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 Coloring Books of Amy Zerner & Monte Farber

I have enjoyed coloring since I was 2 years old. I have been very pleased with the advent of the adult coloring book phenomenon & extremely pleased that Amy Zerner and Monte Farber have created two delightful adult coloring books for Harper Elixer. Their titles are: The Enchanted Tarot and Enchanted Worlds. The daughter of classic coloring book & greeting card illustrator, master artist Jessie Spicer Zerner, Amy Zerner followed in the artistic footsteps of her mother and is world renown for her tapestry collage art that has resulted in several tarot and oracle decks as well as unique clothing designs. Both coloring books are dedicated to Amy’s mother. All accompanying text is written by Amy’s husband, Monte Farber, who is an author in his own right, astrologer, and psychic. Together they have been a publishing tour de force for several decades.

enchanted-tarot-coloring-book-coverThe Enchanted Tarot adult coloring book consists of the major arcana and sixteen court cards from the tarot deck of the same title. Amy Zerner provided detailed line drawings of each image. Monte Farber provides the text that accompanies each image that includes the card’s title, positive phrase related to the meaning of the card, and a list of keywords. The text accompanying each image is provided on the facing page so as you work on coloring the image you can easily refer to the text on the left-hand opposite page.

At first glance the drawings for The Enchanted Tarot may appear to be overly intricate, but this is due to Amy Zerner including line demarcations for shading on faces, clothing, and other design elements. This element is not found in most coloring books so artists who enjoy shading to illustrate depth and dimension will appreciate the added line details.

enchanted-tarot-chariot-card-drawing
The Chariot from “The Enchanted Tarot” deck & “The Enchanted Tarot” coloring book. Courtesy of Amy Zerner.

As you begin to work in the Enchanted Tarot coloring book I would recommend you begin with the larger areas first and work down toward the smaller more intricate areas of the illustration. Above is the Chariot card from the Enchanted Tarot deck and coloring book. Here is the same illustration again, but now it has been partially colored.

enchanted-tarot-chariot-card-partially-colored
The Chariot, from “The Enchanted Tarot” coloring book, partially colored. Courtesy of Amy Zerner.

Due to the detail of each image I do not recommend using crayons with The Enchanted Tarot coloring book. You will need an artistic medium that allows you a good degree of control over the application of color. Instead of crayons, I have used and recommend the following mediums:

  • Colored pencils
  • watercolor pencils
  • dual-tipped water-based markers (fine point at one end, brush at the other)
  • gel & glitter pens

You will need an artistic medium that allows your hand a great deal of control, so anything that ends in a point will work well. I do not recommend  alcohol-based markers, such as Copics. They will bleed through the paper. More on product specifics regarding coloring below.

Monte Farber describes their other coloring book, Enchanted Worlds, as a “magical enchanted-worlds-coloring-book-coverjourney through the world of imagination.” It clearly delivers on that promise. Whereas Amy Zerner’s illustrations for The Enchanted Tarot coloring book are fine lined & quite detailed, her drawings for the Enchanted Worlds coloring book are drawn with a thicker line. There are also more areas of the illustrations that have been solidly inked in, which adds black to the overall composition that makes colors pop when added by the colorist. I would say that the Enchanted Worlds coloring book is easier to color than The Enchanted Tarot, but as long as you keep your pencils sharpened The Enchanted Tarot makes for a fine coloring book as well. Those of you with less patience, however, I would definitely recommend the Enchanted Worlds coloring book to you over The Enchanted Tarot.

The Enchanted Worlds adult coloring book is organized in the same manner as The Enchanted Tarot coloring book. All text appears on the left-hand page with the image to color on the right-hand page. The text of the Enchanted Worlds is also written by Monte Farber and includes the title of the illustration accompanied by a positive affirmation or a brief description of the symbols included in the illustration. For example, the text accompanying “Gentleness” reads: “[t]he Flower Fairy makes her way across the rosy dreamscape, greeted by awakened birds, elves, and flowers, symbols of gentleness and compassion.”

enchanted-worlds-coloring-book-gentleness
“Gentleness,” from “The Enchanted Worlds” coloring book. Photo courtesy of Amy Zerner.

