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September 2010

Palm Reading Lines

Palmistry, also known as chiromancy or palm reading, is divination involving the shape and size of the hand. The lines on the hand, as well as the muscle areas (known as mounds), are also studied and analyzed. Palmistry has been used for thousands of years, and over 2,500 years ago, Aristotle wrote a book on it for Alexander the Great. In the 15th century, many of the mystical arts were condemned as witchcraft, including palm reading.  Unfortunately many who practiced this art were killed, persecuted, or went into hiding at the time.

Palm_Lines A Fate Line
B Girdle of Venus
Heart Line
Life of Mars
Life Line
Marriage Lines
Head Line
H Bracelets


In palm reading, the more pronounced the line—how deep it is—reflects the strength of the qualities of the particular line.

A Fate Line This line runs down the center of the palm, and is also known as the Destiny Line. This line usually reflects the affect the world will have on you, as well as career goals, and adaptability. Not everyone has a Fate Line.
B Girdle of Venus This line reflects sensitivity and emotional stability, as well as romance and desire for outer stimulation. Not everyone has a Girdle of Venus line.

C Heart Line This line reflects your emotional side and the ability to love and be loved. It is also connected to the physical heart. When an individual has a Heart Line that curves on the end, this is known as “physical” Heart Line. Those with this kind of line are usually comfortable expressing needs and emotions—and tend to be confident, assertive, and resilient. When the Heart Line runs straight across the palm, this is known as a “mental” Heart Line. Individuals with a mental Heart Line may find it difficult to express their emotions, yet, they are sensitive and easily hurt.

D Line of Mars This line is also called the “Sister Line”, and runs parallel to the Life Line. It is considered a very auspicious line, and to have one is to almost have two Life Lines. The Mars Line accompanies and strengthens the constitution denoted by the Life Line.

E Life Line This line is the subject of a popular misconception—that the Life Line reflects how long you will live. In actuality, the Life Line reflects the vitality of your life—how physically hardy you are, and how much you enjoy life.  The Life Line indicates important life changes. This line is considered the most important line, and all other lines are usually read in the context of the Life Line.

F Marriage Lines These horizontal lines are also known as Relationship Lines, and indicates major relationships—as well as the desire to enter intimate relationships and commitments.
G Head Line This major line signifies mental capacity and concentration, as well as the ability to reason.
H Bracelets Also known as Rascettes, these lines are found circling the palm side of the wrist—usually three in number.  Bracelets indicate general health; if these lines are clearly defined, good health is indicated.
Stay tuned for Palm Reading Mounds!

-- Janet Boyer

Renaissance Soul

R soul Some have asked me what my blog's tagline Renaissance Soul Ablaze means. Here's a review I did of the book that inspired me several years ago.

“Renaissance Souls love nothing better than to take on a new problem or situation and then dig into…until we master the challenge we’ve set for ourselves. And then, with fresh enthusiasm, we move on to another passion. We are lucky people who, if left to our own devices, are never bored for long.” – Margaret Lobenstine in The Renaissance Soul

Do you resist confining yourself to just one hobby or career? Are book outlets and libraries candy stores to you? Do friends suggest that you become a contestant on game shows because you know “something about everything”? Are you capable of becoming passionately excited about a wide variety of subjects? Do you find yourself interrupting yourself, dropping one task to pick up another before it’s done?

Ben 150 If any of these descriptions sound like you, then you’re probably a Renaissance Soul. Unlike the Mozarts of the world who always knew what they wanted to do in life or enjoyed sticking to one discipline, Renaissance Souls are the Ben Franklins of the world. That is, we have many concurrent interests and the idea of settling on “just one” (or even two) makes us nervous and nauseous.

Most of the world operates on the idea that “settling on a career” or “getting focused” by steadily climbing the corporate ladder over decades is the “right”—and secure—way to live. However, for a Renaissance Soul to attempt to squeeze in such a confining mindset is almost like a living death.

