Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Review: The Magic of Numbers

The Magic of Numbers: Numerology's Power Revealed
Author: Lori Reid
Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing, 2023

Description: 80-page paperback book

Book Size: 5 x 7

The Magic of Numbers is an easy-to-use, simple read. The guide will give you a glimpse into the doorway of Numerology.

After a short introduction to Numerology, "Depending on the different levels of interpretation, numerology can be as easy or as complex as the practitioner might want to make it..."

Chapter One: Birthdays offers you the calculations to obtain your Destiny Number, an overview of each number, and an exercise that will open your eyes to the cycles within your life. 

"...the critical importance about your actual date of birth is that this number will reveal insights into your life cycle and into the sequences of events that are likely to occur to you throughout your life."

Chapter Two: What's in a Name? gives you the calculations and methods to obtain your Expression Number. "When decoded, the Expression Number of a name yields valuable insights into the power of its sound." Each Expression Number is explained in the personality profile. There is also a table of Harmonies showing the numbers that will be harmonious or at variance with your Expression Number.

Chapter Three: Love and Attraction gives an overview of each Expression Number in Love and In Partnership with other Expression Numbers.

Chapter Four: Work and Money offers suggested occupations for your Destiny or Expression Number with an overview of each Number at Work.

Chapter Five: Keys to the Door gives the calculations needed to find your home's personality. A House-Personal Compatibility Table identifies if your house number is compatible or discordant with your birthday or destiny number. Each House Number is explained in a Character Guide to your House.

A short Conclusion and an About the Author closes this short dive into Numerology.

"Understanding numbers opens our awareness, shows us the interconnections that govern our lives and gives us the knowledge we need to control our destinies."

I recommend this book to anyone who has the desire to take that first step into studying Numerology or if you are just a little curious about the whole aspect. 

The Magic of Numbers makes it easy and uncomplicated for you to get a taste of what the Power of Numerology is all about. 

Grab your copy at  Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)

Friday, January 5, 2024

Review: Nightfall Tarot

Nightfall Tarot
Author: Amory Abbott
Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing, 2023

Description: 78 cards, 128-page guidebook, box with magnetic closure lid.

Card Size: 3 1/2 x 4 7/8

"The Nightfall Tarot is a darkened interpretation of the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot, shrouding the scenes of the classic deck in eternal twilight. While maintaining each card’s original meaning, the Judeo-Christian symbols in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck have been interchanged with Norse runes, Icelandic staves, Wiccan, and other chthonic occult symbology."

The Cards are made of high quality, thick card stock and have silver edging. The full deck measures almost 1 1/2 inches thick. Traditional riffle shuffling seems impossible with this deck. But, as I tend to do overhand shuffling or smooshing to avoid damaging cards, this is not an issue for me. I've experienced very little flaking of the edging. 

The card back design: "The symbol on the back of each card is Skuld's Net, a Norse design more commonly referred to as the Web of Wyrd, the term Wyrd meaning fate. It represents the connectedness between past, present, and future: a net made of nine crossing staves which contain the shapes of all of the Norse runes."

The artwork of this deck is amazing. The darkened images are full of details and symbolism. Although the images vary from the Rider-Waite, they hold enough of the familiar to follow the traditional meanings.

The 5 of Swords contains two men, who the author suggests are twins, while the Rider-Waite features three men. The battle is still the same: no one wins, although one is defeated. Footprints in the sand give clue to the recent battle.

Three Swords lay against a large sand dune, while the other two lay abandoned in the sand. The clouds are dark, with no signs of blue, while the Rider-Waite features a blue, cloudy sky. The image is breathtaking. You feel the despair and devastation vibrating in this card. 

"This Wheel of Fortune features a Vegvisir, an Icelandic stave symbol used to guide travelers through rough weather. It is encircled by the Ouroboros-a serpent eating its own tail-to symbolize the cycle of death and rebirth. Surrounding the wheel in a storm are the four natural elements wind, water, fire, and earth, guiding each safely toward their destiny, in the endless cycle of self-renewal."

The guidebook begins with a brief introduction to the deck and then dives into the cards. The Major Arcana cards are presented by number, name, keyword/phrase, image description, reversed keyword/phrase and a full-page image of the card. 

The Minor Arcana cards, divided by elements, are presented by a small image, card name, keyword/phrase, image description, and reversed keyword/phrase.

