Why the Suit of Swords is My Favorite

English Magic Tarot by Ryn, Doodley, and Letcher

In a social justice law course I took back in my law school days, the professor went around the room on the first day of class and asked each one of us to offer what we think brings about social change in this world. A classroom populated by, um, well, white folks, offered thought bubbles like grassroots mobilization, advocacy, charismatic leadership, lobbying, equal access to justice, public policy, etc. Funny, I was thinking about it from a different perspective.

When it was my turn, I said, “Pain.”

Pain is not only the impetus for social change, but it is the impetus to greatness. Profound feelings of marginalization lead to zealous advocacy on behalf of others. Even when your pain looks different from my pain, the common emotional denominator between our pains is the same, and through that common emotional denominator, you and I can connect, create an incredible, powerful fusion, and together, through collectivism, become the impetus for social change and for mutual greatness.

Azathoth Tarot by Nemo

The suit of Swords in tarot has come to represent both pain and glory. How is it both? It’s because profound feelings of inadequacy lead to over-achievement, to glory. Pain builds strength and character. We are so afraid of failure and inadequacy that we overcompensate, overdo, and reach higher. Because we reach higher than most, we achieve more than most. We feel we need to be better than everybody else so nobody notices our failings, our ugliness, and the shameful secret weight of pain we carry.

The suit of Swords is also an aggressive suit. When we have endured great pain, scars harden and we become hyper-defensive, developing an unhealthy attitude of hurt others before they hurt us. That aggression is therefore necessarily expressed in the suit of Swords. Generally we don’t like that aggression, don’t or don’t want to resonate with it. It’s why the Swords are often readers’ least favorite suit. It’s our least favorite because the suit expresses all of those least favorite qualities about ourselves, the adjectives we kind of hope no one ever uses to describe us with.

That being said, only by experiencing pain can we truly embrace fearlessness. When you’ve been through hell, mundane anxieties, no matter how severe, pale in comparison. When you’ve hit rock bottom, you’ve got nothing else to lose, so you find the courage to charge full speed forward, armaments raised, and challenge anyone who defies you to duel you. And if one is on the receiving end of such a challenge, know this: someone who has been through hell, hit rock bottom, and has nothing else to lose will be a formidable foe.

Dark Tarot (darktarot.com)

There may be a “takes one to know one” facet of this suit. Those who have experienced profound pain in their lives are more likely to resonate with the Swords and find solace even validation in its imagery. Ultimately, pain builds strength, character, and abilities, which is why the suit of Swords is a great suit to start with when using tarot for shadow work. Compel yourself to identify with each card in the suit and specifically, what facet of your inner self that you fear, reject, or are ashamed of is represented by that card? What facet of the Ten of Swords is the embodiment of your fears? What facet of the Five of Swords and Seven of Swords represent the inner self you are ashamed of? What facet of the Three of Swords do you seek to reject?

Four Aces from The Wonderland Tarot by Chris and Morgana Abbey

If the four suits of the Minor Arcana in tarot represent the four seasons of any life cycle, then we as a global society and our ruling politics seem to be in a state corresponding with the suit of Swords. The U.S. in particular, after the recent presidential election, has in effect transitioned from Cups to Swords. We’ve entered a state of rot, inside out. Yet it is a necessary period of pain that I hope will incite the motivation for progressive change. The autumn period of the seasonal cycle is when character is tested and greatness is forged. Following the phase of the Swords, what is to come is not a new beginning for growth, not quite yet; it’s more darkness. Winter is coming, the suit of Pentacles, and only after enduring the winter and darkness to come as a result of what has transpired during the suit of Swords can we once again see the spring of the suit of Wands.

The suit of Swords is my favorite suit not just because I identify with the Queen of Swords as my significator card, but because the suit marks the early milestones of my life that have ultimately become my sources of power and inner magic. This narrative of the suit of Swords is the story of the idealistic philosopher turned warrior.

Pagan Otherworlds Tarot by Uusi

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A friend gifted me with the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot and Guidebook, believing I’d love this deck, and boy was she right! This deck is currently the darling of the tarot community. Everyone is just fawning over and crushing on it.

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Let’s start with the Guidebook, Tarot: Notes From the Pagan Otherworlds. It’s perfect bound, a beautiful compact square size, and features the Page of Cups.

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I’m so thrilled to have the companion guidebook. It does an incredible job explaining the deck creators’ rationale for depicting the various cards as they have done, e.g., in this deck, the Nine of Swords is the card of transformation, so on it is depicted a swan, symbolic of the struggle this deck’s Nine of Swords represents–the struggle of coming into your own. This deck’s Nine of Swords is one of the most exquisite Nine of Swords I’ve come across.

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The deck and guidebook together would be an incredible gift and starter tarot kit for someone just learning tarot. However, the deck is a bit of a mix between the Rider-Waite-Smith structure, placing The Fool first, Key 8 being Strength, and Key 11 being Justice, as you’ll see in subsequent photos in this review, but features unillustrated pips (meaning no narrative imagery on the pip cards), reminiscent of Tarot de Marseille.

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The Pagan Otherworlds deck features many additional cards, which I love. There’s the addition of “The Seeker” card, which would be a really neat card to use as a significator (or signifier) if that is part of a practitioner’s approach to tarot reading. It resolves the issue many have of “removing a card from the deck” when using one of the 78 as the significator.

