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.

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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: Fairy Tale Lenormand

The Fairy Tale Lenormand by Lisa Hunt is a delightfully charming deck. Stemming from Lisa Hunt’s long interest in fairy tales (The Fairy Tale Tarot is also one of her creations), she painted the delicately soft watercolor images and Arwen Lynch wrote the accompanying guidebook. Published by US Games Systems, Inc, The Fairy Tale Lenormand immediately joined the ranks of my favorite Lenormand decks.

Scenes are depicted in soft, yet bright watercolor paintings that are intricate and highly detailed. The style is long familiar to fans of Lisa Hunt’s tarot decks. Hidden faces in clouds and rocks, intricately latticed tree roots and branches, along with tremendous attention to the finer details makes The Fairy Tale Lenormand a feast for the eyes. The cards measure 3 1/2 x 2 1/4″ with a light tan border containing muted scrollwork. Card numbers appear in the upper left-hand corner. Card titles and playing card associations are centered at the base of the card.

Consisting of the traditional 36 Lenormand cards, The Fairy Tale Lenormand, like most modern Lenormand decks, includes an extra pair of male and female cards. This is done to accommodate same-sex readings; and, some readers may wish to include both sets of gender cards in order to address situations in which there are a number of people involved. Card titles hold strictly to tradition with the female card entitled “Lady” and the male card entitled, “Gentleman.”

The accompanying guidebook is the same size as the cards. As it is quite small one would expect just a simple LWB (Little White Book, basically a pamphlet often found with tarot decks), but instead we are treated to an actual Lenormand card-size paperback book with an actual spine. The guidebook contains 124 pages. The fairy tale that is the inspiration behind each card is briefly summarized. Keywords and a general meaning are provided for each card. The guidebook concludes with several spreads: several examples of a Fan Spread using a focus card plus 3 additional cards, a 12-card Crossroads Spread, a 16-card Tower Spread, and a 12-card Happily Ever Afters Spread. This guidebook does not go into the longer Grand Tableau spread due to space constrictions, but a discussion of the Grand Tableau can be found in any number of new Lenormand books out on the market.

The Fairy Tale Lenormand comes housed in a lovely tin box. Lisa Hunt created artwork specifically for the box, which is decorated on all six surfaces. This set of deck and guidebook make for a very lovely presentation. The tin box provided sturdy and completely secure storage for the cards that allows for ease of travel. It’s a lovely little kit that I am sure any Lenormand reader would love.

If you’d like to see every card, please click on my YouTube video review of The Fairy Tale Lenormand. This is my VERY FIRST video deck review. I also invite you to view the other videos on my YouTube channel and subscribe if you like. There is plenty more to come.

Recommended Books: 

Fairy Tale Lenormand by Lisa Hunt & Arwen Lynch

Lenormand Thirty Six Cards: An Introduction to the Petit Lenormand by Andy Boroveshengra (hard copy)

Lenormand Thirty Six Cards (2015 Edition): An Introduction to the Petit Lenormand by Andy Boroveshengra (Kindle Edition)

The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards by Caitlin Matthews.

Wishing you many blessings!

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

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells, & Visionary Art

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Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this deck from the publisher to be considered for review. I only review those decks I consider to be of interest to my followers.

Review: Fin de Siecle Kipper by Ciro Marchetti

Kipper is a young form of cartomancy that comes to us from Germany and is like Lenormand, but the reading method is a bit different. Fin de Siecle translates to “end of the century,” and by this, it is the end of the 19th century that lends its Victorian clothing styles, architecture, and the early inventions of the Industrial Revolution to the images depicted in the Fin de Siecle Kipper created by renown Tarot artist, Ciro Marchetti.

The cards measure 4 1/8″ x 2 11/16″. The finish is a high gloss that gives the images of the Fin de Siecle Kipper a lovely sheen. The cards glide smoothly against one another in shuffling and laying out spreads. I really enjoy the feel of this deck. The card stock of my copy was a bit stiff at first, which is common with a brand new deck, but it loosened up after about 10 – 15 times of rifle shuffling.

The images of the Fin de Siecle Kipper are contained within a silver border and the entire card is set against a black background. I love decks with a black background. The black really helps the colors to “pop,” and in my opinion, make for a much greater visual impact than card decks that use a white background. There are no playing card inserts as with Lenormand and also the card images do not contain a short verse as many Lenormand decks do because Kipper, though somewhat similar, is really a different system that is also read somewhat differently from Lenormand. The card number appears at top of the image within a silver circle to match the frame of the image and the title appears in white against a black background centered at the base of the image. The card numbers and titles are completely non-intrusive. The Fin de Siecle Kipper  gildingdeck has a lovely silver gilding that does NOT come off on your hands as it can with some decks. You can see in the simple photo here taken with my iPhone 6 how the gilding reflects the colors in the room. It also has a lovely iridescent quality to it.

