The Enchanted Love Tarot

Like most people who read this website, I love tarot decks. Today I have a beautiful, whimsical, romantic deck to share, “The Enchanted Love Tarot: The Lover’s Guide to Dating, Mating, and Relating” by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber. There is a lot to unpack with this deck, so let’s dive in.

“The Enchanted Love Tarot” is based on a traditional tarot deck, except it has been shot by Cupid’s arrow. You have the major arcana, but the minor arcana are roses (as fire, action, batons, wands, or clubs), wings (as air, ideas, swords, or spades), shells (as water, emotions, cups, or hearts), and gems (as earth, resources, coins, or pentacles). The romance factor is amped way up by the beautiful collage art by Amy Zerner. As per usual, Red Feather Mind, Body Spirit has done a fantastic job packaging this deck. An attractive, oversized, cardboard box with a magnetic closure houses the accompanying book, a 163 full color pages in a trade paperback that fits into the box perfectly. My only picky complaint is that the card stock is rather flimsy. It does make the deck easier to shuffle, but I do worry about its durability.

The book that comes with the deck provides so much more than your usual card meanings and suggested card spreads (although it does have them). The author, Monte Farber, is the husband to the deck’s artist, Amy Zerner, and their marriage inspire the deck and book. So included in the book are love spells and “The ABCs of True Love”.

If you want to take a lovey dovey tarot journey, “The Enchanted Love Tarot” is THE deck for you!

You can learn more here.

Oracle of the Radiant Sun

Astrology is hard. You must know SO much! It’s work. However, thanks to the “Oracle of the Radiant Sun” by Caroline Smith and John Astrop the subject seems much more manageable.

After reading the 144-page, paperback book that comes with the deck I almost feel like I understand astrology. The companion book shows the symbols for astrological signs and planets and qualities associated with the Houses, planets, and signs (an important chart in the book). Like most companion books for oracle/tarot decks each card is given its own section with detailed description and meaning.

The deck consists of 84 beautifully illustrated cards that describe the meaning of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn in the 12 houses and 12 signs of astrology. “Oracle of the Radiant Sun” uses Horary astrology, which means it does not use the outer planets Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto (although these days Pluto isn’t a planet). They offer a Sun Year reading, an astrology version of your year overview divination. The star of the show, in my opinion, is the Horary reading. You deal the cards out like the Sun Year, but then turn over only the cards covering the house positions that relate to your question. I told you those charts were important!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one problem. In the past I have extolled upon the high quality of Schiffer Publishing/Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit. The quality of their boxes and companion books have always been top notch. With the “Oracle of the Radiant Sun” however, the packaging is excellent, the companion book is wonderful, the cards, though beautiful, are printed on a noticeably flimsy card stock. I’m not sure of the reasoning for this, but it is noticeable, even to my non-tarot reading husband.

If you can overlook the card stock issue, you’ll find “Oracle of the Radiant Sun” to be an interesting and fun addition to your tarot collection.

You can learn more here.

Tarot for the Fiction Writer

So darn many of you expressed an interest in this book when I shared it on social media, and you were all right to be excited. “Tarot for the Fiction Writer: How 78 Cards Can Take You From Idea to Publication” by Paula Chaffee Scardamalia was I book I had been anxiously anticipating.

First off, Scardamalia has been featured on our website in the past. Obviously, this makes me partial to following her projects. Also, I had the pleasure of having dinner with her once where we talked shop. Let me tell you, she is intelligent, supportive, and brimming with inspiration and ideas for others. She is one of the few personal coaches I’ve ever met that I think could truly make a difference in their client’s lives. She’s an amazing lady.

Then I get my grubby little hands on “Tarot for the Fiction Writer”. It is a beautiful, full color, hardcover book featuring images from Ciro Marchetti’s “Legacy of the Divine Tarot” and “Tarot Grand Luxe” decks as well as Robert Place’s “Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery” deck. It even has a built-in ribbon bookmark! This is easily the most attractive book I’ve seen from Schiffer Publishing.


Now here is the truly delightful surprise of “Tarot for the Fiction Writer”. You don’t need to be a fiction writer to get something out of this book. Let me clear, this book absolutely and clearly shows the similarities of the tarot and a story, and how you can use the tarot to inspire and navigate the storytelling process. The surprising twist is, in doing that you learn more about the tarot itself. If you love stories, Scardamalia’s methodology brings a new angle to learning the tarot cards.

