Deck Review & Card Reading: The Body Cards

As far as oracle decks go, Courtney Putnam’s Body Cards are a fairly unique concept. Methods of divination that rely upon the energy field of the human body; such as, muscle testing for one example, are accurate because our bodies have innate wisdom we can put to good use. The Body Cards are a lovely divination tool that provides us with another avenue for consulting the wisdom of our bodies. Putnam states that “[y]our body is your map, your muse, and your medicine” (guidebook, p. 5). Putnam demonstrates how The Body Cards bring this statement to life.

Body Cards1

The Body Cards are a tool through which we can consult our own bodies for guidance. the card imagery serves as a metaphor for physical ailments. Putnam’s beautiful collages “symbolically represent the energy, essence, and deeper meaning of each part of the body used in this deck” (guidebook, p. 10). Symbols; such as, birds, frogs, and other animals, in addition to stars and other patterns are included for additional intuitive meaning.

Courtney Putnam’s artwork is beautiful. If you like scrapbooking, art journaling, card making, or rubber stamping, you will love her art. The overall style is very much like that of the artists whose work graces the pages of the mixed media art magazine Somerset Studio, which I have been reading for years. Each card is a delight for the eyes and the soul.

The cards measure 4 x 6″, which does make them difficult to shuffle, but I’m thankful for their larger size because a reader can see the finer details of the artwork. Card interpretations consist of the title of the piece, an aspect of the card’s image upon which to meditate,  the specific location within the body to which each card corresponds, the function of the associated body part, associated chakra, and overall interpretation. A reader can discern the card’s message as it pertains to the question asked within any of the aforementioned parts of the card’s interpretation. As a result, I strongly advise readers to go over every section of the card’s interpretation. Do not merely skip on ahead to the final interpretation of the card because you may miss some valuable insights.

Each card’s interpretation concludes with a “Try This” section. Included is the associated color along with suggestions on how to incorporate that color fully into your life, suggested uses for essential oils, and a physical activity that serves to activate the energy of that particular card in your life. I have experimented with this deck extensively and can tell you that these suggested practices do garner results.

As for asking questions, in my experience decks work differently for different people.  That being stated, I find that for me this deck is best suited for answering questions that focus on the reason behind something (why did she react as she did, etc ..). It is also well suited to answering questions that begin with “what is the nature of  <name>’s connection to <name>,” when asking about relationships. An example of this type of reading is below. When seeking guidance about making a decision it is best to phrase the question as, “how would I best benefit from <state your option>.” Then ask the same question about your other choices. Or you can ask “which choice is for my highest good,” and draw 1 – 2 cards on each alternative. Another type of question you can ask is “which body part requires attention at this time,” or “where in my body am I storing emotional disappointment/trauma” and then follow that up with “how can I release the emotional disappointment/trauma in a way that is the least painful for me?”

This deck answers the why, what, how, and which questions very well, but if you wish to know if John or Nancy loves you or what their feelings are for you, this deck does not respond well to that type of question – at least not in my experience with it. Another reader may have a completely different opinion.

Sample Reading

A client came to me with a question about her relationship. Both she and her partner see themselves as soul mates, but they sense the relationship goes even deeper than that. She asked if they could be twin flames. I asked the cards “what is the true nature of the connection between M and C? I drew the following cards:

Body Cards2

Corpus Callosum: Communication ~ what is interesting is this body part is the bundle of nerves and neural pathways in the center of the brain that allows the two halves of the brain to communicate with each other. This immediately brought the twin flame concept to my mind. Without the proper function of the Corpus Callosum it would be impossible for the body to function correctly. the focus here is of pure and clear communication through kindness, compassion, and diplomacy. I interpreted this card to mean it’s important for M and C to remain clear in their communication with one another and this would be their strength as clear communication would strengthen their connection and ability to walk forward into the future together as a couple.

Soleus Muscles: Action ~ located within the calves,the Soleus Muscles are responsible for pumping blood from the lower extremities back up toward the heart. the Soleus Muscles help with balance and walking. the Soleus Muscles indicates it is time for M and C to take action on what they have been envisioning, yet they may resist or feel frightened of such action.

In summary, the Corpus Callosum verifies they do have a twin flame connection. They are two halves of the same whole, two parts of the same soul. Clear communication is of great importance. The Soleus Muscles urge them to take action now on whatever they may be hoping or planning to manifest.

Deck Design Specifics

The Body Cards are housed within a sturdy laminated box with a hinged lid and magnetic closure that allows the box to stand up on its end to be stored in a bookshelf like a book. The box measures 6 x 9 x 1 1/4″.

The guidebook measures 6 x 9″ and has 96 pages.  The guidebook is illustrated in full color throughout. Sections of the text  include Introduction, How to Use The Body Cards, 4 spreads, card interpretations, bibliography, and full color groupings of the cards as they correspond to each of the seven major chakras.

