Whitney Houston dies at age 48

    

That’s what I saw pop up on my facebook wall over and over again when these emotions first started. First thoughts were “here we go again with rumors. This time it’s Whitney they are picking on”

Then in just a matter of minutes realized sadly, this was not just a horrible made up rumor, it’s real. From that point on I have been overwhelmed with such unexplainable sadness. I grew up with her and even have an album or two or 45’s (forget which) somewhere. Problem is I grew up with Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett too and although I felt a sadness with them and many others before them this was different. This IS different, bursting out into tears and this off feeling that is undescribable, as if she were my very own close family member. Why? I hadn’t gotten lots of sleep the night before, so maybe I’m just really tired. Maybe it’s the fact that she is not all that much older then I. Maybe it’s the fact that she “had it all” but was not happy. She had fame, she had glory, money, the world was her’s and yet she had her own hell and demons she lived with. Can’t be that because that is the sad story of so many celebrities that passed before her. A combination of all those things could be the cause of it as well. Strangest of all is the feeling that she did not yet cross over. As if she is floating around and looking down at it all wondering WTF. I know what, I will go to sleep and feel better in the morning.

Well it is the morning after and I did sleep so I should be feeling better.. Nope, not at all, and there’s the posts and comments continuing from others: ” Whitney got what she deserved.” “Feel for the family not her.” “Drugs finally caught up to her”, and on it goes. I try my best to ignore it, but make note at the same time of who has said it. I found it shocking to see it by certain people and others really not surprised in the least.

What am I feeling this morning? Well, still this overwhelming sadness, but now it’s mixed with other emotions. Anger at the amount of people so easily, quickly and willingly to go point fingers. Sadness at a different level to realize there are so many people that discriminate in that way. Has the world gone so cold hearted that there is no compassion for anyone? Are we so closed minded that because we don’t have someone else’s issues we can’t find sympathy. Is each of our lives so damn rose colored perfect that we can make judgements? What makes it worse is when people that are in the field of helping others and they are also doing it. What the hell has this world come to? Why are the negatives about someone so easily acknowledged? Why is the human race so quick to find faults? Are we that quick to offer help? Even if all the help is nothing more then a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen?

What about the angelic voice she had? What about the entertaining she did? Can’t we start praising instead of judging? Can’t we start helping instead of walking away or turning our backs? Can’t we have some compassion instead of being cold hearted and uncaring?

Whitney was a beautiful person with the voice of an angel. I hope she is now finding her peace.  For the family I offer my thoughts and prayers.

Thank you Ms. Houston for your voice and talent. May you finally have found peace.

R.I.P. Whitney Houston

Crystal Visions Tarot Deck Review

Crystal Visions Tarot
By: Jennifer Galasso
Published by: U.S. Games

Out of the decks that were sent to me Crystal Visions Tarot was the first one that I went for.The fact that I collect fairies and unicorns had nothing to do with that decision. There are neither of those depicted on the box. The pleasant purple and blues of the box is what caught my attention and made this deck stand out before the others. Seeing the word crystal in the title also made me anxious to see the cards. I could not have been more wrong thinking that crystals was going to the theme. The back of the cards are shades of purples and pinks with a crystal ball in the center of a flowered border with a challis at the top and bottom. Crystal balls are also in some of the cards. Stevie Nick’s CD Crystal Visions was released when Jennifer was starting this deck, which was the inspiration for the title, which was explained in the little white book.

This deck follows the traditional Rider Waite decks in all aspects which makes it a great deck for any level reader as well as a wonderful very first deck. There is one extra card called The Unknown Card which shows a female holding out a cloudy crystal ball. The meaning of this card is obvious through the symbolism depicted without even having to check the book.

Jennifer is a fantasy artist and the colors used enhances the fantasy that is in each card. There are a variety of fantasy beings used throughout including fairies, angels and dragons. Death himself is depicted with angel wings and a ray of light shining down from above.
For the minor arcana, Jennifer allows the scenes to be the focus rather then the suits. The suit of cups is the best example of their subtlety . For the seven of cups I had to actually look closely to find all seven cups since they are blended so well. The horns of eight unicorns is used for the 8 of wands as just another example. Symbolism as we know is what tarot is about and Jennifer has done a wonderful job with that.

