In case you didn't know, our son Noah does amazing work as a Tarot bag designer. His stylish Tarot wallets can also be used to hold Lenormand decks, large oracle cards, essential oil rollers and inhalers--as well as mundane things like tissues, medicines, anti-bacterial containers, money, credit cards, etc.
Customers at our Chez Boyer Etsy Shop get to buy already-made bags, or have custom Tarot bags with their choice of liner color and vintage button. Here's a video I made with showcasing some of Noah's work (including Kitty Kicker Kushions filled with organic catnip!):
Doesn't he do extraordinary work?]
In fact, the customer that ordered two more Lenormand-size bags (that I mentioned in the video) just posted a 5-star review of her original bag, along with this photo:
Here's Noah talking a bit about his process (from a few years ago):
You can snag your very own bag made by Noah on our Chez Boyer Etsy Shop here.
After discovering the heavenly smell of Patchouli--as well as "woodsy" and "smoky" scents (Ho Wood, Buddha Wood, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vetiver, etc.)--I decided to pay homage to the hippie era of the 60s and 70s: a time of idealism, flower children, pacifism, free love, experimentation, political protests and anti-establishment sentiments.
The first set of four Hippie Scents of my Boho Aromatherapy series is already up on Etsy here. I named them Happy Together, Tune In, Flower Child and Age of Aquarius. I plan to release at LEAST 15 different ones in this series, with each already formulated and named.
Made with 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils, these Hippie Scents perfume roll-ons were designed to improve mood, promote relaxation and, quite frankly, make you happy! Read all about them (and what goes into each blend) at my AromaPower.Etsy.com shop.
Despite knowing I am a Renaissance Soul for many years, I've had an identity crisis of sorts when it comes to blogging and social media--especially with the rampant advice of "you have to specialize!" circulating around.
But I just can't be nailed down to one "thing". I'm MANY things (and I like it that way). I'm not JUST a Tarot author and deck co-creator. I'm not JUST an Amazon.com Hall of Fame Reviewer. I'm not JUST a mystical teacher. I'm not JUST an ex-vangelical. I'm not JUST a wife. I'm not JUST a mom. I'm not JUST an award-winning cook and foodie. I'm not JUST a radio and podcast interviewer/guest. I'm not JUST a life-long learner with overloaded floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. I'm not JUST a jewelry designer. I'm not JUST a scent alchemist. I'm not JUST...
See where I'm going with this?
And honestly, I'm tired of the scattered energy (even though I've scaled way down over the years).
Well, now I'm scaling back even more. I've closed all the Facebook accounts--pro pages and personal profile.
Naked Tarot was written over a several-year period and was finished late 2017--publishing in Fall of 2018.
Before Marianne Williamson declared her candidacy for President of the United States, I pegged her as a Queen of Cups--with the personal mandate of "All You Need Is Love". As we can see from her interviews and Democratic debates, her life theme is more public than ever.
Here are the pages from my book about the Queen of Cups, the subsection of The Queens as Healers:
As you can see, several men are also listed, because in Tarot, Queens and Kings don't correlate to gender but energy--how a person conducts themselves on a daily basis.
What famous people (or characters) would YOU correlate with the Queen of Cups? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Over on Instagram, aceoftarot is giving away lovely goodies to celebrate Summer Solstice right here. All you need to do is post an emoji, or memory, related to summertime. Last day to enter is June 15th, 2019.
Yep...I made that Sun bracelet! I have a few others (all different) in our Chez Boyer Etsy Shop here.
Speaking of making, Ron's working hard and joyfully on a new Lenormand deck. Like our Snowland Deck, it's painted acrylic images on hand-gessoed boards. He says I can't show any images until he gets past, like, the ten-card mark. Boo! Hiss!
I CAN say it's unlike any Lennie deck out there. Natch.
Unplugging isn't new to Team Boyer. You may remember my post from 2012 called No TV for 3. We went over a decade without TV programming (we had TVs, mind you, but only used them for DVDs and the occasional PS2 gaming).
We got a shitload of creative work done during that time, let me tell ya!
