Review: Mystic Sisters Oracle Deck

Mystic Sisters Oracle Deck

Author: Emily Balivet
Artist: Emily Balivet
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2019
ISBN #978-1-57281-788-3

The “Mystic Sisters Oracle Deck” consists of 48 cards and a 40 page companion book. Deck and book come in a sturdy cardboard box with a lift off top. The theme for the deck is based on feminine wisdom as expressed through goddesses and mythological archetypes, and was created out of Balivet’s own inner spiritual journey.

As a reader myself, I found it interesting that Balivet encourages the reader to respond to the card images, rather than becoming too dependent on the companion book.

In her introduction Balivet speaks of the deck being created from her own intuition, for clarifying the inner voice. The cards in this deck represent years of her own personal journey.

The cards are presented with the card name, keywords, and a description of what the energy of the image entails. For example, Amunet carries the keywords Hidden Meanings and Deceit. She is described as a goddess of mystery whose name means “the hidden one”.  She represents the subconscious mind, or the shadow self.

Several spreads are presented at the end of the book. A single card reading can be used as a meditation. A two card reading is presented with four different ways to us it. A three card reading is presented as a Past/Present/Future spread. A five card called The Cross is presented as a means to look at a specific situation.

The cards themselves are 3.9 inches by 5.7 inches, of sturdy card stock with reversible backs. There is ¼ inch border around each card, with the color matching the overall color of the card. The card name is presented in white lettering at the bottom of the card. The artwork is very detailed, with beautiful imagery.

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

 

Review: Raven’s Wand Oracle

Raven’s Wand Oracle

Author: Steven Hutton
Artist: Steven Hutton
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2019
ISBN #987-1572819511

 

The “Raven’s Wand Oracle” is a 44 card deck with a 59 page companion book. The box that the cards and companion book come in has a magnetic closure on the side. Based on Hutton’s “Dark Raven Chronicles Trilogy”, featuring a black wand, the witch Valonia (keeper of the wand), the people that populate her world of witchcraft. (It is not necessary to have read the books to be able to read with this oracle.)

In his introduction, Hutton talks about the Wildwood-coven (from the “Dark Raven Chronicles Trilogy”), the witches that call it home, and the energy that they carry. It is noted that while each card carries both upright and reversed meanings, the reversed meaning is not necessarily the opposite of the upright meaning, nor is it necessarily a negative interpretation. Reversed meaning are meant to add an extra dimension to the card, and to encourage the creative nature of the reader.

The cards are presented, in alphabetical order, by name, followed by both upright and reversed meanings. At the end of the book is a one card spread entitled “Way-Beware”, a seven card spread entitled “Earth and Thunder”, and a three card spread entitled “Dark Raven”.

The cards are 3.9 inches by 5.9 inches, of quality cardstock with reversible backs. The card faces are borderless, with the artwork continuing to the edge of the card. The card name appears at the bottom of the card, in white against a black background. The artwork is done in a fantasy style, with wonderful imagery throughout, creating … magic!

Throughout the cards we see many different symbols to encourage our creative imagination – a black cat, ax, and a figure with a cat’s head and a human body in “Independence”, a lovely lady in purple petting a dragon in “Ebb and Flow”, a lovely lady in white, seated, looking into a mirror with rabbits at her side in “Commemoration”, a beautiful child in a white dress with a mother duck and her babies in “Taking To Heart”, and a magical looking young girl, dressed in purple and holding what appears to be an egg, facing a frog with a flying creature in front of her.

These cards are both fun to read and informative, whether read as a card a day, or in a defined spread.

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review: The Field Guide To Garden Dragons

Field Guide For Garden Dragons

Author: Arwen Lynch
Artist: Stanley Morrison
U.S. Game Systems, Inc.
2019
ISBN #978-1-57281-979-5

The “Field Guide To Garden Dragons” is a 46 card whimsical fantasy deck that comes with a 135 page companion book. The instructions in the beginning of the book take the reader on a fantasy trip to identify garden dragons in their region, as well as others. Garden Dragons are identified as being members of the kingdom Animalia Mythica, phylum Draconia, class Fablia, and order Draco Occultatum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is stated that anyone wishing to see garden dragons must look closely, as they are very good at camouflaging themselves. Very tongue in cheek, the reader is also asked to report any significant differences in how the dragon(s) they encounter from the descriptions given in this book to the Royal Dragon Society, accompanied by field notes and illustrations. BTW – Garden Dragons can be found almost anywhere – including your own back yard!

