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Friday, April 21, 2017

The Seer's Fan with Madame Endora

Madame Endora beckoned me from my Oracle deck bookcase today, and when Madame Endora beckons, I always respond. It turns out she was in the mood to do The Seer’s Fan reading from the guidebook that comes with her deck (published by Monolith Graphics, featuring artwork by Christine Filipak).

This spread uses six cards, with five of the cards laid out in a fan above the card in Position 1 (hence the name, The Seer’s Fan).

The positions are defined as follows:

(1) Represents me or my present situation
(2) Concerns health and physical well-being.
(3) Represents love and friendship in my life.
(4) Represents an immediate concern.
This card is the strongest oracle of future events.
(5) Represents spiritual harmony.
(6) Signifies wealth and material prosperity.

Here we go!

(1) Represents me or my present situation

THE MOON: You will be guided through darkness.

The Moon is one of the cards in a group titled “The Elements” in this deck. These eight cards depict celestial bodies and forces of nature that “surround and influence us every day.” Like The Moon in the Tarot, Madame Endora’s Moon card is dual-natured, representing illumination and discovery but also secretiveness or a “dark side.” So it seems that my present situation has both an obvious, illuminated aspect to it, but a not-so-obvious or hidden aspect as well. There is something I am not aware of that perhaps I need to become aware of, or gain clarification on. I’m not seeing something as clearly as I could or should.

(2) Concerns health and physical well-being.

SEDUCTION: Passion and romance await.

Well, this card seems like it should be in Position 3, but it is not, so let’s see what we can make of it. Seduction is one of ten cards in a group titled “The Realm of Fable.” These cards depict “various beings from ancient lore.” They represent “outside forces that guide and influence, motivate and hinder…” So somehow the idea that “passion and romance await” is influencing my health and physical well-being. I’m going to have to wait and see if the meaning of this card in this position becomes clearer to me with time.

(3) Represents love and friendship in my life.

SERENDIPITY: Bright new prospects are on the horizon.

Also part of “The Realm of Fable,” Serendipity is a night faerie who represents “an unexpected yet favorable turn of events, a chance meeting or discovery…” Okay, now I’m beginning to wonder how the combination of Seduction and Serendipity might interweave or interact, affecting health, physical well-being, love, and friendship. I’m certainly not looking for any “new prospects” in love, so I think this must refer to friendship. At the same time, I’m still trying to understand the meaning of Seduction in Position 2!

(4) Represents an immediate concern. This card is the strongest oracle of future events.

THE GRYPHON: Honor and good luck.

The Gryphon is a member of a group of ten cards called “The Bestiary” in this deck. I do like “honor and good luck” as “the strongest oracle of future events,” but I am wondering what the “immediate concern” might be. The Gryphon can represent a risk that reaps rewards. There is also a sense of “lofty ideals and high expectations.” Could be interesting.

(5) Represents spiritual harmony.

THE STARS: A long journey brings rewards.

Another member of “The Elements” group, The Stars point to a voyage “that spans a great distance,” as well as a possible separation or reunion. My journey towards spiritual harmony is likely to bring rewards, which is a nice thought. I do think of spirituality as a journey or voyage, following (or creating!) a path and making one’s way along it.

(6) Signifies wealth and material prosperity.

THE SATYR: Revelry and indulgence.

Back we go to The Realm of Fable for The Satyr. As one might imagine, this character is “playful, mischievous and prone to overindulgence.” Music, dance, revelry, celebration… bring it on! Wealth and prosperity can make it possible to live the high life, if one so chooses, but there is always a danger of losing control and going in for the “decadent, lustful and lewd behavior” The Satyr is famous for. I truly don’t think I’m in any danger of that, but I have to wonder about that Seduction card again.

These cards do contain some encouraging news or messages, but it looks like I may need to be alert as time goes on for situations or behaviors that would not prove beneficial for me!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Egg Spread from Helen

Please celebrate Easter with my fellow creator of Tarot Notes, Helen Howell, here to demonstrate her Easter Egg Spread!

