Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: Higher Intuitions Oracle

Higher Intuitions Oracle - 44 oracle cards and 128 page guide book (boxed set) 
ISBN: 978-0-7643-4143-4 (Schiffer Publishing) Price - $24.99

Blurbs From The Box - "Your angels and your guides frequently give signs and symbols in order to help you along your paths of enlightenment and good. Animals are around all of us each day--either as the living, breathing types or as pictures and songs. Spirit invites you to perceive that animals have an energy you can use to find your true passageway through these 44 stunning Higher Intuition cards. Once there, the messages they send help you create your best life. Complications and annoyances can sometimes obscure the clarity of the big picture; however, through the cards you will learn to see and gain "higher intuition"."Oracle using animals and nature to conquer indecision and place people on their appropriate paths."

Card Dimensions - 4 and 1/2 inches tall by 2 and 7/8 inches wide. (Book is slightly taller - 4 and 7/8 inches tall)

This lovely set comes in a sturdy box with a magnetic closure, which I find to be perfect for storage and/or travel. I wish all decks came in a box like this. lol I also love the "typical" Schiffer card stock this deck is printed on--heavy, yet somewhat flexible with a glossy, plastic-y finish. Shuffling is a dream with these, no matter what your personal mixing style is. :) 

About The Cards - The 44 cards have simple art illustrations that are pleasing to the eye with rich, vibrant colors that really pop. They have white borders, and each one has a different colored, thin, inner frame. The font (re: card name on the bottom) is elegant and easy to read. Card backs are stunning with a night-time owl, moon, and tree design, and are completely reversible-- however the companion book does not give reversed meanings. But that doesn't mean you can't figure out your own. ;) All the cards have animals or insects depicted in the artwork. There are even a couple of mythological beasts. A Pegasus, a Phoenix and a Unicorn to be exact.  Here are some of the cards for you to feast your eyes upon.


About The Companion Book - The 128 page companion book that comes with this deck is full of goodies. The sections include; Dedications, Acknowledgements, Contents, Thanks, Introduction, How To Use This Oracle/Spread Suggestions, Individual Card Pages, Bibliography, Author Page (Kristy Robinett), and Illustrator page (Johna Gibson Bowman). The cards are listed alphabetically by animal, not card name. Each card is dedicated a page-sized black and white illustration, 4-5 keywords, a relevant pithy quote, and the main interpretation entry.  

One of the spreads in the book that I enjoyed doing was The Lifetime Animal spread. It's a three card spread, and the positions are as follows:

1. Lifetime Animal - What you need to work on throughout your entire lifetime.
2. Primary Animal - What you need to work with in the present.
3. Soul Journey - What your guides are guiding you towards.

I found the answers it gave me to be very insightful and affirming in quite a few ways. For me, that's one the hallmarks of an effective oracle deck. And who says you can't have more than one Lifetime Animal? Or you could make the initial Lifetime Animal card you pulled a permanent one, and pull the second two for the current circumstances. :)

Other Thoughts - I think this deck would also be exceptionally good for children. What fun it would be to have a little one choose a card and then have a discussion about the animal and it's meaning. Lots of opportunities in this deck to develop good coping and decision making skills for young children (or grown ups for that matter). This deck can be purchased from the Schiffer website, Amazon, (or check your favorite retailer). Below is a video I found for the deck. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Inspirations For Survivors (Oracle Cards and Guidebook)

Inspirations For Survivors - 44 Cards and Guidebook by Aunia Kahn and Russell J. Moon 
ISBN: 978-0-7643-4124-3 (Schiffer Publishing)
44 oracle cards and 96 page book (Boxed Set)

Today I'm reviewing the lovely Inspirations For Survivors boxed set. First, let me say that I LOVE the color palette on the borders. I'm seriously considering using it to repaint the rooms in my house. lol There's something very soothing and harmonious about them. Which, I believe, fits this deck's intention rather nicely. The decks authors, Aunia Kahn and Russell J. Moon (also of the Silver Era Tarot) have dedicated this set "To every person who has struggled, fought, and persevered while striving to live their lives." That pretty much means all of us in some way, shape, or form. "Using positive messages and beautiful imagery to encourage growth, healing, and new constructive thought patterns as a survivor, you will be drawn into a world of "can do". "This inspirational deck can be used as a clarifier of a particular issue, a meditation tool, or as an oracle to help the survivor to thrive."

