TarotBlogHop: Ancestors Advice

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It’s time for the Tarot Blog Hop again. This time our wrangler is Louise Underhill. She’s challenged us to ask our ancestors for advice for the coming year. Since we are a company rather than an individual, we thought we would ask Pixie to help us out here.

Pixie aka Pamela Colman Smith was the underserved artist of the Rider Waite Tarot. Many now refer to that deck as the Rider Waite Smith Tarot to honor her. We hold her in high regards here.

We decide to honor Pixie by showing off the Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Tarot as well as Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand.

Her work graced many books including Bram Stoker’s last novel, The Lair of the White Worm. Her cousin, William Gillette (known for his work acting as Sherlock Holmes), collected some of her work. You can see them at his home, his castle actually, in Connecticut.

Here are some images from the Commemorative set.

rwscommemmorative_1swords001 rwscommemmorative_1wands001
rwscommemmorative_1cups001 rwscommemmorative_1pentacles

Next images from Pixe’s Astounding Lenormand. This features images found in the Smith-Waite® Tarot deck and “The Golden Vanity”.

pixieastoundinglenormand_1rider pixieastoundinglenormand_28gentleman
pixieastoundinglenormand_28lady pixielenormand_34fish

Thank you so much for joining us on yet another Tarot Blog Hop. We hope you find treats as you continue to hop your way through.

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TarotBlogHop: Awaken The Heart

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BLOG TOPIC: Awaken the Heart

“…the still point of the center of the fixed stimulates germination and the awakening of the heart.”

What a lovely saying from our wrangler, Joy Vernon. Joy tasked this group of bloggers to discuss this subject. She gave us some ideas and her own thoughts on the subject.

We thought we would share two new books that show this idea of awakening the heart in action since writing does involve being still so your heart can awaken. We think both books are great examples of this process. How about you?

First up is the brand-new Chrysalis Tarot book from Toney Brooks with art by Holly Sierra.

dsm072108 [Converted]

Chrysalis_9HermitStoryteller This illustrated companion book to Chrysalis Tarot explores the spiritual journey of self-discovery and transformation that leads to higher consciousness. Part I examines the magic and energy of the Otherworld that guides you on this journey. Each of the five chapters focuses on a character from the Chrysalis Tarot illustrated with an original sketch by Holly Sierra. Toney Brooks relates wisdom from New Physics, the Collective Unconscious, archetypes, healing, and chakra work.
Part Two of this book expands on the interpretations of the 78 cards. In addition to Toney’s insightful descriptions, Holly shares the inspirations for her Chrysalis Tarot artwork and presents her original black and white sketches for each card. Chrysalis_3Empress

Next is a personal journey into the Deviant Moon Tarot with Patrick Valenza. In his Deviant Moon Tarot book, Patrick takes us on a personal journey from his childhood drawings to the finished Deviant Moon Tarot.

DeviantMoon_BookCover DeviantMoonBorderless_1MagicianTalented artist Patrick Valenza presents uniquely alternative interpretations of traditional tarot with symbolism inspired by childhood dreams and visions. This fully illustrated book takes you behind the scenes of Deviant Moon to glimpse the creative inspiration and artistic technique that gave rise to this popular tarot deck. Patrick also offers expanded meanings and interpretations, for both upright and reversed card positions.

DeviantMoon_2HighPriestess
Two very different visions of Tarot brought to you in deluxe, hardbound format to enjoy throughout the years.

Which will you get first?

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Tarot Blog Hop: Commune, Communicate, Commemorate

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Welcome to our stop on the Samhain blog hop. The subject our wrangler, Arwen, gave us is to “Commune, Communicate, Commemorate with those who have gone on before us.”

We can’t think of a better person to commemorate than artist Pamela “Pixie” Colman Smith. Her art work has become the iconic representation of the Tarot for the world. When you think of the Fool, the first image that comes to most of us is her Fool.

Side by side comparison of two versions of the Rider Waite Smith Fool

Commemorative (l), Regular (r)

Pixie’s story is a sad one as she died in relative obscurity. But her life was filled with amazing people. She was mentored by Alfred Stieglitz (he was the husband of Georgia O’Keefe). He featured her work in his New York gallery.

