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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Oracle Horoscopes for October

This month’s Oracle Horoscopes are brought to you by the Fin de Siècle Kipper by Ciro Marchetti (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) To read my review of this deck, click HERE.  I derived the significant number by reducing the number on each card to a single digit.

Aries (Mar. 21 – Apr. 19)
COMMUNITY (39) – It’s all about connections to other people this month, Aries. This means family, relatives, friends, and any like-minded folks. It could refer to organized groups or casual get-togethers. At work, the emphasis is on teamwork and creating a positive working atmosphere. Whether you’re being helpful or receiving help, hosting or being a guest, celebrate having good people around you and appreciate the qualities of loyalty and cooperation. Significant number: 3

Taurus (Apr. 20 - May 20)
WEALTHY MAN (13) – Taurus, this month you are likely to experience your native “bullishness” in the form of money, possessions and/or career success. Perhaps you are in close contact with someone who exhibits these qualities (an employer, a company or business?) or maybe the card refers to you personally. Either way, be on the lookout for opportunities and chances. Significant number: 4

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
LOVERS (15) – I have to point out that The Lovers card in the Tarot is linked with the sign Gemini AND this card is #15, a number that reduces to 6 (1+5), which happens to be the number on The Lovers tarot card. Gemini, this could be about love or a romantic relationship between two people, or it might point to any type of loving relationship or friendship, even a chance to create harmony between your own heart and mind. Significant number: 6

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
IMPRISONMENT (29) – Not a pretty picture here, Cancer, but let’s look into it. You may experience a sense of being confined, isolated, or “stuck in one place” this month, either because of someone else’s actions or beliefs or your own. You may feel trapped in a relationship, job, or situation. So often, we are prisoners of our own thoughts, perceptions or feelings, and this month seems like a good time for you to consider what that might mean. Significant number: 2

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22)
FALSE PERSON (8) – For Leos, the month of October brings a warning to look out for a person or people who are being dishonest or deceptive. At the very least, a mistake or mistakes require correction. Be wary of trusting everybody or everything you see (or think you see). At the same time, you are encouraged to examine your own motivations and ask whether you are “being yourself” or wearing a disguise in a situation. Is it time to throw off your mask and be what you really are? Significant number: 8

Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
CONCERN (33) – It’s not unusual for a Virgo to have “Concerns.” After all, Virgo is one of the most anxious, worrying signs out there. During this month you may experience or encounter a more deep-seated form of angst, inability to focus, even depression, especially if it is unclear what can or should be done in a particular situation. The elderly man on this card could be someone you know or might represent an inner quality of your own that wants to dominate and “catastrophize” things this month. Try to understand the root of the problem and how that might be overcome or offset. Significant number: 6

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22)
TOIL & LABOUR (38) – Your daily work – perhaps very hard work – takes center stage this month, Libra. This could refer to your job or your home life, perhaps a sense of being burdened, unappreciated, or put upon. Somehow this has become part of your daily routine as you go round and round as if on a hamster wheel. The monotony and lack of inspiration or challenge are taking their toll. Time to double-check the things you see as your “obligations.” How many of them actually are obligatory? What can you let go or reduce in order to gain some free time in which to enjoy yourself? Significant number: 2

Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
HIGH HONOR (25) – Hold your head high, Scorpio. This month brings trophies, medals, honor, success, promotion or something equally edifying to your ego. You may not receive an actual 21-gun salute (as shown on the card), but your skills, knowledge, and achievements will be recognized. Interestingly, this card might even represent someone’s declaration of love for you, as well as the resolution of difficulties that have plagued you in the past. Significant number: 7

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
HOUSE (20) – As a Sagittarius, you may enjoy travel, but this month the focus is on house and home, family, your neighborhood – or possibly real estate in general. Like many cards, there could also be a very personal meaning such as a reference to a solid, strong, steady relationship. Pay attention to the people and places in your life that make you feel at home, with a sense of security, coziness, and safety. If you haven’t been home in a while, this is the month to go there. Significant number: 2

Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
GREAT FORTUNE (26) – Well done, Capricorn! You’ve drawn the most enabling, powerful and positive card in the deck. This month may very well bring you outstanding good luck, triumph, wealth, happiness, fruitfulness – or a combination of those. A wish unexpectedly comes true. Opportunities abound. A winning streak – or at least an improvement in current conditions – is in the cards. This is also a great time to explore new perspectives and improvements in a relationship. Significant number: 8

Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
MESSAGE (7) – Typically this card represents good news, Aquarius, but it certainly represents an important message of some kind. News may come to you in any form, including phone call, text message, email, letter, documents, notes, papers, etc. Important information may also appear in a newspaper or magazine, so be alert while paging through those publications. Significant number: 7

Pisces (Feb. 19 – Mar. 20)
MESSAGE OF CONCERN (14) – As you can tell from the body language of the woman on this card, you may receive disappointing and/or unpleasantly surprising news in October. This news could refer to any area of life, but it may help if you can view it as a “setback” rather than “the end.” A small quarrel or small crisis might appear overwhelming at first, especially to sensitive Pisces, but since you are being forewarned, perhaps you can avoid overreacting. Significant number: 5

Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: Fin de Siècle Kipper

Fin de Siècle Kipper
Guidebook: 83 pages
Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 1 x 4.6 inches

TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)

I dipped my toe in the Kipper pond awhile back with the Mystical Kipper deck by Regula Elizabeth Fiechter, with images painted by Urban Trösch (AGM Urania). Since I love Ciro Marchetti’s art, I was delighted when I heard that he was doing a Kipper. I enjoyed following along on Facebook as he shared the process, and I have no problem testifying that the end result is stunning!

I love how the image on 5-Mature Man immediately reminded me of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” (Dos Equis commercials), and how, as I looked more closely, I saw that the man’s gaze is directed at the globe, his eyes seeming to express many different things at once.

How intriguing that the man on 22-Official Person immediately reminded me of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (1868-1918), even though he does not have the Tsar’s distinctive hair line. Number 37-Poverty makes me think of Oliver Twist, the main character in the novel of the same name by Charles Dickens (1812-1870), while 24-Thief brings to mind the Artful Dodger from that same book.

Marchetti tells us that he wanted to provide a “more realistic perspective” of the era instead of an idealization or “social propaganda.” The cards do indeed offer that realism, but they also evoke the charm of that more romantic perspective we have developed over time.

My favorite cards include 36-Distant Horizons, with that glorious wooden ship sailing over the clouds, its multi-colored sails billowing; 35-Pathway, with a setting that draws me in to the point where I can feel the ground beneath my feet; and 10-Journey (in my mind, I hurry to join the man standing by the train – surely one of those bags belongs to me!)

Guidebook / "Little White Book"
And it’s not just a bunch of beautiful cards. The guidebook is a true treasure, containing an impressive amount of information and insight -- historical, personal, and divinatory.

I completely agree with Fortune Buchholtz, who writes, “Overall, I see Ciro’s Kipper as a fun, complex 19th century novel. Like a Dickens work, it’s replete with adventure, travel and personalities, a work touched with nostalgia, romance, social life and a sense of drama.” With all that gorgeous art. Win!


“Ciro Marchetti has situated the traditional German fortune telling deck at the turn of the 19th century in Victorian England. In this expanded gilt deck with three additional cards, rich images tell the stories of the workers as well as the wealthy during the Industrial Revolution. Using augmented reality, via the Aurasma application, Ciro has brought the Fin de Siècle cards to life in stunning, new ways. Guidebook with interpretations by three expert contributors. Includes 39 cards.”


The Kipper cards (Kipperkarten) may seem like a “new idea” to many of us, but they have been known and loved in Germany for generations. It is believed they came into being around 1900, but their precise origin remains obscure. One hypothesis involves a woman named Susanne Kipper from Berlin. The second theory connects the cards with the Kipper (Wipper) people, who traveled across the country much like the gypsies.

The title of this particular Kipper deck is “Fin de Siècle,” which in French means “end of century.” The term can be used to refer to the end of any century, but is most commonly used in reference to the 19th century, also referred to as a Victorian/Edwardian setting.

Like the Lenormand, the Kipper deck has 36 numbered cards depicting scenes from 19th century daily life. Points of difference between the Lenormand and Kipper include the Kipper having what Fortune Buchholtz calls “profound human and interior cards not found in Lenormand.” The Kipper cards do not contain references to playing cards.