There are a total of 35 cards that are of excellent quality with a semi-gloss laminate.

The Body Cards is a unique system of divination. If you’ve been searching for something different, this is definitely the deck for you.

Blessings!

~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.

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Full Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in order to consider it for review. I only review those decks that are of interest to me & which I feel would also be of interest to my followers.

Review: Crystal Visions Tarot

Crystal visions tarot 1Originally published in 2011 by US Games Systems, Inc., The Crystal Visions Tarot has remained among my favorite decks to this day. That is notable considering my collection is now up to around 300 decks. The hallmarks of The Crystal Visions Tarot are the bright colors, muted backgrounds that make the main images “pop,” a nice sturdy yet flexible laminate for easy shuffling, and a LWB (Little White Book) that is not so little. The artist, Jennifer Galasso, was inspired by the Stevie Nicks’ CD, Crystal Visions, when creating the deck. Crystals appear frequently in the card imagery in their natural form as well as in the form of crystal balls.

Crystal visions tarot 2The Crystal Visions Tarot numbers 78 cards: 23 major arcana and 56 minor arcana. The cards of the major arcana all have traditional titles with Strength as arcana # 8 and Justice as arcana # 11. There is an extra card entitled, The Unknown Card. The Unknown Card represents some aspect of the situation under question that is still unknown. When it comes to extra cards in a tarot deck it is up to the reader’s discretion as to whether they include the extra card(s) in their readings or not.

The suits of the minor arcana are: Cups (Element of Water), Swords (Element of Air), Pentacles (Element of Earth), and Wands (Element of Fire). The court cards are: Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

The artwork and text of the Crystal Visions Tarot are by Jennifer Galasso. The imagery follows the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition so this is a good deck for beginners. The color scheme and figural representations make  Crystal visions tarot 3 the Crystal Visions Tarot quite readable without a constant need to refer to the LWB, unless someone is absolutely brand new to tarot. It is one of those decks that works very well with a person’s own innate powers of intuition. If you are interested in a good divination tool that can help you to further strengthen your intuition, the Crystal Visions Tarot is such a tool. I highly recommend this deck for both new and well-seasoned readers.

The Crystal Visions Tarot has a very thin, yet sturdy laminate. I have used this deck extensively for six years now and it shows no signs of wear whatsoever. Cards are typical tarot-card size and the deck shuffles easily.

The deck comes housed in a tuck-box that appears to have the same light laminate as the actual cards. I will say after six years the box has a bit of wear, but that is to be completely expected as I have never housed the Crystal Visions Tarot in a bag or another box.

Crystal visions tarot 4The LWB is the same size as the cards, with a single staple as its binding. It contains 64 pages. Card interpretations relate the imagery depicted on the card to the card meaning. Reversed interpretations are included. The card back design is completely reversible for those who read with reversals.

For beginners, the Crystal Visions Tarot is a great deck because the artist followed a specific color scheme for the majors and each of the suit that make the cards much simpler to identify in a reading. The cards of the major arcana all feature a tan border along the base in which the title is presented. Cups cards have a pink basal border that contains their titles. Swords have a light blue border along their base, Pentacles green, and Wands pale orange or salmon. Dominant colors within the card images themselves are  purple, pink, white, blue, red, and green. Colors are bright, yet soft. Artistically speaking, the Crystal Visions Tarot is truly an outstanding deck and is among my personal favorites.

The Crystal Visions Tarot would appeal to anyone who is looking for a deck that is easy to read, especially if they are a beginning, but it’s also great for seasoned readers who may work with crystals and crystal balls who may desire a deck that features their magical tools. The Crystal Visions Tarot also has a lovely pagan look to it so those who follow a pagan path would also find this deck to be desirable.

Wishing you many blessings!

~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.

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Full DisclosureI purchased a copy of this deck via Amazon & did NOT receive a review copy from the publisher.

The Isabella Oracle.

The Isabella Oracle is self-published by Lynn Boyle of Aquarius Wellbeing. Lynn has been self-publishing oracle and Lenormand decks for a number of years now. Lynn now has 62 decks to her credit, 59 of which are still in print that she sells through her Etsy shop. She’s been a very busy bee!

Isabella Oracle 1

The Isabella Oracle consists of 54 cards packaged in an organza drawstring bag that is accompanied by a 3-page print out of card meanings in A4 size. The cards are typical Lenormand size and are printed with a semi-gloss coating with black borders. The card number and title appear within the black border centered at the base of the image. The style of the artwork is photographic using images within the public domain (i.e., copyright-free).