Despite a long, proud history of inventiveness and cultural influence among the ranks of Renaissance Souls, parents, teachers, and the social climate at large insist that we are somehow defective. This often leaves us feeling discouraged, frustrated, and confused. Why are we like this? Why can’t we be “normal”, and limit our passions, hobbies, and career endeavors to “just one”?

Leo Fortunately for us, author and life-coach Margaret Lobenstine has written a book especially for Renaissance Souls, offering encouragement, validation, and practical tools for living a fulfilling, joyful life. The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One is an incredible resource that explains the difference between choice and focus, shows how to thrive on many interests without feeling scattered, and equips individuals with powerful life-design strategies.

Lobenstine also illustrates how Renaissance Souls can transform a day job so that it carries dreams forward, learn a new field without going back to school, and get paid for your passions. However, even if money isn’t your goal and you just want to be able to explore, engage, and enjoy your multitude of interests, the author provides wonderful exercises for getting the most out of your pursuits.

The section called The Ice-Cream Sampler alone is worth the price of the book! Lobenstine—also a Renaissance Soul—can sympathize with the dilemma that “choosing has often meant losing”. However, she helps her fellow Renaissance Souls learn an invaluable tool called Focal Point Strategy. By using the analogy of sampling dozens of ice cream flavors “four flavors at a time”, the author demonstrates the mechanics and benefits of focusing your interests. Focusing, she asserts, brings more, not less, to a world of possibilities—offering variety with clarity and concentration. She writes:

Palette “I can’t emphasize enough what a powerful difference it makes in a Renaissance Soul’s life to feel free to focus on three or four or five things for now, and let others wait until later. We simply can’t juggle dozens of interests at once. And yet, there is a kind of abundance that flows from establishing a tighter focus.”

As one who has had many interests throughout life—some of which I’ve explored in depth for years—I’m all too familiar with having so many interests, that paralysis sets in when trying to decide what to do next. I’ve been a minister, a teacher, a counselor, an editor, an interior decorator, a credit solicitor, a webmaster, and free-lance writer. I’m an author, reviewer, social media maven, home schooling Mom, and a professional Tarot reader and teacher. I was surprised and comforted to learn that there are many people out there like me and we have a name: Renaissance Souls.

Another invaluable tool from the book is the “Five from Fifty” exercise where you decide your five main values right now. According to Lobenstine:

Sky fly “People who aren’t fully committed to the values that their activities represent sputter through life, pulled in one direction by their commitments and in another by their spirits.”

Not only does she show Renaissance Souls how to choose their five most important values, but she also demonstrates how to run activities through the filter of “Whose values are these? Mine or someone else’s?”

One of my personal study projects, lasting years, has been personality systems. One of these systems—the Enneagram—demonizes Type 7’s for not focusing, claiming that we have a multitude of interests because we’re trying to run from or hide extreme emotional pain. Hogwash! I bought that silly lie for several years and finally realized it just isn’t true. A Type 7’s salvation isn’t being like a Type 5, hunkering down and choosing “just one” focus to exhaust ad infinitum until we transform ourselves into a boring, single-minded geek.

I came across The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One quite by accident while in large chain bookstore. In fact, I was on my way out of the bathroom—heading towards the coffee counter before leaving—when I saw this book on a display. After I read the dust jacket, I knew this was a book written for people just like me…and bought it immediately.

Type7F While the entire book is a gold mine for Renaissance Souls, the Focal Point Strategy has been invaluable for me. I now realize that I can pursue all my interests—just not all at once. This strategy has freed up amazing amounts of time and energy, helping me to get the most out of what I’ve chosen to do and curing me of “analysis paralysis”. If you’re a Renaissance Soul or a Type 7 in the Enneagram, this book is an incredible resource for staying on track, sucking the marrow out of life (and your interests), using your unique personality to your advantage, and celebrating the spirit of the Renaissance Soul.

-- Janet Boyer

BIT Tarot Method - What Is It?

BIT COVER 250 At first glance, my BIT Tarot Method—which I introduced in my book Back in Time Tarot—may seem deceptively simple.

