Le Petit Lenormand Noir ~~ Robyn Tisch Hollister

First off,…let me say that I have been away for awhile; my reviews have been few and far between.  I find myself without employment and without cash-flow coming in; well, not much going out except for necessities.  Still though, my hobby, my passion if you will for Tarot and now Lenormand is still very much here.  I must say that Lenormand has got my attention and I embrace this interesting and unique way of “reading.”  It suits me in that I like looking at a picture or drawing and I am drawn immediately into what is being shown.  It is for me very much like scrying with cards.

Such is what I find with this latest offering of Le Petit Lenormand Noir.  I love this whole concept of a black and white deck.  To me, it’s very plain simplistic in design; hand-drawn portraits on a starry night canvas.  Nothing else for background, no borders around the cards, just you and the picture and your mind’s eye.  I am drawn into the pictures almost immediately.  For me, it has  a hypnotic affect, and I feel very much like I would while gazing intently into my crystals.  I am transported to a place where the portrayals come alive and tell me their secrets that are known only to that particular card.  Such is the way I read at times Tarot, but I have to ground myself and settle in.  With this black and white deck I just just gaze and I am welcomed in without fanfare, like I am expected a long awaited visitor to the realm of “higher-self.”  Even the backs of the cards are all little faces of Green Man done ala black and white.

IMG_0141

Grand Tableau

9 x 4  Grand Tableau

Ok, some of you who are reading this are scratching their heads and saying but all I see is a chalkboard of pictures and you would be right.  This is a lovely deck that is the blackboard in a schoolroom, teaching me and maybe you how to let one’s mind go and read while keeping the “rules” of Lenormand reading close by.  This deck allows you to use your natural abilities and give way to wonderful story-telling or fortune telling if you will quite easily…at least for me it was.  It can be for you too, but you have to get the deck.

I must touch on the LWB that comes along with deck.  Robyn Tisch Hollister has collected some quotes from various authors in time Socrates, E.B. White, Chuck Norris.  The quotes give an overall meaning of what the card could stand for.  What I like is that Robyn has also given alternate meanings to the Man and the Woman other than “the male subject of the reading or female subject of the reading,” making the cards more than just significators, not that one needs permission to do that,…it just seems that when it is shown as an example of possibilities, the creative mind is unleashed and the imagination comes out and …..well, you know, makes for an even better reading than “good news is coming from far away.”  I really do like this deck.  It is packaged nicely in a clear plastic carrying case, which once you get it you could bedazzle it up if you like or better yet, let the beauty of black and white shine through.  It’s elegant, fits well in my hand, shuffles quickly and easily and overall you will get I think readings that are unique and freeing and definitely your own.   Well done, Robyn.

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By Tarots Voice

Simple Wisdom of the Household Dog ~~Emily Carding

I received an email notice from Schiffer books that my package had shipped and was on the way here.  I am thinking, what did I order, when did I order and what’s going on?  I immediately think someone has my credit card number or some other horrid thing, but then decided to wait and see what I was to receive.  Today I got the package and ripped the standard brown box apart and to my delight and surprise was Emily Carding’s Simple Wisdom of the Household Dog Oracle deck.  It consists of 44 cards with an accompanying booklet.  Schiffer’s packaging is always in my opinion very classy and durable.  I liken it to a treasure chest filled with jewels.

The images with the exception of one were all taken by Emily with her dog Albus, the English moors and surrounding areas as a model.  The images are also in black and white.   Emily did a wonderful job capturing and using the shading to convey Albus’ story to you.  This is a deck where using the images and allowing yourself to jump into the picture and take a look around, go on “walkies” while Albus tells you his musings on life and what you need to know.  I could hear the grass crunching under my feet as I walked with Albus as I looked in one card and found myself walking with him.  He greeted me as a long lost friend, so happy to see me and as we walked down one of the many pathways he stopped along the way to sniff here and there and to just let life be, everything is going to be alright.  Just slow down, feel the wild embrace you.  At least, that’s what Albus said to me as I looked at that particular card and jumped in.

Along with this deck is the acompanying booklet filled with meanings (I would like to say translations of Doggie talk by Ms. Carding), and some suggested spreads to use with this deck.  But before you look at those, read the forward of this book.  This was written by Barbara Moore, who spent some time getting to know Albus.  It’s really a true testament of love for this dog and his simple yet truthful and honest wisdom.

This is a wonderful deck for self-examination, a time to spend with your pet (and deck) and learn about yourself, perhaps even take an impromptu trip to the English moors and take a long walk with Albus.  I can still see him on the top of a moor, wagging his tail and barking.  A great deck for those who are working readers,…especially if you are working a gig and need to keep things light, but you can still give an indepth reading.  Afterall, there is nothing better and more disarming than the wagging tail of a friendly, lovable dog.

