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Learning Lenormand Reviews – The Fairy Tale Lenormand Deck

June 1st, 2019

The
Fairy Tale Lenormand

This
is one of the most adorable deck of cards I have ever seen in any
form – be it Lenormand, Tarot, Oracle, or just a deck of
playing cards!

Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. (www.usgamesinc.com), with artwork by the very talented Lisa Hunt and with a booklet written by Arwen Lynch, this set of Lenormand cards is sure to delight any level of practitioner. As someone who is still at a beginner’s level (I admit it), I think it would be great for someone who is learning the basics of Lenormand or who is just beyond the basics.

And
I love the little tin. I love little boxes of all kinds and I
collect them.

Winner of the 2016 Tarosophists Award for Best Lenormand Deck, the cards measure no more than 2 ¼ inches by 3 ½ inches (5.5 mm x 8.5 mm) and they are made out of standard card stock with a glossy finish on them which makes them easy to shuffle and handle. They are just a tad smaller than a standard poker deck. I can well imagine elves and fairies sitting around a toadstool table dealing out the cards to see what their fortune will be today!

I
grew up loving Fairy Tales. My beloved grandmother MacDavid, “Gramma
Mac” was a skilled storyteller and she lived not very far from the
home in which I lived with my parents and my brothers and sisters. I
– along with my brothers and sisters, and my cousins, who lived
next door to my grandmother – spent many happy days at her home,
which was where she grew up as well. A day was not complete without
at least one storytelling session and usually there was more than
one. I personally loved Fairy Tales but she would also tell stories
about our family history and about the neighborhood. She also
brought the Fairy Tales into our real life. For instance, there was
an old shack across the creek – my father, who had been an Eagle
Scout, said it was where the Boy Scouts met back in the 1940’s –
but Gramma Mac said it was where the Wicked Witch of the West lived!
At least in the warm months. In the winter, she lived in the cellar!
What my grandmother called “the dungeon”! – the drained
cistern that was beneath the house and was attached to the herb
cellar. When she went down into the cellar in the winter – to get
a jar of pickles or some other canned item – she would knock on the
walls to “let the witch know she was coming”. In the spring,
when the snows melted and the creek overflowed its banks, the cellar
would flood and, remembering how Dorothy melted the Wicked Witch with
a pail of water, we would ask about the witch. “Oh, she’s
alright,” my grandmother told us. “She’s already gone back to
the shack in the woods. It’s spring.”

The
Creek

Sometime
in the early 1970’s, the shack burned to the ground – some
teenagers torched it – I remember being there before it burned and
seeing evidence of partying. I was only twelve but I didn’t think
the witch drank Genny Cream Ale and smoked Pall Malls (but honestly,
what did I know?). Of course, by then I was getting a bit old for
believing in the Wicked Witch of the West. At least – in a literal
sense. In a few years, I would be discovering the Goddess and a
whole new way of looking at witches and fairies.

When
I first opened up this pack of cards and looked at the images, all
the lessons I learned from hearing fairy tales from my grandmother
and reading them on my own came back to me. Using fairy tales as a
metaphor for the concepts within the Lenormand (or the Tarot) is
nothing short of brilliant. In my humble opinion, anyway!

Lisa Hunt is the artist who created the Fairy Tale Tarot and five other divination decks. Her website is here: Lisa Hunt Gallery. There’s a lot to see, so plan to spend some time here! She’s a fabulous artist. I personally would love to get the Fairy Tale Tarot someday – I have always loved it. Not to mention that using Tarot cards and Lenormand cards in the same reading is quite the rage nowadays (see: https://www.cafelenormand.com/combine-tarot-lenormand/ and http://learnlenormand.com/combining-lenormand-with-tarot/) so having the Fairy Tale Tarot along with the Fairy Tale Lenormand would be a great way to access this trend! But right now, let’s just focus on the Fairy Tale Lenormand.

