Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Unearthly Encounters Live! Candy O Donnell, Author & Radio Show Host

Zombie Tarot- Eight of Wands
Tonight, +Mackenzie Knight of Unearthly Encounters Live! and I happily welcome author and radio show host Candy O Donnell to the show, which airs at 8pm Eastern.

Candy, a gifted psychic in her own right, has a new book out- Z Radio! The  Zombie Apocalypse.  She has a zillion interesting stories about the writing life and the paranormal, so this is sure to be a fun show!  Please listen live for your chance to ask Candy a question, or later in archive.

You can visit Candy at:


Unearthly Encounters Live! with Mackenzie Knight welcomes Candy O Donnell

I couldn't resist using The Zombie Tarot for this post, even though it is not my deck of the week.  We can thank Stacey Graham,
Paul Kepple and Ralph Geroni for this beauty, and Quirk Books for publishing it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Unearthly Encounters Live! Chantal Medium

Llewellyn Tarot- Eight of Wands
+Mackenzie Knight, host of Unearthly Encounters Live! and I are pleased to welcome Chantal Medium to a special Sunday show today at 4pm Eastern.

Chantal is a third generation psychic/medium/clairvoyant and she will be giving FREE readings on the show today!  I am excited for this because you know I do a lot of readings, but I get very few done for me.

Please join us live for your free reading, or listen in archive later for what is sure to be a fascinating show!

Chantal Medium on Unearthly Encounters Live! with Mackenzie Knight

This card is a lovingly trimmed Eight of Wands from The Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson, published by Llewellyn.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Deck Review- Snowland Deck: Life Themes Edition

Aiming to break the stereotypes of tarot and to be a deck for more than just fortune telling, the Snowland Deck comes to us from husband and wife (and often son) creative team Ron and Janet Boyer.  Over two years in the making, and soon to be finished in a full 78 card deck, plus four Significator cards, The Snowland Deck has turned out to be a delight.  Janet Boyer is the creative mind behind two tarot books, Back in Time Tarot , published by Hampton Roads Publishing Company, and Tarot in Reverse, published by Schiffer Books, as well as multiple eBooks that concern not only tarot, but chakras, astrology, and mind and body well being.  Ron is a talented artist who has been able to take the scripts given to him by his wife, add his creative flair, and paint a deck that is both magical and practical in use.

Snowland Deck- Fun to open!
At the current time, the deck is available as a Majors only 22 card Life Themes Edition, which came to me beautifully packaged with some extra goodies including a gorgeous blue tarot bag with a sparkling snowflake charm, a blue sodalite pendulum, a snowflake ornament, and an ice cube charm to hold for concentration, not to mention enough glitter to cover the whole table and a few cats!  It was all charmingly packaged with great care, and a personalized thank you card was included.

The couple expects to be ready to ship out full decks by Valentine's Day 2013 and have some pretty great incentives if you preorder by January 31, 2013!  Once the full deck is available, the special Life Themes Edition will go away forever, and the bonus options, including Noah's Card, the special Chillaxin' card, with the preorder are quite an incentive.  Check it out here!
Snowland Deck Extra- Noah's Card

It is never my job to tell you how to think about art, but I can tell you I find the cards whimsical and endearing, while managing to  pack quite a punch.  Janet herself recently wrote a blog post detailing exactly what they meant to do with the Snowland Deck, which was bring tarot into the 21st Century, add to the perceived usefulness of tarot, and take away the supposed barriers to the system while simultaneously preserving the integrity and beauty of tarot as a divinatory tool.

In the Life Themes Edition, you will see many name changes from "traditional" tarot.  They are meant to grab the essence of the archetype while leaving archaic words behind because this is definitely a deck for the modern reader.  I am particuarly entranced with The High Priestess becoming "Oracle" and The Wheel of Fortune making a change to the very sweet "Carousel" card.  There are many ways of presenting traditional archetypes in a new way that are quite clever, and this is a deck that I have found easy to use intuitively while also pushing the boundaries of new ways of interpreting cards.  I am always excited by cards that present themselves with new ways to look at the accepted definitions!

There is no nudity or violence in these images, and they are suitable for all audiences.  I had a great time sitting with my 11 year old daughter and listening to her tell me stories about what is happening in each card, which is essentially what reading tarot is, anyway- interpreting the story the cards are presenting to us.  (As a small aside, she has a bit of zombie fetish and we recently did the same thing with The Zombie Tarot, which had me rolling in hilarity.)