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There is also the addition of five cards representing five different phases of the moon cycle. Below, left to right, are: full moon, gibbous, quarter, crescent, and black or new moon.

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I love how, for instance, the gibbous moon, depending on whether it appears “upright” or “reverse” will determine if it’s a waxing gibbous or waning gibbous; same with the quarter, whether it’s a first quarter or third quarter, and for the crescent, waning crescent or waxing crescent.

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The box and packaging throughout has a Victorian feel and the matte papery box is absolutely beautiful. Now let’s get into the cards.

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The artwork is inspired by European paganism and you can see iconic imagery throughout the deck that harkens to those roots.

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As I had noted earlier, the Majors follow the RWS order system with Key 8 as Strength and Key 11 as Justice. I love that Wheel of Fortune card, by the way. You also see a lot of Tarot de Marseille influence in the Majors here, e.g., the Death card.

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For my in-person professional tarot readings as of late, I’ve been using both a full tarot deck with the 78 cards, often in the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition, plus keeping a 22 Majors-only deck to the side, to pull in on a case by case basis, depending on the client’s questions.

Sometimes clients ask some of the “bigger questions,” where a Majors only deck is better suited for addressing those inquiries. Or after drawing the standard deck into a spread, I might pull additional cards from the Majors only to pinpoint overarching themes that tie the various cards in the spread together. In those instances, right now I like to pull out the Majors only from the Pagan Otherworlds deck.

I’ll also use the moon phases cards in readings for assistance with timing issues.

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Here you’ll see what I meant by unillustrated pips. Nonetheless, there’s strong Rider-Waite-Smith influence even here, as you’ll see in the Four of Wands above, the victory wreath in the Six of Wands, and the arrangement of the staves in the Eight of Wands and Ten of Wands. All of these pips, actually, are reminiscent of the imagery on the standard RWS. So it’s an easy deck for any RWS or TdM reader to pick up.

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Again, here with the suit of Cups, even though there isn’t the full detailing of narratives as you might find in RWS-inspired decks, we see that the arrangement of cups in each card is reminiscent of the RWS scenes. Note the Two of Cups, or the Four of Cups, how one goblet is off to one side, the Nine of Cups, or even the arrangement in the Ten of Cups. Love the maypole in the Ten of Cups for symbolizing that sense of familial happiness, spiritual fulfillment, and cheer.

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I had wondered whether the four suits would correspond with the equinoxes and solstices, as would have been celebrated meaningfully in pagan traditions, given that this is the Pagan Otherworlds deck. If so, then the spring equinox or Ostara, would have been expressed in the suit of Wands; the summer solstice or Litha in the suit of Cups, here in the suit of Swords, pictured above, might be delineation of the autumnal equinox, and below, in the suit of Pentacles, Yule. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me in the pagan Wheel of the Year could confirm here.

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As a professional reading deck, Pagan Otherworlds is just exquisite. I love the white borders, subtle white-toned background, and the dramatic contrast between the bold coloring of the foreground imagery and the white backdrop. I love the Victorian art aesthetic.

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I’ve done many of my tarot readings with the Pagan Otherworlds deck and reading with this deck is seamless, effortless, and inspiring. Above is a snapshot of how I’d work with the deck in a twelve-month forecast, each card representing a different month, and the four tripartite rows representing each of the fiscal quarters and four seasons.

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Using the Pagan Otherworlds deck, what have I to prognosticate for the United States overall in 2017? Six of Wands here suggests to me positive measures toward job creation. That and the Temperance card here assures me our economy will do well. National healthcare, expressed there in the Eight of Swords, to put it bluntly, doesn’t look so good.

How tarot readers interpret The Moon card depends on their personal experiences, I suppose. For me, it’s not positive. Here, we see social unrest, uncertainties in the social justice system, and major changes to come in the civil sector, not all of them toward the better. Yet overall, unlike many of the like-minded kindred spirits I share political views with, I am optimistic about America’s future. The Ten of Cups shows me that in the grander scheme, it’s still going to be a great year for many Americans. Finally, as for our spirituality as a nation, we need to be more mindful of international relations, as what most affects our karma as a nation is going to be in how interactions with other nations, other cultures, and global trade.

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By the way, how excited was I when I found out Uusi produces the Pagan Otherworlds deck in Taiwan! That’s awesome!

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I am so in love with this deck and was so happy to receive it as a gift this past winter holiday season. I love Uusi decks. I have several other decks from this publisher and every single one has been incredible in its production value. If you’re looking for a Victorian art inspired deck that makes reference to Western pagan iconography that works at the intersection of the Tarot de Marseille and the Rider-Waite-Smith, then look no further than Pagan Otherworlds.

How to Create Your Grimoire: Inspiration from One Approach

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When you’ve dedicated yourself to the study of craft, you’re going to want to start your own written record of the path. It is the most natural thing and the concept of keeping a grimoire, book of shadows, or book of methods is found across all of the cultures of magical traditions, East to West. Now it’s your turn to feel that pull. You’ve got your big, beautiful blank book ready to go. Where do you start? How do you start?

By its nature, a private journal means no one can tell you what to do. Yet some of us just want tangible insights for inspiration, so that’s what this is. I’m most certainly not trying to tell you how to keep your own private journal. My own grimoire does not come close to following the instructions I am about to give.

