Review – Celestial Goddesses

Celestial Goddesses –
An Illustrated Meditation Guide

Author: Lisa Hunt
Artist: Lisa Hunt
Llewellyn Worldwide
2001
ISBN #0-7387-0118-1

Celestial Goddesses cover
What an incredible book, and what incredible timing! I was blessed in being able to take part in an offer that Lisa put up for a combination of this book and a personalized Goddess drawing. I have a lovely drawing (my second from Lisa!), and an incredibly useful guide to Goddess meditation.

Things often come to us in strange ways. The timing was so right for this, as an online acquaintance is doing a series of webinar interviews on goddess/priestess work, as well as bringing up a companion site. I have several Goddess Tarot and Oracle decks, and am moving into a personal space where they are becoming more and more important.

“Celestial Goddesses” is a 122 page, full color book dedicated to meditating on the celestial Goddesses. Included are Amaterasu, Arianrhod, Artemis, Chang-O, Coyolxauhqui, Hina, Inanna, Isis, Luonnotar, Mama Quilla, Mawu, Nut, Pana, Saule, Selene, Tara, Unelanuhi, Ushas, White Shell Woman, and Wuriupranili. Goddesses from diverse cultures that offer a variety of perspectives on life.

In her bio, Lisa notes that this book is a culmination of many years of meticulous research, and that it reflects her personal interest in goddesses. The painting for this book were executed using transparent watercolors on 100% rag hot press watercolor paper.

In her preface, Lisa talks about growing up “with her head in the clouds”, and that as she began to recognize the goddess in her manifold forms and guises, that she began to celebrate her own femininity through the creative processes of writing and painting. Over time she gravitated to the goddesses associated with the heavens. Through this she connected with her own inner being, and began to see that the divine energies circulating in the cosmos reflected the divine feminine in all of us.

In her introduction, Lisa notes that the power of the divine feminine is part of our past, our present, and our future. She also notes that the transformative powers of the goddess are part of our daily experience of life. The more we allow ourselves to experience the goddess energy, the more heightened our senses will become. For Lisa, many of the elements and symbols in these paintings represent the merging of our conscious and unconscious selves.

I am impressed with the diversity of Goddesses. Lisa notes that when we consider information from complementary disciplines, we spiritually, as well as intellectually. She also notes that we need the Goddess to be part of our conscious being as we move forward in life.

In the section on how to use this book, Lisa notes that meditation helps us deal with the minutia of daily life. It helps us to access the pure, fluid part of our mind. This lovely space is our personal gateway to all things. In meditating, we nurture a relationship with Goddess that helps us to understand our own importance in the grand scheme of things.

Lisa talks about how to meditate, using techniques such as breathing, visualization, taking a walk (movement), doing something creative, focusing on an object, and being part of a group meditation. She advises that we let the Goddess work for us by becoming familiar with her stories, and by studying the images in this book.

Each Goddess is presented with a full page story, a full page guided meditation, a short commentary on the Goddess, and a full page color image.

Amaterasu_big

Amaterasu is one of my favorite Goddesses. She is a Japanese Goddess whose name means “Shining Heaven”. She is the Japanese Shinto Goddess responsible for cultivating the rice fields, creating irrigation canals, and teaching mortals the arts of weaving, farming silk, and cultivating food.

In her meditation, the student goes from darkness to light. The commentary reads: “By recognizing the power of your own inner beauty, you will exude an external beauty and energy that will enable you to live more happily and confidently.”

The Goddess is shown wearing a red and gold kimono, with her hair in a traditional style. She stands amongst rocks and barren trees, looking into a mirror that hangs from the tree in front of her.

At the end of the book is a selected bibliography for future study.

“Celestial Goddesses” is a well researched book that is easy to understand, and easy to work with. It is a must have for anyone wishing to do Goddess work. The images? They are full color and gorgeous!

 © 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Review – This House Is A Home

This House Is A Home -

A story of coal mining, family and the

Sengers of Stiritz

Author: Philip Nork

Independently Published

2014

ISBN #978-150015482-0

Product Details

That is the question for all time … “What makes a house a home?” Peter finds out when he is assigned a report for school about his ancestors. He takes quite an interesting journey with his Uncle, his Grandmother and Grandfather, his mother, and his sister to southern Illinois, where he meets his Grandfather’s siblings, and their families.

Let’s take a step back … his Grandfather, Vern, left his hometown a lifetime ago, and has not been in touch with his siblings. At the point this journey takes place, he is an old man who sits in his chair all day long, drinking and complaining. However, when faced with the prospect of seeing his siblings again, he goes out and gets a new suit, a new hat, and even begins to smile again!

