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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cards and Quotes: Ray

Today's Cards and Quotes features the Ray from Stephen D. Farmer's Messages From Your Animal Spirit Guides Oracle Cards (Hay House).

"As soon as you concern yourself with the 'good' and 'bad' of your fellows, 
you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter.
Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you."

Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969)
Martial Artist and Founder of the
Japanese Martial Art of Aikido
And just for fun, below are some pictures I took of rays at Sea World in San Diego, California.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Reading for Violet

In this post I am sharing a reading that Violet, one of my blog readers, did for herself. She used a 7-card spread that I shared on this blog: the Sleeping Beauty Relationship Spread designed by ArwenNightstar. My version substitutes the word "love" for the word "romance" in the original spread. I also changed the last positional definition to "Best Possible Outcome" instead of "Final Outcome." The layout looks like this: 


Violet used The Mary-El Tarot* for her reading (to read my review of this deck, click HERE).

Violet asked for my interpretations of her cards, and I asked her to give me her initial impressions of them first. Below you will see the positional definition, the card Violet drew into that position, Violet's first impressions, and my interpretation.

Please know that I have no intention of disputing Violet's impressions or interpretations of the cards. My purpose is to offer options, possibilities, and perspectives for her to consider. It is my hope that blog readers will also gain something from this reading.

Thank you, Violet, for permitting me to share this reading! I hope my comments are useful to you.

1] Why are you asleep to a new relationship?

King of Swords - Rx

Violet: faith in a false king. not what he seemed.

Zanna: With the King of Swords drawn reversed, I think we are looking at the upright energy of this card being blocked or delayed, causing you to be asleep to a new relationship. The King of Swords is a master thinker and communicator. His sword is especially sharp, designed to cut through illusions and separate the wheat from the chaff. He controls his own thoughts and uses them to create the reality he wants. So these are the powers or qualities that are blocked or delayed in your case. Instead of demonstrating clear intent, sharp focus, and self-confidence, you may be allowing fears and doubts to dictate your behavior and thoughts. These fears and doubts are keeping you from waking up to a new relationship.

2] What is keeping you asleep to potential love?

The Tower - Rx

Violet: i have truly been shaken to my foundation in love- romantic love at least. but i deny that it perhaps my own doing and un-doing which electrified my tower... i also think that mr. thought i was perhaps a damsel, which i am not. do i project damsel?

Zanna: The energy of The Tower is that of liberation, destruction of illusions, and freedom from unnecessary or deceptive views, perceptions, and ways of life. The card was drawn reversed, suggesting that currently this energy is blocked or delayed in your life. Even though you feel your foundation has been shaken and you have gone through what feels like a "Tower" experience, there is more that needs to be questioned, that needs to be changed, that needs to be cast aside. The real benefits of The Tower experience have not yet made themselves apparent to you, which is why you are asleep to potential love. There is a sense that you need to completely emerge from the "wreckage" of beliefs or assumptions that have collapsed or are still crumbling.

3] What do you need to know about your dreams of love?

The Fool - Rx

Violet: am i delusional and jump in too eagerly? or do i hold on to false foolishness when my wisdom is needed? patience is called for.

Zanna: The Fool is a free spirit who leaps before he looks, who sets out on a journey into the unknown without hesitation or fear. The card was drawn reversed, suggesting that although your dreams of love may be free spirited, daring, and fearless -- that energy is blocked or delayed at the moment due to worry, regret, or fear. You hesitate to take that first step toward your dreams because it feels like you are stepping off a cliff into the air. There is always a bit of faith involved when we seek to fulfill our dreams. Dreams themselves are of the air, difficult to depend on, difficult to interpret at times. The journey may seem like folly at first, but if nothing is ventured, nothing is gained.

4] What or who will awaken you to love?

Knight of Cups

Violet: hope. feels like a pisces male. on point but on the same page as i am. easy flowing communication- perhaps platonic.

