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Here is a reading using (yet) another deck I like but rarely use: the Tarot d’Eltynne. The Tarot d’Eltynne is an updated version of the cruder looking, but presumably competent, Oracle Belline. I learned about d’Eltynne a few years ago, from Chanah who ran The Freaky Fortuneteller.

There was not, and still isn’t, much information on the Belline in English but the deck seems popular among French speakers. There has been more interest in this deck with the popularity surge of the Petit Lenormand, since the Belline has indirect links between its creator and Mlle Lenormand. The cards can be read like Lenormand, but also hold a depth of individual meanings in their own right, and are associated with planets for added nuance.

This spread that I call “Here and Now” can be thought of as a carto-GPS for taking a quick look at where I’m going and what I need to avoid. This was a daily reading for last Wednesday. I wanted general advice, and had a challenging meeting at work that day. I was concerned because the host is challenging to work with. (Those of you not in the corporate world may not understand the dread that meetings can inspire, but trust me, they can be stressful!) I also drew a card from the Angel Prayers Oracle Deck for specific advice.

 

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Tarot d’Eltynne reading; click for full size image

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Here is a reading using a deck I like but never use: The Energy Oracle Cards by Sandra Taylor. (Who, incidentally, lives in a neighboring city to me.) If you aren’t familiar with the deck, it is based on tarot-inspired images that the author has stated are part of her clairvoyant vocabulary during her reading and coaching sessions.

This spread that I call “Here and Now” can be thought of as a GPS for taking a quick look at where I’m going and what I need to avoid. I’m using it as a daily reading here.

 

DailyGPS-Apr-12-2016Energy Oracle Cards reading; click for full size image

More of (top left):

This is what I need to do or bring more of, and the card here is Action. Apparently I need to take more action. This contrasts with…

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Another day, another deck; but perhaps not just any deck. This post is my test run of LXXXI (that’s 81 in Roman numerals), The Magician’s Deck. This 81-card oracle deck is geared towards the working magician (in what people might think of as a shamanic, service-oriented practice), particularly those doing the Quareia course. As such it fits nicely in the box with decks that are esoteric in nature, where “esoteric” is not synonymous with Golden Dawn or Qabalah. I was trying to think what decks to relate it to, and I could jokingly say that it’s the lovechild of the Dreampower Tarot and the Playing Card Oracles Alchemy Edition, with the Thoth as an estranged godparent.

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There is some truth to my jest, in that one of the artists is Stuart Littlejohn, who created the Dreampower Tarot back in the 90s. Credit must also go to the other artist, Cassandra Beanland, and the prime mover behind the deck, Josephine McCarthy — who is a tarot expert, even if you won’t see her at tarot forums or conferences.

The Deck

While designed to be a magician’s divination tool, I believe this deck is workable by anyone who feels drawn to it. The results will depend on how well the reader can translate concepts that may seem grand and abstract into everyday life. I think this is true of many decks, even the standard tarot. If you’ve ever interpreted the Magician as a business professional, the Chariot as a car or the Devil as sexual relations or organizational skills, then most likely you could make the jump to this deck.

The deck itself, as mentioned, has 81 cards. The sides look like they have a bit of saddle-stitching on them, with little bumps. Ms. McCarthy told me this is a side-effect of the printer creatively accommodating the printing of 81 cards, and in practice I find it unnoticeable. The cardstock is a bit slippery, at least in the deck’s brand new condition, but is pleasing to my hands and the deck has a nice heft. The artwork is, in my opinion, much more attractive in person than online. I had doubts about whether I’d find all of the art appealing in hand when I committed to the crowdfunding, but I found all of the illustrations quite attractive when I got the deck. Even the cards that had looked a little creepy to me online.

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I wanted to try out my recently acquired Magical Dimensions Oracle Cards.

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This deck is created and published by an artist who goes by the name of Lightstar online, and can be purchased from her website. The deck comes out of the New Age and ascension paradigms, and perhaps reflects some of the creator’s immersion in the Sedona community. I bought it because I like visionary art and “painting with light” style, which was very appealing when I saw it online. (Also: see this guy’s art.)