This is a deck that is suitable for children, although I think girls would find it more appealing then boys. If you are looking for your first deck or your 100th , are a novice or pro, like the traditional Rider Waite or just love fantasy you can’t go wrong having this deck as your own. For me this goes on my favorite list and I cannot wait to use it.

Caveat Emptor

                                                                     Caveat Emptor

Which psychic should I use? How do I know if they are legit? These are some questions you may find yourself asking when you are looking for a reading, especially if you are looking on the online sites that have hundreds if not thousands of them to pick from. It can become overwhelming especially when you are not aware of different things to look for or have not been recommended to one by a friend.

The first thing you may do is go to the price range you are able to afford which will help narrow it down. You then might have a preference and be more comfortable with a certain sex reader, that will also help lower the list of choices. The next thing you may do is look to see who has the most ratings, comments/feedbacks or the highest rank percentage. Those things would tell you who the best ones are after all right? Wrong, that rule of thumb would work if we lived in a perfect world, but this is life and we don’t. And now you are scratching your head wondering why wouldn’t the highest ranked or most comments not mean they are the best. Let me explain for you so you get a better understanding of how it works and also what to look for. Remember things are not always as they appear and unfortunately this business is no exception. Let me clarify that I know of all this firsthand because not only do I have my own website and do parties and events I also work on some of these sites as well. So I am able to write about this truthfully and honestly as I see what goes on firsthand.

As with everything in life cheapest is not always the worst and expensive is not always the best but we all have a budget that stipulates the price range and amount we can spend on anything. No matter what price range you are in there are tips to identify some of the scammers and con artists in this business. Unfortunately there are a lot of those and you know I am all about ethics and helping people to not get scammed.

Let’s start with the comments/ratings and reviews since most of the information about this can be found there just by taking a little extra time to investigate. Let’s say you are looking for a male reader to get that male perspective of a relationship. You go through the experts that are available and a few attract your attention. Are they really male? Believe it or not there are a lot of readers out there that have switched from being a male to a female to a male and vice versa. Looking at older comments that have been left by other clients will let you know if the reader you are considering giving your money to has always been who they say they are. You will see that the “male” reader you are considering has old comments saying she was wonderful etc. Ok could be a typo you are thinking to yourself and yes that could be true in some cases. If you keep randomly checking comments and you see that they say she more then that one time it is NOT a typo. You also see some comments where the readers name is mentioned even if there has been no change of sex. Does the past name in the comments match the expert’s current name or are they being called Ralph when they are presently being called Larry or maybe even Loretta? Does the name remain the same throughout the history of comments? Are they being addressed as Ralph in the older ones and Ralph on the current comments left?

While going through the feedback and comments that have been left you will find a lot more out as well. Are there remarks that mention wanted to sell me spells or curse removals or any type of additional service?

(For information regarding those types of things read my article “Are You Being Scammed? Found on my website).

Seeing the same client leaving reviews over and over again is a sign of what we experts call “padding” in order to raise up in the ranks. This would not just increase the amount of ratings they have but also their ranking percentage. Believe it or not there are some out there with page after page of comments that are only from one client. Having a few back to back from the same client however is not alarming as clients tend to wait and rate multiple sessions at the same time.

Really looking at comments current and from long ago reveals a lot about the reader you are considering. It pays to spend some extra time being your own investigator when deciding not only who you are turning your money over too but who you are trusting. Keep mind as well that some sites charge the readers for placement, so the highest ranked may very well be there because they bought that spot. One last final tip with this and anything else in life: if it feels off in any way, shape or form listen to that and stay away.

