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

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Review: Inner Eye Oracle

Inner Eye Oracle
Author: Steven Bright
Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing, 2023

Description: 52 cards, 152-page guidebook, box with magnetic closure lid.

Card size: 3 x 4 1/2

The Inner Eye Oracle is a 52-Card Playing Deck designed as an Oracle Deck for easy reading. The cards could easily be pulled from the box and read without guidance, but with the system provided by Steven Bright, you will find amazing results with this deck.

The cards are made of quality card stock and have red edging. The images are simple with an antique aspect. The black, white, and red coloring gives them an energetic, vibrant appeal.

The guidebook is divided into two sections. After a brief introduction and how to use the guidebook, the guidebook is divided into two sections: Familiarizing Yourself with Your Fortune-Telling Cards and Reading with the Deck.

The author begins with detailed information on the Court Cards and then covers each individually, with its image, name, overall summary, as a daily card and keywords. 

The Pip Cards are introduced and then explained individually, listed in alphabetical order, with Title, image, image description, overall summary, and as a daily card.

In the second section, the author provides some methods of reading to help you get the most from this deck. "The cards in this deck have been designed to work with the following techniques, in order to help you receive as detailed and accurate information as possible."

"This fortune-telling deck has its own system built into the pack. It is designed for two- and three-card readings." 

The first part of the system is demonstrated in the beginning of the Two-Card Reading section. "... I would like you to think of yourself in the blank space on the left. If you are reading for someone else, then this space is reserved for them." 

"In the two-card reading, there are four different ways in which these cards can be laid..." With the three-card reading, "there are eight different combinations of cards..." The author goes over all the possible positions and includes example readings with each layout. Larger Readings are explained using the combination of two-card and three-card layouts with examples of four larger spreads, including the Celtic Cross Spread.

The guidebook is a must to get the full benefit of this deck, but here is a boiled down version of the system to give you a little idea of how it works. The imaginary "YOU" sits to the left of the layout, which represents you or your client. When no courts appear, the cards belong to you. When there is only one court card present, it will represent another person. But, if two or more court cards appear, the first court card becomes you. As you move into larger spreads, you will still be focused on two and three card layouts.

For an example reading, I asked the deck, "What is your best feature?" 

My first thought upon seeing the two cards was News through reliable Communication. 

From the guide: Communication - "At first glance it might seem similar to the News card, but this card suggests a back-and-forth sharing rather than just a one-way stream of information.", News - "News can arrive in a variety of ways and through many different mediums."

This first reading piqued my interest. After using the deck all month, I fell in love with the simplistic accuracy of this deck. The Inner Eye Oracle has been added to my collection and is destined to be one of my top ten decks.

I highly recommend this deck to anyone interested in reading cards, from the beginner to the experienced reader. I have no doubts you will be impressed with the cards and the system.

Grab your deck at Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)

Monday, July 31, 2023

Review: the Everglow, A Divination System

the Everglow: A Divination System
Author/Artist: Trisha Leigh Shufelt
Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing, 2023

Description: 78 cards, 160-page guidebook, box with magnetic closure lid.

Card Size: 2 3/4 by 4

"The Everglow is a culmination of all the roads less traveled. I hope it opens gateways leading to the introspection of profound answers, and those answers lead to more questions that will provide magic along the way."

Trisha Leigh Shufelt is also the author of The Poe Tarot, another interesting deck.

The Everglow is a 78-card divination system. The deck is printed on good card stock and easy to shuffle. The guidebook is informative and gives you everything you need to know about the system and the individual cards.

Although the Everglow is not a Tarot Deck it is influenced by the Rider-Waite-Smith system. The system is also strong on animal symbolism and associations. All of this is explained in the introductory pages of the guidebook before diving into the different card divisions.

The deck has 48 image cards beginning with the Major Arcana and ending with the Minors.

In the guidebook, the Major Arcana cards are presented with a card image, number and keywords, an overview of the upright and reversed interpretations and a section on the animal symbolism.

3 - "The beekeeper woman is the embodiment of the Empress energy found in the Tarot."

Abundance - "In the upright position, she reminds you that you are surrounded by abundance and beauty."

Self-Care - Reversed - "Time to self-nurture."

Symbolism - "Crow - Transformation, change, and protection" 

The system contains four court cards, each containing a symbol of each of the four elements.

"Kings and Queens likely represent people you know or aspects of personality versus actual situations. Knights and Pages (the Messenger in The Everglow) are doers, movers, and shakers. They more likely represent situations."