The first 36 cards may be separated from the remainder of the deck and used as a stand-alone Lenormand deck. Card titles of the first 36 cards derive from traditional Lenormand keyword meanings. For example, Card 1 traditionally known as Rider, is interpreted as a messenger; therefore, Card 1 of The Isabella Oracle is aptly entitled Messenger. The second card that is traditionally Clover and seen as representing luck is entitled, Luck. The images themselves consist of traditional Lenormand card imagery. The remainder of the first 36 cards are titled as follows:

3: Travel, 4: Home, 5: Health, 6: Confusion, 7: Complication, 8: Ending, 9: Appreciation, 10. Severing, 11: Strife, 12: Conversation, 13: Child, 14: Tricky, 15: Strength, 16: Wish, 17: Change, 18: Friend, 19: Authority, 20: Society, 21: Barrier, 22: Decision, 23: Theft, 24: Love, 25: Commitment, 26: Secret, 27: Paperwork, 28: Man, 29: Woman, 30: Harmony, 31: Success, 32: Intuition, 33: Solution, 34: Abundance, 35: Security, and 36: Burden.

This portion of the deck can easily stand alone as a Lenormand deck. Lynn Boyle chose traditional Lenormand images for these cards with the exception of 8: Endings. Here, she has a skull with the traditional depiction being that of a coffin. Card number 10: Severing is depicted with a knife while traditionally a scythe is found on this card. Authority, the 19th card, which traditionally is called Tower and depicts a tower, in The Isabella Oracle here we have the figure of a king carved from wood.

Beginners would do well with this deck in particular because they are basically receiving 2 decks in 1, and having a keyword on each of the first 36 cards will also help them to learn the Lenormand system as long as they maintain a separate list of the traditional card titles. Card titles for all 54 cards nicely convey the core meaning of each card.

The remaining 18 cards transform The Isabella Oracle in a 54-card oracle deck. Card images are reminiscent of Lynn Boyle’s Aquarius Gypsy Lenormand. The card images and titles of the additional cards work well with the first 36 cards and nicely flesh out readings when all 54 cards are used. Card titles and images are as follows:

37: Agreement (handshake), 38: Breakthrough (the Hindu god Ganesha), 39: Cleanse (tree frog), 40: Contemplation (a man meditating), 41: Cupid (winged cupid statue & hearts), 42: Cycles (ferris wheel), 43: Disappointment (heart pierced by 3 swords), 44: Doorway (door), 45: Forgiveness (dove of peace), 46: Hand of Fate (hand of Fatima), 47: Illusion (broken mirror), 48: Malfunction (broken bottle), 49: Rebirth (phoenix), 50: Timing (clock), 51: Toxic (bottle of poison), 52: Transformation (butterfly), 53: Observation (owl), and 54: Yin Yang.

The cards shuffle easily and withstand rifle shuffling well. I have used The Isabella Oracle with equal accuracy as both a Lenormand and oracle deck. The black borders make the images “pop” and the deck looks lovely against a dark reading cloth.

Isabella oracle 2

The Isabella Oracle is available directly from the deck creator at: https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/AquariusWellbeing where she has numerous 5-star reviews, offers 59 decks for sale, and has been on Etsy since 2013. I can tell you based upon my own experience she ships quickly & despite the package being shipped from Australia to Texas, it arrives quicker than what one would expect.

Wishing you many blessings!

~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells, & Visionary Art

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Guidance & Inspiration From the Angelic Realm: my new oracle deck!

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Full DisclosureI received a copy of this deck from the publisher to consider it for review. I only review those decks and books that I find personally useful and feel would be of interest to my followers.

Deck Review: The Gaian Tarot

Gaian Tarot boxThe Gaian Tarot may end up being your go-to tarot deck if you are interested in goddess and earth-based spirituality or if photo realistic art impresses you. Using colored pencils, Joanna Powell Colbert brings women of color, amazing animals, and gorgeous natural settings to life in her beautiful Gaian Tarot. Originally self-published, The Gaian Tarot has been mass-published by Llewellyn (now out of print) and most recently by Schiffer Books.

I own Joanna’s self-published edition as well as the Schiffer edition. I was not fortunate enough to obtain a copy of the Llewellyn edition, but I was very happy with the self-published edition, which is printed with vibrant soy inks & despite its large size shuffles like a dream. The Schiffer edition varies from the self-published edition in that each card was given a blue border that surrounds the original white border. Card titles appear against the white border that originally served as the border of the self-published edition.

What I really appreciate about The Gaian Tarot, in addition to its themes, is how the art Gaian Tarot - Hermitspills across the border. You will see little elements that spill across the border. A plant, have of a fish’s body, leaves, part of the moon, fruit, vegetables, and so on. This gives the images a vibrancy and life that you don’t really see in most decks. It gives the impression of the images moving or of their energy spilling forth, especially when the cards are laid out in a spread. It’s a very interesting effect that I wish more artists would make use of, but perhaps that will become more commonplace in the future.

