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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Listen to the Animals: Crow

For this Tarot Notes feature, I pull one card from an animal-themed deck to represent an important message from that animal.

If you are interested in finding out who your own Animal Guides are, you can get an Animal Guides Reading through my _Etsy shop_ or my _Web Site_.

Today I am consulting the Wolf Song Cards by Jeanette Spencer and Lew Hartman (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Our animal for today is the CROW.
Information, Communication

I like crows (maybe because I’m not a farmer with a corn field!) I love their personalities and vocalizations. I understand they are quite smart as well. You may be interested to know the differences between crows and ravens. These web sites offers a few insights, with photos:
How to Tell a Raven From a Crow
Ravens and Crows - Who Is Who
Similar Species: Crows and Ravens

In the Wolf Song Cards deck, the Crow represents a provider of information and communication. To summarize, the impressions we are likely to receive from the Crow include:
* the perfect blend of social grace and bravado
* the reputation of taking what belongs to others
* sometimes careless about others’ feelings

Advice from Crow might include:
* gather information to yourself
* communicate with others and draw on their information
* make no decision based on anything that is not fact
* guard your information; share it, but carefully
* listen without comment unless you have real information to contribute
* learn to hear what is being said beneath the words
* ask yourself, “Am I sharing knowledge or gossiping?”
* learn to communicate, not just talk

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fairy Tale Reading: Tarot and Lenormand

In my _review_ of the lovely and talented Fairy Tale Lenormand (artwork by Lisa Hunt, written by Arwen Lynch, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.), I mentioned the possibility of doing a reading that combines this Lenormand deck with one or more of my Fairy Tale tarot decks.

This 3-card reading has the positions:

(1) yesterday............(2) today.............(3) tomorrow 

My cards:

The decks I am using are:

(1) yesterday: The Fairytale Tarot designed by Karen Mahony, illustrated by Alex Ukolov, with artwork by Irena Triskova (Magic Realist Press)

THREE OF WANDS_The First Voyage of Sinbad the Seaman_

The card representing my “yesterday” is about making plans, exploring, dreaming of new horizons. As a young man, Sinbad is careless, squandering the wealth he inherited from his parents. I can see how, in some ways, I squandered the many gifts of many different kinds that I was given. The Three of Wands, however, does not represent regrets or unhappy outcomes. It represents a spirit of adventure, a desire and a willingness to search and explore and expand. This, too, applies to my “yesterday.”

(2) today: Fairy Tale Lenormand

SUN (Ace of Diamonds / 31) – _Little Daylight_

My “today” is represented by a very positive Lenormand card, the Sun, with the keywords “opportunities, success, vitality.” This deck associates the Sun card with the tale “Little Daylight,” one of those “female saved by the kiss of a male” stories that I lost my fondness for after reading The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independence Paperback by Colette Dowling in 1982. Nevertheless, my “today” is indeed based on a “rescue” of sorts that is not all that far removed from this type of story. Unlike the story, in my case, I did not lie sleeping, awaiting that magical kiss. My own decisions, choices, and actions contributed to the outcome and my present circumstances.

(3) tomorrow: The Fairy Tale Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Publications)

NINE OF CUPS_The Mermaid and the Boy_

The story of The Mermaid and the Boy comes from Lapland, and it comes complete with the promise of a first-born child in exchange for being saved from death, an attempt to hide the child to avoid making good on the promise, and the child growing up and going out into the world. Out in that world, the boy helps various beasts, gaining the ability to turn into those beasts as needed, and this allows him to escape the mermaid who snatches him from the shore in fulfillment of that long-ago promise. The boy marries a princess and all is well in the end.

So, in terms of my “tomorrow,” I can look at this story not only on the surface but a bit more deeply, with the help of Lisa Hunt’s commentary: “We have shed the last vestiges of emotional turmoil and are now on the path toward reaching our objectives. We enjoy the ride as we feel the exhilaration of our goals being fed into our emotional well-being. We feel a keen sense of personal accomplishment and bask in the multitudinous blessings that are finally making themselves visible.”

I can certainly live with that!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: The Final Problem (Trump 20)

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
(The Last Judgement)

"The Adventure of the Final Problem" is the last of the short stories of Sherlock Holmes from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The story ends with the apparent death of Sherlock Holmes on May 4, 1891, during a fight with his arch-nemesis Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls. The card depicts a bereft Dr. Watson standing by his friend’s gravestone.

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is a quote from “The Second Stain”: “Come, friend Watson, the curtain rings up for the last act.”

The association of this event with Judgement (Trump 20 in the Tarot) makes sense when we consider the traditional interpretations of this card, including “renewal, resurrection, ending or beginning” – for, as Holmes readers know, Sherlock is not killed at Reichenbach Falls.

Conan Doyle may have wanted to stop writing about the detective, but his fans expressed such grief, anger, and dismay that the author brought Holmes back to life. The creators of this deck write: “The rapturous reaction experienced by Watson and Mrs. Hudson at the restoration of the great detective perfectly mirrors the sense of renewal at the heart of the Last Judgement card in classic tarot symbolism.”

The guidebook for this deck lists additional Keys for this card, upright: “recapitulation of events or ideas, prophetic vision, forgiveness, adjustment, recovery of that which has been lost sight of, impulse to change your life.” Keys for the reversed card are “simplicity, weakness, stagnation, delay.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings.

Examples from “The Game” for The Final Problem: “changes of direction impinge from all sides. . . New discoveries bring renewal and transformation to your theories. . . The impulse to change or reform your life gets nearer.”

Examples from “The Fog”: “ Forgiveness or adjustments are difficult when you are grudging with your response. . . You reap what you sow. . . Accept what needs to be laid down and make your way without it.”

