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! :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Konxari Cards: The Other Part

On August 10, 2010, I posted a blog about my first experience with the Konxari Cards. If you haven't already, read that blog here first. There was more to that reading than I let on in that blog post. At the time I was pretty blown away by it all, and in addition to my own personal feelings about it at the time, I didn't want to frighten anyone or discourage them from using these wonderful cards. As I had sat there trying to absorb what I was seeing and feeling, I felt compelled to pull another four cards... My Dad wasn't finished with what he wanted to say to me. Having clearly expressed how much he had loved me while we were together, he wanted me to know something else. A warning about using these cards (or perhaps about dabbling in this sort of thing). I feel that it is VERY important that you follow a few simple rules when using them. Do as the instructions suggest and DON'T READ WITH THEM WHEN YOU ARE COMPLETELY ALONE. Also, ground and protect yourself thoroughly beforehand. 

These are the other four cards that were pulled on that night. I should have included these in my previous blog, but I was so happy and pleased that I had successfully communicated with my father from beyond this earthly plane, that I didn't want any negativity to intrude on my happiness. But here they are, in the order I pulled them.

I knew immediately what he was trying to tell me. These cards can also be used effectively for peering through a window into the past or... a door through which an angry spirit might seek revenge. (Remember that the pain in my toe was strong enough to wake me from a sound sleep...) Pretty straightforward. My Dad was like that when he was with us. Straight up. He didn't buy into Tarot cards, fortune telling, UFO's or ghost stories. My Dad was a man that needed to see, touch, feel or be able to prove it's existence. Something so straightforward and easy to interpret was definitely his style. So please remember what he let me (and all of us) know. Protect yourself well, stay grounded, and only let in the good things. <3

And there's one other thing that I didn't mention at the time because I didn't think it had any importance.. but I do now. Whenever my copy of this deck arrived, I took them all out and went through them to make sure all of them were there. It turned out that I had 89 cards, not the 88 that were supposed to be there. I had an extra Honor card. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crystal Interview Tarot Spread

This is a Tarot spread that was designed by Lisa Frideborg Lloyd, and her post can be found here on her website. I thought I'd try this spread out for the Moldavite pendant I just recently acquired, because I was curious if Tarot would reflect some of the qualities I suspected attracted me to it. Here's a picture I took of my Moldavite pendant (with some orange calcite on either side).

And here it is showing off it's translucence in a spot of sun. :)


SiO2 + Al,Ca,Fe,K,Na

Moldavite is a naturally occurring glass, originally found along the Moldau River in Czechoslovakia in 1787. It is usually a dark olive green color but can also occur in muted yellows and browns. It is one of a handfull of gems that can claim an extraterrestrial origin*. Moldavite is believed to be the outer surface of meteorites, that fused and melted during entry into our atmosphere. Moldavite has a diagnostic pattern of striae and bubbles (elongated, torpedo-shaped) that are unlike man-made glass. It does not contain crystals like those found in volcanic glass or obsidian. The Holy Grail is said to be carved out of a green stone that fell from Satan's crown as he descended from Heaven to Hell. Popular legend has long claimed this stone to be an emerald. It has recently been proposed that the Holy Grail may have been carved from moldavite, using the stone falling from Satan's crown as a metaphor for the green stone falling from the sky.
 Moldavites are found in a strewnfield centered around Moldavia (Moldau River Valley) in former Czechoslovakia and are believed to have come from a meteorite crater in Germany. The Moldavite strewnfield is divided into two parts and the tektites from each of these parts are distinctive in color from each other. These areas are quite small, but large amounts of moldavites have been found. The most prized are the deeply grooved and clear green pieces. The green Moldavites have been and continue to be used for stones in jewelry. Moldavites are sometimes cut as gemstones or put into jewelry as natural uncut pieces to show off their often eerie and beautifully intricate shapes.
 *Peridot in pallasite meteorites and forsterite/peridot in comet dust are other examples of gems with an extraterrestial origin.

 I recently received a copy of the Quantum Tarot through a trade with a friend, and I was thinking a small piece of Moldavite would be perfect to put in a Tarot bag along with it. The Quantum Tarot is very outer space-y and science themed. Since Moldavite is thought to have been formed by a meteor strike in Czechoslovakia,  it seemed to be a good fit. 


The spread is as follows:

1. The healing essence of this crystal.
2. What issue/blockage brought us together.
3. Benefits of working with this crystal.
4. Connections with angels/spirit guides.
5. Practical application/usage.

1. 8 of Swords - This crystal will allow me to free my mind to the higher realms. The releasing of self-limiting thoughts.

2. Queen of Pentacles - You are not as earth bound as you might think. Just because your Sun and Moon are Earth signs... doesn't mean that you can't fly among the stars. 

3. 6 of Wands - Victory and accomplishment through creative thinking. 

