Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: Pagan Ways Tarot

Pagan Ways Tarot
Author/Illustrator: Anna Franklin
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, 2015

Description: 78 cards and a 190 page guidebook in a sturdy cardboard box, with magnetic closure

Card size: about 3.4 inches by 5.1 inches (86x130 mm)

The Pagan Ways Tarot is based on the Pagan worldview, but most cards have familiar scenes and details of the Rider Waite system. The imagery and coloring are beautiful and vibrant. The Minor Arcana feature the addition of keywords. Overall, I'm impressed by this deck and plan to put it into practice.

Some of the titles are change – Empress/Lady, Emperor/Lord, Hierophant/Elder, Wheel/Wyrd, Devil/Underworld, Judgment/Rebirth, Pages/Princesses.

The guidebook offers a brief introduction to the Tarot, the Pagan Ways Tarot, and the Journey of the Fool. Each card section features a large, color image and tells the story of the Fool as he journeys through the Minor and Major Arcana, along with upright and reversed meanings. The guidebook closes with a brief symbolism dictionary, four detailed spreads and suggested meditation practices.

I've only scanned through the guidebook so far, but I enjoyed the card information of the few I read. The typical keyword references are not presented as in most guidebooks. You begin with the story of what the Fool, who represents the seeker on his journey, encounters when arriving at each card. And then, there's a short section of what the card means in both upright and reverse. The meanings are what you expect for the Tarot, but it's always interesting to read these from a different perspective.

I chose a few cards randomly. I couldn't begin to narrow it down to favorites. There are just too many wonderful images in this deck. As you can see, the images are spectacular, the keywords fit, and look at that color! Grey for the Four of Cups, how perfect! The blues for the Ace of Swords, delightful!

It's hard to pull from the guidebook because of how it all fits together. Here are a few lines for a couple of the above cards to give you an idea.

Four of Cups - The Four of Cups represents a lack of emotional fulfillment. You are dissatisfied with your life, you may feel bored and uninspired at work, or there may be unspoken resentments within a relationship. You might feel generally unwell or depressed.

Nine of Wands - You've been knocked down and picked yourself up so many times you are tired of it. Now you face another setback. Though you feel at the end of your tether, you will find inner reserves of strength, so don't give up.

Discover the Pagan Ways Tarot. Grab your copy from Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing.)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Review: The Cook's Tarot

The Cook's Tarot
Author/Artist: Judith Mackay Stirt
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, 2015

Description: 78 cards and a 159 page guidebook in a sturdy cardboard box, with magnetic closure.

Card size: 3.75 inches by 5.5 inches

If you love cooking, love food, and/or find the kitchen the most important room in your home, you will love this deck.

To be honest, at first, I wasn't going to review this deck. But after reading the introductory and flipping through the cards, I realized that there would be quite a few people out there who would enjoy this deck. It's a combination of the author's two loves - kitchen and tarot. It deserves to be mentioned and celebrated.

The cards are slightly large, but manageable. The cards are based on paintings, which took the artist six years to complete the entire deck. The colors are incredibly vibrant. The experience of touching these cards and studying the images was like stepping into the artist's creative mind. I found it truly nourishing to my soul.

"During those six years strange things started to happen. I found that I was living the experiences of the cards." ~ Judith Mackay Stirt

As the deck's theme is the kitchen, food preparations, gathering and family, it is not made up of the traditional images. But, anyone familiar with the Rider-Waite style decks will have no difficulties recognizing the references. I'm not sure I would recommended the deck to completely new readers, but it really wouldn't take much of a transitional period to move from the beginning stages of understanding the tarot to this deck.

The Guidebook begins with an introduction to the Tarot and how the author found herself creating the Cook's Tarot. There are five spreads offered with instructions. The rest of the guide book deals with each card: black and white images, description of the card, key elements (symbols featured in the card), card meaning, and a short piece entitled 'Kitchen Wisdom'. The guidebook was as enjoyable as the deck itself.


