Deck Reviews

Oracle Deck Review: Rana George Lenormand

November 20, 2017


Rana George Lenormand is a sumptuous, self-titled deck created by a seasoned Lenormand reader, published by US Games Systems Inc. The exotic images are inspired by old world Lebanon and Rana George's memories and heritage.

Check out the gold embossing on the cards!

The Cards
There are 42 cards in the deck, each measuring 2 1/4" x 3 1/2". The cardstock is a bit stiff when you first get it, but fluffs up a bit with regular shuffling (like the Dreaming Way Lenormand). The box is very nice. It opens on the side magnetically, and houses the cards in two separate grooves. The book lays on top.

The cards have gold embossed highlights, on the fronts and backs, which is really beautifully done. The borders are really pretty. I'm not a fan of borders at all, but these (which look like ornate columns) are quite atmospheric and work really well with the theme of the deck. Another thing I usually don't like on my Lenormand cards are playing card inserts, but the ones on these cards are incredibly gorgeous, especially the court cards, which absolutely blew me away with their beauty. Just stunning! The backs feature an ornate design surrounding a Hamsa.

In the upper left corners are the card numbers, and in the upper right corners are what look like Arabic lettering/numbering, but I am not certain.There is no mention of them in the book.

A traditional Lenormand deck contains 36 cards. This one has 42. There are two extra people cards. The two I keep in the deck are the ones with more of a gypsy vibe. The other two are more modern. The two sets are numbered the same.

In addition to the spare Man/Woman cards, there are four extra cards included in the deck. I am a traditional reader, so as pretty as these extra cards are, I have pulled them out of the deck. I don't use them in readings. They are titled Spirit, Incense Burner, Bed and Market. Even though I don't use these cards, I desperately want the Bed card to be my bedroom!


The celestial cards are so gorgeous (Stars, Sun, Moon). My favorite card is the Stars card, with that gorgeous purple sky! Another favorite is the Bed card, which is a shame because I don't read with it. I am also very drawn to the Letter card. I love the red curtain backdrop and the handwritten letter and envelope.

There are a couple of cards that feel off to me. The Bear looks really weird. It does not anatomically look like a bear. And one of the extra cards (Spirit), although a really cool looking card, doesn't feel to me like it really fits in with the vibe of the rest of the deck, but I don't use it for readings so it is not an issue.


How it Reads
For my first reading with the deck, I drew Lady + Cross + Whip. I had a recurring toothache that day. Normally, a toothache would come up as the Scythe. But the Cross also indicates pain (though usually back pain). So that was a little strange, but I went with it, chalking it up to breaking in a new deck. The Whip indicates something repetitive, and this is a pain that comes and goes with me.

The next day, I drew Key + Book + Anchor. This was the day I made the decision to take a certification class that would advance my work options. The Key was my finally deciding "yes". The Book was the studying/class itself. And Anchor illustrated my commitment to staying put in this job for the time being.

Birds + Fish + Rider came up the next day, which I assumed meant receiving worrying financial news, or two pieces of money news. Neither happened that day.

The next day was Man + Child + Key. My hospice client's daughter was visiting from out of state, so that was an accurate draw.

One day I drew Rider + Birds + Tree. A few hours later, I received a letter in the mail regarding my health insurance that I had been stressing about for some time. Rider = news/mail delivery. Birds = my stress. Tree = health (insurance).

The next day I drew Scythe + Ship + Crossroads. I had the need to immediately replace the windshield wipers on the car. The night before, it was raining very hard and I couldn't even see the lines on the road. The windshield wipers smudged the window, only making things worse. It was terrifying driving on the freeway blind like that. So the windshield wipers were replaced the next day, the day of this draw. Scythe = the swishing motion of the windshield wipers. Ship = car. Crossroads = road where driving takes place.

The last day with the deck I had a very poignant reading. I drew Scythe + Clover + Cross. When I am reading about work, Scythe has been the card that comes up to represent my clients (hospice patients). In this case, it sadly also represented the Grim Reaper's scythe. My client died that day. Clover is a blessing, which may seem odd in this situation, but when someone is suffering, passing is indeed a blessing. And Cross was him crossing over to the other side.

My readings became clearer the more I read with the deck. I find that with Lenormand decks, it takes me a few readings to connect. I wonder if it is because I am so deeply in tune with my own Lenormand deck that it takes a bit of getting used to other ones now.