Yet the other day, I was thumbing through a rather incredible tome, quite esoteric in nature for sure, and that tome offered some of the most brilliant insights into grimoire organization that I have ever come across. So I shall share that text with you today.

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That’s right. It’s The Professional Chef by The Culinary Institute of America.

Okay, it’s a cooking book. But I swear if you went through this thing you’d agree it’s esoteric as hell. Who knew broth making and a roux could be so complicated. I digress. And I’m serious. This book provides incredible insights into how you might consider organizing and creating your grimoire.

Continue reading “How to Create Your Grimoire: Inspiration from One Approach”

Book of Azathoth Tarot by Nemo

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Imagine Keziah Mason, a Salem witch in the 17th century per Lovecraftian imagination, and the tarot deck she would have used for divination. The 2016 self-published Book of Azathoth Tarot is one imagining of what that deck might have looked like. Azathoth is a deity from the Cthulhu pantheon invented by H. P. Lovecraft in his fiction works.

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Although largely unknown and unrecognized during his lifetime, H. P. Lovecraft was a prolific writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. A driving theme through many of his works was the theme of esoteric knowledge, hidden, dark truths that only the few and the audacious can uncover. And so his fictional world is a perfect setting for the imagination of a tarot deck.

The Book of Azathoth Tarot is the work of an incredible artist who goes by the name Nemo. You can order your copy of the Third Edition here.

Continue reading “Book of Azathoth Tarot by Nemo”

A Comparative Analysis of Fortune Telling and Divination: Free Lecture

Click on image for direct link to unlisted YouTube video.
Click on image for direct link to unlisted YouTube video.

A Free Online Course Presentation

Is there any value to making a distinction between fortune telling and divination? How might Chinese perspectives compare to or inform Western perspectives? This free video (or audio) lecture will examine the etymological origins of the words for “fortune telling” and “divination” in the Chinese language, apply medieval esoteric Taoist texts to tarot reading, and propose a theoretical framework through which to read tarot, as either a fortune teller or a diviner, though the two are not mutually exclusive. We will then run a comparative analysis of that with Western perspectives and examine Western esoteric texts on the subject.

The video lecture is about 34 minutes in length. Click on the below to begin watching. Although it is in video form, you can also listen to it as an audio.

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Download the Handout

For written reinforcement of what is covered in the video lecture, be sure to download the accompanying PDF handout. See below.

DOWNLOAD HANDOUT (PDF)

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First Presented at the San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium 2015

An early version of this talk (and it was a bit longer than this video lecture, I believe) was first given at the San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium in 2015. It is now being released free to the public two years later.

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Love the free coursework here on this site? Show that love by supporting my work. I offer a broad menu of divinatory services, from budget-friendly to comprehensive once-in-your-lifetime readings. Check out the listing below.

For a full service listing of divinatory reading options I offer, click on the banner.
For a full service listing of divinatory reading options I offer, click on the banner.

A $15 Online Tarot Course: Tarot as a Tool for Craft

$15 USD

An expansion on the talk I presented at the Theosophical Society of the East Bay, this is a video (or audio) course that covers how a practitioner of craft might use tarot, from triggering intuitive creativity for self-empowerment, divination, and amplifying psychic ability to communion with celestial contacts, mediumship, and summonings. This is an intermediate course that presumes proficiency with tarot. Subject matter also runs into esoteric and mystical applications of the tarot, so the tone of the course might not be right for everyone.

Also, just so you are aware: the tenor and value propositions of this course goes in a diametrically different direction from Holistic Tarot.

Video Lecture Screenshot
Video Lecture Screenshot

I’m really excited about this course and I hope you are, too. If you are a practitioner of craft, whether it’s just dabbling, still finding your path, you identify as a witch, magician, diviner, medium, psychic, or shaman, I just know that this course will deepen and enhance whatever amazing mojo you’ve already got going on.

This course is not about teaching tarot. I do not teach you tarot. In fact, I pretty much assume throughout the lecture that you already know a lot about tarot. Rather, this course is about deepening and broadening your relationship with your tarot deck so that you can get more metaphysical mileage out of it.

What Holistic Tarot taught was only the first of the five pillars that are discussed in this course. This course will deconstruct the form and mechanics of using tarot for:

  1. Intuitive Creativity to achieve self-empowerment;
  2. Divination to connect to what Paul Foster Case called the Cause of Causes—the Universal Intelligent Life Energy;
  3. Psychic Readings both to amplify your innate psychic ability and to use tarot as a training tool for strengthening your psychic ability;
  4. Celestial Contacts to connect with deities, angels, ascended masters, devas, or the metaphysical force affecting physical conditions; and
  5. Netherworld Contacts and using tarot for mediumship, ancestral connections, or connecting to entities of nether-worlds and other-worlds.
Workbook Page Spread Preview
Workbook Page Spread Preview

A workbook with exercises to help you learn and master the mechanics of such tarot operations will also be provided to supplement the video lecture.

Finally, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and the most frequently asked questions will be answered in a follow-up FAQ video that will be sent to you. There may be multiple FAQ videos delivered to you by e-mail from time to time thereafter, dependent on the inquiries that come in.

Deliverables

You will receive:

  • Online private access to a video lecture [length: 1 hour 15 minutes]
  • A PDF digital file of a 49-page workbook
  • Sub-folder files of supplemental reference material
  • Access to subsequent FAQ video(s) or e-mail(s) [TBD]

Cost

$15

Oh come on. That’s a great price for what you’re getting. It’s like you’re buying me a fancy lunch in exchange for picking my brain.

