Ghosts and Spirits Tarot Review

Published July 22, 2016 by Tarot By Elizabeth

From the amazing creatrix Lisa Hunt, (Fantastical Creatures; Animals Divine; Shapeshifter, and Celtic Dragon Tarot), comes her latest tarot creation… Ghosts and Spirits Tarot, a breathtakingly beautiful deck that utilizes tales and legends of ghosts and spirits from around the globe.


This stunning 79 card deck kept me on the very edge of my seat as I sat and watched it emerge card by card, on the Ghosts and Spirits FaceBook page and with each drawing Lisa posted I was absolutely blown away and I easily consider one of her finest works. 


Lisa, who makes her home in Boca Raton, Florida, is the creator/illustrator of numerous tarot decks, all of which are still in print and even been translated in many different languages. She has been a freelance artist for nearly twenty years and her intuitive connection with the spirit world shines quite brightly in her Ghosts and Spirits Tarot.


I was thoroughly thrilled when after receiving my deck, I found that there is a bonus card! I absolutely adore decks with extra cards such as the “Happy Squirrel” card found in Kat Black’s Touchstone Tarot and was even more blown away at the sheer depth of imagery found on this extra card which serves as a card for deeper reflections on the question asked.


The cards are beautifully bordered in a lovely parchment color with the title written in a gorgeous flowing script at the bottom of each card. The card stock is absolutely awesome, as usual with US Games decks, and it’s just the right size to be shuffled, even if you might have smaller hands. It has a wonderful glossy lamination and the design on the backs, which is pretty darned awesome in itself, features three swirling ghosts encircled by a ring of bones. The colors on the card backs are fantastically done and remind me of the beautiful patterns found on fine Batik fabric.


The LWB (little white book) accompanying the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot gives the story behind each ghost and where it originates as well as the definition of the card, although Lisa doesn’t give reversed meanings in the LWB, these cards can be read both upright and reversed. 


The imagery on the cards themselves are intricate and quite detailed and upon closer inspection, you can see faces and spirits reflected in the surrounding colors and patterns, such as the Fool, which details the Leshy (wood spirits that inhabit the dark forests of the Baltic’s) and all around this adventurer can be seen small sprites, stone creatures and faces peeking from the rocks and shrubbery. Such an awesome deck!


I usually look for my favorite cards when perusing a prospective deck but with The Ghosts and Spirits Tarot, there are just SO many wonderful cards I might as well admit that there is absolutely not one card that I do not connect with! The Ten of Cups pictures three figures from the festive Day of the Dead celebration that honors dead ancestors with feasts dancing and merriment. They are clothed in customary attire with blues, reds and yellows, surrounded by cups and faces reflected in Lisa’s surrounding artwork.


The Moon features the legend of Aeneus’ Journey to the Underworld and the imagery shows two figures, one of which Aeneus, who has come to search for his father in the mysterious and frightening underground passage that is symbolic of the unconscious and home to our greatest dreams and biggest fears. This card shows both the rich imagery of the rewarded as well as the torment and suffering of the punished, it too is among my favorite cards in the Ghost and Spirits Tarot.


This deck is simply too amazing and powerful that just descriptions alone do not come close to the wonder of holding this treasure in your hands and letting the Ghosts and Spirits speak to you in there own unique voice. I absolutely recommend this deck for both beginners and seasoned readers alike, it is truly a deck that one must have in their collection!


Publisher: US Games

Artist: Lisa Hunt

ISBN: 978-1-57281-661-9


images used with permission from US Games


Expanding Perspectives

Published July 19, 2016 by Tarot By Elizabeth

Sometimes when learning to read the tarot, some cards can be a little difficult to fully grasp what their essence is, leaving us feeling a bit foggy as to how to interpret what it may be trying to tell us. Here is a little trick I learned that not only brings clarification but also a deeper insight into how to truly connect and develop valuable insights that any given card is trying to express.

For several years, I’ve been attracted to the Crowley/Harris Thoth Tarot but always felt hesitant because I felt that it was a bit too advanced for me after years of study and reading with the Rider Waite Tarot. 