The Book
The 124-page bound booklet has a nice thick, smooth cover. There is a brief 3-page introduction by the author, and the rest of the book is devoted to the card meanings. No spreads, no superfluous ramblings. I love how the book gets straight to the point.

There are no images of the cards in the book. Each card passage begins with a sentence or two about the card image. Following this are a few quotes relevant to the card. Next is a paragraph titled "In a Reading" which tells you what this card means when you draw it. Then there are 1-3 quick sample readings where the card falls in a spread. Lastly, there is a paragraph in italics that gives more detail on the card image, often sharing background information on the details behind the imagery.

Here is an excerpt from the book. It is the full passage for the Garden card:

----------

20. Garden

This sumptuous garden is strikingly inviting with its gorgeous architecture and abundant riches.

"Spring is nature's way of saying 'let's party!'" - Robin Williams

"He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god." - Aristotle

IN A READING
The Garden represents a group of people, a gathering, party, convention, big meeting, get together, an event, or society and the public in general. The Garden also talks about networking, playing the field, club hopping, or just being outside en plein air.  It is also about groups, associations and clubs.  The Garden brings in the factor of multitude and many, as well as wanting more.

Question: Should I stay with Chris?
Birds + Garden
Answer: No, have fun and look around.

Question: Why is Tarek not calling me?
Book + Dog + Garden
Answer: Because he is secretly seeing other people.

THE RANA GEORGE LENORMAND GARDEN
This lavish garden is an homage to the Beiteddine gardens.  It is also reminiscent of the Arabian Andalusia Gardens where there was always lots of music and belly dancing. Poets would get together and compete on who could recite the best rhymes.  That little blue dragonfly in the pool was my friend every time I would go out to swim in our pool. Somehow Callie got the look of our pool including the single sprinkle water fountains going in it, all without ever seeing it or knowing about it.

----------

(If you are not yet familiar with Rana George, she also has a full-sized book on fortune telling with Lenormand cards titled The Essential Lenormand.)


Final Thoughts
This deck is exotic and rich and colorful. It is a treat for the senses. The details are exquisite. It's a beautiful deck. It's a great choice if you want to get into the whole gypsy vibe when reading for others. It takes you away to a different place, far from the modern realities of daily living. It makes mundane readings a little more special... sort of like breaking out the good china to eat a peanut butter sandwich on. There's no reason to save the fancy stuff for special occasions. With this deck, you can treat yourself anytime!


Deck: Rana George Lenormand (by Rana George, illustrated by Callie L. French, published by US Games Systems, Inc.)

Deck Reviews

Oracle Deck Review: Spooktacular Lenormand

November 05, 2017


Spooktacular Lenormand is a delightful Halloween-themed Lenormand deck by Wandering Oracle.


The Cards
The cards measure 2.25" x 3.5". They are printed on sturdy cardstock that is easy to shuffle. The backs feature Autumnal multi-colored bats, suiting the deck perfectly. The cards have thin inner borders which look drawn, so they aren't perfectly straight. This, for some reason, makes all the difference in the world. I like the look of them, whereas if they were perfectly straight, I would find them annoying. It's amazing the difference such small details make. There is a card number in the upper right corner and a playing card insert, top center. I love the font used for the numbers and suit symbols, and the court card images are very charming. There are no titles on the cards, which I love. I feel if a Lenormand deck is done right, the card imagery should be obvious without the need for distracting titles.

The backgrounds of the cards are antiquated, which adds yet another thing to love about the deck. Some cards even appear as though there are creases in them, and quite believable! On each card, there is a single color featured, used for the illustration, border, number and playing card insert. I really like the seamless monochrome look this gives each card.

There are 38 cards in the normal deck, including 36 traditional cards, with an extra Man and Lady card. I have the Halloween Special Edition deck (which I believe is only available to purchase every October) which gives you another two additional people cards (Witch and Vampire). My Halloween edition also came with a tuck box featuring a skeleton on it. It is adorable, though the way it is printed always has me trying to open it upside down. I don't know what the regular edition box looks like.

The Man and Lady cards are all dressed up in costume, to match the theme of the deck. I just adore this! The Men cards are more obviously dressed in recognizable costumes (Devil and Pirate) while the Lady cards are less costumed (one with a spiderweb shawl, and another holding a pitchfork, but otherwise normally dressed in Victorian looking dresses). The Devil Man and Spiderweb Lady are marked with card numbers and a single suit symbol, while the two extra people cards are unnumbered, with a bat where the suit symbol would be. If you are using two of the same gender cards in a reading, this allows you to easily distinguish between the querent's card and his/her love interest.