The box measures 4 5/8″ x 3 1/8″ x 1″. The box has a flap that comes down over the spine on the right-hand side of the box. The flap closes magnetically so the box can be stored upright and will not fall open. The main illustration features Fin de Siecle Kipper boxCard. No. 4: Courtship. Three card images are featured on the rear of the box: Card No. 2: Main Female, Card No. 16 Thoughts, and Card No. 10 Journey. There is silver gilding along both sides of the front cover illustration and also around the deck creator’s name. It is a lovely compact package that makes it very easy to carry this deck with you for us card readers who are on the go or never leave home with out a deck.

The accompanying guidebook measures 4 1/8 X 2 3/4″ and is the same size as the cards. It contains 83 pages. There are NO Kipper books written in English except for the guidebook for the Fin de Siecle Kipper.  All sources are written in German. You may think due to its diminutive size that the guidebook does not have much to offer, but you would be VERY wrong. The introduction is written by Ciro Marchetti and includes how the deck came to be and his reasoning for changing the cultural setting of the card images from the original Bavarian environment to that of Victorian Great Britain. This includes a short discussion of the massive societal impact of the Industrial Revolution, which is evident in several card images. There are secondary introductions from two of three contributing authors, Kipper experts Fortune Buchholtz and Stella Waldvogel.  The third contributing author is Susanne Zitzl.  The co-authors come from different backgrounds and include a brief introduction as to the manner they use to read Kipper cards.

Card interpretations open with a tiny black and white image of the card next to each contributing author’s interpretation. Interpretations are presented in alphabetical order according to the first name of the contributing author.  The contributing author’s initials are noted at the end of each of their card interpretations, FB for Fortune Buchholtz, SV for Stella Waldvogel, and SZ for Susanne Zitzl. The guidebook also includes commentary by Ciro Marchetti for 13 cards, including 2 out of the 3 additional cards he added to the Fin de Siecle, which are entitled Poverty (Card No. 37), Toil & Labor (Card No. 38), and Community (Card No. 39). The card interpretations are very thorough and provide you with what you need to know in order to make good use of this Kipper deck. The guidebook concludes with two spreads: Stella Waldvogel’s Triple Pyramid Spread and Susanne Zitzl’s SOS Spread. It is unfortunate that the guidebook does not contain examples or a discussion of Kipper reading card syntax. It differs slightly from Lenormand, but do pay close attention to Buccholtz and Waldvogel’s brief comments about reading syntax on pages 17 and 20, respectively. I include resources at the end of my review should you wish to learn more specific information about this intriguing system of divination. Ciro Marchetti concludes the guidebook with a brief discussion of how he animated the card images. You can view animations of the cards by downloading Aurasama, a free app for smartphones and tablets that will animate the cards.

NOTE: Ciro Marchetti first published the Fin de Siecle Kipper himself. The self-published edition varies from the mass-market US Games, Incorporated edition in a number of respects. Firstly, the self-published edition was not housed in a box, but in a lovely handmade satin drawstring bag made by Ciro’s wife, Maria. The bag is lined in silver, the drawstring is also silver. My copy has a single black pony bead on each end of the silver drawstring to hold the knot in place. The front of the bag has a silkscreen image of The House card with the main elements from the Journey and Change cards. The deck title appears within a horizontal banner parallel and running along the drawstring. The reverse side of the bag has a silk screened image of the figures from the Main Female and Main Male cards superimposed over a background of the Pathway card. Ciro Marchetti’s logo appears in a banner parallel to the drawstring area.

The cards of the self-published edition have a matte finish. Edges are not gilded. They vary in size from the US Games, Incorporated mass-market edition only in being a hair wider. They are the same length, 4 1/8″. Card stock is flexible that contributes to the ease of shuffling. The only difference in image between the self-published edition (below, on the left) and the US Games Systems, Incorporated edition (below, on the right) is that the image of the mass-market edition appear to be ever so slightly brighter when examined closely. Ciro Marchetti had the option of having the card backs personalized for those who purchased the self-published edition, which was a lovely touch.

Fin de Siecle Kipper comparison

Additional Resources to learn the Kipper System

Frances Buchholder has her own YouTube channel called “Fortune’s Fool” and she has devoted an entire section to Ciro Marchetti’s Fin de Siecle Kipper here.