 I finally bought this wonderful deck a few weeks ago and am totally smitten with it. It isn’t nearly as complicated as I worked myself up to believe plus it’s an amazing deck for anyone who loves to delve deeply into spiritual and intellectual insights.

As I’ve been studying this deck, I began to notice that some cards seemed to be a tad hazy as to just how they fit into what questions or concepts I was asking about. 

The Six of Swords happened to be one of those cards that somehow seemed to elude me as to what exactly it was trying to impart. So, I decided to try this little trick in order to gain a clearer understanding of it’s message.

The Six of Swords, labeled “Science” by Crowley gives us the following information… “The search for truth; holistic thinking and the urge to communicate with others so that they too can share in this knowledge.”

Wow, on the surface that sounds pretty straightforward,  but what does all that really mean?  Deep down, how do I connect with the Six of Swords so that I can gain a deeper perspective of its message?

Okay, here’s that little trick I told you about….shuffle your deck while keeping in mind the question of how to fully understand the card you’re trying to connect with. Then draw three cards and place them below the card needing clarification, here’s what I pulled:

I pulled… the Prince of Cups; the Seven of Wands and the Magus. 

Now  Princes,  ( Knights in the Rider-Waite deck) I usually always see as acts of “doing,” meaning riding off in to the sunset in search of something, whether it be active or passive they all appear to be involved in some type of movement.

This Prince (Knight) is involved in the act of feeling, signified by his suit of Cups, which are the element of Water and deal with the realm of emotions and feelings. His message is one of connecting with our deepest emotions, the drive to reach out and experience our higher selves.

The Seven of Wands speaks about challenges and dedication. This card is about the element of Fire, that which drives us, in this case, we see that it is telling us there is a need to rise above intellectual obstacles and roadblocks such as limited thinking and restrictive ideas that must be overcome by thinking “outside the box.”

The final card, the Magus, being a Major Arcana card indicates a higher lesson to be learned. A lesson that the Universe is trying to tell us is important to understand.

The Magus (Magician, in Rider Waite) imparts several concepts that can be applied in context to the Six of Swords…

When we look at the Magus, the first thing we notice is that he holds all the symbols of the four elements, Wand (Fire); Cup (Water); Sword (Air) and Disk (Earth). Together, you might say he has a holistic view of his abilities and talents, he sees the whole picture because he has all the components that make up that picture.

Together, he has the tools needed to blaze the trail to self realization. In essence, in order to get an idea of the total concept, you must have the tools to see all sides. An elevated view of any given situation, in this case, it let’s us know that we are able to grasp the entire concept as well as the ability to explain it to others as well.

So now we can see the three cards that I drew, when applied to the need of a deeper understanding of the Six of Swords, gives us a richer, more rewarding connection.

 The drive to connect emotionally to our higher selves, thinking outside the box and taking in the whole picture are all facets of the true meaning of the card called “Science.”

Tarot Review: LeGrande Circus & Sideshow Tarot

Published August 31, 2015 by Tarot By Elizabeth

legrande-box

“Come one, come all… Step right up…Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of all ages! You are about to witness a daring Tarot deck of adventure and wonder…of excitement, guaranteed to delight! A deck that you will remember throughout your lifetime! Never before has anything so dashing been seen! I am privileged to introduce to you the star of the show…..(drum roll please)…..The LeGrande Circus & Sideshow Tarot!”

Created and illustrated by Joe Lee, a former professional clown with Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus, this gorgeous 78 card Tarot deck with it’s bright colors and vintage circus styled posters is guaranteed to please almost every circus aficionado and tarot reader alike. After leaving the circus life, Joe moved to New York City where he studied and later taught art classes, now living in Indiana, he works as an illustrator.

The cards measure nearly 3 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and are accentuated by a red line frame, with a colorful mirror image clown on the back that allows the reader to use reversals if so chosen. I had no problems shuffling and I have always loved U.S. Games Systems card stock because I am always able to mix the cards well without damage to edges or card stock itself.

Following the familiar Tarot Archetypes found in most traditional style decks, Joe Lee has quite successfully captured the unique flavor of circus sights and sounds without sacrificing the essence of conventional interpretations. The Major Arcana reflect the popular parade of archetypal characters with the exception of The Popess, replacing the accustomed High Priestess and the Pope filling in for the more commonly named Heirophant. Strength is enumerated 8 and Justice sports the familiar numeral 11.