Zanna: What a great card to draw here! Court Cards can represent actual people in the Seeker's life, a quality the Seeker possesses (or needs to possess), or the energy surrounding a situation. I think it is very possible that the Knight of Cups in this position refers to a person who can awaken you to love and help you find your heart's desire. The Golden Dawn associates this card with the segment of the heavens from above 20 degrees Aquarius to 20 degrees Pisces.

5] What is needed from you for love to work?

King of Wands - Rx

Violet: stop fighting for what i know is and will be- love arrives in its own time- if i let go... it will come.

Zanna: Like the King of Swords, the King of Wands is a master. He controls his own energy, life force, passion, and spirituality.  The card is reversed, which to me suggests the need to relinquish control in some way so that love can work. If we are trying too hard to be in control, we are not open to receiving love. Our efforts to remain in control act as a barrier. I don't believe that you need to be "out of control" in order for love to work. But there seems to be a need for letting go just enough.

6] What do you need for love to work?

8 of Wands

Violet: support and honesty. let go of jealousy and envy of the love- i think- others' possess.

Zanna: In this deck, the 8 of Wands is about knowing yourself and creating your reality. Surround yourself with art, music, poetry, colors, and patterns that nourish and support you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This will help you be responsive to deep inner knowledge. You may realize something you did not know or remember something you had forgotten about yourself.

7] What is the best possible outcome (if obstacles are overcome and opportunities are taken advantage of)?

3 of Cups - Rx

Violet: perhaps i celebrated love too soon... OR i need to celebrate love i do not know yet!

Zanna: It is always interesting to see a reversed card in the "best possible outcome" position. We tend to think of reversals as "negative" -- yet they do not have to be. When we look at the 3 of Cups upside down, the three waterfalls flow uphill to their source. Our normal tendency might be to resist this as "wrong" or "unnatural." But it seems to me that in this case, you are being encouraged to reach upward (or inward) and connect with your "source." The best possible outcome is that you will go back to the beginning, to the place from which your feelings about love originated.  You can reverse your direction temporarily and receive the emotional nourishment you need. Then your emotions will be free to flow downward or outward again, toward your world and the people in it.

* The Mary-El Tarot by Marie White
Schiffer Publishing
Copyright 2012 Marie White

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cards and Quotes: 6 of Hearts

For today's Cards and Quotes I am using a deck of playing cards called The Doomed Queens, created by Kris Waldherr and published by U.S. Games Systems. In this deck, the Six of Hearts features Mary Stuart, aka Mary, Queen of Scots.

“To be kind to all, to like many and love a few,
to be needed and wanted by those we love,
is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.”
~ Mary Stuart (Scottish Queen, 1542-1587)

Friday, September 21, 2012

REVIEW: Freshly Squeezed Lenormand

About My Reviews
 * ~ *

Freshly Squeezed Lenormand
by Jean Hamilton-Fford
Facebook Page
Web Site

TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)

When life hands you lemons -- consult the Freshly Squeezed Lenormand! In fact, it's fine to consult it when life hands you a delicious lemon meringue pie and all is right with your world. I am a newcomer to the whole Lenormand oracle deck world, having only recently acquired the French Cartomancy deck by Lo Scarabeo. (So if you're looking for a Lenormand expert's view on Freshly Squeezed, you'll need to look elsewhere.)

Having said that, it's my opinion that Jean Hamilton-Fford has created a charming deck, which she presents in attractive handcrafted packaging. The surprise gift included with the deck is a feast for the senses, and the golden organza bag is the perfect home for this lemony delight.

The cards are not as thick and sturdy as some decks, so you do need to treat them extra gently, and make sure your hands and your reading surface are always clean and dry. After all, Madame Lenormand deserves only the best!

The words printed on the cards are blank-verse poems with irregular rhythm and intermittent  rhymes and near rhymes. I love the sensory details and evocative phrases. For example, Card 20 (Meeting Place) includes the lines: "The Meeting Place is full of sun / It dances brightly on the flowers / It showers those who visit here / With love, with long spent hours / Of holding hands, of stolen kisses / Of good company and reminiscences."