Tarot For Beginners by Barbara Moore Review

Tarot For Beginners
By Barbara Moore
Review by: Misha

     There are some out there saying, “Another book about how to read tarot?” There are just so many out there, how different can this one be. Then there are those like myself that said, “ A book written by Barbara Moore, it’s about time, can’t wait to get it!” Well I have it and had it for awhile now but haven’t found the time to sit down and give it the attention it needed until now.

     Barbara has a way of writing that has the feeling she is right there in person talking to you. She also personalizes the book by telling about her own personal experiences. The book is simply written and easy to understand. I also like how Barbara makes it very clear throughout that there is not a wrong way to read tarot. From shuffling all the way through reading the cards the way it is done will vary from reader to reader and that is demonstrated throughout the book.

      The basic history of tarot is of course included, in the first chapter called Basics. Lots of information is covered in this short 28 page chapter, not just the history. Rituals and Journaling are just two other areas that Barbara touches on and she keeps it short, sweet but to the point.
     Chapter 2 The Card Meanings Barbara starts by explaining that even when learning the meanings of the cards there is no one way or one right way. Leaving the beginner free from fears of doing it wrong. Barbara has chosen to illustrate this by using three different decks; the Universal Waite Tarot, The Lagacy of the Divine Tarot and Shadowscapes. Each of these decks has its own unique portrayal of the cards. Some people may find this distracting, annoying and even confusing to follow and understand, myself included. However with “Tarot For Beginners” it is done eloquently and simply. Doing it this way also again demonstrates that each reader is different, each artist is different and that there is variety in the tarot. It is kept simplified by only having a few sentences about each card. Each card is given what is called its Core Meaning which is the general meaning for each card. It is then explained how it applies to the 3 completely different illustrated decks.

     Following the Card Meaning Chapter, Barbara continues with the chapters: Finding More Meaning, Adding Something Extra, Developing your Skills, Spreads and the final chapter Sample Readings. In these final chapters it is explained how to take the basic knowledge that you have learned and expand on it. It also shows how learning tarot is something that is always ongoing and no matter how long you do readings there is always something new to learn, see and experience. Tarot is an ongoing experiment and this is clearly stated in Barbara Moore’s last few sentences which state: “Shuffle your cards. Play with them. Do something differently. Do something new. Ask hard questions. Ask crazy questions. Be part of not only your own future but also the future of tarot.”

Brotherhood of Light Egypt Tarot

Brotherhood of Light Egypt Tarot  deck Review

Written by Misha

Designed by Vicki Brewer

Published by U.S. Games

ISBN: 1-57281-656-2

     U.S. Games has redesigned this deck in full color. The original deck was published in 1936 in black and white.  Even though this deck has the standard 78 cards it is far from being a traditional deck. This deck is definitely not for beginners, does not follow the traditional Rider Waite and has its own meanings and interpretations. It was designed as a companion to the book The Sacred Tarot by C. C. Zain.  The little white book that comes with this deck only gives a short interpretation and explanation of the cards. If one wants to fully learn this deck buying the book is a necessity.  The deck incorporates everything into each of the 78 cards from Kabala, astrology, alchemy, magic, numerology, even Free Masonry. There are also things that are not included in the LWB, which are the correlations between each major arcanum and its associated herb, gem, mineral, Hebrew, Egyptian, and Roman glyph, as well as the correct numerological and astrological associations.

     The four suits used for the minors are scepters, swords, coins and cups and have no scenes depicted on them. So if imagery is wanted that won’t be found with this deck. They are grouped together by number rather than suit. The court cards do have Egyptian illustrations on them and are called Horsemen, Youth, Queen and King.

     Once the time is taken to learn the deck and get familiar with all that it includes I can see it being a nice change to do readings with. As I said this is not a deck for beginners to learn tarot with. I am writing this review keeping in mind that I do not have the companion book and therefore am unable to determine how hard or easy it would be to learn the deck. I think redoing this deck as a kit with the full book included would have made this a better option for every level reader.