From Stieglitz's collection

From Stieglitz’s collection

She knew actresses, actors, poets, artists and more. Her life was filled with eccentric, interesting people. Pixie did many sketches. Here’s a sketch of poet William Butler Yates that she did in 1901.

William Butler Yeats by Pamela Colman Smith, 1901

William Butler Yeats by Pamela Colman Smith, 1901

In 1898, she had an illustration published for Yeats’ poem “The Land of Hearts Desire” which was part of _The Illustrated Verses of William Butler Yeats_.

The Land of Hearts Desire by Pamela Colman Smith

The Land of Hearts Desire by Pamela Colman Smith

And her legacy continues with the new Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand. Lovingly created with artwork from the Smith-Waite® Tarot deck and “The Golden Vanity”, this charming 36-card petit Lenormand deck pays tribute to Pamela Colman Smith. It includes a 132-page booklet.

Pixie Astounding Lenormand 29 Lady Pixie Astounding Lenormand 1 Rider
Pixie Astounding Lenormand 28 Gentleman Pixie Astounding Lenormand Tin

How has Pixie’s work influenced your life? Leave a comment answering that question to be entered into a drawing to win your own Pixie’s Astounding Lenormand tin. Get extra entries when you share this post on any Social Media using the tag #astoundingpixie . Just leave a comment letting us know where you shared it.

Happy Halloween! May you get more treats than tricks. Now hop off to the next in our Tarot Blog Hop. Don’t forget to share this post to win the deck.

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Golden Moments with Golden Tarot

By Christiana Gaudet

GoldenTarot_BoxOne of my favorite tasks as a tarot instructor is to play matchmaker between tarot students and tarot decks. It takes a particular skill to match the right deck with the right student. There are so many decks available, it’s always possible to get a good fit.

I like to have a variety of decks in use during class. Comparing decks encourages students to interact with each other, and with the cards. When we can see an assortment of decks in class we are able to learn from the different images and traditions. We find the common ground that becomes the essence of our understanding of each card.

GoldenTarot_1MagicianSeeing a new tarot student respond to a great new deck is like watching a new love affair in progress. Even advanced students sometimes need a nudge to try a new deck once in a while; it helps them fall in love with tarot all over again.

One of the best new-student-tarot-deck matches I ever made was Reya and Kat Black’s Golden Tarot.

I didn’t know Reya before her diagnosis. By the time she started coming to monthly Tarot Circle meetings she had been a cancer survivor for ten years. Surgeries and treatments had not been successful; there was nothing more medical science could do. Even then, she was beautiful, and so full of life it was hard to remember she was dying.

GoldenTarot_4SwordsI didn’t know she was sick when I first met her. I pointed her toward Golden Tarot because of its grace and clarity. Reya seemed like a person who honored history but wouldn’t be patient with non-illustrated pips or nebulous card interpretations. Reya clearly cared about aesthetics; she had been a professional dancer. Golden Tarot offered her clear illustrations, an easy-to-understand book and classically beautiful historic art.

Each month Reya would come to Tarot Circle with her Golden Tarot. Like the rest of us, she talked about her dreams for the future.

Within three years of the day I met her, and after more than a month in hospice, Reya crossed over.

I went to visit Reya’s mother a few weeks later. There, in the living room, proudly on the coffee table, was Reya’s Golden Tarot. I had known that Reya had loved her deck, and that she had found comfort with it. I hadn’t known the rest of the story.

GoldenTarot_0FoolReya’s mother asked me to sit on the couch. She sat next to me, and held the Golden Tarot box in her lap. “Reya loved these cards,” she said. “When Reya was away she would call me every day and pull a card while we were on the phone. She would describe the image and read from the book. Then we would discuss it. It gave us a way to talk about the hard things, and to feel connected with each other.”

Reya’s mom continued. “When Reya was in hospice we continued to pull a card each time I visited. The cards helped Reya accept her situation; to understand that she was exactly where she needed to be, and that everything was unfolding as it should. The cards helped me understand that, too.”

She wiped away a tear. “Now that Reya is in heaven I still pull a card a day. That keeps me connected to her. I believe she speaks to me through the cards. Every day, we connect with each other, using these cards.”

GoldenTarot_1CoinsIn the time Reya and her mother worked with tarot, I don’t think they ever did anything more complex than a one-card pull. Golden Tarot’s box lends itself to simply removing the cover and pulling a card.