The guidebook presents each card with an image, name, overview of the card, a hint, the reversed interpretation, and information on the animal symbolism.

"Elemental cards (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water) can be pulled with the Everglow Arcana or shuffled separately." The guidebook goes into detail on how to use these cards within the divination system.

There are 18 Minor Arcana cards. These cards do not contain numbering, but the keywords are on each card, upright and reverse. The guidebook contains an image of the card, the keywords, the upright interpretation, the reversed interpretation and symbolism information. The cards are listed in alphabetical order.

The deck contains 30 text cards beginning with the Houses and ending with the Time Frame Cards.

The 12 House Cards are to be used separately in this divination system, which is explained briefly in the Houses section and explained further in the reading the cards section. Each card has a two-page summary, including card image, house, explanation, hints and a question to ask yourself.

"...while the Tarot may be the "why" something is happening, the twelve houses indicate "where" you are with that particular something and how it is influencing your life."

The system includes 11 Number cards, and four Suit cards. The guidebook explains the process of combining these cards within a reading. Each Number card contains keywords. The guidebook shows the card image and questions to ask yourself.

The Suit cards contain keywords, Element, Season, Time Frame, Astrology Sign, Personality and Negative Traits. The guidebook presents the card image and a short explanation on how these cards work in the system. This is further explained in the sample readings.

The four Time Frame Cards: The Past, The Present, The Future, and What do I need to know about, contain a phrase and questions or keywords. Trisha shares her thoughts on time and briefly tells how to use them.

"Time frame cards are used in conjunction with the spreads that follow. To pick a time frame card when used with a spread, simply shuffle and draw a card."

The Sample Spreads section shows how to use the cards in the system with six different layouts and examples: the Suit Spread, Time Frame Spread, Daily Draw, Numerology Spread, Astrology Spread, and the Everglow Spread.

On my first reading with this deck and system, I chose to do the Everglow Spread. For this spread, you are pulling from five piles. The first pile is made up of the image cards. You can leave in all the image cards, or pull the court and elemental image cards into their own separate piles. I chose to leave them all together. The other piles are numerology, suit, house, and timeframe.

My Question: Where does my focus need to be?

My first card Trust/Fear revealed I need to focus on trusting my path. I need to take my time and know that I will arrive where I want to be when I'm supposed to be there. "Trust comes in many forms, but ultimately it is having faith without doubt in someone or something."

The next two cards, Numerology Card 6 and Action, revealed a need to focus on taking Action toward Restoring Balance.

Six - "Ask yourself ~ Reflect back to a time when things were out of balance and how you were able to restore equilibrium. Could anything you learned be applied to a current situation that is out of balance?"

Action - Wands - Motivational movement forward toward your goals. Enthusiasm in the process. In this case, that movement is toward a balance in your life, reflected by the six.

If you take a moment to compare this combination of two cards with the Rider-Waite card, you will see a connection. The man upon the horse has succeeded, but in all success, comes the responsibility of a balancing act between normalcy and a sort of fame.

The First House shows that my focus should be on myself at this time, my needs, my self-interests, my own truths.

"Hint - This is the house of manifestation through self-interest.

Ask Yourself - What do you want in life?"

The Past card signifies that influences from my past may be influencing my present. This could include past relationships, previous outcomes, past choices, and more.

Overview: I need to focus on trusting my path, take necessary action to restore a balance within myself, and heal any mistrust which may have developed from past experiences. I need to move forward and leave behind thoughts of what could happen, and trust that I know the steps I need to take to find my happy balance in life and succeed.

I found myself impressed by this divination system. The Everglow Spread revealed exactly what I needed to hear at the moment of the reading. Over the days, I found myself pulling from the image cards for daily reading. Each day revealed great insight and advice to help me move through my day.

Whether, you choose to use the whole deck and the system, or go with daily draws from the image cards, this is a great deck with many avenues to explore.  

I'd recommend this deck to newbies and seasoned readers.  I can't wait to dig deeper into the system and see what appears in each reading.

Grab your deck at Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)

Friday, June 16, 2023

Review: Dream Your Joy Oracle Cards

Dream Your Joy
Artist/Author: Judy Mastrangelo
Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing, 2023

Description: 59 cards, 128-page guidebook, book-shaped box with magnetic closure lid.

Card Size: 3.5 x 5

"My intent is always to spread feelings of hope and inspiration to all, by sharing my belief in the spirituality of humankind and nature."

