Inner Journeys

Aurora Borealis by Audre

Cards and Stars The Spirit/Intent of Being communicates with all of us in many and sundry ways, including that of the voice within, dreams, and cards. Tarot and other divination decks provide insight, spiritual guidance, portals to other dimensional realities, intuition enhancement.

Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Way of Animals, by Jamie Sams and David Carson, beautifully illustrated by Angela Werneke (Bear & Co., Santa Fe, N.M., 1988) is a Native American approach to spirituality (Carson's bio attributes his descent as Choctaw, and Sams' heritage as Iroquois and Cherokee). The cards and book are eloquent, evocative and excellent. The cards speak to me and give incredibly accurate depictions of situations, and their purpose can best by described by Carson and Sams themselves:

“When you call upon the power of an animal, you are asking to be drawn into complete harmony with the strength of that creature's essence....This system of divination is one tiny aspect of the process of teaching a person how to be intuitive, how to seek the truth of nature, hot to relate to the Great Mystery's creature, and how to observe the obvious in the silence. This silence of the quiet mind is the sacred fertility of the receiving spirit. If you use this divination tool in silence, you will find a wondrous new world speaking to you through ways of your fellow (sister) creatures....In learning to call on the medicine of any person, creature, or natural force, one must maintain an attitude of reverence and be willing to accept assistance.” All true. In fact, this is true for all the cards included in this column, each having their own particular slant in bringing forth information.

When I use cards, I have an agreement with Spirit that if any cards jump out of the deck and land face up, this is indicative of a special message from the Great Mystery for me, an extra gift. Here is a demonstration of how uncannily accurate these tools can be -- and, yes, I am an intuitive-psychic; however, with the right attitude on the part of the practitioner, all cards included here can be effective for anyone, for, in essence, all of us are psychic.

Whether one is an apprentice or an adept, with a pure heart, quiet mind, clear intent, the cards will and do speak and depict truth. Simply choose a spread, or make up your own. For example, I often do a simple three-card quickie: 1. The situation now, or someone's mentality. 2. What the situation/person's essence is calling forth, or what Spirit is bringing forth. 3. What the situation/person is transmuting into. Simply do your spread, look and feel what you get from the cards, whether you "know" what they are "supposed to" represent or not, then read what the cards mean. Take it in, go deep, and and feel, sense, intuit, absorb, merge your seeming boundaries with a bit of infinity, and let true magic begin to happen.

Another incredible deck and book are The Lakota Sweat Lodge Cards: Spiritual Teachings of the Sioux, by Chief Archie Fire, Lame Deer, and Helene Sarkis, with Ann Louise Goulene and Wendy Meg Siegel, stunning artwork by Alexander Sarkis (Destiny Books, Rochester, Vt., 1994). The Inipi Purification Ceremony, or Sweat Lodge, as it has come to be called by many members of the general population, is a sacred rite that combines fire, earth, air and water, as well as the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual-energy bodies. I have been in Inipi Ceremony with Chief Archie several times, as well as with others, and I can assure that it is a powerful ceremony indeed--as are these cards and book. The Sixteen Great Mysteries, Eight Supernaturals, the 25 Elements of the Sweat Lodge comprise the deck. The actual Inipi is explained, as is the Creation story, including Superior, Associate, Subordinate and Inferior Spirits, everything clearly and poetically delineateds. Card spreads to unlock inner spiritual talents/secrets are explicated. Each card comes complete with Lakota Sioux name, meaning, phrase, explication, tradition of the card, guidance and meditation, all contained within two to three pages.

The Mayan Oracle: Return Path to the Stars, by Ariel Spilsbury and Michael Bryner, admirably illustrated by Donna Kiddie (Bear & Co., Santa Fe, N.M., 1992) is a fascinating card/book combination. The artwork alone is gorgeous. The symbolic depictions of the 20 Star Glyphs, both color and line, are transformational, as are the 11 Lenses. The 13 Number cards are much more plain and simple, clear and to the point. The explanations of the cards are in depth and sensitive. Just reading them creates awareness shifts and energy lifts to the stars, awakening that realm within. No matter how deep into depression, despair or defeat I have felt, the Mayan Oracle had something to offer that helped propel me out. Anyone can benefit from this inspiring deck. Vocabulary, glossary, resources, as with the Medicine and Sweat Lodge cards, are part of the package. Also, the Mayan Oracle has its own unique spreads. The readings speak to the very heart of the person, and, for me, as with the two previouslymentioned decks, are always intensely helpful.

Another favorite deck is the Mother Peace Deck (U.S. Games), with its delightful round shape, indicative of the actual spiral of life, the medicine wheel and hoop of life, without beginning or end, constantly evolving. And, like women, without angles. Now, this deck is finally one that is multi-cultural and multi-racial, females and males depicted in various costumes, with a great variety of skin hues, and, as before, incredible explications. Beautifully written and organized, the accompanying book is worthwhile in itself, and the art of the deck is stunning.