The Golden Tarot images were perfect for Reya and her mom; a reminder that even in the harshest times, beauty is everywhere.

People sometimes fear dire predictions from tarot. The benign Death card rushes us to reassure our clients it’s not the harbinger of doom it seems to be. By contrast, Reya and her mom used tarot as a way to endure a grim situation. They used Golden Tarot as a guide for Reya’s journey to the other side, and as a way to keep a connection between the worlds.

Visit Christiana Gaudet’s website for more of her writing.

Tarot Blog Hop: The Comfort Queen

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Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop for August 2014. USGames is delighted to be the lead blogger this time. Our wrangler for this round is Joanna Ash of SunGoddess Tarot. She’s given us this theme:

“How Do You Channel Your Inner Queen Of Pentacles?”

Our answer is, “Creativity.”

We take a lot of pride in our artists and authors here at US Games. We also must give a nod to all those others who help bring a deck to life. From our art department who help design the decks to those who write the blurbs for our marketing, creativity is one of the most important pieces of our day-to-day life.

Without the creative juices flowing on both sides, we wouldn’t have the amazing products that we do. So here’s to the talented Queen of Pentacles in us all.

Here are a few of our lovely Queen of Pentacles from some of our decks. We can’t share them all. With as many decks as we have, you’d never be able to hop to the next blog. And we do want you to have time to enjoy all twenty-one blog posts. Remember if you find a link that isn’t working, go to the master list.

ArtofLife_13Pentacles005

Art of Life Tarot

Chinese_13Pentacles002

Chinese Tarot

CrystalVisions_13Pentacles003

Crystal Visions

Halloween_13Pentacles007

Halloween

HansonRoberts_13Pentacles004

Hanson-Roberts

RadiantRWS_13Pentacles001

Radiant Rider Waite Smith

TotOP_13Pentacles006

Tarot of the Old Path

Chrysalis_13Pentacles

Chrysalis

Fenestra_13Pentacles008

Fenestra

Which is your favorite? One commenter will win their choice of one of these Tarot decks (as long as we have it in stock!) to help you celebrate the creativity of the Tarot.

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Celebrating COVR Winner: Magical Times Empowerment Cards

As we reported on our post Monday July 20, 2014, USGames was thrilled to be the recipient of three awards. Today we are celebrating with Jody Bergsma’s Magical Times Empowerment Cards.

If you haven’t seen this one yet, here’s some info about it. This exquisite deck presents 44 over-sized cards with inspirational images and affirmations. An illustrated 28-page booklet, which provides gentle, yet powerful messages, id included. Let this deck and the insightful writings help you channel the magic all around you to achieve your greatest dreams.

Jody Bergsma’s unique watercolor artwork combines her passion for native wildlife, fantasy creatures, and geometric design. She also illustrated The Spirit of the Wheel Meditation Deck by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Enjoy some images from the Magical Times Empowerment Cards.
Magical Times Empowerment MagicalTimesEmpowerment_Anticipation MagicalTimesEmpowerment_Awareness MagicalTimesEmpowerment_Change MagicalTimesEmpowerment_Dignity MagicalTimesEmpowerment_Energy MagicalTimesEmpowerment_Flexibility002 MagicalTimesEmpowerment_Humor MagicalTimesEmpowerment_Metamorphosis

Celebrating COVR WINNER: Sacred World Oracle

Lynn at INATS 2014

Lynn at INATS 2014

Each year COVR confers awards to the best of the best in the Visionary Resources. Formed in 1996, this non-profit trade organization works to help those in the Mind/Body/Spirit category. From artists to musicians to manufacturers, retailers and more, COVR puts the M/B/S industry first.

One of those ways is with their Visionary Award program. They invite “all those who inspire humanity with their books, products, art, music and messages to enter their works to be evaluated by” their judges.

This year, we were thrilled to win three awards. One for Jody Bergsma’s Magical Times deck which one the Best Inspirational Product. Kris Waldherr’s Sacred World Oracle not only won Best Divination product but also deemed best product of the year.

Today’s post is to show off our Best Product of the Year according to COVR. Look for our showing off of Jody’s excellent deck on Wednesday.