We ended up getting a Smart TV last year, so we're streaming--but to be honest, we don't spend a lot of time watching. When we do, it's usually documentaries, British mysteries (me and Noah), Gaia, nature stuff, cartoons, YouTube tutorials and Great Courses lectures.
Back to unplugging: deactivating all our Facebook accounts was so freeing! I'm feeling the "freed up computing space" in a big way.
I don't think we realize how much social media accounts function as a metaphorical "programs running in the background"--which means an unconscious (and sometimes, very conscious) drain on our "computing" energy.
I've also decided not to check any of my books' rankings on Amazon, nor the reviews.
My job is to create, not cater or monitor (which may go against prevailing publishing advice, but hey--I tried it "their" way...and it didn't work for me or my creative life).
So this blog--and our Newsletter (you can subscribe here, if you're not already a recipient)--will be the primary ways we communicate to the world.
Notice I said "we". You may have noticed that my our blog got a makeover yesterday.
Making this a Boyer Creations blog has been a long time coming--and I'm excited that we've consolidated our communication streams to basically only two channels. Really, I couldn't do what I do--to the extent I do it--without Ron and Noah. And they couldn't do their creative work without my help, either.
So stay tuned to see what we're creating and what we're thinking (or reading or watching or listening to)--and if you'd like, leave us a comment. We're glad to have you, and would be happy to answer any questions you have for us--as a family/creative team...or individually. And if you love what we're about, feel free to "buy us a coffee" (aka the Tip Jar). See the symbol at the top left of the blog? Just click and caffeinate. ::wink::
On Wednesday, April 10th, 2019, the groundbreaking, first-ever photograph of a black hole was published around the world. Captivating viewers and providing the only direct visual evidence that these regions exist, this Black Hole was officially named Powehi, a Hawaiian phrase that means "embellished dark source of unending creation." (The photo was actually taken in April of 2017, but wasn't revealed until 2019).
I wanted to celebrate this monumental image by creating THREE one-of-a-kind bracelets, reflecting a central black bead (representing the Black Hole) and beads in varying shades of yellow and gold (mimicking the corona around the hole). Beads are are made from semi-precious stones, Czech glass and acrylic.
Because they're made with memory wire, these goldtone bracelets fits most any wrist--and includes a goldtone star charm on the back.
Click here to see more close up images of my Black Hole Bracelets at our Chez Boyer Etsy Shop.
Sure...it seems cool to have a self-published deck come out that features celebrities--our favorite actors, singers, artists or musicians. Or even characters from a comic book series, novel, video game or movie.
Noticed I said self-published.
That's because traditional publishers aren't stupid enough to violate a famous person's Right of Publicity.
Yeah, in case you didn't know, Tarot decks featuring famous people--name or image, without their permission--is against the law. Click here to find out what the law says. For more information, Google "right of publicity" or "personality rights".
Now, most people realize you can't use TV shows, movies, songs or novels as a basis for a deck unless the creator/publisher secures permission OR it's in the public domain.
Yeppers, those people selling "fan art" at conventions?
They're profiting from the work and art originating with another person or creative entity.
So, this begs the question: how seriously do we, as Tarot enthusiasts, take the Justice card?
Oh, I can hear the rationalizations already:
It's not hurting anyone.
It's for personal use!
It's a great idea!
It's just for fun.
I'm using the deck for major internal work.
I read with this deck to help others!
The law doesn't care about your excuses reasons.
We think because someone is famous, they're rich--so it's OK to profit from their likeness. It's not hurting them. In fact, it gives them free publicity!
But that's just it: a person owns the "right of publicity" to his/her image and name. (Even dead people may be protected by their estate.)
Not you. Or your favorite indie deck "creator".
I can just see members of the Tarot community up in arms if a deck "creator" used illegal images from a self-published deck, original art or the body of a Tarot personality's work--without permission.
Oh...but it's apparently fine and dandy to create, buy, review or own such decks. Or even have the deck thief creator interviewed by Tarot's flavor-of-the-month YouTuber or blogger.
