Deck Reviews

Oracle Deck Review: Crystal Keepers Oracle

December 08, 2017

Crystal Keepers Oracle is a magnificent deck featuring crystal guardians, crystals and animal energy. The deck was created by Adam Barralet and published by Animal Dreaming Publishing.

The Cards
The cards are large, measuring approximately 3 3/4" x 5 1/2" and have a glossy finish. The cards are very flexible and have a great deal of bend to them when riffle shuffling in the normal horizontal manner. But with cards this large, I find I need to shuffle them vertically, and they are not quite flexible enough the other way to do this smoothly. So I shuffle them at the corners, and it works out.

The backs are not reversible, but the deck is not designed to be used with reversals. The design is a crest shield (see photo at the top of the review). The inner borders (two thin white lines) are very unobtrusive, which I appreciate, although I think it would have looked nicer borderless. The titles are at the top of the card and feature the name of the crystal each guardian represents.

The cards and book are housed in a really nice, sturdy box with a lift-off lid. The lid has half-moon cut outs on two sides for easy lifting.

The idea behind this deck is so creative and innovative. I love the thought of crystal guardian/keepers. And the way the author/artist has portrayed them is genius and beautiful. And as if that wasn't enough, the extra work he put in to include so many different spirit allies for each Keeper goes above and beyond. Adam Barralet has really put so much into this deck, and the energy shines through so beautifully.

There are so many images in this deck that just blew me away. My favorites are the ones where the guardian is one with the animal spirit, like the three in the above photo. The Black Onyx spider woman is so gorgeous! The Pietersite Man/Scorpio is so cool. And at first glance I thought the Serpentine man was part of the snake, but it appears he is bursting out of the snake's body, which is a bit gruesome and less animal-friendly, but it is still a powerful image. Other non-human characters in the deck include mer-people, a Kitsune, a centaur, an antlered man and boy, and a flying angel. There is also a strange woman-bat hybrid in a cocoon which I don't really understand, but it's a cool image.

There are more female guardians than men in the deck, but there are 16 cards featuring male characters, with an additional four that feature both men and women. So there is a fair amount of masculine energy in the deck, which I appreciate. Usually in oracle decks of this type, it is overwhelmingly, if not entirely, female, with perhaps one or two male exceptions. I like that this deck feels much more balanced in that way.

The deck is mostly young adults, but there are children and elderly representations, as well as different races. So the deck is diverse in many different ways.

I love that the guardians match the crystals so well. For example, it is well known that the legend of bloodstone involves Jesus, and Jesus is featured on the Bloodstone card. There are mer-people in the Aquamarine card. Serpentine has a snake, and so on. The creator did a wonderful job of matching guardians, settings and animals with the spirit of each stone.

The energy of the imagery feels very in tune with nature. The good vibes are very strong in the cards. There are cards that feel sweet and gentle, and some that feel strong and powerful, but underlying every single one of them is a positive energy that shines through.

The colors in the deck are deep and vibrant. I have just under half of the crystals represented in these cards, and now I want them all! I think it would be really cool to be able to have all of the crystals, and to work with them along with the deck. There are some crystals featured that I have never even heard of.

How it Reads
My first draw with this deck was Iolite. Since I don't have this crystal, I utilized one of the spirit allies of the Iolite Keeper (as mentioned in the book), myrrh. I did have myrrh essential oil, so I used it before going to bed.

The next day I did have the crystal I drew (Selenite), so I put a piece under my pillow when I went to bed.

A couple days later, I drew the Larimar card, which is about allowing and healing. It was very timely, as I had to slow down due to an injury. The card guided me to go with the flow. When I hurt my back the day before, instead of getting all pissed off at life, I immediately realized it for what it was (which was a proud moment of spiritual growth). I had overworked myself and it was my body's way of getting me to take it easy. The booklet said to take a break from forcing and controlling situations and outcomes. It even mentioned the stone being a powerful healing tool if required. So the card nailed that one!

The next day I drew Malachite. The image on this card is of a woman, surrounded by butterflies, kicking the door right off the frame of a house! She is not messing around. The message of this card is letting go of the past and exploring your greater potential, like the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Interestingly, two days prior, I had been weeding the backyard among bees and butterflies and my daughter found a cute green caterpillar. She spent some time watching it, making sure it was alive and that we wouldn't accidentally step on it. Years ago I had a beautiful piece of malachite that fell and broke. I was sad about it, but I let it go instead of keeping the pieces. So it was interesting to me that the key phrase for this card is Letting Go. my own piece of malachite had me do just that! And apparently this was a message I needed to hear at the time.

