Review: Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries – Intuitive Ritual Creation

Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries –
Intuitive Ritual Creation

Author: Ruth Barrett
Llewellyn Publications, 2nd edition
2007
ISBN #978-0-7387-0924-6

Women's Rituals, Women;s Mysteries cover

One thing that a potential reader needs to know about this book is that Barrett, aside from being a ritualist, is also a Dianic High Priestess, and an award winning recording artist of Goddess songs. She is co-founder of the Temple of Diana, a national religious organization. The foundation for this book, needless to say, comes from the Dianic tradition.

You will find references to such luminaries as Z. Budapest and Shekhinah Mountainwater, both historical references and personal references. Barrett’s own history is tightly woven with the history of these individuals. The reader is gaining insight into feminist history, Goddess spirituality, and the very real day to day cycle every woman goes through. This is all about Maiden/Mother/Crone, and female community.

I personally find ritual to have great importance, as it acts as a cornerstone for my life. I was happy to see that Barrett presents tools and exercises that can be used to create ritual for individual or group purposes, after putting great thought into it. Ritual, to have meaning, is not a cookie-cutter operation. Chapters are presented on focusing on a purpose, developing a theme, creating an alter, working with the energetics of ritual within a group, and facilitating ritual.

The book is developed along the lines of a story, where Bartlett shares her personal experiences, as well as those of others. In this way, the reader is allowed to see how ritual really works, and that the energy of the ritual does not end when the ritual ends. A true gift to the reader is the exercises and practices offered at the end of each chapter.

Whether you are looking to create ritual for personal reasons (dealing with personal issues), to honor life changes (marriage, divorce, moving, the birth of a child), as a form of healing (whether mental, emotional, or physical), honoring the Sabbats, or for some other reason, Barrett gives the reader a thoughtful, safe place to start.

There are two well thought out appendices: one that covers the history of the Dianic tradition, and one that covers the Dianic Wiccan tradition.

This book is a wonderful resource for women just beginning to walk the path of ritual work, as well as for those that are more experienced. There is no “Do this, then do that”, or “Say this, then say that”. The reader is encouraged to reach within themselves for what is important to them, and how they want to present it in ritual format. I recommend this book because I see it as a very big step in women empowering themselves.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet

Review – Witness To A Murder

Witness To A Murder

Author: Jean and Jon Hamilton-Fford
Create Space
2015
ISBN #978-150045308-4

Witness To A Murder cover

“Witness To A Murder” is a fast paced mystery filed with humor and excitement. Louise Deveraux, a recent widow, visits New York to see her publisher. While there, she is witness to a murder, ala 1954’s “Witness To Murder”, starring Barbara Stanwyck, and “Rear Window”, starring James Stewart.

Still in shock, minutes after watching a man get knocked unconscious and thrown off a 33rd floor balcony, the phone rings, asking for Louise Deveraux. It is her publisher’s office. Before she can begin a conversation, there is a knock on her door. Scared to death, Louise peers through the peep hole. The murderer must have seen the glint from her binoculars – they must know where she is! But the lady outside the door is presentable, and pleads to be let in. She claims to want to help Louise. Louise lets the woman in. She introduces herself as Rota Deale.

Max, Louise’s publisher, has contacted Rota Deale’s employer, who is a huge fan of Louise’s books. The employer is throwing a gala for Louise that very night. If Louise does not go with Rota, she will be fired. At her age, she will not be able to find another job.

Louise agrees to go with Rota, and is treated to an unbelievable afternoon of indulgence – a massage, a mani-pedi, and a wonderful meal. When she returns to the hotel she finds amazing jewelry, a lovely gown to wear, exotic flowers, caviar, chocolate dipped strawberries …  and a maid!

Rota picks her up that evening in a limousine, where they leave for an undisclosed location. They arrive at a magnificent house, where an elegant party is in progress. Louise is taken to meet Carl, Rota’s employer. Here is where things start to spiral downward rapidly! Was Carl one of the three men that Louise saw on the balcony? Did he have something to do with her husband’s death? Does he have underworld connections? Will she survive? Nothing and no one is as they seem.