I especially like Jean's comment near the end of her LWB (little white book) for this deck: "Whatever your journey with the Lenormand, I encourage you to make it FUN. No one is absolutely 100% correct. There are no absolutes in Lenormand. Everyone develops their own spreads. Everyone develops their own habits and techniques. . . Keep it inventive and make it your way."

As suggested in the LWB, I drew a card this morning to engage my focus for today. Number 6 -- Clouds -- came forward. I find that there are "cloudy moments" in every day, and I do have one or two small clouds hanging over my head at the moment -- but clouds also provide blessed relief from the sun on a hot day. It will be interesting to see what meaning this has for me as the day progresses. I plan to share larger readings with this deck in the future.


In Jean Hamilton-Fford's own words, she is "an author, a columnist, an international speaker, a life coach, an artist, a mother, sister and wife... not necessarily in that order."

Jean describes this self-published oracle deck as "A New Take on an Old Divination -- Complete With All the Pulp." When she immersed herself in Lenormand as a way to round out and question her Tarot studies, she noticed that "there were so many cards that were full of heavy, negative and hopeless images and verses." She also found no real relevance in some of the image-verse combinations in the Lenormand.

The inspiration for the Freshly Squeezed Lenormand came from dreams given to Jean before and during the project. She wanted to create a Lenormand deck in which she could offer hope and in which the images and verses were applicable to the current day. Some of the card titles are the same as the traditional Lenormand deck titles, but many are not. For example, Card 1 in the Freshly Squeezed Lenormand is titled "Messenger." The traditional title is "Horseman." Jean titles Card 12 "Anxiety." She writes: "Traditionally, this card is known as the Birds/Owls (representative of two elderly women). There are so many culturally ambiguous meanings with those pictures, I felt compelled to update it."

There are no card titles on the cards themselves. The card number is printed directly above the verse on each card.

Jean advises us that any card can be used to represent the Querent (the person consulting the cards for information). She refers to this as "Your Card" throughout the LWB (little white book).

Four unnumbered "Mystery Cards" are included in the deck: YES, NO, NOW, and LATER. Jean suggests that we separate these cards from the main deck and use them "only when needed." When that time comes, we are to randomly place the Mystery Cards in the deck and shuffle a few times. Next, we turn over cards until we come to the Querent's card. Then we continue turning cards until we come across the first Mystery card. The number of cards between the Querent's card and the Mystery Card helps us determine the certainty of the answer and if there is any 'wiggle room' regarding the strength of the answer.

The LWB for this deck is actually a PDF file that you can download from the internet and print. I printed mine in "booklet format." The content is extremely useful and clear. The type is a nice size and easy to read. I agree with Jean when she says, "There's nothing worse than trying to read 4 or 5 point font through a whole little white book." 

The LWB contains the following sections:
  • Acknowledgements
  • How to Care for Your Deck
  • Introduction
  • Using Your Deck
  • Detailed titles and descriptions for each card, along with black-and-white illustrations of the card
  • Spreads
  • About Jean
The cards are numbered 1 through 36. For each card Jean tells us the comparable card from the traditional Lenormand deck. She then offers a detailed explanation of the symbols and images on the card and why she chose them. Jean does not provide a separate interpretation for reversed (upside down) cards. After each card description she asks, "What do you see in this card? How would you interpret it?" Space is provided for Notes.


The cards in this deck are small, measuring 6cm by 8cm (just over 3-1/4 by just over 2-1/4 inches). Card stock is light-weight and will probably not withstand poker-style shuffling (I didn't even try). If you use a push-pull shuffle or when laying out cards, you'll need to go slowly to make sure cards don't cling to each other.

The cards are not laminated.  Jean warns: "While the ink on the cards will not come off due to a special coating on the paper, the cards will react with wet surfaces and they bubble up like puff paint."