Easter Egg Spread
created by Helen Howell on 27th March 2013

Easter seemed the perfect time to try out this spread again and demonstrate the Old English Tarot in action. I first showed this spread back in 2013 and I hope you enjoy using it once more.

image copyright Helen Howell

The layout is a simple horizontal three cards in a line.

1: Undo the Bow:  This is the potential that exists for me.
2: Peel off the wrapping: The new beginning that I hope for.
3: Break into the chocolate: The first step I must take to manifest this goal.

The Old English Tarot by Maggie Keen
Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

1: Undo the Bow: Three of Cups
This card indicates a healing for me, where mind body and spirit can come together in harmony. The potential here for me is to bring about a satisfactory conclusion. (I know what this card is talking about and some of it’s health issues and some is relationship issue.)

2: Peel off the wrapping: The Moon
What I like about this image is that Moon shown is not a full moon but a New Moon. A New Moon can represent promise and of course the Moon in general does also represent creativity. So I guess the first step I should take is to clear all negativity from my mind and use my creativity to formulate a better approach to my particular problems.

3: Break into the Chocolate: Three of Swords
In this image I see three swords hanging over a castle, the castle being the goal, the place of security and abundance. The first step I need to take to bring about my goal is to set aside disappointments of the past. Clear away any conflicting thoughts I have about these two particular situations and gain a better sense of perspective which will show me the path towards that castle.

In conclusion then these three cards from my Easter Egg reading tell me that I can heal and bring harmony to body, mind and spirit if I clear all negative thoughts from my mind, and instead use a creative approach to solve problems. The very first step I need to take is to eliminate conflicting thoughts and to set aside disappointments from the past.  The past is the past and that’s where it should stay. Today is always another opportunity to do better. ^_^

~ Helen Howell

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Few of My Favorite Things Spread

Copy Cat! Copy Cat! Okay, I will own that I am being a “Copy Cat.” I am copying this spread from Ellen at greyladyshearth.blogspot.com. Ellen got it from _Magpietarot_.

Since I’m being a Copy Cat, I will use one of my cat Tarot decks – Cat’s Eye Tarot by Debra M. Givin, DVM (US Games Systems, Inc.) – for my reading.

(c) Givins / US Games Inc.
From the Wands: Where does my confidence shine?


Celebration; Freedom; Excitement

My confidence shines when I am free to follow the dreams and paths that excite my interest and give me cause for celebration.

(c) Givins / US Games Inc.
From the Cups: What brings me joy?


Deeper Meaning; Moving On; Weariness

For me, joy comes with the discovery of deeper meaning in life, moving on from that which brings weariness or disappointment.

(c) Givins / US Games Inc.
From the Swords: Where do I feel wise?


Stalemate; Blocked Emotions; Avoidance

I feel wise when I can overcome a stalemate, unblock emotions, and avoid situations or people that tend to create negative conditions.

(c) Givins / US Games Inc.
From the Pentacles: What makes me feel safe & secure?


Teamwork; Planning; Competence

I feel safe and secure when I am a member of a team or close-knit group, able to plan and execute events and efforts competently.

(c) Givins / US Games Inc.
From the Majors: Which underlying energy will make it all possible? 


Temperance; Balance; Health; Combination

As a Sun-sign Sagittarius, this is my Tarot card, one that represents to me not only temperance in its traditional interpretation (moderation, restraint) but the ability to combine, blend, and balance opposing energies in a healthy, helpful manner.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Reading with the Dream Fairies

The beautiful ladies of the Dream Fairies deck (Bianca Luna, Julia Jeffrey / Lo Scarabeo) called to me this morning, inviting me to create a spread that combines the two spreads included in the guidebook that accompanies this lovely deck. (To read my review of the Dream Fairies oracle, click HERE.

One spread from the book uses two cards with the positions representing the positive side of a situation and the dark side of the same situation. The other spread uses five cards to represent us and our dreams, how we can make them come true, obstacles to be overcome, the advice of the Fairies, and the direction our dreams will take.