The Enchanted Tarot and Enchanted Worlds are no ordinary coloring books. If colored with intention the act of coloring becomes meditative and magical. According to the Artist herself:

With my books, while you color, you are meditating on the magic and meaning of each image, with words and affirmations by Monte. It becomes a ritual. We incorporate the intention of each tarot card and affirm each Enchanted World drawing with a message. We always like to balance wise words and images. That is our specialty. There becomes an ebb and flow between image and the silence and the words. In this way, coloring is elevated to a spiritual practice ~ Amy Zerner.

As an artist myself, I can vouch for the fact that the act of artistic creation is a large part of my spiritual practice. I enter a “zone” when I am creating and though I may suffer from artistic frustrations upon occasion, I always come out of a creative session feeling renewed and uplifted. Adult coloring books like The Enchanted Tarot and Enchanted Worlds now make the benefits of creative meditation accessible to everyone regardless of artistic experience.

enchanted-tarot-wheel-of-fortune-by-frances-buchholdz
The Wheel of Fortune, from “The Enchanted Tarot” coloring book. Colorist: Fortune Buchholtz. Image courtesy of Fortune Buchholtz & Amy Zerner.

The remainder of this review is intended for artists and colorists who wish to know the technical details, which apply to both coloring books and are as follows:

  • Overall size: 8 1/2 x 11 x 5.8″
  • Paperback
  • Page total: The Enchanted Tarot (80) Enchanted Worlds (82)
  • Images: 38
  • Perforation: none
  • Protective sheet: none
  • Paper weight: 80 lbs
  • Recommended artistic mediums:
    • colored pencils ~ layering & burnishing up to 4 layers of colors works well on this paper weight. I have not tried more than 4 layers of color.
    • watercolor pencils ~ 3 layers work well, but use minimal water for blending. I used just enough water to get the colors to blend.
    • water-based markers ~ I used Tomball, Zig, and a generic no-name store brand. This paper holds up well to 3 layers of blended water-based markers. As you add a fourth layer be careful because at this point the color will begin to bleed through the page. If layering more than 3 colors I would recommend inserting a blank sheet of paper to avoid bleed-through on the following image.
    • crayons work well on any type of paper and work well for the Enchanted Worlds coloring book, but due to the intricacy of the illustrations for The Enchanted Tarot coloring book, I do not recommend crayons.

Note: If you are like me you may be hesitant to mar your coloring book with color. There is a simple fix. This is what I do with my coloring books. I basically very carefully take them apart. This is the method I use and so far I have not ruined a single image:

  • I carefully cut or tear the front and back covers from the spine of the coloring book.
  • Next, I begin with the first image (or title page) and carefully bend the page back and forth against the binding. Bend the page along where the paper actually meets the glue of the binding.
  • As you see the page begin to give slightly, VERY carefully pull or rip the page from the book. Do this slowly with patience.
  • Do the same to the last page of the coloring book.
  • Return and repeat the process with the remaining front page, then the remaining back page, and so on until you have pulled all the pages free from the spine.

I keep my coloring page originals in a manila file folder with the book cover for reference. When I wish to color an image I make a copy. Keep in mind that copies made on a printer can bleed based upon what type of ink you use in your printer.

The adult coloring book “fad” appears to be here to stay. A trip to my local book and craft stores have become increasingly dangerous to my pocketbook as increasing numbers of coloring books appear on the shelves. Amy Zerner’s artwork translates very well to the coloring book medium and these books will be enjoyed by anyone who wishes for a bit of creative magic in their life.

Blessings!

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

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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.

The First Light Tarot

Dinah Roseberry      The First Light Tarot      Schifferbooks      $24.99

First Light Tarot: 22 Majors, 22 Insights, 22 Spread Cards

The First Light Tarot consists of 66 cards and a 96-page paperback guidebook. The cards are housed in a recessed well inside of a 6 x 9” hinged box with a magnetic closure that allows the box to be stored standing on its end as if it were a book. The First Light Tarot also includes a 6 x 18” fold-out laminated Reference Card that provides card names and major keywords, concepts, astrological correspondences and basic interpretations for quick and easy reference.

Entitled The First Light Tarot, this deck is more of an oracle deck. The First Light Tarot consists of a 22-card major arcana with the traditional card titles, along with an additional 22 Insight Cards for a total of 44 cards with interpretations. There are an additional 22 Spread Cards meant to be used by readers in order to create their own spreads. A single card position is noted on each of the Spread Cards that include two Wild Cards so readers can come up with their own names for a card position within a spread.