The artwork is gorgeous, I really love the style. The colors of the drawings feel very Autumn-like. There are deep muted hues of red, orange, green, blue, purple, brown and black. Many of the cards are inspired by well-known horror movies/shows. Here are a few I recognized:

Rider: Headless Horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Stork: Creature from the Black Lagoon
Ring: Practical Magic
Book: Hocus Pocus
Dog: Frankenweenie
Letter: Addams Family
Coffin: Dracula or Nosferatu
Mice: The Witches

The Ship is being attacked by a kraken, which I love! The Moon features a werewolf. The Fish are creepy and weird (in the most wonderful way). The Clouds are ghosts! The Fox is at someone's door, trick-or-treating, wearing a mask, which is such a perfect take on this card.  A jack o'lantern serves as a vase for the Bouquet. The House is a haunted house. Laying across the Anchor is a skeletonized mermaid! The Birds card is gorgeously gothic, with black birds swarming a skull. And the Stars card is really pretty, with a witch on a broom. I could literally discuss every single card in the deck, because I love them all. Every card is as charming as the next. The only card I have trouble with is the Garden, because I can't quite make out what the figure in it is meant to be. An angel?

The deck is filled with nostalgia and happy Halloween childhood memories.

There is no accompanying LWB for this deck. In my opinion, a Lenormand deck doesn't need one, because you either know how to read them, or if you are a beginner, you need to learn a system, which can't be contained in a LWB.



How it Reads
The first reading I did with this deck was regarding a flat tire. I wanted to know if the tire company would fix the flat for free. I drew Moon (big famous tire company) + Mountain  + Snake (Obstacle with the inner tube)  + Fish + Ring (honoring a monetary commitment - warranty). It looked like the answer was yes. A few hours later, this was confirmed as they did indeed fix the flat for free.

The next day for my daily draw I drew Mountain + Stars + Ring. A regular shift was taken away from me, because a client no longer needed our agency's service. Mountain + Stars was an obstacle to "a lot" of something (as I often see the Stars). In this case, it represented a lot of hours in my work schedule. The Ring promised my hours would be replaced with a new client commitment, and indeed my hours were quickly filled in with another client.

The next day I drew Mountain + Cross + Crossroads. That day I ended up pushing a client in a wheelchair up small hills (Mountain) and down long roads (Crossroads). It was hard work on my back (Cross)!

The next day my cards were Mountain + Coffin + Fish. (So far, the Mountain had appeared in every reading I had done with this deck, and it was the third day in a row that my reading started with the Mountain card). This reading showed me an end to money obstacles. That day, I got an extra few hours of work on my schedule.

Next day was Clouds + Snake + Fish + Bouquet + Fox. A couple weeks prior to this reading, a friend said he was sending me birthday money. It had not yet arrived. These cards seemed to address this issue. Fish + Bouquet was the gift of money. Clouds showed it hidden from my sight. The Fish/Bouquet is surrouned by Snake and Fox, leading me to believe the letter had taken a detour, and possibly even delivered to the wrong address. I decided to wait a week, and if it hadn't arrived, to do another reading on the issue. But the next day, the cards brought the subject up again. I drew Fish + Bear + Fox + House + Anchor. It looked like the cards were telling me that it would be delivered that day! And sure enough, just a few hours later, the mail arrived, containing the birthday money gift from my friend!

The last reading of the week, I drew Coffin + Sun + Heart. It was my first day off after three 13-hour overnight shifts in a row, the last night being particularly grueling. I was sooooo tired. Coffin + Sun accurately described my staying in bed all day long. Heart told me to do what I loved that day, as long as it could be done from bed (Netflix, Instagram and books).

This deck gave me very accurate readings. It lends a light-hearted feel to readings without compromising the integrity of the message.


Final Thoughts
I've really enjoyed working with these cards. I am a huge fan of the Halloween season, so this deck is right up my alley. The illustrations are beautifully and creatively done and the colors fit the season very well. The deck is fun and family-friendly. If you are a Lenormand reader and a fan of Halloween, this deck is honestly a must-have. You will definitely want to get it out in October, but I myself will be using it year-round because I don't limit my spookiness to one time of year.