4. Queen of Wands - Spirit Guide is the fiery energy of the Phoenix (no surprise there). 

5. The Moon - Revealing hidden and secret thoughts you normally keep to yourself. Remaining quiet and withdrawn can stifle your intuition and hold your natural evolution back, so let it go and let flow. Trust in your inner voice. :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Wheel of Fortune (Medieval Enchantment)

The Wheel of Fortune (Jupiter)

~ Who or what regulates The Wheel? ~ Do the blind winds of Fate weave our destiny? ~Dad used to say, "That's how the cookie crumbles." Well, cookies are round usually.. ~ Roll with the changes. ~ Play the lottery every once and a while.. you never know when  your winning number might come up. ~ Enjoy the high of your good fortune, because the Wheel may take a turn for the worse. But this too shall pass.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

King of Swords (Medieval Enchantment)

King of Swords (Fiery aspect of Air)

~ Twin flames burning bright... Fire and Air make a dynamic pair. ~ Bright red, like a consistently stoked ember. ~ Is he thinking about what the future might hold? ~ Self-contained thoughts held near the solar plexus. ~ In his mind, a clear picture of who he is and his place in the Universe. ~ Self-confidence, self-respect, strong will and empowerment  his mighty sword. ~ Hot, dry winds blow across tall, jagged mountains. ~ The many suns of his discernment burn brightly for all to see.

Card is from the Medieval Enchantment - Nigel Jackson Tarot.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Empress (Medieval Enchantment)

The Empress (Venus)

~ Lush, green fields and a gently swirling stream. ~ Flow of creativity unbound. ~ Bare feet enhance her connection to Mother Earth. ~ Love flows gently from her dainty toes as she relishes in the feel of the cool grass beneath them. ~ The sweet smell of roses fill the air as they waft across the warm, fertile countryside. ~ Her emerald green crown emanates with the fertility that always seems to surround her. ~ Rich harvests abound. ~ Sheaves of golden wheat... a gift to all her children. ~ Plant seeds of Love. <3

Card is from the Medieval Enchantment - Nigel Jackson Tarot.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Eight of Swords (Medieval Enchantment)

Today's card from the Medieval Enchantment - Nigel Jackson Tarot is the Eight of Swords. Oddly enough I also pulled this card for a daily draw with my new Quantum Tarot that I acquired in a trade. My decks where in sync! Must have been all the crystals I had laying around on my desk at the time. :)

Eight of Swords (Jupiter in Gemini)

~Too many self-limiting thoughts can make one believe that they are stuck or trapped in a no-win situation. ~Mentally paralyzed, afraid, precariously balanced, and indecisive. ~ Any which way you turn is full of potential pitfalls and painful, sharp obstacles you could stumble upon. ~ The way is not clear... blackness is the only thing to see, and your hands are tied tight. ~ Separate the swords and lay them all in a row... see the clear blue sky. ~Unlock the gate that keeps you from your dreams. ~ The blindfold will fall off... the ties that bind will dissolve. ~ Your thoughts are yours to command. ~Don't become a victim of them. ~You can get yourself out of this..

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Five of Cups (Medieval Enchantment)

Five of Cups (Mars in Scorpio)

 ~A stormy sky with heavy, cracked clouds are all that can be seen by the one who stands in isolation, so she looks down at the valley below with unseeing eyes blinded by windswept hair. ~ Oppressive and broken like the feelings surging within. ~ A barren, rocky outcropping.. the only solid thing she has to stand upon. ~ Huddled and bent against an unforgiving wind, which blows only cold despair and loneliness. ~ Lush green hills and a warm, happy home below go unseen and ignored. ~ My cups are all empty... what's left for me now? 

Right in Front of You

Life, it can twist your heart
Put you in the dark
I was cold and lonely

Doubt, it can close you in
Build the walls within
I let fear control me
And that girl didn't know
Where the answer would be

Right in front of you
Right in front of me
We were looking for it somehow
Somewhere we couldn't see

But the love was always there
It's been around us everywhere
I had to fall to finally see
That you were right in front of me


Faith, it can lift you up
And if you got enough
To reach a new beginning

Love, can withstand strong
In the final hour
We'll find the joy in living

Don't let go
Cause that I know
Pretty soon you will see

Right in front of you
Right in front of me
We were looking for it somehow
Somewhere we couldn't see

But the love was always there
It's been around us everywhere
I had to fall to finally see
That you were right in front of me

You are my tomorrow
There's safety in your arms
Where you'll go I'll follow
'Cause you're the world where I belong

Right in front of you
In front of me
Somehow we couldn't see
Right in front of you
I had to fall to finally see

Right in front of you
Right in front of me
We were looking for it somehow
Somewhere we couldn't see

But the love was always there
Surrounding us everywhere
I had to fall to finally see

Right in front of you
Right in front of me
We were looking for it somehow
Somewhere we couldn't see