SacredWorld_Firebird
Sacred World Frog

Cover for the Sacred World Oracle

Sacred World Oracle Peacock

Sacred World Oracle Elephant

SacredWorld_Dove

Sacred World Oracle Dragonfly

Congratulations to Kris Waldherr for this amazing deck!

TarotBlogHop: Solstice 2014

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Chrysalis Tarot Magician

Chrysalis Tarot

Wish, Witchlings by Paulina Cassidy

Witchlings by Paulina Cassidy

Welcome to the 2014 Solstice Tarot Blog Hop. Our wrangler for this hop is Olivia from First Earth Tarot. She’s challenged us with this question/theme:

For this blog hop, the theme is: joy. What are you joyful about? What brings light to your heart? How do you spread joy to others?

We like to think that we spread joy is many ways–from new Tarot decks to gorgeous oracle decks to lovely Lenormand decks. But did you know we also have games? Check out our 1864 poker deck or the immensely popular, not to mention award-winning, Wizard(r) card game.

Gilded Reverie Lenormand

Gilded Reverie Lenormand

Some recent offerings that are bringing joy to us are these Lenormand decks:

Then there are these Tarot decks.

And we can’t forget the Oracle decks:

Earth Power Oracle

Earth Power Oracle

Meditation,Witchlings by Paulina Cassidy

Witchlings

In our very joyful Joie de Vivre Tarot, we shared a spread we called Spreading The Joy. You can find it in the Little White Book for that deck. Did you know that you can find the LWB for many of our decks online? Just go to our home page, search for your deck, then look for the PDF link on that deck’s page.

So tell us which of these decks mentioned here bring you the most joy. We’d love to hear from you. And we have so many new products that we may have inadvertently forgotten one! So our apologies if we did. If you let us know, we will include it on this joyful roundup.

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Gilded Reverie Lenormand Review Roundup

Ciro Marchetti's Oracle of visions party puzzle

Ciro Marchetti

Acclaimed artist Ciro Marchetti has transformed the traditional Lenormand cards with a rich, new aesthetic featuring gilded edges and accents. Gilded Reverie Lenormand remains true to the iconic 36-card oracle system made famous in the 19th century by Mlle Lenormand, the fortune-teller to Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte. Recently, there has been a groundswell of renewed interest in reading with Lenormand decks. Gilded Reverie’s elaborately detailed images in vivid, jewel-toned colors render the 36-card Lenormand system more appealing and accessible than ever. A 48-page booklet provides insightful interpretations and instructions. Ciro Marchetti is an award-winning artist who has designed five tarot and oracle decks including Tarot of Dreams and Oracle of Visions. Prints, puzzles and other items featuring his artwork are popular around the world.

See the artist’s video.

GildedReverieLenormand_3002 Here are just a few of the rave reviews this gorgeous deck is receiving. (Please note that the card error mentioned in a few has been corrected. If you get a copy that has a duplicate card, just let us know!)

GildedReverie_14In her Aeclectic Tarot review, Erica says, “this deck is very enjoyable and easy to read.”

GildedReverie_3CardsPromotion002Elizabeth of Tarot by Elizabeth was “absolutely blown away by this Lenormand deck”.

Donnaleigh of Divine Whispers shouts her praise: “Luscious, opulent, rich, vibrant, gem-like, sturdy”.

Over at Tarot Notes, Zanna declares this “a treasure/jewel of a deck”.

GildedReverie_BookLily002Terri of Tarot Reviews is sure no one will be disappointed!

Alura at Everything Under The Moon says she was tickled pink by this deck.

Kayla from the Eclectic Element warns, “Don’t let this seemingly simple deck fool you, though!”

GildedLenormand_10Ship“The luxurious feel” is what Ellen from the Grey Lady’s Hearth talks about impressing her.

Enjoy one of Donnaleigh’s amazing video review of the Gilded Reverie Lenormand.

gilded reverie-BOX-FLAT

Get yours today.

Puzzling Ciro Marchetti

Recently the talented Ciro Marchetti posted a puzzle on his Facebook page. We are sharing it here.

We will be releasing Ciro’s Oracle of Visions soon. For now, search for the insects and keys. Ciro hasn’t said how many there are so let us know how many you find.

Click for a larger image.

Ciro Marchetti's Oracle of visions party puzzle

Ciro Marchetti

And while you wait impatiently for this deck, don’t forget about his Gilded Reverie Lenormand that is already available.