Review: The Magic Moon Lenormand Oracle

The Magic Moon Lenormand Oracle

Author: Heather Mendel
Artist: Heather Mendel
A Word of Art
2018
ISBN #0-9710976-2-3

“The Magic Moon Lenormand Oracle” is presented as two decks (2 ¾” by 4 ¾”, and 2 ¼” by 3 ½”), a beautiful lavender mesh bag to store them in, and a 191 page workbook. Where to start! A good place to start is with Heather herself. I met Heather a few years ago at a Tarot conference. She is a joyous, lovely lady – a South African born mystic and intuitive counselor. Her previous work includes “The Sacred Mandala Tarot”, “The Sacred Mandala Lenormand Oracle”, and “The Syzygy Oracle”. I fully admire the manner in which Heather brings together Kabbalah, Tarot, women’s spirituality, sacred geometry and mythology into her interpretations as a tool for self-awareness and self-empowerment.

Why two decks? Does one just go in our purses with us for on the run readings? It is a bit more complicated than that (yet not really complicated at all). It gives the reader a choice of sizes for regular readings, and an easier layout for the Grand Tableau. In a full reading the larger deck is laid down for the Houses, then the smaller deck is shuffled and set out over the larger cards, leaving the relevant House card information visible.

Note: There are four bonus cards giving added choices for Man and Woman: a male and a female figure, and the iconic male and female symbols that can be read for masculine and feminine energy.

The color black is used as background for both the front and the back of the cards, representing unknown mystery, from which intuition springs. The backs show two quarter moons in white, with female figures sitting on each of them, facing each other. The backs are not reversible. The card faces show the card number and title across the top of the card, and the card number across the bottom. At the top of the card, under the card title/number, there is a white quarter moon and female figure, with the emblem of the associated suit and playing card to the right. The card image is under this – strong, clear images in a bright color palette. The border designs are color coded – yellow, blue, green, and pink: yellow for Diamonds (associated with Wands/intuition), blue for Spades (associated with Swords/thought/being), green for Clubs (associated with Coins/physicality), and pink for Hearts (Cups/emotions).

The workbook is something that I am really impressed with. It functions both as a workbook, and as a companion book. In her introduction, Heather talks about oracles as being a portal to the intuitive surrounding us. She also talks about her time in South Africa, and her move to the United States. She talks about us being a global family, and the increasing need for intuitive awareness and skill.

There is a Keyword Chart, including the Lenormand card number and name, the associated playing card and suit, along with keywords. Each card is then presented with a black and white scan on the left hand page (with space for the reader/student to makes notes), and card information on the left hand page, including Name and Number, Keywords, Theme, Tone, Time Frame, Significator, Mindfulness, Added Meaning, Grand Tableau, Meanings (Literal, Symbolic, Metaphoric, Spiritual, Noun, Verb, Descriptive (adjective and adverbs), People, Spectrum, and Advice.

This is followed by a section that addresses the cards as a story, including the Lenormand, Kabbalah, and the Hero’s Journey. Techniques are given for reading single cards, two card combos, three/five/seven card combos, a nine card spread, and the Grand Tableau. The final section of the book is magic – a compendium of two card combinations, and how to read them.

I am fairly new to reading the Lenormand, but I highly recommend this deck (large and small version), and the workbook. Through this work we can open ourselves to our intuition, and begin to grasp things that we may have never thought of before!

© May 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

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Review: “A New Republic of the Heart”

A New Republic of the Heart:
An Ethos for Revolutionaries –
A Guide to Inner Work for Holistic Change

Author: Terry Patten
North Atlantic Books
2018
ISBN: 1623170478

 A New Republic of the Heart

“A New Republic of the Heart” is a 408 page book on the transformation of civilization in regard to our current global issues. To get the most out of this book, one needs to look at the background of the author. Terry Patten has devoted his life to understanding the evolution of consciousness by facing, examining, and healing our global crisis through merging spirit and activism. He is a philosopher, activist, and social entrepreneur. His written works encourage his readers to become activists in their own way, in their own lives.

