Chatting With Andrea Aste

Chatting With Andrea Aste

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I am very blessed to have been able to follow Italian philosopher/artist Andrea Aste’s extraordinary project “The Lost Code of the Tarot” from it’s inception. Andrea has agreed to talk to us about his project – where it is, and where it is going!

andrea-aste-with-booksI want to give a big thank you to Andrea for sharing these wonderful photos with us! And to his friend Steven Bright for the lovely photos that he allowed Andrea to share with us. Love that London bus – that is an incredible pic! Very “Harry Potter”!

BC: Andrea, I understand that this project started out as an exhibition only. In a way, you became The Alchemist, as you had ideas come to you in the form of visions, which evolved into short stories, and then a mockumentary. How did this all happen?

AA: When I started the project my ideas were simple: I wanted to create a tarot deck for an exhibition about alchemy and magic, exploring the way our fantasy can shape our own reality. Tarot has been part of my life from the beginning. My mother was a tarot collector and reader, I recall when she used her deck to scatter sparkles of magic all around our life; “The tarot is telling me that it is time for you to go to bed”… “I see in the cards that your day will be really special”… and she made our days special indeed. I wanted to evoke that feeling of wonder and magic that she was able to create. However, the project took soon a life on its own. The Origin of Tarot

While creating the deck I had a very detailed vision of a magical world in which tarot cards were powerful magic portals created by an Alchemist. Every card began to tell me a little piece of the story, capturing me and taking me on a journey of discovery of remote lands where mythical beasts live free. I saw amazing cities whose gilded domes rose in the desert like glittering flowers. I was driven by the richness details of the vision, and I decided to make it a reality. The Book Of Shadows – The Beginning

andrea-aste-asteian-libraryInspired by the Voynich manuscript and the beautiful Da Vinci’s codes, I began to create the Alchemist’s manuscript, The Book of Shadows. It is an enchanted journal protected by an obscure cypher in which the  Alchemist described his experiments and discoveries, explaining how he created the first tarot cards. The pages are covered with strange drawings, spells, magic seals and alchemical formulas. The manuscript is like an enchanted mirror, every time I looked at its pages my imagination went to another plane of reality and other strange stories came into my mind. One night I started to write them down, pretending they were the work of deciphering made by Ebenezar Everard Prescott, professor of Western Esotericism and Philosophy at the prestigious Balthazar Alfaraby Center for Anthropological Studies in Oxford (ever been there? It’s a nice building in the middle of the countryside). To make a long story short, I connected the different parts of the vision creating a mockumentary. Without knowing it, I plunged down into the Rabbit hole. In this way, after three years of ‘alchemical’ non-stop-working, the Steampunk Renaissance World came to life. Magic Is In the Air

BC: At what point in the mockumentary did you begin looking for collaborators? I have to say, it was/is great fun to see people that I know participate! It was like I was there!

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AA:  The starting idea for the project was to create an exhibition where real historical finds can be mixed up with the objects I have created. Fiction and reality have to communicate in order to entertain the audience while at the same time making visitors think about the role of fantasy and myth in the representation and understanding of our very own world and life. It would be a magical experience, people will be able to interact with the parallel world and be part of it with interviews, creative workshops, etc. The purpose would be to take advantage of the same mechanism used by Orson Welles in his famous radio broadcast of the Martian invasion (Mercury Theatre on the Air, 1938). (Photo on the left from Mr. Steven Bright.)

andrea-aste-umbra-1Thus, when I started to work on the documentary, I decided to fuse animations and real action film, mingling reality with fiction. I selected a few experts in their fields, professors working with BBC in the realization of amazing documentaries, as Prof. Roger Scruton and Prof. Casely-Hayford and international experts of tarot, like Mary Greer. A super duper VIP is part of the project too: Arturo Brachetti, a famous Italian quick change performer, actor and director. He is the voice over of the animation and a very special character in the film. It was very amazing to work with all of them. The Code of the Tarot

BC: At one point in this process you had a very hard choice to make. For many reasons, you were looking at giving up the project, or doing everything alone. You chose to keep going, and do everything alone. How did this impact your life, then and now?

andrea-aste-magic-book-before-afterAA: This project marks the turning point in my artistic and personal life. It is the first project so much articulated and deeply rooted in my passions and philosophical background. It was the first time I created an animation as well as a film. I asked for help, looking for collaborators, experts and professionals … but no one here in Italy believes in dreams anymore. They don’t invest any more in art or culture. Thus I had two roads lying in front of me: give up or doing everything alone. I chose the second path. It was “monstrously” difficult.