The Gaian Tarot comes housed in Schiffer’s very sturdy hinged box with magnetic closure lid that measures 6 x 9″. I love Schiffer’s boxes. The magnetic closure allows for the deck to be stored standing up on its end as if it were a book. It will not fall open on the shelf (at least none of mine have ever done that). It takes up very little room on a bookshelf or inside your tarot cabinet, as the case may be. As a person with around 300 decks I really appreciate this.

Gaian Tarot - FoolThe cards are large so those of you with smaller hands may have difficulty rifle-shuffling them. The cards measure 4 x 5 3/4″ and the deck is 1 1/4″ thick.  Due to their size and the laminate they are difficult to shuffle. I do not recommend rifle shuffling this deck. The card stock is sturdy and has a nice laminate making it easy to spread the cards out face down on a table and shuffle them by simply moving them around instead of rifle-shuffling them. The deck has a silver gilded edge that looks lovely with the blue border on the face of the cards and the blue in the background of the card backs. 184-

Colors are rich and vibrant. Although created with colored pencils, most of the images look painted. The art  of Joanna Powell Colbert is truly lovely. The Gaian Tarot is on one of those decks that is a feast for the eyes. I enjoy simply looking at the images, though the deck itself provides me with insightful and accurate readings on a regular basis. It is one of my go-to decks; and, with such a huge collection on-hand, that says a lot for The Gaian Tarot.

The accompanying 184-page paperback guidebook is very well written and beautifully Gaian Tarot guidebookdesigned by the design team at Schiffer Books. The Gaian Tarot guidebook2seconds on the major arcana, four suits, and spreads are color coded along the upper right-hand edge of the book so you can easily flip to any particular section. All card images are in full color, but the image size is only 1 7/8″ high; otherwise, this would be a great guidebook for studying the deck. Card meanings for the major arcana consist of a narrative description of the scene depicted on the card, the meaning of the card should it appear in a reading, the “shadow” interpretation (in other words, reversed), themes, symbols on the card and their meanings, an affirmation, but the most useful section of each card’s interpretation in my opinion are the journaling prompts.

If you journal with your tarot decks as I do, you will really love the guidebook for The Gaian Tarot. Each card of the major arcana is accompanied by ten journaling prompts, on average. The prompts are connected to the meaning of the card. The journaling prompts help the reader to gain a deeper perspective of the card and can really be used with any deck, not just The Gaian Tarot. Here are the journaling prompts for a card that frightens many people: Death ~

  • What is ending or needs to end in my life?
  • How might this ending be a blessing in disguise?
  • In what way may pruning back the dead wood or unnecessary in my life bring about a new vitality?
  • What are my beliefs about death?
  • Am I prepared for my own death?
  • Do I have a will and other necessary end-of-life documents in place?
  • What kind of end-of-life care do I want to have?
  • What do I want done with my remains after I die?
  • How do I honor that which has ended in my life?
  • How do I remember my Beloved Dead?
  • What kind of healing does Death offer me?
  • What kind of healing can I offer the earth through the example of Death? (The Gaian Tarot guidebook: 55-56)

As you can see, each of these prompts are not only thought-provoking, but Joanna Powell Colbert brings up some very important issues we all need to get taken care of before the inevitable occurs.

The cards of the minor arcana are grouped according to their number. Each number opens with a list of general themes that apply to that number and several short paragraphs that provide additional elaboration upon the themes of each number. As with the major arcana cards of The Gaian Tarot, the interpretation of each minor arcana card includes a narrative description of the image, the upright meaning, the reversed, meaning, and affirmation. Minor arcana cards do not include journaling prompts.

 

The Gaian Tarot guidebook concludes with a chapter on card spreads entitled, “Working with the Cards.” Joanna Powell Colbert showcases several of her tarot colleagues in this section of the book by including their contributions for a number of the spreads. Spread titles include: James Wells’ Helpful All-Purpose spread (4 cards), Joanna’s New Moon spread (5 cards), Joanna’s New Moon spread # 2 (9 cards), Beth Owl Daughter’s Predict Your Future By Creating It spread (6 cards), Joanna’s Seeking Clarity spread (10 cards), Joanna’s New Year spread (7 cards), Joanna’s “Elder of Fire/Whispers of the Ancestors spread (5 cards), Carolyn Cushing’s Soul Practices with The Gaian Tarot: Path, Practice, & Posture spread (3 cards) followed by her Aligning with the Earth spread (7 cards), and James Wells’ Gaian spread (4 cards). The guidebook ends with a half page of end notes and a 2-page bibliography.