You can feel the magic and energy of the moors come through with this deck and with reading this book.  It’s a lovely deck and if I may quote Albus,….”I may not be an ascended indigo dolphin archangel from Atlantis, but I know a thing or two about what’s important in life!”

 

PS.  Finally, forgive me for not getting out there with more reviews, but I took a little time off for myself to take care of my eyesight, with cataract surgery.  It’s not fun trying to do readings and not being able to see what you are interpreting.  I am happy to report that all is well and I am seeing with almost perfect vision.  I am forever grateful the sense of sight.

By Tarots Voice

Yes, Virginia; there are Tarot Conferences

I love Tarot conferences; I try to make them every year if I can.  Back before the day I knew of these happenings (it seems like a century ago,…oh wait it was actually), I thought there were very few Tarot Card readers, thinking that this craft was something that was done a long time ago by gypsies and was a fading art form.  Not so!  When I first went to a conference, which was down in the Washington DC area, I was amazed that there were indeed card readers and that they came in all walks of life, from a Universalist preacher to pagans, computer geeks, math teachers, psychiatrists,…you get the picture.  There was and still is a vibrant community of those who read for themselves, for spiritual enlightenment, and read Tarot as a profession.   Some have written books on the subject of Tarot; its history and are world renown teachers on the subject.  Not too shabby for something I thought was a very small group of hippies.  But I would not have known about any of these people if I had not started to attend some of these conferences and that’s the point of this blog, to expose some of you who are on the fence about attending, to give you some idea of what goes on and no this is definitely not “what goes on in conferences, stays at conferences.”  Even the after hour goofiness at the bar is all part of the experience.

Not all conferences are filled with after hour stories and shenanigans at the bar, some conferences (as was my very first one) were all about learning and sharing of information and just enjoying the interaction between new people.  I came away from that one with a greater understanding of reading, found some techniques and exercises to take my reading to a different level.  I had a great time!

My first conference where I flew cross-country came at an invitation to meet someone I met online by chatting and posting comments on Aeclectic Tarot.  His user name was Umbrae.  He was spouting out Tarot wisdom free of charge so to speak and his knowledge fascinated me.   At his invitation, I decided to get on a plane and fly to San Fransisco and attend BATS (Bay Area Tarot Symposium).  But more of this conference later.  Suffice it to say that by meeting Umbrae (Dan Pelletier) in the flesh, I learned what it was like to be passionate about something,…that something being Tarot.  Whenever I get bored or just plain lazy with my reading, I think back to that time of first meeting and I am exhilarated once again.  He literally pointed the way for me and if I chose to do so, become a terrific Tarot reader and also a better person.  I gained a jewel of a friend that day.

READER’S STUDIO is a Tarot conference that’s held on the east coast Queens, NY to be exact at the LeGuardia Marriott every year.  I have been attending this one since I was invited by another great friend, Franniee who again I first met on Aeclectic Tarot.  The Reader’s Studio is put on by Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone, who also run the Tarot School here on the east coast.   www.tarotschool.com I had no idea there was such an animal as a tarot school until I found this conference.  The idea of being taught in a class-like setting about Tarot intrigued me, so I felt the conference would be equally interesting.  I was not wrong.  You immediately have a sense of that “New York frame of mind” as soon as you get to the Marriott, combined with the expectancy of meeting old friends and making new ones while learning new techniques and ideas on Tarot.  We are sat at round tables that we have staked a claim to, which if you are a bashful kind of laid back person, this might cause a little bit of angst, but then this is where you step up and ask if this seat is taken and you sit down and meet new people and make new friends.

It is well run and organized, featuring master classes of an hour and a half on various subjects from new ways of reading, to revisiting Rider/Waite/Smith with a new appreciation.  I recall one lecture on using Tarot as a tool in psycho-analysis and psycho-therapy.  Another on intuitive reading vs. memorization of meanings of the cards through a book.  I must say that you are not required to attend every lecture going on, you can opt out and have a nap in your room, or a quiet reflection in a room provided by the conference, or sit in the bar if it’s open and have a drink or read Tarot as often happens.  You can also visit the vendor tables on the perimeter of the main room.  There you can pick up a new table-cloth or bag for a deck or even a new deck purchased from the Tarot Garden.   Saturday night is a lovely dinner banquet, which folks are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Tarot card, something I have yet to do as they’re all my favorites.  There are also night-time hour-long classes design for a quick look at something perhaps not Tarot related.  I took one of these classes by Melissa, who was doing Lenormand, a completely different system of divination, named after its most celebrated reader, Mlle Lenormand.  What once annoyed me because I couldn’t wrap my Tarot mind around it, became almost like child’s play once the magnificent Melissa showed us just how she reads and how we could too.  The class was the highlight (for me) of that particular Reader’s Studio.