Here are the standard titles on Kipper cards, with the titles from the Fin de Siècle Kipper in parentheses where different. Also, notice that the Fin de Siècle deck has 39 cards rather than 36:
1) Main Person/Male
2) Main Person/Female
3) Marriage
4) Meeting (Courtship)
5) Good Lord / Gentleman (Mature Man)
6) Good Lady (Mature Woman)
7) Good/Welcome/Pleasant Letter (Message)
8) False Person
9) A Change
10) A Journey
11) Winning/Gaining a Lot of Money (Sudden Wealth)
12) Rich Maiden/Girl (Privileged Lady)
13) Good Rich Lord/Gentleman (Wealthy Man)
14) Sad News (Message of Concern)
15) Good Results/Success in Love (Lovers)
16) His Thoughts (Thoughts)
17) Receiving a Present/Gift (Gift)
18) A Small/Little Child (Child)
19) Death/Bereavement (Coffin)
20) House
21) Living Room (Family Room)
22) Soldier/Military Man/Person (Official Person)
23) Courthouse/Court
24) Theft
25) Reaching Great Honor/High Honors
26) Great Luck/Happiness (Great Fortune)
27) Unexpected Money (Unexpected Income)
28) Wait/Expectation
29) Prison (Imprisonment)
30) Man of the Courthouse/Court Person (Judication)
31) Short Illness (Bad Health)
32) Sorrow/Grief and Adversities (Despair)
33) Nagging or Sad/Gloomy Thoughts (Concern)
34) Work/Occupation
35) A Long Way/Road (Pathway)
36) Hope or Great/Big Water (Distant Horizons)

Fin de Siècle Kipper Only:
37) Poverty
38) Toil & Labour
39) Community

Marchetti added 37, 38, and 39 to flesh out the deck.

Following a lengthy and detailed Introduction by Marchetti, the Fin de Siècle Kipper guidebook offers commentary by Fortune Buchholtz and Stella Waldvogel. Descriptions of the cards are written by Buchholtz, Waldvogel, Susanne Zitzi, and Ciro Marchetti (the writer’s initials are indicated at the end of each interpretation, so readers know who is providing the information).

Each card description has several paragraphs of information, explanation of symbols, and possible interactions with other cards. A black-and-white thumbnail version of the card appears next to its entry.


The cards are printed on high quality stock with a glossy laminate finish and silver-gilt edges. At 4-1/8 inches by 2-3/4 inches (my measurements), they fit nicely in my hands. I am able to poker-shuffle them, but I don’t recommend it with this deck. I want to keep these cards in their current, beautiful condition.

Card fronts feature a black background with a silver frame enclosing an image. The card numbers are silver and centered in a circle at the top. The titles, also silver, are centered at the bottom in capital letters. The nonreversible card backs have an ornate frame within a frame against a black background. Centered against a purple diamond-pattern is a jester’s mask (I have seen this diamond-pattern referred to as black and gray, but in my deck, it is most certainly a dark and light purple).

The sturdy, attractive box measures 4-1/2 inches by 3 inches and fastens with a magnetic closure on one side – top-notch quality. The cards and guidebook fit perfectly.

The 83-page guidebook (2-3/4 x 4 inches) is a high-quality version of the standard “little white book” often available with Tarot and Oracle cards, bound in a stiff cover that features the 4 - Courtship card in color.

Printing inside the booklet is black and white, with tiny greyscale images representing the cards. In addition to the card descriptions, the guidebook includes a Triple Pyramid Spread by Stella Waldvogel and Susanne’s SOS Spread by Susanne Zitzi.

An added bonus with this deck is the interactive system developed by Marchetti – a set of augmented reality videos referred to as “Auras,” created to work with a free application called Aurasma. Using this app, you can point your device’s camera at any card. The app will recognize the card and play the associated video, providing information about the meaning of the card.


The Fin de Siècle Kipper presents Ciro Marchetti’s scenes from the Victorian/Edwardian time period in rich, glossy color. His goal was to incorporate “the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of human social interaction” in contrast to the original Kipper style, which depicted “cozy, domestic scenes” – “an idealization also projected in much of the art of that period.” The images are realistic and detailed, with that special glow we have come to expect from a Marchetti deck. People’s faces and eyes are expressive, and the colors and lighting speak volumes.