The little booklet – and it is small! – was written by Arwen Lynch. Her website is here: Tarot by Arwen. The Forward in the book is written by Donnaleigh de LaRose and I highly recommend that you read it carefully. I know that lots of you skip over forwards and introductions but don’t do it this time. There’s a ton of important information in these eleven pages. I have to admit that I didn’t know who Donnaleigh de LaRose was before I read this introduction but I checked out her webpage and I hope you all do, too. There’s a wealth of knowledge here.

This
booklet differs from other Lenormand booklets in that while it gives
the meanings of the cards, using the Fairy Tale story of the image to
fully illustrate the concept, there are no double meanings. Usually
Lenormand booklets will give you basic examples, such as Clover +
Letter or Dog + Man. However, this booklet is so tiny that those
kinds of examples might have been edited out for the sake of space,
which is understandable. And honestly – I can attest this for
myself – you don’t get that kind of linguistic understanding of
the cards by reading it in a book. The only way you get it is by
using the cards every single day. Practice makes perfect –
I must have heard that a hundred times as a kid – but ya know what?
It’s true. And if it doesn’t make you perfect – at least it
makes you competent.

At
the end of the book, there are several spreads, all based on the Fan
Spread. I used that spread for several days – with several
different questions. Here are the results.

First
question: Will I hear from C. soon? This was the other day,
although I am once again waiting to hear from C. Here are the cards
I pulled:

From
this, I saw that C was still at work (36, Cross, burdens) but he
would soon be texting me (27, Letter) with good news (9, Bouquet).
Which is exactly what happened. I hope it happens again!

Yesterday,
I went out to lunch with my cousin Rose. Rose was one of the cousins
who lived next door to my Gramma Mac; she called my Gramma “Auntie”.
Rose was born two months before I was – I have no memory of life
without Rose – she is my oldest and dearest friend. We went to the
Saigon Café and had lunch and caught up. Before I met with her, I
asked the cards (rather rhetorically, I admit), “What will we talk
about?” Here is the answer:

Both
Rose and I have dealt with a lot of death in our families these past
few years – in the last ten years, she has lost both her parents,
her older brother (whom I adored) and her husband. In the past year,
I have lost my father, my beloved aunt, my yellow lab, and a
troublesome but loved uncle. We talked about how these deaths
affected us and our loyalty to our dead loved ones but also the
brightness of the future, as we explore new relationships and new
experiences. It was such a wonderful lunch!

This
morning, I got a call from an ex-boyfriend. He’s off work today
and do I want to hang out with him today? Do some fishing?

Of
course, my first thought is NO. But I go to the cards, right? And
this is what I pull:

Okay,
setting aside that the cards are practically in order
believe me, I shuffled! And it’s not like they were in order to
begin with! – I am first struck at how the Lady and the Gentleman
are facing away from each other! Doesn’t that say it all!
But there’s the 30 Lilies card and there’s a definite sexual
attraction between the two of them – or is there? Is the Lady
looking somewhere else? And where is the Gentleman looking? The
focus is the 31 Sun card so maybe they get it together – as an old
Crone, I’d say that’s a very big maybe.

But
hell! I haven’t been fishing in a very long time! And it’s a
beautiful sunny day! Perfect fishing weather!

I
have to say that I absolutely love this deck of cards. It’s my new
favorite divinatory method – I’ve been using it every day. I
might actually learn the Lenormand with this fabulous deck! I can’t
recommend it enough! If you purchase it or get it as a present, I
hope you love it as much as I do!

Until
next time, Brightest Blessings!

References:

Lynch, Arwen & Lisa Hunt. Fairy Tale Lenormand. Stamford, CT: US Games, Inc., 2016.

Lisa Hunt Gallery

Tarot by Arwen

Donna Leigh

Cafe Lenomand: Combine Tarot – Lenormand

Learn Lenormand: Combinging Lenormand with Tarot

Photograph
of “the creek” from my own personal collection.