Shadowscapes Tarot Deck Review

Shadowscapes Tarot Review

Written by : Misha (Tarot By Misha)

Will be published in May’s TCBA’s monthly newsletter

I had a surprise on my front steps yesterday morning when I went out to get the mail. It was a delivery from Llewellyn which contained their spring release tarot deck Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pu-Mun Law. The cards are done by Stephanie and the 264 page book that comes with it was written by her along with Barbara Moore. “The Mystic Dreamer Tarot” which was done by Barbara is one of my favorite decks so I was really anxious to have my hands on “Shadowscapes Tarot” and I was not at all disappointed.

It is springtime and Easter was not that long ago which could be why the pastel colors used immediately reminded me of dyed Easter Eggs. I hadn’t even opened the box yet to view the cards and was already drawn into the magical world that Stephanie created. I anxiously opened it up to admire the cards and was not at all disappointed, they are gorgeous. Stephanie spent six years creating this mythological, legend and folklore inspired deck and no wonder it took so long. They are done from watercolor and the backgrounds are what made me think of Easter Eggs.

The first thing that I do when I get a new deck is to go straight to the cards and just go through them to get a feel for them and see which ones really draws my attention. Then when I have a quiet time to sit down and really focus on them I go through them slowly, one at a time and really have a good look at each one. The book is always the last thing that I open as I like to get my own immediate impression of the deck and then later read the book and get the creators perspective.

The images bring you right into the mystical world that Stephanie created; the background and the “being in the skies” look is what draws you in. Although trees and/or mountain cliffs are depicted in the majority of the cards, those that aren’t still bring you to another dimension in the skies. The deck is based on the Rider Waite deck with some unique depictions which had me pause and reflect on certain cards.

The Hierophant is portrayed as a tree and I had to really reflect on that as upon first seeing it without “looking” at it, it had me scratching my head. Then it “clicked” and I was really impressed with that connection of The Hierophant as a tree. The Hermit is usually shown in his cave or somewhere similar to seek his answers and that is not the case with this deck. In Shadowscapes Tarot, The Hermit holding his lantern is on top of a high cliff that reaches the skies. A pheonix bird in flames in the branch of a tree high in the sky is in place of the Grim Reaper which is commonly seen with the Death card.

The Three of Swords was one card that stood out because of the painful reaction it gave to me. Seeing something as delicate, innocent and pure like a swan being pierced by the swords touched me in a way that no other Three of Swords ever has. Pentacles is the Earth element and as I go through the cards one by one and get to the last two cards they also stand out to me. The Queen and King of Pentacles are again very uniquely done. Are they the tree or are they emerging out of the tree? I will let you decide and find out when you read Stephanie’s write up on it in the Companion book included with the deck.

The book does not just tell Stephanie’s story of the cards and Barbara’s writing of the tarot meanings, it has an introduction written by Barbara Moore covers tarot basics to reversals and reading the cards. The end of the book gives spreads to do with positioning.

The quality of the box this was packaged in is lacking and disappointing. If someone is going to use this deck as one of their regulars to read with then they will definitely want to store the cards elsewhere. The box is not at all resilient for constant use because of its thinness. In the few days it has taken me to write this review in completion the corner of mine has already torn. Not to mention the fact that once the cards are unwrapped out of the plastic they slide down the sides of the inside “stuffing” so you have to make sure you have all 78 cards or have a tarot bag to put them in if keeping them stored in the box.

I would not recommend this deck for someone who is a brand new beginner and just learning the tarot. Someone that already has a basic knowledge of the card’s meaning or has more experience would not have a problem with them however. There is no worries when using this deck for in person reads of having to worry if children are around as there is no nudity or “scary” looking images. The release date is scheduled to be in a few weeks, in May 2010.

Shadowscapes Tarot

Created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Text written by : Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore

Publisher: Llwellyn

Release Date: May 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7387-1579-7

Just a test and a thank you

First thank you to Karen (littlesparrow.net) for doing this website for me and for everything else you have done.

Second this is a test as websites are new to me and I am trying to figure this out for myself how to make posts etc. To much time has passed without anything new from me being added. That will change slowly as I get comfortable with working the site.