While easy to perform, the benefits can be monumental—especially for those attempting to learn Tarot and/or bond with a particular deck. This is because associations created from your own personal “database”—your observations, impressions, assumptions, correlations, sensory memories—come from YOU, not some outside source like a Tarot book or expert.

As you well know from experiencing (and reliving) certain memories, the past—and our personal associations and assumptions—are never far from us. So when we merge the personal and the immediate with a particular Tarot card, we will likely remember it well for readings. In other words, the BIT Method, if practiced, will give you the gift of never having to grope for a Tarot meaning, ever again!

In a nutshell, my Back in Time (BIT) Method (the basis of my book Back in Time Tarot) goes like this:

1. Think of any incident from the past, whether it's one second ago or millennia ago. It can be a memory, an overheard discussion, a news story, world event, biographical profile, historical milestone, movie, TV, book, song, fairytale—anything.

2. After you have one particular memory in mind, take a moment to break down that memory into a few components. (Or, if you're adventurous or Tarot-savvy, as many components as you'd like!)

FT 13 3. Go through any Tarot deck with an illustrated Minor Arcana (that is, a deck that shows people and situations on cards Ace through Ten) FACE UP. Choose a card (or cards) that best represent each component of your memory from #2. Your choices can be based on attire, visage, posture, colors, environment, card name, numbers, symbols, animals, objects, people, emotions evoked when you see it, "gut feeling", etc. It’s impossible to do my BIT Method “wrong”. Anything that causes you to connect a card (or cards) with a component is correct for you, according to your own reasons!

4. I encourage you to journal your associations and reasons in either a notebook, word processing program, personal blog—whatever works best for you—so your association becomes further cemented in your mind. By associating memories with various cards, you are, in a sense, "imprinting" on a particular card. You know how some parents put their kids' hands in clay, and then bake the impression for posterity? Or how a baby duck “imprints” on the first life form it sees?  Well, my BIT Method is sorta like that—except you're "imprinting" the Tarot card/s and deck/s of your choice with your own personal associations--making any deck that resonates at first blush truly "yours".

5. Congratulations! You've just completed a BIT Snapshot!

FT 14 I’d love to hear of your experiences with my BIT Tarot Method, so please feel free to comment on any BIT Snapshots here on my blog or via email. In fact, if you’re game, create your own BIT Snapshot and send it to me for a “guest post” here on my blog! You can remain anonymous, or include your name and/or bio to go along with your post. Above all, remember: have fun!

If you'd like to read an excerpt from my book Back in Time Tarot, please click here.

To read what other's are saying about my innovative BIT Tarot Method, please click here.

To buy my book from, click here. Do you have a Kindle? There's a Kindle version of my book, too!

Completely new to Tarot? Clueless about the cards? My book happens to have the ENTIRE Universal Waite published in grayscale--so you don't even need to own a deck to get started...just you, a story, a movie, paper, pen, a keyboard... It's that easy!

The two cards used here are from the lovely Fairy Tale Tarot by Lisa Hunt. Click here to read my review of this delightful deck.

-- Janet Boyer

Janet Boyer Interviews Reading Adventures

Did you know that it's Book Blogger Appreciation Week?

One of the many cool things about BBAW is the interview swap.
What is an interview swap, you ask?
It's where one book blogger interviews another book blogger in celebration of BBAW!
Marg_avatar I had the privilege of interviewing Marg Bates from the Reading Adventures Blog! Below are my questions for Marg, which she kindly answered for me. Enjoy!
1. Marg, I notice that you use the English spelling of words (favourite as opposed to favorite). May I ask where you are from?

I live in Melbourne, Australia, and yes, we use the English spelling! I have lived in a couple of other cities in Australia, and spent five years in the UK as well.
2. If you had to pick one genre to read, what would you pick--and why?

Don't make me pick just one genre! I like to read across a variety of genres because I think it helps avoid the dreaded reading slump. If I absolutely had to choose, then it would have to be historical fiction. I love reading about people and events in the past and there are some really good historical fiction authors out there right now!