The Gaian Tarot is softly feminine. The overall energy of the deck is quite calming and Gaian Tarot - Sunsoothing. I can approach this deck with a question about a matter I find upsetting, but as the reading unfolds I fall under the deck’s calming spell and suddenly the problem doesn’t seem to loom so large. I find this deck to have healing energy. So much can go into a card via the intention of the artist. I have not asked Joanna Powell Colbert if she intended this deck to impart calming, healing energy to those who use it, but I’m willing to bet that was part of her intention behind her creation of the images. I can certainly feel it every time I work with The Gaian Tarot.

Anyone who works closely with the Goddess and earth-centered spirituality, who loves animals, has respect for other life forms with whom we share this planet, will love The Gaian Tarot.

Wishing you many blessings!

~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells, & Visionary Art

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Full DisclosureI received a copy of this deck from the publisher to consider it for review. I only review those decks and books that I find personally useful and feel would be of interest to my followers.

Inspirational Wisdom From Angels & Fairies

Inspirational Wisdom From Angels & Fairies is a lovely oracle deck written by Frances Munro with artwork by Judy Mastrangelo, published by US Games Systems, Inc. (2016). The deck is housed in a tuck box that features elements of the images from five of the cards and is accompanied by a 57-page guidebook that has an additional 2 blank pages for notes. The cards measure 3 x 5″ and have a semi-gloss matte finish. They shuffle easily. Card backs are not reversible and reverse interpretations are not included.

The guidebook is quite nice. Each card is illustrated with a small black and white detail from the overall card image at the top. Below the black and white image is a brief interpretation of the card’s meaning. Each card’s interpretation concludes with either a prayer, exercise, affirmation, or meditation to use.

The cards are borderless (yay!) with the title across the center along the top of the card. Each title is rendered in white type. There is a colored border across the base of each card that is in a color that contrasts with the color scheme of the image. Each border contains a brief 2- 3 line summary of the card’s meaning.

Now to see the deck in action.

I did a simple 3-card reading for myself regarding my teenage daughter. She is 18 and feels she ought to rule the roost and enjoy all the benefits of still living with her parents while doing basically whatever she feels like at any given moment. This will NOT fly here, so I asked the angels & fairies for guidance as to how best to handle the situation. The cards I received are as follows:

inspirational-wisdom-from-angels-fairies

Card 1: I Give You Star Dreams ~ the caption reads: “Feel blessed & know that the troubles that have followed you are now far behind.” The guidebook goes on to say that I have the power to move forward by looking at the situation with a healing heart. There is also mention of being calm at bedtime. I have had issues with insomnia lately because I allow my brain to squirm like a toad. The exercise included with this card involves visualizing a deep blue night sky envelop me as it helps me to feel more mellow. I can see how that would be beneficial to me at this time.

Card 2: Guardian Angel of Winter ~ the caption reads: “Your time is often taken up with problems that belong to others. Use your wisdom & the angelic energy to prioritize your own needs.” The guidebook continues to say that there is an angelic host waiting to help me to put my own needs first so I can deal with them before dealing with the needs of others. When you are a reader & a healer it’s very important to focus energy on yourself first. In that way you are better equipped to serve others. I have been forgetting this lately as I’ve become too absorbed in other people’s problems. This really hit home for me. The exercise associated with this card is to sit quietly for 5 minutes a day as I ask the angels to help me direct my energies toward my own life. Wow, what great advice & such a lovely & useful suggestion.

Card 3: Doorway to Fairyland ~ the caption reads: “Imagination is the key that will open doors & show you the way.” The guidebook says that I feel the need to move forward, but cannot always see the way to go. Very true. My daughter is exerting her independence as an 18-year-old, but still lives under our roof. This card says that I need to lift my spirits and see the world from a different perspective. That tells me I need to change my point of view about the situation. I have been attempting to exert my authority, but it’s clearly time for a new approach. Also, this card speaks to me of creativity, which tells me that I need to focus more energy on my art. Perhaps through the act of being creative a new approach to the situation will come to me. I often do receive great ideas while I’m being creative. The prayer that accompanies this card is also appropriate for me at this time.

The sample reading demonstrates how Inspirational Wisdom From Angels & Fairies works. The guidebook provides just a 1- and 2-card reading, but as with any oracle deck, it’s always fine to make up your own spreads.

The energy of this deck is very calm, loving, and healing. The imagery is colorful without being overly bright, and the representations of the angels, fairies, and animals are truly lovely works of art.

The caption on each card makes the deck very easy to use for beginners who may have never used a card deck before. You basically know the gist of the reading before you ever refer to the guidebook. The guidebook is very short and well written in a concise and straightforward manner. Personally, I do not enjoy wordy guidebooks. I like all the information provided in a neat little capsule up front & center. Frances Munro accomplishes that very well with Inspirational Wisdom From Angels & Fairies. I enjoy using this deck & highly recommend it, especially if you’re a beginning with no card reading experience. This would also make a great first deck for an intuitive child.