There is also a Kipper 101 course taught periodically by The Card Geek, otherwise known as Toni Puhle. She offers courses through her World Lenormand Association; and yes, you can also sign up to learn how to read Lenormand cards there as well.

Blessings!

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

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells, & Visionary Art

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Email: IsisRaAnpu@gmail.com

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Full Disclosure:

I purchased the self-published edition direct from the author as soon as it became available. I recently received a copy from the publisher to consider for review. I only review those decks I feel make a valuable contribution and that I feel my followers will also enjoy.

 

 

The Pagan Ways Tarot: Deck Review

Pagan Ways TarotThe Pagan Ways Tarot, created by Anna Franklin, is obviously a pagan-themed Tarot deck. If it strikes you as being somewhat familiar you may own a copy of The Sacred Circle Tarot (Llewellyn Publications), which she also created in collaboration with Paul Mason. The deck comes housed in a sturdy box nestled into two sections separated by a cardboard insert. The 6 x 9” guidebook rests on top of the desk in a hinged box with magnetic lid closure. This is a very nice feature of Schiffer decks that keeps the overall box measuring 6 X 9” and the magnetic lid allows for the box to be stored in a bookshelf on its end. The lid will not fall open.

The cards are covered in a shiny glossy laminate. They shuffle easily, but may be a bit difficult to shuffle for those of us with smaller hands. The card image is inset within a black border with the card title for the major arcana cards located in the lower border and number in the upper board. The minor arcana numeric and court card designations are located within the top border while the card titles are located within the bottom border. Titles of the minor arcana cards in numerous cases correspond to the Thoth titles. Court cards are designated Princess, Knight, Queen and King. The Princess and Queen cards correspond to the pagan sabbats or stations of the Wheel of the Year. Knights represent the action taken by their suit’s particular element while Kings represent the element itself.

Images for the Pagan Ways Tarot are created via photographic collage and computer manipulation in a very realistic manner that gives one the impression that you are looking through a window at a very real living scene. Anna Franklin states in her introduction to the 190-page paperback guidebook that she depicts gods and goddesses on every card. She chose to depict them in everyday clothing rather than in the garb of their time period and culture in order to create a cohesive look for the deck. A card such as the 3 of Swords does not depict a god, but Anna Franklin includes a brief dialogue between The Fool and the deity represented by this card. In the case of the 3 of Swords no deity is depicted, but the focus is on the stormy background and the deity speaking to The Fool is the Egyptian god, Set, who is the god of chaos, storms, and the desert.

Anna Franklin depicts The Fool’s journey as occurring through the entire tarot deck. His journey is not strictly limited to the major arcana, which is the case for the majority of decks. As a result, The Fool is the main character of the Pagan Ways Tarot and he dialogues with the god or goddess depicted on every single card. The dialogue develops The Fool’s character as he learns the lesson of every card.

The Fool introduces the Pagan Ways Tarot, but at that point the organization of the guidebook departs from tradition. Instead of seeing The Magician as the next card we see the Ace of Swords. The Fool then travels through the cards of the Swords (the element of Air and Intent) suit, followed by Wands (the element of Fire and Will), Cups (the element of Water and Love), and the Pentacles (the element of Earth and Manifestation). Once the dialogue between The Fool and the gods and goddesses of the minor arcana concludes then we meet the archetypical cards of the major arcana.

The major arcana of the Pagan Ways Tarot  represents The Fool’s journey along the path of initiation. Card titles are a mix of traditional and pagan with such titles as The Lady and Lord for the Empress and Emperor, respectively. Additional changes include: The Elder for the Hierophant, Wyrd for the Wheel of Fortune, the Underworld for the Devil, Rebirth for Judgment, and Universe for the World. As with the minor arcana, The Fool engages in conversation with the character depicted on each card of the major arcana. The dialogue lends a vitality to the guidebook you do not often see and it makes for an enjoyable read.

The guidebook for the Pagan Ways Tarot is printed on high quality paper and what I like the most about it is that the cards are depicted in actual size and also in full color. This is not common among guidebooks, but Schiffer has done this with a few earlier decks. This feature makes the guidebook a wonderful study aid. You can take it with you to study easily enough and leave the actual cards at home.