Here you will find personalities such as quintessential fat lady (the Empress) the enigmatic Ring Master (the Emperor), a fearsome tiger as he leaps dramatically through a burning ring of flames (the Sun) and the ever popular tramp clown (as the lonely Hermit)

The Minor Arcana, a depiction of day to day life, reflects the quirky and unparalleled circus lifestyle with it’s high wire performers, juggling acts and cast of characters unique to this big top venue.

Each suit corresponds to an aspect of this colorful lifestyle. Wands, conjuring the backbreaking work of man and animal to raise the tent, Cups,the world of performance engaging it’s onlookers, Coins depicting the business of the show with its managers keeping the troupe on the road and the “butcher” hawking his “floss” and popcorn in the stands and the Swords, embedded deep in the bizarre and sometimes frightening heart of the sideshow like the sword swallower and knife thrower garnering wondrous gasps from their riveted audience.

The 60 page LWB (little white book) is comprised of both upright and reversed interpretations for each of it’s 78 cards, and includes a paragraph or two, explaining to it’s readers, the circus life and it’s characters. As an added bonus, the LWB provides a captivating spread named after this decks title, developed by Jody Boginski and my favorite lady, Lynn Araujo…kudos ladies for a truly awesome spread!

This is an absolutely delightful Tarot deck, one that even the newest readers can pick up and read straight away. I just can’t express how impressed I was as soon as I opened the box and began working with such a colorful cast of characters! I would urge readers both young and old, experienced or not, to add this to their collections!

Author/Illustrator: Joe Lee

Publisher: U.S. Games Systems

ISBN: 978-1-57281-731-9

images used with permission from U.S. Games

The Ripper Who…. Wasn’t?

Published December 28, 2013 by Tarot By Elizabeth

The Story

THE Jack the Ripper mystery that has kept the world enthralled since the killer first struck on the streets of Victorian London has been blown apart on the 125th anniversary of the grisly crimes by a former murder squad detective.

And the bad news for the countless millions of amateur sleuth who have spent years trying to identify the nation’s most notorious serial killer is that he never existed.

He was just dreamed up by a drunken journalist called Thomas Bulling who wrote a forged letter to Scotland Yard in 1888 pretending to be “Jack” so he could obtain a scoop.

More than 300 books and dozens of films and TV programmers have named in excess of 100 different men, often on the flimsiest of evidence, as the serial murderer who slashed the throats of five women who he then disemboweled, bringing terror to the gas lit streets of Whitechapel.

The suspects have included everyone from Queen Victoria’s grandson the Duke of Clarence to Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll.

Some even said a Sioux Indian warrior called Black Elk, who toured Britain with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in the 1880s, was the guilty man. Others believed child charity campaigner Dr Barnardo was “Jack”.

But Trevor Marriott, a former murder squad detective with Bedfordshire police, has spent 11 years carrying out a detailed cold-case review of the killings, he has trawled Scotland Yard’s files and used modern-day police techniques backed up with state of the art forensic analysis.

“The facts of this case have been totally distorted over the years,” said Mr Marriott.

“The general public have been completely misled by any number of authors and publishers.

“Jack is supposed to be responsible for five victims, but there were other similar murders before and after the ones attributed to him, both in this country and abroad in America and Germany.”

jack the ripper, murder, Whitechapel Jack terrorized Victorian London

In total Mr Marriott has discovered 17 unsolved Ripper-like murders committed between 1863 and 1894. He believes a German merchant seaman called Carl Feigenbaum was responsible for some, but not all of those killings.

Feigenbaum was a crew member on ships that regularly docked near Whitechapel. He was executed in New York in 1896 after being caught by US police fleeing the scene of a Ripper-style murder there.

“The reality is there was just a series of unsolved murders and they would have sunk into oblivion many years ago, but for a reporter called Thomas Bulling,” said Mr Marriott.

Bulling was a drunken journalist with many police contacts at Scotland Yard, who in 1888 was working for the London-based Central News Agency. He was paid to supply crime stories for newspapers.