The Five of Cups - What's the first thing that comes to your mind? For me, it was 'crying over spilled milk'.

A bit of Kitchen Wisdom for the author - "Don't cry over spilled milk. You might have been lactose intolerant, anyway."

Excerpt from the Card Meaning - "This card is addressing the somewhat exaggerated response to an event, because we cannot see any positive outcome. The milk has been spilled, but because we have our heads down, we cannot see that the cat is happy."


The Eight of Swords - There is so much to say about this one card. Notice everything if you can. The woman holds a tray of fast food. She sees her own image in the mirror, but there she is tied up and blindfolded. There's a dead bird beside her. In the cage, with an open door, is a live bird. (Now as I study this card, I notice the bird in the cage - it looks like the wings of the bird are tied to the cage, but the author makes no mention of this.)

Excerpt from the Key Element section - "Fast Food: In dream symbolism, eating take-out implies that we are not taking the necessary care of our emotions." 

Excerpt from the Card Meaning - "When you draw this card in a reading, there might be an initial moment of recognition as you identify with the feeling of being stuck with no way out." "Ah yes, the mirror! It is important to see that it is not reflecting the reality of the situation, but rather the observer's perception of it."


I'll leave you with a bit of Kitchen Wisdom from the Ten of Wands - "If you have a monkey on your back, stop buying it carrots."

Grab your deck from Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing.)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: Beautiful Creatures Tarot

Beautiful Creatures Tarot
Author: J. R. Rivera
Artist: Jasmine Becket-Griffith
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, 2015

Description: 80 cards and a 152 page guidebook in a sturdy cardboard box, with magnetic closure.

Card size: 3 1/2" by 5

The Beautiful Creatures Tarot is amazingly beautiful, a true treasure for deck collectors, especially if you are a fan of the artist. The deck vibrates with extraordinary energy.

The Guidebook gives a basic introduction, 10 divination spreads, and card information: keywords, descriptions, meanings, and an image. The deck is made of good card stock (a little sticky, but should smooth out with use) and exceptional print quality.

With the energy radiating off this deck, it would make an amazing tool. However, it will take a little work for a reader to adapt to this deck. One may even choose to step away from it as a tarot deck and use it more as an oracle deck.

The Beautiful Creatures Tarot is not a traditional tarot deck. There are many variations from the typical system. And, the card images lack the associations and symbolism found in most tarot decks. The images focus on young women with enormous, glistening eyes. Other creatures appear on the cards such as skeletons, cats, dinosaurs, dragons, and more.

A few of the changes include:

Major Arcana - Card 0, The Fool is now The Explorer, card 1 Magician is Mage, card 5, Hierophant is renamed Hierophantress, card 8 Strength is now called Fortitude, card 11 Justice is now The Equilibrium, card 12, Hanged Man becomes The Swinging One, card 13 Death is renamed The Transformation, card 14 Temperance becomes The Mediator, card 15 The Devil is now The Addiction, and card 16 The Tower has become The Unexpected.

Minor Arcana - The suits have been renamed to Fires, Waters, Airs, and Earth.

Court Cards - Kings, Queens, and Knights have become astrology signs, and the pages are based on the elements.

Wild Cards - two additional cards - You are One (Significator card) and The Supernatural (Situation card).

I would not recommend this deck as a beginner deck. A new reader needs the associations to build a good connection with the tarot and the card meanings, in my opinion. This deck would make for a very difficult journey into the tarot.

Let's take a look.

The 6 of Airs is the angel who will help you move from a rough situation to a smooth one. In her palm is a map to help guide those who have lost their way. She is responsible for transporting you to your destination. In the Rider-Waite version, Six of Swords, a boat carries two people across rough waters, steered by a ferryman. In this version, the angel acts as your ferryman.

A message from the card - 
You've been suffering for some time and looking for a gateway. Come here: jump inside. Let the symbols on my hands take you far away.

