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Monday, February 20, 2017

Fleur de Lis Reading

As I mentioned in my review, I was eager to try the Fleur de Lis reading provided in the guidebook included with the Botanical Inspirations cards by Lynn Araujo (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.), featuring illustrations by renowned Flemish artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840).

To read my review of this charming deck, click HERE.

Lynn Araujo explains that the Fleur de Lis has several traditional meanings, the most common being Faith/Wisdom/Valor or Perfection/Light/Life. Here is the layout for this reading:


Card 1 signifies the situation as it is.
Card 2 indicates the course of action to be taken to resolve the situation.
Card 3 projects the improved outcome of the situation.

MY READING

For this reading, I decided to let Card 1 choose the topic or area to explore.

Card 1 signifies the situation as it is.

FORGET-ME-NOTS / Eternal Memories

Memories can be quite powerful. Over time they are often overlaid with more current perceptions or beliefs, to the point that we don’t really have an accurate memory at all. What we choose to remember and what we choose to suppress can reveal much about our deepest needs, fears, joys, and thoughts. In the Botanical Inspirations guidebook, Lynn Araujo writes, “Make room in your heart for the tender memories of lost loved ones, right alongside the happy memories you cherish.” I think perhaps the message to me right now is that I really can choose which memories to focus on or give a prominent place to. Dwelling on memories of bad situations, relationships, or experiences is unlikely to improve my life.

Card 2 indicates the course of action to be taken to resolve the situation.

NASTURTIUM / Victory & Conquest

So if we accept that Card 1 was calling my attention how I process and deal with my memories, the Nasturtium reminds me that “conquering those inner voices of self-doubt is the first step forward” in my personal growth (Araujo). There is probably not going to be a great big battle like those we see on movie screens. Rather, I am more likely to be faced with seemingly minor skirmishes that allow me to experience small victories, day by day. I must not underestimate the significance and power of those “small victories.”

Card 3 projects the improved outcome of the situation.

VIOLET / Faithfulness & Modesty

From Lynn Araujo: “Sometimes the quietest voice with a modest message is the one that holds the greatest wisdom.” If I heed the message of Card 2 in my efforts to resolve the situation represented by Card 1, the improved outcome is likely to be subtle, demure, and modest. I will not measure that outcome by the amount of attention I get or the accolades I receive. It is enough if I am the only one who is aware of the value and beauty of that improved outcome. It is neither necessary nor desirable that the world be aware of what I accomplish.

I love the “mini-garden” of forget-me-nots, nasturtiums, and violets that I planted with this reading. The messages will stay with me!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review: Botanical Inspirations Deck & Book Set

R E V I E W

Botanical Inspirations Deck & Book Set
by Lynn Araujo
Cards illustrated by _Pierre-Joseph Redouté_ (1759-1840)
44 cards with quotations
100-page illustrated guidebook
Fold-out guide to the Secret Language of Flowers
Drawstring organza pouch



So many things to love about this deck and book set, it’s hard to know where to start – but I’m going to start with the packaging, which is superb.


The top of the sturdy flip-top cardboard box features a lush collage of Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s Victorian flower art, including the dahlia, coreopsis, asters, forget-me-nots, and amaryllis, among others. This box is roomy enough for a perfect-bound guidebook with the same illustration on its cover, the deck of 44 cards, a trifold pamphlet listing keywords for all of the flowers shown on the cards, and an organza pouch the same shade of mint green as the box, booklet, pamphlet, and card backs. Also included is a card providing detailed information about Redouté, who was born in 1759 to a Flemish family of decorative painters. By the late 1790s, Redouté was the most famous and sought after flower painter in Europe.

