health and wellness

All posts in the health and wellness category

Deck Review- Yoga Cats

Published July 8, 2017 by Tarot By Elizabeth

We’ve all heard of the benefits of owning a cat such as reduced stress; lower blood pressure and    most of all, the general all over happiness we feel when owning such a majestic yet curiously aloof animal. 

Many of us already know how a regular yoga practice can assist us in becoming more flexible; calm and even more resistant to illnesses such as colds, but not too many have considered combining the two popular activities mentioned above!

Say hello to Yoga Cats, featuring the phenomenal photography of Daniel Borris and it’s accompanying 96 page guidebook written by Alison DeNicola. Dan Borris’ work has appeared in magazines like Vanity Fair; Rolling Stone and The New York Times and photography for the Gap and Time Warner.

Alison DeNicola is a successful Five Element Yoga Teacher, Energy Healer and author.  Her two books, Mudras for Awakening the Energy Body and Mudras for Awakening of the Five Elements deck and book sets also published by U.S. Games Systems. She can be found living and teaching in Stamford Connecticut.

It was love at first sight for me, being a nut for cats and a beginning Yoga student myself. I was however, not quite sure what treat was in store for me until I opened the sturdy cardboard box and got my first glance at these awesome little felines in adorable yoga poses.

In its full color booklet, the reader is first introduced to this deck by a few short paragraphs about how the deck can be used. Like shuffling the cards each day and drawing one card that can inspire your spirit with one of 44 images and messages.  

These large, beautiful cards can be used in a more intuitive way by asking questions such as “What do I need to be mindful of at this time?” and allowing the image and message to guide you into a more mindful state.

I absolutely adore the way each cat is named and embody their individual purrsonities! The Yoga poses are described in its booklet for a more detailed benefits of the poses and how to add them to your regular yoga routine or as a way to begin a regular routine for stress reduction and inner calm.

This is an amazing deck that will pleasantly surprise as well as inspire you to step out of your  day to day routine and add a little magic and healthy habits to your life. No prior knowledge of oracle cards or affirmations are needed, anyone can enjoy Yoga Cats right out of the box!

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Deck Review- The Gilded Reverie Lenormand

Published November 21, 2013 by Tarot By Elizabeth

Gilded Reverie Lenormand

I must admit, I’ve been quite curious about the Lenormand fervor that has been sweeping many folks off their feet but always hesitated because  I figured that it may be more complex that I wanted to try to figure out. Until I saw The Gilded Reverie Lenormand by one of my favorite  deck creator, Ciro Marchetti.

I was absolutely blown away by this Lenormand deck! I’ve always loved Ciro’s Tarot art with his use of rich colors and interesting images parading through his decks so when I saw that U.S. Games had published a mass market version of his Lenormand deck, I emailed Lynn right away.

The first thing I delighted in was the clever box that this Lenormand deck comes in. At first, it looked like it should slide out like a sleeve but to my amazement, it actually flips up and opens like a treasured book. The front of the flip lid is the beautiful picture of the Birds card, numbered 12 and is beautifully accented with gilded scrolling and highlighted imagery. This was my first hint of the absolute treasure inside!

The cards themselves number from ( 1. ) Rider, to (36.)  Cross, a standard number for a Petit Lenormand and have breathtakingly shiny gilded edging! The backs are a lovely dual red and burgundy checks with decorative golden colored scrolling and border effects. Unlike Tarot, Lenormand is not read with reversals so this would be an awesome Lenormand introduction for beginners to start out with. The card stock is the same high quality that sets U.S. Games decks apart from the all others. The deck itself is a tad larger than traditional Lenormand decks at  2.75” x 4.125”  and shuffles amazingly.

The one thing that I noticed is that when you have your question in mind and are shuffling and laying out two or three cards,  the answers you get are quite clear and understandable…as well as outright blunt, but I admire in the deck. Answers that are somewhat hazy as with some Tarot decks , are perfectly clear with gorgeous Lenormand!  For instance…(32.)Moon+(27) Letter can indicate that you will  get a letter of recognition or an award from your boss or a love letter from your sweetie arrives.

Unlike Tarot cards, these cards come with keywords, playing card inserts and can be learned in just a few short weeks. There are some wonderful Lenormand study groups and blogs out there to help if you want to know all the little tips and tricks. The Gilded Reverie can be read using the keywords for each card or along with the inserts as well to add a slightly different dimension to the answers that it provides. There is a LWB (little white book) that comes with this deck that gives intriguing insights into what the card means, layouts that you can try, and a brief history of The Lenormand as used as an oracle.

The Gilded Reverie has absolutely won me over and in just a week and a half, I was reading the image keywords and building sentences with lines of 3, 5 and block of 9 cards (so proud of myself!) I must say, this is an amazing deck and the way that Lenormand shows exactly what you need to do…no holds barred …It may just overtake my Tarot heart. I wholeheartedly recommend that anyone from beginner or seasoned reader, Tarot or Lenormand cards give this deck a go, it will definitely surprise you with it’s answers.