I took care of every detail of the project working day and night. My friends became actors, one of them, Giorgio Boffa, composed the splendid soundtrack. Seeing the situation in my country, I decided to open my creativity to the world and I began to work in English. The price was high, I was secluded in my studio for three long years and I exhausted myself. But I had a goal: I wanted to make the vision real with creating a parallel world so magical to be able to make people dream.

We live in a difficult moment in our history, we need to learn to dream again, to fight for our happiness. We have lost the habit to ask ourselves what we would like to be and do. We do and are what the society tells us to do and be. Quentin Crisp, an English writer, years ago asked his audience: “What would you be like if there was nobody else in the world? Who would you be if the only opinion that mattered was yours? Because if you want to be truly happy you must be that person.” My project is an artistic way of formulating the same question, and what better way than a project about tarot, magic and alchemy to bring back our inner child? When we are children we know how to fly with the magic carpet of our fantasy. I fully re-discovered mine inner child thanks to this project. I shaped the Parallel World, and while creating it, the Parallel World shaped me.

BC: There were many firsts for you in this project: first animation, first movie, first project that was so complex and articulated – all in a language that was not your own! (Remember, Andrea has presented all of this in English, which is a second language to him.) How did you manage to make it through this time? (Out of necessity, you were secluded in your studio. That had to be difficult!)

AA: Yes, Bonnie, it was very difficult. I used to work from 8:30 am to 2 or 3 in the morning of the day after, every single day, every months. Creating a film all alone is not easy. I had to study and experiment while working on it, all at the same time! …and the film is just one of the many parts of the projects. But I knew I had to follow my path.

Then, while I was recording the interviews with real experts, my mom had a horrible stroke. I spent the last two years going to and fro the hospital, fighting for her recovery that never came. She was paralyzed, unable to read and communicate in any way… it was a living hell. She was my manager, a friend and a great supporter. She passed away a few days before my coming to your country, February of this year… she never saw the completed project.

For all that time I was clinging to my vision not to despair. I put all my soul into it. She taught me to live for my dreams, I did it with this project more than ever, and now I can share a fictional world in which dreams and magic really matter. I have never told before this part of the story, it’s too recent, too painful.

BC: This is a fictional world, a lovely parallel world that belongs to an ancient Alchemist, his Book of Shadows, and his magic. What can you tell us about this world?

andrea-aste-book-of-shadows-lettersAA: The Parallel World is a sort of Davy Jones’ locker of our conscience where odd and apparently incoherent things gather: treasure chests full of dreams, decaying shipwrecks of unfinished thoughts, galleons made of visions lost in the maze of our mind. Everything amasses here, giving creation to an ideal place constructed of mysterious pieces of the past and fragments of memories and legends, a magical place where eccentric and strange creatures live walking along narrow roads whose lamps are lit by fireflies. You can meet an enchanting siren pedaling her bicycle to and fro while carrying a gramophone singing old charlestons. There’s the weary prophet solitarily playing poker and a pegged-legged pirate with his pompous parrot stuttering Shakespeare. Just around the corner a deep sea diver with his diving suit filled with slowly swimming water coloured butterflies… In the Alchemist’s World impossible is just a colored tattoo on the arm of a cursed captain …

BC: You studied the Marseilles and Visconti-Sforza Tarot decks as a basis for your deck. What is the reason for this?

andres-aste-book-of-shadows-booksAA: The premises of the project are that a mysterious Alchemist (Johannes Athanasius Prometheisus) invented the tarot. Thus, if I wanted to create something that looks like the first tarot I had to study the most ancient cards ever found, that’s to say the Visconti Sforza decks. They were the source of my inspiration along with the tarot of Marseille, another set of very important old cards and one of the most known and used for centuries. I like both, they have symbols and images rich in details that stir my imagination. I created a deck of tarot that can be like their ancestor, the one from which every other deck originated.