It becomes clear that she will have to do what Carl wants, or her family will not be safe. Her son, daughter, and two grandchildren – they are her world! What does she have to do? She has to become head of a Wellness Foundation, one that is in her name. And she will become wealthy … very wealthy. And her children … they will be part of the foundation too.

The Hamilton-Fford’s have written a very compelling mystery, all about what drives us, what makes us tick, what we will do to stay safe, and keep our world safe. I loved the detailed descriptions of clothing, rooms, jewels, food … and the general sense of extreme luxury that money can buy. We encounter a longtime friend of Louise that is … well, she is a friend, but she is not what she seems. And we see the depth of who Rota is, and what drives her.

This is an excellent read, and I highly recommend it.

© 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Review – Art Through the Starstream Oracle

Art Through The Starstream Oracle

Author: Cheryl Yambrach Rose
Artist: Cheryl Yambrach Rose
Daghda Vision s.r.o. (publisher)
U.S. Games Systems Inc. (distributor)
2015
ISBN #978-1-57281-795-1

Art Through the Stastream Oracle cover

“Art Through The Starstream Oracle” is a 52 card deck with accompanying 113 page guidebook, based on the theme of stars, and reconnecting with our origins in the stars. I loved the thought on the back of the box – that this oracles connects us to our origins in the Source Field where all creations, solutions, and outcomes are possibilities waiting to be intuitively chosen.

The set comes in a hard cover box with a lift-off top. The cover image for the box and the guidebook is that of “You are The Oracle”, from the “Avalon Starstream Oracle”. In the publishers forward to the guidebook, it is noted that Rose combined intuition, history, myth, and personal experience in creating this deck. The paintings come from experiences in both the inner and outer realms. Here we have a very talented artist with the ability to see into the mystical realm.

I found the manner in which Rose creates her art to be significant – she paints in oil on linen, using the eyes as a focal point, and spiraling out from that. In this way a natural vortex is created on the canvas.

The guidebook covers using the cards (beginning with clearing them), and presents a series of spreads, including a 13 card Starstream Portal Spread, a 4 card Prahna Spread, a 5 card Lemurian Dreaming Spread, a 5 card Through the Veils of Avalon Spread, and a 5 card Telos Spread. It is suggested that Rose’s sister deck, “Art Through the Eyes of the Oracle”, be used in combination with this deck for optimum possibilities. Rose also suggests that creating an Oracle circle with friends is an interesting way to use this deck.

Each card is presented with a black and white scan, the title for the painting, the year in which it was painted, an expanded meaning, and a short background on the card’s historical/mythical foundation. From he book:

“King Arthur n Nectan’s Glen
2012

Expanded meaning: Get yourself ready for a life altering occasion. Performing rituals can be helpful for this. Purifying in sacred waters, detoxing, and going on your own pilgrimage will assist you to be in optimum condition.

St. Nectan’s Glen in Cornwall has long been venerated as a sacred site. A Nectan was an old term for a Celtic water god. From ancient times, rituals have taken place here. Various phenomena have been reported and occasionally shows up in photographs. It might be the ghost of the hermit who called himself Nectan, knights, or Fae folk. The Glen is truly a gateway to the otherworld. In this painting, Arthur has come on his white horse for the purification ritual, and a night of contemplation before the ceremony of Sacred Kingship that took place a mile away on Tintagel Island.”

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The cards are 3 ½” by 6”, of sturdy card stock, with gilded edges. The card back shows a red-headed woman in contemplation in nature. In front of her we see a stream, to the right and left some type of forest animal. Behind her we see a series of waterfalls. Predominant colors are earth toned – gray and green. There is a gold border surrounding the image. The backs are not reversible.

The card faces show a gold border framing a central image. For the most part, the deck is done in darker colors, with each card somewhat of a monotone. The card title, a key thought, and the card number are at the bottom of each card.