The guidebook for the Pagan Ways Tarot concludes with three appendices. The first is a glossary of symbols depicted on the cards and a brief interpretation of each. This is very useful when a particular symbol catches your eye as you’re doing a reading. The second appendix is entitled “Using the Cards for Divination” and includes four spreads: the Zodiac Spread, a 7-card Planetary Spread, the 21-card Romany Spread, and the traditional 10-card Celtic Cross. Card positions are explained, but the guidebook does not contain any sample readings. The final appendix entitled “Using the Cards for Meditation and Spiritual Development” includes suggestions for meditating upon a single card, connecting with the Elements, and focusing on the Wheel of the Year.

The Pagan Ways Tarot is a well thought-out deck that will appeal to pagans and non-pagans alike. The imagery is vibrant, imaginative, and a pleasure for the eyes. I highly recommend it.

Blessings!

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

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells, & Visionary Art

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Full Disclosure: I received a copy to consider for review by the publisher. I only review decks that I find useful to myself & that I feel my followers will also enjoy.

Deck Review: The Dolphin Divination Cards

Dolphin Divination Cards by Nancy Clemens. Blue Dolphin Publishing, 1993 $13.00.

A Guide to the Dolphin Divination Cards By Nancy Clemens. $18.00

3 cards from The Dolphin Divination Cards by Nancy Clemens.
The Dolphin Divination Cards (C) Nancy Clemens & Blue Dolphin Publishing, Inc. 1993.

For those of you who love the novelty of round decks, this is not only round. It’s also small & cute measuring a mere 2″ across. It’s great to tuck in your purse to allow for readings to be done anywhere & under any circumstances.

I first ran across The Dolphin Divination Cards in 1996 when I was the assistant manager at a new age store. The owner had an open deck on the counter next to the register and would allow customers to pull 3 cards. For those of you who own your own shop, we sold a lot of these decks due to giving customers the opportunity to interact with the cards before making their purchase.

The cards have words on them in an attractive font that say things like:

  • Deep Dive
  • Change
  • Play
  • Low Surf
  • Ocean Dreaming
  • Meditation
  • Harmonics
  • Creativity
  • New Light Body

The list goes on. In fact, this tiny deck has 102 cards.

The Dolphin Divination Cards are housed in a 2 x 2 x 1 1/2″ box. The box contains a single fold-out sheet of paper containing a brief introduction on how to use the cards, two 3-card spreads (Body/Mind/Spirit and Past/Present/Future), a 5-card spread, and a 4-card Medicine Wheel spread.

You do not have to worry about memorizing meanings. There is now a guidebook for The Dolphin Divination Cards available that discusses each card in more detail. If you’re a stickler for card interpretations then you’d probably also want the book, but personally I do not find it necessary.

What I love most about these cards is that anyone can use them. You don’t have to be a Tarot expert. I have seen many people walk in right off the street from all walks of life. They pull 3 – 5 cards and have always been entertained and sometimes even guided and comforted by the experience. Dolphins are also non-threatening. Who doesn’t love dolphins? Children can use these cards and religious people who may view tarot cards as “evil” or threatening in some way would also enjoy them.

The Dolphin Divination Cards are ideal for daily readings and for readings on the fly. You don’t have to sit and concentrate over them or consult a hefty book. Just read the message the dolphins have given you, draw your own conclusions, and you’re all set.

Card messages are suggestive in an inspirational and motivational manner. For instance, in the photograph above I pulled three cards at random for this picture asking, “what do my blog readers need to know at this time?” The cards you all received are:

“Holy Mackerel,” “Riding the Waves,” and “Migration.”

Giving those cards a quick once-over, my take on them is this ~

There are some big surprises in store, perhaps some stress with “Holy Mackerel,” but it’s brief. It results in your “riding the waves” by deciding to go with the flow instead of fighting the current. The waves then take you on over to “Migration,” which indicates movement to another place or perhaps movement toward a new realization of some sort. Either way, positive motion forward is indicated by the order in which these three cards appear.

My 16 year old daughter loves these cards and has been using them since she could read. Her friends have loved using them so I cannot stress enough this would make a great gift for any child. It’s a valuable tool that over time will teach them to rely on their own intuition when interpreting the messages the Dolphin Divination Cards provide to them and over the years this will help to hone their intuition into a strong and valuable tool.

I have enjoyed the Dolphin Divination Cards very much over the years, and I know anyone interested in divination of any kind would also enjoy them. They can be ordered via Amazon.

Preview: my next blog post will focus on how to invoke Archangel Saint Michael to cleanse your home of negative energy so stay tuned for that.

Thank you for following my blog & feel free to leave comments.

Wishing you all many blessings!

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

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells & Visionary Art

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The Turtle Lenormand: my most recent self-published deck. 31 copies out of 50 remain

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