So what are your thoughts, Tarot collector, blogger, reader, reviewer and creator? Is creating decks based on a rock band, pop culture icons, TV/movie actors, artists (like Banksy)--without express permission--OK with you? If so, how do you justify it in light of the law?
What decks have you come across that are likely violating the "Rights of Publicity" law?
Personally, I'd like to see more air-time, blog space and money aimed at people who actually draw and paint 78 (or more) images to make up a Tarot deck--rather than those who are riding on the hard-earned celebrity of others.
How would you like a personalized bracelet made according to your tastes and worldview? Or perhaps you want to give a special gift, reflecting the interests, traits and preferences of a friend or loved one?
Here are some of my recent creations, made special as Christmas gifts (and I'm so hoping that, since she lives across the globe, she doesn't read my blog!):
Bracelet One: A bracelet that would promote more Fire energy in life (passion, energy, enthusiasm). I chose bead colors ranging in tones of reds and oranges, and included a charm laser-engraved with a flame.
Bracelet Two: A bracelet in aqua or turquoise with an Aquarius theme. I chose beads to reflect the colors she wanted, as well as a two-sided Aquarius charm and the initial of her first name ("D").
Bracelet Three: Another Aquarius bracelet, but with dark blue, indigo and purple. I chose the appropriate beads, and included a laser-engraved charm showing the constellation of Aquarius. I also included a star charm because, in Tarot, Aquarius is associated with The Star card--symbolizing hope, optimism and wonder.
Bracelet Four: Orange and gold tones with a black cat. I fulfilled her wishes (she's a major cat lover), but also added an extra enamel charm: a white and gold bottle of milk for the kitty.
I really enjoyed making these for her, and I hope she loves them (I think she will).
I plan on making bracelets focusing on MBTI and Enneagram Types (personality systems is one of my specialties), Chinese Zodiac signs, Chinese New Year (2019 is the year of the Earth Pig), animal totems and more.
I had bracelets dedicated to all 7 chakras, but someone bought them all (!). I'll be making more, but there IS one up that happens to be an aromatherapy one dedicated to the Root Chakra here.
Slowly but surely, I'm also rolling out intention bracelets that come with a custom spell, written by me. Here's a Prosperity Bracelet I recently made:
I've also created (with the help of Ron--he's a godsend when it comes to making bead dangles) some Christmas and Yule bracelets and earrings:
You can see more pics of these and my other jewelry in the section of the same name on our Chez Boyer Etsy Shop here.
Any of the bracelets can be personalized with a letter or symbol, too.
Well, I need go to make another black cat bracelet. I can't keep them in stock! (A good problem to have, right?).
“Life purpose is a choice rather than an experience. It’s something we decide about life.” – Dr. Eric Maisel
Just coming off the Christmas/Yule holiday, many have watched the perennial favorite It’s a Wonderful Life. (Were you among them? I admit I’ve never watched it all the way through. I need to remedy that!).
But, what if you’re not aiming for a wonderful life but, rather, a meaningful one?
In the Myers-Briggs typology, the profiles most likely to experience this kind of angst are NFs (iNtuitive Feelers). The combination of the imaginative, idealistic and OMG-all-the-potential! of the iNtuitve persuasion coupled with Feeling’s subjectivity and relativism is a brew that flails, quests, gropes and/or gnashes the teeth in the search for meaning.
You can watch a brief interview about how to articulate life purpose below:
The interviewer asks Dr. Maisel for some examples of life purposes. He offered these:
Doing the Next “Right” Thing (Living According to One’s Principles)
Making Value-Based Meaning
It can be in “menu” form (listing what’s important to you)—or in crafting statements that encompass several things (incorporating values from your “menu” of life purposes).
And, what we find meaningful five years ago (or even last year) may not be all that meaningful this year.
As we change, so do our values, priorities and—yes—our life purposes.
Dr. Maisel goes on to stress that the most important component to meaningful living is to orient yourself, each day, towards your life purpose.
In the interview—and in Week 7 of the book—he explains how to create what he calls a Life Purpose Icon—a tangible image (or symbol) that captures your life purpose choices.