Another conference and one I mentioned earlier is BATS. http://dodivination.com/2012_sf_bats  (Please note, this is for this years’ BATS, but keep this link handy as next year’s info will be out at some point). Bay Area Tarot Symposium is the oldest and consistently run Tarot conference going, located in the wonderfully eclectic city of San Fransisco.  I must admit this conference I hold very dear to my heart as it is where I found myself and made such fantastic life-long friends.  It is run by Thalassa, of Daughters of Divination.  Started in 1991, BATS is a joyful celebration of life and Tarot and those who practice this art of divination.  She has organized this format to feature some of the best and brightest stars of the Tarot community, Mary Greer being a regular (and never disappointing), I swear she has something terrific to say,…this time around with the true history of Tarot.  Thalassa has the lecture times to roughly 45-50 minute time slots because there is just so much you can take in as well as so much your fanny can take constantly sitting.  I have to agree with her justification, having been a school teacher and noticing when to wrap up my lesson when I see kids start to figit in their seats.  This is a conference filled with joy for the love of Tarot and passion, learning and at times, whimsical fun.  This year featured skits performed by Nancy Antenucci, Rhonda Lund and Dan Pelletier (yes, the one who is my jewel of a friend).  I must also take a moment to mention that these people are all working Tarot readers, Dan also co-owns the Tarot Garden with Jeannette Roth.  There was also a Saturday night cocktail party/social mixer, featuring an excellent jazz trio, playing popular standards and people got up and danced, schmoozed, networked and well got social.  So take that Facebook, lol!!

This is a conference that to me is the very essence of what Tarot is about and that is it’s about everything.  We laugh, love, sing, cry, embrace, tell jokes, perform, create, get grounded and well-rounded and passionate about what we love.  There is never a dull moment, if you are sitting in the foyer of the hotel, you may be approached by a fellow tarotist, or someone who saw you working with a deck and asked if you could read for them.  The friendships and love and respect you take away with you, not to mention being rejuvenated in your love for the Tarot outweighs a lot of the class time.  Sitting up at the restaurant, regaling in stories of the Tarot or getting some free advice from Mary Greer or Thalassa or Dan is always a blessing.  Next years conference will be moving to the lovely city of San Jose, CA.  Alas for me, there are no direct flights from Newark to San Jose (at least as far as I can see) so I will have to find another carrier that does or has maybe one stop over.

All in all, going to conferences can be time-consuming and eat at your pocket financially, so you need to budget wisely.  If you can only do one, then I would pick one that is closest to you, but if you can, hop on a plane and fly to the east or west coast.  It’s a vacation and the people and memories you meet and make and keep with you are priceless and worth every penny spent.  For me, “I Left My Heart in San Fransisco”, but found my true passion in life.   “Do I know the way to San Jose?”  You betcha I do and wouldn’t miss it, when there’s more to be discovered.   Don’t forget the Big Apple and Reader’s Studio, a great way to say hello to spring and summer and if there is a small conference nearby as there will be at the end of October outside of Philadelphia, sign up and go for the day.  Out of an eggcorn, mighty oaks grow.   http://www.tarotpassages.com/conclave2012.htm

By Tarots Voice

Tarot in Reverse ~~ Janet Boyer

I normally do not do reviews on books of Tarot, considering the Tarot its self is an ongoing, changing book, filled with plot twists, reversals, and changes for the better or worse.  Sometimes we can figure out “who dunnit” in the cards retrospective, other times not.  And sometimes we all need a little help from our friends, a good reference book we can count on for a little insight that will jog or kickstart our intuition to thinking.

There are a lot of such books out there.  Some are well written, some are not and tend to lead the tarotist down a garden path of a gobble-d-gook of useless information.

Having said that, I wish to turn my attention to a book that is; in my opinion, well written, informative, uses examples that I have to say a beginner will recognize and understand.   Tarot in Reverse, the latest offering of well-known author and tarot reader Janet Boyer, is a book filled with ideas and suggestions as to why a reversed card could mean this or that.  When coming up as a reader, there weren’t that many books out there, preferring at times to look at the LWB (Little White Booklet) that always accompanied the deck.  It would give the divinatory meaning and the reversed meaning,…which usually was the opposite of the upright meaning.  Well, that’s all well and good, but what if Death reversed could just mean a change, but not an ending to the current situation?  Or what if it could mean a horrific change, or a change for the better?  Janet takes this concept into consideration and runs with it, offering what I would call various keywords of reversals or maybe it would be better to call them key situations of a reversed card.  Then she reminds us that we need to look at the Body Language of the card reversed as well as the body language of cards surrounding it, where the figures are pointing or looking left or right.