Card faces are a tan parchment color, an attractive background for the artwork. The cards do a beautiful job of combining science and sentiment. At the top, centered, is the common name of the flower, with the Latin name or alternative name centered immediately under that in flowery script. Next comes the Redouté’s illustration of the flower. The style is realistic, and it is easy to see how the artist was influenced by the botanist Charles Louis L'Héritier, who offered Redouté free access to his botanical library and plant collection. Centered below the artwork is the meaning attributed to that flower. Finally, also centered, we have a quotation that reflects that symbolism. Here are a couple of examples:

TULIP
Tulipa
Friendship & Gratitude
“Let us be grateful for the people who make us happy; 
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
 – Marcel Proust

ASTERS
Callistephus
Elegance & Patience
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
– Lao Tzu

For each flower, the guidebook provides a black-and-white version of the Redouté illustration, the common name and Latin name for the flower, symbolism, quotation, a long paragraph discussing the flower and its meaning, and an Inspirational Message. The eloquent writing in the guidebook is a pleasure to read, offering tidbits of the fascinating history and cultural interpretations associated with each flower.

Let’s look at the IRIS (Iris germanica).

Symbolism: Rainbows & Messages

Quotation: “When it rains, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars.” – Unknown

“The stately flower borrowed its name from Iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow. It was her duty to transport the souls of departed women to the Elysian Fields. In the Language of Flowers, Iris came to mean ‘messages’ since its namesake carried messages along the rainbow between the realms of the mortals and the gods. The majestic iris flower inspired the French fleur de lis motif, with the three petals symbolizing faith, wisdom and valor.”

Inspirational Message: “Keep your eyes open to the wisdom of the universe and you will receive clear signs and messages that guide you on your path.”


At the end of the guidebook is a section titled “Reading with the Botanical Inspirations Cards,” containing examples of the Three-Card Fleur De Lis reading. I am looking forward to giving this a try soon here on Tarot Notes.


The Botanical Inspirations cards are perfect for drawing a daily Affirmation, and the guidebook can be used as a resource when researching the various flowers and their meanings.


About the Author: Lynn Araujo is the author of Dreaming Way Lenormand, TastyTalk Conversation Cards, Historical Signals and Semaphores, Native American Playing Cards, and is co-author with Stuart Kaplan of The Artwork & Times of Pamela Colman Smith. She is currently working on Pastoral Tarot with Lisa Hunt.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Reading with Karma Cards

Today I am using Karma Cards: A New Age Guide to Your Future through Astrology, a deck devised by Monte Farber, with cards illustrated by Linda Garland (Viking Studio).

My question: What kind of situation/mood/atmosphere can I expect to encounter or prepare for?

This deck is based on astrology and consists of Planet cards, Sign cards, and House cards. For my reading, I draw one card from the Planet group, one from the Sign group, and one from the House group.

My results are: The South Node / in Leo / in the 12th House


Wow, it’s obvious that this is not going to be one of those light-hearted, skipping-through-the-daisies readings!

SOUTH NODE: For those who don’t know astrology, the Moon’s south and north nodes are imaginary points that mark off a sort of celestial equator. The North Node is also known as the Dragon’s Head, whereas the South Node is called the Dragon’s Tail.

Astrologers have different views on the meaning of the nodes in a chart. Options include: no meaning at all; past and future karma; how you relate to your environment; points of good luck and bad luck. In the guidebook to the Karma Cards deck, Monte Farber writes that the South Node card prompts us to “stop, look, listen, and remember.” It’s a reminder that I may be going against what I know are my own best interests.

LEO: The sign Leo rules pleasure, romance, self-expression, pride, sports, acting, and entertainment. We associate it with royalty, warm affections, generosity, openness and frankness. Leo has a strong desire or need to be proud of what it is doing and respected for it.

TWELFTH HOUSE: This house is about “the inner you” and “how you don’t want to project yourself into the world.” It is the house of secret fears, secret enemies, and self-undoing. Here we find that which tends to “negate our ego.” Matters governed by the 12th House include some religions, large institutions (government, the military, corporations, hospitals, prisons). Here there is a strong desire for secrecy or, at the very least, privacy.