 

The 22 Insight Cards lend a more oracular feel to The First Light Tarot. The 22 Insight Cards and the 22 Major Arcana cards can be used in isolation for readings or combined. Only one spread is included, entitled the Universal Spread, which is a 10-card spread that is laid out just like the Celtic Cross, but card positions have different associations than in the traditional Celtic Cross tarot spread.

The artwork for the card images consists solely of gorgeous photographs of outer space taken by the Hubble Telescope that have been cropped to focus on a particular area within the larger original photos. The title of The First Light Tarot refers to the very first time light hits the mirrors contained within a telescope that enables the telescope to take its very first photograph. It is a moment of tremendous excitement for the telescope developers and the staff of NASA.

Dinah Roseberry’s goal for The First Light Tarot was to create a deck that could easily be used straight out of the box and not require any great study, thus being user friendly. The card interpretations for The First Light Tarot are traditional tarot major arcana interpretations for the 22 Major Arcana cards while interpretations for the 22 Insight Cards have a more oracular feel to them that are based upon Numerology. The two types of cards create two 22-card decks that can also be used in combination with one another. The First Light Tarot works well as a stand-alone 22-Majors only deck, a 22-card oracle deck, and in combination. The cards also work well with both traditional tarot spreads and spreads commonly found in guidebooks that accompany oracle decks, most of which are strongly based upon traditional tarot spreads. Card imagery of The First Light Tarot lacks the symbolism of tarot cards so readers do not feel bogged down with symbolic associations due to the simple imagery found in outer space photographs.

The 22 cards of the Major Arcana of The First Light Tarot have astrological associations that are factored into their card interpretations. The 22 Insight Cards have numerological associations as part of their interpretations giving The First Light Tarot a heavy dose of Numerology if one also takes into account the numerological associations typically associated to cards of the Tarot major arcana.

The card images of The First Light Tarot are beautiful, but unlike other Schiffer decks, the card stock is flimsy with a semi-gloss finish. The Major Arcana, Insight, and Spread cards all have different card backs so they can be easily sorted by looking at the reverse side of each card. The cards are very flexible and are therefore easy to shuffle despite their size. The First Light Tarot lend themselves well to both tarot and oracle spreads making this a well-rounded deck with numerous applications.

Blessings!

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

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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: Tarot of Dreams (USG Edition)

Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti is one of my all-time favorite decks. Previously available only as a self-published edition by the artist, Tarot of Dreams is at long last available for the mass market. I am very happy to see this deck receiving the exposure it so richly deserves.

Published by US Games, Inc., Tarot of Dreams is housed in a very sturdy lidded box measuring 5 ½” x 6 ¾” x 1 ½”. The box has a smooth matte finish and depicts isolated elements of five card images along the edges, five full card images on the back of the box, four partial card images, and a photo of the cover of the guidebook that showcases the Knight of Wands. The cover of the box is graced with the gorgeous image from the Ace of Swords card.

Within the box the guidebook rests on top of the cards that are divided into two stacks that fit smugly (but not tight) within the box. The two stacks of cards rest against each other. There is no divider to keep them separate. I recommend storing the deck in a horizontal position in order to prevent the cards from sliding into one another and shifting within the box. My copy did arrive with both The Fool and Magician cards slightly dinged, which probably occurred due to shifting during shipping. The cards have a matte look to them, but the finish is a semi-gloss. They are not exactly slippery as are many other decks, but my copy has been shifting on me so I now make sure to store it horizontally so card shift does not occur. For those of you who are like myself and are a stickler for keeping your decks as pristine as possible, you will most likely wish to do the same.

The Tarot of Dreams guidebook is written by Lee Burnsten who has written companion books for The Gay Tarot, Universal Marseilles Tarot Companion, and The Zodiac Tarot. The guidebook measures 5 ¼” x 6 ¼” and contains 112 pages, including two pages for notes. The guidebook is organized into eight sections:

  • Introduction
  • Esoteric Symbol Systems in the Tarot of Dreams
  • Introduction to the Major Arcana
  • The Major Arcana
  • Introduction to the Minor Arcana
  • The Minor Arcana
  • Reading the Cards
  • The Story Spread

The Story Spread is the only card spread described within the guidebook. It consists of nine cards and for those of you familiar with the Lenormand Square of 9 spread, the Story Spread is arranged in a similar manner.

