Wisdom in the Cards
by A.L. Samul
a review by John Gilbert
Wisdom in the Cards by A.L. Samul (ISBN 1-57281-335-0) published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. is based on and inspired by the Hudes Tarot Deck also available from U.S. Games. The paperback retails for $10.00.
The Hudes Tarot Deck is a beautiful deck in the Golden Dawn tradition. The black and white pictures in this book don't do it justice. You really need to see the full color deck to get the full impact of these cards. But the book stands alone. According to the authors, the book was inspired by the Hudes deck but it can be used with any tarot deck of the reader's choice. Those of you who are drawn to this deck will probably enjoy it as much as I do.
In the Introduction the author explains the Snapshot of Now tarot spread using the following positions:
The first five cards are laid out like a Celtic Cross with the sixth card set over to the right side. This sixth card is called Turn of the Wheel by the author. It gives an indication of what's coming up next in the client's life. The author credits Thalassa, originator and organizer of the Bay Area Tarot Symposium, with creating this spread. I like this spread because it's easier to use and better defined than the Celtic Cross. (Those of you who know me know my belief that the Celtic Cross is more often poorly done than not, and it's a difficult spread for beginners to use well.)
The author painstakingly describes each card and explains the imagery in easy-to-understand language. Following this, she gives a meaning for the card in both the upright and reversed (inverted) positions. The next thing she does is assign a planet to each card in the Major Arcana.
For each card in the deck she gives both an affirmation and a prayer. For example, her affirmation for the Empress is: I accept my body and myself completely. I cooperate with my body and I respond to its needs. I am aware of the beauty within and around me. Which of us could not benefit by using this affirmation daily?
Lest you be turned off by the Christian approach to prayer, consider the author's Prayer of the Empress: Help me notice the beauty that is ever present in life, and help me be lifted up by it. Bless me with a discipline toward my body that is both gentle and compassionate. Yes! Such is my prayer for all of us.
The affirmations and prayers attached to each card is a wonderful way to start each day. One card a day followed by a short period of contemplation, meditation, quiet time or journaling can help anybody change his or her attitude, self-esteem and outlook on life in just a few weeks. Read and envision the affirmation. Read and consider the prayer. What a great way to start each day.
These alone are worth many times the $10.00 price of this paperback. The card descriptions are priceless. Thalassa's spread is wonderful.
Today my card is the King of Pentacles: I am a deep well of compassion and comfort, filled with waters that renew and refresh my life and the lives of those close to me. Yes, I am. My prayer for the day is: When things are hard and impenetrable in my life, I ask You to bring me the softening that allows for compassion, movement and flow. Yes, I so pray today. Thanks A.L. for sharing these words of wisdom.
Good book. I recommend it to you. Back to Index