Ok, you say, anybody would know to do that why a book?  Ahhhh, but not everyone does know to do that, unless you are reading everyday for people or yourself, day in and day out.  Sometimes we need a reminder (I know I do) and Janet words this process as well as the whole book in an easy, friendly manner, that all of us beginner, intermediate as well as advanced readers are going to understand.  Janet also interjects her infectious humor into the book, thus you can at times see the folly in Death reversed is Non-death.  With this book, you begin to train (or continue to train) your mind to think in terms of reading and getting into the nitty-gritty of what is going on in the card reversal its self.

I highly recommend this book in particular to those starting out on their Tarot journey.  It lays down the basics of reversals and allows one to focus on thinking in terms of reading reversals and not be afraid to read them.  It successfully allows you to face your fears of reading reversals and to embrace these cards as the reversed and next page of the book called Tarot.  It would be a welcome addition to anyone’s library.  The publisher is Schiffer.  I do love the use of Universal Waite-Smith for pictorial examples.  The vibrant colors (something else to consider when reading reversals, what may stick out in upright position may become muted reversed), are attractive to one’s eye and cause you to pause and look at the card.  Yes, by all means get this book, it is a great first step on the road of Tarot reading and it is also a great tool when looking up a card in its reversed position.

By Tarots Voice

Ghosts and Spirits Tarot ~~ by Lisa Hunt

Going to conferences about Tarot is a lot of fun.  First off, you meet up with old friends, secondly you make new ones.  Thirdly, you see what is new and exciting in Tarot decks and books, and fourthly you take classes and see presentations that are worth the price of admission.  It can be exhausting, but oh so entertaining and enlightening.  Such as it was for me as I roamed the main room of Reader’s Studio 2012, a major east coast conference put on by Ruth and Wald Amberstone.  I was perusing my favorite place to acquire new decks The Tarot Garden when Dan Pelletier by way of I think telepathy called me to look his way, which I did.  He had this look in his eye of “Come hither, I have something for you.”  I looked up and he did his best Vanna White to have me look at what he held in his hand.  It was, hot off the press it seems, from US Games, Ghosts and Spirits Tarot, by Lisa Hunt, noted artist of South Florida.  I immediately heard the voice of the deck calling out to me, knowing that my newness to channeling spirit and in need of something to help along the way.  I said “Yes, to the deck,” and promptly bought it and put it in my purse.  I admit, putting it into my purse and continuing to wander around was not what the deck wanted me to do.  Afterall, this deck is about spirits and ghosts, it was only natural for it to want to talk to me.

Normally, I am not a person who states that the deck is “alive,” after all, it is a bunch of pictures on cardboard or cardstock.  It’s inanimate.  Spirit is constantly moving, constantly changing and for me, this deck wanted me to just stop my wandering and take a look.  So I did.  I went back up to my room, with the anticipation of looking, talking and introducing myself to this deck.  I was not disappointed with the initial conversations.

The publisher is US Games, who has been in the card publishing business for a while now.  I think they understand the need for a durable cardstock, while not being so stiff it can’t be shuffled and yet so thin it falls apart after a day’s worth of use.  Some people will complain of the glossiness of the deck and the slipperiness, but I don’t mind it at all.  After a day’s worth of shuffling, the glossiness and slipperiness tends to wear off, but the fluidity of the shuffle gets better and better.  I think that’s important when you are a working reader to have a deck that feels right and shuffles without stalling.

The deck itself is 79 cards, the 79th being a card of Ghosts and Spirits.  It was amusing that every time after a good shuffling, this card would turn up first.  It really wanted to talk to me and I sat and listened.   I am an intuitive reader, I don’t per say have the tried and true definitions and interpretations of the cards socked away in my brain, waiting to spill out at a moment’s notice.  I like looking at the card, jumping into it if I can and taking a look around.  This deck let me do just that and with the tried and true interpretations put their own spin on it and then went further.  I also normally tell people to take the LWB and use it as starter fuel for their fireplaces, but this one is soooo different.  It’s different in that Lisa gives a synopsis, a small brief history if you will of ghosts and goblins, spirits and what have you that are depicted on the card.  I can just imagine Lisa channeling a spirit and manifesting this spirit on paper and having it tell it’s story to her.  It comes out in her artistry.  This is an absolutely beautiful deck.  I am a big fan of artists doing their own artwork, this one is a true testament to that.

