Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Review: Tarot For One

Tarot for One: The Art of Reading for Yourself
Author - Courtney Weber
Red Wheel/Weiser, 2016

Description - 243 page paperback book

"Tarot and mirrors share the same role: they reflect truth."

Tarot For One will take you on a journey through the tarot, bring you closer to understanding the cards and yourself, and offers exercises and examples to practice your craft.

Weber begins her book with an introduction to the tarot and self-reading, covering such topics as tarot history, how self-reading is different from other readings, the practice of pulling a card a day, and more.

"You are the central character in your own personal myth."

"The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana depict the great myths we personally lead."

The second chapter focuses on the Fool's Journey: the story of tarot and your place in it. Weber gives an overview of life experiences associated with the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana, along with character examples and exercises to help you discover your own Fool's journey.

"In Back to the Future, Marty McFly travels back in time in his Fool's journey, and his Empress moment appears when one of the first people he meets in his journey is his mother as a teenager."

In chapter three, the court cards are described from the angles of Character, Traits, Experience, and Reversals. The multiple exercises help you to get in touch with these characters, dispelling the awkward nature most readers have in understanding the court cards. She also offers a technique to reveal if the card is referring to you or someone else.

The numbered cards of the minor arcana are explained from suit to numerical value in chapter four. Exercises range from what the numbers are trying to tell you, to mini picture books in each card, to pulling the whole deck together for a reading, with multiple example readings.

Through exercises and example readings, chapter five assists you in recognizing the voice of tarot by looking at the different ways one card can reflect on different situations, and then by comparing deliberately pulled cards against random pulls - your viewpoint versus the Tarot's opinion. She also suggests some decks may prefer one topic over another and offers an exercise to unlock the voice of your deck.

"The first thing to note: you do not have to read reversed cards."

Chapter six suggests there are six potential ways to interpret reversals and provides explanations and examples of each situation. A technique is offered to determine which of the six ways is to be used in the reading of the reversal. Instructions on using reversals in yes or no questions are also presented.

The main theme of chapter seven is what's missing from your Tarot readings, such as no cups and/or no court cards. It also looks into working with the tough cards, both the 'good' and 'bad' cards of the deck.

Reading for yourself is not always a good idea. Chapter eight covers situations and solutions for these times.

"When we are worried, we are blinded by our fears that things will not turn out in the way we want. Any cards we pull that do not relate to our desired outcome will look like bad omens and will make us feel worse."

Weber offers a wide variety of twenty possible spreads in chapter nine, from the traditional Celtic Cross spread to unique spreads, such as a spread to determine how long a desired outcome may take with ideas of the events surrounding the outcome.

Throughout the book, Weber insists the cards respond to your own reflections, making it important to form your own interpretations, rather than blindly following the meanings offered by others. Suggested meanings should be used as guidelines, not rules.  Even your own interpretations should be looked as guidelines as you move along in your tarot journey.

"Our intuitive responses to the cards will change and evolve-sometimes even within a single reading."

I recommend Tarot for One to anyone just beginning their tarot journey.

In my experience, reading for yourself is a great way to explore the tarot and develop the skills necessary to read for others.

I would also recommend it to experienced readers who enjoy discovering new techniques in their process.

Tarot for One offers a number of approaches to the tarot which were new to me, and I'm guessing would be new to many readers. This one is definitely not a repeat of the other tarot guides out there.

Courtney Weber is a Wiccan priestess, writer, Tarot advisor, and activist. You can discover more about the author of Tarot for One and creator of Tarot of the Boroughs at her website: www.thecocowitch.com.

Grab your copy at Red Wheel Weiser.

(Review Product supplied by Red Wheel Weiser.)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Review: The WayCard Oracle

The WayCard Oracle
Author - Martha Winona Travers
Schiffer Publishing, 2016

Description - 33 Cards and a 96 page guidebook in a sturdy cardboard box, with magnetic closure.

Card Size - 3 X 5


"The WayCard Oracle will help you identify energy clusters, or archetypes, that are presently active and influencing emotions, thoughts and actions." ~ C. Michael Smith, PhD

The guide book begins with a preface written by C. Michael Smith, PhD. The short introduction includes a Table of Correspondences, a cheat sheet for the card meanings. A how to use the cards section offers a five-card spread designed for the cards - Patterns. And, it gives a quick overview of using three cards, one card, multi cards, and yes or no questions. The rest of the book is devoted to card meanings, two pages per card. The book closes with a short conclusion, which offers a circular cycle of the cards in order from the Radiance to the Return.

"The WayCard Oracle reveals hidden knowledge about your journey and helps you travel more lightly."

The WayCard Oracle is a very simple, straightforward oracle. There's nothing fancy about it. The fronts and backs have identical images. The back has a green background while the front is white. The card consists of, in most cases, a single keyword associated with a stepping stone in the journey of life.



Focus - "When you pull this card, you are being asked to carefully and honestly examine your own thoughts. What are you creating every day? Notice in any given moment where you place your attentions."

Faith - "When you pull the Faith card, you are being guided to place your trust in the Radiance that exists in all things, that is with you in every moment and in every place. Faith does not come through effort, it comes through quiet. Faith does not need to be acquired or gained; it already exists within you."

In working with the cards, I used the Patterns spread and received some interesting and insightful guidance. The spread consists of five positions: present, past, future, shadow, and light. The book provides you enough guidance to give you a good platform for a reading. Overall, I was impressed by the message supplied by the cards and the author's interpretations. 