Deck: Spooktacular Lenormand by Wandering Oracle.

Tarot Spreads

Friday the 13th Tarot Spread

October 12, 2017


This is a quick spread I came up with many years ago, complete with original reading from way back in 2008!

~*~

I created a quick 2-card Friday the 13th spread. I don't believe this day brings bad luck with it. In fact, my son was born on the 13th, so it's always been a very lucky day for me. So this isn't your run of the mill spooky spread. Leave it to me to create a Pollyanna Friday the 13th spread!

1. What negative superstition (in this case, a belief which attracts bad luck) should I let go of?
2. What good luck is headed my way?


1. What negative superstition should I let go of?
The Secret Witch
The hallway that this witch glides down reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. It has a very mysterious and whimsical feeling to it. The kind of enigmatic feeling where you're not sure what's going on, but you're completely intrigued. I need to release the feeling I have that the answers I need are outside my grasp. There's something I've been trying to figure out, a method of manifestation, and it's so far eluded me, which frustrated me. I know there is an easier way to manifest what I want, a way that is far easier than anyone else is teaching. The fact that I have this inner knowing makes me believe wholeheartedly that what I'm looking for does exist. I feel like the answer is going to be so simple that I have probably overlooked it many times. The Secret Witch tells me to surrender the belief that this secret is beyond my ability to figure out. It will come to me, and will not remain a secret forever. (Kinda funny that this card spoke to me about manifestation, with the play on words ... The Secret Witch, and "The Secret" book/movie which is about manifestation.)

2. What good luck is headed my way?
The Eternal Witch
This witch speaks to me of unlimited possibilities. No goal is too far to reach, nothing is outside my scope of potential. The book says that when this card appears, magic is cast upon your dilemma, and your wishes will come true. It even says that eternal, light-giving forces bring you deserved luck! A luck card falling in the good luck position... I'd say that's lucky indeed! I get a very liberating sense from this card. The Eternal Witch is flying into space, and is free to go wherever in the world she wishes. I'd love the freedom to fly wherever I wanted to go! It'd be nice if this luck headed my way will give me some expanded liberty.

~*~

I wish you a Happy Friday the 13th, and hope you enjoy using the spread yourself!

© This is my original spread creation. If you use it on your blog/twitter/webstite/insta/etc., please credit AND tag me. Thank you!

This spread was originally published on my previous blog (Tarot Dame) on 6/13/08.

Deck Reviews

Oracle Deck Review: The Oracle of the Innocent Heart

October 07, 2017


The Oracle of the Innocent Heart is the sweetest deck, created by Scott Alexander King, illustrated by Sharon Mcleod and published by Animal Dreaming Publishing.


The Cards
The 45 cards measure 4 1/8" x 5 1/2" and have a glossy finish. They are flexible enough to be shuffled vertically for those, like me, who find it difficult to riffle shuffle large cards in the usual, horizontal manner. The backs are not reversible, but the deck isn't meant to be read with reversals. The image on the back can also be found on the card titled The Swallows, a girl with flowing hair, surrounded by swallows, wearing a gorgeous picturesque dress.

You may be surprised to hear what I have to say about the borders. If you have followed my reviews, you will know that I prefer all my decks to be borderless. I don't like borders, especially intrusive ones. These cards have a deep red border, and inside this is a thin black border, and inside that is a huge illustrated border. The illustrated borders are busy and take up a good portion of the card. But I don't mind them! More than that, I find them charming. I like them! They fit very well with the theme of the deck. And they are black and white, so they aren't overly distracting, if you can believe it. They sort of provide a background ambiance. I like the contrast of the outer red borders with the black and white illustrated borders.

The cards and book are housed in a very nice, sturdy box with a lift-off top. The top has half-circle cutouts on two sides for easier lifting.


The deck comes with a surprise twist. It illustrates (and the book elaborates on) slices of life from the point of view of a fictitious seven-year old girl named Saffron who has a five-year old brother named Oddley. This is such a darling idea, and it makes the deck ever so much more enchanting.

Some cards are busier than others. Some have very simple illustrations on the cards, with ample empty white space, while others fill up every bit of the card with a myriad of images in a single card. Some cards are filled with color (the most colorful card being the gorgeous Sunrise, Sunset card), but most just have splotches of color here and there. I love it all. I love the contrast.

I love that the Spiders card is #8, because it discusses, among other things, how spiders relate to good luck and the number 8, due to its eight legs and (usually) eight eyes. The placement in the deck was genius.