My combo-spread uses five cards:


(1) positive side of a situation (seen clearly, strong points to be developed)
(2) dark side of a situation (cannot or will not be seen, deceptions we may fall for)
(3) how to make the most of the positive side
(4) how to overcome the dark side
(5) the most likely direction the situation will take

And the Fairies say. . .

(1) positive side of a situation (seen clearly, strong points to be developed)

ASTRID, The Fairy of Taurus

Here we have the fairy connected to my Moon sign, Taurus. Key qualities of this fairy and this sign include patience, stubbornness, and determination. Ruled by the planet Venus, Taurus also has a keen appreciation for beauty and pleasure in life. So, these characteristics are seen clearly in the positive side of the situation and/or represent strong points to be developed. I get the sense that, on a positive note, patience and determination can win the day. Notice that Astrid is accompanied, appropriately, by a dog, known for loyalty and steadfast dependability.

(2) dark side of a situation (cannot or will not be seen, deceptions we may fall for)

ALMA, The Fairy of Virgo

I love that this fairy is connected to my Rising sign, Virgo. (This is turning out to be a very personal reading from these fairies!) Although Taurus and Virgo are both Earth signs, they are also quite different from each other. Virgo prides itself on organization, order, perfection, and a focus on health. So apparently something in that mix is contributing to “the dark side” of the situation. I think perhaps the message is that even though I may think organization, attention to detail, and a perfectionistic attitude are useful or necessary, those things may actually create problems and obstacles. Alma-Virgo also focuses on daily life and the routines of life, and perhaps focusing too narrowly on those things is a problem.

(3) how to make the most of the positive side

Tami, The Fairy of Scorpio

This “lady” is not  a key part of my birth chart, so it’s interesting to see her in this position. She is apparently able to make the most of the benefits provided by Astrid (Taurus). That makes sense from an astrological perspective, as Earth (Taurus) and Water (Scorpio) are highly compatible elements. However, as you can probably see from Julia Jeffrey’s gorgeous illustration, Tami is a creature of the night. She looks deeply and feels strongly. Her gifts of introspection, daring, and a craving for risk can offset the steady-as-you-go nature of Astrid/Taurus so that things don’t grind to a halt. And Tami prompts the Seeker to explore the Self and the Soul to understand the truest and deepest meaning of life. Like Astrid, Tami is accompanied by a dog, but hers doesn’t convey the same steady temperament I see in Astrid’s companion. Tami’s dog looks as if he might bound away in pursuit of prey or a playmate at any minute.

(4) how to overcome the dark side

Ariel, The Fairy of Aquarius

Now we can see how an Air sign/fairy (Ariel – Aquarius) might overcome the obstacles presented by an Earth sign/fairy (Alma – Virgo). When I look at these two cards side by side, the fairies face each other, and it is clear to see that Alma-Virgo is serious and careful, where Ariel-Aquarius is adventurous and open to all possibilities. I can almost imagine Virgo’s look of anxiety upon hearing of the escapades Ariel-Aquarius is considering. So the way to overcome a tendency toward obsession over details, safety, security, and daily routine is to welcome the spirit of non-conformism and encourage objectivity and openness to new ideas. Virgo tends to be a solitary soul (the Tarot card associated with this sign is The Hermit), and Aquarius is the sign of friends and groups and sociability. Relax! Explore! Interact!

(5) the most likely direction the situation will take

Lilium, The Fairy of Sagittarius

My Sun sign, Sagittarius (a Fire sign), finally makes an appearance in this reading in the form of freedom-loving, confident, optimistic Lilium. Flexible, dynamic, and willing to change, Lilium tends to be quite jovial and is always ready for travel and adventure. If I can use the energies expressed in the other cards in this reading, I increase my chances of experiencing freedom physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. For Lilium, stagnation is not an option.  

I love this group of fairies with their zodiac signs that seem to match the prominent signs of my birth chart. I like that all of the elements are represented in this reading. The coloring of all but one of the cards is green, yellow, and taupe or tan. Tami/Scorpio stands out in her violet and black hues, drawing my attention for a purpose, perhaps. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Medicine Wheel Reading with Power Animal Oracle

Today I am using a spread I found at e-tarocchi.com called the Medicine Wheel Reading. As stated on the website: “This reading explores the energies present in your life in each area of the Medicine Wheel. Choose this spread when you need a greater understanding of the inner forces at work in your life today.”

