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Review of the Chakra Wisdom Tarot by Tori Hartman

Review of the Chakra Wisdom Tarot by Tori Hartman (Watkins Publishing) £16.99
By Kim Arnold

Having seen and been very impressed by Tori Hartman when I attended a workshop by her at Atlantis bookshop many years ago, I was excited to be asked to review this deck.

Before I delve into the merits of the Chakra Wisdom Tarot, let me tell you my observations on Tori. Having sat through many workshops/talk/lectures on chakras, I will be very honest and say NO ONE has ever impressed me, usually they drag out the same old chakra woo woo and I leave thinking that was time I will never get back! Anyway, fast forward to Tori Hartman, I genuinely loved her workshop, it was fast paced, packed with knowledge, interactive and she is a delight to listen too. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am she will be joining us at the London Tarot Festival in June.

Watkins have done a great job sparing no expense in putting this set together. The 112 page booklet goes beyond what you would usually expect from an accompanying book. It is full colour, packed with diagrams, lots of spreads to try and ideas for manifesting as well as information about the chakra system. The cards are colourful and although not completely traditional, each card is clearly recognisable and the illustrations perfectly in synch with the element and meaning. These cards make you tap in to YOU. Not just what is happening on the external part of your life (work, love, finances, family etc) but it encourages you to see what is blocked within you and ideas on how you can work on yourself. Also, you do not need to know anything about the Chakra system to work with these cards, but you will learn plenty along the way.

I chose the ‘Your Path to Manifesting’ spread, for a trial reading, I have shared the image of my reading but will just choose a few cards so you get the drift.

Card 1. How your roots are deepening – Strength – I fully understand this card in this position, as I get older I feel more secure, not only in myself, but in my determination to continue to grow.

Card 2. The feelings that are driving you – The Devil – errmmm …. pushing boundaries?

Card 6. What do you do to support yourself intuitively – Judgement – Reminding myself that I can always improve. I like the idea of Angel Gabriel being around.

Card 7. How will your dreams support the universe? Ace of Cups – Being committed to a goal and trust that support comes when needed.

The reading was a real eye opener for me, and has given much clarity in areas I did not know needed focus. I also used these cards with my monthly meditation group, I had everyone pull a card and everyone had a message which related to their life.

These cards will be a fabulous edition to your Tarot collection, they offer something different and encourage you to look deep within. Go buy a deck, you will not be disappointed! Tori will be speaking at the London Tarot Festival on 1st June.


Chakra Meditations by Swami Saradananda

(Watkins Publishing £15.99)

I love it when a deck for review lands on my doorstep, often, it is not a deck I would be drawn too, but when working with it, it becomes a familiar friend. The Chakra Meditations deck was like opening a box of delicious chocolates, inspiring artwork and guidance via lovely quality cards.

Each month I hold an intimate meditation group for around 15 people, I decided we would use these cards as part of our evening. Not all the cards were suitable for group work, but we chose a few we were able to work with. The Sacral Yantra Meditation was fresh to us as a group and one card in particular, the Root Chakra (Muladhara) with the Oak Tree visualisation was both empowering and calming.

I was a little confused by the bordering colours of the cards, I always connect red with the Root Chakra not the yellow used, and green bordering for the Sacral, not orange which I am more familiar with, however, this did not deflect from the energy of the cards.

The Large white book does explain the colours used and more in-depth information on the card meanings. There is a page included with instructions on preparing for meditation and how to choose a card. This is helpful for anyone starting out.

I feel these cards are perfect for your personal journey, the idea of pulling a card each day and quietly working with a visualisation or gentle exercise is inspiring.

I recommend these cards, particularly if you have a busy life and need to calm the mind body and soul.


Review: TarotFest Switzerland 3/6/2017

As we start to create a fabulous programme for our Bi-annual Swiss TarotFest, I thought a perfect time to share our review from 2017.  Cannot wait to do it all again.

Please enjoy this beautiful Video by Franzi Sunshine Kindler, it gives a perfect taste of the day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6356-imd2rA&feature=share 

Almost a year to the day, Wicca and I sat around a table at Castle Liebegg with a mug of coffee and chocolate on the table and discussed the possibility of having a Tarot Festival at the Castle.  This weekend I and 7 others flew in from London to experience a year of planning, finally the day had come.