The Readings section offers a summary of three suggested spreads: the one-card, three-card, and Celtic Cross. The three-card spread summary offers two possible layout positions. The Celtic Cross spread is briefly explained, with short descriptions of each position. The guidebook closes with a four-page Author's Note.

While impressed by the quality of this deck, my main delight is with the amazing artwork. I can see this deck easily serving multiple purposes: readings, reflections, creative prompts, meditations, shadow work, and more. I'm very excited to add Nightfall Tarot to my ever-growing collection.  

I would recommend this deck to any reader: novice, expert, or anyone in between. When new readers ask which deck to start with, my go-to answer is the Rider-Waite deck. I would easily offer this as an alternative first deck.

Grab your copy at  Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Guest Post: Five Tarot Combinations That Signal Horror

Today, I'd like to welcome Tanya Brum to the blog. 

Tanya Brum is a seasoned tarot expert, with over 25 years of experience. You can discover more about her at Tarot Sparks, where she offers free readings, tarot card meanings, and other interesting articles on the Tarot. Tanya's guidance offers practical insights, illuminating your path with wisdom and clarity for your life's journey.

Please give a warm welcome to Tanya Brum.

Tarot cards have captivated minds for centuries, offering glimpses into the enigmatic realm of the unknown. While often associated with guidance and introspection, the Tarot deck, with its rich symbolism and diverse interpretations, can also take a chilling turn. 

As a Tarot reader, I had numerous experiences when flipping the cards sent shivers down my spine and certain combinations of cards within a reading did foretell a narrative steeped in horror, offering a cryptic glimpse into unsettling futures or hidden fears. 

Here are five Tarot combinations, with each Tarot card meaning explained, that when laid out may signal an ominous tale.

1. The Tower, The Devil, and The Ten of Swords

Oh man. With these three cards, it really can’t get any worse than this. The positive in this combination is that from here it can only get better. The combination of the Tower, Devil, and Ten of Swords truly signals a cataclysmic descent into darkness. 

The Tower embodies sudden and sometimes catastrophic change, depicting a crumbling structure struck by lightning. Its symbolism extends beyond mere physical destruction; it signifies the shattering of illusions, revelation, and the dismantling of established beliefs or structures.

The Devil reveals the representation of temptation, bondage, and the darker aspects of human nature. It signifies being chained to one's vices, indulging in material desires without restraint, and the profound consequences of unchecked primal urges. 

If you look at the Ten of Swords, depicting a figure lying face down with ten swords plunged into their back (and even the ear!), this card symbolizes betrayal, rock-bottom despair, and the culmination of a harrowing journey. It speaks of a relentless and absolute downfall, where trust is shattered, and hope seems irretrievably lost. There’s no way down, from here, you can only rebound.   

The Horror Within the Combination

When these three cards align in a reading, they weave a tale of unparalleled horror. The Tower heralds an abrupt and catastrophic event, shattering the stability and foundations of life. This event, compounded by The Devil's presence, signifies that the calamity is intertwined with one's own inner demons and destructive tendencies. The Ten of Swords, the final blow in this sinister triad, marks the brutal conclusion of a series of betrayals and relentless hardships.

This combination hints at a descent into an abyss of despair, where personal choices, driven by base instincts and external influences, converge in a calamitous finale. It's a narrative of utter devastation, where the very fabric of existence is torn asunder, leaving behind a landscape of ruin and despair.

The horror emanating from this combination doesn't merely stem from external threats or supernatural forces; it emerges from the darkest recesses of the human psyche. It foretells a scenario where the consequences of one's actions, fueled by unrestrained desires and moral compromises, culminate in a catastrophic downfall—both personal and existential.

The horror lies not in an external threat, but in the chilling realization that the true monsters might dwell within oneself. It serves as a cautionary tale, urging introspection and restraint in the face of temptation, reminding individuals of the potential consequences of succumbing to their darkest impulses.

In essence, this combination paints a picture of terror born not from external supernatural entities, but from the labyrinthine depths of human nature itself, where unchecked desires and moral compromises lead to a nightmarish conclusion—a horror story etched in the very fabric of one's existence.