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19 “The Grail King”/Don’t Take Anything For Granted

Expanded meaning: If you are called to serve – step up to the plate. Acknowledge the gift as a borrowed energy that can be a grail of creative possibilities is used with a sense of responsibility. Otherwise, it will disappear into the mists.

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23 “The Journey of Iilya”/Nothing is Absolute Change is the Only Constant

Expanded meaning: Don’t believe everything that you hear or read. As they say, nothing is carved in stone. Feeling helpless and giving in to negative outcomes will not help alter the situation.

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34 “Rusalka”/Don’t be the Victim

Expanded meaning: Watch out for empty enchantment and false promises made in the heat of the moment. Love should not require sacrifice. Responsible choice can prevent tragedy.

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36 “Mound of the White Horse”/Break the Negative Cycle

Expanded meaning: Enough is enough. Have the courage to break free and create a new paradigm in your life. Leave the invalidators and abusive situations behind. No more sacrifices.

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3 “Mary Magdalene the Lost Bride”/Maintain Compassion Under Pressure

Expanded meaning: Slander cannot touch your essence and is usually based on jealousy. Ignore it and transmute the negative energy through compassion.

I love this deck, and recommend it to all that want to connect with Spirit. Rose notes that this deck can be used in conjunction with her preceding deck, “Art Through the Eyes of the Soul Oracle”. However you choose to use this deck, it will expand your perception of what your life can be.

© 2000 – 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author,

Review – Celtic Lenormand

Celtic Lenormand

Author: Chloe McCracken
Artist: Will Worthington
U.S. Games Systems Inc.
2015
ISBN #978-1-57281-755-5

Cektic Lenrmand cover

The “Celtic Lenormand” is a 45 card pagan themed Lenormand oracle, which comes with a 187 page companion book. The backdrop for these cards is the landscape of Brittany, in the north of France. The traditional 36-card structure of the Lenormand has been augmented with additional cards: there are two tree cards for the God (the Oak and the Holly), three different Birds cards that reflect the three aspects of the Goddess (Maiden/Mother/Crone), an additional snake card that reflects a more positive, healing, and transformative aspect of snake, a cat card to go along with the dog card, as cats are traditional familiars, and four additional “people” cards that were added for gender balance.

The deck and book come in a sturdy cardboard box with a lift-off top. The inside has an inset for the cards, to make them easy to access. The top of the box features card Number 29, Man, while he back of the box gives information on the cards.

The front cover for the companion book shows card Number 12, Birds (Owls). The introduction talks about this deck bringing the nature-based focus of pagan beliefs into the venue of the Lenormand oracle. The deck can be used as a traditional 36 card deck, or it can be used with the additional cards. The imagery has a distinctive Celtic feel to it, with the symbolism reflecting the pagan path.

The cards that reflect the pagan God are the two Tree cards, representing Oak King and the Holly King. The three cards representing the Goddess are the three  Bird cards: songbirds represent the Maiden aspect of the Goddess, specifically Cliodna, chickens represent the Mother aspect of the Goddess, and Cerridwen, while owls symbolize the Crone aspect of the Goddess, and Blodeuwedd.

The companion book addresses the use of the Lenormand for spiritual, as well as divinatory purposes. McCracken also addresses timing through the eight Sabbats, and to using a range of interpretations (positive and negative) for the cards.

Each card is presented with a small black and white scan, Keywords, Timing, Person, Playing Card Association, Description, Meaning, Spiritual Readings, Dark and Light, Spell Use, Affirmation, and Deity.

At the end of the book there is information on combining cards, working with deity, using the cards in spells, and several card spreads, including a five card Lines spread, a five card Inner Cross spread, a nine card Mini Tableau, an eight or twelve card Paths spread, Dual and Triple Goddess spreads, a Moon Cycle spread, and a Year Ahead spread.

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The cards are 2 ¼” by 3 ½”, of sturdy card stock. The backs are a medium yellow, with a darker yellow border on the two long sides, with a darker yellow circle in the middle. They are reversible. The card faces are borderless, with the card number in the upper left hand corner, and the playing card association in the loner right hand corner. The colors are intense, with the imagery nature/pagan oriented.