Next was Nuummite, which I had never heard of, but of course now I want. It represents secrets hidden deep in the earth, answers found in the darkness. Very Scorpionic, so obviously I love it. It echoes a beautiful chapter I had recently read in the book Burning Woman about the need to regularly visit darkness. I meant to go for a darkness walk the night I drew this card, to honor the message, but I forgot. I remembered just before bed, so I took a few moments in a blacked out room, my eyes wide and seeing nothing. I stood for awhile in discomfort, ignoring my impulses to see, to read, to do something. It was only for a few minutes, but it was very interesting. The card's less literal meaning is about feeling restricted, fearful and powerless, and facing those dark things and finding the courage to break free of them instead of succumbing to them. That is something I really needed to hear that week, as I was deep in fear about something (which ended up working out just fine).

The last card of the week was Sugilite, which is about universal love, love for all humankind, which is not one of my specialties, to be honest as I am a bit of a misanthrope. I am also a bit of a paradox because although I mostly despise humankind because there are so many rotten apples (and ignorant/boring/annoying ones), and I generally don't like spending time with people, I can fiercely love and support total strangers. Anyway, this card says that we are totally supported by the universe, and universal love and connection will help us see what we may be missing. Everyone and everything is connected. I received the message to remember that self-love and self-acceptance must be included in this universal love fest! The full moon is associated with this card, and as synchronicity would have it, the full moon was two days away!

A couple months later, I was a bit stressed out, needing to get so much done before starting 3 days of 13-hour overnight shifts with very little sleep. I pulled a card from this deck asking what could help with my stress. I drew Stichtite. I don't have any stichtite crystals, but the energy of the card is just what I needed to hear. It's about being of value to others, and my job is hospice care. The key phrase in the book says, "There are people that need the blessing of your gifts." I needed to keep in mind the good I was doing, instead of focusing on the lack of sleep I was facing. The passage says to stay calm and positive, focusing on what is important and the greater good. It is also about spending time with people who are different from you, giving you a broader perspective of the world. The image on the card also reminded me of my daughter (an antlered man and boy drawing a bow and arrow together), as I had plans to take her out target shooting the following week with her bow and arrow (paper target, not animals).

So the cards either gave me either exactly what I needed to hear, or it gave me something to do or think about, which I didn't even know I needed. Either way, there was never a time when I got nothing out of the reading.

The Book
The 112-page book is larger than the cards, fitting in the box perfectly. It has a nice thick, glossy cover and features the title and author's name on the binding.

The book begins with some basic information (a paragraph each for the Introduction, Welcome, Who Are The Crystal Keepers?, and Working With the Crystal Keepers). Then there is a two-page Crystal Keeper Meditation, followed by a paragraph titled Who Are the Spirit Allies of the Keepers? To answer that question in a nutshell, the allies include animals, plants, the four magical elements and astrological bodies.

There is a Table of Contents listing the card titles (crystals) in alphabetical order. Next, the book goes a little into reading with the cards, including six spreads:

Single Card (1 card)
Two Paths (2+ cards)
Past, Present and Future (3 cards)
The Balanced Circle (4 cards)
The Twelve Houses (12 cards)
Thirteen Virtues of World Healing (13 cards)

There is a little chart on Chakra correspondences to crystal colors and areas of the body. Following the spreads is a tip on what to do after your reading, and tips on cleansing and caring for your cards.

Each card is given a two-page spread. On the upper left hand side of the left page is a small black-and-white image of the card. The title/crystal is listed at the top of the page followed by a keyword or phrase. Beneath this, in italics, is a paragraph which reads like a message directly spoken from the crystal guardian to you.

There is an "About" paragraph for each card. For example, "About Celestite" which gives you information on the crystal itself (where it's from, how it grows, what metaphysical properties it has, etc.). After this is "Your Message From...", e.g., Your "Message from Celestite". This is a couple paragraphs on the card's meaning.

On the right-hand pages are the Spirit Allies. The Spirit Allies of the Celestite Keeper, for example, include Swan, Cherry, Air, Water, Venus and Pleiades. The Spirit Allies of Black Tourmaline are Chimpanzee, Vanilla, Ravensara, Earth element, and Pluto. Each spirit ally is given from a few sentences up to a paragraph of information on how to utilize the energy of the ally in your practical life.

The book is not only a helpful source for learning more about the crystals included, but with the inclusion of the spirit allies, it is also incredibly useful and practical. It takes the deck from merely a psychological tool and transforms the card messages into real tangible action you can take. It is empowering, extremely interesting and fun!

The book closes with a recommended reading list, and a page about the author.

Final Thoughts
I love this deck so much! It is such a unique creation. The artwork is beautiful and original. The energy is positive and empowering. The book is fantastic - enjoyable, informative, helpful and practical. I highly, highly recommend this deck. In fact, I would be thrilled if there was a sequel!

Deck: Crystal Keepers Oracle, by Adam Barralet, published by Animal Dreaming Publishing.