Just a universal symbols like a cross, Star of David or pentagram evoke great significance and associations for some religious folks, a personal symbol can also become a strong icon anchoring us in our deepest values—as well as a motif leading us to our best selves and a life full of meaning. (I just got an image of Batman’s Bat Signal glowing in the sky… Ha!).
So taking Dr. Maisel’s examples from the interview, how might we distill those life purposes into icons? Well, it will be personal, of course. But here are some symbols that I’ve brainstormed:
Activism – A symbol hinting at the type of activism, perhaps? Social justice may be Scales. Environmentalism might be a Tree. Animal rights could be a favorite furry, scaled or feathered creature. Non-violent resistance could be a peace sign. Some health advocates associate colors with particular diseases they’d like raise awareness for (e.g. pink for breast cancer, purple for Alzheimer’s, red for AIDS, multi-color puzzle piece of Autism, etc.).
Service – An outstretched hand? Connecting hands? A wrench?
Strong Relationships – A chain? Two tethered hearts? Stick people in a circle?
Doing the Next “Right” Thing (Living According to One’s Principles) – Exclamation mark? Check mark? Asterisk? Justice or Judgement Tarot card?
Obviously, there’s no wrong way to create a Life Purpose Icon because it’s personal—whatever is meaningful to you.
In this vein, choosing a Word of the Year (or three words) is another way to focus on what truly matters to you. Over at Inc.com, Megy Karydes shares her 5 Tips on Crafting an Inspirational Mantra (that you can use all year long). For some, this method is more goal-oriented rather than meaning-oriented—but you can still use it to distill your chosen life purposes.
At qz.com, Rose Spinks encourages us NOT to make New Year’s Resolutions (she calls them a “scam”) but, instead, create what she calls a Life Thesis. I love how she sums up her article:
As it turns out, when you take away expectations and shame and pressure, humans tend to be rather intelligent about choosing what’s good for them. Chances are, if you craft a thesis that truly honors what you want your life to look like, your daily habits and actions will align to create that life, too. It’ll feel less like a moving target, and more like finding your center of gravity.
After seeing three Tarot books published in 2018 (!)—five full-length books in the last ten years—I feel a drawing towards process. I’m moving away from words and mandates like “productivity”, “publicity”, “sales”, “accomplishment”, “professional” and “business”. In fact, as I was talking earlier this evening to my husband (about, what else…meaning!—especially in terms of art), I uttered the phrase No End In Mind.
That is, play. Creativity for creativity’s sake. Enjoying the journey without a destination.
You don’t see a 3-year-old ponder self-worth, artistic prowess or marketability, right?
My values are changing. Have changed.
And so are some of my Life Purposes.
I’ll make some icons to reflect those—as touchstones for the upcoming year. Reminders of where I’m at now (not where I was, or even where I think I want to be).
What about you, dear Reader? Have you pondered your Life Purposes lately? Made choices as to what they are? Or even created icons, symbols or talismans to reflect those Life Purposes? Do share in the comments below!
Oh, and I was under contract for another Tarot book.
Normally, I thrived under such full-plateness.
But at 110K+ words, writing Naked Tarot was brutal. I wanted to make sure there was nothing out there like it and, as you know if you've followed me for any length of time, I don't do anything half-assed.
I didn't realize at the time just how much psychological stress I was under. And, perhaps, had been for over a decade as I pursued various creative projects.
I'm a homebody--I love my drafty, old, 12-room house clad in creosote-treated wood in a coal patch nestled in a valley surrounded by tons of trees.
But when you're home a lot, it can sometimes be difficult to spot how much change or growth you've had, internally.
I mean, I knew I was floundering a bit--entering menopause and trying to figure out what "momentous thing" to do next. (Vocation-wise, it has been many years since I had a truly clean plate).
And, hubby kept encouraging me to just relax and enjoy the well-deserved down-time. "You've always wished you could just sit and read for fun--chill out. Well, do it!" In fact, the other day, he said to me "No more mountains to climb. The sherpa station is closed."