BC: Can you describe for how you developed the card backs?

img185AA: For the back of my cards I wanted something special, something that could be able to represent the concept of the deck and the Alchemist’s inventiveness in the style of the Renaissance Steampunk World I created.  While I was researching and studying the matter I stumbled in an interesting tome. It was a compendium of geography, a very beautiful renaissance book coming from the Islamic world. It captured my imagination. I saw an amazing representation of the Holy City of Mecca, drawn in a very peculiar way, with no perspective and so rich of details. I found it very interesting. Immediately something clicked: I decided to represent the main plaza of Sapientia in the same style. In my Parallel World, Sapientia is deeply connected with the Alchemist and it’s the city governed by men of knowledge and philosophers. It is the city of science where strange devises and inventions are created.

The back of my tarot shows the main piazza, called The Sea of Dreams. In its centre there is a rectangular pool filled with a mystical and magical water where stars, moons and planets are slowly floating. It represents the sea of knowledge, it shows everything that was, that is and that will be.

The pool is guarded by two statues of Cyndre Mapa, the cosmic Elephant carrying the World (in traditional cosmology of the Parallel World). It is, by the way, the symbol of the city and of the Alchemist himself: is it a coincidence? I don’t think so. I need to do more research. Next springtime I am going to lead a new archaeological expedition. We will look for the lost city of Sapientia. But I cannot say more, not right now. All around the piazza, magnificent palaces rise with their gilded domes, turrets and spikes, hanging porticoes and shady colonnades, and beautiful luxurious gardens on the top of the buildings.

BC: The Majors stick closely to traditional Tarot imagery. What style did you use for the images, and for what reason?

AA: I elaborated the Visconti Sforza and the Marseille decks in my own style, but limiting my palette to only two colours: red and black. All the Alchemist’s works, manuscripts and blue prints of his whimsical inventions are made in those two colours. A peculiar choice that according to Prof. Lewis Madison Hatter, director of the laboratory of the Royal Museum of the History of Science in London, can be explained by the subtitle of the Alchemist’s manuscript: “Dissolve the Black of the Unknown in the Red of Passion”. The Black refers to mystery, the unknown, the darkness to combat with the light of reason, evil seen as ignorance. Instead Red is the symbol of the power of man’s intellect, his passion and investigative curiosity, the Truth. Well… according to Professor Lewis Madison Hatter. His theory seems sound, doesn’t it? What do you think Bonnie?

BC: Andrea, I have to agree with the good professor – mystery, intellect, and passion come together to form our world.

BC: You have changed the suit of Pentacles/Coins to the suit of Ouroboris. I find that fascinating! What was your reasoning?

AA: Yes, instead of the coins we have the Uroboros. The word derives from ancient Greek οὐροβόρος ὄφις (ouroboros ophis) and it means ‘the snake who devours its tail’. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance it became an alchemical symbol. I decided to use it because its circular shape reminded me of a coin, and, above all, for its meaning. The Uroboros symbolizes the never ending cyclicality, something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return. For the Ancient Greeks it represented the perfect form of the infinite. It is a concept I am deeply interested in.  Even the very sound of the word has something “ancestral” and mysterious. I love ancient Greek. It is my favorite language, very poetical and rich in images. I studied it during high school. Here and there in The Book of Shadows there are some fictional names that are ancient Greek words, if you get the meaning you understand the jokes: it is a sort of meta-language. I love playing with words.

BC: I love that the book that accompanies your deck is a Book of Shadows, and not a book of card meanings. How did this come about?

andrea-aste-the-book-of-shadowsAA: Actually I wanted to create a book with both sections: the card meanings and the short stories, but it was impossible. It would have been too thick and it would have found no space inside its box. One should keep in mind that when I was working on the project I was thinking about Kickstarter, a crowd funding platform, I didn’t know that the project would had to have been sponsored by a major publishing house, so I had many limits. Thus, being forced to make a choice, I preferred to focus on the story telling aspect of the project, the most important for me  because it is the one connected to my vision, the one where all magic lies.