Despite the innocence of the images in this deck, do not be fooled into thinking it fluffy or too cute to bring hard hitting answers.  There are many symbols to look for and grab on to use, and whether you prefer to read intuitively, dive deep into study of a deck, or a combination, you will find plenty of material to work with here!  I am told Janet expects to have a full length book finished by Christmas of 2013, but in the meantime you can delve deep into the cards and get your own Snowland Deck journal full of readings, interpretations, insights, whatever you are feeling.  This deck will be familiar, with a distinct flavor, to anyone who has used tarot before, but it is also easily read by people who have no experience with "traditional" tarot.  I can back this statement up by having tested it on four teenage boys, who had varied and valid reactions to each card.

Snowland Deck- Back
The cards themselves are what I would consider large, coming in at 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches, on flexible stock that probably shuffles easily.  I do not riffle shuffle so I have not put that to the test.  They are lightly laminated and feel satin-y in the hand.  The borders are, appropriately, white, with titles at the bottom.  There is no numbering of the cards in this edition so you can place Strength and Justice wherever suits you as a reader.  The backs are fully reversible, blue with a white snowflake pattern.

I have included several images from the Life Themes Edition, but you can order the full deck in total confidence that the images resonate with you, because Ron and Janet Boyer have graciously provided all of them to us on their site.  This is a very confident move that few tarot deck publishers or creators take, due to the risk of piracy and unlicensed use of images but it is also a favor that makes decision making easier for most buyers, as well as proclaiming a kind of faith in the universe that the deck will find its' perfect audience.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit with the Snowland Deck enough today that you will step into the world on a regular basis.  May you find some of your own magic there, and leave with some from this snowy, glittery world!

Snowland Deck- Temperance, Teaching (The Hierophant), Oracle (The High Priestess)

Snowland Deck- Magic (The Magician, Strength, Impermanence (Death)

Snowland Deck- Commitment (The Lovers), The Hermit, The Moon

These images are from The Snowland Deck: Life Themes Edition, self published by Ron and Janet Boyer, available directly from them here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Guest Post From A Tarot Newbie- Tarot Foundations by Brigit Esselmont

Mark & Mandy in SIL's kitchen
(Sadly, right before the Broncos
blew their playoff game.)
Hello, hello everyone!  Today you get a break from me and my writing, and we begin a week long countdown to an exciting giveaway here at 78 Whispers!  In the meantime, I have recruited a handsome, funny, articulate man (my husband Mark) to share his thoughts on Tarot Foundations: 31 Days to Read Tarot with Confidence by Brigit Esselmont, because while I am an avid reader of everything pertaining to tarot, my great passion, I am also experienced at reading tarot.  That does not mean this book has not been helpful to me; far from it!  I learned something from every single Lesson and Activity, and that is astounding to me!  But I thought you may enjoy the thoughts of someone who owns a deck of tarot cards only because he won them at San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium  (they happen to be The Steele Wizard Tarot, self published by the amazing Pamela Steele) which he attended to be with me (and be in San Francisco, our favorite city we dream of moving to), and has never read a tarot book in his life.  I think he gave me one reading, in which he predicted my death (just kidding, just kidding) but the deck is so suited to his personality he has enjoyed just looking through it, though not much more.

If you would like to get caught up on my work with Tarot Foundations: 31 Days to Read Tarot with Confidence you can find those posts here.

So, with no further adieu, please welcome Mark to 78 Whispers!

Hi All!

I was asked by the lovely Amanda to write a guest blog for my take on Brigit Esselmont’s Tarot Foundations: 31 Days to Read Tarot with Confidence.  I will tell you now that I have no experience with Tarot decks other than watching the magic performed by other professionals.  I am the equivalent of a roadie, always around to enjoy the show but not skillful or confident enough to step into the spotlight.

Since Amanda has been a practicing Tarot reader for some time, quite experienced in readings and the intricacies of the cards, she asked for my take, a beginner’s take, on Brigit’s book.  After all I am the target audience.  I am, to say the least, a conflicting mess of excitement (you mean I can read cards?!?) to terror (I’m no psychic!).  With these emotions I began my journey. 

To my relief I was not asked to set up a booth and practice trial and error on innocents.  Instead the book starts out benignly enough (and right at my speed!) with a simple introduction to the author (who is very encouraging!) and the first five days of setting up your success.  The book is laid out so you expand your knowledge and confidence a little at a time.  Lessons are divided up over 31 days with most lessons only one to three pages in length.  This means you will not be required to invest an innumerable amount of hours into this endeavor.  You can take as much time as you feel comfortable with and can do multiple lessons a day if you feel like you have momentum.  I love the flexibility this offers as I’m sure most of you will appreciate being able to slip this in whenever your busy lives allow.   I feel “lessons” isn’t quite the right word.   These are not boring “do as I tell you” lessons but actually an immersive bonding exercise aligning you spiritually with your deck and yourself.  And did I mention fun?  I quite enjoyed learning about the cards, spreads and feeling more confident as I handled the cards.  These are more like experiences than lessons, as each section has you practicing or engaging with the Tarot on some level.  Just like life each experience builds on the one before it. 