The Fairy Tale Lenormand on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Polly
MacDavid
 lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that
could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she
is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and
dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her
philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly
based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She
blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com.
She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a
novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Review of Arin Murphy-Hiscock’s The House Witch

 

 

I received a “review copy” of The House Witch: Your Complete Guide to Creating a Magical Space With Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home by Arin Murphy-Hiscock just before the Thanksgiving holiday. This handsome book is published by Adams Media, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, and is the twelfth book by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. On Simon and Schuster’s author website for Arin Murphy-Hiscock, you can find all the titles of her other published books. Some were known to me and some were not. Some, like Birds: A Spiritual Field Guide, I had borrowed from my local public library and had on my “to-buy” list. So naturally I was elated to get The House Witch. I immediately cracked it open and wrote my name and the date on the inside cover.

But the demands of the Thanksgiving Holiday – cooking the meal and getting together with family in town for just a few days – meant that I wasn’t able to sit down and give The House Witch a good read. And then I caught my son’s cold. Sick and miserable, I gave up. I took a box of tissues and curled up on the couch under a hand-crocheted afghan for several days in a state of semi-slumber.

When I did finally get back to The House Witch, I was delighted, as I knew I would be. One my very first impressions was, “Gee, I wish there had been books like this back when I was first getting into witchcraft and wicca!” In the 1970’s and 1980’s, there were only a few books out on the subject and most of them – like Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance – were geared toward the large group or the coven but very rarely the solitary practitioner. Not until Scott Cunningham published Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner in 1988 that you started to see more attention paid to the solitary witch. While The House Witch is not specifically written for the solitary witch, it addresses the many concerns of those of us who practice alone – whether we live alone or with other people.

I was born in May, under the sun sign of Taurus, my moon in Pisces, with Cancer rising. Issues of home and health and happiness have always been forefront in my spiritual practice, so it is natural that I would gravitate toward creating and maintaining a beautiful home, even if that home is a tiny apartment in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in a rust-belt city. Because of my wonderful grandmothers, I was always aware of the magic in everyday things but many people – especially those born after, say, 1980 – do not have the benefit of the wisdom of their elders. On page 17, Murphy-Hiscock lists four steps that anyone can learn to “recognize the magic” as she terms it, reminding us to keep things simple and always to focus on what we are doing in the house. These steps are: live in the moment, be aware of your intent, direct your energy properly and focus on an action. Anyone who has studied any kind of meditation, magical instruction or spiritual path will recognize these steps. So just what does all of this have to do with the home and the hearth? Murphy-Hoscock writes,

“Opening yourself to the simplest of tasks and allowing them to inspire you with some insight or wisdom, or even a

moment of peace, illustrates that the Divine can whisper to you in the oddest of unexpected places. Hearthcraft is

about communing with the Divine through everyday tasks, not through complicated formal ritual.” (page 19)

She talks about home as sacred space. One thing she mentions is the removal of shoes in cultures such as Japan and other parts of Southeast Asia; I don’t allow anyone to wear shoes into my apartment and I am always amazed – when I watch TV, for instance – and I see people, not only with their shoes on inside their homes but also on the furniture!

When I was growing up, I always lived in houses that had fireplaces and we usually had a fire most winter evenings, so the idea of a hearth and a hearth fire is not unknown to me – one of our houses actually had a giant hearth built into the wall surrounding the fireplace! But since I have left my parents’ house, I have never lived in a house with a fireplace, much to my great sadness. I consider my hearth to be my kitchen oven or perhaps a meditation candle. However, when I was sick a day ago, I had some split pea soup and freshly baked bread and lay down for a nap. I could feel the warmth of the soup and bread in my belly and it occurred to me that my hearth fire was inside of me.

With this in mind, the “Bank Your Inner Flame” ritual on page 45 makes perfect sense. I had a wonderful warmth inside of me and I needed to be able to hold onto that warmth. It wasn’t just the soup and bread – it was the sense of being safe and secure in my own home. I love the word “smooring” – I love anything Scottish and Gaelic – I added it to my list of cool words and then I copied the “smooring prayer” (page 46) into my personal prayer book.

This book is filled with jewels.

