gold banner. The artwork is done largely in pastels, with a muted quality to it. I find the cards very compelling!

In her introduction, Sult talks about doing a reading for Curgus, and coming to the realization that as an artist, Curgus work reflected the Tarot archetypes as she had imagined them. They worked together on both the words and the images, consciously eliminating he symbols and religious allegories with hidden meanings that can be found in traditional decks. (I am very attached to exactly what they eliminated, but I find value in both versions of the Tarot.)

Sult sees reading the Tarot as being on a quest to become engaged with universal truth, and with your own intuition. To do this well, one needs to set aside one’s ego and any attachment to the outcome. She also talks about framing questions (she does not see yes/no questions as empower, which I have to agree with, as I find them limiting).

The cards are presented as text only, with the card name and number, a short saying, a description of the card and its energy, upright and reversed meanings, empowerment (how the energy empowers the client), and numerology (the energy that the card’s assigned number carries).

img019

The deck starts out with a bang! We see the Questor (Fool), backpack on his back, opening the golden doors and stepping through them, out into the universe. A white dove is flying in the sky, welcoming him. Empowerment: “Questor is empowered by being spontaneous and optimistic about the issue in question.”

img022

Sustenance (Empress) shows a lovely, long haired woman standing. She is dressed in a lovely blue gown, and her hair is flowing. There is a cross at her neck. Empowerment: “You are empowered when you use your words and skills as tools to strengthen worthy causes and people around you.”

img021

Determination (Chariot) shows a golden bird in the center of the card, flying through the night sky. An intent male image is being carried by the bird. Under the bird we see an image of the world. Empowerment: “You are empowered to have faith in yourself and the decisions that you need to make, and to travel with your personal beliefs and values as your compass.”

img020

Justice shows a yin/yang symbol in the center, over back to back images of a woman reflecting. Empowerment: “You are empowered by Justice when you make fair decisions based on the rules, no matter the emotions or relationships involved.”

The intent of this deck is to have Tarot serve as a tool to empower individuals to make the choices that will improve their life. The images reflect both strength and beauty, and draw the reader (and their client) in. This is a powerful deck, and could be used in any number of ways (for readings, journeying, meditation, journaling, in comparative readings, etc.).

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

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 5, 2016 in Tarot

 

Tags: , , ,

Review – The Chrysalis Tarot Companion Book

Chrysalis Tarot –
Companion Book

Author: Toney Brooks
Artist: Holly Sierra
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2016
ISBN #978-1-57281-798-2

Chrysalis Tarot book cover

The “Chrysalis Tarot” is the 216 page companion book for the Chrysalis Tarot deck. The cover illustration shows a cosmic version of the Nine of Spirals, featuring Aeolus, Master of the Four Winds. The reader’s eyes are immediately drawn to Aeolus face, with the eyes connecting on both a real-time and a soul level. It is time for each of us to re-examine our own world view!

In his introduction, Brooks talks about how creating a Tarot deck is a transpersonal process, including imaginary conversations with the characters in their “dramatis personae”. In retrospect, he realized that perhaps those conversations, at least in part, were not so imaginary after all. The Chrysalis companion book is then not only about the Chrysalis Tarot, but also about his efforts to uncover the hidden realities of the universe that shape our lives and compel us towards our destiny.

The most talkative cards for Brooks were those representing the Troupe (the Chrysalis version of Tarot’s Court cards). I love that Brooks refers to the Tarot as a metaphysical looking glass that pinches the higher realms of reality. I also love the statement that if something unseen or imagined resonates with our consciousness, then it is real.

Part One examines the Chrysalis Tarot, and other forms of magic, while Part Two provides an in-depth interpretation of each of the 78 cards in the deck.

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”  Nikola Tesla, from Chapter 1

Tesla’s comment on the secrets of the universe are really at the foundation of this deck. Brooks talks about Elpi, a Goddess from Greek mythology that is the archetype featured in card 17 (Elpi/Star). He talks about viewing the universe in a holistic manner, versus the “dead universe” worldview. Elpi represents the living universe. Brooks talks about experiential spirituality, defining spiritual alchemy as having a conversation with the numinous.

He goes on to discuss the Holy Grail, the Celtic Cauldron of Rebirth, and the return of the Shekinah. I loved the section on the Storyteller’s Vision Quest. The storyteller is a female shaman schooled in the ways of a holistic wise woman. (A shaman being defined as someone that is an adept at manipulating subtle energy.) Here Brooks notes that the Tarot as a healing modality emphasizing the sacred ideals of self-knowledge and self-acceptance. He talks about energy and archetypes, and about magic being real. All of this is a very thorough prelude to working with this deck – which is energetically different from a traditional Tarot deck, although it follows the same 78 card format.