Judy Mastrangelo has produced a beautiful deck featuring her own illustrations. The pastel colors and gentle images give a joyful feel. The many shades of pink backings are delightful.

Unfortunately, I was unable to connect to this deck. The cards are beautiful and the exercises were interesting, but I didn't feel much beyond pretty pictures.

The Guidebook begins with concerns over your health and encourages you to seek professional care if needed. I felt this was an unnecessary statement, like a trigger warning of sorts. Of course, this is only my feeling and opinion. 

The Purpose of This Deck is to bring you to a joyful state in order for you to get through difficult times. 

Mind Painting is a form of meditation practiced and encouraged by the author of "paint a picture in your mind" of the way you would like to be in the ideal world. Again, in this section, she brings up stress and seeking professional help.

Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't seek help for your health concerns. You should if you need help, but it felt out of place to me in an Oracle Deck guidebook. I'm trying to give an honest review, but feel I may be triggering someone. That is not my intent at all.

The About the Cards and Using the Cards covers the creation of the deck and a process to use the deck. 

The bulk of the guidebook goes through each card: one page features the card artwork, while the other page contains the card name, a phrase, a short meaning, and exercises to go with each card. The activities vary from meditation and affirmations to physical activity and chakra exercises to drawing and coloring.

Tranquility: Find your sanctuary appeared as my first pull. A beautiful image of a solitary woman relaxing, enjoying her own company. She is confident and powerful in her own rights. (This is what I saw in the image.)

The Meaning in the guidebook says that the woman finds some time to be alone and think of her purpose. "Taking some "alone" time doesn't mean that you are lonely." A balance between social and alone time is needed for a healthy life. 

The first exercise is a Meditation of self-reflection over where you are, how you feel about your life, and what you can do to change it for the better.

The second exercise is Look in the mirror for imperfections and decide the best methods to fix your issues.

Both exercises, for me, suggested something is wrong with you, and you need to fix yourself.

Although I didn't get a feel for this deck, you may find it's perfect for you. I encourage you to visit these other reviewers for more insight into the deck.

Bonnie Cehovet - "This deck is a wonderful tool of empowerment that can be used by all ages."

Kaye Lynne Booth - "You will enjoy perusing this deck, even if you don’t hold stock in the power of oracles and divination. "

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Review: Higher Self Oracle

Higher Self Oracle
Author: Deanna Marie Riddick
Artist: Deborah Rodriguez-Capacetti
Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing, 2023

Description: 45 cards, 112-page guidebook, metal box

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

"Receive guidance on your life's journey and help fulfill your calling by connecting with the higher self through this powerful channel of love and light."

The Higher Self Oracle is a vibrant deck, printed on thick card stock. Upon first opening, the cards have a slight curve to them, but with gentle bending they can be straightened out. The deck fits very loosely in the metal box, which I'm guessing is the cause of this one minor issue.

I am impressed by the cards and the messages received during a short time of using them. I always do readings with the decks before writing up a review. For some reason, I wasn't expecting much from this deck at all, but I was completely wrong.

But, let's talk about the guidebook first. The author opens with a brief acknowledgement of those who supported her in the creation of the deck. The introduction goes into depth of the meaning of the Higher Self. You are then introduced to the difference between you Higher Self and Ego. 

The author gives instructions on how to work with the Higher Self Oracle and offers four suggested spreads to get you started on your journey. Before delving into the cards, she gives you many techniques to help you to connect with your Higher Self. 

The bulk of the guide covers each individual card, including the name, image, a quote, and the meaning of the card. The cards are listed in alphabetical order, but are not separated by pages. You may find the beginning of a card in the middle of the page. Okay, I guess I would consider this a second minor issue, but not a deal breaker. 

As you see in the two images, the Acceptance card entry runs for three pages, but ends midway of the third. I would have liked to have larger images and page divisions, but again, only a minor issue. I can definitely get past it in order to receive the messages from my Higher Self.

The guidebook closes with a conclusion and a bibliography, which is followed by About the Author and About the Illustrator.

I began my journey into the cards with a three-card layout of Past - Present - Outcome. And the question: What can I expect in my day?

Without even reading the guidebook message, you can see an easy message from the cards. You may experience some obstacles today, but don't worry, just go with the flow. But, after reading the guidebook, this is the reading I ended up with:

You may have been experiencing obstacles, but it's time to move past them and stop worrying over what might happen. Stop the negative mantra and stay present and positive. Learn to move forward in spite of the obstacles in your path. Unpredictable situations come along, but you can't control the uncontrollably. Relax and adjust as necessary. If you just worry and resist, there's no moving forward.