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore<---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Joining The Ark

A Kickstarter campaign was recently brought to my attention and since it involves a deck, you know I had to share it! I’m excited about it because it looks like it’s incredibly flexible in how you can use it, has beautiful artwork, and the accompanying book features the creator (Bernadette King), Patricia Telesco, and Dayna Winters (who has had a book or two of her own featured on our site). So, what am I talking about?

“The Ark Animal Tarot & Oracle Deck”.

Bernadette King has created a 100 card multi-use animal themed tarot & oracle deck with 300+ page full-color guidebook. I just love the flexibility! You can easily use it like a traditional tarot deck (complete with major and minor arcana) or as an oracle deck, and probably a bunch of other ways!

You can learn more with this video:

To learn even MORE and/or contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, click here. (FYI, this project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, April 19 2019 5:55 AM EDT.)

Ready for more? Bernadette King, the creator of the deck has offered to giveaway a deck to one of my readers! (Once the project is funded and the deck is completed, of course.) Enter today using Rafflecopter! You have until Friday April 5, 2019 11:59pm eastern to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Magical Dogs Tarot

If you follow The Magical Buffet in social media, you know it’s no secret that I love dogs. Sadly, I have none of my own, so I share photos of everyone else’s doggies. Fortunately, thanks to Mickie and Daniel Mueller I have a wonderful deck of 78 canines to amuse and delight.

Dog lovers and tarot fans rejoice because there is now the “Magical Dogs Tarot”! This deck features 78 cards and has the Major Arcana and then instead of Suits there are Packs: Fire Pack, Sea Pack, Sky Pack, and Earth Pack. Author Daniel Mueller put a lot of thought into the nature of dogs and artist Mickie Mueller captures it beautifully. Seriously, I actually giggled with delight at some of the cards.

For those of you who are curious, Fire Pack replaces Wands, Sea Pack replaces Cups, Sky Pack replaces Swords, and Earth Pack replaces Pentacles. The Major Arcana stays mostly intact, but it is noteworthy that the Hanged Man becomes The Seer, The Devil becomes The Trickster, Judgement becomes The Call, and The Star appropriately becomes The Dog Star.

The Companion Book with the deck is well written. Not only is there an image of every card, but there are extra lovely illustrations throughout, include some behind the scenes looks at how the art on the cards evolved.

What more is there to say? A considered look at dogs and nature captured in a whimsical tarot deck. If you don’t already own this one, you’ll want to!

You can learn more here.

Santa Muerte Oracle

With tomorrow being Dia de Muertos it seems like the perfect time to talk about the “Santa Muerte Oracle” by Fabio Listrani (since according to R. Andrew Chesnut it’s becoming a “feast day” for Santa Muerte devotees).

There is a lot to unpack with this deck, and all of it is good. First, I must address the packaging. A solid box that the top pulls up from. Inside an actual booklet as opposed to those flimsy pamphlets you often get. Lastly, a ribbon to help you remove the cards from the box. All of these helps prevent wear and tear on the deck unlike the form fitting, thin cardboard sleeve style boxes that other decks have come in.

The artwork is striking. The deck contains 32 cards, divided into 4 parts: Emanation, Creation, Formation, and Action. Each part has its own style. There’re more than just images of Santa Muerte, but also Dias de los Muertos imagery, and assorted deities. Did Listrani use this bold style in his previous deck “The Santa Muerte Tarot”? Sadly, I missed out on that one, so I’m unsure.

Speaking of Listrani’s previous deck, the book included with the “Santa Muerte Oracle”, implies this deck could be used in addition to the “Santa Muerte Tarot”. Since I just have the Oracle, let’s focus on all the great ways you can use the deck!

Like most decks, this one features a simple 3 card reading. Personally, with oracle decks I like to do a one card draw reading. Listrani mentions using the deck for an “inspirational” card. This is where you search the deck for a card that you feel represents an energy you feel you need. Then you can carry it on you as a reminder or talisman throughout the day or keep it in sight for the day. This inspired me to put one of the cards on my home altar. The last way you can use this deck is the best, because this:

Can become this:

The deck. Becomes. A Ouija board. Boom. Mic drop. We’re done here.