Part Two present the individual cards – their meaning, and the meaning within the artwork. One thing that I did note, and like, is that Brooks does not recommend using reversals with this deck. Each of the Major Arcana cards is presented with a half-page black and white scan, the reasoning behind why each character was chosen to represent that archetype, and a page on what the archetype itself is all about. Some of the archetypal energies chosen are Merlin as the Fool, Gaia as the Empress, the Phoenix as Judgment, and Psyche as The World.

The section on the Minor Arcana begins by discussing the renaming of the suits (Stones/Pentacles, Mirrors/Cups, Spirals/Wands, and Scrolls/Swords). The Pips (numbered cards) are presented with a half-page black and white scan, information about the symbols within the cards, and the energy/meaning of the card.

The sixteen cards that represent the Court Cards in a traditional deck are replaced with something called the Troupe – they are archetypes, eight male and eight female, that are divided up into four roles (Mentors, Muses, Mystics, and Messengers). Collectively they are akin to a band of medieval troubadours whose purpose was to travel the land bringing news, gossip, wisdom and entertainment. They are presented with a half-page black and white scan, who the character is, and what the symbols within the card mean.

At the end of the book we have the nine card Fairy Ring Spread.

This is a very different take on traditional Tarot – yet it serves the same purpose. I found the material interesting, and easy to follow. I personally would not use this deck for ritual work, but it works well for readings, journeying, and for meditation purposes.

© March 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproductionprohibited wthout written permission of he author.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 5, 2016 in Tarot

 

Tags: , , , ,

Review – The Renaissance Origins of Tarot

The Renaissance Origins Of Tarot

Author: Giovanni Pelosini
English Translation: Arnell Ando
Interwideo
2016
ISBN #987-88996910-2-8

The Renaissance Origins of Tarot cover

“The Renaissance Origins Of Tarot” is a well written, 78 page book on the origins of the Tarot. In his introduction, Pelosini differentiates between playing cards (with their origins in Asia), and Tarot cards, which he defines as being an Italian innovation from the Middle Ages. Pelosini sees the Tarot as a Renaissance codification of cultural models of various origins, and as being an adaptation on an eastern matrix card game, which arrived in Europe most likely through Arabic contacts.

This was also a period when card making technology was becoming more advanced, especially in the areas of Fabriano (1276) and Bologna. The Minor Arcana were developed from early playing cards, which resulted in the suits of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. (It is interesting to note that the French suits were developed from the Italian suits.) The Major Arcana were developed from the original Triumphi.

Pelosini covers the people and texts that were in evidence in these early days, such as Court de Gebelin ( Mondi Primitif), with his belief that the Tarot had been brought to Europe by nomadic Gypsies, Eliphas Levi (Alphonse-Louis Constant), and Papus. Pelosini talks about the oral tradition of Tarot, about initiatory traditions, spreading these traditions through the use of Tarot as a card game. The game could be seen as a game, but to s select few it would also carry symbolic meanings and sacred teachings.

The background of the Trumps (Triumphs) is discussed, as reflecting the moral virtues and classical mythology of the parades/processions of the middle ages, including the Triumphs of Petrarch. The cards were played by royalty in the courts as a game, and in the taverns as a gambling device.

Another part of the cultural background of the Tarot that Pelosini discusses is Greek- Alexandria Hermeticism and Gnosticism. Included in this discussion is the Corpus Hermeticum (by Hermes Trismegistus).

The philosophy and theories of this time, and the individuals who espoused them, are well presented in this book. Solid research has been done, and footnoted abound, allowing the reader to follow the trail to wherever it might lead them.

Throughout this work we see color photos of Tarot cards, of the individuals being discussed, and the material being discussed. We are literally taking a step back in time, so that while we read the text we are simultaneously presented with a color visual of what was and what is.

Part of this “stepping back in time” for me was reading about the game of Tarot as it was played in the Courts. The Triumphs (Trumps) were used to make statements in quite an interesting manner!

This is a book that can be considered a resource – much more than something that we read once, then set aside. It is well written, well documented, and filled with bright visual imagery. It is an education, and well worth the reading.

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

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 18, 2016 in Tarot

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Review – Explore The Major Arcana: A Workbook For Empowerment

Explore the Major Arcana:
A Workbook For Empowerment

Author: Judyth Sult
Tarot of Empowerment
2016
ISBN #978-0-9864446-1-6

Explore the Major Arcana - coveruygfd

“Explore the Major Arcana: A Workbook For Empowerment” uses the art from the “Tarot of Empowerment”, the Tarot deck that Sult co-created with artist Gordana Curgus. The interpretations and technique in this 90 page book are meant to empower individuals to put the archetypal energy of the Tarot to work in their lives.