2. Death, The Hanged Man, and The Five of Cups

The Death card is often misunderstood as it rarely signifies literal death. Instead, it embodies transformation, endings, and the inevitability of change – transformation from a cocoon to butterfly, from a seed to tree - the closing of one chapter to pave the way for new beginnings, signifying profound shifts and transitions. 

The Hanged Man is in a sense opposite to the Death card – it depicts a figure suspended upside down and symbolizes sacrifice, suspension, and a voluntary surrender to gain enlightenment. It encourages looking at situations from a different perspective, undergoing introspection, and embracing a necessary pause or sacrifice for growth. 

The Five of Cups, where a figure is mourning over spilled cups while overlooking two remaining upright cups – this card signifies grief, loss, and dwelling on past sorrows, often suggesting an inability to move forward due to fixation on what's been lost.

The Horror Within the Combination

When Death, The Hanged Man, and The Five of Cups intertwine within a Tarot spread, they weave a chilling narrative of horror laced with profound despair.

The presence of Death doesn't foretell literal demise but hints at the death of hope or the end of an era. Paired with The Hanged Man, it suggests a prolonged period of suspended agony, where one willingly or unwillingly lingers in a state of emotional limbo, unable to move forward due to a refusal to let go of past sorrows. The Five of Cups deepens this sense of horror by accentuating a profound sense of loss and regret. The figure depicted in this card is consumed by grief, unable to see the possibility of renewal symbolized by the remaining upright cups. It implies a fixation on past pain, leading to a state of emotional stagnation and despair.

This combination paints a harrowing portrait of a relentless cycle of grief and emotional entrapment. It's a horror story of being ensnared in the web of one's own emotions, unable to break free from the haunting specters of the past. The terror emanates not from external threats or supernatural forces but from the suffocating grip of one's unresolved emotions.

The horror lies in the insidious nature of emotional imprisonment, where the inability to let go of past grievances or losses imprisons the soul, leading to a state of perpetual suffering and stagnation. It's a cautionary tale, warning against the paralyzing effects of clinging to pain and regret, urging individuals to embrace the transformative power of acceptance and moving forward.

3. The Moon, The High Priestess, and The Nine of Swords

The Moon is enigmatic and shrouded in mystery. This card embodies the realm of the subconscious, illusions, and fears. It represents the hidden aspects of the mind, where truth is obscured, and uncertainties loom large. It signifies the eerie and inexplicable, often hinting at a journey through the unknown and unsettling realms of the psyche. 

The High Priestess, on the other hand, is a symbol of intuition, hidden knowledge, and spiritual wisdom, this card represents the uncharted depths of one's inner world. It signifies a connection to the subconscious, urging introspection and trust in intuition. It embodies the keeper of arcane secrets and esoteric truths. 

On the Nine of Swords, we see a figure in despair, surrounded by nine swords above his head. This card symbolizes anguish, anxiety, and nightmares. It signifies a period of intense mental distress, haunted by fears and worries, often leading to sleepless nights and mental torment.

The Horror Within the Combination

When The Moon, The High Priestess, and The Nine of Swords converge in a Tarot reading, they weave a haunting tapestry of horror, rooted in the labyrinthine depths of the human mind.

The Moon casts its enigmatic shadows, obscuring truth and amplifying irrational fears and anxieties. Paired with The High Priestess, this combination suggests a descent into the darkest recesses of the subconscious—an eerie journey into the unknown realms of the mind. It implies a time when intuition becomes clouded by uncertainties, leading to a sense of impending doom and an inability to discern reality from illusion. The Nine of Swords intensifies this sense of horror by amplifying mental anguish and torment. It paints a picture of relentless nightmares and overwhelming anxiety that gnaw at the very core of one's being. The figure in the card is consumed by dread, unable to find respite from the haunting fears that plague the mind.

This combination foretells a tale of psychological terror, where the true horror emerges from within—the insidious grip of irrational fears, overwhelming anxieties, and a sense of impending doom. It's a narrative that transcends external threats or supernatural forces, delving into the unsettling landscape of the human psyche.

The horror lies in the suffocating grip of the unknown, where shadows morph into malevolent specters, blurring the lines between reality and illusion. It serves as a cautionary tale, urging individuals to confront their inner fears and uncertainties, to navigate the murky waters of the subconscious with courage and clarity.