“Police got a letter that Bulling had written about the murders which he signed ‘Jack the Ripper’,” said Mr Marriott.

“It was the most ingenious piece of journalism that has kept this mystery alive for 125 years. Even now any modern-day serial killer is called a ‘Ripper’.

“You have to ask yourself if ‘Jack’ is an urban myth. Around 80 per cent of the books about him have a picture of a chap on the front stalking the streets of London in a long black cape and a top hat.

“They were the clothes of an upper class, wealthy man. But back in 1888 if someone dressed like that had actually walked around Whitechapel in the dead of night they wouldn’t have lasted five minutes.

“It wasn’t just one of the most crime-riddled areas of London, it was one of the worst areas in the country. It’s a false image that has been created by the likes of Hollywood film makers.

“New facts have come to light, we’ve now disproved the claim that the killer removed organs from the victims at the scenes of the murders, the organs were removed later once they were in a mortuary.

“There just isn’t a Jack The Ripper as such.”

But the interest in the Ripper murders is still so strong that just this month the East London Advertiser, the newspaper that covers the Whitechapel area published a 12-page souvenir pull out to mark the 125th anniversary of the crimes.

Meanwhile Trevor Marriott is mid-way through a 36-date theater tour of the UK with his one man show called “Jack The Ripper A 21st Century Investigation” in which he reveals the research he has done and the forensic evidence that he says finally reveals the real story about the killings.

Enter The Lenormand……

KIMG0022

The Significator:

Scythe
swift/cut/surgical/October

The Insert:

Jack of Diamonds

dark hair, violent,11,man

Fox + Garden +Snake + Birds
manipulation of the media (newspapers)/
deception by a public figure

(Sum)
Whip
violent, 11, successful, talented

Clarification=
Tower
company/newspaper reporter/politician

Now, all of this is purely speculatory…. But just “What If” said freelance reporter took it upon himself to perhaps…add to the mix and create a few victims himself?

I would LOVE to hear your interpretations!

Story courtesy of the Express online newspaper

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 Preview Review- The Tarot Of Delphi

Published November 12, 2013 by Tarot By Elizabeth

Self published Tarot decks are some of the most unique and endearing decks around, they just seem to have that special quality that is often missing in their mass market counterparts. I’ve been really excited to see that “crowd funded” websites are starting to gain in popularity and giving many exceptionally beautiful Tarot projects and their creators the recognition that they deserve.

Today, I would like to introduce to you The Tarot of Delphi, a fine art tarot deck illustrated with authentic Neoclassical Victorian art from 1838 to 1913.  Neoclassical Victorian art should not be  just something we go to museums to view… “Oooing and Ahhhing” over carefully matted and framed canvases, hanging passively on sterile walls … Art is only functional if it can inspire us, allow us to heal, motivate us, and take our breath away with  gorgeous lines, effects of shadow and light and use of color that evokes deep emotional responses. It is a way of communicating with each other, much like the art of Tarot, bringing out the best in all of us.

These beautiful paintings are characterized by its highly romantic nature and the influence of historical and mythological themes on its subject matter. Art that was inspired by Classical Greece and Roman architecture. Collaged from examples of fine artworks from the late 1830s to the early 1910s, The Tarot of Delphi is like a Sunday visit to the local museum.

A 79 card Tarot deck, with 22 Major Arcana, 40 Minor Arcana and 16 Court cards, (surprise, an extra card! )  a 32-page booklet, packaged and a full-color tuck box. The cards measure 3.07” x 5.04” (78 x 128 mm) and should shuffle quite nicely. Some of the paintings are well-known masterpieces, and others,  while equally as amazing ,  are relatively unknown and have been more difficult to acquire, as with artists such as Lawrence Alma-Tadema; John Collier; Edith Ridley Corbet; Walter Crane, and Herbert James Draper … these poignant images have made a remarkably attractive tarot deck.

This is going to be a beautiful,  and inspiring deck, I truly hope you will hop on over to Janet’s Kickstarter Page and see for yourself!

Tarot_of_Delphi-Tarot_by_Liz

Creatrix:  Janet Hinkel

Kickstarter  Page

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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