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.

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.

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

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

 

 

 

The Dreaming Way Lenormand

Fantastical. Picturesque. Fanciful. Imaginative.

These terms encompass the loveliness that is The Dreaming Way Lenormand. The artist behind this deck is Kwon Shina who also created The Dreaming Way Tarot (US Games, Inc., 2012). The booklet is written by Lynn Araujo. The Dreaming Way Lenormand is published by US Games, Inc. and retails for $15.95. It is packaged in a compact fitted box that measures 2.875 x 3.875.” The cards and booklet are typical playing card size, 2.5 x 3.5″ and fit nicely in the hand. They shuffle easily even for those of us with small hands.

The Dreaming Way Lenormand consists of the traditional 36 cards that comprise a Lenormand deck. Card titles are traditional with the sole exception of Card # 22, typically entitled Paths, Roads, or Crossroads. Card # 22 represents being faced with a choice; therefore, for The Dreaming Way Lenormand this card is entitled, “Choices.” The card titles are presented in a small cream-colored block at the base of each image and are non-intrusive. The card numbers are presented in a small non-intrusive circle at the top center of each image. Playing card associations are not included on the cards, nor are they mentioned in the accompanying booklet.

Kwon Shina’s watercolor paintings are conveyed with soft pastel backgrounds and vibrant foregrounds that help the center image of each card to look as though it is popping off the card. The watercolor medium lends itself nicely to the dreamlike quality of the imagery.

The booklet by Lynn Araujo contains 91 pages and is the same size as the cards. The booklet and cards are housed together in the box with the booklet resting on top of the cards. The introduction briefly summarizes several deck reviews of Kwon Shina’s previous deck for US Games, Inc., The Dreaming Way Tarot and concludes with Lynn Araujo’s commentary about Kwon Shina’s artwork. The bulk of the booklet focuses on the card meanings. Card interpretations begin with a quote from various historical luminaries of their respective fields. The imagery is described and then the traditional interpretation of each card is presented. Card interpretations conclude with several keywords. The booklet concludes with a very brief summary of Lenormand reading syntax. Readers new to Lenormand will need to purchase another book in order to fully comprehend how to correctly read with the Lenormand system. One sample reading of five cards is provided. There is also a 10-card spiral spread that concludes the booklet, but it is not followed by a sample reading.

The Dreaming Way Lenormand comes housed in a sturdy small box that is well suited for travel and will fit easily in a purse. I enjoy decks that travel well due to their compact and study packaging. Readers will enjoy The Dreaming Way Lenormand due to the soft dreamlike quality of the artwork that is presented with a great deal of charm. This is a lovely deck for beginners due to the charming simplicity of the images, but a beginner will also need to purchase a more in depth Lenormand book. I highly recommend Lenormand Thirty Six Cards: An Introduction to the Petit Lenormand, by Andy Boroveshengra. For those wishing to go truly in depth with their Lenormand studies I also recommend The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards, by Caitlin Matthews.

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 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.

 

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

The Egyptian Lenormand: signed & activated copies

Email: IsisRaAnpu@gmail.com

Twitter: @NeferKhepri

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

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 Blue Bird Lenormand

The Blue Bird Lenormand ($14.95 USD) is published by US Games, Inc. with a booklet by Stuart R. Kaplan. The Blue Bird Lenormand is a traditional Lenormand deck consisting of the typical 36 cards. No extra gender cards are included and the card titles, numeric, and playing card associations follow European tradition. The deck and booklet are housed I a blue tuckbox. The deck is named The Blue Bird Lenormand due to the little blue bird that graces the back of each card. Cards measure 2 3/8” x 3 ½”, which is typical Lenormand size. They arrive fairly stiff, but with repeated shuffling they break in just fine.

 The booklet is 40 pages long with a 13-page bibliography of Marie-Anne Adelaide Le Normand, the famous French fortuneteller whose name was borrowed to name the Lenormand system of divination. The booklet includes general card interpretations in the form of short paragraphs without keywords that are meant to serve only as a foundation and it is left up to the reader to gather additional information from other books that go into much more detail as to the manner in which the cards are to be read. Only one spread is included, the 36-card Grand Tableau and the method of Near and Far (or Near and Distant) reading is briefly summarized with Near and Far references also included within the individual card interpretations. A sample reading is also provided using the Grand Tableau.

