A Daily Mindful Tarot Practice

Mindful Tarot: Bring a Peace-Filled, Compassionate Practice to the 78 Cards by Dr. Lisa Freinkel Tishman blends the principles of Zen Buddhist practice with the tarot. The result is a meaningful text that will develop your tarot reading skills at three levels: (1) mindful awareness of yourself and your querent, (2) a deeper relationship with your cards, and (3) a transformed understanding of the tarot system. Mindful Tarot is filled with exercises, reflective journaling prompts, analyses of all 78 cards, and step-by-step examples of Dr. Tishman’s own daily practice.

Tishman is an extensively published and celebrated poetry scholar, Zen Buddhist minister, certified mindfulness educator, and former humanities professor and dean at the University of Oregon (UO). She is also the founding director of UO’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.

Tishman currently serves as an interfaith chaplain at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon. You can find a wealth of free resources and contact Tishman for her tarot reading or counseling services at Calyx Contemplative Care.

In this episode of Sightsee the Tarot, we explore Dr. Tishman’s mindful PULL approach to tarot reading and work through her signature Chariot spread.

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Faery Godmother Oracle Cards

The Faery Godmother Oracle Cards by Flavia Kate Peters, illustrated by Julie Dhemiah Meacham, transports you to a world of mirrors, each one leading to its own mystical realm. The art and the keywords in this deck are evocative, whimsical, and to me, perfect for inner child work.

The artist, who goes by Dhemiah, paints in a fairytale style. She’s called to the spirit and magical realms and her art reflects the visions she channels from what she refers to as the “other worlds.” Her works are primarily done in acrylics and watercolors.

Before we continue with the review, three cards are presented to you above. Choose one: left, center, or right. Then at the close of this review, we’ll see what your card pick was and read its corresponding entry from the guidebook.

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The Modern Spellcaster’s Tarot by Melanie Marquis and Scott Murphy

I learned a very important lesson from this deck: don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. The Modern Spellcaster’s Tarot was part of the free swag I got from Readers Studio 2018. When I first saw a few samples of the card images and read the back of the box, I shrugged and said to myself, “meh, not for me, pass.”

Wrong. I realized how wrong I was as soon as I unwrapped the deck and sifted through the cards.

Modern Spellcasters is that acquaintance you didn’t get a good first impression from because you’re an asshole set in your ways but then you actually take the time to have a couple of heart to heart chats and suddenly you realize holy crap, this is a kindred spirit and an amazing one at that.

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Tarot in Wonderland by Barbara Moore and Eugene Smith

Tarot in Wonderland is a whimsical, playful deck that nudges you to not take yourself or the situation you’re in too seriously, and yet when times have truly gotten rough, it’s going to be there for you to offer insightful advice. It’s that close friend of yours who’s a jokester most of the time and kind of a goof-off but if you’re crying and hurting for real, that friend gets real, too, and is there for you 300%. That’s Tarot in Wonderland.

I had the great honor of attending the launch party for Tarot in Wonderland and heard the legendary Barbara Moore speak about her deck. I shared a couple of photos on Instagram if you want to check it out.

Now let’s talk about the deck. Thank you to Llewellyn for finally upping their packaging production. The magnetic flap, the hard casing, the cut-out nook for your deck, ribbon, and the book that fits perfectly up top is by leaps and bounds better than what Llewellyn deck packaging used to be. See here, for example, for the Mystical Cats Tarot. or here, near the end, when I again gripe about the product packaging for the Llewellyn Tarot.

Barbara dedicated the deck to Hermes, messenger of the gods and the divine trickster. Due to many humorous mishaps along the way, the deck took four years to bring to fruition…probably thanks to Hermes. But it was all worth it in the end because the length of time devoted to this deck means a lot of close attention to detail went into it.

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Llewellyn’s 2018 Tarot Calendar

Llewellyn has just come out with its Tarot Calendar for 2018 and it is a thing of majesty. Tarot nerds, enthusiasts, and aficionados: rejoice! This is your monthly calendar that you’re going to want hung up on your wall at home or in your reading space. It’s simply marvelous.

The calendar features cards from so many tempting decks that just gives the calendar such magic. It’s vibrant, well-produced, and after 2018 has gone and passed, you’ll want to hold on to your calendar for memory’s sake.

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The Eternal Crystals Oracle Cards by Jade-Sky

Eternal Crystals Oracle Cards 02 Whole Set

The Eternal Crystals Oracle Cards by Jade-Sky and illustrated by Jane Marin is a beautifully produced high-gloss deck that features 44 gemstones and crystals. Jade-Sky is a self-professed psychic-medium and channel and Jane Marin, in addition to being an artist, is a healer and life coach. The two have come together to create a visually spectacular deck.

Eternal Crystals Oracle Cards 04 Box Cover Open

No complaints here about the packaging. You’ve got a sturdy, high-gloss deck with an equally impressive companion guide.

Let’s start by having you choose a card, shall we? See below. Choose a card– left, center, or right, and remember which position you chose. We’ll revisit this reading later.

Eternal Crystals Oracle Cards 05 Three Cards Select

The deck features mesmerizing photographic art, mostly abstract, and selected I’m guessing in large part to invoke color therapy. These cards are incredibly calming to gaze at. Cutely, I sort of used this deck as a checklist of the gemstones I have in my collection. In the below selection of cards, I’m missing apophyllite, cerussite, and chiastolite, admittedly stones I’ve never even heard of before.