3. I don't like reading history because most of it is rendered dry and boring...but I'd like to expand my horizons and I see that you specialize in historical fiction! What books would you recommend for someone like me that doesn't usually like "history"? Why might I like them?

Tussaud It would depend on what kind of era you would be interested in. Michelle Moran writes very accessible historical fiction set in Egypt, Elizabeth Chadwick writes excellent medieval. If you like drama, adventure and romance, then Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series might do it for you, or Susanna Kearsley writes really, really readable books with a hint of gothic in terms of time travel or ghosts in the style of Mary Stewart.

When written well historical fiction has the ability to transport you away from the here and now to a time where life was very different, but the underlying emotional needs were still the same and therefore you can still relate to the characters.

4. Amelia Earhart is pictured on your blog banner. What affinity do you have with her?

I can't take credit for the inspiration to put Amelia Earhart. When I got my blog redesigned, I gave Alex a pretty vague brief of what I wanted, and she came back with the idea of a 1920's female explorer, saying that she saw me who explored my way through a variety of books, and genres. I was actually very touch when she came back with this theme, and now it is my avatar just about everywhere including on Twitter.

5. Your blog notes that you find it very hard to resist a challenge. What challenge have you taken up in life--reading related or not--that you have found the most rewarding?

I would guess that would have to being a single parent. Some days it is very hard especially juggling full time work, social life, kid's sport and more, but for the most part it is extremely rewarding, and hopefully my son is turning out all right. I think he is.

Q thief 6. What genres seem to have the most interesting plotlines these days, in your experience?

It's hard to go past YA at the moment. Books like the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, the Queen's Thief series from Megan Whalen Turner, and just recently I have discovered the books by Australian author John Marsden. They came out years ago, but I am reading them now and finding them to be really compelling read.

7. What book did you think you WOULDN'T like (or be caught dead reading!) but found that you ended up enjoying?

I am pretty open when it comes to reading. I can't think of a book that I have read recently that I didn't think I was going to enjoy. Maybe part of that is because I don't tend to pick up books that I don't think I will like because there are so many books out there that I do want to read that I am pretty sure that I will enjoy.

8. What do you like most about book blogging? Why do you do it?

This is a tough question to give a short answer to! There are so many fantastic things about book blogging. The main reason I started, and the main reason why I continue to blog, is to be able to talk about the books that I read with other people with a passion for reading. I do have a few other readers in my life, but I am sure that they get bored listening to me rave about book after book, whereas online there is almost an unlimited audience!

Books Book blogging is such a big part of my life now. It takes up loads of time, and some times I put unnecessary pressure on myself to keep up, but I can't imagine not being a book blogger. In a way that amazes me a little bit seeing as I have been doing this for nearly 5 years, and I am still passionate, and finding new ways to participate in the book blogging world.

I get introduced to books that I probably wouldn't have found without other blogger's encouragement. I always read a few genres, but for example, I read a lot more fantasy than I ever read before blogging.

The best thing though is the friends that I have made. There are people who I will likely never meet in real life who I count as friends, and who make my world a better place.

9. Have you ever wanted to write a book? If so, what kind do you see yourself writing?

Oh no, I am not a writer! lol.

Siz 10. I see that you've reviewed Janet Evanonvich's Eve Plum series (I haven't read any of them yet). I once heard an interviewer mention that the guy in her novels has a scar that seems to move to various parts of his body (lack of consistency). Is this true, from what you've read? Does this bother you at all? (If it's not true, just ignore this question!)

Hmmm, I can't remember a moving scar. To be honest I don't really read the Stephanie Plum books for that kind of detail. I am not actually that much of a details oriented reader. What I am looking for in a book is the ability to get lost in the pages. Some times language or details will completely throw me out of the story, but usually once I am immersed in that world it takes me a lot to get out of it.