In his introduction, Patten talks about our need for guidance from a higher wisdom. He makes the very interesting observation that all of humanities highest wisdom traditions are in conversation as never before. He also asks: How can we “be the change that we want to see in the world”?

Patten talks about “whole system change”, a broad transformation of all human civilization. Constant transformation. Like it or not, we are all interconnected. Patten teaches us to turn what we see as problems into opportunities, to encourage conversation with those we agree with, as well as those that we do not agree with, and to form creative responses. He encourages all of us to be active agents of transformation. It can be scary, as we face both spiritual and political awakenings – and see how intertwined they are.

Patten has broken this material into four parts: Part One puts the material into a multidimensional consciousness. Part Two explores the integral understanding of the nature of individual and collective spiritual practice, purpose, social responsibility, and evolutionary activism.

The work that we do here is both inner and outer work. The writing in this book is clear and concise. While Patten talks about global issues, about issues that we face on a day to day basis, he speaks at a level that we can all understand, about subjects that have great depth. I liked the manner in which this material was organized – it describes the journey that Patten has taken, and allows us to take the journey with him. The problems that we are facing are termed “wicked problems”, because they are wickedly hard to solve. Patten notes that some people have categorized climate change as a “super-wicked problem”. Then there are the “black swan events” – transformation that comes about dramatically and suddenly, due to events that we could not have predicted.

I have to note here something that I was fascinated by, and that was the Four Quadrant diagram, where we are looking at interior and exterior, merged with individual and collective. The four resulting quadrants are Subjective, Objective, Intersubjective, and Interobjective. Quite the picture in words!

As core modules of individual practice, Patten lists Body, Mind, Spiritual, and Shadow Work. Under relational practices, he lists intimate relationships, work and creative service, and civic participation.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to transform themselves and the world around them. At the end of the book Patten presents a list of resources to help the reader implement this material into their own lives. I found this list to be comprehensive, and useable. There are some marvelous tools for change here! Another plus is that there is an index of names and terms, with a link to where they can be found in the book.

© April 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Uber, Lyft, Or An Ambulance?

The most recent issue of AARP begins with a short article entitled “Uber and Lyft Disrupting Ambulance Usage”. Fortunately, the article itself was much more balanced that the title was. Why would anyone choose to take Uber or Lyft to the hospital (read ER)? Because, my dear, it costs a whole lot less!

The article notes that emergency medical transport in an ambuance can easily exceed $1,000. I can testify to that, as my oh dark thirty ambulance ride last October was over $1,000. Of that, my insurance covered all but $200. I was not in a position to call Uber or Lyft – I could not breath. If I had called Uber or Lyft, their driver would have to have been out of his or her mind to accept me as a passenger, as I could not breath without great effort.

In a less serious situation, Uber or Lyft I feel is a more than acceptable option. I would rather not see questionable drivers on the road. (As in a driver that starts out their trip to the ER in relatively okay shape, but then takes a turn for the worse.) Interestingly enough, the article states that Lyft is being incorporated into some emergency systems. In such a case scenario, a triage nurse decides whether an individual requires an ambulance or not.

From a conversation that I had with one of my nurses when I was in the hospital, I know that the hospital in question does not allow a patient that is being released to drive themselves home if they have been given pain medication. In such a case, either Uber of Lyft will be called for them.

From my personal perspective, allowing Uber of Lyft to take less serious individuals to the hospital frees up medical resources. Having said that, Uber and Lyft drivers need to  use their comon sense – if a prospective passenger looks unstable healthwise, they need to encourage them to call and ambuance.

(c) April 2018 Bonie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review: King Billy and the Royal Road

King Billy and the Royal Road

Author: RC Ajuonuma
Illustrator: Beverley Young
Silverwood Books
2017
ASIN #B0771VL77Q

King Billy

King Billy and the Royal Road” is a lovely children’s book, based on the Major Arcana of the Tarot (which are often referred to as the Royal Road). It is written in short paragraphs, akin to poetry, and shows a fluid series of thoughts for a young boy called Billy.