The box is handcrafted and relatively sturdy, but you'll need to treat it gently. A golden organza bag and another free gift are packaged with the deck.


Jean views each card in this deck as a miniature work of art that can mean different things to different people but makes current sense when paired with the accompanying verse.

Each card is a collage of images or, in some cases, a single image. For example, Card 14 combines a field of flowers with a fox wearing a tie labeled "Deception," a yellow diamond warning sign labeled "Wrong!" and the word "LIES." On Card 35 we have an ocean in the background, with a desk, bookcase, and lamp sitting on the beach in the foreground. An anchor is hooked around one leg of the desk. Card 31 simply shows a blazing sun against an orange background. Card 6 depicts both dark and light clouds against a blue sky.

Some of the images contain more detail than others, but all of them encourage the eye and mind to explore. There are no borders, so the images fill the entire card face. A scroll positioned in the top third of each card contains verses that pertain to the meaning of the card.

Card backs feature a photograph of lemons.

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, September 17, 2012

Journey to the Wildwood!

In past blog entries I have written a REVIEW of The Wildwood Tarot (by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, with card illustrations by Will Worthington, published by Sterling Ethos) and an INTERVIEW with The Wildwood Tarot.

Today I want to spread the news about a really cool event coming up November 3-4 in Atlanta, Georgia:

Who better than John Matthews and Mark Ryan to lead us on a journey into the Wildwood? The workshop will include practical, hands-on work involving shared table-top readings, visualization and role playing to personalize your individual relationship with the system and the archetypes.
Even better, both John and Mark will be doing private 1 hr Tarot reading sessions on Friday Nov 2 before the weekend workshop.  These sessions will be scheduled prior on a first come first served basis.

For more information about this fabulous event, click HERE.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Devil Is in the Details - A Ramble by Helen

Many thanks to Guest Blogger Helen Howell for offering insight into The Devil from The Wonderland Tarot!

The Devil is in the details
A ramble in the Wonderland’s Devil Card - by Helen

Wonderland Tarot

"The Devil is in the details they say, and if we don’t pay attention to them, that’s when we might miss something that can change our lives. So I say let’s take a look at the detail of the Wonderland’s Devil card.

Unlike most Devil cards the image here gives us a different sense of the traditional meanings. We see the young hero, sword drawn about to face the Jabberwocky:

“He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.”

(from Lewis Caroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There)

What did the hero think? The monster looms over him like a dark shadow. Can he beat it? The background to this card is ink black, indicating to us a lack of light, or in a more psychological way, a lack of enlightenment. Well, what does he expect when he let a monster like that trample through his life who terrorises him into thinking there is nothing he can do? Hey hero, this is no time to rest by the Tumtum tree!

What’s that you say? It wasn’t his fault, it just took over? Yes, I can appreciate that, just look at its colour - a reddish-brown. This creature has elements of passion, will power and the courage to go after what it wants,(red element). Along with the ability to cause stagnation and lack of growth to all those it visits (brown). This is indeed a devil.

Come on hero you have your vorpal sword in hand, (what is that by the way?), use it! (Carroll said he could not explain this word, though it has been noted that it can be formed by taking letters alternately from "verbal" and "gospel -wikipedia on line)

Working on that explanation, it seems to say to me that the hero has his own mind and needs to draw on his higher self. But look at the image, the hero has yellow hair, a colour of positive mental activity, awareness and will power. See he’s a match for that old Jabberwocky! His tunic is blue, a colour often associated with reflection. Our hero is able to think about his situation and discover what he can do about it.

His leggings are grey and he stands upon grey stones in the ground. This is a colour made up of two opposites, white and black. Our hero has been able to balance out those opposing forces that lie within him, you know thoughts and emotions that pull you this way and that. He’s learnt to integrate them so that they don’t work against him any more. - Maybe that’s
what he was thinking about, while resting by the Tumtum tree.