11. Can you judge a book by its cover? What are your thoughts on appealing (or lackluster) covers?

I would hate to be a book cover designer, especially for those books that have lots of very opinionated readers. I do get a bit bored by the same old, same old covers that you see. For example, the headless woman trend which has been so prevalent in historical fiction over the last few years, and more recently the Twilight-ish covers that seem to have taken over urban fantasy.

For a good cover I want something that gives some reflection of what is in a book, I want something that is pleasing to the eye, and something that you can read on the train or in other public places!
Marg, thank you so much for your time! It's so nice to "meet" your through the Book Blogger Appreciation Week interview swap.

3 Items Writing Prompt

Paper pencils small My husband, son and I enjoy Boyer Story Writing Games. Our favorite is the 3 Items Writing Prompt.

We assign three objects to one another and each must write a story that includes every element.

Here are the prompts from our Saturday night session:

Ron assigned me:

• A tank of propane
• Plank of wood
• Spider

3 item

I assigned Ron:

• A staple gun
• Feather
• Skis

We assigned our 11-year-old:

• A mouse
• Coffee
• Bike

Bike If you want someone to pick three items for you to use in your OWN story, give your Facebook friends or Twitter followers a shout-out for help. Or, ask an online writing group like the Writer’s Digest Community or Ticket to Write Yahoo Group—or even email a friend or text a family member, requesting three random objects.

No one to play with you? Pick up a book and turn to a random page, selecting the first noun you come across. You can also do this with a dictionary, encyclopedia, magazine, Magnetic Poetry kit, CD song list and so on. Or just look around you, picking three items that you see.

Go ahead and try it!

Here’s the first line of my story using the three objects my husband assigned to me:

“She knew the tank of propane would come in handy, especially after Diane stole her book idea.”

Coffee 100 Our son chose to write a true story with his three items:

“Noah rides his bike now and then. He doesn’t ride all the time. Sometimes, when he drinks coffee, he gets energy. The next day, he takes his coffee on the porch. Before he could drink it, he saw that a mouse had died next to the step.”

Here some three-item lists for you to use in your own stories; feel free to mix and match! In fact, I’d love to read any stories you write based on any of these words—or your own Three Item Writing Prompts!

Purple paint unopened letter    rusty skeleton key   caterpillar

yellow chrysanthemums   topaz ring    jack-o-lantern

monocle  cell phone    theater ticket

spoon   false eyelashes   cup of dirt

½-gallon purple paint  comb   ice cube

used teabag  jellyfish   typewriter

Kleenex  snowman sculpture   jackhammer


I'd love to read anything you come up with using the 3 Item Writing Prompt, so feel free to tell me about it!

-- Janet

Ron's Pear Pie Recipe

Ron Pie 2 He paints, he builds bookcases, he sculpts--and yes, folks, he even makes pies! Darn good ones, at that.

In fact, his Pear Pie that he made Saturday was the best pie I've ever had (I kid you not). It was so good, I asked him to write out the recipe so I could share it with you. Isn't he sweet?


4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 ¾ Cups Butter-flavored Crisco
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 Egg
½ Cup Cold Water

Mix the flour, Crisco, sugar and salt with a fork until the mixture is fine crumbs. In a separate bowl, beat the vinegar, egg and water. With a fork, combine wet and dry ingredients. Form a ball, and then chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

When it’s time to make the crust, separate the ball into quarters (fourths). Set aside 1 quarter for the top crust and another quarter for the bottom crust. Take another quarter and cut it in half, adding ½ to the top crust dough and the other ½ to the bottom crust dough (one quarter of the total dough will be extra). Lightly flour work surface and use a floured rolling pin to roll out the top and bottom crust. Do NOT knead the dough by hand. Use the extra quarter dough within several days or freeze.



8 Cups Bartlett pears (peeled and thinly sliced)
1 Cup sugar (plus optional extra sugar for top crust)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon vanilla
3-4 dashes of nutmeg
1/8 Cup finely crushed corn flakes (cereal)

In a large mixing bowl, combine sliced pears, vanilla and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add dry mixture to pears, mixing by hand. On top of the bottom piecrust, evenly sprinkle the finely crushed corn flakes. Gently pour pear filling into prepared pan. Place top crust over filling. With a knife, make a few slits in the top crust. If desired, sprinkle sugar evenly on top crust.