Also, this is not a video lecture that you watch just one time. I propose that the video lecture and the workbook should be revisited routinely. Print out the workbook multiple times and routinely work through the exercises prompted in the workbook to help you advance and further develop the skills taught in the video lecture.

Video Lecture Screenshot
Video Lecture Screenshot

Video Lecture

Although the lecture is provided as a video recording of a voiceover narrated PowerPoint presentation, you could listen to it as an audio without missing too much. There are a few sections (very few) where I refer to images on the presentation slide, but overall, you’ll be able to follow nonetheless as an audio.

Video Lecture Screenshot
Video Lecture Screenshot

You’ll get a private, unlisted YouTube link (please do not add to any playlists or share the link in an unauthorized manner, thank you in advance) so you can always stream it online.

You’ll also get access to the MP4 files of the video lecture so you can download the video files directly onto your computer, save for life, and watch at your leisure for life. The video files altogether are 1+ GBs, so it’s a mother to download. That’s why I provide the YouTube link, for immediate access.

The Workbook

As it tends to be when you’re working with me, the workbook is the most important part of this course. The 49-page workbook is intended for use and re-use. Print it out many times throughout your development to work through the training exercises.

Workbook Page Spread Preview
Workbook Page Spread Preview

The training exercises begin basic and analytical, compelling you to work with numerology, astrology, Kabbalistic references, and other forms of symbolism and system correspondences to broaden your working and experiential knowledge of the tarot.

Workbook Page Spread Preview
Workbook Page Spread Preview

Then the course deep-dives into training exercises for mediumship, using tarot for celestial contacts, using tarot in shamanic journeying, using tarot as talismans, and so much more. I hope you will be as thrilled and enthusiastic about this workbook as I felt when I went through the exercises for myself.

Workbook Page Spread Preview
Workbook Page Spread Preview

I really believe that this workbook will be a game changer for you in terms of your relationship with tarot as your divinatory tool, especially if you’re looking to hone your psychic abilities, intuition, and experience various forms of mystical training. As I tend to do, I fuse together eastern and western esoteric principles.

Workbook Page Spread Preview
Workbook Page Spread Preview

Yes, you’ll also get access to the DOCX MS Word version of the workbook, so you can easily cut and paste from the workbook into your personal tarot journal and work with the content in a more customized way for yourself.

FAQs: Your Questions Answered

The coolest part (I think) will be the subsequent FAQs. In other words, you get to ask questions. After you’ve gone through the course, e-mail me all of your questions. I apologize in advance if I don’t respond to your e-mail right away, but I’ll be compiling all inquiries that come in and the most frequently asked ones will get answered in either FAQ video responses or FAQ e-mails.

What can you ask? That’s the beauty here. Anything. If you’re really curious about my personal methodologies or the personal background I bring in to my craft, just ask. Such answers are shared with you, the participants of this course only. It’s an exclusive opportunity to ask questions of me that I might not otherwise answer publicly.

Your Course Instructor: Me.
Your Course Instructor: Me.

Supplements

Your course materials will also include loads of supplements. Many are already free and available for download here on this website, but tucked into organized file folders in your course materials packet for easy access and reference.

Then there are never-before-seen materials. Since I make reference to specialized terminology throughout the lecture, I worried that some of the newer-to-the-path practitioners might not be able to follow along or don’t have their own personal recipes just yet, so I also provide you page scans from my personal grimoire to help lend some reference.

Video Lecture Screenshot
Video Lecture Screenshot

How To Order

I’m going to give step by step instructions on how to order the course and get access to download all the materials for yourself.

  1. Send $15 (Fifteen Dollars) USD via PayPal to the e-mail address benebellwen@gmail.com. Yes, it’s going to say “James Zhang from Castro Valley.” That’s the Hubby. Also, this is the preferred method of payment. (~or~)
  2. Send $15 with your credit card through PayPal by following this link: https://www.paypal.me/benebell. (~or~)
  3. Only if (1) and (2) are impracticable for you, send $15 by ordering me an Amazon Gift Card, sent to benebellwen@gmail.com. Direct link to Amazon gift card orders here.
  4. When you send payment, please include:
    1. Your name or a name identifier for me to reference you by, (~and~)
    2. Your e-mail address, so I know where to send your ordered course materials to.

That’s it!

But if any of that sounds confusing or you just don’t know, no worries. Email me at benebellwen@gmail.com to let me know you want to place an order. We’ll take it from there together.

Once I receive your payment as the purchase order, your course materials will be delivered to the e-mail address you specified within 2 business days.

If you don’t receive the course materials in the e-mail inbox specified within the two business days, then something went wrong. Doh! Please email me at the below address asap.

benebellwen@gmail.com

DELIVERY NOTE: So far I’ve been good about getting the course materials to you in less than 48 hours from when I receive the PayPal payment, so if that time has gone by and you haven’t received anything from me, first check your Spam folder. Second, check to see the e-mail address associated with your PayPal account. I may have sent it to that account if no e-mail was provided in the notes section of the transfer. If still nothing, then something went wrong somewhere, so contact me at the above e-mail addy ASAP so we can get things squared away.