There is a chapter on “The Magic of the Cauldron” in which she talks about how to find and care for a cast-iron cauldron. “Hearth and Home Deities” is just what it sounds like – a chapter of gods and goddesses of the home and hearth. The next chapter is about the kitchen as a sacred space – something that not many people even think about seriously nowadays. If your idea of cooking is opening up a box of prepared food and popping it into the microwave – or even using something like Hamburger Helper – then I would give Chapters 6, 8 and 9 a very close reading. As I already stated, Chapter 6 is about the kitchen as a sacred space. Chapter 8 is “Magic at the Hearth” and Chapter 9 is “The Spirituality of Food”. Recipes included!!!!!

Other topics in this fabulous book are “Using Hearthcraft to Protect Your Home”, “Herbs, crafts, and other Hearth-Related Magic Work”, and a chapter of various spells, rituals and blessings. Quite naturally, there is an appendix and a bibliography that have quite a bit of information in them as well.

In the “Postscript”, Arin Murphy-Hiscock writes, “Several times as I was writing this book, my thoughts moved faster than my fingers, and as a result ‘hearth fire’ very often came out as ‘heart fire.’ I wonder, at times, if my subconscious was trying to tell me something.” (page 247). I do not wonder at all. This book most assuredly set my heart on fire. In this rich season of Yuletide joy, when all of us decorate our houses with festive lights and traditional ornaments that may only have meaning to our loved ones alone, The House Witch: Your Complete Guide to Creating a Magical Space With Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home by Arin Murphy-Hiscock is a book which brings together all the spiritual and happiness that home and hearth can represent. I highly recommend it for anyone on any spiritual path.

References

Murphy-Hiscock, Arin. The House Witch: Your Complete Guide to Creating a Magical Space with Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home. NY: Adams Media, 2018.

The House Witch: Your Complete Guide to Creating a Magical Space with Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Bright Blessings Film Lovers!

This
month, I am reviewing Fullmetal Alchemist, a Japanese live action
film based on the Manga books, of the same title, written by Hiromu
Arakawa.

Here
is the trailer for this film.

The
film is all about magic, and science, breaking the rules, and the
consequences of doing so.

The
film follows the lives of brothers Ed and Al, beginning when they
were small, and learning Alchemy on their own. Their mother dies
unexpectedly, and they try to bring their mom back to life using the
little skills they have learned. This was forbidden, and both boys
knew this. It could not end well, but these were kids, and they
wanted their mother back, so they disregarded the rules, and did the
operation to bring, or “transmute” a human anyways.

The
operation fails, it costs them both dearly, and they both spend years
tying to get back what they lost due to the consequences. Al is
taken away to a place called The Gate of Truth. Ed finds a way to go
there to try and get him back, and is only able to bring back Al’s
soul, and loses body parts in the process. He is told not to come
back for Al until he has the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. Ed
figures out how to use Alchemy to put Ed’s soul into a metal robot,
and vows to find the Philosopher’s Stone and get both Ed and his
own body parts back. A metal arm and leg are fashioned for Al, and he
later becomes known as The Fullmetal Alchemist.

Fast
forward years later, Al and Ed are professional Alchemists, working
with the government, and Ed gets a lead about where to find The
Philosopher’s Stone, but unfortunately, people keep telling him it
doesn’t exist. Undeterred, and determined, he continues his search,
which leads him to meet the people with the knowledge.

He
discovers, however, he and his brother were not the ONLY ones
transmuting both human bodies, and human souls, and the horrors Al
and Ed discover almost destroys them, and all the people they hold
dear. They discover The Philosopher’s Stone is not what they
expected, and using it would be more than breaking rules. It would
mean something terrible.

The
film ends with the brothers making an unexpected decision, and a
sequel is due out sometime in the future.

As
practitioners of magic, we can identify with some of the points made
in the film.

There
is a time to break the rules, and a time to keep them. Magic is a
practice of harmonizing with Nature. If doing something goes against
the Natural Order of things, or is otherwise unethical, it should not
be done.

It
is unwise to do magic when you are grieving. Strong emotions
interfere with the ability to reason, and acting on your emotions
might cause you to do something you later regret.

