Friday, April 24, 2015

Interview with The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck

(To read my review of this deck, click HERE.) 

Today’s deck interview takes place in a clearing in the forest, surrounded by trees of every kind. The song of birds dance up and down the scale, and the scent of lilacs, honeysuckle, and green leaves perfume the air. I quietly await the appearance of the card chosen by the others to respond to my first question.

(1) How would you describe your essence or essential energy?


FALCON (11) – “I am Falcon, the swiftness of change. I am the sun god, the solar emblem, and the renewal of fortitude. I am victory rising. I am the hunter. . . I am the arrow that hits the mark and will steer you ahead if you allow it.”

(2) Which card do you feel reflects my essence or essential energy?


FINCH (12) – “You  are abundant in curiosity. You are active change. You are blending experience.”

(3) What story do you hope to tell me?


CHICKADEE (4) – I hope to tell you the story of “pure thought and fearless truth.” This story reminds you that you have an irreplaceable role. “It is time to let your actions do the talking and finish what you have started.”

(4) What should I not expect from you?


HERON (16) – Do not expect me to help you dwell on movements already passed, to help you push something it is time to let go, or to cause you to strike too late. “I am the gift of concentration. I am the stillness that allows a greater purpose.”

(5) Which card most closely represents us as a team?


STARLING (33) – We are unity and wholeness, committed to sharing our work and our wisdom. We gather like minds in order to expand ideas. We act as a catalyst, bringing others together in meaningful ways.

(Words enclosed in quotation marks come directly from The Winged Enchantment guidebook written by Lesley Morrison.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Review: The Winged Enchangment Oracle Deck

R E V I E W

The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck
by Lesley Morrison (Author), _Lisa Hunt_  (Illustrator)
_U.S. Games Systems Inc._ (March 10, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1572816732
ISBN-13: 978-1572816732
Cards: 3.5” x 5.75”



The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck
TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)

I’m not one who needs to be “sold” on Lisa Hunt’s art. I became a fan of hers a long, long time ago when I discovered her Shapeshifter Tarot (D.J. Conway, author; Llewellyn Publications). I find birds to be intriguing, often stunningly beautiful creatures, so I looked forward to seeing Lisa work her magic with them.

I was not disappointed. I quickly searched the deck for my favorite birds – Starling, Crow, Falcon, Hawk, Owl, Raven, and Seagull – happy to be drawn in by the images, symbols, and spirit inhabiting each one.

I really like the way Lesley Morrison wrote the accompanying guidebook, using first person to give us the feeling that each bird is speaking directly to us about itself. At the end of each bird’s self-description, the reader is addressed as “You,” encouraging us to identify with and own the qualities we have just read about.

One excellent way to get to know the deck is to study the card for a few minutes, then read the page in the guidebook, then study the card again, and read the guidebook page again. From Blackbird to Wren, you will see and understand something new and valuable each time. I will be doing a “deck interview” with this deck in the near future!


THE PUBLISHER'S PRODUCT SUMMARY

“Inspired by the majesty and mythos of birds great and small, The Winged Enchantment Oracle invites us to spread our wings as we venture on our own soul journeys. Mesmerizing shape-shifter artwork beckons us to see multiple levels of meaning and new perspectives on our earthly experiences.”

BASIC INFORMATION

The set includes 39 oracle cards and a 48-page illustrated guidebook with custom card spreads, including The Single Card Draw, The Classic Three-Card Spread, The Hidden Influence Spread (5 cards), The Grounding Spread (6 cards), and The Bird in Flight Spread (11 cards).

Author Lesley Morrison (Vancouver, Canada) has studied animals within religious, spiritual, and multicultural frameworks for over fifteen years. She is also an avid bird watcher and wildlife rescuer. In the guidebook that accompanies this deck, she writes: “The companion booklet will guide you as you begin to see each bird as a conduit for expansive knowledge and perspective. It was our aim that the images and words would meld into a single expression of each creature’s spirit, but what truth is gleaned from this oracle will be unique to each reader.”

Each bird has a page devoted to it, incorporating an element from the card illustration in black-and-white, the number and title of the card, a description written in first person, and a message directed at the reader centered in italic type at the bottom of the page.

Here is the page for number 7, Crow:

The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck

APPEARANCE, SIZE, QUALITY

The cards measure 3.5” x 5.75” and are printed on sturdy card stock. The front of each borderless card features an illustration that takes up the entire card face. At the bottom the number and name of the card appears against a parchment background enclosed in a golden brown oval with a feather design.

The reversible card backs feature a purple feathered background with a circular gold design in the the center.

Please note: The cards have rounded corners. I have squared the corners on my scans.