Having an exhaustive weekend I fell ill and was physically and emotionally spent.  I gave myself a reading where basically the cards just said rest, get your emotions in a balanced place and then I chuckled.  The third card was 3 of pentacles, or btw, work on the review. Lol, the cards have a sense of humor.  They also tell the truth and cut through the BS of this physical realm and get to the heart of the matter.  At least they did with me.  I like a deck that is truthful; the cards give me a truthful evaluation of the situation without a veil to see through.  This deck can be for everyone, from the novice wishing to pursue a study in Tarot to the advanced reader, who wants to connect to the next level of reading for themselves.  You don’t need to use the LWB for meanings, but I do ask you when you pick this up to read the LWB as it has those small vignettes of history of the spirit depicted.  The 5 of Swords is a favorite of mine as it depicts the Erlkoenig.   If you are a classical music buff as I am, you will also know that Franz Schubert wrote a piano/voice composition called Erlkoenig.  Mr. Schubert during the last years of his life began to contemplate the darker side of humanity and it became part of his music dealing with death and dying.  He unfortunately died at the young age of 31.  But I digress,…

This is a wonderful deck, probably the best work yet from Lisa Hunt.  I strongly recommend if you want this deck to get it now.  You won’t be disappointed.  Perhaps you too will hear the siren’s song of spirit and come not to investigate, but to learn what moves, motivates and perhaps what manifests itself to you, the reader.

By Tarots Voice

Steampunk Tarot

First off, I apologize for being lazy with my blog.  I have had some physical issues that required me to be focused on myself.  I know that sounds really selfish, but it’s true.  You don’t get well if you are not concentrating on getting there.

Anyway, on to the blog-a-view at hand.  Originally, I wasn’t going to get this deck because well, Steampunk; what is that?  So I looked it up.

“Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s.[1] Specifically, steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them; in other words, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc. This technology may include such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne or real technologies like the computer but developed earlier in an alternate history.”

This is from one of the many online dictionaries.  I thought okay, interesting,…then I saw an image of the Steampunk Tarot, the creation of Barbara Moore.  It was the 4 of swords.  At first glance, it looks deceptively like all the other 4 of swords I have seen, but then you have to really take a look at it.  The man doesn’t look dead, he looks at rest, the 3 swords are suspended above him, there is  an open window with a raven perched on the sill.  Beneath that sill is an egg-timer and the sands of time are running through from top to bottom.  If you notice on the side of what the man is laying on is a clock of sorts, by his head.  I took the card as the 3 swords hanging over his head from the previous card.  The man has been thinking of the situation from the previous card to the point that it has  become overwhelming and he needs to rest his mind.  The raven is always to me a harbinger of bad news.  It is also noted that the egg-timer is connected to some mechanical device that could turn it over, it gave me the feeling of a self-imposed “time-out.”  The darkness of the card is significant that although the man is trying to rest, the light of the problems from the 3 swords still shine out and give off light.  I don’t know if that kind of light would be welcoming.  Some might think any port in a storm, but in this case, I don’t think so.

My point is, there is so much to be seen and felt and acknowledged in this one card, I absolutely love that.  I opened up the manual (illustrated by Aly Fell) to see if what I was seeing and feeling in that card was close and by golly, Barbara said about the same thing in a more eloquent manner.

The publisher is Llewellyn Worldwide; I love the card stock used for this deck.  You don’t have to do stretching exercises to fit this deck in the palm of your hand, which also makes it for easy shuffling.  The book is something that even if you don’t use books to have definitions of meanings, read anyway as you can get an idea of the author and her journey through Tarot.  The back of the cards are equally nice and it makes a handsome deck.  The artwork is stunning; Aly I think got what Barbara’s vision was about with steampunk.  I love a deck that knocks on my intuition doorway and says “Hello?  Anybody home?”  lol.  This is a deck that is really a must have for your collection as well as a good working deck for those out there who make their way reading professionally.  It is very sturdy and will take a lot shuffling.  It is not a scary deck, some clients get put off by dark looking cards, this is what I would call a deck of realism, in a fictional sort of way.  In other words, it’s sci-fi, but not so much that you can’t learn and teach lessons with it.  That brings me to those who want to use the deck for self discovery or just to read for themselves.  I gave myself a reading a couple of days ago, and the deck brought out some situations that I hadn’t thought of and a different way of looking at them.  It speaks to you.