The format of the story is very much fairy tale/adventure, with Billy waking up to an empty refrigerator. No food! He tries to wake his mother, but is unable to, so he makes the decision to grab a sack, and a stick, and begin his journey to find food. (For those who know the Tarot, in the card entitled The Fool the character is on a journey, with his belongings tied up in a sack that he carries at the end of a stick. Billy makes his way past a dog that his mother has told him is his best friend, while the Fool has a little white dog that travels with him, and nips at his heels.)

Note: I need to mention here that Billy lives with his mother, who feeds him well and keeps him protected from the outside world. Indeed, he has no experience of the outside world, about people, and places, because his mother does not let him out.

Throughout his journey, Billy comes upon people and places that have food to offer. They also offer him other things – such as an atlas to the world (where he could find food on his own), and words of wisdom (he is not the Prince that he thinks he is). He ends up with more food than he cares for, but he has lost the beautiful young lady he talked to on his journey.

The dog that is mother had told him was his friend reappears.  In his haste to get away from him, Billy ends up in a cave, with a lamp on a table of stone, and a book. Every page said the same thing: “Be brave, be true, and your heart will find you.”

This is quite a fascinating journey, divided into three parts: Part 1 – The Way To Your Heart, Part 2 – Be Brave, Be True, and Part 3 – What Was Lost Can Be Found. This coincides readily with one way of breaking down the Major Arcana into stages of progression on the journey to enlightenment: (1) consciousness (the outer concerns of society), (2) subconscious (our inner search for self), and (3) superconscious (developing a spiritual awareness). It is presented in a manner that a young child can understand.

It was a pleasure to read this book, with the gentle black and white images by artist Beverley Young. It certainly lends itself to and adult reading the book to/with a child, and to ensuing discussions about what the child is getting from the book. I would love to read more books from author RC Ajuonuma along this line.

© February 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Review: Ordinary Mystic – Practicing the Presence

Ordinary Mystic
Practicing the Presence

Author: Curran Galway
Balboa Press
2016
ISBN #978-1-5043-4952-9

Ordinary Mystic cover

The primary character in this novel is thirty-five year old Bridget McGuire. She is in a dysfunctional marriage, tied to the day to day care of three children under the age of five. She felt invisible until she went on one of a series of retreats in the Santa Cruz mountains of California, which is where she fell in love with God.

The premise of the novel is that Bridget McGuire is an ordinary mystic, feeling the need to tell her story to others, so that she could awaken other mystics. I have a problem right here, with individuals who call themselves mystics. Yes, Bridget calls herself an ordinary mystic (i.e. someone functioning in the ordinary, physical who has mystical experiences). While this does not take away from the story itself, it does clash with my beliefs, and whoever reads this review should know this. I certainly believe in mystical experiences, I just have difficulty with people identifying as mystics.

The backbone of this story is about how Bridget struggles to integrate the extraordinary into the ordinary in her life. With not enough time in the day, she manages to start each day in meditation, reaching out to form a connection with God. She tries to carry that energy with her throughout the day.

Bridget is a stay at home mom, with a marriage that is unraveling, and a husband who has issues with alcohol. She is disconnected from her biological family, which is fairly dysfunctional stemming from issues within both of her parents. Her husband’s family is also dysfunctional, with the added issue of alcohol problems. The dysfunction within both families is what led to Bridget and her husband marrying at an early age – for both of them it was an escape from difficult home environments.

At the retreat, which Bridget returns to several times, she begins to fall in love with the priest that is doing the teaching. (Bridget and her husband were both brought up in the Catholic faith. The retreat is a Catholic retreat.) Through her discussions with this priest (Father Christian Mann), Bridget begins to see a bigger, clearer picture of life.  She finds, to her shock, that Father Mann is questioning his faith. (In his fifties, Father Mann has served the church since he was very young.)

