Category Archives: Book Reviews

Favorite Oracle Decks

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Category: Book Reviews, Divination

Prepared by Mimosa’s Staff and In-House Psychics

Crystal Wisdom Healing Oracle, by Judy Hall

Reviewed by Mimosa owner Ashley Leavy

Crystal Wisdom Oracle The Crystal Wisdom Oracle by Judy Hall has been updated and is now known as the Crystal Wisdom Healing Oracle – it now comes in a black box with 50 cards instead of the blue box version of 40 cards like I have). Even though this deck is relatively new, it has become one of my favorites. I really like the simplicity of the cards (and the stunning photography of the stones!), but the included booklet is really what makes this deck worthwhile. You could easily use this deck almost like flash cards to learn the properties of the featured stones, but there’s also some AWESOME information about how EXACTLY to use the deck. Judy also groups the crystals into different sections depending on their energy/vibrational type (which is really different and helps you see similarities between different crystals in the same group). I LOVE this deck.

The Faeries’ Oracle by Brian Froud and Jessica Macbeth

The Heart of the Faery Oracle by Brian Froud and Wendy Froud

Reviewed by House Psychic Mari Powers

These two oracle decks from illustrator Brian Froud, one engendered from another, are at the top of my list for others to buy and learn. I personally rarely do more than a three card reading in these decks, unless it will be a part of a six or seven card reading within the context of a ritual journey. For an individual reading, one or two cards is enough. Other Oracle Decks I use may be for one spirit question, a totem animal for the situation, or an answer from an oracle deck that is multicultural or seasonal. I like there Froud Faery Oracle decks, for the long view, suggesting deep transformational work. They can lead as various rituals guides, as well. Fairies' Oracle
I also like The Faerie’s Oracle and the Heart of the Faery Oracle cards for the lovely complex art, the insight, the complexity, the honesty and the way the Fae are portrayed, first and foremost, as of a part of nature and the divine. They are guides, teachers and mirrors, and most like some glimpses of the Fae I have seen, in nature.
Of course, both Tarot and Oracle cards are pictorial books of knowledge and wisdom. Tarot is very old and Oracles decks much newer, yet stories and images of the Faery Realms are older than either. Brian, his family, friends and followers have enriched the world with images and insights that have inspired me. Each deck comes with a lovely hardcover illustrated book, some personal notes, and sample layouts and questions. The second one also contains an interview with Brian and Wendy Froud.
Heart of Faerie Oracle

The Enchanted Map Oracle, by Colette Baron-Reid

Unicorn Cards, by Diana Cooper

Reviewed by Mimosa Assistant Manager & Psychic Reader Kelly Mahieu

Enchanted Map Oracle I have always been completely bonkers for oracle and tarot decks alike, but I have a special affinity for oracle cards in general. One of my most favorite decks is The Enchanted Map by Colette Baron-Reid. This deck features 54 full-color cards plus a nice little guidebook with detailed descriptions for each of the cards and an explanation on how to use them (perfect if you’ve never used oracle cards before). What first attracted me to this deck was the artwork on the box. And quite honestly, that’s just a teaser. The artwork is fantastic (the artist is Jena DellaGrottaglia), and each of the images takes you to a whole different place. Somewhere that’s seems familiar, a place you’ve been but you don’t know where or when. At first glance alone, many of the cards in this deck elicited emotional responses from me – they were easy for me to connect with right away. Readers of all levels can work with this deck, and while the interpretations in the guidebook are both meaningful and helpful, I firmly believe that you can work with these cards using your intuition alone if desired. The Enchanted Map acts as a magical compass of sorts that can help you navigate through anything from minor challenges to serious circumstances. I can’t recommend this deck enough – it’s a gem!
Unicorn Oracle Another deck that I absolutely love is the Unicorn Cards by Diana Cooper. This deck contains 44 cards and a small guidebook. The cards are beautifully illustrated with plenty of detail, but still manage to maintain a sort of simplicity about them that I really appreciate. Each card has a number and a word or two (or a name, for example “Archangel Uriel”) at the top, and then a brief message just below the image. These cards are very easy to use and interpret because the combination of the images and the words send very clear messages. Unicorns are incredibly powerful guides, and in my opinion they are truly underrated. Diana Cooper’s deck really pays homage to these amazing creatures, and I love that she does it in a serious, beautiful way – there are no cutesy cartoon-like unicorns here. The magnificent unicorns depicted on these cards will inspire you to heal, let go of that which no longer serves your highest good, and transform your life in positive ways if you choose to work with them!