A very motivating message, and directly resonates with where I am at the moment of the reading.

I highly recommend this deck to anyone interested in connecting with your Higher Self, or collecting another Oracle deck. 

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Review: Angels of Healing and Hope Oracle

Angels of Healing and Hope Oracle
Author: Ellen Valladares
Artist: Yasmeen Westwood
Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing, 2022

Description: 44 cards, 112-page guidebook, box with magnetic closure lid.

Card Size: 3.5 x 5

“Whether you’re in need of support, healing, or inspiration, you’ll find it in this deck of 44 exquisitely designed oracle cards. The angels are divine beings of love and light that guide and protect us and assist us with our spiritual and personal growth.”

The Angels of Healing and Hope Oracle is a beautiful deck, printed on good card stock, with gold edging. The cards are easy to handle and shuffle. The messages proved to be inspiring and helpful.

The first card I pulled from this deck brought me light and joy. As a guide for my day, the 'Lighten Up' card inspired me to unburden my day and enjoy leisure as one should in the stage of retirement, although sometimes that is a task all on its own. 

The Angels' Playlist Pick for this card is "Soak Up the Sun" by Sheryl Crow. I began my morning by listening to the song and imagining a day of joy.

The message I gained from this card: "You cannot change external conditions or other people, but you can change your mood." Let the Angels of Light carry your burdens away. Choose joy and happy. Want what you have, be carefree, and be happy.

The guidebook opens with a welcome from the author on her experience with angels and the creating of the Angels of Healing and Hope Oracle. She then introduces a brief Angels 101, giving you her perspective of who and what are angels. She goes over how to use the deck from preparation to suggested spreads. The Angels' Playlist Picks offer a nice addition. Each card has a chosen song, revealed during the creation of the deck.

The author offers many opportunities outside of the deck and guide to further pursue this deck and its gifts. You can hear the entire playlist on Spotify, practice meditations in the Meditation Room at, join the Angel Community of Facebook - Public Page and Group, and even purchase prints of individual cards  at She also offers a Connecting with Angels kit, which includes a 10-page pdf guide, a guided meditation, and printable reference cards.

The Card Messages are presented in alphabetical order to make them easy to find. Each card is given two pages: the card name, an image, and the playlist pick on one page and a detailed message on the other.

The guidebook closes with a brief look at The Archangels and Angel Numbers, and a quick bio of the author and illustrator.

One of the suggested spreads in the guidebook is a three-card layout, which follows from left to right - where you've been, where you're headed, and probable outcome.

The first card pulled is the 'Water Element', which urges you to take advantage of the healing powers of water. As where you've been, you may have already begun to seek this healing by drinking more water or being near or in water.

The second card pulled is the 'Warrior of Light', which urges you to be a source of light and to not get dragged into any negative drama that may be stirring near you. Stay in joy and light. As where you're headed, you will survive the emotional drain you may be feeling. Recuperate with the healing powers of water and let your inner light cast around you, protecting you from outer drama.

The third card pulled is 'Embrace the New' - "Everything about this moment is new." Each moment brings a new breath, a new movement, a new step in your life. This is a very positive moment where anything is possible, embrace the newness that each moment can bring into your life. "Embrace the new you, the true you."

This sequence of these cards shows an encouraging path. After healing yourself with the properties of the Water Element, you find yourself able to protect yourself with your own light, which allows you to step into a new way of being, a way of being true to yourself.

The angels ask you to be kind to yourself with the 'The Self-Compassion' card. Treat yourself with the same compassion and generosity as you would an adored friend. By loving yourself with your whole heart, you invite the same to enter your life. This one lesson may be the most important message in life, in my opinion. For if you cannot love and respect yourself, how or why would you find this same compassion in another.
The Angel's Playlist Pick for 'Pause and Reflect' is "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac. 

With little time to reflect on the chaos going on around you, this card represents a slowing down of events. The angels urge you to take this moment to reflect on all that has happened. Meditate, relax, and reflect on things learned, let go of, and created during these past moments.

"Like this card's image, which is turned on its side, you're being asked to look at things from a new perspective."

The Angels of Healing and Hope Oracle, an extraordinary deck, presents the most beautiful cards with encouraging messages to guide you through your day, through your life.

I would recommend this deck to anyone interested in a new oracle deck or even their first deck. The images are beautiful, the messages clear, and the energy of this deck is very pleasurable.

Grab your copy at Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)

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)