The whole experience is quite insidious (in a good way!) in luring you in and moving you forward.  I am still working my way through my journey as I write this but I feel Brigit has paved a smooth road for me to follow and I assure you I will be speeding down it in short order.  As the title hints this is a foundation and the author does quite well at establishing a framework that I can say I feel comfortable and confident with my capabilities as a future Tarot reader.


Thank you, Handsome, for chiming in!  I think his praise is even more moving than mine, as he is truly starting at basically no knowledge and learning from there.  If you are intrigued and excited, like Mark, you can Click here to visit Biddy Tarot.

(If you purchase anything from this link, I will earn a portion of the sale as an affiliate, but I am not really interested in selling you anything.  I just want to share exciting resources and my own experiences with the cards.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Daily Draw- Two of Pentacles, Seven of Swords, Queen of Cups

Llewellyn Tarot (trimmed)- Two of Pentacles, Seven of Swords, Queen of Cups
Today's cards make me think about the ways we cheat ourselves out of needed personal time, time to relax, meditate, and really recognize ourselves, by the rat race we put ourselves through.

The juggler in the Two of Pentacles is really doing the best they can, and the fox tail they sport makes me think they think they are pretty smart.  And they probably are.  It takes creativity and mental agility to balance love, work, kids, family, hobbies, spirituality, pleasure, rest, duty, all of that, which are represented by the balancing Pentacles.  I usually think I am pretty smart, although I am not exempt from doing dumb things.

Swords are thoughts, communications, ideas, the way we talk to ourselves and others.  Sometimes we tell ourselves that everything we do is necessary, that it has to happen, and sometimes we are right in this.  However, for me, I often recognize that getting really busy is a way to cover up some wounding that needs healing.  When I am not liking myself very much, I suddenly become inundated with things to do, from before sunrise until well after I should be sleeping.  That busy-ness keeps me from doing some hard spiritual work that I need to do at times, and it often keeps me from what I am aware is my true purpose.  The particular imagery of this card, the way the Seven Swords are dispersed, I see that I have five real truths in my mental backpack, one task that I can pass on to someone else to help with by the Sword being carried by the child (this is why my kids have to help with household chores! They live here, too, and very well, I might add...) and at least one thing I am telling myself I need to leave behind as not serving my highest purpose, that Sword laying there on the ground.

The Two of Pentacles and Seven of Swords are facing each other, so in this reading, for me, they are linked together.  They tell a story together.  The Queen of Cups is turned away from the other two cards.  She sees a different way to do things. She is a motherly card, like the Queen of Pentacles I most often associate myself with, but she is not as much about getting a completely balanced meal on the table at a certain time as she is about making sure everyone gets nurtured spiritually, herself included.  She urges that my creative and intuitive spirit needs separate time, time off from a hectic schedule, even if I have to carve that out, drop one Sword on the ground, in order to keep up the pace my family demands.
Llewellyn Tarot (trimmed)- Hanged Man

The Shadow Card, The Hanged Man, is a very telling clue what that Sword I need to leave behind is- martyrdom.  That is actually a very arrogant concept anyway, the belief that I can take on everything for everyone and swoop in like a super hero to save the day for everyone, earning their undying love and gratitude.  I already have their undying love, unearned, and gratitude- well, they are kids.  I am trying to teach them, but it is a process, and I asked for them.  They are owed a certain amount of what I do, and the rest of it comes from my undying love.  I am not Super Woman (expect on some special nights for The Man's pleasure) so pretending I am is a lie, as indicated in the Seven of Swords, not to mention pretty damn arrogant.

Martyrdom is not the only meaning of the Hanged Man, but that is where intuition kicks in- I knew as soon as I saw it I have been playing a martyr to this family, when what they really need is a mother and a wife, words that do not, despite what women often tell themselves (the lie) equal martyr.  So I am going to practice, starting tonight.  I will go to the Little Big Man's basketball game, I will cheer when appropriate, but I will also take my journal and work on some projects all my own in between.  He doesn't need my eyes fixed on him at all moments.  He'll be a rock star no matter what, and I'll feel less resentful if I can both be there for him and myself.