ART

“The watercolor paintings by Lisa Hunt capture humanity’s deep connection with the avian world, by presenting a visual blending of the two realms. Lisa Hunt is also the creator of Fantastical Creatures Tarot and the award-winning Ghosts and Spirits Tarot.” (U.S. Games Inc.)


Lisa Hunt’s artwork has been described in words such as “mystical” and “flowing.” She is a master at magically blending human bodies and faces with those of animals – without losing the unique qualities of either one in the process. Sometimes, the human presence seems stronger in the image, sometimes the animal seems stronger, and sometimes they seem perfectly balanced.

The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck
On social media, I recently read the following comment by Lisa Hunt concerning the Hummingbird card from this deck: “A few years ago I sketched my friend Sivabruntha. She is an amazing musician who inspired me to play piano again. Later she became inspiration for the Hummingbird card in the Winged Enchantment Oracle. A lot of people have told me they really love this card.”

Be sure to visit Lisa’s web site to watch a time-lapse video of her creation of the _Chickadee-Shapeshifter_ from this deck. On her blog, she describes and illustrated the creation of the _Mockingbird-Shapeshifter_ card, _Ostrich-Shapeshifter_, and more.





Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day - 4 of Observation

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
FOUR OF OBSERVATION
(4 of Swords)


In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Observation (represented by an eye) is comparable to the suit of Swords. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Observation is from The Red-Headed League: “This is a time for observation, not for talk.”

The Four of Observation is taken from Arthur Conan Doyle’s book The Illustrious Client, in which Sherlock Holmes comes up against serial murderer Baron Gruner. At one point in the story, Holmes feigns illness to the point of death in order to catch the villain. On the card, we see an alarmed Watson tending to Holmes in his sickbed.

The Holmesian Wisdom for this card is “I have been using myself up rather too freely… Have you any objection to my closing your shutters?” This quote is from “The Final Problem,” a short story that was intended by Doyle to be the last of the Sherlock Holmes adventures. One gets the feeling that this is a veiled reference to Doyle’s own feelings of having “used up” his energy on the Holmes books. However, Doyle yielded to pressure from fans and brought Holmes back in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Keys for this card, upright, are: “respite, hermetic seclusion, meditation, convalescence, rest, replenishment of spirit, solitude, reassessment of your limitations.” Reversed, the card can suggest “economy, taking precautions, careful administration, greed.”

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. An example from “The Game” for the Four of Observation: “Convalescence or enforced rest. Self-exile or retreat.” An example from “The Fog”: “Feigning illness. . . A strike or unexpected event breaks your routine.”

As a card of the day, the Four of Observation gives a clear message about stepping back (or lying down!) either literally or figuratively (or both) in a deliberate effort to conserve or replenish energy and resources – mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual. This respite may also be imposed on us from an outside source. It’s up to us to use the time wisely.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Crowley’s “The Door” Spread

Today, Helen takes us through Crowley's "Door" using the Lo Scarabeo Tarot. Come along and see what she discovers!

Crowley’s “The Door” Spread
performed by Helen

Way back in 2009 I did Crowley’s The Door Spread using his deck. Now this is a very interesting spread to do. It consists of eleven cards and it offers you a door to either walk through or not. Card No.1 - The name of the door -- shows you the opportunity that awaits. If you have asked a question, then this door shows you what might be gained. If like me you ask no question, then the door seems to me to present you with an opportunity of some sort.  As we look at this spread, it appears to me that one does not read it in order. You will see from the demo reading I have done how I think this spread works.

The Layout


The Card DMs are as follows:

1: The name of the door -- What door is this?
2: The keyhole -- First idea of what’s behind it.
3: The lock
4: The knob -- needed to open the door.
5: The path to the door.
6: The expectation of what’s behind the door.
7: Attitude towards the door.
8: What is actually behind the door.
9: Where the door can be found.
10: What will happen immediately after the door is opened.
11: The key that fits the lock.

Here’s the demo reading, only this time I’m not using Crowley’s deck but instead the Lo Scarabeo Tarot by Mark McElroy and Anna Lazzarini (Lo Scarabeo).

Card 1: The name of the door -- What door is this?

Ace of Wands

The name of the door is Opportunity and it is a door that will enable me to move forward with my ideas. This card is telling me that the time is now right to take those ideas or projects I’ve put on hold and set them in motion. It suggests that this door holds the chance of a new beginning for me, but I’m the one who has to grab those ideas and now get the wheels turning to manifest them into something more.


Card 5: The path to the door

7 of Swords

A change in strategies. Look at the way I’ve approached what I’ve wanted to achieve before and see if there is a better way to achieve it. Now this is a Swords card and therefore relates to my thinking pattern. Maybe it’s telling me a change in attitude and perspective is what is needed to find this door. It also tells me that sometimes it’s better to keep things to myself and not share them until the time is right.