The following cards are examples of the diversity within this deck:

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Number 5 – Tree (Oak)
Association: 7 of Hearts

The image here is of an old, gnarled oak tree, with full green leaves. Keywords include health, roots, and body/mind/spirit.

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Number 5 – Tree (Holly)
Association: 7 of Hearts

The image here is of a holly tree with barren branches, covered in snow. At the bottom of the tree we see holly leaves and red holly berries. Keywords include health, roots, body/mind/spirit, and outdoors.

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Number 16 – Stars
Association: 6 of Hearts

The image here is that of a male figure, on the deck of a boat in open water at night. There is a new moon in a star filled sky. Keywords include guidance, technology, and metastasis.

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Number 23 – Mice
Association: 7 of Clubs

The imagery here is of mice in a storehouse. Keywords include loss, theft, and pollution.

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Number 33 – Key
Association: 8 of Diamonds

The image here is that of a golden key sitting on a wooden table. Keywords include certainty, solutions, and mastery.

I fund this to be a well done deck, both the text and the imagery. The association with pagan imagery/symbology is carried out nicely. This deck can be read as a traditional 36 card Lenormand, or with the additional cards. The purpose and intent for this theme does not disappoint!

© 2000 – 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Review : The Playing Card Oracles – Alchemy Edition

The Playing Card Oracles –
Alchemy Edition

Author: Ana Cortez, C.J. Freeman
Artist: C.J. Freeman
Two Sisters Press
2014

The back story to this series of decks is as fascinating as the decks themselves. Artist C.J. Freeman spent over thirty years doing infinite renditions of playing cards. However, they were not published. Upon his death his daughter, Ana Cortez, took on the challenge (and it was a challenge!) of gathering the material together, formatting them for publication (the original drawings are in oil on canvas), and putting together a companion book. The first edition of Mr. Freeman’s work was “The Picture Book of Fate and Fortune”, followed by a self-published version of “Playing Card Oracles”. U.S. Games published a large version of “Playing Card Oracles” in a large size, then they printed it in a smaller size. The Alchemy edition is being self-published in a large and a small size.

Cortez notes that some of the imagery from the U.S. Games “Playing Cards Oracle Deck” may resemble imagery in the “Alchemy” edition, while some will be quite different. It all originates form artist C.J. Freeman – original, unique work that deserves to be seen.

Both decks come with a companion e-booklet. In the companion e-booklet Cortez notes that playing cards come with a profound language of their own, that can readily be used in the pursuit of self-knowledge and personal reflection. She refers to the 52 card structure of a regular playing deck as reflecting a perfect natural calendar (lunar calendar!). The strength of the illustrations is said to mimic the strength of the cards themselves.  Cortez also notes that we are a “conglomeration of the stars”, rather than reflecting just one star.

From the companion book: “The 52 cards correspond to the 52 weeks of the natural year, the 4 suits to the 4 seasons, the 13 cards of each suit to the 13 weeks of each season as well as the 13 lunar cycles of the year (each of 4 weeks).”

The Court cards are represented in an interesting fashion – as representing 16 basic archetypes for the human personality. I can count too – there are only three Court cards (Jack, Queen, King) in a regular playing deck! The additional card to each suit is the Lady, which provides a sense of balance between male and female energy within each suit. Each suit represents one of the four elements (Fire Water, Air, or Earth), with the element defining the suit, and how the personalities within that suit present themselves.

The suit associations are: Diamonds (Fire), Clubs (Air), Hearts (Water), and Spades (Earth).

The companion e-booklet gives a range of suggested interpretations for each of the cards. (Jokers are included in this deck, and may be used as the reader wishes.) Cards are presented with text only, no images.

Cortez quotes her father, C.J. Freeman, as saying that a playing card deck was a book of stories, unbound. He went on to say that two different authors claimed the “Book of Playing Cards” as their own. Two sisters, one named “Fate”, and one named “Chance”. In the companion e-booklet is included the story: “The Spade Suit, A Story”. So very interesting, as such a nice addition!