When asking the type of question I am asking, we are instructed by Monte Farber to use the blue panels on each card for our answer. For The South Node in Leo in the 12th House, we receive these three statements:

  • Spiritual: There will not be self-confidence to create your faith
  • Mental: Anxiety about taking a chance on hidden tendencies
  • Physical: Trouble resulting from the impressiveness of large institutions or overwhelming events

If I weave all of this together, I get a sense that (at this moment in time anyway) I am not likely to have the self-confidence to create my own faith system or spiritual path because I have a lot of anxiety about how hidden tendencies might come across or manifest. This mental anxiety is based, at least in part, on the significance or power of large institutions (or institutionalized beliefs?) There is a “fear of coming out” vibe here that tells me I am not yet ready to take a public stand in the spiritual or faith arena. I am still too unsure of how to present or reveal hidden tendencies that may not be received well by “the establishment” in the physical, material world.

Alternatively, I can view these cards as representing different situations/moods/atmospheres in the spiritual realm, mental realm, and physical realm. The "hidden tendencies" causing my mental anxiety may or may not be related to my faith. The trouble from the "impressiveness of large institutions or overwhelming events" might have nothing to do with the other two. I could be looking at the possibility of health or financial problems connected somehow to large institutions or overwhelming events.

Monday, February 6, 2017

REVIEW: Tarot by Design Workbook by Diana Heyne

R E V I E W

Tarot by Design Workbook
8.5 x 10
176 pages



Adult coloring books are all the rage these days, so it seems like a natural (and great!) idea to publish a coloring book specifically about the Tarot.

Tarot by Design Workbook encourages and allows each person to infuse his or her own intuition, personality, and nature into the study of the cards, while at the same time absorbing or extracting the most personally appropriate, helpful, or meaningful interpretations. It functions as a coloring book, a journal, a textbook, and an inspiration.

The only possible drawback I can see is that with perfect binding, the pages do not lie flat. You will need to use one hand or a weight of some kind to keep the book open flat as you color. The cover of the book depicts colored pencils, perhaps the preferred tool to use with this coloring book. Felt pen coloring might “bleed through” to the other side of the pages, which are printed on both sides. Crayons are too blunt and broad to fill in the finer details of the artwork.

Diana Heyne
The author, Diana Heyne, comes from a family steeped in mysticism. She has studied divination and other esoterica since childhood. Her extensive art background includes a piece in the White House collection (an ornament for the annual Christmas tree). You can visit her Etsy shop to see her fairy furniture and dollhouses: www.etsy.com/shop/pandorajane

The Tarot by Design Workbook is a perfect-bound paperback book featuring original color-in images of the 22 major arcana cards, along with the 56 images of the minor arcana. Each card also gets a “Learning Page” containing keywords for upright and reversed cards, with space for Notes. Learning Pages for the major arcana cards also contain a rhyme or phrase related to the card. At the back are blank pages framed creatively for the reader’s own artwork.



Examples of keywords and affirmations:

THE HERMIT
Upright: soul-searching, prudence, seeking wisdom, introspection, alone
Reversed: isolation, loneliness, fear, withdrawal
Phrase/Rhyme: I walk a lonely path. Only my lantern lights the way. I search for understanding. I seek out wisdom night and day.

8 OF WANDS
Upright: speed, action, swift change, swift movement in travel
Reversed: delays, frustration, waiting, disputes

The pages containing these words and phrases can also be colored in, using different colors to underline, circle, or highlight the words that seem most significant to you, personally.




In her introduction to the book, Diana Heyne writes:

“I have long felt that many people hesitate to set foot on the path of Tarot because even the initial steps can appear somewhat daunting. . . When we engage our visual and kinesthetic senses through the movement of applying color to these images, learning, informed by intuition, takes on a friendlier face. . . What you learn here will provide a foundation that can be built upon to deepen and expand your knowledge and reach whatever level you choose.”