We were on the 7am flight from Gatwick so we all had a 3am start.  On arrival at Zurich we took the train to a place called Aarau where we were met by Wicca’s wonderful husband Biba, who took our luggage so that we were free to explore, because of our delayed flight we did not have much time, and had a quick lunch before getting on another train to start our VIP journey, a private tour of the Witchcraft Museum. http://www.hexenmuseum.ch/ Wicca is a true inspiration, not only does she speak English beautifully, her dedication to her Museum is remarkable.  Now, I am not going to tell you much about this, as next year the Museum moves to Castle Liebegg and I strongly recommend you go for yourself, but as a private group we were given the absolute privileged to experience an important part of Lenormand history. Mind blowing!  After we finished the tour, we were driven to the hotel where a huge pile of Swiss chocolate was waiting for us with a hand written note from Wicca welcoming us to Switzerland. That evening Wicca, Biba and the lovely Isobel joined us all for dinner where we sat outside on a warm evening eating pizza, laughing and enjoying the energy of this lovely place.  We were shattered at the clock ticked towards 10p.m., tomorrow was going to be a day to remember.

David Wells and I arrived at the Castle early on Saturday, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and the energy was beautiful. Lots of hustle and bustle from Wicca’s team of helpers who worked so hard throughout the day ensuring that everything ran smoothly. Wicca opened the Festival by making announcements in German then I did the same in English, then she did a meditation and blessing to start the day.

I kicked off the day with a workshop on how to connect with spirit through the cards, I had everyone work out their birth card and what it meant to them, and we used this card as a significator to ask a question.  Followed by a coffee break the next workshop was with Kirsten Buchholzer, I was unable to attend as I had a reading but the feedback was great.

Lunch was served in the Castle grounds, the sun was still shining as we sat under umbrella’s talking Tarot and enjoying the freshly prepared food.  There was plenty of everything which is how I managed to put on 2lb in two days!  (Tarot diet started today)

After lunch the workshop was hosted by Wicca who showed us how to create a Tarot spell, this was such fun as we were all covered in glitter and the finished item was something for us all to take home.  It was a delight to meet with Susanne Zitzl, what a lovely lady, again speaking beautiful English, her work is going to be published in English hopefully later this year, although Susanne may not be so familiar to us in the UK please look her up, she has done some amazing work. After a welcome break Regula Elizabeth Fiechter hosted the next workshop, I took an English meditation group whilst this was going on, but was delighted that Regula gave me the 4 ‘missing’ cards from the Mystical Lenormand deck and a signed book from her and artist Urban Trosch whom I had the privilege of meeting.

Our David Wells was the final speaker of the day, a lovely reading using the Tree of Life, so many things made sense.  Wicca and I emotionally closed the Festival with a huge thankful heart and a feeling that we had done it!  I haven’t even mentioned the Market Place where I purchased a lovely Goddess made from Tiffany glass, if I had room in my luggage I would have spent a fortune.

I have to give a huge thank you to Wicca, Biba and her team, I could NEVER have done this without them and I owe them so much. The organisation was amazing and the day ran effortlessly, the venue is breath taking and I know many tears were shed throughout the day because of release and joy. There was much laughter this weekend that I cannot share with you (too naughty) but every emotion was experienced, this is a very special place.

I feel so truly blessed today to have made new friends from Switzerland, Germany and the US.  In fact the day was so good, we are going to do it again in 2019.  As I said next year the Witchcraft Museum opens in the Castle and I know our TarotFest will go from strength to strength.  Everything is looking very positive for the future.

That is all for now, I have to spend time on my October UK Tarot Conference, and I am buzzing with ideas!

“I just wanted to thank you for the organisation of our own Swiss Tarot Fest. It has been a marvellous day with very fascinating speakers and workshops (not forgetting the wonderful opportunity to book a reading with the speakers!). Even though some of us don’t know the tarot cards as good as you guys do, it was very well explained in the sessions and I had really lots of fun and learned quite a lot (beside spending way too much money shopping at the market!). I’m very much looking forward to the next Tarot Fest here in Switzerland and will most certainly spread the word around. 😉 Kindest regards and thank you again!” Ines 

TarotFest Switzerland coming 2019 please register your interest for updates. 


Margate and TS Eliot & The Wasteland (who knew)

Margate shelter

I only recently found out that this very shelter, about 5 miles from where I live, is where T S Eliot wrote some of his famous lines from the Wasteland.  In 1921, after suffering a nervous breakdown he came to Margate to recuperate, in this very spot he allegedly spent many hours pondering and writing.  I don’t think the extract below was the actual part he wrote whilst he was here, more likely the part about poverty, Margate has long been known as a dump. However, this delapidated shelter looks out to sea, and in the evening you will see beautiful sunsets so famously painted by Turner. I am sure the sea air and warm summers played a key part in his recuperation. I can remember as a child spending many happy summer days on the beach just metres from this shelter.  Margate has been through some tough times, and is now under regeneration with some wonderful results, in fact it is becoming trendy again.  However, it does seem a shame that one of the greatest poems written in the 20th century does not have any recognition here in Margate, more likely to have his name etched through a stick of rock than a celebration plaque for all to see.