These cards are from The Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson, published by Llewellyn.  I carefully released mine from the borders, but they are quite pretty, as borders go.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tarot Foundations by Brigit Esselmont, Day 16

The holidays, then a round of nasty sickness going through my house, myself, husband, and five kids, and maybe even the dog and cats, threw me off schedule, but I am still going to bring you some great posts about Tarot Foundations: 31 Days to Read Tarot with Confidence by Brigit Esselmont, culminating with an exciting giveaway next week!  If you need to catch up, see the previous posts here.

Today I am working with Day 16: Understand Basic Numerology.  The lesson has to do with how numbers work in the tarot, but if math isn't your thing, don't worry.  Your skills won't be taxed at all!

In her easy going style, Brigit breaks down how each pip card in tarot relates to a number, and what you can count on those numbers to mean.  You don't have to become an expert in numerology to use it well with tarot, either.  A basic understanding, which Brigit makes sure you have in this one lesson, will go far in enhancing your tarot readings, and even help you when you notice numbers elsewhere, like the clock reading 11:11 and you see it all the time.  Tarot knowledge is useful everywhere!

Activity 16.1- Map the Numerological Journey

Select one suit to work with. Take out all the pip cards in that Suit (i.e. from Ace to 10) and lay the cards out in order in front of you (see example to the right).
Now, apply your knowledge of the Suit (e.g. Cups = emotions, relationships, creativity) and your knowledge of numerology to map the journey from the Ace through the Ten.
Note down 2-3 keywords or phrases for each card using only what you know about the Suit and the numerological association.

Llewellyn Tarot, trimmed, Suit of Swords
I like to let tarot guide me, so I shuffled my Llewellyn Tarot, which I am using this week, with the intention that the first suit I encountered would be the one I used for this exercise.  I drew the Five of Swords, and so it was decided!

In my tarot world view, the suit of Swords relates to the element of Air, which is ruled by the astrological signs of Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra.  Swords concern thoughts, words, communications, ideas, conflicts, actions to take, dreams and mental processes.  The Swords suit is more than that, too, but for a start that is pretty good.

  • Ace/Swords- New ideas, new ways of thinking, powerful thoughts to focus
  • Two/Swords-  Choice to be made, pause for consideration, weighing options
  • Three/Swords- Delay in what was desired, thoughts not matching reality, take time out to heal
  • Four/Swords- A moment to let thoughts sink in, pause for breath, prophetic dreams
  • Five/Swords- Faulty thinking patterns, need to assess priorities matching values, deciding if the ends are merit the means
  • Six/Swords- Peace of mind, mental help from a helpful source, moving on mentally
  • Seven/Swords- Need to assess motive, assess faith in ability to provide for self, need to think outside the box
  • Eight/Swords- Need to realize ones' own power, understand you are in this situation with a purpose, deciding for yourself when changes happen
  • Nine/Swords- Self fulfilling prophecy, thinking oneself into a frenzy, finding a solution
  • Ten/Swords- The worst is over now, release, ability to start over

Once complete, revisit your keyword chart and add any new keywords to your chart.  If you have time, repeat for the other suits, including the Major Arcana.

That's it, it was that easy, thanks to Brigit breaking down numerology so succinctly, and even though I have read tarot for quite a while, her methods have helped me add some new keywords to my repertoire.  No such thing as too many options!

Don't forget, along with the purchase of this eBook, you get unlimited access to a special forum on Biddy Tarot dedicated to the use of you and other students on the program, and it is quite affordable.  Click here to visit Biddy Tarot.

(Full disclosure- I do earn a portion of the purchase price if you click on links in this blog, but I affiliate with very few programs because few meet my high standards.  I highly recommend this program and that is why I am writing about it!)

These cards represent the full suit of the Swords pip cards, 1-10, from the Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson, published by Llewellyn.  Mine have been lovingly released of their borders, but the borders were quite pretty.  It is all personal taste.

Monday Majors: My Lens for the Week- The Moon (Surprise, Surprise)

Llewellyn Tarot- The Moon
Today, the Major Arcana I have pulled is The Moon.  On Monday.  Again.

There is no surprise for me in seeing this card, and I particularly love this rendition, the owl gliding on silent wings, the reflection of The Moon on the still of the water.

Reflection is what I am thinking of most as I write this, because The Moon reflects back the light of The Sun, and we ourselves so often act as mirrors to others, reflecting back what we like and dislike about ourselves.  What we admire in others we wish for in ourselves, and what we dislike we usually find repugnant in ourselves, and fear finding, then facing it.

Fear of facing our Shadow selves can cause us to do some crazy things!

It can also cause us to call some crazy names.  All because we don't want to seem crazy.