Learn more about this deck here.

Tarot Made Simple

Prepare yourselves for what you are about to see! There are loads of books on the subject of tarot and how to do tarot readings, but I think I may have come across one of the best for beginners or people with horrible memories (like me). Let me introduce you to “Tarot Made Simple” by Liz Dean.

“Tarot Made Simple” has this fantastic split page design that allows you to choose your tarot spread, leave that page open to follow along, but also lets you look up individual card meanings without losing the page the spread is on! Watch this short video of the book in action!

What more is there to say? I think it’s a great resource, particularly with its unique format.

You can learn more here.

Lunar Nomad Oracle

If you follow me on social media and/or have been a long-time reader you know I have a big tarot/oracle deck addiction. To me there really isn’t such a thing as a bad deck, but after a while you start to seek out things that stand apart from the crowd and I have found something truly unique in “The Lunar Nomad Oracle” by Shaheen Miro.

It’s rare to find an oracle deck with so much intense thought put into its construction. “The Lunar Nomad Oracle” starts on the skeleton of the Lenormand deck, a 36-card deck of symbols that most likely evolved from a card game towards the end of the 18th century. Miro’s deck is expanded to 43 cards but holds firm to its Lenormand beginnings. The art for the deck and the design were both done by Miro, which I feel lends a grounding cohesiveness to the dream-like nature of the oracle. Miro indicates that there are three levels of symbolism in each card: archetypal, general, and personal. Personally, I feel that checks out.

All this work is to help you get in touch with your “Lunar” self, which I would sum up as your creative, magical self. Will it work for you? If it doesn’t, it certainly isn’t for Miro’s lack of trying. “The Lunar Nomad Oracle” truly stands apart from its peers.

Learn more here.

Favorite Things 2017

If you’re new to reading this site, you may not know that at the end of every year I do a post about 10 of my favorite things that year. I try to publish in time for you to acquire said things for gift giving purposes, whether it’s a gift for yourself or someone else. Every year I also point out that my list is WAY better than Oprah’s because all of my favorite things are affordable. Particularly when compared to some of her picks. That’s when I point out that I should just be the next Oprah. Consider this paragraph, my annual “I’m better than/or the next Oprah” rant.

The list is presented in no particular order, and everything is new to me this year, not necessarily something that came out this year. I think that covers everything, so let’s get to the list.

“Everyday Witch Tarot” by Deborah Blake with art by Elisabeth Alba. It’s no secret that I love me some Deborah Blake, but trust me when I say she really hit it out of the park with her first tarot deck. Blake’s witchy interpretation of the traditional Rider-Waite deck combined with Alba’s whimsical art created an instant tarot classic that hopefully Llewellyn will keep in print for many years to come. Learn more here.

“The Art and Science of Hand Reading” by Ellen Goldberg and Dorian Bergen. This book is the real deal. If you purchase this book you truly may never need another book about hand reading. It’s a massive text book full of more information than you may have ever thought available. For those looking to get serious with their hand reading work in the new year, look no further. Learn more here.

“The Tarot of Bones” by Lupa. Lupa is a well established Pagan author of works focusing on nature and her first self-published tarot deck is the culmination of her work as a scholar of nature and as an artist. Lupa’s use of animal bone and elements of nature create a whole new approach to the tarot and makes it a must own for tarot collectors and lovers of the natural world. Learn more here.

“Plant Magic: A Year of Green Wisdom for Pagans & Wiccans” by Sandra Kynes. “Plant Magic” is a reminder that one of Kynes strengths is her ability to catalog the connections between things. In this book the focus is entirely on plants including a plant’s relationship to a particular holiday, what plants grow best each month, and what plants can be found in the wild each month. And of course the magical correspondences of all those plants! Learn more here.

“Drug Wars: How Big Pharma Raises Prices and Keeps Generics Off the Market” by Robin Feldman and Even Frondorf. Not a light, easy read, but an important one for those of us interested in how prescription drugs work in America. Learn more here.

“Secret Medicines from Your Garden: Plants for Healing, Spirituality & Magic” by Ellen Evert Hopman. Reading “Secret Medicines from Your Garden” makes you feel like the author is personally leading you on a wilderness adventure. Hopman regales you with anecdotes from her spiritual journey and herbalism training. This is easily the most engaging book about plants ever. Learn more here.