I can’t claim to be a Margate girl (actually I wouldn’t want to lol) as I was born in London, but my family moved here when I was a child and it was a thriving seaside town.   I am now curious to find out more about this famous poet and his association with the Town.  So why is this written in my Tarot Blog? Read on, a short extract from The Wasteland.

The Waste Land   1 The Burial of the Dead (Extract)

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,

Had a bad cold, nevertheless

Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,

With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,

Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,

(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)

Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,

The lady of situations.

Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,

And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,

Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,

Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find

The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.

I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.

Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,

Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:

One must be so careful these days.

 


Lady Frieda Harris Rare Posters

If you have attended the UK Tarot Conference in the past you will know that we have an amazing auction which helps to raise money for our Bursary fund.  This year we have something quite special.   I am not sure at this stage if both or just one poster will be up for auction but please contact me if you are interested.

The Harris collection: A rare set of 2 out of 3 Freemason posters known as Tracing Boards. Each depict what’s known in craft Freemasonry as the First, Second and Third Degree boards and represent a codified example of moral, intellectual and spiritual development. This set of tracing boards are unique in that they were drawn by Lady Frieda Harris to which only a few hundred were made and even fewer that remain in excellent condition. The Tracing Boards are from a time when Harris was a Co-Mason:

Co-Masonry is, in brief, an offshoot of the Theosophical Society that, admits both men and women into Co-Masonic Lodges. Because Co-Masonry operates in breach of the landmarks of the United Grand Lodge of England, by admitting women, it has never been recognized as a regular branch of the society of Freemasons by regularly constituted bodies. Many regular Masons, however, appreciate the history of the Co-Masonic order and the sincerity of purpose and valuable philosophical contributions made by individual members of Co-Masonry, including Lady Harris’s renditions of the Tracing Boards… These evocative interpretations of the First, Second and Third Degree Tracing Boards were originally painted by Lady Frieda Harris. The designs incorporate the symbolism of the traditional Tracing Boards, but are distinctive for their modernity, and use of dynamic symmetry in rendering the designs

[Harris’s] designs were undoubtedly influenced by her artistic training and experience. In 1937, Lady Harris began studying Projective Synthetic Geometry under the direction of Olive Whicher and George Adams based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and Goethe. Frieda Harris also had utilized Projective Synthetic Geometry in her work designing the Thoth Tarot cards for Aleister Crowley: These cards were completed for exhibition in approximately 1942. She had considerable talent in esoteric art works.  -Freemasons of California, Mill Valley Lodge 356

The 2 posters (24ins x 14ins, c. 1975) are framed, under archival glass and in excellent condition.

A rare set of 2 out of 3 Freemason posters known as Tracing Boards. Each depict what’s known in craft Freemasonry as the First, Second and Third Degree boards and represent a codified example of moral, intellectual and spiritual development. This set of tracing boards are unique in that they were drawn by Lady Frieda Harris to which only a few hundred were made and even fewer that remain in excellent condition. The Tracing Boards are from a time when Harris was a Co-Mason:

Co-Masonry is, in brief, an offshoot of the Theosophical Society that, admits both men and women into Co-Masonic Lodges. Because Co-Masonry operates in breach of the landmarks of the United Grand Lodge of England, by admitting women, it has never been recognized as a regular branch of the society of Freemasons by regularly constituted bodies. Many regular Masons, however, appreciate the history of the Co-Masonic order and the sincerity of purpose and valuable philosophical contributions made by individual members of Co-Masonry, including Lady Harris’s renditions of the Tracing Boards… These evocative interpretations of the First, Second and Third Degree Tracing Boards were originally painted by Lady Frieda Harris. The designs incorporate the symbolism of the traditional Tracing Boards, but are distinctive for their modernity, and use of dynamic symmetry in rendering the designs

[Harris’s] designs were undoubtedly influenced by her artistic training and experience. In 1937, Lady Harris began studying Projective Synthetic Geometry under the direction of Olive Whicher and George Adams based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and Goethe. Frieda Harris also had utilized Projective Synthetic Geometry in her work designing the Thoth Tarot cards for Aleister Crowley: These cards were completed for exhibition in approximately 1942. She had considerable talent in esoteric art works.

-Freemasons of California, Mill Valley Lodge 356

The 2 posters (24ins x 14ins, c. 1975) are framed, under archival glass and in excellent condition. They were purchased in the UK from the reputable collector of occult books and art.     These posters have their own history. The original paintings were acquired by British Occultists in the 1970’s. Around 1976 a few hundred sets of these posters were printed. This is the only publication of these designs that there has been. Posters survive far less well than books, which are only rarely pinned to walls! Moreover posters are not collected by libraries, and their existence is not recorded in catalogues and bibliographies.

 

 

 

 


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