Things
are not always as they seem. Brothers Al and Ed discover this over
and over in the film. From who they can trust, to what an item truly
is, things seem to constantly change, and the brothers have to keep
their wits about them, and pay close attention constantly. Belief
does not equal or create Reality. It creates perception, and
perception can be false. Magicians and Witches are experts at
enchantment, and illusion. Be aware.

Sometimes,
we have to listen to what people say when they are trying to warn us.
At one point, a character tells Al, “Play with the Devil, and
you’ll end up in Hell!”, and Al replies, “I’ve already been
to Hell.” He did not realize he was being told to avoid the very
thing he was driven to acquire. Had he listened, things would have
been better.

All
in all, this was a good film. I always love to see Manga brought to
live action. They managed to maintain the flavor of Manga with the
dramatic costumes, character acting, and special effects. The action
scenes did not fail to please, and the sets were gorgeous.

It’s
a good work of fiction to read or watch, and I recommend the film.

Happy
Viewing!

***

About
the Author:

Saoirse is
a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11,
but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was
called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not
explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing
Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age
studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse,
pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I
serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor
as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and
Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I
received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my
Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently
focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and
Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein
University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s
Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be
reached through my Facebook page Tarot
with Saoirse
. You
can, also, join me on my Youtube
Channel
.

Tarot Deck & Journal Review

The
Fountain Tarot Deck

The
Fountain Tarot is created by Jonathan Saiz, visual artist, written by
Jason Gruhl, writer, and designed by Andi Todaro, graphic designer.
The deck was originally self-published in 2013 via a Kickstarter
project and is currently published by Roost Books, an imprint of
Shambhala Publications, Inc., 4720 Walnut Street, Boulder CO 80301.

The
deck itself consists of 79 cards, the typical 56 Minor Arcana cards
and 22 Major Arcana cards, along with a bonus 23rd Major.
The 23rd Major Arcana card is named “The Fountain,”
the signature card of the deck, and assigned the values of infinity,
oneness, and being fully awake. The deck is printed on sturdy
cardstock (similar to the Wild Unknown Tarot), with a matte finish,
almost powdery to the touch. The stock is sturdy enough to make a
“bridge” or “riffle” shuffle a bit challenging, but the cards
are otherwise easy to handle and nicely-substantial to the hand. The
cards are 2¾ by 4¾ inches with a narrow white border around the
images and a startlingly reflective silver guild on the edges of the
cards. The titles of the Minors are at the bottom of the card image
and at the top for the Majors, both in an easy-to-read font.

The
deck comes in a very sturdy and practical hard cardboard glossy box
designed by Andi Todaro that has a magnetic closure and a ribbon that
allows the deck to be lifted from the box, rather than dumped out.
There is plenty of room in the high-quality box to securely store the
deck and the companion book that comes with it.

The
softcover companion book has 112 pages. After a brief note from the
creators of the deck, there is a suggested daily practice, a
description of The Fountain card, the Major and Minor Arcana, the
suits of the Minors, a few suggested spreads, and a sample reading
and interpretation. The rest of the book is devoted to the
individual cards themselves, with a page for each card containing the
name and number of the card, a keyword, a brief description of the
card image and the symbolism and artistic choices made in the
creation of the image, and an upright and reversed meaning.

The
images are modern and somewhat minimalist, with a subdued palette and
geometric lines and angles. The art has an abstract or contemporary
feel similar to the slight distortions of expressionism and combined
with the non-traditional images, could be challenging to those who
are more confident working with the traditional images of the Tarot.
However, the artwork is not simple or shallow by any means. Each
card image originated as an original full-size oil painting by artist
Jonathan Saiz, giving each card image depth, power and intensity.
The back of the cards, designed by Andi Todaro, have a beautiful
geometric kaleidoscope design containing the palette of the deck and
easily reversed (for those who read reversals).