The Deck

This is a lovely deck to my eyes. I’m surprised it doesn’t get more attention on the larger online communities that generally gravitate to shiny and detailed styles of oracle cards. There’s a vibrancy and luminescence to the artwork, with colors that pop and feel very harmonious. It’s primarily a fantasy style.

Besides the style of the art, I like the fact that although it has a female’s touch, it is not an exclusively feminine deck. So many oracle decks are designed by, and for, women. That can mean lots of cuddly and delicate creatures, pastel colors, young girls or girl-like beings, gossamer, wispy pink clouds and nary a male in sight. I feel that this deck is more even in nature. Although it features a lot of females it feels balanced between the masculine and feminine aspects with its overall image compositions, which I think is approachable to the guys as well as the gals.

It also includes chakra cards, called portals in this deck for reasons the author explains in the included mini-book. I can only think of one deck I own that includes chakra-based cards, and it’s one I never seem to use. But I like the idea of chakra cards. I know I could map them to almost any deck, particularly the tarot, but it’s nice when they are available on their own.

The Reading

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I’ve been pondering the subject of oracle decks produced by Doreen Virtue for some time now, but haven’t felt motivated to write what amounts to a defense for their existence and usage. Among the self-proclaimed tarot cognoscenti, Doreen’s decks are anathema to their hard-won, occult (meaning hidden) knowledge. My opinion is that those endless criticisms of her work tend to be less from firsthand experience, and more from the group-think that pervades the online tarot community.

Image by Steve A. Roberts that became Empress; click to visit artist's gallery page

Priestess of the Woods, used as The Empress. (c) Steve A. Roberts. Click image for artist’s gallery store page.

Having been a tarot snob myself in the past, I know exactly where most of those criticisms are coming from. I also think most of them are from people who haven’t touched a Virtue oracle deck, let alone given one a chance. I would like to share some opinions on working with a couple of these decks. Can they be hard-hitting, or are they the fluffy marshmallows that the tarot community claims?

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It’s a snow-filled Valentine’s Day, so it’s time for a relationship reading. A deck relationship, that is! My other half is at work for the afternoon, so I spent some time getting to know my recently purchased The Faeries’ Oracle. The artist is Brian Froud, and the excellent companion book is authored by Jessica MacBeth. (Coincidentally, last night we watched The Dark Crystalan 80’s movie whose look was conceptualized by Brian Froud.)

I asked: “How can I best work with this oracle?”

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The Master Maker — Honesty — Death
(click for larger image)

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Today was my first reading to test drive my new Card Deck of the Sidhe. As I am not familiar with these oracle cards, I decided a two-card reading would be appropriate. Besides sharing this short reading, I will talk about my initial impressions of this oracle deck meant to connect with the “people of peace.”

I wanted to know: What would the outcome be for me, if I had a particular discussion at work today?

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Time to continue the gridding of a card. In my previous post, I started exploring this technique for reading a single card using an imaginary grid to provide a timeline. I used the Gods and Titans Oracle cards, and drew the card depicting Helios in answer to my question: Show me what I need to focus on at work this upcoming week.

Helios

I read a basic overview of the situation based on where the main figure of Helios fell within the grid. Please go back to Part 1 if you missed it. Otherwise let’s continue.

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Grid — or even gird — your loins, fellow card readers! Here’s a technique for wringing information out of a single card. It’s based on an imaginary grid overlaying a single card, and reading parts of the card in the context of that grid. This isn’t new, but I don’t think it’s commonly explored; and it’s not something I’ve tried before.

I used the Gods and Titans Oracle cards. The author and primary force in creating was Stacey Demarco. However, I must give props to Jimmy Manton’s artwork. (The more recent Isis Oracle that he illustrated has truly drool-worthy art, although it didn’t work for me as a reading deck.)

My question: Show me what I need to focus on at work this upcoming week. I decided in advance that I would draw the tenth card, as if I were looking at the final outcome in a tree of life spread. Even if one doesn’t wish to use that spread, I like the extra factor of randomization that I feel is added by not just taking the top card. Question and method established, I shuffled the cards with focus and intent — those favorite keywords of mine! —and dealt the 10th card, Helios, titan of the sun. (Click image for a larger view.)

Helios

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