In her introduction, Sult speaks of the many ways that the cards can be read. This book represents her personal journey into reading the Tarot. In exploring the Tarot, card by card, her focus is on helping readers discover the empowering energy in each card. She goes on to define empowerment as the courage to make decisions for the highest good, based on information the higher self reveals through the cards. The focus of her readings is to make the best decision in the present for the future.

Sult believes that reading with the Major Arcana alone is more concise, more empowering than reading with the entire 78 card deck. In her words, “… the Minors color between the bold strokes of the majors in readings”.

Starting out with an excellent chapter on communicating with, and building trust in your guides, Sult moves on to creating an empowering reading, including how to frame a question, how to lay the cards out, and how to interpret the cards. She has included spreads such as Best Course of Action, Next Best Step, Choice Between Two Options, Looking For a Relationship, Four Stages, New Year Reading, and Discussion. She also talks about how to create your own spread.

There is a delightful chapter on Tarot and Numerology, with the association between the numbers 1-9 and the Major Arcana cards. She also covers determining your Life Path number, what the Life Path meanings are, determining your Personal Year number, and something Sult calls the Age Influence.

The cards are each presented with a small black and white scan, with the card name, with a short poem about the card, and with questions the reader can ask themselves about the card, with a lined space to write in their responses.

Some title changes have been made in the Tarot of Empowerment: Fool/Questor, Empress/Sustenance, Emperor/Authority, Hierophant/Advisor, Lovers/Choice, Chariot/Determination, Hermit/Introspection, Hanged Man/New Perspective, Death/Life Cycle, Devil/Entrapment, Tower/Chaos, Judgment/Awakening, Unknown (extra card).

For the Questor (The Fool), the poem reads: “What are you seeking? Who do you meet? Risk to explore, to learn, to trust, To find the truth of who you are.” The questions presented are: What tools do you have as the Questor to begin the journey? What characteristics would make this an empowering card? How would you interpret this card if it were in the position of the theme of the reading? How would you interpret this card in the position of best course of action? How would you interpret this card as the challenge card? What is hidden from the person or situation according to this card? How would you interpret this card as the hope and fear card?

“Explore the Major Arcana: A Workbook For Empowerment” is a well written book that gently leads the reader into new ways of thinking, and new ways of interpreting the cards. I loved it, and I think that you will too!

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

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Tarot

 

Tags: , , ,

Tarot Pink For Cancer

Tarot Pink For Cancer –
For Inspiration, Empowerment, and Support

Artists: collaboration of 65 Tarot artists
Author: personal interpretation from the artists
Introduction by Mary K. Greer
GameCrafter
2015

IMG_0757

“Tarot Pink For Cancer” is a project under the auspices of Ron Leong and WizardToo, LLC that involved 65 talented artists within the Tarot community that came together and created a Tarot deck to inspire, empower, and support breast cancer awareness, and those going through the breast cancer treatment process. It is meant to be a fund raising tool to benefit breast cancer research.

Under the sponsorship of WizardToo, LLC (the publisher of the Tarot e-cards app), there is a printed deck available through Game Crafter (Tarot Pink For Cancer), and a Tarot app for both iOS and Android mobile devices.

This is a full 78 card deck, accompanied by a 22 page companion booklet, and a bag to store the cards in. (Note: A digital download of the companion booklet is available after purchase.)

In her introduction, Mary Greer (author of “Tarot For Yourself”) talks about the fact that we have all been touched by some form of cancer, or a life-threatening illness, whether it is ourselves, a loved one, a friend, or someone we admire. She refers to it as an emotional, transformative experience for everyone involved.  Greer notes that many of the artists found the experience of creating one or more cards was healing in and of itself. This deck is seen as supporting a healing journey – along these lines, Greer suggests giving the deck to someone that is going through the cancer experience, and then perhaps helping them out with something that they need help with.

Some of the artists are working in remembrance of someone they know, others are cancer survivors themselves. Greer notes that there are no rules for working with this deck – that each individual should use them in the manner that works best for them. She sees the 78 cards of this deck as 78 gifts and prayers for well-being – as indeed they are!

The 22 page companion booklet (which features the card Strength on the cover) includes a small write-up from each artist of what the card means to them. Color scans, including the Queen of Cups, the Eight of Coins, the Seven of Swords, and the Three of Wands are scattered throughout the booklet.

