Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: Magical Dimensions Oracle Cards and Activators

Magical Dimensions Oracle Cards & Activators
Author: Lightstar
Schiffer Publishing, 2017

Description: 44 cards and a 72 page guidebook in a sturdy cardboard box, with magnetic closure and a built in cleansing symbol.

The Magical Dimensions Oracle Cards and Activators are indeed magical and quite different than anything I've experienced over the years of dabbling with various Oracle decks.

These cards can be used as Oracle Cards or as Activator Cards. The cards are categorized into main frequency types: Angelic, Elemental, Galactic, and seven Chakra Portals.

The guidebook covers an introduction, an overview of card categories, cleansing and care of your deck and a prelude to layouts. There are six suggested Oracle Card Spreads, suggestions for Activator uses, and three Activator Layout Suggestions. The rest of the guidebook is devoted to the Card Interpretations.

One page is devoted to each card, with a full color version of the image and card number. The card's title is given along with a few keywords, a connection to a particular sacred color ray, followed by a Celestial Interpretation and an Oracle Interpretation. The author also suggests working with companion crystals and essential oils to enhance the frequencies of the cards. Suggestions for the types of crystal and oils are provided for each card.

Let's take a look at the Challenges card above. It looks to be a very busy card to me, pure chaos. The woman is dressed for battle in her high boots and long fur coat. In her hands, she holds a powerful sword, a tool to sweep away all that chaos. But, she's not alone. A man wields a similar sword assisting her in the fight against the clutter.

"Celestial Interpretation: Challenges resonates to freedom from fears, negativity, and blockages. Residing in a denser dimension can cause the lower self to succumb to fear-based emotions. ...."

"The Oracle Interpretation: If you are feeling blocked, afraid, or stuck, assistance is on the way . . . so hold on and don't succumb to negative thinking. ...."

"Companion Crystals: Iceland Spa, Lapis Lazuli; Companion Essential Oil: Black Pepper"

I recommend this deck for anyone looking for something different.

Grab your copy from Schiffer Publishing.

Note: this is an updated version of a previously published deck in 2015. I'm unaware of what has or has not been updated and/or revised in this deck.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing.)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Review: Ostara Tarot

Ostara Tarot
Authors: Molly Applejohn, Eden Cooke, Krista Gibbard & Julia Iredale
Schiffer Publishing, 2017

Description: 78 cards and a 112 page guidebook in a sturdy cardboard box, with magnetic closure.

“The Vernal equinox, Ostara, wakes the city after winter. Through 78 stunning Tarot cards and an accompanying guidebook, delve into the fantastical world of traditional symbolism and contemporary themes that will return you to the wilderness and explore the feminine.”

The Ostara Tarot is one of those love it or hate it decks, but with a twist. You may find you like one suit and hate the rest of the deck. You may like the whole deck except one suit. There's a reason for this breaking apart of interest within the deck.

Four talented women have formed a group and created a deck together. They each took a suit, and then split up the Major Arcana cards. This gives you varying styles throughout the deck. Below, I think you'll quickly see the startling effect of the styles.

I also found some of the cards difficult to classify with its suit. Above, you see some are relatively obvious, like the Swords and Pentacles. Can you tell which suit the bottom two corners belong to? The left is Cups and the right is Pentacles. Of course, this issue can be overcome by simply becoming more acquainted with the deck.

I really do love these cards. The talent that went into this deck is extraordinary. Even the backs make you stop and stare. Yes, there are a few I don't particularly like, but I like the majority of the deck. And, I do favor two of the artists over the other two, but again that is a style issue.

The Guidebook has a brief preface and the rest of the book is devoted to the individual cards. There's a full color image on one side, and card information on the other page, including Card Title, Keywords and Card Details of both the upright and the reversal. At the bottom of the Major Arcanas, the illustrator's name is given. And at the end of the guidebook, there's a brief section on each artist and her assigned suit.

"In this deck, you will discover a journey that loosely follows traditional Tarot symbolism, while also exploring themes of wilderness, surrealism, and feminine intuition."

I'm not sure if I would recommend this deck to a new reader of tarot, but then I can't really say that one couldn't pick it up and go with it. The world of Tarot and Oracle cards seem to get more entangled as we move forward in our journeys. So, I can't see why one couldn't learn this deck from the ground up and gain an intuitive connection worth exploring.

Take the Seven of Swords, for example, which is pictured above. For an experienced reader, it is easy to see the Rider-Waite influence in this card. But even new eyes could decipher what this little rascal is up to.

The Six of Cups could get tricky. "Six cup-bearing figures stand around a surfacing whale." Now, I'm not saying it doesn't, it may, but what does that have to do with childhood, memories, or innocence?

With all that said, I'm in love with the deck and look forward to getting to know it and all its hidden bits.

