How about today?

Bonnie Cehovet:

As always … well written, well thought out! <3

Originally posted on Mageborn's Weblog:

Again, I thought I’d ask.
The question is, ‘How about today?’  I wanted a bit of insight into what is expected of me today.6_5_Hierophant_wm  What do I need to bring to the table?  How do I need to approach everyone from the person running the till at the check out to the charming people who hold doors open when entering or exiting a store?  The answer was simple.  ‘Be Your Truest Self’  That’s the first thought when the Hierophant popped up reversed today.
Yes, there are many who don’t read with reversals insisting they’re too negative or wimpy at best.  I don’t happen to agree.  Reversed this lovely card tells me “Dance to your own drummer!”  So that is exactly what I will do.
I will dress to make me feel wonderful.  I will step out the door with a smile.  I will Be Who I Am with no…

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Review – The Inner Goddess Revolution

The Inner Goddess Revolution –
A practical and spiritual guide for
women who want more from life.

Author: Lyn Thurman
O Books
2015
ISBN #978-1-78279-454-7

The Inner Goddess Revolution

The bottom line in this book is authenticity – we need to be authentic to who we are as women. The essence of who we are needs to be set free and expressed. Thurman talks about little girls growing up, with the expectation of “fitting in”, rather than standing out. She talks about how their beliefs become out beliefs, without us really understanding why.

To live an authentic life, to put our own needs first, to be the center of our own universe, made possible through the use our personal strengths. We are introduced to our inner Goddess, the reflection of divine feminine essence. She is the wild, untamed part of us, but she is also ancient wisdom. In walking with our inner goddess, we find the path that is right for us, we find the courage to express and stand up for our truths. Through her we learn to listen to and act on our intuition.

Thurman writes in a style that connects her to her readers, and makes them feel at home. She shares her own story, her own path, her own wisdom … all of which easily reflects the lives of her readers. Literally a “kitchen table conversation with a good friend.

Throughout the book are little “time outs”, short sections where Thurman gives the reader an activity to do that will help them connect to their inner goddess. The first activity is literally a short exercise in tuning in. Other exercises include working on your intuition, breaking belief patterns, working with Ho’oponopono (I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.), acting and growing divine (belief, truth, action), protecting your boundaries, dealing with empty time, letting go of things that we may have done badly, understanding PMS, owning your cash flow, and supporting the sisterhood.

Thurman talks about life experiences from a female perspective, how to own them, move through them, and make them work for you. She gives the reader things to do, actions to take, so that this is much more than a book to read and put away – it is a book to reference as we move through life.

If you want to be all that you can be, if you want to release the beliefs that are holding you back, then this is the book for you.

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

Review – Sustain Yourself: Live Well and Live Long

Sustain Yourself:
Cards and Handbook to Live Well and Live Long

Author: James Wanless
Tarot Media Company
2011
ISBN #978-0-9833024-1-4

Sustain Yourself cover

“To ensure our futures and our very survival as a species,
sustainability is an ability that we must cultivate as a way of life.”

James Wanless

I love the Voyager Tarot, and was really not surprised to see James Wanless move into the sustainability realm. All of his work has to do with how we live, and our relationship to ourselvesa and our surroundings. “Sustain Yourself” is a 101 card deck and 88 page handbook dedicated to living well, and living long. The cards and handbook come in a sturdy, lift-top box that is done in white and green, with card images along all four sides.

The handbook is broken down into four parts: Part One – Sustainable Life, Part Two – Sustainability Roadmap, Part Three – Sustain Yourself Cards, and Part Four – Sustain Yourself Card Interpretations.

In Part One Wanless talks about living whole, and living in a conscious and balanced way. The pace of life, and how it is increasing, as well as the sheer volume of information available to us makes life very complex. Wanless notes that we have challenges that we have no clear means of managing successfully. He goes on to say that we still expect a certain quality of life (and I agree with him).

The skills of sustainability – “sustain abilities” – are, in fact, evolutionary traits that can carry us through times of personal and global change.”

Wanless notes that what helps us is that we are aware that we are evolving in consciousness, in behavior, and in body. He advises us to “be the change”, know that our security comes from within, and act on our intuitive thinking, and that a sustainable life comes from living an authentic life, with balance as our core sustain ability.

Part Two: Sustainability Roadmap, addresses nature as being the personal and collective roadmap for sustainability. I really like the thought that nature’s rules and ways of life can show us how to manage our relationships, business partnerships, and social/political alliances. And yes … we all do function to a greater or lesser extent in those areas. Nature’s “green wisdom” speaks to creativity, change, growth, and evolution. Wanless calls nature a living embodiment of balance and wholeness. Bottom line – we cannot take sustainability for granted!