I grew up in a blue-collar family where my Dad worked three jobs to make ends meet (full-time butcher/meat manager at a grocery store, part-time cop and security guard at sporting/concert events). Mom was stay-at-home, but I was cut more from Dad's cloth. And growing up in the "I can do anything!" 70's--with Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman and Lindsay Wagner's Bionic Woman my sheroes--it never occurred to me to NOT to be out there conquering the world in some way.
I mean, I knew mentally that I had this wondrous, scary empty space before me--time to fill how I please (apart from making dinner, managing our Etsy store, making jewelry for fun and domestic responsibilities, that is)--but...
To actually feel it. And revel in it. And appreciate it for the gift it was.
Our Word of the Year for 2018 is justice. It was a top lookup throughout the year at Merriam-Webster.com, with the entry being consulted 74% more than in 2017.
The concept of justice was at the center of many of our national debates in the past year: racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, economic justice. In any conversation about these topics, the question of just what exactly we mean when we use the term justice is relevant, and part of the discussion.
Justice has varied meanings that do a lot of work in the language—meanings that range from the technical and legal to the lofty and philosophical.
Tarot readers well know that Justice happens to be one of the Major Arcana cards of the Tarot, a "big picture" archetype that touches every person at some point in life.
I was going to write a blog post about my ideas on Justice--but when I re-read what I wrote in the Stripped-Down Overview section on this card in my newest book Naked Tarot, I realized there's no need to reinvent the wheel (or is it The Wheel?):
Justice and Judgment are often confusing to Tarotists, especially if you throw in the Wheel of Fortune. Then there’s The Emperor and Hierophant. So who deals with laws? Rules? Consequences? Court dates? Jail time? Bureaucracy? Government? Karma? Ethics? Morality? Well, you have to read each entry in this book to get my take; if you’re reading from front to back, we’ve already covered The Emperor, The Hierophant and The Wheel. In The Hierophant chapter, I stated, “The Emperor rules the letter of the law, but The Hierophant governs the spirit of the same.” The boxing ring where these two duke it out? Justice. The roots of legal codes reach downs towards the bedrock of religion; depending on your moral persuasion—i.e., ideas of right and wrong (Hierophant)—you may take issue with how a particular country translates their religious decrees into actual laws (Emperor).
Even within a particular province or country, some may disagree with laws—as well as their interpretation and enforcement. Thus, the battleground of Justice: this is where laws are discussed, decreed, repealed, appealed and enforced among a group—usually a township, county, state or country. They’re “on the books”, and subject to argument, objection and sustainment. In some patriarchal, fundamentalist, Middle-Eastern countries, laws are inextricably linked with sacred texts with an eye for an eye brand of “justice”: you steal, you lose a hand. You cheat on your husband, you get gang-raped. Bring your family “dishonor” as a modern young woman, and your brother gets to strangle you to death with impunity.
Even the legal systems of Western countries—which many assert are more civilized, rational and fair—may draw harsh criticisms: what of corrupt cops or courts? Jail time for marijuana possession versus multiple DUIs (any of which could have resulted in the death of motorists)? Or the capriciousness (some would say, bigotry) of racial profiling and arrests, not to mention false imprisonments? Granted, some territories appear to uphold equality more than others. In fact, if citizens disagree, they can actually change those laws through voting and political pressure. Participation in local government is important because, in essence, we make the laws of the land—and they directly reflect our sense of parity…or apathy.
So what are your thoughts on the concept (or card) of Justice, dear reader? How does it differ from Judgement in your worldview? Would love to read your take in the comments below!
If you feel that Pixie's illustrations are a bit "blah"--you may discover a new interest in Pamela Colman Smith's art thanks to the Trippin' Waite Tarot!
Re-colored and designed by Christine Aguiar (part of the Battersby Tarot team that brought us the Kiddy Katz, Spooky Katz, Twisted Tarot Tales and other decks), this groovy set of cards is sure to bring a smile to your face, a spring to your step and some zen to your day.
Check out their video below:
You can follow their progress, and back the deck (some Tiers have extra cards) below: