Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Review: Lenormand of Enchantment

Lenormand of Enchantment
Author: Kalliope
Artist: Yasmeen Westwood
Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing, 2022

Description: 36 cards, 204-page guidebook, box with magnetic closure lid.

Card Size: 2.5 x 3.5

“Our vision is that this deck will appeal to the masses and be in every professional’s arsenal, with updated artwork, modern meanings, and combinations that are applicable to today’s day and age, yet managing to hold on to a semblance of antiquity.”

The Lenormand of Enchantment is a beautiful deck. Printed on good card stock, the cards are easy to handle, although you will have a few gold specks on your hands in the beginning. A minor issue to have with such an amazing deck.

After a brief introduction into the Lenormand, the bulk of the guidebook covers Card Description and Combinations. Although this guidebook will not teach you how to read the cards, it will get you started in the process. The descriptions focus on the individual card and then combines it with each of the other 35 cards. So, you are basically learning pairs. 

Although more techniques are mentioned, such as reading strings, using "the pips", and timing, they are not explored in detail in this guidebook. To learn beyond the basics, you will need to seek out more resources. 

Be careful when you start building your research materials, as there are many different systems out there. Try to stick with one, or you will become confused. French and German seem to be similar. They share enough qualities that I'm not able to tell you if this is one or the other system. Once you get set keywords for your cards in place, just try not to stray too far in a different direction.

Above, you see two cards - Mountain and Clouds. Let's say your question is, "What should I focus on now?" If you look to the guidebook, you will find that Mountain is an obstacle or delay, and when adding the combination to the equation the obstacle is unknown. So, your focus should be on figuring out what this unknown obstacle is and overcoming it.

In the image above, you get an example of how the guidebook is laid out. After the card number and title, there is a short passage for the card. Beside the image, there is a long list of keywords and the card's basic meaning. The rest of the card's section is devoted to combinations with the other card.

I've included a few more combinations to give you some sample images and an idea of what can be discerned from the guidebook.

Following along with the same question, "What should I focus on now?" The Coffin represents an ending of some sort. When adding the Ring combination, it becomes the end of a marriage or contract. So, you should focus on your marriage, or possible divorce agreement.

"What should I focus on now?" The Key represents answers and the possibility of new opportunities becoming available. When adding the Anchor combination, you receive a definite answer or opportunity. So, you should focus on what is obvious to you. It seems you already have the focus. This combination clarifies that you are on the right track.  

You can get all of these answers directly from the guidebook and a little intuition. But with additional resources, you will find so much more in the Lenormand cards. If you are looking for direct answers to your questions, this is the way to go. 

I recommend this deck to new and experienced readers, along with deck collectors. The images are simply amazing. The guidebook is adequate to get you started, but if you want more, you will have to look for other resources to complete your study. 

To begin your journey further down this rabbit hole of discovery, I suggest trying Rana George: The Essential Lenormand, or Caitlin Matthews: The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook.

Grab your copy at Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Review: The Art of Affirmations

The Art of Affirmations
Author: Monte Farber
Artist: Amy Zerner
Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing, 2022

Description: 108 card deck, 28-page guidebook

Size: 2 1/4 by 3 1/4

"With The Art of Affirmations as your guide, you will be able to develop spiritual skills, energize your life, and restore a sense of well-being."

The Art of Affirmation is three individual decks with a focus on Divine, Healing, and Breathing. Each deck contains 36 cards of images and messages to help guide you in your journey.

The decks are packaged in separate boxes, which fit inside the larger box with the guidebook. 

The cardstock is of a medium thickness and allows for easy shuffling.

The guidebook opens with a short introduction, which is followed by a detailed explanation of the different decks and how they can be used. The rest of the short guidebook covers the individual decks in a little more details.

I would have liked to have seen more information about each card. As presented, I didn't find this deck very helpful. But you may connect with the images and messages in a way I did not. In my experience, any deck is a personal choice and very individual to each person. 

The deck of Divine offers 36 Gifts of the Goddess. There are 12 Goddesses - the Goddess of Protection, Compassion, The New, Perseverance, Truth, Illumination, Healing, Transformation, Prosperity, Balance, Charisma, and Courage.  Each Goddess offers a message for the body, mind, and spirit.

The Goddess of Balance offers the affirmation, "I create partnerships that are fair and pleasurable," to assist in guiding your spirit.

The explanation is to "Use this gift when you are lonely or when existing relationships are unsatisfying. Partners you bring into your life...". Basically, what you put into the relationship is what you will receive in return.

The author suggests picking a Divine card and using that card to replace the negative thoughts you may be hypnotizing yourself with. 

"If done regularly and with sincerity, you may soon be surprised at the changes you see starting to occur in your life."

The Heal deck offers 36 individual themes, affirmations, and exercises for mental, physical and spiritual wellness.

“It is important to be as aware of our habits as we can be, so that we can cultivate the habits that help us and replace that habits that hurt us with habits that heal.” 

The affirmation for the Inspiration card: "I feel my inseparable connection to All There Is."

The suggested exercise: "Prayer and meditation are powerful and necessary, but when you bring the awe-inspiring feeling of your connection to higher forces into your daily life, you will find yourself both inspired and inspiring."

The Breathe deck includes 36 individual themes, affirmations, and meditations or exercises for your mind, body, and spirit.

  "...coupled with visualizations and breathing exercises, these affirmations can enhance your energy flow and self-esteem and put you in a state of relaxed concentration. This is “the zone” where optimum learning, analysis, and planning can take place.”

The theme Beauty offers the affirmation, "I am beautiful."

The meditation: "Beauty is found in the exchange of love between all beings. I breath in the beautiful colors, fragrances, and forms around me. I am filled with the beauty that is my birthright. I breath out the critic's voice that says things are not perfect."

At the end of the guidebook, you are given a basic breath-easy exercise. 

The top of the box has a slot for displaying your card for the day. This makes it easy to come back and review your affirmation or exercise for the day.

I personally did not find myself drawn to this deck. I was attracted to the idea of pulling a card a day to energize and direct my daily living, but this deck and its process left me pretty much empty. 

But, that's not to say this deck won't find a home on your shelf. If your find the images pleasing and the messages helpful, this may very well be your deck. I hope the samples here will help you in your decision.  

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Review: The Transparent Oracle 2nd Edition

The Transparent Oracle 2nd Edition
Author/Artist: Emily Carding 
Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing, 2022

Description: 77 card deck, 207-page guidebook, box with magnetic closure lid.

Card Size - 5 1/4 circular

"The devil is in the detail."  

The second edition of The Transparent Oracle is now a 77-card deck. Seven archetypes have been added to each direction. 

"...the addition of archetype cards will add extra clarity to readings about your relationship with people around you, as well as aspects of your personality."

The Transparent Oracle follows the Transparent Tarot in creating a new way of reading cards. The transparent quality of these decks allows the reader to stack the cards and create a fuller, deeper reading. The decks were so popular that the author came back with 2nd editions of each with added information and cards. The application of the decks separately, combined or even added as an overlay to another deck is amazing, thought-provoking, and a nice escape from the normal reading. 

The cards come in one of Schiffer's signature boxes with the magnetic closure lid. Inside you find the circular deck, a white reading cloth, the guidebook, and a large square insert of the Below Guide: Sidhe, creating a layered image of the guidebook's cover when in the box. 

Do not enter this deck lightly.  You will need to put in some work to get the full benefit of these cards. 

Let's take a look at some of the cards and the system.

The deck is structured into seven directions - North, South, East, West, Above, Below and Within. The four directions: north, south, east, and west include: one gateway, four animal guides, weather, a landscape, a time of day, an element, and an elemental. While the Above has ten gateways, one guide, seven planets, and a polarity. Below has a gateway, four guides, four grail hollows, and a polarity. Within includes a gateway and nine ways in which the self relates to the rest of the world. 

Above you see, 23 West - Element: Water - revealing the energy of emotions, healing, and intuition, 76 Below - Archetype: Nurturer - the healing of others, and 11 South - Gateway: Summer - revealing the abundance of joy.

My overview of these three cards would definitely be of a caregiver who loves his/her job. But that is very simplified. The guidebook goes into more detail and dives deeper into these cards. For instance, when 11 South - Gateway appears with cards from Below, it can possibly reveal the discovery of a family secret.

When you overlay the cards, you see Summer frames Water, creating a sense that the center of attention is the emotions which radiate from the caregiver. Again, the system is a little complicated and what you have here is a very simplified interpretation. It will take some time and study to get the most out of the deck and its message.  

Before we discuss the guidebook, I'd like to show you the amazing results of using a light box. The author makes the suggestion in the Care of the Cards section. Because I needed this tool for other projects, I decided to make the purchase.  

Below, you can see the details explode!

If you plan to go the distance and dig into the depth of the Transparent Oracle, or even the Transparent Tarot, I suggest you spend a little money and purchase a light box. You can find a wide range of prices on Amazon.

I went with a wireless version, because I wanted the mobility - Golspark Wireless Light Box @ less than $30. There are more expensive versions, but also cheaper, depending on your budget.

The guidebook begins with a Foreword to the Second Edition, which discusses the additional cards, the archetypes. A Foreword, by Sorita D'Este and David Rankine, follows with an outside look of Carding's creations. "This deck crackles with arcane emblems and themes and reminds us how art, like music, can be a form of magic as effective as any ritual."

After a short introduction from the Author, there's a short section which briefly explains the oracle's system and energies.

Section Two dives into the card meanings. Each Direction has a short overview, followed by the meanings of each card in that direction. The cards of directions, North, South, East, and West, include their direction, an image, the card name, keywords, meaning, and 'if combined with cards from other direction' meanings.  The cards of Above, Below, and Within include their direction, an image, the card name, keywords, and meaning.

The archetypes are separate from their suites. Each card includes an image, the card name, direction, keywords, and meaning. 

Section Three includes using the cards, shuffling and focus intent, suggests combinations of three and then gives sample readings for divination, storytelling/brainstorming, visualization and combining with Transparent Tarot. Section Four shares three spread suggestions by David Rankine. The guidebook closes with a bibliography and an about the author section.

I highly recommend this deck to anyone who took a special interest in the Transparent Tarot. The Transparent Oracle gives the reader a new way to read and goes deep into the ways of life with its many possibilities. The deck can be used with simple keyword interpretations. But I suggest taking the time to dig into the deck to receive the full messages available. 

For me, shuffling presented its own challenge. The size and flexibility of the plastic make this deck difficult to shuffle, but I suspect a technique will develop in time. The results of the readings are definitely worth the extra effort. 

59 Grail Hollows: The Stone, 13 Element: Fire, 55 Guide: Mermaid

Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)