Eternal Crystals Oracle Cards 10 Cards

The imagery for each card is specifically selected to facilitate a connection between practitioner and the crystal in question, and by concentrating on that connection, you can experience the healing vibrations of the crystal… or so goes the companion guidebook.

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Review of The Raven’s Prophecy Tarot

Ravens Prophecy Tarot - Box Set

Maggie Stiefvater seems like one of those really cool girls that you totally want to be BFFs with. She comes across as down-to-earth, chic, and intelligent in every interview with her I’ve read. She is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author but has somehow remained free of any diva mentality (that I could sense out). Not only is she a gifted author of young adult fiction, and now a tarot author– as both creator and author of the companion guide– but she is also a talented artist. She illustrated this deck as well. *rolls eyes* Geez, is there anything she can’t do? No, but seriously, as soon as I saw images of the tarot art, I knew I wanted this deck.

Ravens Prophecy Tarot - Box

Per the companion guidebook (hereinafter referred to as the LWB even though it isn’t a “little white booklet” but rather, a beautiful perfect-bound glossy-covered book), the conception of The Raven’s Prophecy Tarot began with a series based in Welsh mythology that Stiefvater was writing, and that involved the tarot. That led her to create and illustrate her own tarot deck.

The theme of ravens comes from the “curious and cunning Welsh ravens” that “symbolize our logical, conscious minds and emphasize the traditional fire of the wands suit to represent creative force throughout the entire deck.” (from the LWB).

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Journey of Love Oracle Deck Review

Journey of Love Oracle 01 Box Cover

The Journey of Love oracle deck by Alana Fairchild and illustrated by two artists, Rassouli and Richard Cohn, was published by Llewellyn (Blue Angel Publishing) in 2014. It’s printed in the same style common among modern oracle decks right now, with the larger dimensions, sticky high-gloss finishes, and vibrant contemporary art.

Journey of Love Oracle 02 Deck Set

There are 70 cards in total, along with a sizable perfect-bound guidebook. Alana Fairchild has rapidly ascended to the top of the New Age Movement. She is based out of Australia and is the bestselling author/creator of guided meditation CDs, books on angels and crystals, etc., and exquisite oracle decks that tend to be inspired by the divine feminine. There’s the Kuan Yin Oracle deck, the Isis Oracle, Mother Mary Oracle, and Sacred Rebels, among others. I have the Kuan Yin deck (my review posted here), this one, and the Sacred Rebels (review forthcoming). I love the Sacred Rebels deck, like, a lot, but I might actually love this one, the Journey of Love oracle more.

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The Llewellyn Tarot: A Classic, Versatile RWS Deck

LlewellynTarot_0BoxSet

I’m always looking for RWS-based tarot decks that I can recommend for beginners who aren’t visually ready for the original RWS, and I’ve found one: the Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson and published by Llewellyn Worldwide. This deck has climbed up to my top five recommended beginner tarot decks or, heck, anyone interested in the Wales and Welsh culture of the Middle Ages.

LlewellynTarot_2DeckandBook

The deck comes with a really comprehensive 5″ x 8″ guidebook that does a good job introducing tarot to the beginner but also has so much traditional Welsh folklore and mythology that I found it to be an incredible read, and should be equally enlightening to any seasoned tarotist. The cards themselves are 3.125″ x 4.5″, with thick borders all around. I’ve seen many tarot readers trim their copy of this deck and I’ve got to say, it looks a lot better trimmed.

LlewellynTarot_3CardsCloseup

The soft watercolor paintings by Ferguson (of the Arthurian Tarot fame) transport the Rider-Waite-Smith imagery to medieval Wales, bringing to life Celtic legends, deities, and mythic figures. Although it is a distinctly different style from Kris Waldherr‘s art, something about Ferguson’s work here reminded me of the Goddess Tarot.

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XIII Tarot by Nekro: Deck Review

XIII Tarot - 01 Box Cover

The XIII Tarot by Nekro, published in 2014 by Fournier/Lo Scarabeo (and distributed in North America by Llewellyn) is a Gothic-inspired art deck with ornamental detailing, intense, evocative emotion, and a macabre motif. The art is in grayscale, with select sections of each card digitally enhanced a brilliant red.

The audience for the XIII Tarot deck is going to be aficionados of dark/gothic tarot decks, though without illustrated pips, it’s going to be better suited for Marseille readers.

XIII Tarot - Unillustrated Pips

Many of the reviews for the deck that I read on Amazon complain about the non-illustrated pips, but that didn’t bother me. You just have to know what you’re getting, as a deck buyer. In the context of Nekro’s highly detailed artwork, I like the non-illustrated pips. Illustrated pips, given Nekro’s highly detailed art work, along with the already highly detailed Majors might have been overkill.

Notice how the Majors stand out in a reading spread with the XIII Tarot.
Notice how the Majors stand out in a reading spread with the XIII Tarot.

When the cards are set out in spreads, the images on the Majors step forward beautifully, the Courts speak to us in their respective voices, and the pips provide supplemental information. For me, the deck reads quite well, but I see how visual-spatial-right-brained readers are going to prefer the illustrated pips that you might find in other Gothic decks like the Dark Grimoire Tarot by Michele Penco also by Lo Scarabeo, or the Bohemian Gothic Tarot by Alex Ukolov and Karen Mahony, which sadly, is now out of print (I believe).

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