IMG_20151006_0001

The cards are 2 ¾” by 4 ¾”. The backs feature a pink background with white clouds, and a pink lemnescate in the center. The card backs are reversible. The card faces feature a light gray border, with the card name at the top, in black, against a pink strip. The card image is outlined with a thing strip of pink. Under the card we find the artists name, along with a short bio.

Here is some of the incredible work that came out of this project:

IMG_20151006_0010

The Magician (by Ciro Marchetti):

“The Magician represents making best use of personal power and skills. Through concentration and accessing resources, the individual determines the actions they want to take. The books on the shelf represent knowledge from study, the raven speaks to information coming from afar, and the owl speaks to spiritual/intuitive wisdom.”

IMG_20151006_0009

The Fool (by Arnell Ando):

“Fortune visits after misfortune. Allow yourself to be surprised by unusual synchronicities & gentle gestures. Fresh perspective during a challenging time. Revisit a sense of optimism and belief in an inner journey. Look to friends who cherish you. Trust your gut. Don’t forget to reward yourself with spontaneous, unexpected treats when things get overwhelming.”

IMG_20151006_0008

The Page of Swords (by Ash Goh):

“We face challenges on a daily basis. This word means Patience in Chinese which brings to mind the importance of governing our thought processes as we face obstacles that seem insurmountable. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we lay the hand. Randy Pascal, The Last Lecture.”    

IMG_20151006_0007

The Hanged Man (by Chanel Bayless):

“It’s time to let go of fears and give yourself a moment to reflect on the positives of life. Time is suspended for now. Meditate. Allow your spirit to speak to the universe. You are seeing life from a different perspective. Connect. Accept. Everything is turning around.”

IMG_20151006_0006

The Hierophant (by Sue Silva):

“The Hierophant raises her right hand giving a peace sign that represents blessings to all and especially to ourselves. It is now that we know we hold the keys to our own destiny. We are strong and everything is possible in this life journey.”

 IMG_20151006_0005

The Ace of Wands (by Chris Ernest Paradis):

“When the Ace of Wands appears, your passions have sparked a a creative instinct to manifest new possibilities in your life. You have the tools and energy to do it. It is up to you to overcome your obstacles and allow this spark to become a reality.

IMG_20151006_0004

The Page of Cups (by Paula Millet):

“The Page of Cups brings you messages of love from your circle of family and friends. Their support will carry you through whatever is to come.”

IMG_20151006_0003

The Eight of Swords (by Rhonda Delaune Welch):

“Isolation, self-imposed restrictions, imprisonment, stagnation, confusion. The Eight of Swords represents someone who considers herself trapped and isolated. This card mage shows a woman who has intentionally disengaged from her surroundings, unable or unwilling to see the mental stairway leading up and out of her current situation. Swords, representing her thoughts, impede her from more positive possibilities.”

IMG_20151006_0002

The Four of Cups (by Paula Millet):

“Signifies a time to retreat and reflect upon the choices before you. This is an opportunity to evaluate how you feel about your options and the possible outcomes.”

The journey for this deck was not an easy one – not with 65 artists, each with their own perception and opinions! I was with it all the way, as an observer. I thank everyone involved with this project – especially Mr. Ron Leong, for holding it all together. The end product is a delight to work with, and is definitely the tool of empowerment and healing that it was meant to be!

© October 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Travel Guide of Italy – History of A Mystery From The Renaissance

 

Tarot

I am really not going to say how late I am in getting this information out! Let’s just say embarrassingly so! I have always wanted to go on one of Arnell Ando’s Tarot tours of Italy, but have never been able to do so. In this 150 page guide (PDF version), Arnell (in collaboration with Morena Poltronieri and Ernesto Fazioli of the Museo dei Tarocchi) gifts the reader with a detailed guide to landmark artworks that contributed to the development of Tarot, along with esoteric, literary, and historic lore. (Tarot did not evolve in a vacuum!) It is a wonderful, expanded version of the original print book, including poetry, maps, early Tarot images, and so much more! It is a privilege to have this material in your hands!

travel-guide-map9

Tarot aficionados on all levels will find themselves drawn into this material. One of the things that the authors could do with the Kindle/PDF format that they could not in the print book was provide live links – a true bonus!

Here is my review of the earlier print book – https://theworldoftarot.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/review-tarot-travel-guide-of-italy-history-of-a-mystery-from-the-renaissance/. On Arnell’s site – http://www.arnellart.com/museodeitarocchi/msdk48-pdf.htm – you can purchase the Kindle version of the updated book, as well as a PDF version. The price of admission is minimal … what you take away is entry into a whole new world!

Gift yourself, gift a friend, and please remember to share the link! It doesn’t get this real very often!

© October 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 2, 2015 in Tarot

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 115 other followers