Artist: Ciro Marchetti

Publisher: U.S.Games

ISBN: 978-1-57281-754-8

Deck Review- The Black Cats Tarot

Published August 29, 2013 by Tarot By Elizabeth

The Black Cats Tarot

Coal black fur relax; Jade eyes stare at worlds between here and there. Show me…

For millennia, cats have held our fascination… aloof; mysterious and elegant creatures, they slip quietly into our lives in story and poem and even worshipped by the Egyptians as gods long ago.  Often thought of as companions to witches, black cats have often been the unlucky recipients of superstition, fear and more than their share of bad press.

Today, however, the black cat is enjoying a new wave of attention, almost gone are the theories and conjecture about bad luck and silly superstitions.  One look into their deep and secretive eyes and our hearts are captured. Being owned by a sleek black cat myself, I was absolutely thrilled to see a Tarot deck full of these enigmatic little companions. Created by Maria Kurara, The Black Cats Tarot is published  by Lo Scarabeo and distributed by Llewellyn Worldwide, I love the theme of these magical creatures leaping, playing and delving deep into the great questions and mysteries of life.

A 78 card, Rider-Waite style deck, The Black Cats Tarot embodies  black cat’s independence, intelligence and ferocity as they seemingly prance across the cards, guiding us between the worlds of fantasy and reality…

I love the size of this deck, at approximately 2 7/8 x 4 3/4  it’s the just the right size to shuffle and is great for those with smaller hands.  They are made of a bit thinner card stock than I’m used to but I’m not that tough on a deck as to bend or damage these lovely cards, a  rougher shuffler may want to take a little more care.

The cards sport a thin black border on each side, with a bit more space at the top  for the Roman numerals in the Major Arcana and regular numbers at the top of the Minors.  At the bottom of the Minor Arcana , is either a Cup representing Chalices, a Coin for Pentacles, Sword or Wand designating the suit from which it comes and symbols representing the designation in the Courts of Knave, Knight, Queen and King.  I was quite taken by the fact that there is no wording across the cards to distract the reader or client, leaving the imagery to literally leap out before you.  At the corners of this imaginative and quite the whimsical deck, one can find white, lacey flourishes framing the images as if surrounded by an elegant picture frame.

As with any new deck, I always seek out a few specific cards such as The High Priestess, The Hermit, The Moon and The Star…to really get a feel of how a deck will read for me. It sounds a tad strange I know, but I’ve found that it’s a really good indicator of the continuity of a deck.  I was impressed at all the bejewelled black cats pouncing through this deck,and  keeping close to the Rider-Waite structure, the imagery is flawless and quite visually appealing.

There are two, totally white cats in this deck, which at first had me a bit curious but as I looked deeper through the cards, their  reason became apparent…I know that you’re probably wondering which cards the white kitties appear on, but I must admit, you will have to remain in suspense…

I was immediately taken by the Lovers card in which two cats appear to be waltzing at the beginnings of three paths,  in keeping with the theme of choices as shown in the more traditional image of the Rider-Waite  deck.  The two characters seem to glide effortlessly, poised high among the clouds. Another intriguing card that instantly caught my attention was the Hermit…usually a cloaked figure, stealing away by himself to focus on his inner light. The Black Cats Tarot, however, is a singular figure, holding a lit white candle and is seated in a boat that appears to  race towards a brilliant white light shining in from the edge of the card.  I absolutely love this interpretation of the Hermit as it gives a slightly more emphatic feeling of seeking out that quiet inner space… of purpose and focus. There are just too many marvelous cards to list here without giving away the secrets of the Black Cats deck.

With this deck also comes the standard LWB (little white book) that gives short and concise explanations in six different languages of English, Italian, Spanish French, German and Portuguese,which makes it accessible for those with different languages. The backs are undeniably memorable too, for they show a mirror imaged, elegant black cat, wearing a beautiful gold crown atop her head allowing for the incorporation of reversed cards if you so choose.

The Black Cats Tarot is an amazing deck that can be read by both beginners and seasoned readers alike, allowing the reader and client to quickly become enamored with these truly special Black Cats! I would  like to extend my gratitude  to Amelia at Llewellyn for allowing me the opportunity to review such a charming deck.  Please make the leap over to Llewellyn and check out this sleek Black Cat Tarot gem!

The Black Cats Tarot1

Created by: Maria Kurara

Published by Lo Scarabeo

Distributed by Llewellyn Worldwide

ISBN: 978-0738738789

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Review- Tarot, Rituals, & You

Published June 7, 2013 by Tarot By Elizabeth

9780764343186

I just love Bonnie Cehovet, so when Schiffer offered to let me review her new book, I absolutely positively fired back an email right away saying “YES, YES, YES!”  Her new book Tarot, Rituals, & You demonstrates the amazing power of Tarot combined with the awesome power of ritual.