Symbolic inclusion from the Kabbalah and Astrology is located in the upper corners of each card. These attributions of symbols to the cards follow the standard established by the Order of the Golden Dawn with the exception of the addition of the three planets discovered in modern times: Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto. Symbolic representation of these three plants is also included in lieu of the Golden Dawn’s use of elemental symbols.

For the minor arcana the Decan system of the Golden Dawn is retained. Pages are assigned the three zodiac signs that correspond to their particular suit. The knights, queens, and kings are assigned zodiac signs following the Golden Dawn’s associations, meaning that each card is designated as representing two-thirds of one sign and one-third of another. The astrological association for each card is described in the guidebook.

Although references to the Kaballah are sprinkled liberally throughout the text of the guidebook and symbolic representation of the seriphoth appear along card borders no mention of the Tree of Life card is made. There is no meaning or interpretation ascribed to it. I realize it was included in order to provide a visual aid in order to illustrate the correspondences between the Tree of Life & cards of the major arcana. It also serves as an excellent aid in meditation if one decided to use it in that manner, but due to its lack of an interpretation I recommend removing the Tree of Life card from the deck prior to a reading.

The major arcana is discussed as the Fool’s Journey. Card interpretations consist of keywords and brief phrases followed by a lengthy discussion of the imagery and symbolism contained on each card. The card interpretations conclude with a mention of the corresponding Hebrew letter and its meaning in brief, plus the planetary association of the card. The minor arcana are fully illustrated throughout with imagery that lends itself well to first-time Tarot readers. There is an extra set of court cards entitled “Palace.” The Palace cards provide an environment for the court cards as well as for the characteristics of their particular suit.

I recommend this deck to both beginning and advanced Tarot readers. The imagery is lovely throughout and due to the presence of black border on all the cards the colors have an additional vibrancy.

If you are a fan of Ciro Marchetti you will know that The Tarot of Dreams has been self-published by the artist several times. The self-published editions are prized and are strictly for my own personal use. I have all previous versions of the deck and am happy to now have a mass-produced and less expensive edition that I can use with clients. My clients really enjoy the imagery and find it easy to comprehend even if they have no experience reading tarot. The Tarot of Dreams is very user-friendly.

Book Review: Tarot Interactions

Tarot Interactions, by Deborah Lipp.  Llewellyn Publications, 2015. Paperback $16.99 Kindle $9.99

How many of us wished we had someone to tutor us when we first began learning to read tarot cards? I learned on my own with the massive help of Eden Gray’s classic text, The Complete Guide to the Tarot (Bantam Books). It was the only tarot book I could find in my home town in the late 1970s even after much searching and asking (plus dealing with weird looks!).

These days there is a wide variety of tarot books easily available and the task of choosing just 1 – 3 for a beginner can be quite daunting and overwhelming. As a tarot instructor myself I appreciate books that read like a course on tarot rather than start off with a dry (and often incorrect) “historical” overview of how the Tarot came from Atlantis, Egypt, or gypsies, then goes into a discussion of the symbolism and meaning of each card, and finally concludes with the classic Celtic Cross spread & perhaps a few others.

Tarot Interactions does not follow the conventional tarot book mold. In fact, it breaks it, and quite spectacularly. When it comes to tarot books I am very difficult to impress. I’ve been reading and studying tarot since 1976 and have basically read them all. Yet I always go back to Eden Gray, and another wonderful classic no one should be without, Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack (Weiser Books). I have been recommending these two books to my students for nearly 20 years. Now I can finally add a third, Tarot Interactions.

Tarot Interactions is quite different from the old formula we’re all accustomed to reading in a “how-to-read-tarot” book. What I really liked from the start is the personable method of writing Deborah Lipp has. As you read the book it sounds as though you’re sitting with her at your dining room table with a deck of tarot cards spread out before you. She is seated next to you sharing her method of reading the tarot while you sit there trying to soak it all up like a sponge. I love it when authors take the time to construct their writing style so that they are speaking WITH a reader as opposed to speaking AT a reader. Deborah Lipp is clearly well-informed about the Tarot, but she does not come across as a know-it-all. She comes across as a teacher who takes the reader by the hand in order to guide them through the material.

The title, Tarot Interactions, refers to how as readers we can relate to and use the Tarot. Furthermore, within a reading the cards interact with one another. Every two-card combination means something and also the meaning of a card changes based upon its position within a spread. In this manner the Tarot cards themselves also interact with each other. As a reader it is important to pick up on all of these nuances. Deborah Lipp explains how these interactions work and she offers a wide variety of exercises to take the reader through a learning process. Meanings of the cards are included, but she goes far beyond that and teaches through her book how the cards interact with each other and how meanings can change based upon a card’s position within a spread.