The art on these cards has a dark-ish, somewhat gothic feel to them with the inspirational phrase at the bottom. And like the other quality Schiffer decks that I have, they are constructed of a good, sturdy card stock with a glossy finish. Measuring in at 3 and 1/4 inches wide by 5 and half inches tall, they are the perfect size for hand shuffling. The 96 page guidebook that comes with the deck is an absolute jewel. It features a brief description (with more inspirational words) of each card and a full page, color illustration of the card. The pages themselves are semi-glossy, and a pleasure to read. Both the deck and book fit nicely into it's sturdy box with a magnetic closure, which makes them very easy to take along with you, wherever you may go. :) 

This is the best oracle deck I've come across on the market to pull a final advice card at the end of a reading. They are always relevant to the reading, and help to end the session on a positive note.  I think this deck will appeal to those who want an inspirational message without the fluffy unicorns or angels present. Here are a few examples of these wonderful cards.

If you are interested in purchasing this lovely boxed set, they can be found here on the Schiffer website. Have a blessed and uplifting day! :) 


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review: The Journey Oracle and The Journey Coloring Book

Oracle Deck: ISBN 978-0-7643-3783-3 (46 cards and 96 page booklet)
Coloring Book: 978-0-7643-3784-0 (24 pages)

Two of my favorite things! Oracle cards and coloring books. If ever there was a way to relax and enjoy an entire afternoon, here it is. First let's talk about the deck, shall we?

Measuring in at 4 and half inches long by 2 and three quarter inches wide, the cards are printed on the heavy, high quality card stock that Schiffer is well known for, and they come in a sturdy  flip-top box with a magnetic closure. These cards have the most lively and colorful borders that I have ever seen in a oracle deck. The artwork is sublime, yet simple, and most of them depict women who's faces, posture and dress gently reflect their key words (which are clearly printed at the bottom of each card). In the booklet that comes with the deck, the author states that her two daughters show up in most of the ladies faces. How wonderful! I love reading little tidbits about a deck like that. :) The card backs have an illustration of a tree, and cradled within it's branches is a nest with two blue eggs in it. These eggs represent the artists' two daughters. <3

The 96 page booklet that comes with this deck is very helpful, easy to read, and includes a brief four page introduction. All the cards are listed in alphabetical order and feature a black and white picture of each individual card for quick reference. Included with each card description are small sections titled, "What this card says", "What this card means", and a few of them also have a passage that encourages the reader to "Consider this". Some cards of interest are the four Queens (Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades), and there are four cards that have the illustrations situated in a horizontal position. 

I find this deck to be very feminine in nature, and encouraging in the aspect of acknowledging the inner feelings that one may experience along the way of their own personal journey. I use it almost every day for a simple one card pull, or for a special focus card during a tarot reading. "Embrace your Inner Goddess" is my key phrase for this beautiful deck. :) Now, let's have a look at the inside of the coloring book which is sold separately.

The pages are 10 and three quarter inches long by 8 and a half inches wide, and the images are printed on thick, heavy paper (almost a light card stock). The dark, bold lines are very easy to color in, which is something I appreciate now that my eyes aren't as sharp as they used to be in my younger years. The images are printed on both sides of the paper, so care needs to be taken when using markers or they might bleed through. For this reason, I chose to use colored pencils. However, know that if you press too hard with your pencils, the indentations may show through the other side of the paper. All 46 card images from the deck are included in this coloring book, and they are in alphabetical order, which makes it easy to pull the corresponding card out of the deck to compare your work with. By looking at the original artwork, I was given helpful visual clues as how to go about adding some light shading to my picture. Adding a bit of shading gives the pictures a realistic depth, makes them seem more alive, and gives them a three dimensional feel. :) 

Here is the end result of my happy labors. The picture on the left is a page from the coloring book that I colored in with Prismacolor colored pencils, and the image on the right is the original image from the card titled "Appreciation". As you can see, I changed the colors around a bit. Purple is my favorite color, so I HAD to. lol I used a lot of different colors for this one, and they break down like this:

Flowers - Parma Violet, Clay Rose, and Greyed Lavender. For the centers I used Golden Yellow and Peach. The one little stem is colored in Apple Green.

