November 8, 2018

How to Choose the Right Tarot Deck

Many people decide that they are interested in Tarot and would like to explore the possibility of reading the Tarot cards themselves, but then stumble at the first hurdle, finding an appropriate Tarot Deck! With so many options on the market, picking the right deck can be an extremely difficult task, especially if you don’t know where to start. So here are a few things to think about when trying to find the right deck for you.

1. Buy your own

There is a myth about Tarot that you shouldn’t buy your own Tarot cards, at least not for your first deck, and that they need to be a gift. This is nonsense. The idea is that you need an ‘invitation from the universe’ to start working with Tarot, but if your intuitive interest in Tarot isn’t an invitation, what is? The myth probably stems from the occult group known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn that was active in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They probably said this to reinforce the idea that you needed to join their order – and pay their joining fee – in order to start reading Tarot.
Personally, I prefer buying my own cards as it means I have a chance to find cards that I have a real affinity with, rather than a deck selected by someone else. However, I also always welcome advice from other readers.

2. Look at the Imagery

While all Tarot decks cover the same things, and the same cards in different decks will communicate similar meanings, the imagery that they use to convey the themes and meanings of the different cards can vary greatly. There are Druid decks, Wicca decks, Art deco decks, and even Alien decks. The key is to find imagery that appeals to your sensibility. If your beliefs are firmly grounded in Christianity, cards which retain significant Christian imagery and references are a good choice. If Egyptian religious imagery speaks to your sensibilities, there are decks that use exclusively Egyptian imagery. The key is to find cards that stimulate the spiritual and creative parts of your mind.
Fortunately, there are many deck reviewers online such as Numerology Sign to guide you in through the many different card designs before you make a decision.

3. Go with your gut

Reading the Tarot is largely about accessing your intuition, and you should also use your intuition when it comes to picking your deck. If the universe invites you to read Tarot by putting the desire in your head, it will also steer you to the right deck for you. You may struggle to know exactly why you prefer one deck to another, but trust your instincts.

4. Choose a learning deck

If you are new to Tarot, another thing to consider when choosing your deck is how easy it will be to learn to use the cards. While there are a great number of similarities between all the various Tarot decks, the exact approach to reading does depend on the deck. For example, if you have a Rider-Waite deck, you know whether a card should be read positively of negatively based on whether it is dealt upright or reversed. However, if you have a Thoth deck, there is no upright and reversed, and you have to decide if the card is positive or negative based on where it sits in relation to other cards, which can be challenging when you are just starting out.
Similarly, while for some decks, such as the Rider-Waite deck, there are lots of people out there who use the deck and therefore lots of commentary and learning resources available to help you develop your practice, with some of the more obscure decks, you are on your own, and are expected to learn about the cards yourself based on your existing knowledge of Tarot and your access to you intuition.
If you are just starting out, choose a deck that will help you learn. If in doubt, the Rider-Waite deck is the most obvious choice. In print since 1910, the Rider-Waite is the most common Tarot deck and has never been out of print, despite all the original paintings and plates being lost. It is not without its faults. Designed by occultist A.E. Waite, he incorporated many occult themes into the deck, but also seems to have arbitrarily reorder some of the cards without ever providing an explanation for why. However, as well as being the most used deck, Waite also made the Minor Arcana more accessible. The Major Arcana have always been elaborately designed, but before Waite’s deck, the Minor Arcana were much simpler, resembling modern playing cards. Waite replaced these simple designs with vignettes of people. This new imagery gives the reader more to pull on than some of the simpler decks.

5. Accept that you will go through several decks

When making your first deck selection, it can be useful to accept that you are very unlikely to find the perfect deck and that you will probably go through several decks through the course of your Tarot career.
Picking your first deck can be a matter of trial and error, and while a deck may have appealed to you when you examined it online, you may find when you have them at home and actually start using it, the cards just don’t speak to you in the way that you had anticipated.
Moreover, as you learn more about Tarot and spend more time engaging with it, your tastes and needs when it comes to your deck are likely to change. If you invested in a ‘learning’ deck when you started out, you may find that you outgrow it quickly. Many people who invest time in Tarot find that they develop other interest in things such as Astrology or Kabbalah, and then find that they want a deck that aligns more with these ideas, which may again lead to a change in deck.
For some people, they struggle to find the ‘perfect’ deck, and so create their own, modifying existing decks to make them more suitable for their specific needs. This is one of the reasons that there are simply so many decks to choose from.

Guest post by Christine Hirlehey,

November 20, 2014

Myrrh: A Scent of the Season with many Benefits

Myrrh is an aromatic tree resin that includes several species of Commiphora. Myrrh trees are Native to Eastern Mediterranean regions and the Arabian Peninsula including the countries of Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea, and Eastern Ethiopia. Myrrh has a very long History dating back to ancient Egypt and the times of the bible.  Many people easily recognize myrrh as one of the gifts given the baby Jesus.  It was once equal in value to gold by weight.  It is still used in a wide range of religious rituals today.  

Myrrh has a spicy, bitter scent and it is very good to use during meditation.  It can purify the body and soul and bring clarity to the mind.  It is also very good for purifying objects and spaces.  Myrrh also strengthens the potency of other herbs it may be blended with.  

Myrrh is frequently used in Ayurveda medicine for its rejuvenating properties.  Myrrh has analgesic properties and can be used to treat headaches, stomach pain, and tooth aches. It is particularly useful in salves and ointments that can be applied to arthritic areas, bruises, aches, sprains, abrasions, and other minor skin ailments.  Myrrh has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of nervous system and circulatory disorders. Myrrh is frequently used as an oral antiseptic in toothpastes, gargles, and mouth washes for the prevention and treatment of gum disease.  Myrrh has also been shown to decrease bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol.        

November 2, 2014

The benefits of black cohosh

Black Cohosh
For many years black cohosh has been used as a natural remedy to cure many ills. This herb is known for its emotional, physical and spiritual benefits and remains a popular herbal remedy, especially among women.

What is black cohosh?
Black cohosh grows in North America and Canada. It was traditionally used by the Native American’s as a herbal remedy and its use dates back to the 19th century. Black cohosh belongs to the buttercup family; it can be taken as a tea, in the form of capsules, or as a tincture.

Health benefits
The herb has often been used to treat joint problems such as arthritis and it can be taken as a remedy for other forms of joint pain as well. Black cohosh is also suggested for use as a nerve tonic and can be utilised in the treatment of pain for nerve conditions such as neuralgia.
Moreover, black cohosh is an effective remedy for colds, flu and sore throats, and for the treatment of skin rashes and sore or inflamed gums. However, its most common use is to help women suffering from problems associated with hormonal imbalance.
It is commonly recommended for women that suffer from PMS, menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flushes, endometriosis, cramps and painful periods, and for women who suffer menstrual irregularities. In addition, black cohosh is sometimes taken by pregnant women to help induce labour. However, pregnant women should seek medical advice before supplementing with this herb.

Spiritual benefits
Black cohosh was once used as one of the main ingredients in witches spells. It was believed to have magical properties and would be utilised to create love spells; it is also believed to improve determination, faith and courage.
There was once a common belief that black cohosh could drive away negative energy in the presence of evil; it is also associated with male potency and it was thought that if black cohosh was used in the bath, it would act as a cure for impotency.

Emotional Benefits
Due to its balancing effects on the hormones, black cohosh can also be beneficial in balancing the emotions. It can help to regulate moods, ease irritability and there is some suggestion that it might be beneficial to patients with depression, however, anyone seeking to use black cohosh for that reason should speak to a doctor first, especially if they are on medication.