Tarot Spreads

Tarot Spread: Naughty or Nice? (The Santa Stocking Spread)

December 02, 2017

I created this spread on Christmas Eve, 2007. It was originally published on my previous blog (Tarot Dame), and later published in the 2009 Tarot Lovers' Calendar. Here is the original post:

Okay, since it's Christmas Eve, I thought I'd make up a fun little spread, as I didn't see any Santa-related ones out there.

It's meant to be shaped like a stocking. The "present" is sticking out on top, while the "lump of coal" sinks to the bottom of the stocking.

(I personally face my stockings the other way, but a quick Google search showed the majority facing right... so to appeal to the masses, I changed the layout for this post.)


1. Naughty: How have I been naughty?
2. Nice: How have I been nice?
3. Lump of Coal: What can I expect as payback for being naughty?
4. Present: What gift will I receive for being nice?

Cards 1 and 3 (Naughty/Lump of Coal) I pulled from the bottom of the deck.
Cards 2 and 4 (Nice/Present) I pulled from the top.

My reading with this layout was pretty funny and accurate.

© This is my original spread creation. If you use it on your blog/website/insta/etc., please credit me and link back to this spread page on my blog. Thank you!

This spread was originally published on my previous blog (Tarot Dame) on 12/24/07.

Deck Reviews

Tarot Deck Review: Epic Tarot

December 02, 2017

Epic Tarot is a beautiful fantasy deck by Riccardo Minetti and Paolo Martinello, published by Lo Scarabeo, and distributed in the US by Llewellyn.

The Cards
The cards are the standard Lo Scarabeo cardstock (my favorite tarot card stock) and size (2 5/8" x 4 3/4"). The backs have a reversible design (see image at the top of this review). There are five different borders, with the Majors and each of the suits having a different inner border. I'm not a huge fan of the ornate nature of the borders, nor that they are varied. The deep blue outer borders are the same throughout the deck.

There are no titles on any of the cards in the deck. The Majors are numbered twice for some reason, with a Roman numeral at both the top and bottom of the card. The Minors have a regular number at the top, and the suit symbol at the bottom. The Courts have the court symbol on top, and suit symbol on bottom.

The suits are Books (Wands), Chalices (Cups), Swords and Spheres (Pentacles).

This deck has a unique take on the Courts. The Knaves/Pages are Unicorns. The Knights are Griffins. The Queens are Phoenixes and the Kings are Dragons. I admire the idea behind this creativity, but it is difficult for me to tell the difference between the Griffins, Phoenixes and Dragons at first glance. The Court symbols at the top of the card are not much help, especially between the Griffins and Dragons. I would have loved to have been able to differentiate between them more easily. I wish they were creatures as different as the Unicorn to tell apart. In addition, within the creature groups themselves, there is nothing that feels different about them. So all the Knights/Griffins look the same, all the Dragons look the same. There is nothing that makes one of the Dragons look or feel more like a King of Cups as opposed to a King of Swords, other than the suit symbol appearing in some of the cards (but not all!).

Yet another thing that does not help is that the colors of the court symbols (on the tops of the cards) match along suits, not station. (The Swords Court symbols are maroon, the Pentacles Court symbols are yellow. So the symbols for the Unicorn, Griffin, Phoenix and Dragon of Swords are all maroon. Which means there are four different colored dragons, four different colored griffins. As they are already hard for me to differentiate, it would have been easier if all the Dragon symbols were one color, etc.

There is something I did find interesting about what the creators did with the Court Cards, which I will address below in the LWB section. But as far as the execution of the Courts as readable and/or distinguishable from each other, these were a huge fail for me.

As for the rest of the deck, the artwork is gorgeous and there is a fluid balance of feminine and masculine energy, which I find very refreshing.

Even though the Fool doesn't have a very naive vibe to me, the artwork is just stunning and mesmerizing. There is quite a bit of romantic/fantasy surrealism in the images, which really calls to me. I don't even understand the story behind the Wheel of Fortune, but it captivates me and draws me in. There are a lot of cards like that in this deck.

The Hanged Man is a woman, with a snake wrapped around her. It is one of the most (if not THE most) beautiful Hanged Man cards I've seen. The Moon is another unusual depiction, with the reflection of a woman in a mirror. The LWB says, "You think you are looking at reality, but it is your own projections. Look around the mirror, leaving your expectations behind, and you will discover a different reality." I really liked this description.

The World card features a woman, but instead of the usual creatures in the four corners of the card, as you would find in RWS decks, this woman is surrounded by the four creatures that represent the Court cards. These four animals also appear in the Ten of Swords and Ten of Wands (and perhaps others I have missed).

The Six of Books/Wands takes me back to a scene in the 80's movie The Golden Child (same half-woman, half-serpent shape behind a screen). So that's a fun blast from the past!