Bridget builds a picture in her mind of forming a life with Father Mann, as she sees her life with her husband disintegrating. There are good times, and difficult times, as Bridget comes to realize that Father Mann has more issues than just the questioning of his faith.

An important thing to remember here is the time in which this story takes place – the 1980’s. If we remember this, we can keep a clear perspective on the issues within both families, and the issues within the church. The issues within both families revolve around strong, autocratic fathers who see themselves in charge of everything within the family, and the final word on everything. The issues within the church revolve around whether priests should be allowed to marry, on alcoholism within the priesthood, and the church’s views on the place of women.

The writing in this book is fluid, and the story flows. There are high emotions across the scale that grab the reader and hold them riveted to the story. The characters are well defined, and stay true to themselves. It is of note that this fictional story is based on Curran Galway’s true life story.

I found this book to be important because it made the lives of the characters seem real. The decisions that Bridget McGuire had to make were a logical progression of where her life was heading. I found a bit of discrepancy in some of Bridget’s actions, based on her financial foundation, but the life story held strong. Readers who have had mystical experiences, but have not come out with them for fear of being judged, will find wisdom in this book. I recommend this book for those wishing to understand mystical experiences, as well as those wishing to form a personal connection with God.

© August 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Review: Dreams of Heaven – Two Realities – One Divine Truth

Dreams of Heaven
Two Realities. One Divine Truth.

Author: Elizabeth M. Herrera
Blue Gator Inc.
ISBN #978-0-9903492-3-5

Dreams of Heaven cover

Dreamtime is a time of healing, but sometimes our dreams can haunt us. This is the case for Savannah Watkins – she dreams of losing her husband and children in a horrific car accident. She, however, survives. Or does she? As she struggles with the two realities, Jesus Christ appears to her. Not only to her, but to her entire family! Her children are excited to be talking to Jesus – her husband does not want to believe that Jesus is right in front of him. It bothers him to the extent that he keeps fainting whenever Jesus appears.

This book is written in a very pleasing format – alternating between one reality and the other, and bringing in other family members, and pets. Jesus sits and chats with Savannah about all sorts of things. He walks with her on the beach, and he takes an incredible trip through a grocery store with her!

Savannah is on very much a fantasy journey with Jesus, as he tries to get her to understand who she is in relation to God (indeed, who we all are!), and what powers she actually has. Savannah asks questions about life, and Jesus answers them – in his own manner. What he actually wants is for Savannah to come to her own answers.

As Savannah comes to know herself better, she begins to feel the love emanating from spirit, the love that we are capable of gifting to each other. She see that love emanating from herself, her husband, and her children. It fills her with peace and joy. Knowing this, she makes the decision on which reality is hers. No spoilers – I won’t tell you what she decides!

It is interesting to note that the inspiration for Dreams of Heaven came from a vivid dream that Herrera had. In the dream, Jesus Christ appeared, and showed her four scenes. This became the foundation for this book. Jesus acts as a guide in one of the most wonderful stories that I have ever read. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

 © July 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Review: Find and Follow Your Inner Compass

Find and Follow Your INNER COMPASS
Instant Guidance in an Age of Information Overload

Author: Barbara Berger
O-Books
2017
ISBN #1780995105

Barbara Berger cover

I have been an ardent fan of Barbara Berger for many years now. Her style is real, personal, and down to earth. She is there to help the reader help themselves, to define and lead a quality life. She cares. In “Find and Follow Your INNER COMPASS”, Berger addresses the fact that we are continually being bombarded with information on what we need to do, as well as what we shouldn’t be doing, to live a happy life. The bottom line here is that we need to decide what is right for us as individuals, and follow that path.

In her foreword Berger talks about how plugged in we are to each other, how we have constant online access to what everyone is thinking, saying, feeling, and doing. I read these words, and think about my younger years. Rotary dial phones (only came in black, and the repairman did come inside the house), typewriters (and the advent of erasable typing paper), and hand written, snail mail letters. (Loads of perfumed letters were sent through the mail!).