Friday, October 7, 2016

Review: Fairy Tale Lenormand

Fairy Tale Lenormand 
by _Arwen Lynch_  (Author)
_Lisa Hunt_  (Author, Illustrator)
38 cards / 2.8 x 1.2 x 4.1 inches
120 page guidebook

TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)

Fairy Tales + Lisa Hunt + Arwen Lynch . . . I’m already reaching for this deck. . . And then U.S. Games puts it in a wonderful little metal tin box. I’m almost speechless, but not quite. Let me continue.

From “_The Enchanted Horse_”  to “_East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon_”  to “_Rose Red and Snow White_”  to “_The Red Shoes_,” the Fairy Tale Lenormand carries us through many cultures, countries, and concepts, while connecting us neatly to the thirty-six cards of the Lenormand oracle.

Even if you completely ignore the Little White Book (LWB) and the fairy tale descriptions, you can still use this as a Lenormand deck, thanks to Lisa Hunt’s highly successful effort to modify her approach to the art. Her signature love of detail is still evident but has been geared toward simplicity and ease of access, in keeping with the Lenormand’s purpose.

Familiarity with the tales (as told by Arwen Lynch) simply serves to enrich and enhance the reader’s experience with these cards. For example, when I see the Garden card from the Fairy Tale Lenormand, I not only pick up the traditional meaning of “friends, festivities, acquaintances, gatherings,” I remember Oscar Wilde’s story of “_The Selfish Giant_,” whose garden remained in a wintry state until one brave child dared to enter, causing everything in the garden to bloom. The Snake warns of “cheating, betrayal, manipulation.” The image on the card reminds me of how Rudyard Kipling’s mongoose, _Rikki Tikki Tavi_, deals with evil cobras, protecting his humans from the threat.

I love the spreads in the LWB, especially the Tower Spread (based on Rapunzel) and Happily Ever Afters, a 12-card spread laid out in three fans of four cards each.

I am looking forward to using this deck alone and perhaps in combination with one of my Fairy Tale Tarot decks.

"Fairy Tales have been teaching us timeless life lessons for centuries. Lisa Hunt’s enchanting artwork draws us into the magical world of peasants and princesses, dragons and daring deeds. By weaving imaginative myths into the Lenormand structure, Fairy Tale Lenormand helps readers connect with the cards in meaningful and memorable ways. The 38-card multicultural deck, presented in a treasure chest tin, includes extra Gentleman and Lady cards for personalized readings.

Arwen Lynch’s delightful 120-page booklet, with foreword by Lenormand expert Donnaleigh de LaRose, cleverly relates familiar fairy tales to the Lenormand meanings. Booklet includes illustrated instructions for reading with Crossroads Spreads, Tower Spreads, and Happily Ever Afters."

The Fairy Tale Lenormand is based on the Lenormand system but includes 38 cards instead of 36. This is because the Fairy Tale deck contains two “Gentleman” cards and two “Lady” cards. In each case, there is a “peasant” version and a “prince” or “princess” version. Many fairy tales have a peasant becoming a prince (or vice versa), and female characters are often either a peasant or princess.

The deck of 38 cards and accompanying 120-page guidebook are packaged inside a metal tin. The guidebook contains a Foreword by Donnaleigh de LaRose and an Introduction by Arwen Lynch, who also provides the commentary for each card.

A section at the end of the booklet contains information on Fan Spreads (spreads that use the shape of a fan), a Crossroads Spread, a Tower Spread, and a spread called Happily Ever Afters consisting of three fans with four cards each.


The art from one of the cards (#30 – Lilies) is on the front of the tin and the guidebook. The tin measures about 4 by 2-3/4 inches. The booklet is 2-1/4 inches wide by 3-1/2 inches tall and 1/4 inch thick. The card measure 2-1/4 by 3-1/2 inches.

The fronts of the cards have tan borders surrounding a full color image. Card numbers are in the upper left corner. Card titles are centered below the image, along with the name of the playing card that corresponds to that Lenormand card. Reversible card backs feature a tan background with an intricate design, a border of vines, leaves, and flowers in green and brown. An intricate green and brown design featuring mirror-image old-fashioned keyholes is centered on the card backs.

The glossy guidebook cover is made of sturdy stock. The inside is printed black on white with a couple of black and white illustrations and spread layouts (individual cards are not illustrated ion the booklet). Card descriptions include the number and name of the card, the playing card association, keywords for that card, and two pages describing the fairy tale association and how it relates to the traditional meaning of the Lenormand card.


As stated on her _web site_,  Arwen Lynch “began reading the Tarot in 1980 when a friend handed her the Thoth deck. She didn’t really like the Thoth deck then (her opinion has changed since) so moved on to the Herbal Tarot which she still has in her collection of over 150 Tarot and Oracle decks.” A past president of the American Tarot Association, Lynch is also the author of several books under the pen name Marilu Mann.


Lisa Hunt’s art is well known in the cartomancy community thanks to her work on beautiful tarot and oracle decks such as the Animals Divine Tarot (Llewellyn Publications), The Winged Enchantment Oracle by Lesley Morrison (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.), Ghosts and Spirits Tarot (U.S. Games), Fantastical Creatures Tarot by D.J. Conway (U.S. Games), Shapeshifter Tarot by D.J. Conway and Sirona Knight (Llewellyn Publications), The Fairy Tale Tarot (Llewellyn Publications), and The Celtic Dragon Tarot by D.J. Conway (Llewellyn Publications).

Lisa writes: “My artwork is about letting go and allowing a confluence of emotion to help paint the picture.” She is inspired by “almost anything: nature, reading (especially mythology and folklore), traveling and visiting parks and zoos, etc.”

You can read about Lisa’s technique and creative process HERE.

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.