You can look forward to new reviews for decks and books, news about my radio show “Tarot By Misha” @ www.themixtalk.com  and anything else that comes along.

Thanks for your interest in my articles and reviews. You can also follow me on twitter and find me on facebook as well.

Book Review: The Tarot For Common Folk

The Tarot For Common Folk: The Tarot Explained in Simple English
Written by: Paul E. Gipp
Published by: Author House
ISBN: 978-1-4389-3064-0
Review by: Misha

This book is exactly as it is titled (in Simple English) it is simple and easy to read. It does not just explain the individual cards as a lot of tarot books do. Paul’s book gives easy to read explanations from the history of Tarot, parapsychology, the Golden Dawn, and Kabbalah just to name a few. His explanations are simple and easily understood in relation to the tarot cards. This allows a person to get a basic understanding of the many different aspects that can be used when reading tarot. Allowing you to better determine what areas you may want to further study in more depth. Numerology and astrology are also discussed in a simplified easy to understand style.

Reading Paul’s book is like listening to an instructor during a class. He not only writes about the cards in the traditional way but explains why he personally applies his own system to the cards. We all as readers have our own way of doing things and we each have something different that works for each of us. Paul explains this in a natural easy to understand style.

The Tarot For Common Folk is 237 pages, but is so well written and down to earth you are not overwhelmed with to much information and it does not take long at all to read. Chapter 6, the last chapter of the book, breaks down how to take the information learned so that you can do a reading. Examples of spreads are not just given in the chapter, but everything from Who You Should Read For, common factors that are appearing, timing, sample readings and everything in between.

I found this book not only informative but entertaining as well. The Tarot has so many aspects and knowledge that the learning never stops. For me personally this book made some of those areas that I just didn’t get finally click.

A Deck Review: The Fairy Tale Tarot

Author & Artist: Lisa Hunt
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN: 978-0-7387-866-9
Release Date: September 2009

I was pretty anxious to have this deck coming to me for many reason. It intrigued my attention immediately because of its name. I find myself very often telling my clients “life isn’t a fairy tale.’ I even state that I will not give fairy tale readings, only the truth without sugarcoating. So I was very curious to see for myself how this deck was done and the cards and Fairy Tales portrayed. I was also wondering how these would be used for giving readings without having the client believe the “Happily Ever After” that fairy tales end with.

The first thing you notice when you open this, is the size of the book that comes with it since it is on the top. When you think of fairy tales you remember the classics from childhood such as Cinderella, Snow White, The Three Pigs and Red Riding Hood. There are so many others that I had not even heard of let alone know the tale. The book is well written; the tale depicted on each card is summarized. This is a big help for those unfamiliar tales we do not know or have never heard of. Lisa Hunt also then explains the symbols and meanings of not just the tarot meanings but she incorporates the fairy tale visual that she chose and explains the significance of it in a way that brings even more understanding of not just the cards but the tales themselves.

The first thing you notice with the cards themselves is that there is no border on them, so the images give the feeling of being there rather then a cut off photo look. This makes the cards even more attractive and appealing as a border would of taken away from the images.

The next thing that is noticed is the Fool card is titled Innocence and it is a fairy tale I recognized immediately Little Red Riding Hood. What an appropriate tale and title to use for this card about innocence. While going through the Major Aracana’s Lisa changed the names on many of them and I have to say they are appropriately renamed. There is however, one change that I found which may confuse a beginner; and that is Card XI which has been renamed Justice. Someone who is familiar with the traditional names Justice is card VIII and therefore seeing the name may cause one to confuse it with the original Justice card. Makes me wonder why a different name was not chosen for it.

The major arcana that really captured my attention was The Hermit. This card is commonly depicted as someone in a dark place, usually a cave, to reflect and take time alone. The Fairy Tale Tarot uses a bright, happy depiction from The Wood Fairy with the little girl Betushka dancing outside with The Wood Fairy. Not being familiar with this story I read the summary supplied in the companion book and was then able to understand the imagery that was used. The Hermit is shown in a more positive light and let’s one see that self reflection is a positive thing that we need to do from time to time.