Where can you find this deck?  Well you can go to the usual places that are listed online or at your local New Age store, which I am all for, the small businessperson.  However, if you just want to order online, I highly highly, recommend The Tarot Garden, owned and operated by Jeannette Roth and Dan Pelletier.  Doesn’t matter where you live, they will get the deck (or decks) to you as quickly as possible.  I have gotten my decks from them since I found out about them years ago.  Just click on this link and it will take you to the boutique area of their site and look up in the upper left hand corner Steampunk Tarot.  There you will be taken to that page and see the price for the deck and accompanying manual.  http://www.tarotgarden.com/boutique/onlinecatalog.php?rs=1058 

By Tarots Voice

Cat’s Eye Tarot

I love cats.  I have been in love with them since I was a little girl and my family brought into our home two Siamese.   Throughout the years, I have since had a cat living with me, sharing the duties of mistress of the home, until I realized that it was I that was being trained by the cat to become the ever loyal servant of the feline furball.  Didn’t matter to me, all I knew is that they gave me the most unconditional love and respect one could ever hope for.   Each cat that I had in my home, I slowly bonded with and we became best friends.  It is like that now with my current cat, a beautiful long-haired Calico that I found in the local shelter.  Her previous owners surrendered her there because where they were moving to, they could not have pets.  That was over 2 years ago.  She is now my best friend and my constant companion.

Now what do you say has this got to do with Tarot?  Plenty.  If you have lived with cats or with a dog or horse or whatever strikes your fancy, you get to know them, you get to understand how to communicate with them, learn their body language and how they verbalize what they want from you.  Such is the same with one of my favorite decks The Cat’s Eye Tarot, created by  Debra M. Given, DVM; who has a feline only practice up in the state of Maine.

This is a deck that truly understands the language of the cat.  Its pictures of various breeds doing what cats go about doing from day to day tells a story through its movements, eye contact,  cat  parenting to cat hygiene.  Each of these stories are on the 78 cards are so beautifully pictured you can’t help but look into the picture and want to chuff them under the chin or scratch them behind their ears.   It is a friendly deck, not likely to spook easily, unless startled.  Its use in divination is astoundingly accurate in that it gets to the heart of the matter.  It is a wonderful deck for self examination.  Who hasn’t looked deeply into the eyes of a cat and wonder what it is thinking only to find that your mind is fixed on something else and you begin to meditate.   The meanings of the cards are pretty much standard RWS, but what I like about this deck is it leaves room to grow and mature with it as you use it, much like as you would adopt a cat from the shelter and as it grows with you, you become almost one with the animal.  You know when it is hungry before it meows so.  I also particularly like the back of the cards; a solitary head of a cat with green eyes staring knowingly at you (much like my own does with her cool and limpid “Green Eyes”).

This is a great deck for a beginner.  I even like the LWB (little white book) as it gives down to earth meanings and can be ascertained also by just looking at the card.  It is also a great deck for those who need something that is not intimidating and people will warm up to in a professional setting.

Overall, this is a great deck, fun to use and can fit into any situation whether you are a professional reader or just read for yourself and use for meditation.  I highly recommend.

By Tarots Voice

The Independent Deck Creator/Publisher

Everytime I see a bunch of new Tarot decks come out, I cringe.  The “big box” publishers are all wonderful and fine and cater to the masses and that’s a beautiful thing.  I often wonder with a lot of themes, just where do they get their ideas from?   Who did the research on this deck?  Seriously,…I do wonder that.  Then my heart beats a little faster because I see a deck being pushed by its creator, the independent.  This is a small niche group of folk that love Tarot and want to be creative by publishing their own decks.  They will design a deck, it may take them months, years,…with some it seems it takes them forever, but these decks are well worth the wait.   A lot of people (myself included until enlightened), will think that the independent is just out there to trash up the existing inventory of what’s available to use, to play with, to connect with.  This might be the case with an extremely small amount, but the folks I have seen with their decks are truly creative in their work and are working readers.  They are in my view the Monets and the Renoirs of our time period, of our group.

We will be looking at a couple of decks in this blog, the Victorian Postcard Tarot by Marcia McCord and The Minute Tarot by Robyn Tish Hollister.  Both gals are professional readers in their own right, both are incredible creative forces in the Tarot Community.   Both creators can be found on Facebook.

Marcias’ deck, The Victorian Postcard Tarot, is a beautiful rendition of victorian postcards, using a RWS foremat for their meanings.  However, Marcia gives a special twist to those cards, almost a bit of whimsy to them, which really appeals to my sense of humor and that all is well in the world.