Awakened Soul Oracle Cards by Ethony and Danielle Mulligan

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The Awakened Soul oracle cards by tarotist Ethony and artist Danielle Mulligan are a treat to behold. It is the divination deck for the modern witch. It is evident to me that these deck creators have called upon the spirit and consciousness of 21st century Gaia and channeled Her messages to us. So much of Ethony’s energy and blessings have been infused into this deck that it’s quite the honor to work with these cards.

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Let’s start superficial, of course, with the box. Oh gawd I love the box. I love the matte finish, the sturdiness, the interior bee design, an incredible symbol for how Mother Earth nourishes life by calling upon the services of Her children and a call to each one of us to channel the spirit of the bee in our own endeavors and in how we nourish our society.

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Not only have I been using the oracle deck for daily ritual and rumination, but many of the clients I read for have, too. It was quite surprising to me the number of clients I work with who also had this deck, so it was great that they could follow along with their deck when I provided oracle readings with the Awakened Soul.

That’s right. I’ve done professional readings with the Awakened Soul oracle deck. I broke my own rule. As some of you may know, generally I do kind of get elitist and poo-poo use of oracle decks in professional reading sessions. I stick with tarot and as a client, would prefer to go to readers who stick to tarot. Lenormand decks are okay too, but I had avoided the oracle-oracle decks. Yet something about Ethony’s deck called to me, and I really, really wanted to share its energy and power with those I was working with.

Continue reading “Awakened Soul Oracle Cards by Ethony and Danielle Mulligan”

The Metaphysician’s Day Planner – Order Today

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$25

The Metaphysician’s Day Planner

I juggle a full-time day job in corporate law with writing and publishing books, doing interviews and talks for the book tours, part-time professional tarot reader and astrologer, blogger, avid home cook, and pro bono legal work on the side, all while being a metaphysician and keeping myself buried in metaphysical studies, so I do get asked a lot about how I organize my day. How do I make sure I am on top of my schedule of court appearances, hearings, and conferences for work, my client reading list for tarot and astrology, food prep for the week and menu planning, domestic chores, personal health and fitness, and everything in between?

With a day planner, of course. There is a set way I organize and format my personal day planner to cover everything I do. And now I’d like to share it with you. I’ve put together a 2017 day planner and organizer for the metaphysician.

It’s part day planner–annual, quarterly, monthly, and daily. And it’s part grimoire.Carrying around metaphysical correspondences and quick reference sheets helps immensely with memory retention. It’s my approach to broadening and deepening my esoteric knowledge.

Out on the market right now you’ll see a ton of beautiful, vibrant, inspiring, mind-body-spirit-based day planners and calendars rolling out for sale now.

Mine is none of that.

So if you’re looking for something with lots of pastel colors, inspirational quotes, affirmations, and space for you to jot down your secret desires, then this is not it.
Rather, this is a glimpse into how I organize my life and how I balance professional and personal accomplishment with esoteric studies. I don’t spend three hours filling in blank workbook prompts on what I love about myself. I don’t need “go get ’em, tiger” quotes in sans serif font printed in glittery hues across my planner cover. Instead, my planner is about optimizing the hours of my day and getting stuff done. I need a day organizer that helps me get stuff done. I don’t want color, because color ink is expensive. I want substance and I want economy.

That’s what my day planner is all about. And I’d like to show it to you. I made one up for my sister Cindy, so you’re going to see screenshots of hers for illustration.

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You will be getting the digital files only, but it is customized to you. The above shows the front title page. I recommend that you send it to a third party printer to get it spiral bound. The spiral bound day planner will be the most practical for daily use.

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When you order the metaphysician’s day planner from me, you’ll get all of the above front and back cover designs and more. Then at your leisure, you can choose which you’ll use when printing and binding your own day planner. So no need to tell me which one you want. You get all the media files with your order.

Also, immediately from the cover design options, you can see my style and point of view. This is bare bones, I wouldn’t say masculine but definitely not going the route of what most New Agey planners go in. I pull public domain images from medieval alchemical texts, for starters…

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After the title page, which will feature your name in script, there is a Fu sigil for harnessing prosperity, wealth, business success, higher income, and financial gains. It’s juxtaposed with a frontispiece from an old alchemical text. All citations to original images provided with the delivered files.

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Next on the verso page (even page) are some basic principles of working with Qi or metaphysical energy taken from old Taoist scriptures. On the recto (odd) page, there is a customizable image or likeness of a deity, animal spirit guardian, etc. and a mantra or recitation of your option. You can choose from the options I have, i.e., Marici, Kuan Yin, Ganesha, any of the four archangels, etc.

Click on the PDF below to view all options. When you e-mail me your order request, please let me know which option you’re selecting.

DIVINITY MESSAGE OPTIONS (PDF – CLICK TO VIEW ALL)

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Still in the front pages of the day planner, we’ve got some cool energy grids. For the sigil talisman grids, you get both a PROSPERITY and HEALING grid. The purpose for the above page spread is to use them as energy grids. Think crystal grids. You can charge stones, charms, or jewelry using those grids. How-to explained in the descriptive paragraphs in the book. Or, of course, you can follow your own intuition.

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We want context for 2017, so the day planner has the year-at-a-glance for both 2016 and 2018. They appear as a page spread.