There are a LOT of animals in the deck, with birds taking the lead by far. There are far too many animals to list, but a few include the koala, spiders, sheep, rabbits, bugs, deer, cats, horses, a unicorn, bats... and on and on. There are ten cards with birds in the title, and many, many more birds featured throughout the rest of the deck. There are two fox cards and a Little Fox Girl card. One of the fox cards is called Mr. Todd, and is about a very particular fox. The one titled The Fox revolves around a scene featuring the fox in the book The Little Prince. The Little Fox Girl reminds me of a Kitsune, though she is not labeled as such in the book. The Little Fox Girl is a character in a dream of Saffron's.

I love the cards featuring items such as The Cuckoo Clock, The Old Rusty Key, The Quilt, The Tyre Swing, The Apple Tree, The Wishing Well, Love Letters and The Nest. So many of these things bring me right back to my own childhood.

I find it amusing that the Grandad card is portrayed by a rooster (who reminds Saffron of her grandfather) while the lovely Grandma card features an illustration of the children's grandmother from her younger days when she was a Flapper.

There are a lot of fun, magical cards like The Gypsy Wagon, featuring a gypsy tarot reader (my fave!), Halloween (with pumpkins, bats, a black cat and a little witch girl flying on a broom), Magick, Faerie Stone, and Faerie Cats.

The image on the gorgeous Mask of Sorrow card calls to my Scorpio soul, while the Regret card adds a sprinkle of melancholy that you can't deny is a part of childhood and life.

The only thing I would have liked to have seen was a card titled Saffron, as there is an Oddley card.

The deck includes such a vast array of both simple and magical childhood experiences, encompassing many different emotions in the process.


How it Reads
For my first reading with the deck, I drew The Little Brown Hen, which speaks of how abundance isn't just found in money. How "having enough" is a form of abundance. It's one we rarely acknowledge in our never-ending quest for "more". It is also about resourcefulness and self-sufficiency and sharing and using one thing to make another. To value what you already have will ensure you never run out. And lastly, it reminds us that the things of real value can't be bought. Like love and laughter.

Then the next day, I drew Spiders which talked about money, abundance, good luck and success. And as synchronicity would have it, spiders were appearing everywhere for me that week (in cards, songs, real life, on my Instagram feed)! So I was pretty overjoyed to read the passage that went with this card.

The next day I drew The Tooth Faerie which talked about true wealth being love, not money. This card is about saving but also spending on something your heart desires. And how abundance comes when you realize that true wealth lies in loving who and what you already have in your life. Money is attracted to one who already feels like the luckiest person in the world.

On the fourth day, I drew the Little Brown Hen again! I was being guided to embrace abundance here and now and that love, support and laughter are the greatest forms of wealth (all of which I am rich in).

On day five, I drew Sheep, with the message of going your own way. I was given the message: "Don't blindly follow the herd like sheep. If you follow, know why you do so. Trust in your own authenticity." I've always been a non-conformist. It isn't always easy marching to the beat of your own drum, but it has always been for my best. Also, there's nothing wrong with being part of a huge herd, as long as your heart and soul know you belong there and want to be there.

And the next day, I drew... The Little Brown Hen! For the third time that week!

My last draw that week was The Gentle Hart. I was feeling down and sad the morning I drew the card which would reflect my mood. This card is about sadness, feeling lost and not your whole self. But it is also about the sweetness found in sadness. The little things you notice when you're sad that you are usually too busy to notice. Sadness can bring you into a space of greater awareness. And when you have had your fill, positive imagination can pull you back to a less painful/hopeless place, back to where you feel more empowered. It's okay to feel sad. In fact, a good hearty cry is cathartic and healing. Life is just ups and downs, all of which you have survived. This card came up for me at the perfect time. It let me know it was okay to feel sad and that this too would pass.

Of my seven daily draws, five of them were about abundance and money, with a single card appearing three times! And as it turns out, less than a month later, I unexpectedly interviewed for a job for the first time in almost 20 years of being a stay at home mom! The cards were gently preparing me for re-entering the world of paychecks before I even saw it coming!

This deck reads less like a form of divination and more like a return to childhood values and perspective. It has you looking at life through a different lens than what we are used to as adults. It returns you to a simpler time and from there you can see your situation differently.