Grab your copy from Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Review: Beautiful Creatures Tarot - Second Edition

Beautiful Creatures Tarot - Second Edition
Author: J. R. Rivera
Artist: Jasmine Becket-Griffith
Schiffer Publishing, 2017

Description: 80 cards and a 168 page guidebook in a sturdy cardboard box, with magnetic closure.

Card size: 3 1/2" by 5

Two years after the publication of the Beautiful Creatures Tarot, the creators have decided to bless us with a Second Edition. The new cards and guidebook have some minor upgrades. Will these changes be enough to make it worth purchasing the second edition? Maybe. If you are a collector, you will definitely be buying these. A reader? You may be happy with what you have.

Let's look at what's so different in this second edition.

Four brand new images, new card backs, and purple edging will be at the top of the list for the collectors.

"For this second edition Tarot deck, the traditional groups and titles of the traditional Tarot have been applied to each of the cards."

Although many of the Major Arcanas use the traditional names, many do not. As you see with the position fifteen, the card is the Habit rather than the Devil. And, the position sixteen is called the Decadence rather than the Tower. There are a few more Major Arcana cards which do not follow the traditional names.

You do have the original elements and the traditional Court Card titles for the rest of the deck. Keywords have also been added to the cards, directly under the titles. The first edition cards were glossy, these are not. But, they are the same size and are on good stock.

The guidebook is fully colored and has a few more pages. There are six additional spreads and an Astrological Game. And, the Court Card pages are more descriptive.

These cards are beautiful, both versions. I'm proud to have both decks. But, I do like the second edition better, mainly because of the traditional groups and titles.

Grab your copy at Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing.)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: Fortune Telling by Tarot Cards

Fortune Telling by Tarot Cards
A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the Tarot
Author: Sasha Fenton
Red Wheel/Weiser, 2017

Description: 224 page book

"Lay your future out before you with tarot cards. Once you know how to interpret them, you can understand yourself and others better and be able to accurately predict what’s going to happen in the future.”

Note: Fortune Telling by Tarot Cards by Sasha Fenton is a reprint of a 2002 version.

Fortune Telling by Tarot Cards is exactly what it says: A Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Tarot. There are many of these types of books out there, but some are better than others. For me, this one feels like one of the good ones.

After a short introduction, the book is divided into three parts.

Part One: Tarot and Fortune Telling

The author covers the History of Tarot and then Guidelines, Ritual, and Procedures. And then, you get some extra bits with chapters on the Arcanas and the Court Cards. It's not really what she shares but how she shares it that I enjoyed. In fact, the author's voice has a great deal to do with my enjoyment of this Beginner's Guide.

One of the areas covered in the Arcana chapter is the suits. The author shares a story she uses in her beginner workshops.

“You are fed up with your job. The job is unsatisfying … This is a Swords matter, as it shows something needs to be done.”

“Finally, you find the job you want. The pay is good… The practical side of this looks good, and practical matters are related to Coins.”
– The author uses Coins when referring to Pentacles.

The Court Card chapter makes it clear we all have trouble with their interpretations, and gives a few ways to attempt to interpret them, and then makes it clear how randomly these may work once, but not the next time.

“The Court cards usually give beginners a great deal of trouble, because there are no clear cut rules for reading them, and while many tarot experts have tried to lay down various rules none can really be relied upon.”

Part Two: Card Interpretation

The Major Arcana includes Card Title, Image, Keywords, Key Ideas, Upright Meanings, and Reversals. Some of the cards also include an Additional Suggestions Section.

(Note: Although the Waite Deck is used for illustrations, the author has put Justice in the No. 8 position, rather than the No. 11 position.)

The Star - "This card is truly the Star of hope, as it brings hope, faith, and optimism to any part of the spread that it touches."

The Minor Arcana is divided into chapters by Suit, and includes Card Title, Image, Keywords, Upright meanings, and Reversals. Again, some of these include an Additional Suggestion piece.

Six of Coins - "Sharing out money and resources."

The author ends this part with a chapter on Linking Cards. She goes over various methods to help link the cards to form a comprehensive reading.

Part Three: Reading the Cards

In Preparing Your Deck, the author gives methods for using Upright and Reversals in a reading. There are two chapters focused on Spreads - General and Focused. Other Areas covered include: Timing Events, Energies of the Cards (the Elements), and Failed Readings (the Why and useful alternatives). 

The book ends with a Quick Card Lookup, which includes Quick Clues to the Majors and the Minors and the Cards Categorized by Concept.

I highly recommend this book for beginners.

As a seasoned reader, I found both the information and the author's voice refreshing. I will be keeping this one on my shelf.

Grab your copy of Fortune Telling by Tarot Cards at Red Wheel Weiser.

(Review Product supplied by Red Wheel Weiser)