4. The Devil and The Eight of Swords

We already presented his darkness, the Devil, the symbol of bondage, temptation, and the entrapment caused by material desires, The Devil screams about a surrender to primal urges and vices. It embodies the consequences of unchecked indulgence. 

The Eight of Swords is in a way very similar to the Devil. Depicting a figure bound and blindfolded, surrounded by eight swords, this card symbolizes a state of mental confinement, self-imposed limitations, and feelings of helplessness or entrapment.

The Horror Within the Combination

When The Devil and The Eight of Swords converge within a Tarot reading, they weave a chilling narrative of entrapment and psychological confinement, rooted in the consequences of unchecked desires.

The Devil's presence signifies succumbing to temptations and the bondage caused by unchecked desires. Paired with the Eight of Swords, it suggests a scenario where the consequences of these indulgences lead to a state of mental imprisonment. The combination hints at a situation where one's own choices and vices become the chains that bind, plunging the individual into a suffocating state of helplessness and confinement.

This combination foretells a tale of horror wherein the repercussions of yielding to temptations and vices lead to a profound sense of mental entrapment. It embodies the chilling terror of feeling trapped in a situation, maybe even due to addictions, blinded by self-imposed limitations and surrounded by a sense of powerlessness—a narrative warning against the perils of yielding to desires without foresight and self-awareness.

In essence, this combination serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the horror that arises when one becomes ensnared in their own desires, leading to a harrowing state of mental confinement and helplessness, where the mind becomes its own prison.

5. The Moon and The Five of Pentacles

We’ve already talked about the Moon - shrouded in mystery and illusion, it represents the enigmatic realms of the subconscious, fears, and uncertainties. It symbolizes the journey through the unknown, where shadows obscure truth and uncertainties loom large. 

The Five of Pentacles, on the other hand, portray a very sad reality–depicting two figures in a desolate landscape, this card signifies financial hardship, isolation, and a sense of being left out in the cold. It embodies a feeling of deprivation, both materially and emotionally, and the struggle to overcome adversity.

The Horror Within the Combination

When The Moon and The Five of Pentacles converge in a Tarot reading, they weave a haunting narrative of horror that transcends mere financial struggles, tapping into profound emotional and psychological isolation.

The Moon's presence signifies a journey into the darkest recesses of the subconscious, where fears and uncertainties reign supreme. Paired with the Five of Pentacles, it suggests a scenario where financial hardship becomes entwined with haunting isolation—an eerie sense of being abandoned not only materially but also emotionally and spiritually. This combination embodies the horror of isolation amplified by the unknown and unseen fears lurking within the shadows. It paints a picture of profound desolation, where the chilling sense of being left out in the cold extends beyond tangible scarcity to an intangible, soul-deep loneliness—a haunting void that seems insurmountable. The horror lies not just in the financial adversity but in the psychological toll of enduring isolation and the chilling effect of unseen fears and uncertainties. 

Conclusion: The Haunting Narratives Within Tarot Combinations

The Tarot, with its rich symbolism and evocative imagery, weaves haunting narratives that often transcend mere divination, tapping into the depths of human experience. Within the mysterious configurations of cards, even in the realm of free tarot reading, certain combinations evoke chilling tales of horror, warning of potential pitfalls and psychological terrors.

These combinations—such as The Tower and The Ten of Swords, Death and The Hanged Man with The Five of Cups, The Moon alongside The High Priestess and The Nine of Swords, and other eerie pairings—embody harrowing stories of catastrophe, despair, and entrapment. They delve into the darkest recesses of the human psyche, depicting scenarios where inner demons, financial hardship, and unyielding anxieties collide, creating a tapestry of existential dread.

It's crucial to acknowledge that Tarot interpretations are not definitive prophecies set in stone. Instead, they serve as symbolic reflections of potential paths and psychological landscapes. These combinations, while foreboding, offer cautionary insights rather than predestined outcomes. They remind individuals of the complexities of life, urging introspection and mindfulness in navigating challenges.

The true power of the Tarot lies not in predicting an inescapable fate, but in offering guidance, prompting self-reflection, and empowering individuals to make informed choices. These combinations, although laden with eerie implications, invite contemplation rather than instilling fear.

Again, you can find Tanya Brum at Tarot Sparks, where she offers a free tarot reading and explores absolutely every tarot card meaning.

Guest post by Tanya Brum @ Tarot Sparks