The Book
The 176-page book that comes with this deck is so brilliant. It is written from the viewpoint of a 7 year old girl! It is so very enchanting. I love it to pieces! It's a really nice bound book.

There is a Table of Contents at the beginning of the book which lists the cards in numerical (not alphabetical) order. The Introduction begins by telling the reader what sets this deck apart from all the other oracles. Then there is a section on Saffron Melancholy and her little brother Oddley Gray, the fictitious main characters around whom this deck centers.

Next is a section on how to read the cards, with 4 spreads:

  • 3-card "Saffron's Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Spread (a Past-Present-Future spread)
  • 5-card "The Five Golden Tickets Spread"
  • 10-card "Saffron's Animal Friends Spread"
  • 3-card "The Elders Spread"

The spread titled Saffron's Animal Friends Spread is especially interesting, as you look for the first animal that catches your eye in each card, and that animal is the one who walks with you through each position in the spread. Most cards have animals in them, and if not, the borders do.

There are a few pages dedicated to each card. Each passage begins with a small black and white image of the card, followed by the title and one-sentence quote or key phrase. Then the narrative for the card is given from the Saffron's point of view. This, as I have mentioned, is absolutely adorable. It is the most unique take on a deck book I have ever seen. It is written in conversational tone, as a child would talk to you. It is so refreshing and really captures you and brings you into alignment with the spirit of the deck. Each passage ends with "Thoughts to Ponder" with a list of key things to remember about the card's message.

The book ends with a page each on the writer and artist.


Final Thoughts
This really is the sweetest, most darling deck. It evokes the innocence and wonder of a natural childhood. It is such a unique deck, really one of a kind. There's nothing else like it out there. If you ever feel overwhelmed by too much adulting, you can turn to this deck and return to the world of a child. It allows you to step back and look at things from a more open and naive perspective. Sometimes we overthink things. These cards help us remember what it is to just feel things as they are. It's a return to a simpler time. And it offers a fresh perspective from which to view our issues.


Deck: The Oracle of the Innocent Heart, by Scott Alexander King, illustrated by Sharon Mcleod, and published by Animal Dreaming Publishing.

My Decks

Teaser: My 2 new oracle decks!

October 02, 2017

October Oracle (left) and Haunted Oracle (right)

I have an exciting announcement!

Coming Friday the 13th of October 2017... the release of my two new oracle decks!

Both decks are suited for Autumn (my very favorite season).

The October Oracle is a fall-themed deck, while the Haunted Oracle is a darker, more sinister deck for those who aren't afraid of the dark (or who are, but enjoy it). My nicknames for these two new decks are Scorpio Lite and Scorpio Dark 2.0.

More detailed information coming soon! Follow me on Instagram to see more of the decks before their release: @thebohemianess . And find the decks more easily with the hashtags: #OctoberOracle and #HauntedOracle .

xo
Kiki

P.S. The Sepiafoto Lenormand, my first deck baby, will also be returning this month! Woot! #SepiafotoLenormand

Deck Reviews

Oracle Deck Review: Sacred Power Reading Cards

October 01, 2017


Sacred Power Reading Cards is a high-vibe deck by Anna Stark, illustrated by Louis Dyer and published by Rockpool Publishing. These cards are gorgeous links to all types of sacred, spiritual, and soulful attributes. I could feel my vibe ascending just by looking through the cards for the first time.


The Cards
There are 36 cards, measuring 3.75" x 5.5". They have a glossy finish which looks really nice with the images and colors in the deck. I have a difficult time shuffling cards of this large size normally, but thankfully these cards are really flexible, so I can easily shuffle them vertically. That goes a long way in my appreciation of a large deck. The backs are not reversible (though close enough to make it difficult to tell reversals from upright cards), but the deck isn't meant to be read with reversals. The backs feature a flower of life pattern in the center of a swirly design.

The cards are blissfully borderless on three sides. The titles on the bottom of the cards are within a curved border (making a potential trimming difficult). I don't mind the bottom borders though, as they are a bit transparent, so you can still see the card behind them.

The deck is housed in a very nice sturdy box which opens magnetically. I love these types of boxes which offer quick ease of access while keeping the box firmly closed when stored. There is a cardboard insert where the cards sit. I have removed this insert, because the cards slide under it and get stuck, making them a hassle to remove.


As I mentioned in the opening of this review, the first time I looked through these cards, I felt my vibes lifting just looking at the images. This deck is definitely high vibe, and one I highly recommend if you are looking to ascend into a higher frequency.