Young Peter meets his Great-Aunt Maddy, who is the family historian. Through her he begins to get a very different perception of where he came from, and what influenced his Grandfather’s growing up years. His ancestors were coal miners, and faced a very harsh life. They were (and still are!) very hardworking, family oriented people. They may live poor, but they take care of themselves and those around them, and are surrounded by love and genuine caring.

This is an entrancing tale of family, and of lifestyle. We see how Peter’s ancestor’s lived, what was important to them, what their work conditions were, and so much more. I had to smile at the description of an out-house, as in my lifetime one of my ancestors had a very nice house, with running water indoors, but an out-house in place of a bathroom. We are not that far removed from this time.

Through the inclusion of one small event – a Fourth of July party given yearly by Maddy for the entire family – we all allowed a view of history and family dynamics that really is very hard to recreate. My hat is off to Mr. Nork for creating a spellbinding story!

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the permission of the author. 

Review – PsychicElements.com

psychicelements.com

Psychic Elements

PsychicElements.com is a site where visitors can obtain a psychic reading.  The site has a clean look to it, with a white background, and good white space between items on the page, and clear images. Across the top of the landing page are links for Our Psychics, How It Works, Horoscope, and About Psychic Readings. Directly under that is a link for getting a reading. The main section of the page is a listing of readers (with photos), their availability status, a short bio, the subjects that each reader focuses on, the tools that they use (Tarot, Astrology, Numerology), their Abilities (empath, clairsentient …), the price per minute that they charge, and their extension number. Across the bottom of the pages are links for Customer Testimonials, How It Works, and Satisfaction Guaranteed.  Under that are links for About Us, Psychic Reading, Our Policies, signing up for a daily horoscope, and applying to work as a reader for the site.

Under the section for Our Psychics, a site visitor can Search All Psychics, find Love & Relationship Psychics,  Psychics For Life Questions, Tarot Readers, Friendly & Family Psychics, and Psychic Mediums.

Under How It Works, the site visitor will find a clear explanation of how the site works, and the two ways to get a reading (request your callback on he web, call our customer care). The exact steps for each option are listed.

Under Horoscope, the first step is to choose the type of horoscope (daily, weekly, monthly, daily lovescope, weekly lovescope, or monthly lovescope). The second step is to choose your sign. Those two steps will bring up the horoscope that you are looking for. The process is clear cut, and teh horoscopes interesting!

Under About Psychic Readings,  there is a listing of the different types of psychics, as well as the different types of psychic readings. Available psychics are listed on the right hand side of the page.

This is a very straightforward site, that is easy to maneuver through.

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Review – LunarCafe.com

LunarCafe.com

Lunar Cafe

I do not generally review Internet sites, but LunarCafe.com was brought to my attention, and I felt that it presented its subject matter very well. The first thing that impressed me was the very clean look – white background, decent spacing, and good use of images. The header across the top of the landing page takes the reader to sections on Horoscopes, Astrology, Tarot, Numerology, Fun Games, and Learning. Also included on the landing page are links to Featured Contributor (I really felt that this was a nice touch, to allow site visitors to meet the person behind the words). Astrology (Moon Sign and Chinese Roster Sign – with built in software that allows the site visitor to edit in their birth date, so they can see what applies to them), and “Learn the Latest”, with a link at the bottom of the page that allows the site visitor to browse all of the articles.

 The right hand side of the site contains a form to fill out for site visitors to be added to the horoscope and mailing list, and a tasteful ad for a free psychic reading with Psychic Elements.

The Horoscope section includes daily, weekly, and monthly general horoscopes; daily, weekly, and monthly love horoscopes; and daily, weekly, and monthly career horoscopes; and a yearly horoscope. I found both the types of horoscopes offered, and the defined time periods to be quite attractive.

The Astrology section includes Zodiac Sign, Moon Sign, Chinese Zodiac Sign, and links to astrology related articles.

The section on Tarot includes a brief introduction to Tarot, with links to specific Tarot topics; Tarot card meanings, and links to Tarot related articles.

The section on Numerology includes Your Name & Numerology, and Your Life Path Number. There is software provided so that site visitors can input their personal information, and find out what their numbers are.

Under the “Fun Games” section we see “Are you a psychic?”, which is a game of prediction using the Zener cards, and  a free (automated) three card Tarot reading, using the Tarot of Marseille. I enjoyed playing in both of these sections, and loved the music that played while doing the Tarot reading!