I am using the Power Animal Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D. (Hay House).

The layout:


Core Medicine Wheel Influence
Center: The animal spirit that appears in the center of the Medicine Wheel
reflects who you are at this point in time.

DEER (Pathfinder) – At this point in time, I am in a position or have an opportunity to find the path I need to be on, the direction or way I need to go. The key is to use all my senses to gather information, then let my instinctual self absorb that awareness without analyzing, critiquing, or studying it. Over-thinking is my enemy in this situation. There is no need to “figure it out.” Instead, I need to let my senses transmit and receive that awareness at a “gut level.”

Northern Medicine Wheel Influence
North: The animal that appears in the North shows you how to walk your talk. 
Here lies your connection with your Higher Self.

PORCUPINE (Innocence) – It appears that my connection with my Higher Self is a prickly one. The barrier may be a tendency to harbor guilt, resentment, arrogance, or feelings of being victimized. Like the quills of a porcupine, these tendencies keep me separated from my Higher Self. The key is to “see the world through the eyes of a child,” trusting my “inner mother and father” to be there whenever I need them. My Higher Self is willing and able to protect and nourish me, but first I must grant myself permission to have that protection and nourishment, no matter what I may feel guilty or resentful about.

Western Medicine Wheel Influence
West: The animal that appears in the West holds the answer
to your present challenge.

BEAR (Boundaries) – I am not consciously aware of a “present challenge” in my life, at least not anything significant. We all have many challenges from day to day and week to week. To better understand what my present challenge is and to find an answer to that challenge, I need to look to the Bear, whose motto in this deck is “Stand your ground.” This card is about defining who I am and who I am not, and letting that determine whether my response will be “yes” or “no.” Establishing limits need not alienate other people. Knowing I can say “No” doesn’t mean I have to say “No.” But in any given situation, I need to return to that initial understanding of who I am and who I am not.

Eastern Medicine Wheel Influence
East: This animal reveals the direction you need to take 
in order to gain clarity about your present situation.

COYOTE (Wise Fool) – This card suggests that my own self-consciousness or overly serious view of myself could be interfering with my ability to gain clarity about my present situation. My tendency to attack or shame myself for foolish behavior gets in the way of discovering more important lessons and truths. Self-acceptance is not refusing to see our failings or faults; it is recognizing and acknowledging those failures and faults, and loving ourselves unconditionally. If I can allow myself to laugh at relatively minor follies, I am more likely to find the teaching in them.

Southern Medicine Wheel Influence
South: This animal explores issues dealing with your inner child, 
and shows the energy needed to trust your own process.

DRAGONFLY (Illusion) – My inner child knows who I really am and trusts my own process. When I am out of touch with that spirit, I may wear a mask or create an illusion about who I am, hoping that one of those personas will be more acceptable to others than my real self. The Dragonfly advises me that I need to reveal more of my true self, saving the masks or illusions for the rare occasion when they might be necessary for survival. Before I act or respond in a situation, it might benefit me to ask, “Is this who I really am?”

In summary, the messages from this group of animals are:

  • Trust your instincts to guide you through this situation.
  • Free yourself of guilt and shame.
  • Stand your ground.
  • Accept your follies and find the teaching in them.
  • You know who you really are.

Great advice!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Day of the Druids - March 13, 2017

It has been a VERY long time since I did a “Day of the Druids” reading, which involves asking the DruidCraft Tarot and the Druid Animal Oracle what I need to be aware of today.

The positional definitions are:

(1) Not only...
(2) But also...


I need to be aware of areas of my life where I demonstrate wisdom, maturity, authority, and social responsibility, focusing on my accomplishments and successes. While doing this, I need to be aware of my natural optimism and enthusiasm (Sagittarius Sun), along with the importance of expressing my ideas as I make important decisions or set goals.