I’ve formatted the book, at the 8.5″ x 11.0″ dimensions (so it’s pretty big for a day planner!) with mirror margins and gutter, so it’ll be user- and writer- friendly even after you get it spiral-bound.

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Then we have the page spread for 2017. You see the year at a glance and on the recto page is a table for you to set out your annual plan, by category. You’ll set three goals and define key actions for the year relating to your career, your financials, your health, your family (relationships, romance, love, etc.), personal (aspirational, hobbies, writing that all American novel, vacations), spiritual, and then an extra row for whatever else you want.

When you carry your yearly resolutions with you everywhere you go, it’s hard not to confront the incomplete ones and feel more motivated to check off those boxes.

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I like to log the books I read and places I visit within the year. Here there is a page spread for both, which also acts as a prompt to get you to expand your own horizons, mind and body. When you see that page spread, I hope you’ll be more motivated to make personal plans for book reading and going places.

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Then we have the months-at-a-glance pages. There’s a page (I hope obviously) for every month in 2017. Above you’ll see the page spread for January and February. In the top left corner, you set three goals for each month. In the top right corner you can jot down any divinations or forecasts you’ve done for yourself or had done for that month.

At the bottom, there’s blank memo space and a table for logging your personal financials monthly. For example, if you have a side business, this would be a good place to log your monthly earnings and expenses for that side business. There’s also a chart to log your weight and resting heart rate to monitor your personal health.

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Then we have quarterly planning sheets. Each page shows one fiscal quarter of the year, along with space to outline your strategic plan for that quarter. I’ve included four categories– professional goal-setting, personal goal-setting, aspirational goal-setting, and financial goal-setting. On each page you’ll also see Chinese oracle bone scripts acting as sigils to empower each quarter with specific energies that best help you succeed through the environmental challenges typical of that quarter or season.

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We’ve also got a page spread for your own twelve-month twelve-card reading. You can use tarot or an oracle deck of your choice. Log the card you drew in the left column for each month, then your divinatory interpretation and forecast next to it. Leave the right column blank until the month is complete. Then return to the page spread at the end of each month to fill in reflection notes on how that month panned out, compared to the card forecast.

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Now we get to the meat and potatoes of the day planner. There is a weekly page spread, with one week covered for each two pages, and they are formatted so the whole page can be viewed when you open your book.

This is really the coolest part. I’ve put in all national holidays observed in America and key religious holidays from the Christian, Catholic, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Muslim, and pagan traditions. I sourced the dates from here, here, here, here, and here, and then when I could, double-checked and triple-checked myself. Again: the dates are keyed to North America.

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I’ve also entered major astrological and astronomical events, such as major meteor showers, Mercury retrogrades, stelliums, oppositions, conjunctions, etc.

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Click on any of the sample page screenshots for larger viewing to see what I mean. I got the astronomical info from here and here, though again, I double-checked myself with my own astrology software program.

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I’ve also entered in all the new moon, first quarter, full moon, and third quarter lunar phases, and for full moons, always the zodiac sign the moon is in that day. New moons I was going to put it down, but you don’t really need it. The sign any new moon is in will be the sun sign for that day. Duh. So I decided to leave it out to conserve space.

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At the bottom of each weekly page spread is blank space for notes, organized in columns. Here you’ll get a glimpse into my own weekly planning approach. There is a column I titled “prosperity notes,” for goal-setting when it comes to any home business you have going on, any prosperity manifestation work you’re doing, or just notes of gratitude and reminders of how abundant your life is. Under “prosperity notes” I like to put my checklists for writing and scheduling blog posts, writing marketing materials, deck reviews I have to finish up on, and social media planning.

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Then I have a column for “personal care,” which should be self-explanatory. Doctor appointments, hair cuts, girl-monthly stuff, running out of certain makeup that you need to buy more of soon, skincare regimes du jour, reminders to schedule in R&R, etc. I make it a point to do at least one significant thing toward my own personal care each week. That’s how I keep my energy up and reduce crashing.

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Then we have a column for “spirituality,” to remind you to keep your spiritual practices routine. There is a whole range of creativity here. You can sketch in a sigil or seal to focus on for the week in that space. Or you can take notes on actual spiritual practices or ritual to complete for the week. Or if you came across a quotable quote, something inspirational, or a piece of I-want-to-remember-that info, jot it down here.

On the verso page we have “meal planning,” for menu and cooking notes. Then there is a column for “top priority” to highlight the most important points and reminders for that week. This bleeds a bit into “important notes,” but the two aren’t always the same, so I make the distinction between the two in my personal organizer.

Top priority might be like finishing a contract, completing a trademark filing, etc. Important notes might be a citation to research I want to review later, or the title of a book someone recommended I read. The book title is important, but not top priority.

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After all 365 days of 2017 are covered in the weekly page spreads, we get to a dream log. There are a handful of pages in here for you to record notable dreams throughout the year. I also like to log premonitions here. Also, “weird shit.” Like when unexplained phenomena happen.

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I’ve got a page spread for important contacts. Here, I typically put work stuff. Like addresses and info for courthouses, outside counsel I’m in frequent contact with, some family, friends, etc.

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I always use up the end note pages. Here I’ve assembled about 10 notetaking pages for you to scrawl ideas, brainstorming, etc. on. This is mainly for text and is organized per the Cornell method of notetaking.