Each dragon is presented with a black and white scan, the common name, the scientific name, a keyword, appearance, habitat, field notes, and mystical meaning. For instance, the Apple Dragon’s scientific name is Draco Malum Delisquious. It is described as having shiny wings, a lustrous sheen to its scales, and having green accents. Its eyes are able to rotate 360 degrees, and it radiates spines from its brow to the base of its tail. It prefers trees as a habitat. The field notes indicate that when this dragon roars, it sounds like the buzzing of bees. It is easily tamed. The mystical meaning is that of thinking about healthy habits. When this dragon appears in a reading, you are reminded to choose healthy, nutritious snacks. You may also want to add movement to your daily activity.

The cards themselves are 3.4 inches by 5 inches, on a glossy, quality cardstock. The backs are reversible. I really, really appreciated that there are no borders on this deck – the imagery goes clear to each side. The imagery is very gentle and whimsical, with nice use of color. At the bottom of the card the common name of the dragon appears, along with a keyword, in dark coloring against a beige background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really felt that I wanted to know these little people, to go out into my yard, and sit and talk to them. For me, they brought a sense of peace. No instructions for reading with them are given in the companion book. They could be used as a daily draw, as a “What do I need to know?”, or as an action card following a reading with other types of cards. How the reader chooses to use them is up to the reader, limited only by their imagination!

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

 

 

Review: Old Style Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards

Old Style Lenormand Fortune-Telling Cards

Author: Alexander Ray
Artist: Alexander Ray
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2019
ISBN #978-1-57281-987-0

What an absolutely lovely deck! Ray’s vintage-looking illustrations bring a sense of peace to those reading with them. The neutral color background creates a “safe place” for the reader and the client (which is not at all surprising, since Ray is a psychologist). This is a traditional 38 card deck, with two versions of the Lady, and two versions of the Gentleman (allowing personalization in readings). It is accompanied by a 92 page companion book.

Ray begins with a short history of the Lenormand deck, followed by commentary on reading with it. He points out the simplicity of its reading style (as compared with other divination practices), and the fact that symbolism is kept to a minimum. The Lenormand system also includes specific cards to be used as signifiers (cards that represent the individual being read for). These are the Man and the Lady.

Ray also gently insists that the reader respect the system – that there are subtle forces behind the cards that should only be used for really important matters. He also goes through the does and don’ts of asking the cards questions.

Each card in presented in the companion book by number, title, keywords, a small black and white scan, the nature of the card, and how it appears in specific readings (in a people spread, in a relationship spread, in spreads concerning work, in questions of well-being, and in questions of finance).

At the end of the book two spreads are presented (the Open Book Spread and the Nine Witnesses Spread).

The cards are 2.6 inches by 3.9 inches. The backs have a neutral color background, with floral images in each of the four corners, with the deck name across the middle, and imagery above and below it.

The cards have the card number in the upper left hand corner, with a scan of the associated playing car in the upper right hand corner. The image is centered in the upper two thirds of the card, with the card name centered across the bottom against a white background.

I love working with Lenormand decks, and I find this one to be gentle, easy to use, and one that clients can relate to well. Two thumbs up!

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 

 

 

 

Review: Feng Shui For Healing

Feng Shui For Healing
A Step-by-Step Guide To Improving Wellness
In Your Home Sanctuary

 

Author: Rodika Tchi
Rockridge Press
2019
ISBN #978-1-64152-854-7

Rodika Tchi first came under my radar on Twitter. When I had the chance to review this book, I snapped it up. In her introduction, Tchi calls the creation of a powerful and supportive home sanctuary the essence of Feng Shui. She also notes that while we are creating a harmonious home is not only healing for ourselves and our family, but one that extends that healing energy out into the world.