Blessings!

~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells, & Visionary Art

The Egyptian Lenormand: signed & activated copies

Email: IsisRaAnpu@gmail.com

Twitter: @NeferKhepri

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neferkhepri/

Full Disclosure: I received this deck from the publisher in order to consider it for review. I only review those decks that are of interest to me & which I feel would also be of interest to my followers.

 

 

 

 

Paulina Cassidy in the Artist’s Spotlight

Paulina Cassidy’s artwork is very popular among collectors. She is known for her ink and watercolor paintings of faeries and whimsical nature sprites. Working from a sketch that evolves into a pen and ink drawing, Paulina then adds soft pastel watercolors to her pieces. Her artwork is collected around the world. Paulina Cassidy is also a mass-market published Tarot and oracle artist with two tarot decks and two oracle decks to her credit. They are:

  • The Paulina Tarot (US Games Systems, Inc. 2008)
  • The Joie de Vive Tarot (US Games Systems, Inc. 2011)
  • The Faerie Guidance Oracle (Llewellyn 2012)
  • Witchlings (US Games Systems, Inc. 2014)

In this blog post I review all four of her decks and sit down for an interview with the artist herself. My questions are in bold below and Paulina’s responses are in italics. My review commentary appears in regular type.

 

Were you formally trained as an artist or self-taught? How long have you been an artist? 

I started drawing from the age of 3; quietly sitting at the kitchen table with paper and pen; happily lost in my own little world. At 14, I started creating cartoons for local newspapers, but altered my direction at around 17 when my style developed into something completely different than cartooning. I worked mainly with pen and ink for a number of years after that, as well as having created regular illustrations for magazines. In 1998, I delved full time into this when I launched my website, Restless Moon Gallery.  It’s an interesting process in discovering one’s artistic voice as we experiment and grow, whether one is self-taught or formally trained.

What sparked your interest in Tarot and how long have you been interested in it? 

A number of years ago, a collector requested that I consider making a tarot deck. I thought the task to be too challenging at first, but I proceeded, regardless. I began working on my first deck in 2006/2007, and two years later, the Paulina Tarot was born.

The Paulina Tarot (2009)~ 

paulina-tarot-compositeUS Games Systems, Inc. published Paulina Cassidy’s first work, The Paulina Tarot, in 2008. Housed in a simple tarot box with 44-page LWB (little white book), the entire set measures 3 x 5 x 1 ¼” and retails for $21.95.   The Paulina Tarot is a traditional 78-card tarot deck. Major arcana titles are traditional. Suits are Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Court cards are the traditional Page, Knight, Queen, and King. The cards have a thin white border, card titles appear in black within the white border below each image, and the backs are fully reversible. The LWB, written by Paulina Cassidy, includes a brief description of each card’s imagery, and several keywords for both upright and reversed interpretations. Only one card spread is included, the traditional Celtic Cross.

The cards measure the same as the box and are very easy to shuffle. They have a semi-gloss finish that allows them to glide smoothly together without sticking together. The images, unlike some of her other work, is rendered in full color with the backgrounds completely painted in watercolor. The color scheme varies and is in general keeping with the theme of each card. Backgrounds range from lovely bright pastels to somber grays that gives the deck a balanced color scheme.

The imagery of The Paulina Tarot is highly intricate. The characteristic swirls, tiny flowers, stripes, dots, and other design elements of Paulina Cassidy’s work adorn each card. As an artist myself, I appreciate all the work that went into creating each image. In order to fully appreciate The Paulina Tarot I highly recommend that you avail yourself of the use of a magnifying glass. This is one of those decks that would have benefited from being printed in a larger size.

Within a spread the cards depict lively faerie and fantasy characters within a whimsical landscape. Natural elements, such as trees, flowers, and celestial bodies are anthropomorphized, which adds a great deal of whimsy to the images. Overall, The Paulina Tarot is highly detailed making it a feast for the eyes.

 

Your artwork is very intricate. Has this always been your style or did it evolve in recent years?

I’ve been creating intricate pieces for years, mainly using pen and ink. It’s always been a meditational process for me. As well, it’s an evolution filled with self-discovery. My wish is to evolve with each piece I create, always.

On average, how long does it take for you to create a card image? 

It varies, and I sometimes re-do a card image until I’m happy with it. I seem to have no definite answer to this, as I tend not to keep track of time when creating. I sort of become lost in another world, another zone . . . somewhere out of time. 

What inspires you and your art? 

Anything that supplies my soul with a sense of mystery and magic. It’s a collective and intermingling gathering of energies found, for example, in music, books, nature, art, animals, people. 

