Best movie line: “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”
Last thing you splurged on? Red wine.
Bonus Q:Who is your favorite artist? Holly Sierra.
Toney Brooks is a retired broadcast executive, journalist and author of TheMystic Rose(Arthurian mythology). He writes on the theory of cycles, metaphysics, mythology, consciousness and spirituality. He and artistHolly Sierracreated a unique, holistic approach to tarot titled Chrysalis Tarot. Our new deck, which has received wide critical acclaim, is available from Amazon, Holly's Etsy Storeand other booksellers.
There’s a handful (or two) of feline Tarots on the market, but by far the best of them is the Mystical Cats Tarotby Lunaea Weatherstone and Mickie Mueller.
Rather than anthropomorphisizing cats or merely posing them in Rider-Waite-Smith scenarios and stances, the creators took on the challenging task of portraying them in alignment with their varied natures: curious, mischievous, playful, mesmerized, predatory and—of course—lounging.
Some of the 22 Major Arcana have been renamed (I’ll list them later) and the 16 Court Cards become Kitten (Page), Tom (Knight), Queen and King. The 40 Minor Arcana cards are divided into clans: Fire (Wands), Sea (Cups), Sky (Swords) and Earth (Pentacles). Weatherstone says of the four clans:
“Although every cat is unique, they have common affinities and traits that are determined by their clans, both by heritage and by clan culture. It would be difficult for an independent Sky Cat to feel at home among collective-minded Earth Cats, or for a dreamy and psychic Sea Cat to understand the restless urge for adventure that motivates a Fire Cat. Your own cats also belong to one of the clans, though they may not choose to reveal it to you. By observation and deepening your knowledge of clan characteristics, you may come to know them better—and know yourself better as well.”
As with all her Tarot deck companion books, Weatherstone’s prose proves spiritually insightful and psychologically relevant, not to mention an enormously enjoyable read. For every card, she shares a general overview as well as sage “cat’s advice” for both upright and reversed images.
Mueller’s watercolor renderings are adorable, perfectly capturing cat antics both expected and impenetrable. What I love most about her art for the Mystical Cats Tarot, though, is her conscious act of adding herbal infusions to watercolors as part of her artistic process. Catnip made it into the paint for every image, while various card-specific herbs were included based on significance and symbolism. For example, the artist incorporated ginkgo leaf and olive into the Stars card (ginkgo is noted for its memory-enhancing qualities).
Thirteen artist sketches with collaborative notes between Weatherstone and Mueller serves as a nice touch to the 201-page companion book, giving us a behind-the-scenes peek into the often demanding work of deck creation. (Weatherstone’s notes to Mueller about raising up a cat’s head with the flehmen response so it doesn’t look like a Mystical Cat hairball is too funny!)
Cards measure approximately 4 ½ x 2 ¾ inches with a flexible, satin finish card stock that shuffles like a dream, while the attractive mirror-image cat’s paw motif on back is ideal for reading reversals.
There are four spreads included in the companion book, and I’ve tried the 3-card Shield of Sekhmet layout with great success. I look forward tot trying the Nine Lives Spread sometime this year (on a momentous occasion).
I’ve used the Mystical Cats Tarotseveral times within the last few months, and find it extraordinarily accurate—and a delight to use. Whether this is because of Weatherstone and Mueller’s talent or from owning (and loving) cats I can’t be sure. But if you DO adore cats, this is THE Tarot to own, in my opinion.
Here’s a rundown of the (mostly) re-titled Major Arcana cards:
The Cat (Fool)
Cat Magic (Magician)
The Priestess (High Priestess)
The Priest (Hierophant)
The Wheel (Wheel of Fortune)
The Floating Cat (Hanged Man)
Demon Cat (Devil)
Stars (The Stars)
Good Kitty (Judgment)
To see 18 additional images from this deck, click here.
Was having so much fun doing Boyer Charming Oracle charms for the annual A to Z Challenge. Unfortunately, my back decided to act up--so I must stay away from my computer chair for long periods. Ah, maybe next year. :o)
Below is the DICE symbol from our Boyer Charming Oracle that my teen son, Noah, and I have created. While this shiny divination and creativity tool features 60+ charms, I'm now creating a deck based on the charms (click here to keep track of progress on Facebook).
The keywords I've associated with DICE include Games; Risk; Chance; Gambling; Randomness; Shot in the Dark. The Tarot card I've connected to DICE is the Wheel of Fortune--governed by the fickle "Lady Luck" (aka Fortuna).
My favorite definition of luck is "Preparation meeting opportunity".
Throwing dice, also known as "rolling the bones", is intimately connected to all the keywords I've provided. In cruder terms, it's "shit happens"...but also, it's taking a chance, a risk, for a big payoff.
There are several ways to divine with dice. In fact, Richard Craze created a nifty tool called Decision Dice.