But the love was always there
Surrounding us everywhere
I had to fall to finally see
That you were right in front of me

I finally see... yeah
I had to fall to finally see
That you were right in front of me

Friday, February 17, 2012

4 of Swords (Medieval Enchantment)

4 of Swords (Jupiter in Libra)

~A rest so profoundly deep that a person almost appears to become one with the earth upon which they lie so peacefully. ~All is in order and balanced here within that blissful safety zone. ~ Mental healing under a indigo sky lightly speckled with twinkling stars. ~ Cotton candy clouds as soft and comfortable as the generous pillows beneath a weary head. ~ Four stable corners and a center point stretched taunt... a gate in perfect balance above through which no one can enter. ~ All worldly needs by their side within easy reach should they be awakened. ~ Fresh air to breathe... the soulful song of crickets a most pleasant lullaby. <3

The Popess (Medieval Enchantment)

The Popess (Moon)

~Dignified and quietly introspective, she sits upon her moonlit throne in shades of indigo. ~All-seeing eyes the color of jewels line her royal cloak.. a loving gift from the companion who rests at her feet... they are there to remind her that, like the cycles of the moon.. all will be renewed in time. ~A pendant gracefully hanging from her necklace glints in the moonlight, and hints at secrets kept deep within. ~Gentle waves of the deep blue ocean rise and recede... in synchronicity with an age old rhythm that originates from the seat of our collective unconsciousness. ~She listens carefully, the many points on her headdress serving as finely tuned antennas to catch each nuance in the air surrounding her Holy presence. ~Words magically appear in The Book...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

8 of Staves (Medieval Enchantment)

Today we have the 8 of Staves (Wands) from the Medieval Enchantment - Nigel Jackson Tarot for the Tarot Time! exercise. :)

8 of Staves (Mercury in Sagittarius)

 ~Easily breezing along with the winds of communication... wherever they may blow. ~You are the messenger from afar. ~Clutched in your hand... important information leads the way... like the aiming of a bow with the arrow pointed towards it's mark. ~Eyes intently focused, you stay true to the path beneath your long outstretched legs and fleet-footed stride. ~Flaming hair and flared nostrils. ~Expanding lungs and hot fluid muscles. A cooling wind upon your skin. ~Time is of the essence. ~The Pony Express? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Lovers (Medieval Enchantment)

Since today is Valentine's Day, I deliberately picked out The Lovers from the Medieval Enchantment - Nigel Jackson Tarot. Seemed appropriate for today! <3 This is a picture I took of the card with my wedding band and engagement ring. :)

The Lovers (Gemini)

~Two young, strong trees stand straight and tall, rooted firmly in the ground. ~Divine intervention from above. ~ In your warm, safe, and loving embrace... my rose blossoms into the deep red of everlasting love. ~I feel like you have read my Book of Love.. peeked inside when I wasn't looking. ~Two small flowers spring forth at our feet.. We planted seeds of love in our garden, and now we tenderly watch them grow. ~I gaze into the wishing well after throwing in our two pennies. ~We stand together and look in.. our reflections showing us all the choices we have made together... with Love. <3

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Tower (Medieval Enchantment)

It's Tarot Time, which is an exercise I'll be doing daily for the next 78 days. Recently started as a group on facebook, I think this is going to be a great way to get to know a deck you might be unfamiliar with. The group simply prompts you take a card out of a deck that you'd like to get to know better, and spend thirty minutes with it. I received the Medieval Enchantment - Nigel Jackson Tarot for Christmas from the Tarot Santa, and it totally made my Christmas a pleasant experience. There wasn't any LWB with it, so it's a perfect fit for this exercise. Money was tight for us at that time due to the unexpected loss of our only vehicle. All the money in our savings account had been depleted in an attempt to save her from the Great Salvage Yard in the Sky (and the subsequent purchase of another vehicle). It was a lost cause. RIP, Luna, you were a GREAT car, and I miss you. <3 But I digress... back to Tarot. Today after the prompt I pulled The Tower (how appropriate considering that this was the card I keep repeatedly pulling during the above mentioned crisis). I took out my notebook, studied the card, and scratched a few things down.

The Tower (Mars)

~Fiery Eye. ~Castles made of sand. ~Am I going up or coming down? ~Thick, ominous clouds the color of fresh bruises fill a crowded sky. ~Sharp, jagged teeth stretch painfully towards the Heavens. ~A doorway to confusion, disillusion and doom beckons innocently. ~The heat of the Sun Eye feels like it could turn The Tower to glass. ~One incorrect step on the convoluted inclines could shatter it suddenly.. to lie in a thousand broken shards at my feet... while everything I thought I had, I thought I knew... bleeds away as effortlessly as water through a sieve.. only to disappear into the spaces between the heated stone tiles beneath my back. ~I could really use a drink of clear, cold water with a pinch of sea salt in it right about now.... and a gentle breeze to dry my sweat-soaked brow.