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I hereby disclose that this product was provided by the publisher for free. Other than the occasional review copy, I receive no monetary or in-kind compensation for my reviews.  The substance of my reviews is not influenced by whether I do or do not receive a review copy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Shortened Celtic Cross with Marseille Trumps

Marseille Deck – Trumps Only
Shortened Celtic Cross Spread 
from Tarot Triumphs 
by Cherry Gilchrist (Weiser Books)

Cherry Gilchrist recommends a clear, succinct question and/or specific inquiry for this spread, as it is useful for “pinning things down.” Gilchrist has no use for “hypothetical” readings, where the reader invents a situation and querent. She also recommends against reading “for self-analysis or prediction for oneself” because a Tarot reader “needs a degree of initial detachment, which is almost impossible to have.”

However, she does realize that there are times when we are learning or “practicing” our Tarot reading skills, and at such times reading for ourselves may be the most appropriate choice. In that case, she recommends asking a simple question about something that is not very important.

Another option she offers is inquiring about an outside situation or even about another person who is not present. I have been somewhat conditioned NOT to do this (for various reasons), but it is good to know that an experienced reader sees it as a viable option.

For this reading, I am using only the Major Arcana (Triumphs/Trumps) of my adorable mini-Marseille Tarot (Lo Scarabeo)

All of that is simply to explain what I’m doing in this reading, and why. I have decided to ask about another person and a relationship she is in.

My question is simply, “What is the energy surrounding this relationship?”

Significator: THE MAGICIAN

(Just so you’ll know, this card flew out of the pack while I was mixing the cards. When that happens, I often just replace the card into the pack. However, this time, I decided it was the Significator, representing the person whose relationship I am reading about.)

Yes, this person does have strong will power and spirit, an ability and willingness to make use of any and all tools she has at her disposal to solve problems or create what she desires. She has a lot of control in this relationship, whether she realizes it or not.

(1) Predominant feature of the situation: THE HIEROPHANT

From an astrological sense, The Hierophant is linked with the zodiac sign Taurus, an Earth sign known for being practical, dependable, stable, and secure. This card also often carries the idea of established ways of looking at things, whether religious, political, or other. There is a sense of “The Establishment.” The relationship has this energy as a predominant feature, suggesting the couple is taking a traditional, well established approach.

(2) challenge or obstacle facing the person: JUDGEMENT

This card seems to suggest that our Magician needs to examine or question her judgment in this relationship, but finds it difficult to do so. She may not trust her judgment, or may not be willing to *see* everything about the relationship, a “total picture” that would help her make the best decisions or choices in this situation. Her judgement may be “clouded” or based on incomplete information. She may need to “wake up” to something she has not be willing or able to acknowledge.

(3) goal or high point of the situation: THE DEVIL

Well, that’s a fun card to see here! This card can represent sexual attraction, enchantment, or charm. But there is an undercurrent of possible deception, especially in the sense of deceiving oneself about something. Since this is supposed to be the “goal or high point” perhaps we are being told that the relationship is actually avoiding (or the two people are determined to avoid) traps and deceptions represented by The Devil.

(4) basis of the situation: THE WORLD

At its base, this relationship is surrounded by the energy of success, completion, and fulfillment. Trump 21 is certainly a positive sign to see as the “basis” of anything. It not only indicates the successful completion of a cycle or stage in life, but also a turning point, the start of a new cycle or stage, a firm foundation moving forward.

(5) recent past: THE EMPRESS

In the recent past, the relationship was surrounded by the energy of nurturing, understanding, receptiveness, and beneficial influence. The two people seem to want to take care of each other, to be supportive and to help each other and the relationship grow and flourish. This card’s association with the planet Venus gives a strong sense of mutual affection and appreciation.

(6) near future: THE LOVERS

Well! As we know, The Lovers can indicate that a choice has to be made. On the Marseille card, a man stands between two women, and it is often thought that he is trying to decide between them. It may be necessary for one or both of the people in this relationship to make a choice in the near future that impacts the relationship. However, we can also look at this as simply representing Love with a capital “L”, fostered by Cupid himself.

From what I know of this relationship (not much), these cards make quite a lot of sense. It will be interesting to see how things develop…

Friday, September 23, 2016

Death and Grief Reading for Helen and Mr. White

Today I am sharing a spread I adapted from one that was posted by Barbaras Ahajusts on Aeclectic Tarot Forum back in 2006. I am doing the reading for my dear friend Helen, whose cat Mr. White recently crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. White when I traveled to Helen’s home in Australia a couple of years ago.

