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Sunday, September 12, 2021

A Reading with Nature's Wisdom Oracle

Nature’s Wisdom Oracle
by Mindy Lighthipe
(Schiffer)



(1) Message from the Universe: DAFFODIL (Sincerity)

My message from the Universe comes from the Daffodil, a lovely yellow flower that heralds the beginning of Spring where I live. Among other fascinating facts provided by the guidebook that comes with Nature’s Wisdom Oracle, we learn that “The name daffodil is derived from the Dutch word affodyle and means ‘that which cometh early.’ By sending the Daffodil, the Universe is reminding me to be sincere, truthful, and honest in all that I do. I get a sense also that I have an opportunity to start a new "season" in my life, a fresh approach to some area (although the literal season coming up is autumn).



(2) What I need to release: HUMMINGBIRD (Energy)

It’s easy to see why Mindy Lighthope chose “energy” as the keyword for the Hummingbird. They are amazing to watch as they fly forward, backward, up, down, and sideways, and hover in midair. Bursts of energy are useful, but in this reading, the Hummingbird is telling me “What I need to release.” Perhaps this is a message to let go of or release any tendency I have to move too fast or to use all my energy at once, which can lead to burnout.



(3) What I need to focus on: PRAYING MANTIS (Danger)

Meanwhile, the Praying Mantis is advising me to focus on “Danger.” Something I’m doing or the direction I’m heading in could very well take me into a difficult, hazardous situation. Lighthope tells us that the word “mantis” means “prophet.” This creature is known for ambushing its prey and devouring it alive – I would be wise to be careful and cautious to avoid becoming a victim.



Saturday, August 21, 2021

Cirque du Tarot: A Deck Interview

Cirque Du Tarot
Tarot Deck and Guidebook
by Leeza Robertson
Illustrated by Josh Tufts
Llewellyn Publications
Available September 8, 2021


As promised at the end of my _REVIEW_ of this deck, I am now sharing a Deck Interview. I sit alone in my ringside seat under the big top to ask my questions. Each card that answers steps into the spotlight in the center ring to give a response.


How would you describe your essence or essential energy?

SIX OF CUPS

I am your Inner Child, the spirit who brings you memories of a different place and time – real or imagined – when anything was possible and everything was waiting to be discovered. I am here to help you draw from that time and place, to bring what is long gone into the present. I will help you experience again the playfulness, the sense of wonder, and the willingness to suspend disbelief – but also to help you leave behind that which must be allowed to fade away into the past. 


Which card do you feel reflects my essence or essential energy?

KNIGHT OF WANDS

Impatience and impulsiveness are major components of your essence or essential energy. This Knight shares the sign Sagittarius with you, although not your specific decan. As such, he represents the assertiveness and need to take action you see quite clearly in yourself. In the Cirque du Tarot, this Knight jumps, runs, twists, and turns – all while carrying fire. Impressive, to be sure. But it might benefit you to take a few deep breaths from time to time to let your mind, emotions, and body rest.


What story do you hope to tell me?

FOUR OF CUPS

The story I hope to tell you is is a story about lack or loss of energy, the feeling of being uninspired or bored. But this is not the whole story. You must not make it the whole story. Our minds and hearts tell us many stories every day, week to week, year to year. What you need to realize is that a story based on your current mood is not meant to be told more than once, fleetingly, acknowledging it as a phase, something that will pass. Always know that there is a new opportunity within reach, within range, if you are open to recognizing it.


What should I not expect from you?

THE HIEROPHANT

Do not expect me to be your only source of knowledge, expertise, or wisdom. In fact, there is no one source for that, and in the Cirque du Tarot, even The Hierophant is part of a team. I know who I am and I never doubt my strengths, but I cannot be your crutch or your only resource.


Which card most closely represents us as a team?

SIX OF SWORDS

As a team, we are prepared and eager to travel great distances, to seize opportunities to journey in any direction, for any purpose. Together we can venture outside any and all comfort zones to seek new dreams, new paths, and new experiences. All aboard!


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

REVIEW: Cirque du Tarot

R E V I E W

Cirque Du Tarot
Tarot Deck and Guidebook
by Leeza Robertson
Illustrated by Josh Tufts
206 pages
Dimensions : ‎ 5.5 x 0.39 x 8.5 inches
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0738764086
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0738764085
Llewellyn Publications

Available September 8, 2021



PUBLISHER’S PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: “Roll up, roll up! Come see the greatest tarot circus on earth! This unique deck showcases the excitement and illusion to be found under the big top along with all the behind-the-scenes intrigue that fuels the show. The suits are cleverly comprised of clockwork machines, balancing blades, water acrobatics, and blazing fire dancers; and since the cards follow the Rider-Waite-Smith structure and symbology, you can begin reading with them today. With its sumptuous art and captivating characters, this deck is the perfect choice for tarotists who are drawn to the magic and mystery of the Ringmaster's domain.”



MY THOUGHTS

With an intro like the description provided by the publisher (above), this deck and book set certainly has a lot to live up to! Fortunately Robertson and Tufts do that and more with skill comparable to that of the performers under their “Big Top.”