Place pie pan on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 F for 50 minutes.


-- Janet

Immi's Gift

Immi "I had written her story and drawn her again and again, but this little girl I knew so well did not have a name. Then I came across the Inuit name Immi and knew it was right for her. It was only much later that I found out Immi is short for Immiayuk, meaning echo, a word that seems very fitting for this story." - Karin Littlewood, author and illustrator of Immi's Gift

Alone in a frozen white land, Immi breaks a hole in the ice to fish for her supper.

Having already caught a few fish, she thought she try to get one more--in case anyone comes around (which they hardly did).

Much to her surprise, Immi finds a painted little wooden bird at the end of her fishing line. This delightful discovery leads Immi to find more colorful items at the end of her line--a red flower, a purple feather, a green leaf and an orange starfish.

Soon, Immi's igloo was the brightest thing in the land!

Immi's Gift, written and illustrated by British watercolorist Karin Littlewood, conveys an unusual tale of a solitary girl finding a host of colorful objects through her frozen fishing hole. Inspired by these unexpected items, Immi then drops her own beloved pendant--a white bear from her necklace--into the icy water.

What results is a cross-cultural exchange--albeit a bit fantastical one--that inspires wonderment in both children and adults alike.

This book would make a delightful gift for children; rather than a straightforward tale (like most children's books), Immi's Gift (Peachtree Publishers) invites speculation and conversation, which would make it a great book for parents or caregivers and children to share together.

For example, why is Immi alone? Where are her parents? How does she survive the arctic conditions? Where might she, and the little boy, live in the world?

Beautifully painted by veteran artist (but first-time author) Littlewood, the gentle story of Immi's Gift would make a wonderful addition to any child's library.

-- Janet Boyer

Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels

Vampyre Cover 200 “Our mind is adept at using irrational fears to protect itself from unknown primal emotions and instincts. We become rooted in a fear of the ‘other’—whether it be fear of others who seem different than us, unresolved psychological issues, or fears about our place in the natural cycles of life and death, love and separation. One of our biggest fears as humans is the fear of loss, whether of the self or of a loved one. On a personal, the fear of losing the self often reveals itself when we experience romantic love. The Vampyre myth illustrates this idea with relish…Our conscious mind resists such surrender for fear of losing our identity, while our unconscious hungers for release from the tight grip of the ego, into a place of boundless love and belonging.” – From Phantasmagoria, the companion book to the Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels

Firey crosses and bloodstained lips, pallid creatures and hairy horned beasts, purple roses and ornate skulls—this is the stuff of the Tarot of Vampyres.

While the Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels isn’t the first Gothic, vampire-themed Tarot to enter the marketplace, it’s arguably the finest—thanks to both the superb card illustrations and the exceptional 301-page companion book.

Vampyre 2 A veritable (blood) feast for those who love vampires, the Tarot of Vampyres box set delights the eyes with unexpected coloring (emerald roses!), painting effects (airbrush glows!), intricate details (dress fringe!) and photorealistic renderings of human, animal and beast.

In fact, the Tarot of Vampyres may very well enchant those lacking interest in the vampire craze or so-called “dark” decks. I know this first-hand, because I’m now under its spell! Never expecting to be so enamored with a vampire deck, I find myself grabbing for these cards for most personal readings these days. It reads so clearly and honestly, and I admire its unusual, dynamic perspective on familiar archetypes.

Measuring approximately 4 ¾ x 2 ¾ inches, the cards of the Tarot of Vampyres feature a thin black border around the illustrations and an ornate stonework banner at the bottom. The Major Arcana lacks numbering and the Minor suits follow the designation of Knives (Swords), Scepters (Wands), Grails (Cups) and Skulls (Pentacles). The almost-but-not-quite reversible backings depict thorny, intertwined branches with a red rose in the middle, and the background looks to be blood-spattered stone (a grave marker, perhaps?).