But also … RAVEN

I also need to be aware that this is may be a time for initiation into the “mysteries” of something new and a death that gives way to a birth. There is an opportunity for healing and the resolution of conflicts, including some that may have long laid buried in my unconscious or my past. The Raven offers protective energy and the assurance of safety during the process of confronting that which is hidden, in other words, my “shadow side” or potentially destructive aspects of my psyche.

The DruidCraft Tarot (deck and book set) by Philip and Stephanie Carr Gomm, with illustrations by Will Worthington (Eddison Sadd Editions)
The Druid Animal Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm. Card Illustrations by Bill Worthington. Fireside: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ten Card Spread with The Wonderland Tarot

Today I’m using my newly acquired Wonderland Tarot to do a 10-card spread for a friend. To read my review of this deck, click HERE.

The positional definitions provided in the guidebook that comes with The Wonderland Tarot are as follows:

(1) Present position
(2) Immediate influence
(3) Goal or destiny
(4) Distant past foundation
(5) Recent past events
(6) Future influence
(7) The questioner
(8) Environmental factors
(9) Inner emotions
(10) Final results

Are you ready? Let’s go “down the rabbit hole!”

(1) Present position: KING OF FLAMINGOS (Swords/Spades)

Interesting interpretation from the LWB: “The power of life and death. The king mitigates the excesses of the queen.” I can reveal to you that the friend I’m reading for is separated from his wife, whose excessive behavior has lead to her being arrested three times and jailed once. The suit of Swords often represents attitudes, perceptions, conflict, strife, and stress. We might even see this King as representing my friend but at the very least, it most certainly represents “the atmosphere in which the questioner is presently working and living.”

(2) Immediate influence: SIX OF FLAMINGOS

Here we are being shown “the nature of the influences or the obstacles that lie just ahead.” The Six of Flamingos typically indicates a journey – hopefully a pleasant one – but in this case, I think it’s going to be a mixed bag, with some unpleasantness involved. I think my friend is looking forward to the “end” of this particular journey.

(3) Goal or destiny: SIX OF OYSTERS (Coins, Pentacles, Diamonds)

My friend’s ultimate goal or “the best that can be accomplished” is represented here by the Six of Oysters, a card linked to the physical, material realm. This card often suggests generosity and kindness “to those less fortunate.” I feel the card points directly at my friend’s goal of not “losing his shirt” to his ex in a very real, material sense. From all appearances, she does not stand much of a chance of winning anything in court (my friend took out a restraining order on her after she hit him in the head with a frying pan, requiring him to get 7 stitches). However, immediately after the physical altercation that led to the breakup, she did remove furniture and other items from the house while my friend was out.

(4) Distant past foundation: THE STAR (Key 17)

Here we are supposedly looking at “broad and basic influences which existed in the past and upon which the present events are based.” I think this card is showing us my friend’s wishes and dreams that led to him marrying this woman in the first place and also have contributed to him staying with her in spite of her behavior, which included more than one instance of infidelity. My friend had hoped for a bright future together, fulfillment, satisfaction, and so forth. Instead, he finds himself “cutting off a bad relationship” (the reversed meaning for this card as provided in the LWB).

(5) Recent past events: TWO OF FLAMINGOS

As “the most recent sphere of influence or events that has passed or is just passing,” the Two of Flamingos points again to conflict and opposition as well as an attempt to secure a “truce.” The reversed meanings of duplicity, disloyalty, and treachery all seem to apply.

(6) Future influence: THE MOON (Key 18)

Here we expect to see “the sphere of influence that is coming into being in the near future.” As a Major Arcana card, The Moon probably represents a powerful “sphere of influence,” and it’s likely not to be an enjoyable one. At the very least, this card points to deception, trickery, deceit, false friends, and a trap. I can’t help thinking about my friend’s continued interaction with his ex-wife’s niece, who appears to sympathize with him and decry her aunt’s behavior. And yet. I feel the niece’s loyalty ultimately must lie with her aunt (family/blood), and I feel my friend might be wise to stop communicating with the niece. This could also refer to a mutual friend or friends who take sides against my friend while appearing to be on his side or at least neutral.