My favorite card is Soul Journey, showing souls walking the path to the temple of the Akashic records. It's impossible for me to look at this card and not feel lighter.

The Illusion card has an Escher design vibe going on, reminding me also of the movie The Labyrinth. The Community card is so gorgeous and mesmerizing. It elicits a powerful feeling of tribe and celebration and honoring traditions. The colors of the sky in the Rest card delight my very soul! The Self Love card is genius, showing the outline of a small figure of a girl radiating outward within the body of a woman. The images are very evocative.

There are a lot of cards featuring both real and mythical animals (butterflies, rainbow dragon, owl, white tiger, wolf, phoenix, bear, eagle, dolphins, deer, horses, etc.).

I love the variety of images in this deck. There are humans, animals, angels, goddesses, devas, nature scenes, along with some symbolic imagery. The two goddesses in the deck are Isis in the Lightning card and Quan Yin in the Compassion card. There are cards with general character types (a wizard in the Manifestation card, a shaman/medicine man in the Medicine card and a knight in the Protection card). I enjoy that the cards are not monotonous in subject, yet the cards work seamlessly together.


How it Reads
Before I even read with this deck, I received a message from it. I had just received the deck in the mail and was in the backyard taking a photo of the deck to share on Instagram. As I sat down on the grass, I was stung by a wasp hiding in the grass. What did it mean to be stung while photographing sacred power cards? Anna Stark, the author of the deck, explained to me that "wasp medicine brings news of beginnings and to share in insight into the soul, fertility and creation." This made sense to me because at the time, I was preparing to move, which was definitely a new beginning. (I didn't end up moving at the time, but soon thereafter, I did unexpectedly get a new job for the first time in almost two decades, so that was definitely a huge new beginning.)

My first reading with the deck was synchronous. When I woke that morning, I thought about the deck and imagined drawing the Animal Kingdom card. Hours later, when I took the deck out, I drew the Devas card, but my finger lingered on another. It was the Animal Kingdom card! These two cards work really well together, telling us to tune into the spirits of nature, animals and crystals. It was a day to get away from the stress of human life for awhile. And it was the perfect day for it. Instead of being in the 100's and sunny, it was overcast and in the 70's! It was gorgeous out. I went for a walk with two of my kiddos and we saw many animals (a horse, a spider, a beetle, and many birds). Inspired by the Quartz Crystal deva on the card, I took my favorite clear quartz pieces with me to charge on my favorite willow tree. The cards were a wonderful inspiration and they played out so well on our nature walk.

My next daily draw seemed at first glance so very counter-intuitive to what I felt I should be doing that day. I had so much to do in the next few weeks, it was overwhelming. So when the Rest card came up to tell me to do the opposite of what I had planned (telling me to rest and play, when I felt I needed to push on), instead of dismissing it, I gave it all the weight in the world. (This is one of those instances where the cards can really change how you live your practical life, for the better. Especially when a card comes up that feels like it can't possibly be the right advice... that is the time to stop and pay close attention. It is probably just what you need, but aren't able to see it for yourself.) Because of course I needed to rest. Of course I was too stressed out. Of course everything could wait a day. So that night, instead of all the packing I had planned, I decided to take a bath (inspired by all the water in the card) and sit down to watch the episode of Game of Thrones I missed the night before. My world wouldn't implode (it didn't), and I would most likely be refreshed and better able to tackle my projects the next day with less stress (I was).

The next day I drew the Retreat card. Another card telling me to slow my roll. The advice was to spend time alone in nature. To get back into the flow of natural cycles and disconnect from tech a bit. I vowed to try to spend less wasteful time that day on tech and get outdoors for a bit. It was very interesting how much the cards were guiding me to take it easy when I had so much to get done in a short period of time.

I drew the Lightning card the next day (which I liken to the Tower card in the tarot, but for good). But nothing really happened that day. This was the only day that the card didn't really fit for me. It happens.

The day after that, I drew the Transformation card featuring a phoenix. I also drew a tarot card from another deck from the Wands suit, featuring match sticks, as well as an oracle card from another deck called the Fire Faery. It was a very fiery day in my cards. They were telling me it was time to make like a phoenix and set fire to what had been holding me back, rising triumphant and renewed out of the ashes. I had been getting these resting cards, but now clearly the energy had shifted and I was getting a green light to go! It was a great feeling to live more intuitively, following the signs, counter to what my ego was telling me I "should" be doing. There was an ironic sense of power in giving up the need for total control and finding a natural flow. These cards were instrumental to that process.