Under the “Learn” section the site visitor will find Articles that can be accessed by category (Astrology, Horoscope,Tarot).  The Astrology category holds the most articles, with the Horoscope and Tarot sections still in the beginning stages.

I really liked this site … it was clear, concise, and easy to navigate. I could look for a specific piece of information, or I could go to the game section and amuse myself for as long as I wanted to. Well worth checking out!

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

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Review – Starwarrior: A Spiritual Thriller

Starwarrior –
A Spiritual Thriller

 

Author: Tim Ray
Edited By: Barbara Berger
Findhorn Press
2002, 2004
ISBN #1-978-18440-9036-5

StarWarrior cover

“Starwarrior” is the second book in the “Starbrow” series from Danish-American author Tim Ray. It is exactly what it says that it is … a spiritual thriller. In this series, Ray is seeking to connect the reader with his personal understanding of ancient spiritual wisdom and principles.  I would like to note here that the foundation of this series is on spirituality in general, and that it does not reflect a specific religion or belief.

I appreciate Dan Brown’s work, and find that Ray’s work shows the same care and research. The overall story is about an ancient prophecy concerning the movement of earth, and earth’s inhabitants, into the fifth dimension. We left off in book one (Starbrow), with the feeling that the three compatriots were going to have some down time. Not going to happen!

There is a CIA agent on a global manhunt, with the mission of stopping whatever is supposed to happen with the earth’s power spots. How did he know about this? A message was sent from the higher dimension through … a television channel! There are golden pyramids floating above all of the major cities of the world … until the power grid that has been activated is literally blown up!

The world is in chaos, the golden pyramids can no longer be seen, and there is a very short time in which Starbrow and his compatriots must raise the consciousness of the world. The three compatriots are coming into their own power, and their own understanding of the ancient prophecy.

Two of them appear to have been killed in the demolition of Glastonbury Tor, and Starbrow is taken into custody by the CIA agent and his men. Each of these individuals is struggling to become a Spiritual Warrior, and to apply the spiritual teachings of the Masters under their current circumstances.

This is an exciting, intense book on many levels. It is a delightful mystery, with in-depth characters and story-line. It presents spiritual concepts in a manner in which the reader can understand them, and apply them to their own life. It makes use of existing theories/concepts/physical places to create a plausible scenario for the reader. It is fast paced, and both serious and funny (or perhaps seriously funny!).

My wish is that the series will continue. I had a tremendously good time reading this book, and would like to see more of the same!

© 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 

 

 

Review – RAW: One Woman’s Journey Through Love, Loss, and Cancer

RAW
One Woman’s Journey Through
Love, Loss, and Cancer

 

Author: Fiona Finn
Mind Trip Productions
2014
ISBN #978-1-49212-993-6

RAW cover

 

RAW is literally one woman’s journey through life … two failed marriages, three children, two divorces, bankruptcy, and being diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. She was abused during both marriages, and abandoned during her cancer treatment. She lost all sense of who she was in trying to please others. She literally became the “Barbie doll” that she had played with in her childhood.

Finn presents herself as a desperate housewife … however, if we are to accept that view, we have to update the stereotype. She does not live in an Ozzie and Harriet world … she is a college graduate, and ran a real estate business with her second husband. Appearances were/are important to her … including her children having the best of everything as soon as it hit the market.

Finn goes through a lot in life … and owns up to her part in the story, including the fact that she made her own decisions, not all of which were good ones. In telling her story, she hopes to inspire other women to find their own truth, and rebuild their lives.

This book is recommended for mature readers only, due to explicit content (sometimes quite explicit!), and adult language. While the book wanders a bit, it does show just how bad relationships of all kinds can get, and that there has to be a time when we know that we have to leave to save our own sanity … that the relationship is beyond repair.

While I found the material in this book to be valuable, I do not recommend it to those who are very sensitive to language or explicit content.

© 2000-2014 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review – Poison Pen Letters To Myself

Poison Pen Letters To Myself

Author: Romany Rivers
Moon Books
2014
ISBN: 978 1 78279 520 9

Poison Pen Letters To Myself cover
In a nutshell … this is a lovely collection of poetry written in no uncertain terms. It is all about life … what life does to us, and what we do to life. It is a collection developed over a twenty year time period, written on any material available, to get the author’s thoughts down. They reflect the times of the author, and that is all they need to do.