“Our home environment reflects the state of our energy. It
mirrors back to us our fears, desires, insecurities, hopes
and dreams.” ~ Rodika Tchi

Tchi regards the home as the foundation for our health and happiness – on all levels. She starts out by explaining what Qi is (universal energy), and how it flows through the world around us. She moves on to explaining Feng Shui, and how it can be used for healing and vitality.

Throughout the book Tchi has included stories about individual experiences with Feng Shui, and tools such as the 4-square breath meditation, affirmations, signs of happy home Qi, signs of stagnant or blocked Qi, the 4-7-8 yoga breath, the use of plants and crystals, a chart of observations about what can be found in a house (and how to view it from a Feng Shui perspective), working with the Bagua (energy map) of the home, working with the elements (fire, water, wood, earth, and metal), working with plants, decluttering, and more. At the end of each chapter is a section termed “mindful pause”, which is a short breathing exercise, followed by an affirmation pertinent to that chapter.

At the end of the book there is a resources section that includes websites and books, followed by an index.

This is an interactive book that helps the reader align the energy of their home with their energy, as well as showing the reader how to nurture themselves. It is a wonderful resource that is much more than a one time read.

Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction without written approval from the author.

Review: The 21-Day Revival – A Whole Food and Nutrition Program For A Healthy Body

The 21-Day Revival –
A Whole Food and Nutrition Program
For A Heathy Body

 

Author: Dr. Joshua Levitt
UpWellness LLC
2019
ISBN #978-1-944462-14-7

“The 21-Day Revival” is a well thought out program developed by naturopathic hysician Dr. Joshua Levitt that addresses specifically chronic inflammation in the body. It gives the reader the tools that they need to keep inflammation under control. Some of the results that you can expect to see when following this program include weight loss, an improved energy level, improvement in skin, mood, and digestion. (As an older female with IBS, all of this is important.)

The book is divided into three main sections: (1) The 21-Day Revival and Nutrition Guide, (2) The 21-Day Revival Program Manual (this section is the day by day guide to moving through the program), and (3) daily lessons.

The program is divided into three phases: Phase One (days 1-7) – phasing out junk food and junk drinks, eliminating white carbohydrate sources and replacing them with whole grains, along with some simple lifestyle changes; Phase Two (days 8-14) – adding more plant based superfoods, decreasing animal protein and sugar; and Phase Three (days 15-21) – focusing on optimized nutrition and maximal anti-inflammatory eating.

The book is chock-fill of very calm (serene) black and white pictures of what is being talked about in each section.  The commentary is to the point, and at a level that everyone can understand. Note: The sections should be followed as they are presented. Eat what is suggested, eliminate from your diet what is suggested, and see how your body reacts.

This book is what I consider to be a tool of empowerment in taking control over my health. I think that you will see it that way too.

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review: Learning To Thrive – An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Workbook

Learning to Thrive –
An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Workbook

Author: Giulia Suro, PhD.
Rockridge Press
2019
ISBN #978-1-64152-563-3

“Learning to Thrive –  An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Workbook” is meant to act as a platform to simplify self-acceptance therapy through intuitive exercises. It is literally meant to help the reader learn to relate to their thoughts, feelings and emotions in a more positive manner.

Note: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is referred to as ACT in this book.

I appreciate the way in which this book is organized – there are separate sections devoted to specific life areas: family and personal life; health and wellness; community and social life; work, hobbies, and vocation; personal growth, and spirituality.

This system helps individuals to change their life into what they want it to be. (Note: At the beginning of the book reference contacts are given for help lines that deal with emergency mental health situations.) Throughout the book various exercises are presented to help the reader determine what it is that they really want. The chapters are very specific, so the reader can head straight to the life area that they want to work on at any time. Core values are discussed, and real life personal stories are presented in a way that the reader can easily connect with them. At the beginning of each chapter is a listing of what that chapter can help the reader with, at end of each chapter highlights are given for that chapter.

This is a very practical workbook that gives the reader useful tools with which to make changes in their life that have a positive impact, that allow the reader to see themselves, and their life, in a whole new context. It can be applied to very specific issues and areas of life, and is presented in a very clear, straightforward manner that allows anyone, even those new to ACT. The final chapter shows the reader how to bring it all together in their own life. At the end of the book are bonus work sheets, references, and an index. I give this book two thumbs up!

Please note: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.