Part Three: Green Wisdom Cards – The Sustainabilty Game of Life, addresses how to use the cards as a game focused on developing our sustain abilities.  An individual chooses one or more cards intuitively from the deck, face down. The cards are to be contemplated and acted upon. The cards educate, give insight, and evoke sustainable behavior and deeds. Each card in this deck represents one of our sustain abilities – which Wanless defines as fundamental eco-principles for personal, social, and environmental conservation and regeneration.

Card descriptions include a key phrase and catchwords. Ways of using the deck include a Daily One Card Action, Four Card Layouts, Question and Answer free form consults, to multi-card layouts. How these cards can be used is limited only by the imagination of those working with them. One example given in the handbook is Synergy. Cards are picked for mental clarity, emotional expressiveness, physical energy, spiritual growth, and worldly success. The cards are categorized as elemental, mineral, plant, animal, and human.

Part Four: Sustain Yourself Card Interpretations- The 101 Eco-Principles presents the 101 cards that represent eco-principles. The cards are alphabetically arranged, and include the sustain ability (listed across the top of the card), a keyword (listed across the bottom of the card), and a compressed write-up. Each card is presented with a black and white scan.

Note: The only issues that I have with the handbook is that the font size is so small that I had to use a magnifying glass, and the chapters run together. Once past that, the concepts are workable and enlightening!

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The cards are 3” by 5”, with sturdy, glossy card stock. The green leaf on the back of the card represents the primary eco-principle of our connection with nature. The card faces show a green border, with the eco-principle across the top, and a key word for action across the bottom. The artwork is photo collage, with images representing all aspects of our environment – plant, animal, mineral, as well as humanity (i.e. the face of Aging).

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Ancestor/Aging: We reach our full maturity by consciously growing ourselves with aging and reasoning. E call upon our experience and wisdom to produce and perform more effectively.

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Bear/Sleep: We sleep to restore ourselves.

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Cave/Investigation: Caves provide us with openings, allowing for access.  Be careful not to block channels of discovery and opportunity.

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Danger/Vigilance: Take precautions and preventive care, but be careful not to obsess.

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Darkness/Intuition: Darkness is all about mystery. Trust your intuition – do not fear or judge the darkness.

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Eagle/vision: See as a visionary, yet maintain focus. Look into the doable future with a discerning eye.

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Footprints/Information: Time runs from the past to the future. Know who you are by where you came from.

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Green Road/Path: Stay present and focused on the green walk of sustainability.

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Hive/Home: Care for the earth, your natural home. Make your home attractive and comfortable.

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Moon Wolf/Night: Your peak time is at night to magnetize and attract.

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Man/Imagination: Imagine a mental plan for the future. Lead by example.

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Turtle/Longevity: Take it easy, take your time, float along.

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Lake/Self-Knowing: The lake is a mirror of all that we are.

James Wanless is not only a best selling author, keynote speaker, and consultant, but he is also a futurist. He combines humor with very real techniques for keeping us connected with ourselves and our environment – working with individuals and corporations on strategic goal-setting. The stunning imagery in these cards acts as a gateway to wisdom that will allow us to live authentic and full lives.

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

Review – Recollections

Recollections

Author: Father Jack Frerker
Pax Publications
2011
ISBN #978-0-9740080-6-6

Recollections

This is the second non-mystery book from Father Jack Frerker, a retired Catholic priest from the Southern Illinois diocese of Belleville. This is a book of fiction, but it reflects the times that covers, both current and past. The story revolves around a retired priest who dictates his memoirs to a younger man in seminary, who becomes a priest himself before the project ends.

The story is both real and surreal – I lived through the times that the retired priest was active in the church. I have my own memories of those times, which brought me to tears more than once while I was reading this story. I am not Catholic (I was brought up in the Congregational church), but we were all a part of the bigger picture of life.

Many of the statements that the retired priest makes in his recollections follow my thoughts exactly. I strongly admired religious leaders of all denominations, and gave them more faith than was perhaps called for. It is of interest to see the retired priest as a young man, finding his way within the church. We see how he becomes aware of the politics, of how things are not always as they may seem.

Each chapter is headed by a short quote from the bible. The story is written with humor at times, especially regarding the diocese housekeepers, and their role in church life. (They had more power than one might think!) It is written with honesty, addressing the very real issue of sexual abuse within the church, and how it was ignored. It talks about the relationships between clergy, and how often many of them had no say in things.

Another important aspect of this story is church finances, and how the clergy, if so inclined, misused church funds. Ego can get in the way of the best of us!

The interaction between the young seminarian and the retired priest takes on a story of its own, as the memories of the retired priest often cause the young seminarian to question himself, and the church.

While this is a work of fiction, it reflects very real times. I highly recommend it as a way of broadening ones perspective about the history of the church, and our individual spiritual selves.

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

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,