“Fairies, Pookas, and Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild and Wicked Enchanted Realm” by Varla Ventura. This book is fantastic. The author’s enthusiasm for the subject matter is obvious as she relates assorted tales from folklore. I always love how she unearths the more obscure creatures for these books. In this one you’ll find fairies, pookas, and changelings (of course). You’ll also read about bonga, trolls, coblyns, brownies, and even Rumpelstiltskin! Learn more here.

“The Book of Thoth: Egyptian Tarot” by Aleister Crowley. If you’re an occult book nerd like myself, this new edition of “The Book of Thoth” is some hot book porn. This new facsimile edition of “The Book of Thoth” is a faithful reproduction of the Samuel Weiser Inc. 1969 edition, which in turn was a facsimile of the original O.T.O. edition printed in 1944. The text is digitally restored, printed on a heavy, coated stock, and features revised color plates and black and white illustrations of the Thoth Tarot based on new photography of the original art, courtesy of the O.T.O. and The Warburg Institute. The book text block is smyth sewn, with a rounded back, and headbands. Printed endpaper reproduces the Egyptian motif from the board covers of the 1944 edition. The cover is quality cloth over boards with gold stamping on the spine, and is wrapped with a jacket which again features updated art while matching the original design. Learn more here.

“The Yogi Diet: Spirituality and the Question of Vegetarianism” by James Morgante. I love food. I love learning about religions. This book talks about both, in depth. I loved it. Learn more here.

“Botanical Inspirations Deck and Book Set” by Lynn Araujo with art by Pierre-Joseph Redouté. This deck shares folklore, symbolism, and more for each flower or plant. It features absolutely beautiful artwork by Pierre-Joseph Redouté. This is the perfect deck for lovers of oracle style decks and/or fans of flowers. Learn more here.

Assuming the comments on the site are working, tell me some of your favorites of this year! Or tell me on The Magical Buffet’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts!

Botanical Inspirations

Here in the northeast things are taking a definite fall-wards turn. However thanks to the “Botanical Inspirations” deck by Lynn Araujo I’ll be able to enjoy the delicate flowers of spring all year round.

First we have to talk about the fantastic artwork. The deck contains 44 cards featuring art by Pierre-Joseph Redoute. In Paris he did paintings of the flowers in the royal gardens. His etchings caught the eye of botanists who taught him more about plant anatomy. Redoute went on to do work for Marie Antoinette and Empress Josephine. That’s the guy whose illustrations make up this deck. Neat, right?

Deck creator Lynn Araujo dived deep into plant’s various roles as symbols throughout culture, leaning heavily on the “Secret Language of Flowers” from the Victorian Era that paired specific meanings to individual flowers. In fact, included with the deck is nice foldout sheet listing the “Secret Language of Flowers.”

Each card presents a flower with its common name, its Latin name, and a quote or key words to associate with the flower. To give you a complete experience I choose the share the Sacred Lotus card. You see “Sacred Lotus” with the alternative name “Nymphaea caerulea” directly underneath. Then there is the beautiful illustration with the word “Enlightenment” under it. It’s followed by the Thich Nhat Hanh quote, “No mud, no lotus.”

When you go to the book included with the deck, which is way more sturdy than your typical white print out style book that comes with many tarot decks, you’ll find more information about the Sacred Lotus and its “Inspirational Message”.

The lotus flower grows up out of the mud, yet each day as they unfurl and shed the droplets of water, the flower emerges perfectly pristine. For this reason, the lotus symbolizes purity and spiritual transformation. With its flower so distant from its roots below the water, the lotus also represents detachment, a necessary step for spiritual enlightenment. The golden center of the lotus is rarely shown in Zen artwork since it represents the elusive perfection of wisdom. The Egyptian sun god Ra is often depicted with a blue lotus. Because of this association with the sun, the lotus signifies rebirth.

Inspirational Message: Honor all the experiences that have brought you to this place on your path of spiritual growth but let go of the things that no longer serve you.

Araujo offers a few variations on how to use the cards in readings, but honestly, with decks like these I prefer to do a daily single card draw in the morning to offer insight into the day ahead.

“Botanical Inspirations” is a beautiful and fascinating deck that I would be hard pressed to find someone I wouldn’t recommend it to.

You can learn more about “Botanical Inspirations” here.