Interesting that the first card which shows the opportunity that exists is an action card and the path towards that action is a mental clarity card. Together they suggest that the right action coupled with the right thoughts is the way to go.





Card 9: Where the door can be found

Queen of Wands

The door can be found by me believing in myself and my abilities. Not being afraid to step out and try something new. It suggests to me that I should use innovative ways to meet the challenge and maintain a confidence in the way I approach my goals.

Again this card is reinforcing the first card by suggesting that one just has to have confidence in the action they take.

Card 6: The expectation of what’s behind the door

4 of Wands

This card shows us a celebration, a time of happiness, having achieved a goal. The card shows two figures holding up flowers and behind them is an abundance of produce. Perhaps this card tells me that my expectation is for success and a chance to reap the benefits of my efforts.











Card 7: Attitude towards the door

The World

It stands to reason that if my expectation is one of success then The World fits my attitude very well, as closing one cycle and beginning another. Hoping that the past is now left behind me and put to rest successfully and that all the disappointments I felt have now been laid to rest. This door then represents a completely new beginning and a chance to achieve what I desire.

Now if we look at the spread, the cards on my right as you look at the layout and photograph have all been read, and if we look down that line we have 4 Wands - The World - The Queen of Wands. This whole line seems to express the hope of something better and the reminder that it all lies in me believing in myself.

Card 2: The Keyhole - the first idea of what’s behind the door

10 of Swords

Now the image in the Lo Scarabeo deck is somewhat different to other decks, in that it doesn’t show a man maimed by the swords. No back stabbing going on here. But what I see through this keyhole as I take a peek is the promise of leaving behind me the disappointments and the mental attitude that have held me back. It’s a number 10 card and so it gives us endings and beginnings all in one card 1+0=1. Look how the figure walks away from those swords and towards those green hills. Green represents balance, growth, and expansion, and hills can represent the goal, so this image gives me a sense of reaching that goal. In case you’re wondering, I’m considering publishing another book and although I didn’t frame a question, the cards seem to have picked up on that goal.

Card 3: The lock

2 of Pentacles

The lock on this door is perhaps the inability to maintain a balance so that things can keep flowing without interruption. What keeps the door locked is not recognising that one doesn’t need to compare themselves with anyone else, as this only serves to stop the flow of ideas that can be manifested into something more tangible. The card offers the advice that in order to free this lock one needs to keep balance in their life and go more with the flow.

Card 11: The key that fits the lock

4 of Coins

You know, when I look at this figure I’m reminded that money is worth nothing if you don’t spend it. The key that fits the lock is not to be afraid to take the risk and go ahead with my ideas, nothing ventured nothing gained. It’s no good having these ideas if you don’t do anything with them. In order to make this key work, one has to stop being afraid in taking those first steps once more. This is a number 4 card and can symbolise stability and foundation, but it can also symbolise being trapped (four walls enclose) and stagnating.

Card 4: The knob - needed to open the door

The Moon

Okay, the message I get here is to confront my fears and face up to them. If we do this we can see that sometimes they have no real substance to them at all. So this card suggests that I put my imagination to a more creative outcome in order to open that door. By confronting my anxieties in turn I will illuminate them and see them for what they really are and allow the positive possibilities to emerge.

Card 10: What will happen immediately after the door is opened

6 Swords

I like that this image shows the swords in the sky like a big star, indicating at least to me, that one has understood how those thoughts can hold them back and finally can move forward. A change in attitude can now be seen and the ability to move out of a less comfortable space into a more positive one is now possible. So this promises that providing I understand how my thoughts can work against me, I can move away from any anxieties I have had about going ahead with my project and towards something that will bring me more joy and contentment.

Again all the cards on the left side of the spread as we look at it have been read. These seem to point very much towards a change of thoughts and a realisation that those things that one fears are not to be afraid of. All that is needed is a change of strategy and the ability to maintain a balance so that things can keep moving forwards.

Card 8: What is actually behind the door

10 of Wands

Here again we have a card that numerically represents endings and beginnings, but it also tells me that it will involve some labour and not to overcommit myself but rather to work within my limits. The image shows me that the goal is in sight and that one just has to keep working towards it. So the card suggests that it can be achieved but not without some hard work ahead.

Now the middle set of cards have all been read. As I look at them, I see that the opportunity to manifest my goal is there as long as I work within my limits and do not overburden myself. I need to move myself away from any negative thinking patterns and be prepared to do something with my ideas, or I devalue their worth.

This whole reading speaks of what I hope for in the cards to the right, as we look at the spread, and what needs to be changed as we look to the left and what can be achieved as we look to the middle set.

I hope you enjoyed this reading using Crowley’s The Door Spread and I would be interested to hear how any of you got on if you decide to try it for yourselves.