But for the most part--whether signified by fuzzy pink cubes hanging from a rear view mirror, a tattoo or even jewelry--DICE connotes a game of some sort. The game of life? Of fate? Of fortune?
When the DICE symbol crosses your path, ask yourself:
Where do I need to take a risk?
Where (and why) am I playing it safe?
If life is a game, what are the rules?
How much of what happens to me is a direct result of my thoughts or actions?
Below is the CAMERA symbol from our Boyer Charming Oracle that my teen son, Noah, and I have created. While this shiny divination and creativity tool features 60+ charms, I'm now creating a deck based on the charms (click here to keep track of progress on Facebook).
The keywords I've assigned to the CAMERA symbol include Recording; Capturing Memories; Documentation; Proof; Eyewitness. The Tarot card I've associated with CAMERA is the 6 of Cups, often connected to nostalgia.
In the late 1830s, daguerreotype was a complex, slow and expensive image recording process. Some still pursue this art form, especially for its "magic mirror" effect.
In the 70s, I remember the Polaroid Instamatic (remember those?). Talk about magical! We didn't have to wait for a roll of film to be processed; nosiree--one snap, out came a white rectangle, 30 seconds elapsed...and there we were!
Nowadays, the camera is ubiquitious, since most people have smartphones--and most people use them as cameras. Online applications like Snapchat and Instagram thrive on digital shutterbugs.
The other day, I came across this prescient quote from Jackie O:
When I see how so many can't even enjoy a meal, flight or TV show without snapping a pic, tagging it and sharing with the world via social media, Jackie's observation seems so timely.
And it begs the question: can one truly live his/her life while recording it? Quantum physics says that the very act of observing an electron will change its behavior. So, if we're anticipating "capturing" a moment, creating a funny quip to go along with and taking the time to post the image--how are we changing what we're doing? Does our participation go deep--or roll like water off a duck's back, only to be remembered via Facebook post (but not in our sensory memory or emotional recall)?
When the CAMERA symbol crosses your path, ask yourself:
Do I really need to record this moment? Why?
How would you live if social media didn't exist?
What is the best way for me to live my life and capture meaningful moments?
Below is the BEE symbol from our Boyer Charming Oracle that my teen son, Noah, and I have created. While this shiny divination and creativity tool features 60+ charms, I'm now creating a deck based on the charms (click here to keep track of progress on Facebook). In fact, below is a prototype of the BEE card (front and back):
The keywords I've assigned to the BEE include Industry; Focus; Service; Do the Job; Task at Hand; Pollination; Soldiering; Busyness; Task Oriented; Workplace; Finish What You Start. The Tarot card I've associated with the BEE is the reliable Knight of Coins.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council:
Pollinators transfer pollen and seeds from one flower to another, fertilizing the plant so it can grow and produce food. Cross-pollination helps at least 30 percent of the world's crops and 90 percent of our wild plants to thrive.2 Without bees to spread seeds, many plants—including food crops—would die off.
It's startling, and humbling, to think that we need bees for our very survival.
Sometimes, as we go about our daily routines, we may feel insignificant, unappreciated, ignored or taken for granted. And yet, we soldier on--perhaps to find meaning, make a living or to provide for love ones. But we we may never know is how our work--or even our attitude as we work--affects others.
It may not be life-or-death, do-or-die like the bee, but our example of kindness, thoughtfulness, optimism, cheerfulness, faith, resilience or courage may cross-pollinate the lives of those around us...encouraging others to keep on keepin' on when things get tough.
When the BEE symbol crosses your path, ask yourself:
Below is the ACORNS symbol from our Boyer Charming Oracle that my teen son, Noah, and I have created. While this shiny divination and creativity tool features 60+ charms, I'm now creating a deck based on the charms (click here to keep track of progress on Facebook).
The keywords I've assigned to ACORNS are Seed; Kernel; Starting Small; Beginnings; Potential; Promises. The Tarot card I've associated with ACORNS is the Ace of Coins.
If we didn't know where oak trees came from, would you ever imagine that such a tall, majestic tree could originate from something so small? So, too, are the seeds of ideas, passion, love, dreams and effort--much like the Aces of Tarot.
But as with anything that's mere potential, ACORNS can be crushed or destroyed before having a chance to take root and grow.
When the ACORNS symbol crosses your path, ask yourself:
What seed needs nurtured right now?
What potential am I overlooking?
What seed needs to die so that others may live?
If I were a seed, what am I growing? How am I growing?
I love the idea of the annual A to Z blogging challenge that occurs every April! Bloggers from all over the globe post about a letter a day (except weekends) on various themes. It's fun and fascinating!
This year, I'm blogging on the symbols found within the Boyer Charming Oracle, including keywords and Tarot card associations. You can use these associations when writing stories, evaluating art, noticing literary themes, studying cartomantic images, decoding dreams or drawing upon intuition when doing readings.
You can check out the letters schedule at this link. First up for me: A is for Acorns!
To visit others participating in the A to Z Challenge, click here.