 

The Joie de Vivre Tarot (2011) ~

paulina-cassidy-joie-vivre-compositeBuilding upon her love of animals, nature, and people, Paulina Cassidy followed up her Paulina Tarot with the Joie de Vivre Tarot, published by US Games Systems, Inc. in 2011.

Housed in a tuck box with the LWB written by Paulina Cassidy, the Joie De Vivre Tarot is yet another delight. The LWB has 59 pages with two blank pages for notes. Card interpretations consist of several keywords, a brief description of the imagery, the general meaning, and a brief reversed interpretation. The LWB concludes with a 5-card spread entitled, “Spreading the Joy.”

The major arcana cards are traditionally titled and the court cards are also the traditional Page – Knight – Queen – King. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords, and Coins (Pentacles in The Paulina Tarot).

The Joie De Vivre Tarot is a deck that vibrates with a childlike joy, the beings depicted in this deck are “sentient souls of love who will help you tap into intuition and connect to divine source,” (LBW, p. 1). The characters themselves are emphasized with less anthropomorphic aspects than what appears in the Paulina Tarot. The majority of color lies within the brighter range of pastels and backgrounds tend to be less developed than in the Paulina Tarot so there is a bit more negative space giving the eye a place to rest while also emphasizing the main character depicted on each card.

 

You have a knack for portraying nature spirits. Can you sense their presence? If so, what does it feel like? 

I often do sense their presence. It’s a particular uplifting shift in the atmosphere. I cannot see them with the naked eye, but I sense their personalities. They bring with them a certain purity, playfulness, and wisdom. Quite influential, and they love to be portrayed.

 

The Faerie Guidance Oracle (2012) ~

In 2012 Paulina Cassidy’s The Faerie Guidance Oracle was published by Llewellyn Books. Representing a slight departure from the whimsical creatures she had created for her Paulina Tarot and Joie De Vivre Tarot, The Faerie Guidance Oracle is her first oracle deck. The deck consists of a total of 40 cards and a 262-page guidebook, once again written by Paulina Cassidy herself. The deck is housed in a flip-lidded box of very thin cardboard. The book and deck lie nested within the box side by side.

Each card depicts a different faery with titles such as, Enlightenment, Determination, Faith, Compassion, Dreams, Intuition, Change, Energy, and Spirit. Titles are placed at the top center of the card within the border. Each card also has a brief 2-line synopsis of the card’s overall meaning at the base of the image within a light tan border that surrounds the image. Rendered in Paulina Cassidy’s distinctive style, the color scheme runs from dark blues and grays to sunny yellows and everything in between. The color scheme is nicely balanced. The images have a lovely ethereal look to them.

paulina-cassidy-faerie-guidance-oracle

The guidebook is quite impressive. It begins with a brief introduction as well as “how to use this deck” section. There are two card spreads: the Facet du Jour, which is a card of the day; and, the Crisis Spread, for which the cards are chosen consciously instead of by chance and the number of cards in the spread can vary. The bulk of the guidebook consists of the card interpretations. There is a full-size black and white image of the card on the facing page. Paulina Cassidy then devotes 2 – 3 pages for each card’s meaning that then concludes with a “reflection” that relates symbols within the card’s image to the meaning of the card.

 

What advice do you have for aspiring deck creators? 

 Patience and consistency. These are two of my keywords for card deck productivity. The task can be daunting and will feel at times as though it’ll take forever. It happens to me with each deck that I create. Remember my aforementioned keywords during the long haul. Eventually, a finished deck will manifest, and it will have been worth every bit of effort.

 

Witchlings (2014) ~

Paulina Cassidy’s most recent publication is Witchlings, published by US Games Systems, Inc. in 2014. Witchlings is a card and book set that comes housed in a lidded box. The guidebook contains 201 pages with 3 pages for notes. There are 40 cards.

The cards have a narrow pastel border that vary in shade from card to card: purple, yellow, orange, green, pink, and other shades. Each card is graced with the whimsical image of a “witchling” who is an expert spellcaster of a particular type of spell. A little purple owl named Orion accompanies each witchling. Orion is “the universal Familiar of the Witchlings, acts as protector, mentor, assistant and friend” (p. 6). Orion is a benevolent energy whose spirit also assists all who use these cards.

paulina-cassidy-witchlings

Paulina Cassidy designed Witchlings is no ordinary oracle deck. It can also be used in spell work. The deck can be used as an oracle deck and an oracular message is included for every card, but where this deck truly excels is in its use as a magical tool. There are 2 – 4 simple and short spells included for every card. The spells are performed with inexpensive materials that are easily available in the typical home’s spice cabinet. The spells are very short and simple to perform. You do not have to be a practitioner of magic to use this deck to its full capability.