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As many of you know, I’m also a doodler and love sketching. There are another handful of blank pages for sketching and doodling. Also, here since the pages are blank, you can create mind maps, which I love to do. These pages are great for pictorial brainstorming.

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I’m also an avid home cook. I always log my go-to recipes in my day planner. So here I’ve got a collection of pages for you to log your favorite recipes, too.

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Here’s one of the customized personal pages. When you order a metaphysician’s day planner, I will construct your solar chart for your 2017 birthday and your natal chart. Both will appear side by side in your day planner, along with a legend in case you’re not familiar with the astrological glyphs. Throughout the year you can refer back to this page spread and learn astrology by studying your own natal chart and 2017 solar chart.

However, this is not a reading. No interpretations or my astrologer notes about your charts are included in this planner. All you’re getting here are the charts only, for your own independent study and assessment.

And don’t worry if you’re not familiar with astrology. This is part-grimoire, too. I’ve included lots of cool metaphysical reference pages at the back of this day planner. You should be able to do a basic chart reading for yourself with the back-end reference pages. We’re just about to get to them.

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First, a page spread all about moon phases, types of spell-crafting per moon signs, and also basic color correspondences. Again, click on any of the image files for a larger viewing of the page spreads.

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I also like to keep a reference table for hexagram construction on hand at all times and here we have it. If you’re into I Ching divination at all, you can always look up exactly which hexagram you’ve constructed by cross-referencing the lower and upper trigrams, per the above table. I’ve also provided Wu Xing elemental dignities in the charts at the bottom of the hexagram table.

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For feng shui enthusiasts, always know how to “feng shui” a place with these handy reference charts in your day planner. The chart on the right above has blank space for you to fill in and take notes, such as brainstorming interior décor to optimize your personal feng shui. You can jot down decoration ideas, any sigil magic, or other craft or intention-setting you want to do for each sector of the home, office, or living space for 2017 right here in your planner pages.

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So let’s say the chart says to optimize Wood in the southeast sector of your home. What does that even mean? The above chart shows you some common correspondences for Wood. Under the column “Occupant” indicates the qualities in you that will be emphasized if you dominate your living space with that particular element. Under “Living Space” are the common material correspondences for that element.

On the right side of the above page spread is the celestial dial, an indispensable tool for feng shui calculations. If you place your day planner at the center point of any room and tape one end of a string to that center of the dial, you can extend that string out to the walls of the room and figure out exactly which quadrants of that area correspond to what per the celestial dial.

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Now we get to the Western astrological references. Above you’ll see a quick reference page for the planets and some personal sensitive points, and then for the zodiac signs per modality and element. We also have the dates for each of the zodiac signs. Handy to have on you at all times when you’re a metaphysician, no? =)

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Above we have quick reference page spreads for the twelve signs and twelve houses. Now, do note that none of these reference pages are meant to be comprehensive instructional material on these areas of study. I hope that’s obvious and common sense. Rather, they are quick reference pages, but easy to use for the beginner, intermediate, or even advanced practitioner. I love having these on hand with me at all times right there in my day planner. You never know when, wherever you are, you might need quick access to such esoteric knowledge.

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The above is a page spread for all 78 tarot cards with upright and reversed keywords, metaphysical correspondences (elemental, astrological, etc.) and the Qabalistic numerological attribution for each card (in case you’re into OOTK, card counting, and what not).

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I’ve also got a page spread for Lenormand keywords and some easy, basic info on Lenormand reading below the tables.

One negative part to all these grimoire-esque pages… you’re stuck with my interpretations, keywords, correspondences, and approaches. Doh! Well, no. You could always white out what I have written and then write in your own.

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Then we’ve got Latin alpha-numeric gematria where you see the numerological, elemental, and essential metaphysical energies of each letter of the alphabet. This is used for name analysis. You now have a quick name analysis reference table with you at all times. Use it to assess the metaphysical attributes of any personal name or business name. Basic tips on how to do that are provided right there in your book.

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And finally we close on a quick reference page spread for the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. So in this metaphysician’s day planner that is one small part grimoire, you’ve got a whole bunch of correspondences and reference tables for the I Ching, feng shui, tarot, Lenormand, numerology, astrology, the Kabbalah, and so much more.

I find that all my work and daily devotion working in my day planner and fusing mundane with esoteric transforms the day planner into something magical and that extra oomphie energy helps me to accomplish my goals and, well, manifest.

So you wanna know how I do it all? Well now you know.

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The final page is my go-to protection sigil. The top medallion is for attunement to Divinity or connection into the collective unconscious. The left medallion in the image above is for always achieving your ambitions and always expanding to higher ground in life. The right medallion is for compassion and benevolence, and to always embody those qualities. The numbers 3, 6, and 8 are evoked0– 3 for the sacred trinity, 6 for personal balancing of body, mind, and spirit, and 8 for harnessing the metaphysical energies of nature through the I Ching Ba Gua. We then have sigils or glyphs around the main medallion for amplifying personal power, protection from lower vibrational forces, and constant, healthy growth. The sigil supports your book from the back, with the hope that you’ll be guided, protected, and always moving forward in advancement and expansion with the extra metaphysical energy such a sigil might provide.

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* * *

Once you’ve got the PDF file for this, you can take it to a local print shop and get it printed out and bound. I’d use a sturdy stock for the front and back covers, something glossy even. Then the printed calendar pages can be regular paper. You should be able to get this done for under $10. For instance, it’s $9.72 to get it print and coil-bound at Lulu.com.