(7) The questioner: TEN OF FLAMINGOS

In his present position, my friend is represented by the Ten of Flamingos (Swords again – conflict, stress, strife). I often see the Ten of Swords as a sign of reaching the end of one’s wits or rope or whatever expression you care to use. Other keywords might include “a mental death, a pain that feels like a violent death, mental anguish, trouble and misfortune.” I think that applies quite well here.

(8) Environmental factors: SEVEN OF OYSTERS

In this position we are not looking at the “environment” in ecological terms but rather we are looking at “the questioner’s influence on other people and their influence on the questioner.” The Seven of Oysters (Coins, Pentacles) puts us back into the material, physical realm, where we see apparent progress toward wealth or personal gain, yet there is still anxiety or worry about possible loss. This situation most certainly does involve money and property/possessions, over which my friend and others have control or are attempting to control.

(9) Inner emotions: NINE OF OYSTERS

We remain in the physical, material realm to explore the questioner’s “inner hopes, emotions, desires and anxieties.” This card typically represents accomplishment and/or feelings of safety, which my friend obviously hopes to experience. Reversed, the card points to possible bad faith, villainy, danger to self or spirit… again, obviously fears my friend might harbor in this situation.

(10) Final results: TEMPERANCE (Key 14)

I confess, after all the Swords in this reading, I was relieved to see Temperance make an appearance to represent “the culmination and results of all the influences revealed by the other cards.” As this is a Major Arcana card, I think we are looking at a “grand finale” which implies compromise, balance, moderation, and tolerance. Unfortunately, because there is so much acrimony and conflict involved in this situation (reflected in the preceding cards), I can also see potential for a final result that includes discord, frustration, imbalance, and continued excessive behavior.

The major “players” in this reading are the suits of Flamingos (Swords) and Oysters (Coins, Pentacles) – difficulties and conflict, material and physical matters. Our triumvirate of Major Arcana cards presents a combination of hopes and dreams (The Star), deception and confusion (The Moon), and balance and moderation (Temperance). A mixed bag, to be sure, and not the easiest energy to navigate.

Friday, February 24, 2017

REVIEW: Wonderland Tarot in a Tin


Wonderland Tarot in a Tin 
by Chris Abbey (Author), Morgana Abbey (Author)
_U.S. Games Systems Inc._ (January 20, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1572818794
ISBN-13: 978-1572818798
Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 0.2 x 3.7 inches

I don’t know if people even use the word “squee” (a sound made by excited fangirls or fanboys) anymore, but “squee!” was my reaction recently when I opened a package and The Wonderland Tarot in a Tin hopped out. Having seen the original deck “in action” (used for readings by a dear friend), I was delighted to find this new version in my own little hands!

The original version of The Wonderland Tarot -- created by the collaborative team of Christopher and Morgana Abbey -- was first published in 1989 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. You can still get the original, but be prepared to part with anywhere from $100 to $400 or more. I’m happy with the newly released version, available for around $15-20, depending on where you shop.

I especially love this Author’s Note provided by Chris and Morgana Abbey: “A lot changes over the years, and this remains a happy memory for us. If you knew it from before, we hope seeing it again brought you a grin, Cheshire Cat-like or not. If you are encountering this deck for the first time, we hope to match the grin. Thank you for all before and for all that is to come.”

The tin box makes a perfect home for the deck, which has the same art on the cards as the original -- art in the style and flavor of Sir John Tenniel's illustrations of Lewis Carroll's work. The colors are bright and clear, in keeping with the child-like images and “feel” of the deck.

The deck fits the typical Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) system, even though the suits have been changed to Flamingos (Swords, Spades), Peppermills (Staves, Wands, Clubs), Hats (Cups, Hearts), and Oysters (Pentacles, Coins, Diamonds).

Most of the major characters from Alice in Wonderland are on the Major Arcana cards, for example, the Mad Hatter (Fool), Lewis Carroll (Magician), Alice (High Priestess), Sheep (Empress), Cheshire Cat (Emperor), Caterpillar (Hierophant).