There are a lot of cards that don't make sense if you are used to RWS meanings. Just to give one example, the Three of Books/Wands, for example, shows a couple asleep, which feels much more to me like a Four of Swords moment. These types of depictions, coupled with the Court card issues definitely puts this deck into the category of Not For Beginners.

There are lots of delightful fantastical beings in this deck, like the adorable creatures in the Four of Chalices and Two of Spheres and the cute living tree in the Nine of Spheres. There are also robotic elements in the deck. The cards are full of variety and surprises.

There is a palpable feeling of flow when you look at the cards. They feel as though they are gently in motion. It really does feel like being in another world.

How it Reads
My first draw with this deck was the Knight/Griffin of Wands, which indicated lots of activity in the sun. I spent the day weeding in the backyard, so that was spot on.

The next day I drew the Four of Swords and Wheel of Fortune. The Four of Swords is more often than not my "relax in the bath" card. So these cards were telling me to relax from a LOT of recent activity.

Next I drew the King/Dragon of Books/Wands, and it didn't really make much sense for my day.

The next day was the King of Swords, Knight of Books/Wands and The World. I had just vented to a friend about having had to open a Paypal claim against an unresponsive seller regarding a damaged product I received. The King of Swords was Paypal (the objective, impartial judge), the Knight of Wands was my fury about the situation (having been ignored by the seller for so long), and the World was there to tell me that everything always works out for me in the end. The cards were reassuring me that everything would eventually be okay. (It was... I ended up with a full refund from Paypal.)

The next day I drew a few cards, where the Three of Books/Wands (mentioned above, with a sleeping couple) actually did represent a place where people sleep. So the card image, rather than the RWS meaning, was what I used in my reading. But the outcome card didn't end up making sense in the situation.

I asked a yes/no question from this deck, and got a clear Yes answer, but later found out the answer was no. So that was a miss.

As beautiful as the imagery is (and it really is so beautiful), I didn't really connect with this deck. So at the end of my week with it, I asked it "What do I need to know right now?" And it gave me the King of Cups (one of those blasted Dragons!). I laughed and took this to mean that I was not meant to connect emotionally with this deck right now. Then I asked if the deck had any parting words, and I drew the Queen/Phoenix of Swords. Ha! Another Court! So I asked, "Is this just not the deck for me right now?" and I drew the Queen/Phoenix of Books/Wands - I kid you not! It shows a phoenix in flight, and I heard "Take off!" What a very cheeky good-bye to this deck! At least it had a good sense of humor!

This deck has one of the most interesting Little White Books I've seen. On the first page: "Imagine a Fantasy World where there are 3 Gods (Knowledge, Creativity, War) and 3 Goddesses (Magic, Receptivity, Love). Each of these Gods/Goddesses manifests in a different form (or put another way, show us a different facet of their being) in the three planes: Material, Intellectual, Spiritual." The book then goes on to separate the Major Arcana into these six categories, with each category having a Material, Intellectual and Spiritual card. For example, the Goddess of Magic appears as the High Priestess (Material), Hanged Man (Intellectual) and Star (Spiritual). The Material, Intellectual, Spiritual assignments are found in the Meanings section of the LWB. The God of War appears as the Chariot, Death and Tower. There are three cards unassigned by a God or Goddess, but fall under the Seeker diety (Magician, Wheel and Devil). This category of cards has "no shape, no focus, except that it's different from the others and it's looking for something more, something outside, something forgotten or not yet discovered." The Fool is not included in these groupings at all.

Another interesting facet of this LWB is a section titled "Advanced Study". Each numbered Minor Arcana card is given an invisible "court aspect" where it is assigned a court card. This section tells you how to calculate the corresponding court card. So for example, the 7 of Wands is associated with the Griffin (Knight), giving you another optional layer to your reading with the Minors.

Next is a 6-card spread called "The Epic Tale of Your Life".

Each card in the deck (except for the Fool) is given a title. The Moon is "The Maiden Behind the Mirror". The Ten of Books/Wands is "The Book Compels".

The book can be helpful when looking for answers when a card doesn't seem to match your inner meaning for it. For example, most of us see the Ten of Wands as a card of burden. The card in this deck is very different. "When all aspects of yourself are integrated, you can see the whole story from the points of view of all of the characters. You can also see that there is really no end of the story, so you keep writing." In the background of the card are all four court animals, bringing home the idea of looking at a situation from all points of view. While this still doesn't fit with the RWS meaning, the LWB excerpts at least help you understand what the images are trying to convey.

Final Thoughts
This is definitely not a deck for beginners. But if the imagery calls to you, and you are open to reading purely intuitively, it really is a gorgeous deck. It didn't work as a tarot for me. I think it might read better as an oracle deck than a tarot, and I can see it being fabulous for storytelling type readings!

Deck: Epic Tarot (by Riccardo Minetti and Paolo Martinello, published by Lo Scarabeo, distributed in the US by Llewellyn.)

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

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.

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.