Tarot and Magical Practice
The Tarot DeckFinder
by Raye Martin
Imagine yourself opening a book of knowledge, the words spilling out like keys to the unknown. The text looks like a small dictionary, but upon closer inspection, you see that each entry is the name of a deck of cards. What you are holding is The Tarot DeckFinder by Raye Martin.
The DeckFinder is like a Consumer Reports for the Tarotist, with insights into 2,000 Tarot decks and oracles.
The well-known Tarot author Mary K. Greer says, "Never before have so many decks and so much information been gathered in one place."
The catalog was designed for comparison shopping. The book offers clear, standard ratings and reviews across all publishers. Decks are listed in alphabetical order by title, with several entries per page in side-by-side layout. For each title, vivid descriptions of the cards are followed by everything you ever wanted to know about a Tarot deck, formatted as twenty-one labeled segments.
Among the information in a DeckFinder are the title, author/artist, year published, reviewer rating, suits, book, and extras, as well as the likely audience for the deck. Decks are indexed by author and by over forty separate interest areas.
Martin believes that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," so decks are not judged based on the artwork. Instead ratings discern the concept behind the work and the level of maturity displayed in the overall package.
For more information, email Raye Martin.
Review by Shel Rymond.
The Lover's Path Tarot
by Kris Waldherr
From Kris Waldherr, the creator of the highly popular Goddess Tarot, comes a fresh and beautiful deck that uses primarily Greco-Roman couples to represent the interaction of yin and yang that permeates our world.
Mythical love stories from many cultures are pictured with rich details and earthy colors on lavishly decorated borders. Dressed in snowy white trimmed with gold, heavenly Isis and Osiris embrace amidst a field of white lotus blossoms in the sixth major, Love. Fair young Vivianne, a vision in glowing white, joins the aged Merlin to animate the Arthurian legend in trump one, Magic.
The exceptional book provides two pages of information in addition to a full color photo of each trump. The minors are given one page each.
This extraordinary set is recommended for those who would like to expand their knowledge of Tarot and mythology. It is a romantic deck with a rare maturity that transcends the outwardly interpersonal kind of love and reveals something about the nature of self-love.
Reviewed by Raye Martin.
The Earth Deck
Created by Gaiamore (Gail Morrison)
My first experience with the Earth Deck took place on my annual visit to the East Coast and the Atlantic last summer. My session proved to be so unique and compelling that I immediately acquired my own deck to continue my work with the artist by phone and delve deeper into nature divination.
The Earth Deck is a beautiful collection of 52 nature photographs configured in a large 8x8 inch format. The elements are evenly distributed, and there is a nice representation of seasons and climate zones.
Taking readings from the Earth Deck is a unique and powerful experience that leads to self-discovery, attunement to the inherent wisdom of the Earth, and appreciation of the beauty of the Goddess. Because the images are manifestations of nature, no esoteric explanations are necessary. The teaching comes from the individual's personal relationship to that which is presented in the image - visually, emotionally, intuitively, and spiritually.
The photo that appears on the back of each card is a compelling picture of a crystal ball on the earth, suggesting that if we look deeply to the Earth for guidance, we will gain the knowledge we seek. The laminated cards are durable, easily seen in circle, and perfect for use in ritual.
The Earth Deck seems ideal for professionals in more traditional fields of psychotherapy and education. Gaiamore is an artist, educator, and therapist with extensive experience in Earth-based spiritual practices.
The Earth Deck is truly an idea whose time has come.
Gaiamore (Gail Morrison, M.Ed.) is an artist, therapist, and Reclaiming Teacher with extensive experience in Earth-based spiritual practices. Visit www.naturedivination.com.
Reviewed by Leona.
The Housewives Tarot
by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum
"Domestic Divination Made Simple!" proclaims the instruction booklet, and they are not wrong.
This light-hearted new deck is packaged in a cheerful blue-checked recipe box, complete with index card dividers for the Major and Minor Arcana. Loaded with wonderfully retro art reminiscent of 1950s women's magazines, the Suits of Swords, Wands, Cups and Pentacles are in complete agreement with the traditional Waite-Smith system. Except the Cups are martini glasses; the Wands are mops and brooms; the Swords are steak knives and sewing shears; and the Pentacles are sparkling china and dinnerware.
Like that? Well, you'll love the Majors, then. The Chariot is, of course, the trusty station wagon; The Devil is a slice of devil's food cake waving all the most dreadful tempations around; The Hermit depicts "take me away, Calgon;" and The Sun is sunny side up, of course!
While the artwork is playful and clever and the accompanying booklet is a breezy Doris Day dream, this 78-card deck captures the spirit of the Tarot as well as many of the much more pedantic decks out there.
If you are a beginner, just learning the Tarot, this may not be the best place to start. But if you have a bit more experience, or are a collector, this little gem is not to be missed.
So relax, pour yourself a martini (recipe included), and be assured, as one housewife observed, "Well, I declare! These cards aren't a gateway to Damnation after all!"
For more information, visit www.HousewivesTarot.com.
Reviewed by Beth Owl's Daughter.
by Patric Stillman
This lush, masculine "Radical Faerie" deck was made with spellbinding digital composites and has its roots in earth-based spirituality as well as the Rider Waite Smith Tarot. The author belongs to the Radical Faeries, a worldwide group started by gay activist Harry Hay in the late 1970s.
Much like the Cosmic Tribe Tarot, Stillman used photographs of his community members, and combined them with his images of the Pacific Coast. The beautiful redwood forests, Joshua trees and the ocean, as well as the Mojave and Anza Borrego deserts appear.
Based on the title, it is not surprising that the figures depicted are exclusively male, including the High Priestess! Yet there is diversity in the shapes, sizes and ages of the men, and this work reveres the planet so deeply that its celebratory mood is infectious. Some may be drawn to it for that reason alone.
The quality, glossy set is not pornographic, and with its standard structure it could be used as a beginner deck. I would recommend it to those who express an interest in its subject matter. For gay Pagan, poly-amorous or gay-friendly Greens who want a gorgeous deck, these beautiful, inspiring images are highly recommended. Visit www.oakgroveoracle.com
Reviewed by Raye Martin.
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