Each poem is a life event held in time … like the Red Letter (I am sure that many of us have dealt at least once with these crazy red letters!). On the Outside Looking In … we have all lived that one. On “remote suicide” (a slow death due to the actions of another). What does life really mean?

“Return To Sender” begins by talking about occupying the same space as a previous self. How prescient is this! “Moral Masquerade” speaks of government, killing, and our lack of voice in the process. “On Reflection” asks for a clear mirror so that she can see who she truly is.

“Addressee Unknown” … all about moving on, and burning bridges. “Dedication” talks about walking the Goddess path, while “Universal Self” talks about that which is left to be achieved. “Sleep Deep” speaks of the loss of a child, before that child can even make a mark on life (although it makes its mark on those who love it).

These poems are somewhat of an autobiographical journey through the author’s life, describing the good times and the bad, including issues with depression. Read from beginning to end, they show the growth of a very talented individual.

The author speaks of the truth of her life … a truth that as readers we will often see mirrored in our own lives.

 © 2000-2014 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

 

Review – Oracle of Visions

Oracle of Visions

Author: Ciro Marchetti

Artist: Ciro Marchetti

U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

2014

ISBN #978-1-57281-756-2 Oracle of Visions cover

“If art serves any purpose other than Simple decoration, it’s to bring into Focus, if only for an instance,

that which Might otherwise pass unnoticed.”

from the book

Ciro Marchetti (Gilded Tarot, Tarot of Dreams, Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Gilded Reverie Lenormand) is an artist and a thinker, and someone that I have long admired. He doesn’t just toss decks out there … they are well thought out, and presented in very unique fashions. With “Oracle of Visions” he moves away from the restrictions of the world of Tarot to create an oracle deck that would work in a more flexible manner as a tool of divination and a tool for meditation. Marchetti’s intention was to create a set of images that spoke for themselves … i.e. they would need no supporting text. He has accomplished this … in a very spectacular fashion! The end result is a deck of 52 full color cards, with a 140 page companion book, contained in a sturdy, lift top box. The cover of the box shows the image of card number 26 – Past & Future. The cover for the companion book carries the image of card number 36 – Entrapment/Limitations/Restrictions/Complications. The companion book starts out with a foreword, in which we learn the reasoning behind the creation of this deck, and a bit about its structure. The imagery in this deck is loosely broken down into four categories: Situations, Emotions, Actions, and Behavior. These categories are meant to be flexible enough that each card would be free to serve in many different roles. There are no reversals with this deck … which I really like. (I do not read the Tarot using reversals either.) The images themselves tell the story … either alone, or in combination with other cards. I also like that there really is no common theme in this deck. For those of us that know Marchetti’s work, we are very comfortable with his use of jesters, masks, and mechanical devices, along with faux Victorian costumes and characters. Marchetti notes that the jesters, masks, and theatrical performances serve as archetypes, while masked figures and performers are both anonymous and role playing. The mechanical devices serve as metaphors for our partial control of our own fate. I feel very much at home with this deck!

“The images on this deck reflect those freedoms of choice we may now have along with

considerations and responsibilities we have to apply when making them.”

