Redesigning Cards in SKT for the New Edition

Scan of the pen and ink line drawings that will become the new card back design

It’s been back to the drawing board for me on account of a few cards from Spirit Keeper’s Tarot. As a rare books and art collector myself, I have some sense of considerations for what retains value of limited edition decks, and I wanted to honor those who supported me in the first edition black and white run by doing everything in my control to assure that your acquisition of the SKT first edition deck was a worthwhile investment. =)

Rejected drafts of card back designs.

I see SKT #2 as a sibling of SKT #1. It’s the same deck the same way siblings share the same DNA, but there are distinct physical and personality differences between #1 and #2. At least that is my hope for what you’ll be able to perceive between the two editions.

First, let’s just talk about the drawings. I’ll share with you which cards I’ve scrapped entirely, went back to a blank drawing board, and did an entirely new illustration.

Continue reading “Redesigning Cards in SKT for the New Edition”

My 2018 Year in Review

I used to do this by newsletter, but I accidentally deleted my regular newsletter mailing list in Mailchimp and then couldn’t figure out how to get it back. Oops.

To write up this year in review, I took out my 2018 Metaphysician’s Day Planner and went through the pages, the months at a glance, weeks at a glance, the divinatory forecasts, reflection notes, and everything I documented this past year. I’m gearing up to write in all my goals, resolutions, and plans for 2019 soon.

If you’d like to order a Metaphysician’s Day Planner for 2019, you can read more about it here before you buy.

Order Your 2019 Metaphysician’s Day Planner

Comes with a free 2019 Metaphysician’s Guidebook

If you’re into that whole tarot year thing (where you add up the digits for your month of birth, day of birth, and then this current year, 2018, then reduce it down to a number 1 through 22), then 2018 was a Strength/Justice year for me (depending on how you ascribe Key 8 in the Majors). I’m gonna guess my life path has programmed itself to the RWS system because it was definitely more of a Strength-y year than Justice-y.

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Is there a pagan community? PantheaCon’s current issues 2018 and my concerns.

This month, PantheaCon has been under scrutiny. A firestorm has erupted, dividing the community and showing us where the rifts are, perhaps rifts that have been here for a very long time. The Wild Hunt summarized the issue succinctly in this December 3 post (first three paragraphs).

Presenters were announced for the 2019 PantheaCon scheduled programming and segments of the community weren’t happy about two of those presenters. The trans community reported concerns with Max Dashu’s alleged stance against trans women participating in events intended to celebrate biologically-born women.[*] Pagans of color reported concerns with Witchdoctor Utu’s alleged cultural appropriation. In both instances, I want to emphasize “alleged” not just for legal reasons, but because there really are disputes about whether these allegations are even true or have, at least in part, been misrepresented and factually distorted.

[*] – Psst… please see updated note at the end of this post.

In response, the organizers at PantheaCon then un-invited the two controversial presenters. Yes– their presentations were accepted, announced to the public, and then in response to the reported concerns, un-invited publicly and neither will now be presenting at PantheaCon 2019.

PantheaCon has also issued a public statement here (undated) noting that it was “a mistake to include Max Dashu in the program” because having Dashu at the event could pose a safety issue for the trans community. Furthermore, “all trans-exclusionary advocates and those in close association with them will not be presenting at PantheaCon for the foreseeable future.”

A late November issue of pagan community notes from The Wild Hunt, here, reports that allegedly Witchdoctor Utu was un-invited from presenting at PantheaCon 2019 because of his “veneration of certain black ancestors and the Underground Railroad” that were construed as cultural appropriation (Witchdoctor Utu is not black). Yet let’s not overlook the public support Witchdoctor Utu has received from native practitioners of the tradition he practices, so really, the only conclusion anyone can take away from this is the community is divided. For another perspective, Irene McCalphin of Mammy Is Dead shared a beautiful, powerful, and poetic piece here, “Social Gaslighting and the Make Witches Great Again (MWGA): Love Letter to QTPOC Witches here inspired by what went down with the PantheaCon and Witchdoctor Utu controversy.

Further note that members from all camps on all sides have reported receiving death threats, hateful and demeaning even defamatory remarks, trolling, and doxxing. Several members of the pagan community who dared to take a public stand along one of those noted position lines then had to subsequently disable all their social media accounts because they began receiving death threats, hate, and harassment. I believe every one of those members who say they’ve received death threats and harassment because I get those too for the most asinine reasons– like, “I hate what you said about reiki/starseeds/hexes/the tarot and you’re a total ignorant stupid bitch I hope you die a miserable lonely death and watch out my coven is going to curse you fuck you bitch die die die.” Not kidding. So I’m not one bit surprised people are sending death threats over serious controversial issues like the ones presented here.