So I decided to give space to the Parallel World and the story of the mysterious Alchemist, with his tarot and   manuscript and his ancestral struggle against the evil secret society Umbra. The book became the enchanted door to my world. I recreated fictional documents and places, I gave life to characters that I present as real, such as Aar Adesten, a famous Elizabethan explorer or Madame Werefkin, a quite dark tarot reader. I love her, she is my 13900366_1689218418069759_6827843662527306158_nversion of the famous Madame Blavatsky. Everywhere in the book I mixed my fantasy with real historical facts and figures in such a way that many people wrote telling me that they had fun in discovering the line dividing them, or even adding new details. I had a professor of chemistry who sent me an email explaining that a peculiar short story I wrote, in this reality, had a scientific base, and demonstrated it with some charts… I was flabbergasted. My own world is taking its ‘revenge’ over me: everything I invented is getting real! This is witchcraft!

(Photo on the left from Mr. Steven Bright.)

BC: What is the next chapter for The Book of Shadows?

AA: There are several aspects I would like to see realized: first of all the exhibitions where my art and the props I’ve created for the film are fused with ancient books and artifacts, in order to “confuse” reality and fantasy. Exhibitions set up in such a way that we could ask ourselves if we are a dream in the mind of the Alchemist or each of us is a separate dreamer, evoking his own reality.

andrea-aste-rene-the-book-of-shadowsThen there is the film, of course. I would like to see it distributed. I would like to know what people think about the two levels of reality: our (fictional) present where The Book of Shadows is discovered, and the animation: the world of magic where fantastic creatures and the Alchemist live. I scattered the film with references to my works, jokes, other films, books, quotes and riddles. I think people can have fun in discovering all the little secrets of the mockumentary.

From now on, my life will be dedicated to expanding and enriching my parallel world with other decks, animations, multimedia projects and books. Books that would mix graphic novels and creative writing. Books not only to read, but also to look at and play with. I would like to involve people in a different way, with more interactive and new media. The Tea Party

BC: What would you like people to take from this project?

andrea-aste-museo-facciataAA: I would be very happy if I managed to create a world where people can find it pleasant to travel and wander around, a place to take shelter from everyday routine, to be free to dream. I would be very happy if every traveler could find in my parallel world something precious, whatever it may be: friends, ideas, inspiration, emotions … something to bring back to reality to make it a better and happier place. Then I would have achieved my goal, and

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend …

BC:  Do you have any last words for our readers?

andrea-aste-newspaper-the-city-voiceAA: We are what we dream! Our dreams shape our lives. This is the reason why I concentrated the last three years of my life on a project revolving around tarot; because a tarot card is like a door leading to infinite parallel worlds waiting to be discovered, it is up to us to open this door with our imagination and cross the threshold …

 

 

As you can see, Andrea Aste has been a very busy person! To see more about what he is up to, visit his site.

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© October 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

 

Time To Think About Holiday Shopping – Part 2!

Time To Think Holiday Shopping: Part 2!

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Many people feel that it is inappropriate to think about holiday shopping until after Thanksgiving. The thought behind this is that each holiday deserves its own moment in time. I feel that we can celebrate Thanksgiving in the manner that it was meant to be celebrated in, and still start planning our holiday shopping. If we give ourselves enough time to shop, we can actually create a budget, come up with meaningful gifts, and do it all without massive amounts of stress.

I am doing a series of blogs on gifts that come from the world of Tarot and divination. The items featured are those that struck my eye. Some will be recently out, some may have been out for some time. They all have an intrinsic value, from my point of view, and are worth considering. At the end of each blog you will find links to my other holiday themed blogs.

This blog is about Tarot and other divinatory decks – some from 2014, some prior. I enjoy working with them all. Please use this as a template only – think about the decks you like, and what you think others would enjoy.

Messages Oracle, Mary Nale, Independently Published, 2013.

Oracle of Initiation, Mellissae Lucia, Independently Published, 2012.

Oracle of Visions, Ciro Marchetti, U.S. Games Systems. 2014.

Tarot For Cats. Regen Dennis, Kipling West, MacMillan, 1996.

Tarot Learning Cards. Jay DeForest, Jadzia DeForest, Living Magic Publishing, 2014.

The Alice Tarot. Karen Mahony, Alexandr Ukolov, Magic Realist Press, 2014.

The Burning Serpent Oracle, Rachel Pollack, Robert M. Place, Hermes Publications, 2014.

The Chrysalis Tarot. Toney Brooks, Holly Sierra, U.S. Games Systems Inc. 2014.

The Rune Deck, Mary Nale, Independently Published, 2014.