If
you are an intuitive reader, this deck might interest you. Normally
I would not recommend a deck with non-traditional card images for
beginners. Yes, the images do deviate somewhat from the traditional
R/W deck in part because of their fluid abstract interpretations of
the more traditional Tarot symbolism, however these ethereal and
dream-like images are strongly grounded within the known and
established traditional meanings found in the companion book, so the
images make sense even to someone who has just begun to work with the
Tarot. The setup of the companion book is well-balanced, with equal
consideration given to the Minor Arcana as to the Major Arcana
(unlike many companion books, which often offer more information and
suggested interpretations for the Majors).

The Fountain Tarot Journal

Also available as a companion to
The Fountain Tarot is The Fountain Tarot Journal: A Year In 52
Readings, also published by Roost Books. The Journal has a matte
finish color soft cover and 160 pages; it begins with a Note From the
Creators followed with some useful information including How to Use
This Book, Tarot Basics, Sample Spreads, among others. The rest of
the 130 pages are for journaling, beginning with instructions for
choosing a Card of the Year, space for a 3-card, 5-card and 10-card
reading, and then space for the 52 readings (with 2 pages for each
reading), including Quarterly Cards and summaries, and ending with a
Year-End Summary and Reflection. Each reading section has space for
the date and time, the question asked, traits and meanings, initial
reaction, connections/relationships between the cards, patterns and
themes, a summary of what the cards represent, personal reflections,
action to be taken, and people to enlist. Although presented as a
companion to The Fountain Tarot, this Journal could be used with any
Tarot deck, and it offers a useful tool and process for nurturing a
deep connection to the cards of Tarot.

The Fountain Tarot: Illustrated Deck and Guidebook on Amazon

The Fountain Tarot Journal: A Year in 52 Readings on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

This
is a book and oracle deck that go together. The book is titled
“Animal Totems and the Gemstone Kingdom” and the cards are
titled “The Animal Allies and Gemstone Oracle Cards”. Both
by Margaret Ann Lembo. The book is 222 pages and the deck has 44
cards with images and written information on both sides of cards.
Artwork by Richard Crookes, crystal photos by Andy Frame Photography
and Ines Blersch Fotografie. Published by Findhorn Press, 2018. The
book retails for $19.99 U.S. and the cards retail for
$15.99 U.S. They are available at both Amazon and Barnes and
Noble.

The oracle deck has 44 animals on one side of the card, and 44 crystals on the other side. Each side has a small image of the respective animal or crystal, and a paragraph with prompts, guidance and food for thought. You could simply pick a card and receive both an animal spirit message and a crystal message. If you just got the deck this would function nicely on its own. I like the variety of animals and crystals, there are some different ones you don’t see often included.

This is a book and oracle card deck that are meant to work together, but honestly both are also great on their own. Both have a ton of information and different content.

The
book is a tool in and of itself as you could just randomly flip to
any page you feel called to to do your reading like that. 

Or
you can use the book to gain further insight on each card. There are
two full pages on each corresponding oracle card in the book. After
you read the card, go to the matching card in the book (they are in
alphabetical order by the animal). It has many correspondences and
interesting information to make your experience richer. Another thing
that’s included in this book are multiple great appendixes at the
back as well as a fabulous glossary. You can use the appendix to look
up other crystals that correspond to a given animal, or to look up
animals that correspond to archangels and angels. It even has an
appendix for wheel of life locations for animal totems. How cool is
that? Whether you want this book as a resource or as a tool to
receive messages, either is covered with this book. I’m very
impressed by the amount of content here.

In
conclusion I have really thoroughly enjoyed both this book & the
oracle cards. I have used them for myself and for friends and family
and everyone loved them. Crystals and animals are two of my very
favorite things and this combines them both in a cohesive and unique
way that I haven’t seen before. I recommend them both completely. I
will use these forever and thank you so much to Findhorn Press for
allowing me to review them. 

