Goodbye 2015 (and Good Riddance)

2015 turned out to be a pretty eventful year for me — and NOT in a good way. Many sucky things happened. My husband and I faced some HUGE challenges, and endured the absolute WORST and SCARIEST period of our entire lives. I do not want to relive that, ever.

Ahem…

In an effort to move forward into the new year with some new perspective — tabula rasa and all that — I thought it might be prudent to do a new year reading. Instead of going for the month-by-month spread that I did last time, I decided to use a spread I learned from a friend when she used it for me years ago. Decks in action: Raven’s Prophecy and Earthbound Oracle.

New Year Reading | Raven's Prophecy Tarot & Earthbound Oracle

New Year Reading | Raven’s Prophecy Tarot & Earthbound Oracle

SPIRIT: Personal Development & Transformation
(Four of Swords & Release)
The hand lays open, release is evident. A sense of relief emanates from these two cards. By allowing myself to take a break, I’ll be able to release whatever’s been holding me back.

FIRE: Passion, Creativity, Inspiration
(Seven of Cups & Reflect)
I have a lot of things that inspire me; a lot of options. If I want to make progress in any of them, I need to reflect on them and decide which one(s) to pursue.

AIR: Intellect, Learning, Communication
(Eight of Swords & Sleep)
Whenever I run into trouble or doubt, I need to remember that I can step away, take a breath, and slow down. Each time I feel like I’m holding myself back, it’s time for me to take a break.

EARTH: Home, Health, Wealth/Work
(Five of Wands & Time)
Getting impatient will do me no good. I need to rise to challenges, knowing that by doing so, my situation will improve in time. Don’t be lazy and pout about working out / cleaning / etc. — just do it, and over time it will become a good routine.

WATER: Heart, Relationships, Inner Development
(The Devil & Travel | Clarifiers: Six of Cups & Achievement)
Make sure to keep the balance between what chains you and allowing yourself freedom. Equal time for nostalgia and achievement will be necessary.

SHADOW CARDS
(Nine of Wands & Home)
I might want to default on staying home and defending my position. Better not to.

OVERALL LESSON
Step back, step up, step out. It’s time.

Behind the Witch Shop Tarot

Today I have Anna visiting with me on the blog. She is the creator of Witch Shop Tarot and I asked her to write up a guest post to talk about her creative process for this deck. I hope you enjoy what she has to say. Check out her deck on Etsy and follow Witch Shop on instagram!

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Witch Shop Tarot – The Whole Package

The Witch Shop Tarot Deck originated from compulsive drawings I was doing at a time when I didn’t really know what to draw. I’d recently begun learning tarot and I was dealing with a kind of creative-block in my personal artistic practice. So I started drawing the Tarot as almost just something to do with my hands. Over the course of the evenings for a few weeks the deck came together and I decided to have it printed up.

Witch Shop Tarot

The Sun & The Lovers | Witch Shop Tarot

I made the drawings for the Witch Shop Tarot all entirely by hand, in sharpie marker. The immediacy of the sharpie drawing was important to me, it made sense with the simplicity of the design. I wanted the deck to have a certain energy and immediacy.

The deck is digitally printed, so the computer did enter the project eventually. But I like that the beginnings of the deck were lo-fi and analog.

While making the deck I wasn’t exactly hunting out images to draw inspiration from. I like looking at the illustrations on vintage decks, but for this deck I was mainly interested in a straightforward, symbol-based design. That being said, I can definitely draw connections to stick and poke tattoo aesthetics, and simplistic, minimal design.

-Anna from Witch Shop

Seeking Direction with a Personal Compass

So many things keep me busy these days that this blog doesn’t get nearly as many updates as I’d prefer, but my daily draw today (The Hermit) told me to take some *me time* — and I intend to do just that. Tarot seemed like the perfect solution, seeing as my Linestrider deck arrived today. AND I finally got a chance to catch up on my dear friend’s triumphant return to tarot bloggery: la reine de l’air!

Well, she did a full moon reading inspired by Kayla’s reading, which used Little Red’s very lovely looking Personal Compass Spread. At first, I thought to myself, “Personal compass? Probably not a spread I can use at the moment, but I’ll read her post anyway, of course.” And then as I was reading it I began to realize that a compass is exactly what I need right now!

PersonalCompass_061015

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Holistic Tarot (Review)

It’s been a little while since I posted a book review here, but when Benebell Wen contacted me about possibly reviewing Holistic Tarot, I couldn’t resist! I was delighted that her publisher sent me a physical copy of the book — and shocked to realize what a hefty tome it is! Holistic Tarot is 896 pages of pure awesome.