The next day I drew the beautiful Tree of Life card. The message was to be present. Live for the day, for the hour, for the very moment. After drawing this card, I read a passage in a Florence Scovel Shinn book that complimented the message beautifully: "When you realize that time and space are but a dream, you live suspended in the moment, and time can never touch you." I loved the synchronicity of these messages. A second message I got from the card was to consider the *whole* when making decisions. To be aware of how a decision will affect various parts of my life, rather than laser focusing on the results in a single area. The amount of water a tree's roots receive affects the trunk, branches and leaves too. I was struck by the feeling that this was very important advice for me at the time.

I was so happy to draw the Community card one day, because I love the vibe of this card so much. A tribal dance around a fire at night, the smoke making magical symbols in the air. I'm not a social gal, so community isn't a real thing in my life. I do enjoy my Instagram community though. This card is like the popular saying "your vibe attracts your tribe". My tribe is my kids. The passage for the card touches on the feeling of being born into the wrong family, which is something I absolutely can relate to. I love the passages about being different, shining your true unique self. It reminds me of the Dr. Seuss quote, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.". This Community card was also a very timely draw for the current events in the U.S. We have been seeing masses of people coming together in love to fight all the horrid racial events. First with the Muslim travel ban, then with the Nazis. The number of people publicly standing up for what's right far outnumber the people spewing garbage. The majority of us, as a whole, are good people, and unfortunately sometimes it takes attempted division to bring people closer together. This Community card reminded me of the love that resulted from the hate.

One day I drew Exploration and Soul Journey. Soul Journey, as I mentioned, is my favorite card in the deck, so I was excited to have it appear for me. These cards urged me to really explore more of this area of my life. To be brave and soldier on through my current life lesson.

Another day, I drew the Affirmations card, which is primarily about the power of I AM affirmations, although it also discusses turning negativity into more positive thinking in other ways. I AM affirmations don't work for me. I can never quite fall for them. But I can and do affirm things I want to become or manifest in other ways. This gorgeous card is a wonderful reminder of the magnificent power of the mind.

My most recent draw was when I was feeling out of sorts, surrounded by chaos, and needed a calming message. I picked this deck and drew Illusion, which speaks of distractions. Yes! I wasn't able to see clearly because of all the distractions in my life at the time. It helped me to see them for what they were, thanks to this card.

I have found that these cards focus on positivity and ways to enrich your practical life. I wisely chose to follow the advice they imparted, especially when it didn't seem to make sense to do so. In doing so, I was able to live more in a natural flow, rather than struggling upstream.


The Book
The 82-page book has a thick, sturdy, glossy cover. It is bound with the title and author's name on the binding.

The book begins with a Table of Contents, listing the cards in alphabetical order. There are two pages of acknowledgments and a 5-page Introduction. The Introduction contains a section on How to Use the Cards (connecting with your deck, healing and meditation, and three spreads). The spreads include a one-card reading, a 3-card Power Reading, and a 6-card Power Pyramid Healing Spread.

The cards are featured in the book in alphabetical order, each card getting two pages. On the left page is the card number, title, a 2-sentence meaning, and a full color image of the card (smaller than the actual cards, but still a good size). The passage on the card begins below the image card and continues onto the next page. Each passage ends with an affirmation specific to the card.

The passages for the cards give you much to think about, and often helpfully give you several different interpretations, along with ways to take the card's message into your practical life. This is great because I like my cards to affect change, to inspire me to live better, make better and more intuitive choices, and these cards do just that.


Final Thoughts
This is such a high vibe deck! If you're feeling anxious or grumpy or just generally blah, just taking this deck out and looking through the cards will take you to a higher place, without even doing a reading! And when you do read with it, the deck encourages you to live more intuitively, to flow with the seasons and natural rhythms of life. It's like having a really wise and beautiful friend telling you exactly what you need to hear at any given moment. And not just to placate you, but to actually help lift you up. I have reached for this deck during a stressful time because it was the only one I felt could give me exactly what I needed to get into a better head space. I was not wrong. I highly recommend this deck to anyone. It is a fantastic source of light!


Deck: Sacred Power Reading Cards, by Anna Stark and Louis Dyer, published by Rockpool Publishing.