 The cards themselves follow traditional European imagery. Playing card inserts are included on each card for those who practice cartomancy. The playing card inserts have the suit designs, but no numeric value other than the card’s number within the Lenormand system. The court card playing card inserts are figures dressed in the style of the 18th century French court, which was the historical period during which the Lenormand was created and first used. The card images of The Blue Bird Lenormand are quite lovely, and traditional in appearance. The card stock has a slightly varied yellowish hue to it that gives the deck an aged appearance, which adds a really lovely touch. The degree of aging appears to vary among the cards and some do not look aged at all. I hope I don’t need new glasses. In addition to the short interpretations within the guide booklet, each card also includes a verse that further explains the card’s meaning. The playing card insert and card verse are located in the upper half of the card while the Lenormand card image is located within the lower half of the card.

 Readers of Lenormand will know that directionality of the cards is important. Directionality refers to the orientation of the main symbol on the card being either toward the reader’s left or right. Directionality alters the interpretation of a reading. Ideally, the Lady and Gentleman cards should face in opposite directions. This way in a reading the people can face each other or appear back to back, either orientation of which will greatly alter the interpretation as to the health of the relationship. The Lady and Gentleman cards of The Blue Bird Lenormand both face to the reader’s right so in a spread they will never face each other nor will they ever appear back to back. The Clouds card, which is traditionally a directional card, is also somewhat confusing since the cloudy and sunny sides of the cards are not restricted to one side of the card or the other. I recommend that the reader decide for themselves the orientation of the gender cards and the Clouds card and always read those cards with your pre-chosen orientation.

 Other images within The Blue Bird Lenormand that exhibit varying degrees of directionality that can affect readings are: Cavalier (R), Ship (L), Snake (L), Coffin (L), Scythe (R), Birchrod (R), Fox (R), Bear (L), Stork (R), Ring (R), Book (R), Letter (R), and Fish (L). The orientation of the figures within the court playing card inserts should also be taken into account when considering directionality for readings.

 The images have a definite 18th century European feel and look to them. This will appeal to those readers who prefer reading with a traditional Lenormand deck. Personally, I find the imagery to be very quaint and I enjoy using this deck. For beginners, I do recommend that you supplement this deck with Andy Boroveshengra’s Lenormand 36 Cards or Rana George’s Essential Lenormand in order to further augment your Lenormand studies.

Blessings!

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

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells, & Visionary Art

The Egyptian Lenormand: signed & activated copies

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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: Mudras for Awakening the Energy Body

Mudras coverMudras for Awakening The Energy Body Deck + Book Set is an interesting little gem published by US Games Systems, Inc. The artwork is by Sabina Espinet & the guidebook is written by Alison DeNicola. The cards measure 4 1/4″ x 5″ so they are almost perfectly square. The guidebook is the same size and contains 112 pages of high quality semi-gloss paper with all cards depicted as a full color page. The set is housed in a high quality sturdy cardboard box that measures 4 1/2″ x 5 1/4″ x 1″. The fitted lid easily lifts off due to the box having a matte finish as opposed to glossy that some other publishers use.

mudras book coverThe cards include 7 chakra cards and 33 mudra cards for a total of 40 cards. Each chakra has its own card with its Sanskirt symbol depicted on it in the corresponding chakra color. The mudras all correspond best to particular chakras so they match their particular chakra in overall color scheme. The artwork is very soft without looking overly feminine so men would enjoy this deck as well. The mudras are illustrated very well so the viewer can see how to pose their hand in order to create that particular mudra. The corresponding text within the book explains how each mudra is to be duplicated. Each card on its reverse also has the instructions repeated, as well as the name of the mudra, the issues with which it is the most helpful, that particular mudra’s benefits, and the focus. All of the information contained on the back of each card is also included in the guidebook. In addition, the guidebook includes another section entitled “Practice” that instructs the reader as to what they should be visualizing or focusing upon as they use that particular mudra. Each card is done monochromatically so that mudras associated with the Root Chakra have their image consisting of shades of red. The Naval or Second Chakra mudra cards are depicted in shades of orange. Mudras associated with the Solar Plexus are designed in shades of yellow. Shades of green are used on the mudras associated with the Heart Chakra. Soft pastel shades of blue adorn the mudra cards associated with the Throat Chakra. Vibrant shades of purple (my favorite color) bring the mudras associated with the Crown Chakra to life.