Mr. White
Here is the layout, with positional definitions.


1. Mr. White
2. Helen
3. What united them?
4. Under which sign did their union stand?
5. What is now gone?
6. What remains for Helen as the gift of their union?
7. Which force is protecting and accompanying her during this period?
8. Which force accompanies Mr. White?
9. Which force helps Helen to let go and to keep going, gives her new courage, and benefits her?

I am using the Cat’s Eye Tarot by Debra M. Givin, DVM (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

1. Mr. White

NINE OF SWORDS (Worry, Guilt, Anguish)

This card does seem to relate to Mr. White’s life for some time before he crossed the Rainbow Bridge, as he was in poor health and it had been decided that there was nothing else that could be done for him. We can’t know what he experienced for certain, but it is not hard to imagine a state of worry or anxiety might have accompanied his illness and approaching death. An animal knows when things are not right in his physical body. Cats are quite stoic. Their instinct is to maintain a strong appearance to keep a possible predator from seeing any weakness. We would not necessarily see any obvious indication of worry or anguish.

2. Helen

(Enlightenment, Greatness, Vitality, Assurance)

Even though she mourns the loss of Mr. White, Helen embraces and expresses the Sun’s positive qualities. She feels sorrow and loss, but is not devastated beyond repair. The core of her bright personality and warm nature are still strong. She knows that the sun will shine again even after the darkest, stormiest night.

3. What united them?

EIGHT OF WANDS (Quick Action, Conclusion, News)

What we see in this card is not simply “quick action” but a mother cat saving her kittens from a fire. It is Helen’s nurturing, “mothering” quality towards Mr. White that united them, along with her desire and willingness to help him with his health issues as much as she could, for as long as she could.

4. Under which sign did their union stand?

TEN OF SWORDS (Bottoming Out, Victim Mentality, Martyrdom)

I wonder if perhaps this points to a situation or circumstances that Mr. White was in before coming to live with Helen? Perhaps he was a stray or neglected in some way. Another possibility is that the card refers to ways in which Helen lifted Mr. White out of a bad state or what would have been a hard life had she not been involved.

5. What is now gone?

THE STAR (Hope, Inspiration, Generosity, Serenity)

It is true that with Mr. White’s passing, we do see an end to hopes and wishes for his recovery. This would have been especially keen as his passing drew nearer and became unavoidable. It is also true that whatever inspiration or serenity that Mr. White brought to Helen while he was alive is now gone or, at the very least, changed to a different form.

6. What remains for Helen as the gift of their union?

TEN OF CUPS (Joy, Peace, Family)

This is where we see that the loss of “The Star” is temporary, as Helen retains a beautiful gift of her union with Mr. White – fond memories of experiences and perhaps even an otherwordly connection that transcends physical existence.

7. Which force is protecting and accompanying her during this period?

SEVEN OF PENTACLES (Affluence, Permanence, Convention)

This card conveys a sense of security, stability, and well-being, the fact that Helen continues to live her life much as she did before Mr. White departed. She still has much in her life that brings her joy and contentment.

8. Which force accompanies Mr. White?

FIVE OF CUPS (Loss, Bereavement, Regret)

I think this is about the separation of Mr. White from Helen, a loss that they both felt (and still feel) keenly. We cannot know what Mr. White feels or experiences on the other side, but I don’t find it impossible to believe that there is a remnant of sorrow or regret that remains with the spirit of one who passes on. I have no trouble believing that Mr. White misses Helen, just as she misses him.

9. Which force helps Helen to let go and to keep going, gives her new courage, and benefits her?

QUEEN OF SWORDS (Honest, Astute, Forthright, Witty, Experienced)

Well, it is very interesting to me that the Queen of Swords is often interpreted as a woman who has experienced loss and grief but remains strong, allowing her experience to further strengthen her. If we pair this with The Sun (position 2, above), we get a picture of someone who can weather loss and disappointment and emerge with dignity and grace intact, and wisdom gained.


Thank you for this reading Zanna, all the cards express my relationship with my lovely boy. The Ten of Swords is spot on, Mr. White was abandoned and not in a very good state when I took him in. Of his 16 years he has spent 10 of those with me. The pain of losing him is great as he spent a lot of time by my side, but I know that as your cards express, in time the pain will dull and the memories will make me smile again. 
~ Helen