I love the 9 of swords.  It looks like the guy was “sleeping with the fishes” and wakes up thinking it was a dream,…until he looks at his lap and there’s a fish in it.  Gotta love that kind of subtile humor.  The Tower is well,…the Tower in all it magnificent destruction; something quite unexpected, but still glorious to look at.  Death is one of my favorite cards in this deck.  I immediately think of a Grateful Dead album cover (okay, okay,…I am that old that I do remember album covers), and the Happy Squirrel?  Well, you decide what it should mean or be, The Simpsons did.

The deck is just a tad smaller than your average playing card size, very easy to shuffle/riffle.  There is only one thing I would change and that is the corners; I would round them and you can do that if you have a steady hand and are precise, or better yet take the deck to someone you know that does just that, trims decks.  I love the fact that it is, save for the white on the bottom with the title of the card, borderless.  It creates for me sort of a window sill to which I lean on and take a look to see what’s on the other side.  This deck is very readable, I would recommend to the beginner and to those who have been to a few rodeos in their time.  Marcia if I recall, still has these available some 1st editions and 2nd editions at her website,   http://marciamccordtarotreader.blogspot.com/p/tarot-decks.html

My second pick for the independent deck creator/publisher is Robyn Tish Hollister’s Minute Tarot.  I fell in love with her artwork with the first deck I purchased “All Hallows” Tarot, I believe you can find these decks at The Tarot Connection.net.  Look for the Tarot Connection Shop.  Lots of interesting things there.

Robyn’s decks are hand-drawn, hand -painted by her.  She has what I would call a whimiscal folk-art style that is very meaningful.  She captures the cards and their meanings in her art and gives you a chance to put your own spin on them as well.

The Minute Tarot

You can see the whimsy in the drawings and yet you also see the intent of the artist to represent the card in RWS fashion.  This to me is an ideal deck for parties, doing readings for kids; it’s very nonthreatening.  I particularly like the 9 of cups (The Wish Card).  The fairy or fairy godmother, granting your very wish.  The Lovers is a sweet card filled with promise.  For some reason, I am taken back to a scene from “A Night in The Museum – The Battle of the Smithsonian” with the three cupids singing all sorts of love songs to the unlikely couple, who is hiding from the forces of Napoleon.  The Fool, I hear Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, from Snow White.  (Gheese you would think I have nothing better to do than watch movies, lol).  The deck also comes packed in a little bag and has a LWB (little white book) of keywords for meanings.  For the beginner, that can be a great help as keywords can trigger meanings as they relate to the question of the reading.  It is a delightful deck, it comes in a tin (yes, that’s right a tin, love that), is about the size of a small card deck, shuffles very easily and is a sturdy deck.  Leisa Refalo who runs the Tarot Connection out of Portland Oregon, really makes a good product.  I have not been disappointed with anything I have purchased there.

All in all, the Minute Tarot is a fun deck, easy to read and does not give a “scary” or dark feel to it at all.

As a matter of point, neither decks do.  The Victorian has a lot of dry wit and perhaps a splash of dark humor, but does not give a threatening feel at all.  Both are pretty and whimsical.  One looks like a bunch of postcards from the edge,…the other is colorful and light.  Both give you a “Hello, come have a cup of coffee with me” feel.  I like that.  Tarot decks that are easy to make friends with.

By Tarots Voice

Howdy Partners,…The Prairie Tarot is ridin’ into Town

EEEyahhh, y’all com’on now, pull up yer horses to the post and come on into the saloon and take a look at this here tarot deck, called The Prairie Tarot, by Robin Ator.  It is a RW based deck with an additional card and I have to say when I pick up this deck to use, it will begin singing the opening song of “Oklahoma” to me and I see the character Curly appear in my mind’s eye singing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” as he rides through the corn fields of the yet to become state of Oklahoma.  This is where the deck takes you.  It is, in my opinion, a distinctly American deck, filled with the images of how it was in those days of the midwest.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Ator takes into consideration all aspects of reading the images of the cards.  We don’t see too ornate images and bright colors of the rainbow, but subtile coloring, in that if you were in the midwest, this is what you would see.  It’s almost like seeing the good and then the bad of living there and then having it all blend in to one image.  There are the facial expressions of the folks pictured in the cards, the body language, what they are doing in the card, how it is depicted.  Each card seems to evoke nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives; the who, what, where, why and how so needed when constructing sentences, which construct stories.  For me, this is a perfect deck for reading.

The deck has 79 cards, the 79th being the Jackalope (see insert).

