Welcome to Magickal-Musings!

Greetings All ~

I thank you for stopping by. I hope you'll make yourself comfortable & stay a while. I have a great many things to share that I believe are interesting & I hope that you will find them interesting as well. Please friend me also on Facebook. I'm there under "Nefer Khepri" & I hope you will also visit my site, Magickal-Musings.com. I wish you all many blessings.

Friday, December 9, 2011

DECK REVIEW: Celebration of Love Oracle Cards

Celebration of Love Oracle Cards     
Eva M. Sakmar-Sullivan
ISBN #: 978-0-7643-3183-1
USD $24.99

The visionary art of Eva Shakmar-Sullivan apears on greeting cards, CD covers, & in a beautiful oracle deck. Dominated by images of dolphins, angels and unicorns the cards are conveyed in beautiful shades of blue and purple accented with bright colors that seem to pop off the cards (yellow, orange, white, etc ...). The Celebration of Love Oracle Cards are quite beautiful and they have a serene and peaceful energy to them. The paintings used for this deck were painted with acrylics. The colors are vibrant, yet also calming. Other creatures, such as fairies, are also present so this is a deck that will please lovers of angels, dolphins, unicorns, and fairies.

There are 60 cards in the deck measuring 3 1/2" X 5" that are housed in a sturdy laminated cardboard box containing a guide book the same size as the cards. Serving as the card back is the image for the card, "Grounding" (see above for card back). This deck is not meant to be read in reverse, therefore the cardback is not reversible. The guidebook is a 96 page paperback. Each card is interpreted and also contains a separate "Special Message." Using this deck I found it to have a lovely energy and it has given me encouraging and supportive readings.  Each card is titled across the top and there is also a sub-title across the bottom that presents the user with a general overview of the meaning of the card.  All cards have a dark blue background.

For the most part, images are rendered in portrait orientation.  However, unlike the vast majority of decks, some card images are presented in landscape orientation that takes up approximately two-thirds of the card's surface, but the entire card itself is still labeled in portrait orientation.  An example is "Cheerfulness" here to the right where we can see a group of unicorns out for a romp on the night of the full moon.  Some may think that having both portrait and landscape oriented images in the same deck would make for a strange looking layout when using conventional card spreads such as any 3-card spread or the traditional Celtic Cross, for example. However, I find that it adds an interesting dynamic to the reading and if you pay attention you can catch extra little nuances in the manner in which images spatially relate to one another. 

The card stock is of excellent quality:  firm, well laminated, yet cards shuffle easily.  The laminate feels very thin, does not cause the cards to stick together after a few shuffles to break them in (even in the humid environment of the Texas Gulf Coast so that's really saying something!), and I believe this deck will hold up well with years of use.

I would highly recommend this deck to beginners or to someone who may be well-versed in tarot, but does not feel comfortable with oracle decks.  For the beginner this is a nice deck because the card interpretations are short and you can choose whether or not to memorize them.  An introductory section on how to cleanse and bless the cards to prepare them for their first use is provided in the guidebook.  A meditation is also included that can be used with whichever card is of the most interest at any given time.  The cards are illustrated in the guidebook in black and white at approximately 25% of their full size with a few appearing as large as 75% of their full size, which is great for beginners who wish to study the book first prior to using the cards. 

Each time I use the Celebration of Love Oracle Cards I am filled with a sense of peace.  It is obvoius to me that the art was created from a place of love and with a desire to spread positive energy on to others.  Anyone who enjoys helpful and uplifting messages will love this deck.  If you're a lover of dolphins and/or angels, I am sure you will find this deck to be quite lovely and enjoyable to use.


Nefer Khepri, Ph.D., R. M-T.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

DECK REVIEW: King Solomon Cards

King Solomon Cards
Itzhak Mizrahi
Orna Ben-Shoshan, art & design desigttp://kabbalahinsights.com/products/king-solomon-cards
Self-published version
USD $46.00 Quantity & combination discounts are available

Although published by US Games, if you are interested in collecting decks as I am, you will want to dish out the extra cash and treat yourself to the self-published version of The King Solomon Cards (available from the link above) for several reasons. The cards come housed in a sturdy wooden box with a metal hinged lid and metal latch (gold color for all). There is a clear sticker on the lid with the title of the cards and this makes it look like the title is printed directly on the wood. The base of the box has another clear sticker that has the publishing information. The colorful label you see in the picture slides right off the box. I am trying to keep mine in good condition so I keep it around the box when the cards are not in use.

Within the box you will find one 3 X 5" 54-page guide book. The cards measure 3 X 4 3/4" and there are 36 cards, plus four extra cards you can use as amulets to bring you various blessings. The base of the interior of the box is lined with felt and the cards come wrapped in a bluish lavender silk cloth. This is a VERY nice packaging job and if I could package my own deck in any way I wish, I would choose this method myself.

The cards have a nice laminate on them. It's not stiff so the cards are easy to shuffle, yet the laminate is good enough that the cards will stand up to years of shuffling. Each card is numbered, 1 - 36 and the interpretations in the guide book contain the same numbers so it's simple to find each card that appears in a reading. The photo here shows you the color of the cloth, the guide book (lower left), the deck of cards, and the four bonus cards (lower right). The cards have a dark blue border and the card backs are light aqua-blue.

 The artwork by Orna Ben-Shoshan, is characterized by lovely bright colors. Rendered in the same whimsical style as her 72 Names of God deck, the cards are illustrated with figures in surrealistic dream-like settings and landscapes.

Personally, I find the deck to have a very nice "feel" to it. It has good energy and I was able to start using it for readings right out of the box. It did not require cleansing or charging prior to use. Readings are concise and the authors recommend you draw only one card for each question and that you do not approach the deck with the same question twice in a week, which is really good advice for any type of tarot or oracle deck.

The card interpretations are provided on four levels: Situation, Person, Advice, and they each also have an inverted meaning in case they appear reversed in a reading. Interpretations are short and to the point. This is a good deck for beginners as the system itself is quite simple to grasp and the deck provides insightful readings.

 The guide book concludes with several examples of spreads, which are as follows:

· Single Card Spread
           · 3-Card Spread
          · 4-Card Spread
          · Adding a Card to Clarify

This is a delightful set of cards and personally, I really enjoy using them, and I hope those among you who decide to purchase this deck also enjoy them. Note that this same deck is also published by US Games and is available on Amazon, but it is only packaged in a typcal tarot-type cardboard box and does not contain any of the nice extras that you get with the self-published version. The photos for this deck review are of the self-published version, only.

Nefer Khepri, Ph. D., R. M-T.