"One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
Hooray! The hero has saved the day!"

This lovely illustration on the Wonderland Tarot, differs from the more traditional one of passive bondage, by showing us clearly that we can face up to those things that scare us, or trap us into thinking we have no other choice. It shows us that we can take control and free ourselves from being a victim of our circumstances. This image illustrates to us that we can tame those untamed aspects of our psyche by integrating our shadow side with our whole.

The wonderland says take charge and you can be the hero.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

Jabberwock verse from: Lewis Caroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice
Found There,1872)

Wonderland Tarot by Christopher & Morgana Abbey
Artwork by Morgana Abbey - Published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Reading with the Otherworld Tarot

As promised, I am taking the Otherworld Tarot for a trial run here on the blog. (To read my review of this deck, click HERE.)

I am using a spread I found in the Tarot Life Planner  by Lady Lorelei (published by Hamlyn). This spread is designed to answer the question: What are my strengths and weaknesses?

Any number of cards can be used with this spread as long as you use the same number of cards to represent Strengths as Weaknesses. The cards are placed vertically in two side-by-side columns, with Strengths on the left and Weaknesses on the right. For this reading, I am using three cards in each column. Here we go!


The Hanged Man / Trump 12 / Limbo, Sacrifice, Transformation

This is an interesting rendition of Trump 12 in that we have a large hand holding the tree from which the man is hanging. He appears to have a halo around his head, and he looks fairly relaxed, with his arms behind his back. I get the feeling that he is assuming this position as part of his usual yoga routine or something like that. I can assure that yoga is NOT one of my "Strengths." So we will need to explore other possibilities.

The companion guidebook for this deck lists the following key words: "Limbo, Sacrifice, Transformation." As a Strength, this could refer to the ability to suspend activity when necessary to consider, reconsider, or test an alternate view. I am willing to make sacrifices at times in order to change direction for the better.

Queen of Cups / Nurturing

With my Sun in Sagittarius, I typically don't identify much with this Queen. Even so, I would certainly like to think that her qualities of nurturing, kindness, and gentleness apply to me. The guidebook notes that this Queen "may also act as a guide to those seeking to deepen their understanding of all things spiritual." I think I can own that trait as well.

The Hierophant / Trump 5 / Spiritual Guidance, Morals, Harmony

Speaking of acting "as a guide to those seeking to deepen their understanding of all things spiritual," The Hierophant could reinforce that aspect of the Queen of Cups. However, the guidebook tells me that this card typically represents "Need for Spiritual Guidance" as well as "Morals" and "Harmony." I need to stop here and point out that The Hierophant is one of my least favorite Major Arcana cards. I tend to associate it with organized religion and tradition, something I have no use for at all. Seeing it here, as one of my Strengths, forces me to give some thought to what that might mean.

The guidebook states that the two keys on this card reflect "your self conscious activities" and "your subconscious emotions." The Hierophant sits between these two keys, which suggests that "a balance must be struck for you to progress spiritually." Perhaps my Strength is a willingness and/or ability to strike that balance and move forward in my spiritual life.

From an element standpoint, my Strengths relate to Water (The Hanged Man, Queen of Cups) and Earth (The Hierophant). I feel this correctly indicates an emphasis on intuition, subconscious activity (dreams, etc.), spirituality, and deep feelings along with determination, being grounded, and taking a practical approach.

Even though none of these cards are Fire cards, The Hierophant and Queen of Cups cards feature a large blazing orange sun. The halo around The Hanged Man's head echoes this fiery circle. I believe this could refer to the positive, fiery qualities of my Sagittarius Sun. (Many -- but not all -- of the Major Arcana cards in this deck incorporate a big fiery sun.)


Three of Pentacles / Reward

This card is traditionally about acknowledging and enjoying success thus far ("reward myself"), while remaining realistic about how much is left to achieve. I would have to say that my Weakness is focusing on the latter and ignoring the former. In other words, I am all too aware, all the time, of how far I would have to go to achieve what I consider "true success." Unfortunately, my definition of "true success" has changed shape over the years. It's like, "I'll know it when I have it." Right.