Paulina Cassidy also wrote the guidebook. For each card the guidebook includes a 4-line poem, the oracular meaning, 2 – 4 spells, and for many of the cards inspirational creative suggestions and meditations are also included for the majority of the cards.

Overall, the work of Paulina Cassidy presents tarot and oracle readers alike with four delightful decks from which to choose. Her characters seem to come alive in the spreads and I love to see the interactions of the characters as they look at one another in a card spread. Delightfully dreamy, Paulina Cassidy’s body of work appeals to many around the world who are avid collectors of her art.

If you would like to be a featured artist on my blog, please email me at isisraanpu@gmail.com.

Blessings!

~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells, & Visionary Art

The Egyptian Lenormand: signed & activated copies

Email: IsisRaAnpu@gmail.com

Twitter: @NeferKhepri

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neferkhepri/

 

Full DisclosureThe decks reviewed here were a combination of those sent to me by the publisher and my own purchase.

 

 

 

Review: The Sacred Awakening Cards

sacred awakening cards 3The Sacred Awakening Cards is a 67-card oracle card set with accompanying paperback 48-page guidebook. The card and book set is packaged within a box with fitted lid that measures 3 7/8” x 5 ½” x 1”. The cards measure 3 ½ x 5” and are printed upon a highly flexible and somewhat thin card stock. The artist/author is Sa’arah Esther Felix, and is published by the Lemurian Temple LLC, 2013. I suspect this deck is self-published as I have never heard of this particular publisher. I purchased my copy from Amazon.

The cards shuffle easily, though I will warn anyone who purchases this deck that you will need to be VERY careful when you first remove the cards from the box. Give them a few gentle flexes. There is a very thin laminate on the cards and my deck arrived with some cards slightly stuck together. As I gingerly pulled them apart some of the black border came off so a few of my cards have white specks along the borders. This does not bother me and it never came close to tearing any of the cards, but depending on the level of humidity where you live, for some this may be a real problem, so open for first use carefully.

The imagery consists of bright colors that are a combination of painting and photo collage. The borders are black and the card title appears in white within the black border along the base of each image. The black borders allow the colors to really “pop,” and the images feel as if they are alive with energy. I have used the images for meditation and for me they work very well as a meditative tool so that may be something you may wish to consider should you purchase The Sacred Awakening Cards.

sacred awakening cards 2

The guidebook with a few introductory paragraphs on the artist’s idea behind the deck and how to use the deck. This is followed by several card spreads: a One Card, Three Card, and Four Card spread, as well as an 11-card Pagan Cross spread that will present you with a thorough analysis of a situation or question. Other traditional tarot spread work well with The Sacred Awakening Cards. Card interpretations consist of approximately 7 – 9 sentences that cover half the page. I have found the deck to be useful for both guidance and predictive readings.

Here is an example of The Sacred Awakening Cards in action.

For this 3-card reading I am asking for general guidance for all of my social media followers from now until the end of July, 2016. The cards you received are as follows:

Withinside + Veil + Resistance.

sacred awakening cards

Withinside indicates that you already possess whatever it is that you need to deal with any type of situation that arises in your life. You can rely upon your inner power. Despite the fact that you may not believe this, trust in the fact that every resource is at your disposal. Trust in the process, go with the flow, and be patient (paraphrased from pp. 44-45 of the guidebook).

Veil represents that which hides the love within you of All That Is. Despite being hidden by the Veil upon your incarnation, this love remains within you and is projected outward when you fall in love. Lift the Veil so you can continue to feel the flow of this divine love within you (paraphrased from pp. 43 – 44 of the guidebook).

Resistance represents the need to be open to the changes in life. When we resist change we block our own natural flow and this can lead to all sorts of problems. Be open to the lessons that life has to offer and this will help you to experience them with grace (paraphrased from p. 35 of the guidebook).

Taken together as a set, these cards indicate that the energies that are taking us from July into August are centered around helping us to realize we have the power within ourselves to transform our reality. Most of us do not believe this to be true, but it is. We all need to accept our inner power and so doing will allow us to access tools within us that have always been there for our use. Once we do that we can use that divine power within us to overcome our resistance to change, thus creating a free flow of energy in and through our lives that will help us in our own spiritual growth.

The Sacred Awakening Cards is a truly beautiful oracle that I can tell was created with love and intention. I find the images to be very soothing and some feel as though they are actually healing. I always feel uplifted after I have done a reading with this deck.

The images are all non-threatening, peaceful, some are quite joyful, and the interpretations offered in the guidebook are fairly straightforward, making The Sacred Awakening Cards a great deck for beginners and seasoned readers alike.

Blessings!

~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells, & Visionary Art

The Egyptian Lenormand: signed & activated copies

Email: IsisRaAnpu@gmail.com

Twitter: @NeferKhepri

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neferkhepri/