Reversible card backs are lavender with a white border, incorporating three rows of black vines with green leaves and red flowers.

The cards themselves are the approximate size of a standard playing deck. The playing-card equivalent of the Minor Arcana is notated in the borders of each of the appropriate cards (e.g., the “Six of Hearts” is noted in the border of the Six of Hats).

In the Little White Book (LWB), Chris Abbey provides an Introduction to Tarot and The Tarot Deck. Abbey mentions that the sources he used to write the booklet were The Encyclopedia of Tarot, volume I, by Stuart R. Kaplan, and The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite. For the Major Arcana, Abbey gives us Alice-related information for each card along with standard interpretations. For example:

“XIII. DEATH. The Queen of Hearts points at some unknown person, shouting, ‘Off with his head!’ One of the cards is lying down, playing possum so that he will not suffer a similar fate. The Queen shouts a lot, but no one ever really dies. The victims change so they will not be recognized. In the real world, those that die are in transition and will come back to live in another form. Divinatory meanings: Change. Transformation from one form to another or from one situation to another. Changing of the guard. Moving away from the familiar. Loss of security, bad luck. Abrupt or gradual change. Illness, possibly death. A bad loan. Reverse meanings: Complete lack of change. Standing still to the point of stagnation. Possibility of slow or partial change, with the proper surrounding cards. A close call in an accident.”

The Minor Arcana cards are grouped in the booklet by suit, with a brief description of the suit meaning for each. Divinatory meanings and Reverse meanings are provided for each Minor Arcana card.

At the end of the LWB, we have The Ten-Card Spread, described as a “slightly altered version of the Ancient Celtic Method described by Arthur Edward Waite in The Pictorial Key to the Tarot.”

My favorites from this deck include Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee as The Lovers, the Jabberwock as The Devil, and the Walrus and the Carpenter (with the ill-fated oysters) as The Moon.

And now, in addition to doing some readings with this wonderful Wonderland deck, I need to grab a copy of Alice in Wonderland and revisit that fascinating story with its amazing characters!

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I hereby disclose that this product was provided by the publisher for free. Other than the occasional review copy, I receive no monetary or in-kind compensation for my reviews.  The substance of my reviews is not influenced by whether I do or do not receive a review copy.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fleur de Lis Reading

As I mentioned in my review, I was eager to try the Fleur de Lis reading provided in the guidebook included with the Botanical Inspirations cards by Lynn Araujo (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.), featuring illustrations by renowned Flemish artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840).

To read my review of this charming deck, click HERE.

Lynn Araujo explains that the Fleur de Lis has several traditional meanings, the most common being Faith/Wisdom/Valor or Perfection/Light/Life. Here is the layout for this reading:

Card 1 signifies the situation as it is.
Card 2 indicates the course of action to be taken to resolve the situation.
Card 3 projects the improved outcome of the situation.


For this reading, I decided to let Card 1 choose the topic or area to explore.

Card 1 signifies the situation as it is.

FORGET-ME-NOTS / Eternal Memories

Memories can be quite powerful. Over time they are often overlaid with more current perceptions or beliefs, to the point that we don’t really have an accurate memory at all. What we choose to remember and what we choose to suppress can reveal much about our deepest needs, fears, joys, and thoughts. In the Botanical Inspirations guidebook, Lynn Araujo writes, “Make room in your heart for the tender memories of lost loved ones, right alongside the happy memories you cherish.” I think perhaps the message to me right now is that I really can choose which memories to focus on or give a prominent place to. Dwelling on memories of bad situations, relationships, or experiences is unlikely to improve my life.

Card 2 indicates the course of action to be taken to resolve the situation.

NASTURTIUM / Victory & Conquest

So if we accept that Card 1 was calling my attention how I process and deal with my memories, the Nasturtium reminds me that “conquering those inner voices of self-doubt is the first step forward” in my personal growth (Araujo). There is probably not going to be a great big battle like those we see on movie screens. Rather, I am more likely to be faced with seemingly minor skirmishes that allow me to experience small victories, day by day. I must not underestimate the significance and power of those “small victories.”

