I love Colette Baron-Reid’s work and have her Wisdom of the Oracle cards. I also have both Wisdom of the Hidden Realms and Wisdom of the House of Night. In my guest waiting room while clients wait their turn, there’s always a Colette Baron-Reid oracle deck out for them to tinker with. So I was eager to check out her transition from the oracle world into tarot via her newest work, The Good Tarot.
The artwork in this deck is mesmerizing, I love the emerald card back design, and the deck is a resplendent addition to the genre of New Age Aquarian consciousness tarot decks targeted for the mainstream Indigo Crystal child that has risen in popularity this last decade.
The soft-focus, ethereal point of view superimposed over the classic tarot architecture is an intriguing premise. I would consider this deck to be kid-friendly. Heck, tarot reading parents can totally use this deck to improvise bedtime stories. (That would be a really cool idea actually, especially with The Good Tarot, which is rich with magical creatures, the fairy tale ethos, and the promise of a happily ever after.)
The premise of the Good Tarot suggests a tinge of rivalry with the Doreen Virtue tarot premise, which is the attempt to cast a spiritually protective net over the tarot by eliminating any window of negative energies to come through and to eradicate “scary” cards that might otherwise be triggering to those of softer dispositions. Even if there is no intent to compete, Baron-Reid and Virtue certainly appeal to the same target market.
Let’s start by seeing how well you connect with these cards. From the above photo, choose one of those three cards– left, center, or right. We’ll circle back to this later and I’ll reveal which card you drew.
I have the extraordinary privilege to preview the galleys for the Major Arcana of the upcoming Mystic Mondays Tarot by artist and designer Grace Duong. She’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her deck, so be sure to check it out here.
The deck is called “Mystic Mondays” in reference to its use as a projection or divination tool to use on Mondays, for setting intentions, connecting to spirituality, and personal empowerment, every Monday. It’s about beginning each week mystically. The Mystic Mondays Tarot is for you to set intentions on Monday and set forecasts for the rest of your week. “By creating space to connect with your inner voice,” says Duong, through the Mystic Monday Tarot, “you learn to trust your own intuition and to let it be a guiding force.”
Duong based the deck on the Rider-Waite-Smith, but gave the classic imagery a modern-mystic makeover. Utilizing color symbolism and color psychology to showcase the archetypal expressions of each card, Duong has created a vibrant, visually stimulating deck that has a chic vibe to it.
Imagine a written book that captures the spirit and the style of your best friend, who happens to be a psychic and damn good tarot reader, agreeing to sit down with you at your kitchen table to teach you tarot. That best friend is straight with you, cuts to the chase with no meandering explanatory treatise, and is both encouraging and entertaining.
That’s Kitchen Table Tarot by Melissa Cynova. The book is 288 pages, portable, a book you’ll want to take with you on the go, and forecasted to be Llewellyn Publications’ next big star.
I love the content organization. Cynova presumes you don’t know the top of the deck from the bottom and starts there, guiding you every step of the way. Right from the beginning she addresses many of the common misconceptions and answers the frequently asked questions that tarot novices have.
We know the sun’s UV rays can be harmful to our skin, so we put on sunscreen before we go out. If we know we’re walking into the rain, we’ll bring an umbrella or wear a raincoat. At any given moment in your environment, there could be wave-particles on the metaphysical plane that affect you.
So when those who are the more sensitive ones among us leave their sanctuary, they really oughta be protecting themselves through shielding. If you’re spending the bulk of your days working in these metaphysical realms and you’re not shielding yourself routinely, then the equivalent of your mother, big sister, or mentor should be beating you over your head with her wooden spoon and nagging you until your ears ring.
You really should be shielding.
Shielding is a psychic exercise like putting on sunscreen to block out harmful UV rays (…or perhaps the better analogy is a hazmat suit when you know you’re walking into a hazardous environment…), but in the case of shielding, the purpose is to block out metaphysical toxins that you might encounter in everyday life. When people wish you ill, that negative energy is less likely to affect you if you are well shielded.
Electromagnetic frequency waves, lower vibrational energies, even people you encounter who, at that time and place are being toxic, any detrimental metaphysical waves airborne around you can have a negative impact on your personal vitality, especially if you’re sensitive. Difficult astrological transits can also have a detrimental impact. Shielding is about keeping your energies covered and protected.
However, this post is not about shielding. Find another article or articles to get you up to speed if you’re drawing a blank when I say the word “shielding.”
This post is to share with you a free audio download in the form of an mp3 file.
* Extra if shipping internationally. All U.S. shipping is free, included in order.
Here’s what I’ve been working on for the last, oh, I don’t know… two weeks if not more. And still working on. Will continue to work on until the full moon in Scorpio!
Okay. Here’s the lowdown.
For $40 (and no more, if you’re in the U.S.; plus shipping charges if non-U.S.), you’re getting:
10 ml glass bottle of consecrated water (I’ll explain)
1 ml cork top glass bottle of consecrated powder (I’ll explain)
Customized Fu sigil talisman charged during the full moon in Scorpio (I’ll explain)
Only 3650* (fifty sets) available. Once all 50 orders have been reserved, it’s gone.