Berger states that we are continually bombarded by what we “should” and “should not” do to live a happy life. She posits that how can anyone know what is best for themselves in any given situation? Is there a way to take into consideration each individual’s wants, needs, and desires?  This book is all about finding one’s internal guidance system – one’s Inner Compass. We all have an Inner Compass, and it is always sharing information with us. How does it do this? Through our emotions. What a thought!

In this book Berger talks about our emotions, and why they are important. When we live a life aligned with our Inner Compass, and our emotions, we are aligned with who we truly are, and with what is most suitable for us. Part One talks about what our Inner Compass is, and how it works.  Part Two addresses the challenges of working with our Inner Compass, such as what sabotages our ability to listen to and follow our Inner Compass. What is the true significance of our emotions? Are we being selfish in doing so? How can we constructively deal with the fear of other people’s disapproval?

Throughout the book Berger presents, in terms that we can all  understand, what our emotions are, and how we can use them to guide our lives. What I really liked was when she connected our Inner Compass with the Great Universal Intelligence. Now we are rocking! When we are aligned with this very basic yes/no system, we are happy and content. When we are not aligned, we feel discomfort and uneasy. Bottom line – we feel better when we are aligned with ourselves, when we are being our true selves. Our Inner Compass basically tells us how we feel about life, how we feel about our decision, how we feel about what is going on around us.

Berger gives us two basic reasons why we may not be in contact with our Inner Compass: (1) a lack of awareness that our Inner Compass even exists, and (2) most of us have been trained from childhood to make most of our decisions with an eye to pleasing other people. Another biggie that Berger addresses is that we may have been taught that our feelings did not matter. (My immediate thought here was that as women enter various professions, they distance themselves from their emotions so as to appear to make “logical” decisions. A corollary to this is that most boys are taught from day one not to cry, not to express their emotions. No wonder we have not connected with our Inner Compass!)

There is an excellent exercise in Part One that helps the reader to connect with their Inner Compass. In doing this exercise, it is very evident that Berger relies not only on what she has studied, what she has been taught, but what she has learned in working with her clients. Win/win!

Berger advises her readers to check in with their Inner Compasses regularly. Life is ever evolving, we are always having to make decisions – so yes, connect with your Inner Compass as many times a day as you need to! In conjunction with connecting with our Inner Compass is the thought that we have to deal with our own personal fear of our emotions.  Berger suggests that we start slowly when connecting to our Inner Compass, so that we do not overload ourselves with anxiety. We are told that change will happen naturally and automatically. Whew!

One of the really nice little “add ins” that Berger gives the reader is an emotional scale, running from high, good feeling energy, to low, bad feeling energy. This is both an interesting and helpful scale.

I also loved the examples given in the book, such a dealing with a job offer, and a marriage crisis. Examples of what each of us can face in life at any point in time. Berger also addresses what can happen when we do not pay attention to our Inner Compass, and that negative emotions can actually be our friend. I love the breakdown of life activities into “Survival”, “In Between Stuff”, and “Your Passion”. A good way to give ourselves a heads up on where to put our energy.

Part Two deals with dealing with our fear of disapproval and other challenges to following our Inner Compass. Berger talks about our concern that if we follow our Inner Compass, we will make someone else unhappy. She talks about our thinking determining our experience, and that happiness is really an inside job. She also reminds us that different people react differently to the same situation. I love the section on taking our power back – that in reality we are the only ones that can make ourselves happy. Berger also references very real issues, such as other people being out of alignment, and wanting us to fix them, and arbitrary standards of behavior (standards of behavior set by people or groups outside of ourselves). Berger shares a wonderful map on assertive rights by Manuel J. Smith (from “When I Say No, I Feel Guilty).

I am not going to state what her experience was, because that would be a spoiler, but Berger shares what her Inner Compass told her at a significant time in her life, and how it changed her life.

This is a fantastic book! If you are willing to work with it, your life will flow freely, and you will experience anything that you have the ability to envision! Definitely a resource book for personal growth!

 © July 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.