Meditation and keeping a journal are both encouraged, and I highly recommend at least keeping a journal as you work through this book. You will want to keep a record of the exercises you do and the results you get so as you work more with Tarot Interactions and time passes you can go back to check your progress. Meditation will help to open your psychic centers and heighten your intuition as well, so that is also a recommended practice while reading this book and beyond. Even as a seasoned reader myself I found the exercises to be useful. People who are new to Tarot will find the exercises not only useful but also great guideposts for their journey.

As I read Tarot Interactions I envisioned Deborah Lipp as a kindly teacher who only wishes for her students to understand the material at hand and is all too happy to share her own experiences with reading the cards. I wish this book had been written in the seventies when I was learning. It would have made my progress much easier.

I highly recommend this book to beginners, but seasoned readers will also find it to be quite useful as well.

Thank you for reading & I welcome you to share this post with your friends using the share buttons below.

Wishing you many blessings,

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

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The Cook’s Tarot: Review

The Cook’s Tarot by Judith Mackay Stirt.  78 cards + guidebook.  Schiffer Books, 2015.

The Lovers & Hermit, from
The Lovers & Hermit, from “The Cook’s Tarot” by Judith Mckay Stirt (Schiffer Books, 2015).

Everyone loves to eat, right? Many of us also love to cook. Cooking is a creative process. Ingredients chosen for their harmony with one another combined by a skillful chef become a nourishing and enjoyable meal. The Cook’s Tarot is the result of a 7-year long painting odyssey undertaken by Judith Mackay Stirt.  Combining various symbolic elements ad her ingredients into a 78-card deck, The Cook’s Tarot honors food, the kitchen as the heart of the home, and the cook who rules over it all. The Cook’s Tarot is a savory blend of color, form, and symbols.

Each image has an energy and a life all its own.  Colors are bright and vibrant while the cards are populated by all sorts of intriguing looking characters. The cards measure 3 X 5” and are borderless except for a tan border along the base of each card that contains the card’s title. Suits are traditional: Wands, Cups, Swords & Pentacles. Courts are also traditional (Page, Knight, Queen, King) and the major arcana is also traditionally titled.

The Knight of Wands, 3 of Cups, 3 of Swords & 6 of Pentacles from
The Knight of Wands, 3 of Cups, 3 of Swords & 6 of Pentacles from “The Cook’s Tarot” by Judith Mckay Stirt (Schiffer Books, 2015).

 The cards are very flexible and made of a thin, but very nicely laminated card stock. They may be difficult for smaller hands to shuffle. The deck comes packaged in a hinged box with magnetic closure that can be stored in a bookshelf standing on its end just like a book. The lid will not fall open. The interior of the box contains two recessed wells into which two halves of the deck are housed. The 160-page guidebook rests on top of the deck inside the box. All of the components fit snugly together.

The guidebook measures 6X9” as does the entire box. It contains four spreads: a 3-card spread, a 5-card spread, a 10-card spread that is the Celtic Cross, and a spread designed specifically for use with this deck – the 8-card Maitre D Spread.

Card interpretations include a description of the action occurring in the image, key elements of the design, the card meaning, and concludes with a pithy piece of “kitchen wisdom” that sums up the main theme of the card. For example, the kitchen wisdom offered by The Fool is, “There is joy in cooking when you do not fear the failure.” Another example, The Moon: “We are our choices. We can choose idle hands and an overactive imagination, or busy hands and a creative mind.” Reversed meanings are not present as such, but the “shadow side” of each card is provided.

The deck is enjoyable to use. I love how the colors really “pop” when used on a black reading cloth. Readings are lively and the art just seems to dance across the table. People who enjoy cooking or baking and spend lots of time in their kitchens will absolutely adore this deck. It will brighten up any kitchen and give new life to the heart of the home.