Crystal blessings

Animal Totems and the Gemstone Kingdom: Spiritual Connections of Crystal Vibrations and Animal Medicine on Amazon

The Animal Allies and Gemstone Guardians Cards on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Retha N. Lent
has been married for 17 years to her husband Mark & they have
four cats that are their life. She lives in Norristown, Pa. Retha has
her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Behavioral Counseling Sciences
from Drexel University. She is the owner of “Retha’s
Crystals
” & sells sterling silver unique crystal jewelry &
specimens on her FB business page. She has a FB group for her
customers and those interested in learning more about crystals &
all things magical called “Retha’s
Crystal Circle
“. She is also an advisor in the Sage
Goddess
Affiliate
Program.
She has her Holistic Healing Certificate and Pillars of Priestessing
certificates from Sage Goddess. She is also an Ordained Pagan
Minister from the Universal Life Church. Retha has a passion for
crystals, nature, astrology, working with moon cycles, ritual
practices, tarot and oracle cards, runes, essential oils, herbs,
manifestation work, ancient cultures, magic & music. Her favorite
place is New Orleans, La. Retha has an extensive personal crystal
collection and loves sharing her love of crystals with the world. She
has been a practicing pagan since she was 16 years old. 

You can reach her at
[email protected]
or on her business
page on FB
:
https://www.facebook.com/Rethas-Crystals-197411227666484/

Or in her
FB group
:

Her Sage
Goddess
affiliate link is:

www.sagegoddess.com/ref/84/

Or follow her on Instagram
at @spookygirl16

A Book Review

Sigil Witchery

(An
interview with Tempest follows this review.)

It
was very serendipitous that as this book was coming up for review, I
had just registered to take a workshop with Tempest based on this
very book.

The
word “sigil” means “seal” or an action/word of a
spiritual nature. I would hazard a guess that most of us have seen
sigils that mean specific things, written and drawn by others.

Tempest
brings sigils to us in a more personal way, with the sigils drawn by
us, to have meaning to us, specifically. She simplifies it for us,
while never detracting from their power.

Before
doing this, she gives us a brief history of what she calls “making
marks”, discussing the paintings, symbolism and markings of
previous civilizations, which are still so important to us today.
Tempest does on to explain the differences between sigils and signs,
seals, designs, etc.

There
are sections on the basic shapes used in sigils and their meanings,
adding directions, letters and numbers, how to use the elements in
our sigils and how they work.

There
is space for us to create our own symbols for specific words that Ms.
Zakroff has listed for us, thus building our own library to make our
own custom sigils. She gives guidance on designing our own, what
tools we can use, why we should craft our own sigils. She offers us
suggestion sigils and a gallery of her own custom sigils.

We
don’t have to be “high magicians” to utilize the power of
sigils and the how-to’s are all right here, in an informative,
friendly, easy-to-read-and-relate-to manner.

As
one who has never given much thought to sigils, on their own, this
book has tempted me to not only think about it, but do it.

Interview
With Laura Tempest Zakroff

Susan
Morgaine (SM):
Hi Tempest – it was so nice to see you while you were on tour.

So,
belly dancer/performer, event producer, artist, witch, author and
teacher. That is quite impressive. I knew you primarily as a dancer
and performer when we met many years ago, and it wasn’t until I saw
the logo for Waking Persephone that I realized you were an artist, as
well

SM:
How did you start and what did you start with, realizing it was most
probably a circuitous journey? Please only respond with what you
are comfortable with sharing.

Tempest:
I definitely started with art, going back as early as age 3. By
first grade I was taking formal art classes on a regular basis – all
the way through high school. Then for college, I graduated from the
Rhode Island School of Design. I discovered modern Witchcraft and
Paganism in my teens, and got into dance in my college years. When I
moved to California in 2001, dance and Pagan stuff pretty much took
over my life. I didn’t have much room or resources to make the kind
of art I had been doing in school, so art took a bit of a backseat.
It manifested through my costume designs and creations, graphic
design, and some small drawings and paintings. When I moved back to
the East Coast in 2007, I started working as a fashion jewelry
designer. I did that until mid-2012, when it was time for drastic
life shift. In that process I moved to Seattle and began working for
myself full-time in all the things I do (dance, design, art).
Sometimes I feel frustrated that I didn’t just keep going with the
fine art out of school, but I realize I wouldn’t be where I am now,
on this path – if I had.