Children’s Spirit Animal Deck, by Stephen Farmer

Reviewed by Mimosa Assistant Manager Cathy Douglas

If you use divination cards yourself and have a child who’s always looking over your shoulder, the Children’s Spirit Animal Deck by Stephen Farmer could be a nice way to share your interest. It would probably be most appealing to kids between 5 and 12, and is designed to appeal to both boys and girls of whatever belief system. (Unlike some other kids’ decks I’ve seen, which may sometimes be preachy and not very boy-friendly.) The illustrations here are very appealing, and include more or less the animals you would expect: big, handsome mammals, though there are a couple birds and insects as well. Some cards show both an adult animal and its baby, which is a nice touch. Each of the big, sturdy cards features an animal in its environment, with its name and a short message are also printed on the card. The accompanying guidebook gets into more detail. The first half of the guidebook is aimed at the child, containing a fuller message about how to apply each animal’s wisdom in real life, along with some suggested activities. The second half of the guidebook is for parents, with suggestions about things to talk about and do with your child to support the lesson of each animal. Between the two, that’s way more activities than anyone has time to do in a day, but it makes the cards usable over a long period of time. Since there are only 24 cards, this will extend interest in the deck over a period of time. The booklet also includes a reference list of animal-related organizations. I expect most kids would use this for a card-of-the-day type reading. The child could draw a card and enjoy the illustration while an adult read the message from the handbook. While I do wish there were more cards, and more varied cards, this is the best deck I’ve found that’s designed specifically for children. Children's Animal Spirit Deck

Vintage Wisdom Oracle, by Victoria Mosely

Language of Letting Go Deck, by Melodie Beattie

Crystal Grid Oracle Cards, by Ashley Leavy

Reviewed by House Psychic Ronna Trapanese

As a reader here at Mimosa I don’t need cards to do a reading, though they are a useful tool to solidify something the client and I already discussed. The message becomes clear when synchronicity ensues and the person picks exactly what they needed to have brought to the surface.

Vintage Wisdom Oracle Vintage Wisdom Oracle by Victoria Moseley: I am a visual person, I adore the multi-faceted vintage iconic images. The accompanying book keeps me coming back to this deck. It pulls no punches, gets to the point in a well written organic flow. Synchronicity ensues and eye candy and knowledge blend well.
Language of Letting Go Oracle Language of Letting Go Deck, by Melodie Beattie: These cards help us to embrace our shadow sides, the places that are stuck, allowing us to point to what needs to happen instead of forcing outcomes. The graphics are great on both sides; there are messages to be found in the artwork along with full explanation with well written advice. There’s no book for this one, since the cards themselves are self-explanatory.
Crystal Grid Oracle Cards.jpg Crystal Grid Oracle Cards, by Ashley Leavy: I am a strong believer in crystals for my own sanity, protection and health. It would take a lifetime or two to learn all Ashley Leav knows about crystals, so it’s nice to have this helpful aid. Each card has a central word surrounded by a crystal grid pertaining to the affirming word. Below it lists the names of the crystals depicted on the grid. What a helpful aid to either build a grid, select a crystal to wear or put in your pocket. I believe holding this card alone connects with your crystal friends to assist in your healing intentions.

 


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Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

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Category: Book Reviews
Written by Mimosa
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Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo

Reviewed by Cathy Douglas

Half of a book is philosophy and technique, half a truly odd little autobiography. Marie Kondo spent her childhood tidying. It truly fascinated her. She would do things like go into her older brother’s room and throw away a bunch of his stuff. Yikes! Somehow she survived to adulthood.

I was pleasantly surprised to find there was no big attempt to Americanize the US version of the book, and that the tidying methods embody a Shinto worldview: the whole world is animated with spirits, and one should treat those spirits with respect. For example, a purse “wants” to serve us, and so is disappointed if it sits year after year at the bottom of a drawer. Or if we use this purse, it will become tired by the end of the day; we should thank it, unpack it and allow it to rest.

Some people think this is crazy. But is it crazy to talk to cats? Cats have no idea what we’re talking about, or what’s the point of all the gaba gaba gaba that comes out of our mouths. But we talk to them anyway, as a way to show our love. It’s comforting on both sides.