The Sacred Mandala Oracle, Heather Mendel, Independently Published 2014

Under the Roses Lenormand, Kendra Hurteau, Katrina Hill, U.S. Games SYstems Inc., 2014.

Previous Blogs:

Tarot Books: https://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/time-to-think-about-holiday-shopping-part-2/

Tarot digital applications: http://theworldoftarot.wordpress.com/

© 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Time To Think Holiday Shopping – Part 1!

Time To Think Holiday Shopping – Part 1!

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Many people feel that it is inappropriate to think about holiday shopping until after Thanksgiving. The thought behind this is that each holiday deserves its own moment in time. I feel that we can celebrate Thanksgiving in the manner that it was meant to be celebrated in, and still start planning our holiday shopping. If we give ourselves enough time to shop, we can actually create a budget, come up with meaningful gifts, and do it all without massive amounts of stress.

I am doing a series of blogs on gifts that come from the world of Tarot and divination. The items featured are those that struck my eye. Some will be recently out, some may have been out for some time. They all have an intrinsic value, from my point of view, and are worth considering. At the end of each blog you will find links to my other holiday themed blogs.

This blog is about Tarot and other divinatory books.

78 Degrees of Wisdom. Rachel Pollack. Weiser, 2007.

Best Tarot Practices. Marcia Masino. Weiser Books, 2009.

Designing Your Own Tarot Spreads. Teresa Michelsen. Llewellyn, 2003.

Gaining Archetypal Wisdom: A Guidebook For Using Archetypes In Personal Growth & Healing. Toni Gilbert. Schiffer Publishing, 2011.

Messages From The Archetypes. Toni Gilbert, White Cloud Press, 2004.

Pictures From The Heart: A Tarot Dictionary. Sandra Thomson. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2003.

 Sepulchre. Kate Moss. Berkly Books, 2009.

Tarot and Individuation. Dr. Irene Gad. Nicolas-Hays, 2004.

Tarot and the Journey of the Hero. Hajo Banzhaf. Weiser Books, 2000.

Tarot Celebrations. Geraldine Amaral & Nancy Brady Cunningham. Red Wheel-Weiser, 2012.

Tarot, Birth Cards, and You – Keys To Empowering Yourself. Bonnie Cehovet, Schiffer Publishing, 2011.

Tarot For Writer’s. Corrine Kenner. Llewellyn Publications, 2009.

Tarot For Yourself. Mary K. Greer. New Page Books, 2002.

Tarot, Ritual, & You – The Power of Tarot Combined With The Power Of Ritual. Bonnie Cehovet. Schiffer Publishing, 2013.

The Kabbalah Tree. Rachel Pollack. Llewellyn Publications. 2004.

The Underground Stream: Esoteric Tarot Revealed. Christine Payne-Towler. Noreah Press, 1999.

The Woman With The Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail. Margaret Starbird. Bear & Company. 1993.

This is a short list – each of you may have other books in mind to give as gifts. Have fun with this!

 Previous Holiday Blogs:

Tarot & Divinatory Decks: https://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/time-to-think-about-holiday-shopping-part-2/ 

 Tarot digital applications: http://theworldoftarot.wordpress.com/

© 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Review – LunarCafe.com

LunarCafe.com

Lunar Cafe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) 2000 – 2014 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

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Review – “Whispers I Know”

Whispers I Know

Author: Noreen Jameson
2012
ISBN #978-1-105-60932-9

In the name of the Highest Being …
without beginning, without end …
the Eternal Being …
(from the introduction)

Noreen begins this book, her third (the first two being “Petals of the R.O.S.E.” and “Wells of Wisdom”), with the notation that she prefers to speak of her spiritual work as intuitive in nature, as opposed to being psychic. I agree with her, for the very reasons that she gives – that the word psychic is often regarded as being somehow in the realm of charlatans and fakirs. She then goes on to describe the different ways of sensing – clairvoyant (clear seeing), clairsentient (clear feeling), clairaudient (clear hearing), and clairalience (clear smelling), and claircognizant (clear knowing).

As a claircognizant, she knows things without ever having studied them, and without having any knowledge of the person or situation that she is receiving information about. This book is a continuation of her first two books … presenting information that has come to her in many different ways. (It might behoove me to note her that Noreen is a gifted metaphysician, healer, intuitive, and empath, who works closely with her guides and angels.)