For her dress I used Blue, Ultramarine and Violet Blue.

Her hair is Dark Brown, French Grey, and streaked with Steel and Warm Grey.

Her eyebrows are colored in with Dark Umber.

The iris' of her eyes are Imperial Violet, and she's sporting Lilac "eyeshadow". 

Her skin is Light Peach and shaded with Burnt Umber. Her cheeks have a hint of Blush Pink. 

The outside background is colored Cloud Blue. 

This is a great pair to have if you enjoy coloring books and oracle decks with a feminine theme. I spent several quiet, relaxing, and enjoyable afternoons coloring my picture and perusing the cards with a warm cup of tea. What more could a Goddess ask for? ;) 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Tarot in Reverse (Book Review)

Written by Janet Boyer and published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
                                             ISBN: 978-0-7643-4101-4
                                                         192 pages

Ahhh, tarot reversals. The bane of many novice and experienced tarot reader's existence alike. Myself included! I've been on again, off again with them for years. In the past, I just couldn't seem to make peace with those upside down cards in a spread. Do they have the opposite meaning of the upright card? Or do I just pay "special attention" to that card, turn it right side up, and then go on my merry way? So, when I heard about Tarot in Reverse, I was very excited to get my hands on a copy and read it. Janet kindly arranged for me to receive a review copy, and when it arrived, I promptly put on my reading glasses and dove right in. As it turned out, this was exactly the book I needed to gain a clearer insight into those pesky reversed cards! 

The book itself is absolutely stunning. And as far as quality goes, it's top notch. The pages are heavy, thick, glossy, and every picture in the book is fully color-saturated. And it's the perfect size for a comfortable reading experience. Measurements are approximately 8 and 3/4 inches long by 5 and 3/4 inches wide, and a half of an inch thick. Just right! 

The book's introduction is a little gem all by itself. Within those nine pages I found a wealth of information. Most notably, a list of what Janet has discovered the reversed cards can indicate in a reading. One good way to possibly interpret that upside down card? Extreme or Unhealthy Manifestation of Energy. Not the opposite of, but maybe way too much of! Hmmm... *light bulb pops on* Chapters one through three feature all the cards and their reversals in an easy to read format. Chapter one covers the Major Arcana, chapter two covers the Minor Arcana, and chapter three the Court cards. I really love the page layout for each card. On the left is a picture of the card in both the upright and reversed perspectives (images are from the Universal Waite deck), and to it's side is a comprehensive list of key phrases that are guaranteed to get the thought processes moving along in the right direction towards understanding the energy of that particular reversed card.

Pop culture and modern interpretations are included, and I find these to be extremely helpful in making more meaningful connections that are easy to remember. As someone who sees the tarot at work all around them in everyday life, quite a few of those modern day examples brought a smile of recognition to my face. And along with that, more than a few "AHA!" moments. The anecdotes that are found under the key phrases are spot on for each card as well. Each card entry also has a quote that encapsulates it's meaning, an "advice from the card" blurb, and 20 affirmations to go with it. The affirmations would be WONDERFUL as a meditation focus when dealing with the energies described by the reversed card in question. Or as Janet describes it in the introduction, "Dealing with Life's Reversals". 

The last few pages of the book contain several examples of sample readings that have reversed cards. I feel that it is ALWAYS a good thing to see the author's techniques in action. And the last two pages have one of my favorite things that can be found in a book about tarot techniques... A notes section with lines! Perfect for those times when you have a stroke of genius and need to quickly write your thoughts down. Bravo! And I would also like to mention the font size... It's medium-large, which makes it very easy on these 43 year old eyes. lol I've had 20/20 vision for most of my life, but lately.. well.. I need reading glasses. I can actually easily read this book without them, and NO squinting or holding the book at arm's length until it comes into focus. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I highly recommend this book for any reader who wishes to get a grip on the reversed cards in their readings. This book will have a place of honor beside me at my computer desk, where it's within arm's reach. Never again will I have to struggle with, "What the heck does that card standing on it's head mean?!"

Any complaints, you ask? Yes, there is... This book should have been written and published YEARS ago! Then it would have saved me much grief, self-doubt and seemingly endless confusion. If you're struggling with reversed tarot cards, buy this book. You'll be glad you did! :)