I am reviewing a prototype of this deck. Please note that small tweaks are still being made, so that the deck in your hand may have some very small differences from what you see here.

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The card backs are a brownish-burgundy color, with white symbols. They are reversible. The symbols seem stretched out, as if in a fantasy world. The card faces are a light gray, with the card number (or first letter of the card name for the Aces, Jacks, Queens, and Kings) and suit symbol in the upper left hand corner and bottom right hand corner. The “Ladies” in the deck carry the number 10. The Aces carry the card name along the top of the card. The pips (numbered cards) along the bottom. The Court cards carry the name beside the suit symbol.

I am reviewing both sizes of this deck: 2 ½” by 3 ½”, and 3 ½” by 5 ¾”. The smaller cards were easier for me to shuffle, while the larger cards showed better detail. Both sizes are well done, and could be used for different purposes. (I am using the smaller size for reading and ritual work, while I use the larger size for meditation.) The artwork carries muted colors, which to me is appropriate for this work.

Following are samples from the cards, with accompanying text from the companion e-book:

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Ace of Spades: Terra Incognita

The words “Terra Incognita” translate as “hidden earth,” giving meaning and yet mystery to this card of power. Spades as Earth define what we experience as physical reality, but the skull depicted here tells of something more. It is the form beneath the form, the bone as it is revealed from beneath the skin. This Ace is about the unearthing of that which is formerly hidden. Because we often fear what we do not see, this card can feel unsettling. It is the revealing of secrets, the harbinger of change. It is transformation, the lifting of a veil. To face the unknown we must call upon deep courage and fortitude. The fearsome, loathsome dragons depicted here must be conquered within oneself in order to pass through the test that is Terra Incognita.

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2 Hearts: The Chalice

The coveted vessel of the sacred. To be fulfilled, to receive love and be satisfied. Gratitude. To drink of divine nectar. The uterus. Kundalini and tantric energy, with the snake coiling the stem. Male and female union.

Reversed image (depending on which way card is laid on table) can be viewed as a helmet of protection, divine masculinity, and/or the power to advance under guardianship.

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6 of Clubs: The Bridge

The way. The journey rather than the destination. Trust of an uncertain future. A past that is left behind. A choice in the way either the future or past is perceived or experienced. Memories. The ability to overcome obstacles. Forgiveness.

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7 of Diamonds: Sword of Truth

The force that cuts through lies or deceptions. Clarity, and the transformation that ensues when touched by truth. The need for prudence and wisdom, as the truth when applied rashly can harm.

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8 of Clubs: Wicca

The knowledge of sacred law. Secret activities and hidden knowledge. The power to make manifest. Trust and practical use of intention and intuition. Cosmic justice and intelligence. The power of groups. Power of delegation. Spiritual strength. Crow as a totem.

 Sherlock Holmes Tarot_0012

Lady (10) of Hearts: Bethany

Bethany inherits the moonstone ring from her Father, reflecting the Heart suitʼs affinity with this luminous celestial body, whose deep rumblings pulse through the veins of every member within the Heart Kingdom. She is relentless yet changeable, as the tide itself. This Lady is unique in that she maintains the innocence and purity of a child while embodying the passion and depth of her blood line. Sensitivity. Romance. Gullibility. Focus.

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King of Spades: Mardoc

A dominating personality, conservative, and direct. This is King of industry, reliable, and predictable. A leader in labor. Slow thinking but decisive in action. Tends to be a loner. Could represent an older bachelor.

I found this deck to be a welcome addition to the world of divination. We are gifted that Cortez took the time to get her father, C.J. Freeman’s, work out there. The companion e-booklet is a good place to start in working with this deck, and can be downloaded with either size deck, but I would also recommend purchasing Cortez’s full “Playing Card Oracles” e-book for more in-depth information. It is available in the www.anacortez.com shop. Packaging for the decks will be shrink wrap from the manufacturer, then placed in muslin bags custom stamped with the Ace of Hearts design and geomancy.