Before my first book was published, I thought I would be "truly successful" once I had a book published. I now have eleven published books -- but they have not received the attention I feel they would receive if they were "good enough." The reality is that they were published by small publishers who don't have the marketing clout of the Big Boys, and I personally am not Super Marketer. I'm an introvert who has to force herself to publicize her work. Therefore, as an author, I am unknown to most people.

The same is true for my Tarot and Astrology work. Everywhere I look, there are people in that field who are better known, more highly regarded, more prolific, etc. etc. etc. So the question really becomes: How much is enough for me to see myself as "truly successful"? The answer: I have no idea.

Seven of Cups / Choice

What strikes me about this card at first glance: the large pink hearts. They're pretty hard to miss. So perhaps this card is saying one of my Weaknesses is that I'm too "big hearted"? Maybe not. The Seven of Cups traditionally refers to the need to choose from among many desires, and subsequently the need to focus all one's heart, soul, and energy on making that desire a reality. I suppose in my case, the Weakness is that I simply won't do that. These days, I direct my energy in at least three or four main directions: family, tarot/astrology, writing, and jewelry making. I am not interested in giving any of these up. I love them all! (Hmmm... could this be why I will probably never be "famous" for any of them? Ya think?)

The large eyes in the background of this card remind me that "The eyes are the window of the soul."

The Fool / Leap of Faith, Seeking Answers

Ah, delicious. Here we have the possibility of at least two interpretations: (1) my Weakness is that I tend to be too cautious or reserved (Virgo rising, Taurus Moon), unwilling to take a Leap of Faith because I might get hurt or (2) my Weakness is that I tend to take a Leap of Faith when I really shouldn't (Sagittarius Sun) -- thus getting myself into a heap o' trouble that I then have to work my way out of. Either of these interpretations could easily apply to me. Too bad the Judgment card didn't show up under my Strengths. It would be nice to be able to see when an impulse to strike out on a new path should be resisted, and when it should be acted upon.

I almost always look before I leap. I really do. But there have been times when other factors overruled the warning bell clanging in my head. Then again, looking back, I would not change *what* I did, only *how* I did it. And yes, it is also about "Seeking Answers" through trial and error rather than mental musings alone.

Many of the cards in this deck have snakes on them, including The Fool.  Snakes can represent different things -- fertility, primeval life force, evil -- destructive and protective energy all rolled into one. On The Fool, the snake is coiled, ready to strike at a moment's notice. Again, it's important to know when and how to strike.

The Fool in this deck isn't the traditional "guy about to step off a cliff into thin air." Instead, it's a woman holding her finger very close to a candle flame. I am reminded of the expression "to get burned" meaning to suffer unpleasant results of an action.

From an element standpoint, my Weaknesses (like my Strengths) relate to Earth (3 of Pentacles) and Water (7 of Cups) -- but also to Air (The Fool). In the Golden Dawn system, The Fool is linked with the planet Uranus, which rules the Air sign Aquarius, an independent sign known for unorthodox ideas and approaches. There again, the question is whether it's a Weakness to impulsively act on unorthodox ideas or a Weakness to fail to act on them because of fear.

I have to say this deck worked really well for me in this reading! As I mentioned in my REVIEW,  many of the cards do not follow Rider-Waite-Smith traditions and symbolism. I don't find that to be a problem. I have most of the traditional meanings in my head, and I find it intriguing and beneficial to blend those with the actual images on these cards.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

REVIEW: Otherworld Tarot


Otherworld Tarot
by Alison Williams
Artwork by Sarah Nowell
Schiffer Publishing
78 illustrated art cards
96-page companion guide
ISBN-10: 0764333941
ISBN-13: 978-0764333941
Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.9 x 1.8 inches

TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)

This is a high-quality art deck that does an excellent job of showcasing Sarah Nowell's individual style. I like many of the paintings, and I'm always drawn to bright, bold colors like those used on these cards.