It would be enough to own this lavish deck, but the Phantasmagoria book is (far) beyond most deck companions. You’ll not find fluff here, although Ian Daniels (who also wrote the book) possesses poetic prowess (say THAT three times fast!). Nor will you find a shallow understanding of Tarot and related metaphysical fields (as in many Llewellyn Tarot deck companion books—and you KNOW what I mean).

Vampyre 3 What IS remarkable about the Tarot of Vampyres companion is its intelligence, insight and perspective—on both Tarot AND esoteric wisdom. You’ll find solid Kabbalistic correlations and explanations in Phantasmagoria, as well as astrological and numerological considerations.

But what I find especially impressive about Phantasmagoria is the author’s spiritual and psychological understanding of the vampire mythos and how it relates to everyday life—including human longing, fears and responses. The way he correlates these profound insights with each Tarot card—weaving in numerological, Kabbalistic, astrological and Jungian considerations—truly an amazing treat.

Absorbing, profound, informative, illuminating—all these words apply to the companion book. What an incredible surprise for me! And the cards? Can bloody figures be beautiful? Can demonic creatures be beguiling? Can skulls be lovely, graveyards inviting and dead branches alluring? Can vampire cards be—dare I say it—spiritual? Yes!

If you cross hand-painted versions of Ciro Marchetti’s detailed digital art (especially fabric fringing and metal work) with Will Worthington’s sumptuous egg tempera pieces—and apply that to gothic creatures and landscapes—you’ll get an idea of the luscious illustrations in the Tarot of Vampyres.

Vampyre 10 I have only two minor criticisms of this box set: firstly, the companion book does NOT contain grayscale replications of each card. If you’re like me and enjoy reading a companion book without having to lug around the actual cards (say, as your relaxing outside), then this is a bit of a pain (although Daniels does adequately describe most cards).

Also, I feel that such a fine box set deserved an ornate bag—or ANY bag, really. However, all we get is the plain white cardboard box to store the cards. Speaking of cards, make sure you check your set! Mine was missing the 9 of Scepters, but had two 10 of Scepters cards. After emailing Llewellyn Customer Service a super-friendly and competent gal named Jackie responded right back and I had a replacement card within a week (not to mention great recommends on Flux titles and some catalogues!).

Having said that, the Tarot of Vampyres blows away brethren decks like Bob Place’s Vampire Tarot (don’t like it) and the Bohemian Gothic Tarot (can’t compete with this set). However, I will say that I adore the art of the CGI Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night just as well as the Tarot of Vampyres—or maybe a bit more so, because I feel that Davide Corsi’s deck displays a bit more variety than the Tarot of Vampyres (for example, older vampires, half-bat creatures, coffins and range of emotion).

If you’re into vampires, you must get the Tarot of Vampyres ASAP (if you already haven’t). The companion book is packed with card meanings, symbolism, spreads, alchemical correlations, personal card portraits and charts. Even if you’re not “into” vampires (I’m not), you may find this box set a special, unexpected treasure; at the very least, it would be great for Halloween readings or to have as an art deck!

To see 15 more images from this deck, click here.

-- Janet Boyer

Theory of Everything by Children Collide - Australian Band's Second Album Based on Tarot

Collide "When Arthur Edward Waite wrote The Pictorial Key To The Tarot in 1911, it's doubtful any three-card spread or Celtic Cross could have alerted him to the fact that in a century's time (well, give or take a few months) the divinatory powers of the tarot's major arcana would inspire an Australian band's second album." -- Children Collide (Australian band)

According to their official website, Children Collides’ new album The Theory of Everything has been inspired by “the divine powers of the tarot’s major arcana”  and “theoretical physics that attempts to explain all the fundamental interactions of nature and the universe.”

You can sample tracks from The Theory of Everything here.

You can fan on Children Collide at their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.

I've listened to a few tracks and the tunes are enjoyably mellow.

-- Janet Boyer