Continue reading “Is there a pagan community? PantheaCon’s current issues 2018 and my concerns.”

Healers of the Earth Oracle by Mandy Peterson: A Review

The winter holidays are upon us and if you’re still shopping for your favorite spiritual friend, I’m really digging the Healers of the Earth Oracle by Mandy Peterson. It’s a complete divination kit all on its own, so no prior knowledge of cartomancy is needed. And if you do happen to be a seasoned cartomancy pro, this is a really fun deck to add to your collection. It’s extraordinarily functional in both the capacity as stand alone oracle card readings and as supplemental readings (where you pull a card or two from an oracle deck after a tarot reading).

The deck comes beautifully presented in a brown paper package tied up with string that is going to wow whoever you gift this to. It was designed specifically for empaths and earth sensitives intended to help you better clarify your own intuition.

Earth sensitives (also known as earth empaths), according to Peterson, are individuals who are hypersensitive to environmental changes, and therefore find that their own emotions are tied to natural disasters, war, social conflicts, and cyclic changes around them. Healers of the Earth Oracle is intended to help earth sensitives gain greater control over their empathic abilities.

Peterson had set out to create a healing divination tool and that she did. There are also strong tones of social justice, community service, and contributing to the world around you that run throughout the messages in this deck. The artist herself is a professional psychic, New Age spirituality author, and artist.

The deck set is packaged in a sturdy matte finish white sleeve box with a clean, immaculate aesthetic. The artwork for the deck is rendered through digital collage, using stock images that are then enhanced by Peterson.

The color palette is soft, muted, and beautiful. There are 73 cards in total, numbered up to 72, with a Card 0: The Intangible. The Intangible will indicate that at this time, future cannot yet be knowable and more flow is required before a matter can be ascertained. Card 71 is an omen for healing, in particular faith healing or the laying on of hands. The highest numbered card in the deck is 72: Divine Feminine, and that truly encapsulates the point of view for Healers of the Earth. There’s a strong lean toward expressions of the Divine Feminine.

Continue reading “Healers of the Earth Oracle by Mandy Peterson: A Review”

Keys to Perception: Practical Guide to Psychic Development by Ivo Dominguez Jr.

Ivo Dominguez, Jr. is well-known and highly respected in the pagan and Wiccan communities. He’s a founding member of Keepers of the Holly Chalice coven and an elder of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, a Wiccan tradition that syncretizes astrology, the Qabalah, and Western ceremonial magic. Dominguez is the author of several lauded texts– Practical Astrology for Witches and PagansSpirit Speak: Knowing and Understanding Spirit Guides, Ancestors, Ghosts, Angels, and the Divine, and Casting Sacred Space: The Core of All Magickal Work. His latest book is Keys to Perception: A Practical Guide to Psychic Development.

In Keys, Dominguez begins by stressing the importance of meditation to strengthen the power and acuity of the mind. A regular practice in meditation is the cornerstone of psychic perception. If sitting meditation is difficult for you, he suggests forms of walking meditation, tai chi, or qi gong, etc.

Continue reading “Keys to Perception: Practical Guide to Psychic Development by Ivo Dominguez Jr.”

The Intangible Cost of Self-Publishing a Tarot Deck

This is the sequel follow-up blog post to “The Actual Cost of Self-Publishing a Tarot Deck” that came after “What Does it Cost to Self-Publish a Tarot Deck?” If you’re not up to speed already, then start by reading the latter link (“What Does it Cost…”) and then the first (“The Actual Cost…”).

Here I want to address the intangible costs to being an indie tarot or oracle deck creator. Oh, and yeah, be forewarned that this is a very, very long and rambling blog post.

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Review of Travelling with Starlight Dragons by Steph Engert

The Starlight Dragons Tarot by Nora Huszka and Steph Engert was a deck that celebrated the power, magic, wisdom, and world mythology of dragons. You can read my past deck review here.

The subsequently released companion book, Travelling with Starlight Dragons written by Steph Engert now delves into using the deck as a shamaness, unveiling the association between serpents and dragons with the mythic, healing, and transformative powers wielded by the shamaness.

As early as the Paleolithic Age, about 40,000 years ago, the Great Mother goddess was associated with the serpent and dragon figure. (This reference becomes relevant when we get to the journey through the Majors in Starlight Dragon…)

For ages on after in many regions of the world, dragons signified the Divine, from the Rainbow Serpent of Australian aborigine cultures to the Naga in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, and association between the dragon and female deities in occidental civilizations.

Continue reading “Review of Travelling with Starlight Dragons by Steph Engert”