As you look at it and ponder its meaning you then ask “ok, so what does it mean?”  My answer is where is it in relation to the spread and to the position in the spread and to the reading.  One of the many positives of this deck is no LWB.  You can have a basic idea of RW meanings if you want, but to read this deck I say to throw those meanings out the window and use what you see.  You can also approach the meanings through a numerological aspect thus interpreting as if this were a non-scenic deck (no pretty pictures).  Or you can combine that and looking at pictures and their meanings and coming up with a super layered interpretation that would knock your own socks off, let alone your client.  It’s whatever you are comfortable with.  This for me is another big positive.  Right now, I am glancing at the 2 of wands or fenceposts and there is a girl holding 2 fenceposts in her hands.  She’s holding them out with arms extended with a face that looks to be saying to me “Ok, CHOOSE!  WHICH ONE?!”  She’s being vehement with this too because, I mean look,…holding up 2 fenceposts with each hand with arms extended is no easy feat.  I couldn’t do it, but somehow you have to.  With these images, you have to take into consideration the background surrounding the person or subject of the image, everything.  These are just delightful cards to work with and are quickly becoming my go to deck for readings.

Now the deck does have a downside, if you want to call it a downside, that would be the cardstock.  It’s  heavy-duty, not very pliable, very no nonsense.   It won’t fall apart on you as you shuffle or as your client shuffles.  But this in its self is part of the deck’s heritage and where it comes from.  The people of the midwest during that time and even now are made of stern stock.  They are a no-nonsense kind of people and expect to get what they paid for.  They won’t fall apart if you give them hard work.

I first came across The Prairie Tarot back in August at BATS (Bay Area Tarot Symposium), a yearly event put on by the Daughters of Divination out in San Fransisco, California.  At the vendors room, was Dan Pelletier of the Tarot Garden, showing his wares.  He showed me this deck and as fast as I looked at it, was as quickly as he sold out of it.  I do believe he has it back in stock.  It is a wonderful deck to have for working and delightful to add to ones collection.  (Below, The Tarot Garden Link).  Just put in the space the name of the deck and click Go.

http://www.tarotgarden.com/database/dbsearchengine.php?rs=1058 . 

By Tarots Voice

Le Tarot Des Femmes Erotiques

At first glance, this deck conjures up in my mind the balconies of old New Orleans or the Bird Cage in Tombstone, where ladies of the evening and guests, sit on a summer’s afternoon while one carefully deals her tarot deck out.  She has a knowing look upon her face and for a moment,…. she is the High Priestess willing to tell her secrets to you.   The box in which this deck comes in is sturdy and has a rich purple color with gold bordering it and the picture of two ladies.  It is like a window that we are privileged to look into, almost Hitchcockesque as the camera pans slowly closer, drawing you into this world of Les Tarot des Femmes Erotiques.  Even the backs of the cards do not let you escape with a picture of the Magician staring at you.  This deck is the creation of the witches at BeautyHistoryMagic.com

I wanted to quickly start using this deck, but was a little dismayed at the oversize of the cards (I can only put my fingers around so much) and the slipperyness of the finish of the cards.  No matter; the finish also adds to the ambience of the deck.  So I side shuffle away, no riffling for this deck I’m afraid.  As I spread the deck out on the table, the Magician on the backs of the card looks at me, and tries to seduce me, tries to taunt me into picking her card.  I chuckle to myself, as the magic of this deck invades the reading at hand.  “No, no,” I said to the magician card back, “my client will do the choosing,” and thus the magician turns her eyes towards my client, who is a little put back by what is happening.  I reassure her that this isn’t a trick, this is the reading.   She swallows hard and picks from the fan of cards three, which I leave face down.  One by one, I turn the cards over and begin to tell my client a story.  In each card, the lady or ladies who appear are very eager to tell me what they know and what needs to happen and what could happen.

They do tell a story, filled with pitfalls and sage advice, but they do not beat around the bush, they get to the point of the matter, something I like with Tarot decks; tell me what I want/need to know, give me advice if needed.  This deck does and does it in such a romantic way that you don’t realize you’ve been seduced by it and all of its “attributes.”  This is also a fine deck for self-discovery.  Again, the ladies are only too happy to tell you secrets about yourself.  It has a distinctly feminine appeal, the court cards are Chatalaine, Queen, Lady and Novice.  If you would like an LWB (Little White Book), go to http://vintageeroticatarot.com/ and download a PDF file with meanings.   I prefer to search the highly descriptive faces of the women in the deck as they have a way of conveying their message.

As I put the deck away in its box, the ladies seem sullen as I have quieted them down.  No doubt they want to be out and showing the world their independence, intelligence and strength of heart.  They will get their chance,…

By Tarots Voice