One of the first things that Noreen talks about is finding our own spiritual essence, and that in doing so we will need to discard layers of negative/false conditioning. (Note: This is my perspective. We grow up with certain religious, cultural, and familial strictures/guidelines. As we go out into the world, we experience new things, and truly see what works for us. We keep what works for us, and discard the rest. Easier than it sounds, as family, friends, and the culture around us all push their own expectations on us.)

We are also encouraged to let our inner child out to play (not such an easy thing for an earth centered Cappie like me to do!). Easier for me is the encouragement to practice meditation, prayer, or simply take a “time out” on a regular basis. Be present, and live in the moment. Noreen touches on self-acceptance, and allowing ourselves to experience our emotions without repressing them, or judging them.

I loved the part about the life changes that we will experience when we live our spiritual essence. Amongst other things, we will feel lighter, worry less, experience less stress, and manifest more of what we want with less difficulty.

Each of the “clair” abilities is defined, along with how we process the information. Knowing that we have these abilities is really of no use until we develop them. The information in this book allows the reader to understand the process, which in essence takes the fear out of it. Then it goes one step further – with suggestions on how to develop each ability/ For this alone this book is worth a read!

The section on chakras is another of my favorites. The chakra system is how we process energy throughout our body. The seven major chakras are aligned on our spinal column (with the sixth chakra on our forehead, and the seventh chakra at the top of our head), and move energy up and down our spine. A blockage in one chakra not only presents problems with that particular chakra, but has the ability to affect all of the other chakras. I found the explanations of the chakras, how to tell if they were blocked, how to unblock them, and the questions that we need to ask ourselves, quite pertinent (as well as easy to understand).

A true gift is the section on grounding. It is so easy in this very fast paced world of our to become ungrounded. Too much information flying at us way too fast – instant overwhelm! To remain in the present, living from our center, we need to make the effort to remain grounded. Noreen presents information on Be-Ing Simple (a light meditation on the breath), and combining music with prayer/meditation.

There is also a section on crystals/gemstones and their color and energy associations. (The energy associations are specifically for abundance/ prosperity, safety/protection, dreamtime, healing/health issues, relationships, love relationships, and creativity.) Those who want to work with crystal grids will find information on that here too. For anyone who wants to do work on themselves, this will be pertinent information.

There is so much in this book that the reader can put to use in their life – including writing abundance checks (new moon schedules are provided for 2012 through 2015, as this is done within 24 hours after a new moon) and working with play money.

Noreen presents the Celtic Tree of Life as a subtle form of energy healing, on all levels. It is something that we can do on ourselves, as well as on others. Working with this system has many benefits, including clearing negative emotional patterns, connecting with Higher Self and Spirit, processing and releasing blocks, restoring balance, increasing awareness and clarity, and opening to vitality and wellness.

For those that work with Angels, Guides, and Archetypal energy, there is information on that here too! There is a nice explanation of what these energies are, and how to work with them. This is followed by a section on the construction and use of prayer beads. (I had never stopped to think that the prayer beads we place on our alter can be made of more delicate materials that prayer beads that we intend to carry with us!) If you want to construct your own prayer beads, this is a great section for you!

Noreen addresses Life Path Numbers as a tool for assessing our own spiritual essence. This section will lead many readers to a better understanding of themselves, and those around them. It is a tool that can be combined with other tools, such as Tarot, Angel work, and working with our Guides.

Another wonderful tool for understanding ones self and others is the Runes. They are presented here with great clarity … readers will find them very easy to work with. (This reminds me that I need to locate my set of Rose Quartz Runes – one that was specially made for me by a dear friend who has since passed on.)

Pendulum work is also discussed. A template is presented for asking questions of the pendulum which I find very interesting. I generally work within a directional Yes/No manner, so this is something new to me.

At the end of the book is an index that lists Tarot correspondences – what quality/energy is associated with which cards. This is a great help in learning the Tarot, or in expanding your knowledge of the Tarot.

There is a great deal of wisdom to be found within these pages (Note: I am reviewing the PDF format of this book). It is a wonderful read, and a great resource to have for personal work. Two thumbs up!

© July 2012 Bonnie Cehovet