I love books, so for me, the best place to start exploring this deck is by paging through the approximately 206-page guidebook, titled Under the Big Top. Preceding the discussion/description of each card in the deck, we have small sections such as “Welcome to the Show!”, “The Playbill,” and “Setting the Stage: How to Do a Reading with Your New Cards.” All of this material is clear and succinctly written, useful for beginners and more experienced readers alike.

ACT ONE MAJORS / The Greatest Show on Earth: As expected, the pages in this section cover the Major Arcana cards. I love that for each card, Leeza Robertson provides a paragraph titled “Ally” followed by a paragraph titled “Challenger,” basically covering the idea of upright and reversed interpretations.

INTERMISSION / Court Cards: Here we receive information about Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings in general, plus a discussion of each Page, Knight, Queen, and King using the same format as the Majors (“Ally” and “Challenger”).


ACTS

The suits are then broken down into “Acts.” I absolutely love the subtitle provided for each suit:

ACT TWO / Swords: A Land of Dreams and Nightmares
ACT THREE / Wands: It’s All Fire and Smoke
ACT FOUR / Cups: Dive Deep and Play
ACT FIVE / Pentacles: Reality Revealed


For the ENCORE, we are given wonderful spreads with circus-related titles such as “Seeking the Spotlight,” “Stage Fright,” “The Seven Day Show!”, and “Being Part of a Troupe.” 

THE CARDS: 

The cards themselves are standard Tarot stock, sturdy enough without being thick and unwieldy. The titles on the Major Arcana cards include the card number as well as the traditional name. (I was pleased to see that the author didn’t try to get cute by giving the Majors names like “Ringmaster” or “Lion Tamer.”) In fact, there are no “lion tamers” in the deck because animals are not part of the Cirque du Tarot, yet another selling point in my opinion.

Swords cards are illustrated in shades of dark blue, indigo, and purple (clearly linked with the element Air). Wands are orange and red (clearly linked with the element Fire). Cups are illustrated in turquoise and pink/fuchsia. Pentacles cards feature golds and browns. Card backs offer a gorgeous representation of the suit symbols.

Professional designer and illustrator Josh Tufts imbues each card with his own style, while honoring traditional themes, symbols, and imagery.


NEXT STEP: I plan to do a deck interview soon with this deck and probably a reading or two. Stay tuned!

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.


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Tarot Connections: Venus in Libra

Venus will be in the sign Libra from August 16th to September 10th. Venus rules Libra, and therefore is quite happy (and powerful) when visiting (transiting) that sign.

In the system established by the Golden Dawn, the Tarot card associated with Venus is The Empress (Key 3) and the card associated with Libra is Justice (Key 11).

Using the Celestial Tarot by Kay Steventon and Brian Clark (U.S. Games Systems), I thought it would be fun to explore the relationship between Venus and Libra, and between The Empress and Justice.


The Empress (Venus)

The planet Venus rules not only the sign Libra but the sign Taurus as well. From an elemental perspective, then, Venus rules both an Air sign and an Earth sign. There is certainly an “upper” or “higher” energy indicated by the element Air, with a “lower” energy indicated by Earth. Or, as Brian Clark puts it: “Taurus carries the earthy, sensual, fertile, and resourceful sides of the goddess, symbolized by her green sash. Libra reflects her heavenly sides of culture and beauty.”

Other symbols we see on The Empress card include “open arms and bare breasts” (a desire to be known); magic girdle (ability to cast love spells); sacred dove (messenger of peace and reconciliation).

Justice (Libra)

Fun Fact (from Brian Clark): “The last addition to the zodiac as we know it today was Libra.” Clark also points out: “Just as Libra lies at the midpoint of the zodiac, Justice appears at the midpoint of the Major Arcana.” Thus, the Justice card often represents a crossroads in our own judgment, a choice or decision to be made on which path to follow.

Justice is Key 11 in the Celestial Tarot (experienced Tarot readers will know that in some decks, Justice is Key 8).

Clark explains that the earliest Greek goddess to be associated with Justice was Themis, and it is she who is pictured on the Justice card in the Celestial Tarot. Behind Themis we see a peacock, “whose tail is a swirl of colors that has become associated with totality and wholeness” (Clark). The mantle Themis wears is covered with roses (the heart, beauty, love). 

The process of equality and balance is emphasized by Justice -- that is, equality and balance between polarities, differences, or disagreements. Natives of the sign Libra are known for their desire to examine and explore all sides of everything in order to resolve conflicts fairly. This can lead to indecision and delays. 

In fact, if we consult the Oracle of the Radiant Sun (Caroline Smith and John Astrop, St. Martin’s Griffin), the card assigned to the placement of Venus in Libra is titled “Indecision.” In addition to finding it difficult to make a decision, the desire for harmony is so strong, there may be a tendency to “give in” or acquiesce to another person in order to avoid confrontation or conflict.

As Venus transits Libra from August 16th to September 10th, the accompanying energy will affect everyone. In order to get a more personal “take” on this placement, we can look at which house transiting Venus is in while in Libra. In my case, that is the First House, House of Self. I (and others with that same house placement) will very likely experience moments of peaceful, balanced energy at a very personal level, including harmony in our closest personal relationships. The vibes from this Venus-in-Libra transit should be quite pleasant and satisfying. I will, of course, want to be aware of any tendency to waffle in decisions that affect me personally, or to deny my own preferences too often in order to avoid conflict.