Card 3 projects the improved outcome of the situation.

VIOLET / Faithfulness & Modesty

From Lynn Araujo: “Sometimes the quietest voice with a modest message is the one that holds the greatest wisdom.” If I heed the message of Card 2 in my efforts to resolve the situation represented by Card 1, the improved outcome is likely to be subtle, demure, and modest. I will not measure that outcome by the amount of attention I get or the accolades I receive. It is enough if I am the only one who is aware of the value and beauty of that improved outcome. It is neither necessary nor desirable that the world be aware of what I accomplish.

I love the “mini-garden” of forget-me-nots, nasturtiums, and violets that I planted with this reading. The messages will stay with me!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review: Botanical Inspirations Deck & Book Set


Botanical Inspirations Deck & Book Set
by Lynn Araujo
Cards illustrated by _Pierre-Joseph Redouté_ (1759-1840)
44 cards with quotations
100-page illustrated guidebook
Fold-out guide to the Secret Language of Flowers
Drawstring organza pouch

So many things to love about this deck and book set, it’s hard to know where to start – but I’m going to start with the packaging, which is superb.

The top of the sturdy flip-top cardboard box features a lush collage of Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s Victorian flower art, including the dahlia, coreopsis, asters, forget-me-nots, and amaryllis, among others. This box is roomy enough for a perfect-bound guidebook with the same illustration on its cover, the deck of 44 cards, a trifold pamphlet listing keywords for all of the flowers shown on the cards, and an organza pouch the same shade of mint green as the box, booklet, pamphlet, and card backs. Also included is a card providing detailed information about Redouté, who was born in 1759 to a Flemish family of decorative painters. By the late 1790s, Redouté was the most famous and sought after flower painter in Europe.

Card faces are a tan parchment color, an attractive background for the artwork. The cards do a beautiful job of combining science and sentiment. At the top, centered, is the common name of the flower, with the Latin name or alternative name centered immediately under that in flowery script. Next comes the Redouté’s illustration of the flower. The style is realistic, and it is easy to see how the artist was influenced by the botanist Charles Louis L'Héritier, who offered Redouté free access to his botanical library and plant collection. Centered below the artwork is the meaning attributed to that flower. Finally, also centered, we have a quotation that reflects that symbolism. Here are a couple of examples:

Friendship & Gratitude
“Let us be grateful for the people who make us happy; 
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
 – Marcel Proust

Elegance & Patience
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
– Lao Tzu

For each flower, the guidebook provides a black-and-white version of the Redouté illustration, the common name and Latin name for the flower, symbolism, quotation, a long paragraph discussing the flower and its meaning, and an Inspirational Message. The eloquent writing in the guidebook is a pleasure to read, offering tidbits of the fascinating history and cultural interpretations associated with each flower.

Let’s look at the IRIS (Iris germanica).

Symbolism: Rainbows & Messages

Quotation: “When it rains, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars.” – Unknown

“The stately flower borrowed its name from Iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow. It was her duty to transport the souls of departed women to the Elysian Fields. In the Language of Flowers, Iris came to mean ‘messages’ since its namesake carried messages along the rainbow between the realms of the mortals and the gods. The majestic iris flower inspired the French fleur de lis motif, with the three petals symbolizing faith, wisdom and valor.”

Inspirational Message: “Keep your eyes open to the wisdom of the universe and you will receive clear signs and messages that guide you on your path.”

At the end of the guidebook is a section titled “Reading with the Botanical Inspirations Cards,” containing examples of the Three-Card Fleur De Lis reading. I am looking forward to giving this a try soon here on Tarot Notes.

The Botanical Inspirations cards are perfect for drawing a daily Affirmation, and the guidebook can be used as a resource when researching the various flowers and their meanings.

About the Author: Lynn Araujo is the author of Dreaming Way Lenormand, TastyTalk Conversation Cards, Historical Signals and Semaphores, Native American Playing Cards, and is co-author with Stuart Kaplan of The Artwork & Times of Pamela Colman Smith. She is currently working on Pastoral Tarot with Lisa Hunt.