As a reading deck, drawbacks might include the key words at the bottom of each card, the wide borders, and the departure of many of the images from the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition. For the latter reason, this probably isn't a good deck for someone who is just learning how to read Tarot. On the other hand, a beginner who doesn't care about studying the RWS symbols and imagery might do just fine using the key words and interpreting the cards with intuition alone, like an oracle deck.

If you dislike borders, you might be able to trim these down, but I'm not sure how it would look. I can imagine some readers finding the color choices for the borders to be perplexing, although the color for Cups works if you call it "sea green" or "seafoam." And I do understand olive green for Wands, given that "growth" and "new life" are associated with that suit (note the green leaves sprouting from the Wands in many decks). 

I plan to do a reading with this deck in the very near future, and I will let you know how it works for me.


"Born from a love of fairy art with a colourful twist, these cards are beautifully illustrated with fairies, elves, magicians, and other fairy folk. This exciting color deck brings every Tarot reading to life. The companion guide details the meanings of each card and provides a quick-start for reading cards right away. Find out why the Death card isn't actually so bad, and why the Sun is the most positive card in the deck. Use this Tarot deck for guidance through hectic times and learn how to get what you want out of life along the way!"


Author Alison Williams, a native of England, has a career in both teaching and finance. Writing, sewing, embroidery, knitting, and reading are among her other interests. She has been an avid reader of Tarot cards for many years. Artist Sarah Nowell (aka MonkeyPea on DeviantART)  has been drawing fairies, unicorns, and dragons for as long as she can remember. She views Arthur Rackham as one of her greatest influences.

The 96-page companion guide for Otherworld Tarot includes the following sections:
  • Introduction to the Tarot
  • Reading the Tarot (Getting Started, Setting the Scene, Telling the Story, Dealing with Difficulties, Most Popular Card Spreads, 3 Card Spread, Celtic Cross Spread
  • The Major Arcana (with a separate introduction)
  • The Minor Arcana (with a separate introduction)
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • About the Author, About the Artist

Major Arcana cards bear traditional titles. Justice is Trump 8 and Strength is Trump 11. Suit names are Swords, Wands, Pentacles, and Cups. Court Cards are titled King, Queen, Knight, and Page. Each card has the card title at the top of the card and a key phrase at the bottom. For example, the Nine of Pentacles is subtitled "On the Right Track" and the Two of Cups is subtitled "Balance."

The companion guidebook contains a description of the energy of each card along with three key words or phrases for each Major Arcana card, and one key word or phrase for each Minor. Just one key word or phrase is printed at the bottom of each card, even if more are given in the guidebook. For example, for The Hanged Man, the guidebook lists the key words "Limbo, Sacrifice, Transformation", but only the word "Limbo" appears on the card itself. 


The cards measure 3-1/2 by 5 inches, a nice size for displaying the artwork but awkward for shuffling if you prefer to use a poker shuffle. Cards are printed on sturdy laminated stock, attractive but slippery to handle. Like other Schiffer decks, this one comes in a high-quality, sturdy box with a lid that holds the cards and the guidebook. The guidebook includes black-and-white illustrations of each card.


Sarah Nowell has chosen strong, vibrant colors for the card faces, with vivid images centered in wide (1/2 inch) borders that vary in color by Arcana and suit: gray for the Majors, steel blue for Swords, olive green for Wands, rust for Pentacles, and what I would call sea green or seafoam for Cups.

The card backs feature a wide purple border with an inset that consists of two flying unicorns and an S-shaped strand of pink flowers inside a lavender-framed, black rectangle.

In most cases the scenes on the cards are relatively simple, without a lot of detail. Many of the images on the Majors and Court Cards follow the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition, but the Pips typically depart from tradition, relying mostly on suit symbols and various objects and creatures to convey the message.

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.