Ciro Marchetti

Each card is presented with a black and white scan, keywords for the card, a short quote, and a short xplanation of how the card can be read. For example: Card 4 Perspective Points of View   “I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy to be calm when you’ve found something going on. But take your time, think a lot. Why, think of everything you’ve got. For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.” – Lyrics from Father and Son, Cat Stevens There may be no right or wrong. The view is the same, but its perception is different. Fresh ideas and experience sharing the same eyes, but a different vision. Two manifestations of the same person share a commonality: one from the fresh, eager innocence of youth, the other from the calmer, sobering maturity of experience. Both grasp the same mask in unison, their destinies entwined and ultimately inseparable. At some point, both will see the same vision.  At the end of the companion book Marchetti presents two different ways of interpreting the same card, along with instructions for working with card combinations. He also discusses the deck background, symbolic meanings, and his approach to the deck. IMG The cards themselves are fairly large – 3 ¾” by 5 ½”, and of sturdy card stock. The card backs show a dark outer border, surrounding gold filigree on a red background. In the center we see the face of a jester. The card faces show a black outer border, with a fine gold inner border. The card number is centered at the top of the card in gold, with Marchetti’s icon centered at the bottom of the card, in gold. There is no text on the card (which, IMHO, makes interpretation easier). The artwork is digital in nature, with a nice depth of color. IMG_0001_NEW One of my favorite cards is Number 15 (Farewell, Goodbyes, Closure). Here we see a lady in Victorian dress, with dark plumes in her hair. In her right hand she holds an envelope, in her left hand a single red rose. She faces the left hand side of the card. The sky above her is filled with clouds and birds. IMG_0002_NEW Another favorite is Number 4 (Perspective/Points of View). In this card we see two aspects of one individual (one older, one younger), side by side. They are each holding on to one side of a mask, with the mask held up so that each one has an eye peering through it. IMG_0003_NEW Card number 24 (Letting Go, Offering A Way Out) certainly gives me pause! Here we see a female figure, with a red robe draped over her shoulders.  She is gazing off to the left hand side of the card. A cat peers from her left hand side, while a cage with butterflies in it hangs from the ceiling. IMG_0004_NEW Card Number 39 (Offering Comfort, Healing, Caring) shows a female figure in a red feathered headdress, wearing a red dress, caressing a white dove in her hands. IMG_0005_NEW Card Number 31 (Secrecy, Confidentiality) shows a female figure dressed in a lavender dress, standing between two blue curtains, with a lit chandelier behind her. Her hands are held out in front of her, her right hand resting on what appears to be a locked box or book, with her right hand reaching out towards a lit globe sitting on a desk. IMG_0006_NEW Card Number 41 (Identity, Self-Analysis, Knowing Oneself) shows a female figure holding up what looks to be a mask, which is reflected in a triple mirror. On the table in front o her are two masks, and a series of small Russian dolls. IMG_0007_NEW Card Number 16 (Distance, Isolation, Perspective) reminds me of Avalon. We see a female figure, dressed in blue, walking along a shore. She is facing away from us. Floating monoliths appear in front of her. I recommend this deck not only for divination purposes, but for meditation, ritual, and journeying.

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review – The Spiritual Pathway

The Spiritual Pathway –
A guide to the joys of awakening
and soul evolution

 

Author: Barbara Berger
Findhorn Press
2003
ISBN #1-84409-022-1

The Spiritual Pathway cover

Barbara Berger (Fast Food For the Soul, The Road To Power 2, Mental Technology, Gateway To Grace, Are You Happy Now?, The Adventures of Pebble Beach)has hit a home run with “The Spiritual Pathway: A guide to the joys of awakening and soul evolution”. It is a book to be read and enjoyed, filled with information to be used, and techniques the reader can use to place the wisdom in their life. It opens a door to the pathway between unconscious “personality based” existence to a fully conscious “soul-based” life.

Words are not enough … Berger has annotated the text throughout with her own drawing that give a visual picture of the energies she is discussing. The material in this book is channeled material … it came to Berger during the time period of 1997 – 2000. Most of the insights came to her after deep meditation, or an extended period of silence spent in nature.

The material in this book is divided into three sections: Part 1 – Soul Technology, Part 2 – Mind Management, and Part 3 – Peace Technology. She talk about things such as energetic signposts, the big and little mind, the Diamond Pathway, locking on target, and manifesting the Higher Self.

Several techniques are explained, including Locking On Target, the Next Best Version of You, the Rock Ceremony, Peace Is Your Nature, Love Is Kind. For group work, there is a section called Star Transmitter that is quite powerful. It is suggested that time be set aside three times a day – morning, noon, and night – to meditate, work with affirmations, or do some other form of personal growth.

I found this material easy to read, and easy to work with. When the reader does the work,they connect with spirit, and carry with them a living sense of peace/Peace.

I recommend this book for readers of all ages, and all backgrounds.

 

© 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Artistic Choices

Bonnie Cehovet:

I totally love Pamela’s work … both the Steele Wizard Tarot, and the Wizard’s Pets Tarot! What a lucky granddaughter … and what a lucky Tarot public!

Originally posted on Mageborn's Weblog:

As I near the middle of the fund raising campaign for the Wizard’s Pets Tarot, the question “What on earth possessed you to re-work the classic Rider/Waite/Smith into a cartoon styled fantasy deck?” has been posed on multiple occasions.  What was I thinking?

Most of my art career (from the age of 14 years) I’ve taken my work seriously.  Very seriously.  I worked exclusively in oils with the occasional foray into black and white pencil drawings, but my work was powerful, dramatic, realistic and always conveyed an essential spiritual essence with strong emotional overtones.  So why?  Why after the Steele Wizard Tarot did I choose to join tarot with whimsical light-hearted subjects?

It began with my (then) 9 year old grand daughter asking me for a tarot.  She wanted me to make one for her.  She was reminding me to remember how to play.  When I chose to deviate from…

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