* To those who somehow managed to get on my private VIP email list and thus received a heads up about this already, I had said I only have 36. Yeah, I can’t count. I wrote that up at the office and my memory thought 36. I was mistaking it for something else. I have 50 of these. Just so you know, I had sent you photos, so you can actually look at the photos I sent you and count the number of vials lined up on my workspace. There were 50 pictured in the photos when I told you 36. Sorry for the sham.
* Oops, sorry, before I could even manage to get this blog post up, there are only 5 (five) left. So this blog post is only about filling up those 5 remaining orders. That way I can start the preparations this weekend for each of the 50 individuals.
Okay, now let’s explain each of the three items you’re getting.
The Vision Quest Tarot by Gayan Sylvie Winter and Jo Dose is an older deck from 1998/1999 published by AGM Müller. The pair are also the creators of The Oracle of the Goddesses, a now out of print 33-card oracle deck. I am loving the Vision Quest Tarot and find it to tap poignantly into inner realms in a way that few decks manage to do.
With powerfully clear and accessible symbolism, Vision Quest Tarot allows us to recognize archetypal images. The visionary symbols contain both the spirit of traditional tarot as well as that of tribal shamanism and the spirit of the ancient medicine wheel. Through indigenous imagery, we discover new aspects of our subconscious and learn to understand its messages. Vision Quest Tarot reveals ways of dealing with life’s challenges more creatively and with more insight.
Some of you may know of the online video companion course to Holistic Tarot already. I put out the first few video lectures for the series this past week. The videos supplement the study guides and handouts, which supplement the book, Holistic Tarot. To check out the course outline and description, click on the above hyperlinked banner. This blog post is just to offer some of the behind-the-scenes commentary.
Offering a Beginner’s Tarot Course
I have been pressed ad nauseum about offering a beginner’s tarot course. While I haven’t felt called to start production of materials with that specific intent in mind, as in an online multi-media course that teaches you how to read a deck of cards, I wrote Holistic Tarot with that specific intent (i.e., to instruct on tarot at the beginner level) in mind. Then when the book launched back in 2015, I created a portfolio of syllabi, study guides, and handouts to help people navigate the 800+ pages. That was my “beginner’s tarot course.”
Still I got pressed. Apparently that wasn’t what many of you folks had in mind when you think “beginner’s tarot course”?
If you haven’t watched the episode of ArwenTalks where Arwen Lynch interviews author and deck creator Jaymi Elford about the Triple Goddess Tarot, then do so right now. It’s a fantastic interview and Jaymi gives you incredible insights into her deck creation process. I count Jaymi as one of the tarot community folks I’m closest to, so I’ll disclose the potential bias upfront. I adore her, so it’s going to be a bit hard for me to not by extension naturally adore everything she does. However, I’ll try my best to remain neutral and objective. I’ll even throw in some criticism. Promise.
The deck is produced by Lo Scarabeo with art by Franco Rivolli, an Italian illustrator who produces some of the world’s best pagan-inspired art. So the Elford-Rivolli team is going to be a powerhouse. The color palette was well thought out, as you can see above, and I love how Triple Goddess uses the structure of tarot to tell the story of the Triple Goddess, an archetypal motif found across many cultures, East and West, and not just in specific strands of pagan faiths.
Holistic Tarot gets criticized for allegedly being unkind in its treatment of practitioners of craft, in particular witchcraft. Folks have interpreted my book as proposing that the magic of divination ought to be stripped of tarot entirely and that I’m telling you to approach tarot from a staunchly atheistic point of view. I wonder why for so many, life choices must be so mutually exclusive. Why does my personal spirituality let alone religious beliefs need to be apparent in everything that I produce?
The book’s tone has never been shy or misleading about taking an academic approach to understanding tarot. That is hardly a concentrated attempt to strip magic from tarot, an allegation rendered even more absurd if you know anything about my personal background. Also, I wrote Holistic Tarot as a beginner’s tarot book with a specific target reader in mind.
My intention for the book is to get you to a level of technical mastery over tarot. Technical mastery. That means yes, in the beginning, magic is stripped of the tarot the same way when you first learn a musical instrument for the purpose of someday mastering it, you strip all artistry from the practice of that instrument.
During your first 10,000 hours of lessons for mastering violin, it’s about how you hold the bow, how to string your own instrument, how to straighten your own bridge, how to tune your instrument, how to hold a whole note with no vibrato, not allowing you to use any vibrato at all until you’ve mastered your bow work, then how to master the vibrato, perfecting the execution of various techniques, rote learning, stripping you of all personal creativity and compelling you to learn technique your teacher’s way, playing boring scales and etudes until your fingers are blistered and your neck is bruised. It’s hardly musical at all. You could argue that such an approach is stripping the musicality from music.
Recently Arwen started a Tarot Tag consisting of 15 really interesting questions, #tarottag15. You can watch her original video here. I’m still a blogger at heart, not a vlogger, so I’m going to join in on the tag via blog post.