In the 7 of Earths, a maiden has taken time off from her busy schedule. The card represents waiting upon the rewards of what has been completed. It suggests learning to observe and seeing value in your hard work. In the Rider-Waite version, 7 of Pentacles, a man rests after his work is complete and observes his accomplishments.

A message from the card - 
I can see that you've done all that you can do. Now you'll be waiting for everything to come gracefully to you.

As you can see from these two examples, the connections can be made if you dig deep and observe how the Beautiful Creatures Tarot relates to the traditional tarot. In the first card, the astrology symbols can trigger the relationship of transitions and changes of moving from one situation into another. In the second, the clocks can trigger the relationship of taking a break and resting for a moment.

The beautiful images within this deck will make the necessary work worth the effort.

Grab your deck from Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing.)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Review: Healing Light and Angel Cards by Saleire

The Healing Light and Angel Cards Deck is not a divination deck, at least not in the usual sense. The 42 card deck will help you work with your Chakra. The author, Saleire, has designed simple steps to walk you through identifying your blocked Chakra and clearing the block. Everything you need is included in this neat little kit of 42 vibrant art cards, 96-page companion book, and a sturdy magnetic closing box.

The cards have six divisions: Chakra, Action, Color, Animal, Crystal, and Angel. The best way to use the cards is to divide them into their separate piles before you begin.

The process starts with a question - Which Chakra do I need to work on? Or get more specific - Why am I not feeling a connection in my current relationship, How can I get the promotion at work?

The first card you pull will be from the Chakra cards. Your selected card will show you which Chakra is blocked and causing issues at that moment or related to your question. Refer to the companion book to better understand the Chakra before moving on.

The second card will be from the Action cards. It will reveal what you need to do in order to unblock your Chakra. Again, refer to the companion book to get a better idea of what the card is suggesting.

The third card is from the Color cards, which provides a focus point for the meditation described within the companion book.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth cards (Animal, Crystal, and Angel) will give you additional aids to help clear your Chakra. The companion book has all the information you'll need.


The image above is from my own session with the cards. I used the question, "Which Chakra do I need to work on?"

The Chakra Card - Solar Plexus
I laughed when I read the first line of the guide book on this Chakra. "If you are feeling sluggish, or have no energy to do the things that you love, try working on this Chakra." This described my condition at the time of the reading exactly. The companion book also gives a short meditation in the Chakra section.

The Action Card -  Strength - Earth
"Hug a tree...." What a wonderful suggestion, right? Basically the card suggests spending some time with Mother Nature, absorbing her energy and basking in the sun.

The Meditation Card - Inner Beauty
Here you will focus on the card and follow the guided steps in the companion book.

Animal Card - Turtle
Turtles carry their own protection with them. As I read about the turtle in the companion book, I thought, 'Turtles are always at home,' which made me think of comfort, protection and a sense of stability.

Crystal Card - Tiger's Eye
"This crystal brings a sense of security and protection..." See how that ties right back in with the turtle. Love it. By the way, the Tiger's Eye just happens to be the stone for the Solar Plexus. The guidebook suggests carrying this stone with you for additional energy.

Note: I read somewhere that you can get the same effect from a picture of the crystal.

Angel Card: Pink Angel
"...pink energy is calling you to feel love in all your dealings with people." Wrap yourself in the pink angel wings to feel love for yourself and others. The main suggestion here is to FEEL love, be in touch with your heart.

Wrap up: After going through the process: card selection, reading over information, meditation, I set out to continue working with this Chakra. I created my crystal bag for the week: tiger's eye (as suggested), and I added a rose quartz for the pink angel and the love. I spent additional time outside, soaking up the sun. And I made an added attempt to smile as much as possible. There's no better way to share love than to share a smile.


It is important to understand that Chakra cleansing is an ongoing method of keeping yourself in a natural flow of energy. Take your time with these cards, with each session. Clearing of your Chakra isn’t something you do and then forget about them. Keep your Chakra in good condition and you’ll find yourself feeling like a brand-new, healthy and energized you.

Get your copy of Healing Light and Angel Cards from Schiffer Publishing.