© 2000 – 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Review – The Chronicles of Destiny

The Chronicles of Destiny
Fortune Cards

Author: Josephine Ellershaw, Emily Ellershaw
Artwork: Claudia McKinney
Schiffer Publishing Ltd
2014
ISBN #978-076434624-8

Chronicles of Destiny cover

“Welcome, Seeker. Within you will find the threshold
to another world, a doorway through the written word
to guide you through your quest. A thin veil penned with
golden ink is all that separates you from the answers your
desire. Each card holds a story and the message you are
seeking.

~ Prologue
 

I was in high expectation of receiving this deck, just because of the name! I mean, “Chronicles of Destiny” – who would not be excited! I was not disappointed! This 60 card deck tells a story in and of itself, and helps the reader to discover their personal story. In their introduction, the authors note that storytelling is an ancient tradition, both written and oral, used to impart ageless wisdom. The theme of these cards is that they are a book that tells a story, and that the cards are meant to act as a fortune-telling system that provides insight and guidance. Each card is a chapter in this story, the sequence of which helps the reader to remember the card meanings.

The set includes 60 cards and a 175 page companion book, and comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a magnetic, lift-top lid. (I love the bit of ribbon that one uses to open this box!) The box is crafted to look like a book, with a dark green background, gold hinges, and gold corners. The sides are made to look like the edges of a book. The cover carries the picture of the Guardian of the Books, while the back carries thoughts on the cards, and what they have to offer.

The gateway into this story is the Enchanted Emporium, with the person entering the “Chronicles of Destiny” taking on the role of Seeker. (I just had a very vivid thought that this system would be a lovely app, and certainly has possibilities to become an interactive game!) The Seeker is on a quest for answers to their questions – how much better can it get! The Seeker will receive step-by-step instructions, keywords, in-depth meanings, and more! From the book:

“On a certain street in every town, quietly nestled between unsuspecting buildings and invisible to the undiscerning eye, The Enchanted Emporium waits.

The shop senses a seeker, and shimmers into life, glowing in anticipation for the journey to be taken, the knowledge and secrets to be learnt. Golden lights flicker and dance within, enticing their curiosity to step within and explore.

A solemn child emerges from the rows of ancient books.

“Name?” she enquires seriously.

With the Seeker’s response, the charm she holds begins to sway, silvery chimes from tiny bells ring out into the hushed silence.

“Ah yes, we’ve been expecting you. Please follow me.” 

Each card is presented with a color image, a short excerpt from the story, the card definition, and the Moral of the Story, which presents the main keywords for the card. I loved the characters and archetypes presented in this book (i.e. The Hero, The Heroine, Dreams, The Elder, The Lighthouse, Weaver of Words, Book of Destiny, Alchemy, and Phoenix, to name just a few) – they “are” what life is all about! The one that accompanies the Seeker on their quest is The Guardian of the Books. She provides access to all of the other cards/characters, and protects the Enchanted Emporium.

At the end of the book we find sections on how to read the cards, spreads to use (the two card Open Book spread, the six card Summary spread, the seven card Alternate Realities spread, the four card Sequel spread, and the four card Story spread), sample readings, guidelines for determining timing, ethics, and clearing the cards. The epilogue presents a summary of keywords for the cards, as well as a short bibliography.

card back

The cards are 2 5/8” by 4 ¾, of glossy card stock, with gilt edges. The card backs are done in shades of a dusty blue. In the middle of the card we see a female face that looks like a mask, surrounded by an ornate headdress. The face is over a set of what looks like railroad tracks, going off into the mist. The card faces show a black background, with a thin gold border inset ¼” from the side of the card. The card number and title is at the bottom of the card, in gold lettering. The image is centered in the middle of the card.

One of the first ways that I used this deck was to choose a card to focus on for a flash fiction piece. I used Number 13 – Time Flies. Other cards that I really liked include:

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The Warlock – Number 20 The card shows a male figure wearing a dark cape and top hat. A raven sits on his left shoulder. The moral of the story is “Delays and holdups. Obstacles. Sometimes theft.”