This deck would make a great gift for someone interested in a starter oracle. A seasoned reader may also find the simplicity of the deck interesting and refreshing.

Grab your copy at Schiffer Publishing.


(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing.)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: Let Your Spirit Guides Speak

Let Your Spirit Guides Speak
Author: Debra Landwehr Engle
Hampton Roads Publishing Company

"...a major problem in all our lives: we keep looking to other people for answers, which may give us a quick fix but eventually leaves us disappointed, frustrated, and seeking once again."
"...So, if that's the problem, what's the solution?
Turning inward and asking for the guidance that's designed specifically for you."

Let Your Spirit Guides Speak provides guidance into understanding and listening to your spirit guides. The author alternates between her own words and words received from her spirit guide, Ella.

Engle shares some of her experiences with her Spirit Guides. These alone, for me, made the book worth the read.

One of my favorite stories involved her guide answering a mundane question with a single word. How many times have you asked yourself a question, only to receive a simple, straightforward answer a moment later? Sometimes this arrives by words within your own mind. But isn't it exciting when it comes from an outside source, such as words in a song or voices on the television? These wondrous events are very likely offered by your spirit guide or some other higher source.

My other favorite story was of the Lady in the Blue Dress. Engle shares her experience of meeting a higher version of herself. I found the whole concept to be fascinating, although I haven't had much luck creating such an experience of my own. But, I'll keep trying.

Engle offers suggestions and advice for communication with your own spirit guides. I personally didn't find anything new in this part of the book.

She goes over such advice as:
  • Ask for a close parking space to ease into communications.
  • Use the technique of auto-writing to connect.
  • Your spirit guide will always be positive, never negative.
These are all things, I've read in most Spirit Guide books.

Engle poses questions to her spirit guide and then transcribes her responses. For me, the transcriptions seemed slightly stilted. But, one can't control the words offered by your spirit guide. Of course, that's not to say there wasn't wisdom within this part of the text.

"Your purpose and identity are not your job or where you live or what you own. Your purpose and identity are to extend divine love. You do these things in a way that's different from everyone around you because you have unique skills and abilities. But in the end, your purpose is love. Hey, that's our purpose too! Let's work together, and we can extend it faster and more effectively. We respect and admire you, and we are honored to call you our friend."

Let Your Spirit Guides Speak offers a nice introductory into communicating with your Spirit Guide.

I would recommend this book to anyone just getting started with connecting with their Spirit Guide. But, I'd also recommend it to someone already experienced, but looking for a light read and enjoys hearing of others experiences with their Spirit Guide.


Grab your copy at Red Wheel Weiser.



(Review Product supplied by Red Wheel Weiser.)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: Carry Me Crystals

Carry Me Crystals
Authors - Joanie Eisinger, Elizabeth Jarvis & Peter Jarvis
Schiffer Publishing, 2016

Description - 44 Cards and a 96 page guidebook in a sturdy cardboard box, with magnetic closure.

Card Size - 3.5 X 2.5

“Gems are precious and each one can assist you on a spectacular journey to enlightenment."

Carry Me Crystals is a multipurpose deck with the focus upon crystals and their energies. You may choose to carry the crystal card of your choice around with you throughout the day to absorb its energy. You can follow the guidance displayed on the reverse side of the card. The deck makes a great oracle. It can also be used for chakra clearing ~ each card is coded with a color dot to represent the chakra association of the card.

Carry Me - Each card features an image of a crystal, which may be used to draw energy from just as you would with an actual crystal. When I carry a crystal, I place the stone in my pocket. The same can be done with these cards, but you may want to take into consideration your work activity and situation. The cards are made of good stock, but I'd still be worried over the issue of loss and/or damage. If you have a desk job, you could place your chosen card at your desk.

Choosing a Crystal - One method of choosing the crystal would be to flip through the images to find the one which feels right for you at that moment. Another option is to choose the best message, from the reverse side, to aid you in gaining the energy you need for the day.


 


Oracle Deck - To demonstrate this possible option, I asked the cards: "What do I needed to focus on at this moment?" Shuffle and select a card as you would with any deck. I received the Jade.

The guidebook suggests the Jade can be used to heal emotional wounds. On the side with the message, the fourth dot (green) is filled in. The stone represents the Heart Chakra.

So ~ I need to be focusing on emotional wounds - my fear, my sadness, any sense of betrayal I may be feeling at this moment.




Chakra Clearing - The Jade can be used to clear the Heart Chakra. The guidebook suggests placing this card near a magnet for ten to fifteen minutes to magnify its energy. Then, place it upon your heart chakra, center of your chest, to draw out your emotional pain.

Guidebook - In the short introduction, there is a chart which identifies the markings of the Chakra(s) for the deck. The bulk of the book covers each stone, its related Chakra region, and how to use its energy. There's enough information given to get you started with this deck.

However, I did feel the information provided was sometimes vague and glossy. If you want more in-depth information on Crystals, many sources are available out there in both books and on the internet.

My personal favorite is Healing Crystals - a wealth of information and you can buy crystals from them at great prices. I love this place.  

Carry Me Crystals would be great for someone looking to get started working with Crystals.

The deck also makes a great tool for those experienced with Crystals, providing a new method of choosing your crystal for the day. If you don't have the physical crystal, then you now have a crystal card version to experiment with.

Grab your copy at Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing.)