At Lulu.com, select the US Letter size at 8.5 x 11 inch. For binding, you’d select “coil bound paperback” and for interior print, “black and white on white.” Printing the 192-page day planner through Lulu will cost you under $10 and that plus $25 for my proprietary files puts you at $35 only, which is still a ton cheaper than so many other Body, Mind, Spirit day planners on the market right now! I’ve been seeing them roll out for eight to hundred dollars!

$25

That is a whole lot cheaper than what other folks charge for similarly situated yearly day planners, and most of those aren’t even customized like this one is. The digital files for this metaphysician’s day planner are yours as a PDF customized to your personal details for $25.

If you reserve your order before December 5, 10:00 pm, then delivery of the digital files to your inbox guaranteed by December 15.

Orders received in my inbox before December 11, midnight have a delivery date of December 21.

Orders received after that date will be delivered first come first served.

Non-North American Purchasers:

First, please be advised that all astrological and astronomical events in the calendar are based on North American times. Thus, depending on where you live, the event dates for astrology and astronomy could be up to one day off.

Second, the default book is formatted at the standard American paper print size, 8.5″ x 11″ but I have one prepared at the standard European A4 paper print size. If you need the European A4 paper print size, please let me know ahead of time in your order request! Otherwise you’ll get the standard American!

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For $25, you’re getting:

  • JPG file of your natal chart
  • JPG file of your 2017 solar return chart
  • 192-page PDF file of the metaphysician’s day planner customized with your birth chart, natal chart, and other preferences as noted
  • 11 front and back cover design options for your day planner, JPG files

To order yours today, just e-mail me the following:

  • Name As You Want It To Appear In the Book
  • Date of Birth
  • Time of Birth (Optional, but if none provided, then your day planner won’t have the birth chart and solar return chart)
  • Location of Birth (Optional, but if none provided, then your day planner won’t have the birth chart and solar return chart)
  • City, State, Country of Residence in 2017 (Needed for the solar return chart)
  • Your Divinity Message Option. (Click on the below PDF to view all options)

VIEW ALL DIVINITY MESSAGE OPTIONS

FREE BONUSES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR!

If you want e-mails from me throughout the year on how to use every section of your day planner, additional metaphysical reference materials that only those who purchase the day planner will get, and lots of other organizational and metaphysical related freebies, be sure you include the e-mail address you want me to use for sending you stuff.

I also like the idea of harassing corresponding with you throughout the year to remind you to stay on top of your goals, stay focused, and to keep your energy levels up.

Email your order to:

benebellwen (at) gmail (dot) com

For a full service listing of divinatory reading options I offer, click on the banner.
For a full service listing of divinatory reading options I offer, click on the banner.

 

Amor Oscuro Lenormand by Diana Chin

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The Amor Oscuro Lenormand by Modern Witchy Woman Diana Chin is an independently published deck that is a glimpse inside an artist’s sketchbook, sketches that narrate what Chin describes as “the story of an interracial couple through 36 symbolic messages.” The Amor Oscuro pays homage to diversity in divination through the lens of a multiracial woman.

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You can order your copy of the Amor Oscuro just in time for the holidays, here, via GameCrafter. I’ve been getting back into Lenormand as of late and have loved doing so with Chin’s Amor Oscuro. If you’re a Lenormand deck collector, then you’re going to want to get this one.

Continue reading “Amor Oscuro Lenormand by Diana Chin”

Starlight Dragon Tarot: Deck Review

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I’ve spent this past Scorpio month tinkering with the Starlight Dragon Tarot by Nora Huszka and Steph Engert, which was perfect, since I get a Scorpio vibe from this deck. Here we have a 79-card tarot deck, though you can certainly use just the traditional 78, that summons into your life the bold spirit of dragons. It is a majestic yet cerebral deck to get your favorite tarot reader this holiday season and while I would consider it a more advanced deck to work with, any artist or writer friend of yours will pull boundless inspiration from the energy of the Starlight Dragon so for sure get it on your gift list!

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I’m reminded a bit of T.A. Touchkoff’s Russian Gypsy Fortunetelling Cards (Harper San Francisco, 1992) in terms of the square format and aligning the cards along four edges to form divinatory mosaics. However, the Starlight Dragon is unique in its own right and springs to life from its magnificent coloring. You’ll detect the bold signature of Huszka’s handiwork, and yet what we get from the Starlight Dragon, especially after having worked with Huszka’s Gypsy Palace Tarot, is a declaration of this artist’s incredible versatility.

Often when you examine multiple decks from the same artist, it can get difficult to tell one deck apart from the other because the artistic point of view is the same. Here we get a touch of Huszka’s penchant for bold coloring but she has challenged herself as an artist and creator to pull out from within an entirely different visual perspective and I commend her for that. Again, it speaks volumes of the artist’s versatility.

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The card back imagery is incredible. We see what appears to be a single double-headed dragon knotted in the formation of a lemniscate, depicting the colors representative of the spirit energy from the Majors and the four elemental energies of the Minors and peeking through the lemniscate are two dragon eyes. Along the four corners you’ve got glyphs representing the four phases of the moon. Every detail of Starlight Dragon Tarot is thoughtfully executed and done so with perspicacious precision.

Continue reading “Starlight Dragon Tarot: Deck Review”