Another hearty recommendation. The William Blake Tarot of the Creative Imagination by Ed Buryn (Harper San Francisco, 1995), is a special treat for those especially entranced by the art and poetry of William Blake (1757-1827), to whom the author was as assiduously fair as he could manage. It was as though he were guided by Blake himself. Hmmm. Blake's views and ideas, as brought forth in the book and on the cards, are very au courant. The man was absolutely a mystic, and this work amply demonstrates this. His artwork now comprises 23 archetypal cards called Triumphs, plus 56 Creative Process cards in four suits: Painting (likened to Pentacles), Science (Swords), Music (Cups), and Poetry (Wands). Nor do they shirk from the dark side of humanity's inner ills. In fact, these are expounded upon, so that revelation and absolution can be found--internally, spiritually, and definitively. Blake was a visionary in a somewhat materialistic society. Sound familiar?

As with all previous cards, this one is certainly another tool to explore the journey of the soul in a most creative manner. Blake, admirably captured by Buryn, created his own cosmological system, mythology, poetry, in a very particulate manner. The Soul's Journey cards begin with the Cycle of Matter, progress to that of Awakening, and conclude with Spirit. The culminating Triumph is Eternity. Blake railed against the ultra rationalistic life point of view, the province of the left hemisphere of the brain, which has been the bane of modern Western, usually taken to be, sorry folks, certain "white" mechanistic ways of thinking, and he was right. If you like Blake, you will love these cards. Though lovely, they are, for some, an acquired taste. For others, they just exactly hit the spot.

Now, a very special blessing, a seeming miracle, the brilliant Soul Cards by Deborah Koff-Chapin (The Center for Touch Drawing, P.O. Box 914, Langley, Wash. 98260; phone: 360-221-5745, fax: 360-221-5931) -- who some have likened to a modern William Blake -- had their origin when the artist, on the last day of her last year in art school in New York, in a playful manner while cleaning up a glass for a friend, discovered and created what she calls "touch drawing," which she demonstrates anyone can do. Touch Drawing, according to Koff-Chapin, is the language of the soul, exploring what is inside and bringing it out, in art, via painting with the hands on paper that is resting on a paint-covered surface. The first time I saw the remarkable "Soul Cards" I was getting a reading from psychic-tarot expert Will McGreal (360-341-3132)--yes, psychics consult other psychics--who proceeded to have me read and interpret the cards, also. Gorgeous, breath-taking, exquisite cards!!! The reader's own intuition coupled with the elegant soul renderings on each card give profound divinatory revelation. Will gives workshops on how to read these cards. I have been using them for a bit now and find them absolutely marvelous. When I first removed the wrapping from my own deck and released the cards from their cardboard "home," I felt graced by their power the instant they touched my hands. These cards, with no designated meanings, words, definitions, or descriptions, speak for themselves, requiring the practitioner to draw on her/his innate psychic-intuitive gifts and delve deeply. Soul Cards can be comfortably used by people of many cultures as the art is rendered in such a way as to bypass major racial designations. Created from the innermost recesses of Koff-Chapin's essence, the Soul Cards, plus Drawing Out Your Soul, The Touch Drawing Handbook, as well as the magnificent 61-minute video, Through the Veil, The Story of Touch Drawing, music by Master Charles and Christy Slovacek-Mench, are must-haves for anyone interested in exploring the inner dimensions of being. The woman writes as well as she touch paints.

Contact Cards: An Extraterrestrial Divination System, by Kim Carlsberg and Darryl Anka (Bear & Co.), authors also of Beyond My Wildest Dreams: Diary of a UFO Abductee, is anthropomorphic, yet fun. A smaller-sized deck than most, it contains five suits--Aliens, Ships, Stars, Planets, Crop Circles--with 12 elements apiece, each described in sometimes humorous vein, followed by its personal human application. Carlsberg claims numerous contacts with extraterrestrials in the form of "abductions," whereas Anka experienced two close-range UFO sightings in 1973. He has been channeling "Bashar," an extraterrestrial consciousness, for years, and has been adept at tarot and giving readings in the art since 1972. Although my perceptions of the Pleiadians and others differ from theirs, I still found the cards give excellent readings. The Metu Neter cards and book (Auser Auset Society, Brooklyn), though requested for review, were not sent. This is unfortunate as they depict a particular Khametic/African-American point of view. Sorry. Perhaps another time. The reason racial and cultural distinctions are being made in this column is that many people write as though they are giving a global perspective, when in reality they are giving the perspective of their culture, and when the person is "white," which has been "mainstream" for a while now, it is presumptuous to make a covert assumption that because the writer and his/her cohorts hold a particular point of view, that it is a global one, even among other people of similar coloration or culture. And, by the way, no racial/cultural grouping is immune to this. It is part of the veiled racial issues in this country and on the planet.

Folks, get hold of any of these or any other particularly interesting deck, of which there are many, including inner child and countless others. These are but a sampling of the wonders that await you to enhance your earth journey. Enjoy! Grow! Evolve! For anyone who would like to reach me or send me books, tapes, videos and/or CDs for consideration for review in this column or for my cable show, "Aurora Borealis," thank you, and please contact me at:

Aurora Borealis
P.O. Box 90
JAFNY 10116
212 243 3266

Gateways Books and Tapes
P.O. Box 370
Nevada City,CA 95959
Phone (916) 272-0180 - FAX (916) 272-0184

If you would like to reach Gateways, please email us at

©1996 Gateways Books and Tapes

This site maintained by Galaxy Website Design