Since we act as mirrors to other people, you can be sure that thieves are always worried about being stolen from, liars worry about being lied to, and stalkers worry who is watching them.  If someone is trying to set you up, you can know they are watching for you to do the same, so if accusations come out of left field, make sure you examine very carefully what you think to know be true about the other person, and where you may be giving them the benefit of the doubt to your detriment.

On the other hand, when you have negative thoughts about others, it is important to evaluate whether those thoughts are well founded, based in fact, or if you are projecting your Shadow onto them.

"We know that the wildest and most moving dramas are played not in the theatre but in the hearts of ordinary men and women who pass by without exciting attention, and who betray to the world nothing of the conflicts that rage within them except possibly by a nervous breakdown. What is so difficult for the layman to grasp is the fact that in most cases the patients themselves have no suspicion whatever of the internecine war raging in their unconscious. If we remember that there are many people who understand nothing at all about themselves, we shall be less surprised at the realization that there are also people who are utterly unaware of their actual conflicts." ~Carl Jung

This Moon is lovingly trimmed and from The Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson, published by Llewellyn.

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Year's Reso-What?

Llewellyn Tarot- Two of Swords
How are you doing on those New Year's Resolutions?  I myself have never been a fan of them, because they usually last about a day and a half, you fall off the wagon, and then you feel bad about yourself.

I have also come to the conclusion that I am the kind of person who needs to make changes right there, right then, right when I know they need to be made, and not wait for New Year's Day, or Monday, or the first of the month, or when I get paid so I can purchase supplies.  I have to strike while my mental iron is hot.  I have discovered, for me, waiting for those things are just excuses for me to procrastinate...

Which brings me to the first New Year's Proclamations I made this year, not resolution, because they are not powerful, but PROCLAMATION fairly screams don't mess with me.  I proclaimed that I would work on being less of a procrastinator and more of a go getter.  I am a pretty good go getter as it as, but a notorious procrastinator, so imagine what I could do if I reigned that habit in check?  Amazing possibilities!
Llewellyn Tarot- Ten of Cups

The second, last, and most important PROCLAMATION I made was to remain serene in my heart no matter how others around me may act, what they may do, what words may fall from their lips, because I have a terrible habit of taking on everyone's burdens, making pretty, spiritualized excuses for them, and basically allowing bad behavior because that is what a loving person would do, right?


Tough Love is a true concept, and by continually allowing people to act poorly, treat me badly, and excusing it with, "Well they have a rough life" or "Their childhood sucked" or "They just aren't as self aware as I would wish" I am only allowing them to suckle at my teats (that's graphic, huh?) and delaying their spiritual growth, not to mention stifling my own by rolling around in dirt with them.  That does not mean I am the Judge, Jury and Executioner of people who do not act in the best interests of others, but from a selfish, fearful place- far from from it.  I probably will not say a word to anyone.  But in not saying my words is where my washing of my hands is evident.

Llewellyn Tarot- Tower
I messed up my second PROCLAMATION, remaining serene regardless of others, too.  That was lost pretty quickly, although in my defense the welfare of my kids and a literally crazy person was involved.  But I can't let that affect how I greet today.  No more pretty, spiritualized excuses for myself, either.  I learned, I now believe that this person really is who they have shown me they are, and they will get no more opportunities to mess with my inner peace.  They soak up disturbance like a sponge in water, and they are gonna die of dehydration before they get any more from me.  I have always been the kind that has to learn my lessons the hard way, but once I have learned it is indelible on my soul.

So, how go your New Year's Resolutions?  How is 2013 treating you?  How are you treating 2013?

I chose these cards, not pulled them at random, the Two of Swords to represent my procrastination habit, the Ten of Cups to represent what matters most to me, and my inner peace, and The Tower to represent the disturbance of that peace, which, like most Tower moments, was my own fault by not paying attention to the clues that a Tower moment was imminent.

These cards are from a lovingly trimmed Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson, published by Llewellyn.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dr. Barry E. Taff on Unearthly Encounters Live! Today

UFO Tarot- Three of Cups
Today, at 4pm Eastern, in a special Unearthly Encounters Live! with +Mackenzie Knight, we will be talking with Dr. Barry E. Taft, an expert in both alien activity and paranormal activity.  His pedigree is long, his views can be controversial, and this is sure to be an intense, informative, and riveting show!  His latest book, Aliens Above, Ghosts Below is available wherever books are sold, and a fascinating read!

This is the Three of Cups, the image of which just tickled me, from UFO Tarot by Bepi Vigna and Arturo Picca, published by Lo Scarabeo.