The next thing I was anxious to see was how the minor arcana cards would look with the cups, wands, swords and pentacles added into the scenes. I have to say this was well done and they are discreetly shown so the scenes are still the focus point. When they are used, one has to look closely to find them as they are that well blended into the scenes.

When I got to the Eight of Cups I paused for a moment because it looks like The Tower card. It is a dark storm around a castle with lightening in the sky and 8 cups falling down into stormy waves. The tale depicted is The Fisherman and His Wife, another one that is unfamiliar to me and needed to be read. I am very grateful that the summaries of the fairy tales are included in the book.

This deck is very well done and thought out. It is indeed one to have in your collection whether you are a Tarot or Fairy Tale lover. For those not familiar with the fairy tales the book is very useful in fully understanding the entire meanings Lisa is portraying in the cards. Reading the cards without the book can be done, however getting familiar with the actual tales just expands on the readings and meanings.

A Deck Review: Legacy of the Divine Tarot

The Legacy Of The Divine Tarot
By: Ciro Marchetti
Published by: Llwellyn Worldwide
Release Date: September 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7387-1565-0

I have to start by saying how excited I was to be getting this special deck. Ciro is a master at his designs and creativity. I also have to be honest and make it known that I am not drawn to what I call “darker” looking decks, and this falls in that category for me. However the purpose of this write up is not about personal taste but the deck itself.

This comes with a book and a bag is also included, It is the third deck by Ciro. The book explains “The Legacy” and gives not just Ciro’s interpretation and explanation of the cards but also includes interpretations from: James Ricklef, Leisa ReFalo and also Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone (The Tarot School). I found the added interpretations to the cards an added bonus as it shows the different views and approaches to the cards.

Ciro has is very own unique approach with his wonderful and colorful digital artwork. The cards even come to live with video, which can viewed on his website. He depicts a story of an outer space catastrophe involving the planets which is explained in the book. The images are surrounded by a solid black border and I have to wonder it is to symbolize outer space. The black border goes well and is appropriate, however for me it adds to the “darker” look I mentioned earlier.

There are only a few variations to the names of the Major Arcanas from the traditional RWS decks. The Hierophant has been renamed Faith with images of four religious figures pictured (The Pope being one of them). Wheel of Fortune is The Wheel, The Hanged Man is The Hanging Man. The Major that really stood out for me with this deck was The Hermit. The scene depicted for this card is not directly inside a cave. I am still going back and forth if it is a view at a cave entrance looking out, or if it is a view from in between mountains looking out at the scenery. The face of The Hermit is so real looking and you can just see the depth of thought in his face and eyes. The Hermit card has really captured my attention for the first time with this deck and I would have to say is my favorite of this set.

The Minor Arcana cards all use the same suits and names with the suit at the top and the number at the bottom. Each suit name is written in its color: wands is orange, cups yellow, sword blue and coins green. The knights in all four suits is depicted with their helmets rather then a full knight, Ciro explains the reason for this in the book Gateway To The Divine Tarot, which comes with the set. He also explains his views and feelings for the Court Cards in general and does it in away that is simple and easy to understand. These are the cards that seem to be the most troublesome to read for the majority of people.

There was also a minor that jumped out at me with this deck and really grabbed my attention. The Two of Cups I found intriguing for many reasons. Rather then the traditional man and woman together with an angel between them, Ciro’s depiction is two hands coming up out the water. The hands cross each other at the wrist and each is holding a glass in which the faces of the couple are depicted in. I am still finding images in the sky/clouds that are in this, I don’t know if they are there deliberately or not, however I am seeing several animals.

This is a magnificent deck and I am delighted to have it as part of my collection. It will not be hard to use by anyone and the book tells the full story depicted here. This will be a set for my collection however and not one I will personally use for clients. The reason for this is because of the large beliefs where I live of Tarot being evil. This deck will not help in that area and will only appear to validate that misconception. This is definitely a deck to have for the artwork alone, not to mention that Ciro has stated it will be his last.

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