SM:
What was the impetus behind the idea of Waking Persephone. I know
there were several years here on the East Coast; are you continuing
it on the West Coast?

Tempest:
I co-produced Gothla US from 2008-2010 – which took place in
California. It was supposed to switch coasts, but that didn’t
happen. Which was frustrating because most of my east coast,
home-base students couldn’t afford to attend it. So much work and
the people I worked the closest with couldn’t participate. I also
had a vision for something that encompassed more, without stylistic
labels – to bring in more ritual/sacred dance, more artistry, more
diversity. That became a reality first in Tapestry Dance Retreat
(2011) and then Waking Persephone the following Spring. We did 2
years in Providence, and 3 more years in Seattle. At this time, I’m
not producing any events, because I needed to focus on my art and
writing, but when the time comes, something will probably emerge
again. Producing events takes up so much time and energy. I
transformed that time and focus into something else. Since the last
WP in 2016, I’ve written 4 books, published an anthology, and pushed
my art deeper.

SM:
When did you realize your were a Witch? It’s so interesting to hear
about other’s spiritual journeys.

Tempest:
I was at odds with the Catholic Church since my youngest days. I
got sent to the principal’s office at age 6 because during a field
trip to the church, I insisted on sitting where the priests and altar
boys did (like my brothers!), and couldn’t understand while girls
weren’t allowed. So much doctrine that made no sense – I felt that
God was more present in nature and everywhere around us. I
discovered that there were other options to the Abrahamic religions
in my mid-teens – that Witchcraft and Paganism was a thing. The
realization that there were names for what I believed and felt, and
that other people saw the world similarly was a huge revelation.

SM:
What made you decide to start to write, and then to follow that with
teaching?

Tempest:
I’ve been writing for a long time – in high school I was the editor
of the literary magazine. At RISD in 1997, I got involved with
Crescent Magazine – where I became an associate editor and had
regular columns. I started up a website on Modern Traditional
Witchcraft around then as well. Around 2000, I started offering
Witchcraft classes – and kept that up until around 2005 or so. Then
I burned out on being a public Witch, and retreated to a solitary
path for almost a decade. After getting my life reset in 2012, I
ventured out of my cave a bit with renewed focus and purpose. I
started up a blog (which moved to Patheos in early 2016 I think),
began teaching again and toyed with the idea of finally writing a
book. In the Fall of 2015, I was offered the contract to write “The
Witch’s Cauldron” for Llewellyn. It was a wonderful way to just
dive right in, and was really well received. So from there, I wrote
“Sigil Witchery” – after folks taking my workshops asked
why I hadn’t written a book yet on it. And well, it’s just kept
going from then.

SM:
I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to take your Sigil
Witchery workshop (which is reviewed somewhere else this month in
Pagan Pages). What did you learn from your travels and sitting
with/teaching so many Witches and Pagans around the country? I found
it fascinating to see, on Instagram, the sigils you created with
each workshop.

Tempest:
No matter where folks are located or what path/label they use –
Witches/Paganfolks have so much more in common than not. The
community (or whatever we wish to call it) is incredibly diverse, but
we share many beliefs and loves, as well as fears and concerns.
There is so much potential in recognizing our collective power and
connections.

SM:
So what is next on the agenda for you, Tempest? Any sneak peeks?

Tempest:
A. I’m finally working on an oracle deck! The tentative title is
“The Liminal Spirits Oracle” and it will be out via
Llewellyn I believe some point next year :)

You
can reach/follow Tempest at the following:

Owlkeyme arts – Design & Fine art by Laura Tempest Zakroff | Seattle, WA

www.owlkeyme.com

Mago
Djinn – Modern Folk Wear

www.magodjinn.com

Author Site – www.lauratempestzakroff.com

Sigil Witchery: A Witch’s Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is [email protected]

My Name is Isis (Volume 4) on Amazon

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