mudras brilliance front   mudras brilliance back

As a reader, I primarily use card decks for divination. I rarely meditate, but when I do there are certain decks I prefer to use for meditative purposes over others. I admit to knowing nothing about mudras. I have never used them myself, but in working with this deck the past few weeks I have begun to use the mudras depicted, and I must say I have felt a difference.

This is not a deck meant to be used for divination. It is best suited for meditative purposes as well as focusing inward, and healing. I have used Mudras for Awakening the Energy Body for each of these purposes and this is what I have experienced. Bear in mind that everyone’s experience will most likely vary.

I was suffering from a sinus infection and I had gone through the 10 days of antibiotic, but was still badly congested with a totally stuffed up and very painful head. I thought, why not try to use mudras to move this energy out of my system? I looked through the deck and decided upon Card Number 30, Bhramara Mudra, aptly entitled, “Breathe,” which I badly needed to do without so much struggling!

The Focus on this card reads: “I sense and open to perfect balance and breath.” The benefits of this mudra are: “[r]elieves nasal & nasal congestion. Assists immune system. Opens & directs breath to head & sinuses.” The Bhramara Mudra is associated with the Throat Chakra, which I personally found very interesting because all sinus infections for me always begin with a sore throat.

I formed the mudra with both my hands. I am left-handed so I had a much easier time forming the mudra with my left hand, than with my right, so I was hoping with the right hand that intention would count. As I focused on the brief meditative visualization provided in the guidebook under the “Practice” section I wondered, “am I crazy or does my nose suddenly feel a little better?”

I maintained the meditation for about 2 minutes when I suddenly got the urge to start stretching my neck. As I did so I began to feel my nasal cavity slowly open up. In about another 2 minutes I was breathing easier. I was stunned, to say the least!

I kept this card with me & carefully carried it from room to room. When I had a free moment I would form the mudra again and concentrate on my sinuses opening up. It was a Friday, my GP had gone out of town for spring break & wouldn’t be back for over a week, so had no way to get my antibiotic refilled without going to the ER. Fortunately, by bedtime that night I felt so much better! I slept better because I could finally BREATHE & in the morning I woke up feeling the best I had in about 15 days. I practiced the Bhramara Mudra for 2 more days off and on. I still felt fairly miserable at times, but I could tell the congestion was clearing up. By the end of the week I felt fine and that was without additional antibiotics.

Now, I am NOT recommending you use this deck in lieu of consulting with your doctor. Do not EVER do that. I share my experience to demonstrate that a total newbie to mudras benefited from the practice, which to me proves that the practice of mudras has a true validity. Little did I ever know.

Another example pertains to my 17-year-old daughter. She suffers from anxiety and recently was hired by Walgreens all on her own without any pushing from my husband or I. We are super proud of her, but I was worried about what the added stress of working may do to her. I taught her how to do the Abhaya Mudra, entitled “Fearlessness,” which is very simple to do. The focus of this mudra is, “[m]y courage and self-assurance is unwavering.” I have her form and focus on the mudra for 2 minutes twice before she goes in to work and then I have her form the mudra and focus for two more sets of 2 minutes each before she goes to bed. So far she’s been fine and she reports that she is even sleeping better so now she forms the mudra every night before going to bed.

This deck is proving to me that mudras are very beneficial and I intend to look more into mudras reassurancethem in the future. Meanwhile, I highly recommend Mudras for Awakening the Energy Body to anyone who is interested in meditation, yoga, as well as Eastern spirituality and philosophies. You may not be able to do divinatory readings with this deck in the conventional sense, but its uses go far beyond divination.

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

Tarot & Lenormand Readings, Spells, Visionary Art

The Egyptian Lenormand

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