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The Gatekeeper – Number 29 The card shows a female figure, dressed  in white, her hands in a position of prayer (palms together). The moral of the story is “Unlocks obstacles or secrets; doors being opened for you. A lucky escape.”

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Weaver of Words – Number 38 The card shows a female figure, in a white dress, writing in a book that she holds in her lap. The moral of the story is “Small ideas with big potential, ideas taking off and taking form. The power of words, tact and diplomacy. Writers.

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Alchemy – Number 30 The card shows a female figure, dressed in black, with a black top hat. The moral of his story is “Something ordinary has the potential to turn into something extraordinary. You only get out of something what you put into it, but you have the ingredients to create something special.”

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Guardian of the Books – Number 2 The card shows a dark haired female looking out at the Seeker. The moral of the story is “Occupation or workplace. Dedication to work.”

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The Masquerade – Number 22 The card shows a male figure dressed in black, and a female figure dressed in white, against the back drop of a ball. The moral of the story is “Illusionary situations. Everything may not be as it seems, be careful who you trust. Confusion and clouded thinking. Secrecy.”

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Book of Destiny – Number 43 The card shows a dark haired female figure, in a dark dress, with an open book on her lap. The moral of the story is “Destiny is created when you actively pursue it. Whilst fate may present certain circumstances, destiny unfolds once you move towards it. Action shapes destiny.”

The author’s note that a book is meant to be read upright, so the cards should be also. As there needs to be a balance in life, there is a balance of energy in this deck. Listed as “supporting cast” are the four seasons (all represented as ladies), the Hero, and he Heroine. You do not have to be an experienced reader to use this deck, but experienced readers will gain from it. I recommend it for all ages, and all backgrounds. My personal thought is that this is going to come in handy with my writing!

© 2000 – 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of he author.

Review: brave in a new world – A Guide to Grieving the Loss of a Spouse

Brave In A New World
A Guide to Grieving the Loss of a Spouse

Author: Yvonne Broady
Lulu.com
2014
ISBN #978-1-4834-2229-9

Brave In A New World cover

Losing someone close to you is the hardest thing that anyone can go through. Author Yvonne Broady saw her husband, Clarence Cortez Loftin III, through a difficult battle with pancreatic cancer. Mr. Loftin lost his battle at the age of sixty-one. This was the beginning of author Yvonne Broady’s journey to find herself, to find out who she really was, and to navigate her new world as a single woman.

Her journey was a long one, and the writing of this book was an integral part of that process. This book puts into words her personal grief process, and discusses the steps that she took to handle her emotional pain.

This book, IMHO, serves as a guide to the grieving process, as well as a source of inspiration and hope. It flows as a story, filled with Broady’s experiences, thoughts, pain, and joy. Above all, it is real, and speaks with a very real voice.

We are taken from the initial diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, through the options available to them, and through how the process affected both Broady and her husband as individuals. One of the most important things for me was Broady’s acknowledgment of her husband’s psyche – how he felt about the disease, his treatment, and not wanting to be a burden to his wife.

We see in a very real way how important networking is – with family, with friends, and with the medical establishment. We see how important the medical establishment is after a death, in offering counseling and other services. I was very happy to see that Broady availed herself of both traditional and non-traditional treatments. She respected all wisdom that was out there, and allowed it to help her in whatever way it could.

She speaks of many things – about dealing with people that are trying to help, but really don’t, and about simply trying to reintegrate herself into her community. She speaks of how friends and family were there for her, and how her faith supported her in this trying time. She talks about the “supernatural” (the small things that happen after someone has passed that let us know they are still there, such as the flickering of lights, or a soft breeze). She talks about life!

At the end of the book is a section where other people have shared their experiences with grief over someone close dying. In the spirit of transparency, I have to let you know that I shared a few thoughts with Yvonne over the passing of my father, and she has included them in her book. The insights shared in this section are phenomenal! Broady ends with thoughts on hope, and how to remember a spouse. (They are never forgotten!)

This book is a wonderful resource that I recommend to all that are facing, or about to face, the grieving process.

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