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Holistic Tarot by Benebell WenHolistic Tarot
by Benebell Wen

Published: January 6, 2015
My Rating: ★★★★★
[Add to Goodreads]
[Purchase on Amazon]

In Holistic Tarot, author Benebell Wen provides a complete guide to using the tarot to foster personal development. Wen gives a comprehensive overview of the history of the tarot and a wide array of theories on its use (including its relationship to Jungian archetypal psychology and traditional Chinese divination practices) before digging deeply into one of the best-known tarot systems, the Rider-Waite-Smith. Beginners will find a complete guide to working with the tarot, including choosing and caring for a deck, how best to learn and remember the attributes of the major and minor arcana, the interpretation of cards and spreads, the role of meditation in a tarot practice, and how to use the tarot for improving relationships, professional development, and personal resilience. More advanced practitioners will appreciate nuanced theoretical discussions of the tarot as well as practical advice about reading others’ tarot cards and setting up a practice. Containing over 500 illustrations and detailed information on each card as well as numerous spreads, Holistic Tarot is a complete compendium of tarot study that every practitioner should have in his or her library.

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My Thoughts on Holistic Tarot

Have you ever read a book and just felt an instant kinship with the author? That was me while reading Holistic Tarot. With some nonfiction books, I am tempted to skip all the introductory content, but I was eating up every single word of this book. This is one of the few books that was just asking for me to break out a pencil and underline passage after passage.

“Tarot is a mirror. It reflects back who you are. It shows you your strengths and weaknesses. It makes you confront the decisions you have made in the past, your attitude, both good and bad, and how these components have affected your life.”

What sold me on Holistic Tarot very early on was that Wen’s approach to tarot is analytical and not *woo-woo* in nature. I loved that she describes it as “tarot analytics” and compares a tarot reading to making a mind map. As I’ve been creating mind maps aplenty recently, and I am drawn to the analytical, this seemed like the perfect book for me!

Holistic Tarot is comprehensive and exceptionally thorough. Whether you’re completely new to tarot or a seasoned practitioner, there is something (many somethings) for you in this book. Everything is well laid out and the chapters follow a logical and smooth progression from one topic to another. You’ll encounter a plethora of reference charts, spreads, techniques, and things to consider from multiple perspectives.

“Don’t use the tarot only because you want to know what will happen next or you might lose sight of what is happening now. Instead, use the tarot to understand why and how. You influence your future through action and attitude, not through cards.”

Each chapter is illustrated with images, but also with example readings to help expand upon the ideas and suggestions. There are even chapters on devising your own spreads, in depth operations, and things to consider if you plan to practice tarot professionally. I found the breadth and depth of advice and reference information in this book impressive!

So far, I’ve tried out many of the techniques and spreads in this book, but there is still so much more that I plan to delve into for a long time to come! In fact, when it’s my turn to host my “tarot book club” meeting, I’ll be sharing some of what I learned in Holistic Tarot!

This is absolutely the BEST tarot resource I’ve found.

I’m seriously considering getting the ebook version as well, so I can have it with me everywhere I go! Highly recommended for anyone interested in the tarot.

[Many thanks to Benebell Wen and North Atlantic Books for the opportunity to read and review this fine tome!]

Two Decks that NEED to EXIST!!

I promise, I don’t just sit around searching for new decks to drool over, but sometimes they fall into my lap (and sometimes my enabler friend puts them in front of my face and I just can’t look away until I’ve spent money — thanks, Irmata!). Right now, there are two decks on Kickstarter that I am absolutely BONKERS about, so of course I’m going to share them with you!

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#1 – Slow Holler Tarot

Slow Holler Tarot is freaking GORGEOUS

Slow Holler Tarot is freaking GORGEOUS

I mean… holy effing CRAP!!

This deck is a collaborative effort, and you can just tell that it’s being made with the utmost love, passion, and care. Check out the Kickstarter video and then throw your money at the project so that it can exist and I can OWN IT.

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#2 – Tarot of Brass and Steam

The Magician & The Devil | Tarot of Brass and Steam

The Magician & The Devil | Tarot of Brass and Steam

This is a steampunk deck, and it’s an interesting combination of creative vision and commissioned artwork. But DAMN it’s looking good. I mean: Nikola Tesla is The Magician and Thomas Edison is The Devil. DUDES. Dudes. Just… please, go look at more of this awesomeness, and then throw your money at the project so that it can exist and I can OWN IT.

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Wow, are you actually still HERE, and not going GAGA over those decks?!