Stretching this further: Say you’ve got a CD you bought ten years ago which you loved, and which quickly became your favorite. For a while it was the soundtrack of your life. Even now, a decade later, you have all the songs on your iPod and listen to one occasionally. But you don’t remember the last time you played to the physical CD, or even listened the album the whole way through. The CD sits on the shelf collecting dust, but you can’t bring yourself to get rid of something you loved that much. Kondo’s solution is to express your love and gratitude to the CD, then to let it go, because keeping such items is a symptom of our desire to live in the past. I think that makes a certain amount of sense.

I remember how much it hurt to throw away my last pair of Adidas Grete Waitz racing flats. I’ve got oddly shaped feet, and those were the only shoes that have ever fit them perfectly. Those shoes were also light and fast; I ran most of my best races in them, and a lot of speed workouts with my team (the mighty Impalas). But the company stopped making them, and pretty soon I was down to one pair that was too worn out to use for anything but gardening. Then they got too holey even for that. It felt so mean, so disrespectful, so unloving just to toss them in the trash. I wish I had thought to express my gratitude. And yes, I really think that would make a difference. If nothing else, it would make a better memory.

Getting back to emptying out your bag at the end of the day: My first reaction was, “Seriously? Maybe I’m going to clean up my house this way she outlines, but no way I’m emptying out my pack every day and put the same stuff back in the next day.” But a few days later, I’ve noticed how before I go out of the house, I have to check and double check to make sure I have keys, pens, hair ties, etc. etc. etc. And I don’t always need exactly the same items; some days I need the bike lock and lights, other days I need my bus ticket and Kindle. Maybe it actually would be easier and make me feel more secure to keep all my “backpack stuff” in one place, and load in only what I need before I leave the house. And hey, if it helps my hard-working backpack relax…

Anyway, we’ll see how well this works. My tidying binge starts tomorrow. The KonMari method will require a little Americanizing and other personalizing to work for me. For one thing, I don’t believe the word “basement” appears anywhere in the book. Maybe Japanese houses don’t have basements? My house’s unfinished basement is the place where things I’m not using go so I don’t have to look at them. Ugh — it’ll take some work. She doesn’t have anything to say about outdoor spaces like my shed, and surprisingly doesn’t go into much detail about kitchens. I also need to spend some time tidying digital devices, and my “home office” (which is really just a corner of the living room). While the book doesn’t spell out how to do these things, it shouldn’t be too hard to generalize the method to make it work across various spaces.

Illustration from Spark Joy. No adorable rabbits in this one, unfortunately.

Illustration from Spark Joy. No adorable rabbits in this one, unfortunately.

(Note: Recently Kondo has come out with a second book, Spark Joy, which goes into more detail about organizing the types of spaces mentioned above. It also has helpful illustrations of some of her organizing methods, demonstrated by cute cartoon bunnies! You just can’t go wrong with something like that, right?)

I’m also curious how to implement this method with items like my boot socks. They’re pretty well worn out, and handling them certainly gives me no “frisson of joy.” By KonMari standards that should put them in the “throw out” pile. But I live in Wisconsin, and it’s winter, and I need a pair of boot socks. It would be nice to buy a new pair, but there are a whole lot of things like that I need, and I don’t have a lot of money. Those threadbare socks will have to last through the season.

Still, after reading this book, I feel ready to take such issues more seriously. Another level of organization might be to make a list of little things I need, like boot socks, and write a budget that gives me a small allowance to buy them one at a time.

And maybe it wouldn’t hurt to listen to my boot socks’ story. Just because I live in America doesn’t mean my world’s not full of spirits. People who see things that way are likely to take better care of their environment, both in the home and outside it.

When Americans criticize ourselves, often the first thing we condemn is our materialism. So do we really need to show more love for consumer goods? Simplifying, getting rid of excess stuff — that’s all very well, but doesn’t it kind of negate this if we start fetishizing the stuff we have?

I don’t think so. Inanimate objects do come with strings attached — strings of human feeling that attach them to us and tug us in certain directions.

Just outside my window there’s a bike lying in my neighbor’s backyard. A kid’s bike that’s been there for months, and is now stuck in ice. Today there’s more snow falling, and now there’s only a bit of the front wheel sticking up. It makes me sad every time I look at it.