This fantastic book is 96 pages and may seem a bit small but I’m telling you, the information that Bonnie has included will absolutely blow you away! Bonnie starts out by explaining  just what a ritual really is, by asking the reader to think about how they define a ritual and by pondering that very question, I actually discovered that I had many forms of ritual that I practiced but never really put much thought into whether or not it was something that I did on a regular daily basis, take for instance my routine of drawing three cards each night before bed…That in itself can be considered a ritual and as such becomes a powerful grounding influence on my daily life.

Tarot, Rituals, & You has a rather impressive list of topics covered within it’s pages such as… using ritual directly with the Tarot cards; ritual in daily readings; using ritual for personal growth; honoring moon cycles and SO much more that it would take me pages just to explain what a treasure this book is! I’m particularly fond of the sections about Tarot shadow work. Tarot shadow work, in my honest opinion is the most important avenue that a person can undertake, especially when coming from an extremely dysfunctional background like myself. By recognizing our shadow selves and incorporating these areas in our lives helps to find the resolution or peace of mind and spirit that so many search for.

Another greatly insightful dialog that this book covers and that I positively adore, is the section is “Honoring the Moon cycles through ritual.” This is an area in my personal life that has pretty much gone by the wayside in recent months and Tarot Rituals, & You covers both the Full and Dark (New) Moon rituals that when put into practice, perfectly connects one with the subconscious, intuitive selves  and serves a greater purpose…tapping into our psychic sense (something that I believe we are all capable of)  but not sure how to access such information.

There is one more subject that I would like to touch on  is “Entering the Major Arcana” in which Bonnie quite thoroughly covers with pertinent questions and thoughts to ponder as we take a card and wander into it’s landscape , there is so much information that one can glean by studying each card this way…sometimes we can gain insights that have up until this time, have eluded us. Oh my goodness, I could go on and on, but I’ve gotta tell you, there is so much more included that I haven’t even touched on that I heartily encourage you, the reader to stop by Schiffer and give this book a read! I can guarantee that no one will walk away disappointed!

 

Publisher: Schiffer Books

Author: Bonnie Cehovet

IBSN: 978-0-7643-4318-6

Deck Review- The Healing Tarot…78 ways to wellness

Published June 5, 2013 by Tarot By Elizabeth

the Healing Tarot

 

There’s an awesome Tarot deck out from Schiffer Publishing, that at first I was a bit hesitant about….as a rule of thumb, I generally do not do health readings simply because it’s always better to see a doctor for any medical questions or concerns but as I worked with this deck I was amazed at how accurate and insightful it’s readings were! Now this is a deck that I would not use as a “go to” deck simply because of it’s nature but it’s fantastic when used to ascertain health concerns or areas to focus on to perhaps bring your physicians attention if necessary…with that being said, on with my review of this fabulous new Tarot deck!

The Healing Tarot…78  ways to Wellness  is a 78 card deck which seems a tad thicker than most of the decks out there but is just the right size that nearly everyone can shuffle easily. It measures approximately 3 inches wide by 5 inches long, a bit longer that traditional decks but like I said shuffles quite easily. It has a wonderful glossy lamination and the backs are designed to be used with reversals, if you prefer. It comes with a 192 extremely detailed booklet that gives each cards meanings on several different levels.

Now, this is where it really knocked my socks off…..although the imagery is all in line drawing, each individual card has corresponding explanations in the booklet that address holistic healing; what wellness really means and introduces working with the Tarot on a health and wellness platform. The associations include medical astrology, Qabalistic aspects; traditional Tarot meanings and how to identify well aspected cards; poorly aspected cards and the integration of astrological attributes, upright and reversed meanings; as well as negative astrological combinations; positive astrological combinations and traditional relationships of the planets with each other when they come up in readings.

The information can seem overwhelming at first but I absolutely adore all of it …I was gifted with an amazing memory and everything contained in this kit  gives me TONS of material to work with in my readings for myself or close family.

I was somewhat confused at first as to why there were no bright colors but upon reading the accompanying booklet, I found out that although colors do add an extra dimension to spreads and layouts, the Healing Tarot takes the cards and their imagery back down to the basics in order to really understand the health and wellness messages from the cards. This makes a lot of sense when I think about it, some decks can be so distracting with many brightly colored images and symbols that it can be easy to get distracted! Illustrator Monica Knighton, does an absolutely brilliant job in her depictions of situations we may encounter in our modern everyday life and therefor it becomes more relative to us when we can identify scenes and items that we are used to today.

This is on my “Must Have” list for those who want to consider a Holistic Wellness angle to their lives and once you’ve worked with the deck for awhile, it becomes very easy to switch between traditional decks and The Healing Tarot seamlessly! I’m not sure I would recommend it for beginners, however, but for anyone with a firm foundation of Tarot can easily use this deck. definitely an awesome Tarot deck.

 

Publisher: Schiffer Publishing

Creators: Juno Lucina and Monica Knighton

IBSN: 978-0-76434392-6