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Beautiful Creatures Tarot: Deck Review

The Beautiful Creatures Tarot                                                                                    Beautiful Creatures Tarot
Book: J. r. Rivera
Artwork: Jasmine Becket-Griffith
Schiffer Books, 2015
http://schifferbooks.com
The Beautiful Creatures Tarot comes housed in the sturdy laminated magnetic hinged box for which Schiffer is now known. The box measures 6 X 9” and can be stored on its end like a book thus requiring less room in your bookcase. The magnetic lid remains closed so the deck can be stored as if it were a book. The deck is stored within two recessed wells and the 6 X 9” guidebook rests on top of the cards.
The Beautiful Creatures Tarot is a collaborative effort between J. r. Rivera (guide book author) and Jasmine Becket-Griffith, who is well known as the artist behind a number of oracle decks. Her style focuses on the eyes of her characters, which are always lovely and oversized that immediately draw your attention to the faces of the characters she paints.
The Sun & 10 of Waters from The Beautiful Creatures Tarot, Schiffer Books 2015.
The Sun & 10 of Waters from The Beautiful Creatures Tarot, Schiffer Books 2015.
The card images are lovely representations of 1 – 3 females on each card all of whom sport the trademark large eyes of Griffith’s style. Griffith paints with acrylics and her images contain a luminescence that creates an aura of mystery around the figures she creates.
The Beautiful Creatures Tarot differs from traditional Tarot decks in two main areas: some of the major arcana cards are renamed, and the court cards do not reflect the typical medieval court organization, but are based upon astrological correspondences.
The differing card names within the major arcana are as follows:
The Fool = The Explorer
Strength = The Fortitude
Justice = The Equilibrium
Hanged Man = The Swinging One
Death = The Transformation
Temperance = The Mediator
The Devil = The Addiction
The Tower = The Unexpected
The court cards of The Beautiful Creatures Tarot can be confusing to someone who is new to Tarot. The Pages are
named for each of the Elements and are called Nymphs. Their information concludes the chapter on court cards while the other court cards are named for their astrological correspondences. They begin with the Ram as Aries, moving to Taurus as the Bull, the Twins as Gemini, and so on.
The 4 Nymphs (Pages) from The Beautiful Creatures Tarot (Schiffer Books, 2015)
The 4 Nymphs (Pages) from The Beautiful Creatures Tarot (Schiffer Books, 2015)
One example is that the Ram of Fires corresponds to the traditional Queen of Wands.
The Ram of Fires from The Beautiful Creatures Tarot (Schiffer Books 2015)
The Ram of Fires from The Beautiful Creatures Tarot (Schiffer Books 2015)
Suits are Fires (Wands), Waters (Cups), Airs (Swords), and Earths (Pentacles).
The guidebook has 152 pages with black and white images of the cards. The spreads include a one card/one answer spread; a 3-card spread; The Beautiful & Ugly; The 3-Card Mirror Within; The 3-card Beauty, Truth & Light; the 5-card Triage en Croix; the 5-card Mind Over Heart; 5-card 30-Day Outlook; 5-card Voice of the Beautiful Creatures; the 7-card Vice Versa; & the 7-card Family Tree and Hereditary spread. As far as spreads go this book presents an excellent selection from which to choose.
The card interpretations begin with keywords and a description of the card’s imagery. Both upright and reversed meanings are provided. There are two additional cards: You Are One and The Supernatural, thus making The Beautiful Creatures Tarot an 80-card Tarot deck. The guidebook concludes with eight lined journal pages for notes.
The cards measure 3 ½” x 5” and are constructed from a sturdy card stock with just enough flexibility to allow for relatively easy shuffling. The borders are purple along the base with the card title in white along the base of the image. The rest of the border is black.
Extra Cards: You Are One & The Supernatural from The Beautiful Creatures Tarot (Schiffer Books, 2015)
Extra Cards: You Are One & The Supernatural from The Beautiful Creatures Tarot (Schiffer Books, 2015)
Images consist exclusively of females, except for The Lovers and 2 of Waters. Jasmine Becket-Griffiths is known for depicting females with large, prominent eyes and faces with the body being smaller and not emphasized as much as the head. The artwork has a fairy tale ethereal air to it. The cards are really lovely and card backs are completely reversible for those of you who take reversed card meanings into account for your readings.
Card back from The Beautiful Creatures Tarot (Schiffer Books 2015)
Card back from The Beautiful Creatures Tarot (Schiffer Books 2015)
Overall, The Beautiful Creatures Tarot makes for a lovely addition to your Tarot collection. My banker husband who is not into Tarot at all kept telling me what a “cute” deck this is. The Beautiful Creatures Tarot does have a nice energy to it that makes the deck very enjoyable and is definitely is a must-have for all fans of Jasmine Becket-Griffith’s artwork.