Review: Smith-Waite Borderless Tarot

Review: Smith-Waite Borderless Tarot

Smith-Waite Tarot TemperanceBy now, everybody is familiar with the images in the Rider-Smith-Waite Tarot. After all, they’re the images that cemented the symbolism of tarot, and virtually every other deck since has used those cards as a basis for its own images. But no matter how well you know the Rider-Smith-Waite (RSW) Tarot, you’ll see them in a whole new light in the new Smith-Waite Borderless Tarot from US Games.

For this deck, US Games has sought to depict the images as accurately to Pamela Colman Smith’s original work as possible. It might seem hyperbolic to call the end result “transcendent”, but that’s really what we have here. The artwork here is pristine and clear, avoiding the overly-mimeographed quality that can sometimes come from the standard RSW. There is almost no color bleed here, the lines and text are cleaner, and the overall color palette is warmer and more muted. The images possess a timeless quality while also having a kind of charming antiquity. The cards could easily be used as a prop for a high-budget period film right out the box.

Smith-Waite Tarot BackOne of the nicest elements of the deck is the card backs. Instead of the harsh, crisscrossing lines of the standard RSW deck, the Smith-Waite has a rich green back with a white rose in the center. Astute observers will note that it’s the same white rose from the flag on the Death card. In the corners of the back are Smith’s signature, giving the deck a distinct ownership. Waite may have told Smith what to illustrate, but this deck is more hers than his.

But no matter how beautiful the cards are, what’s important is how it reads, and the Smith-Waite reads beautifully. Even for those of us who don’t necessarily connect with the RSW, this deck reads very easily, having an accessible and open kind of energy. The lack of borders also helps to bring the artwork front and center, emphasizing the composition and structure of the symbols on each card. The one drawback to reading with the deck is the cardstock. While sturdy and fine, the cards are rather thick and slick right out of the box. You may need to do some extra shuffling to loosen them up and read on a good, velvet mat to make sure the cards don’t slide around.

Smith-Waite Tarot DuetOne of the deck’s most interesting features is the addition of four cards depicting other artwork by Smith. Several of these were included as postcards in US Games’ previously-released Smith-Waite Commemorative box set. The Little White Book inside the deck does not assign a divinatory meaning to any of the cards, and they are not given a number or place in the deck itself. However, there’s no reason that they can’t be incorporated into the deck for readings. Each of the cards’ art was inspired by a corresponding piece of music or theatre from sources as diverse as Schumann, Stravinsky, and George William Russell. Like the rest of the cards in the deck, these four pieces have multiple layers of meaning that can be explored. The meaning of each card is therefore left up to the reader, giving an extra personal edge to any readings done with them.

Smith-Waite Tarot King of PentaclesThe Smith-Waite deck is, frankly, a gorgeous addition to any tarot enthusiast’s library. While it may initially seem to be just another variation on the most common and popular deck of all time, it is in reality its own thing. Softer, but somehow more resonant than the original, and equal parts nostalgia and reinvention, it’s a great deck for beginners and veterans alike.

Clean Off Those Crystals!

Clean Off Those Crystals!

By Madison Vinje

Here at the Eye, we get a lot of questions surrounding properly cleansing and charging your new crystal companions. Although each individual will have their own favorite way of performing this process, we’re here to help you out with some of our favorite methods.

Before we get into that however, what’s all this talk on cleansing them, anyways? What’s the point, and how often should this be tacked on to your to do list? Often times when a crystal is used very frequently, such as for an intense healing session or similar event, it almost feels as if their energy has been compromised. A really easy way to tell if this is the case is that it won’t feel as “electric” or “energetic”. Maybe it feels a little denser, heavier, or warmer than it has in the past. When a crystal is fully charged, it will typically feel “alive” in a sense. Cool and crisp to the touch, vibrating with enthusiasm. Almost as an eagerness to express it’s unique energetic signature. The more one works with stones, the easier it will be to pick up on this feeling as well as develop your own determining factors for cleansing.

Some individuals prefer to simply cleanse their stone collection once a month underneath the light of the full moon’s rays either in a windowsill or outside overnight. This is one fairly common method, but don’t worry if this doesn’t resonate with you and your relationship to your stones. Below you will find a few more methods that work just as well.

 

Stone “Vacation”

Think about it: your precious crystals live in the womb of mother earth up until they are fully formed, and most likely even longer than that. But when do they ever have a chance to realign with their true nature? Whether you have a full yard, or just some potted plants at your disposal, burying them every so often is a great way for them to release any energy they have accumulated up above ground and surrender it back to the earth. Just make sure to mark where they are hiding away so they can be relocated after their vacation is done!

 

Chilled Tap or Spring Water

Remember how we were talking about charged crystals feeling cool and crisp? Running them through some chilled tap — or even better, spring water — is a very easy way to accomplish this in a matter of minutes. If one has several stones to be cleansed, it’s really easy to place them in a bag of cheesecloth or muslin, and let them flow with the stream of the spring while you can conveniently hold onto them by the string of the bag. If you have a crystal point to be cleansed, it’s very effective to hold the point end either facing downwards from the tap, or facing downstream to allow the unwanted energy to “drain” from the crystal. Do this until the crystal feels “alive” again.

 

Salt Water Bath

Salt is a very protective and cleansing mineral, which makes it an ideal ingredient for a cleansing bath for your crystals. Simply fill a bowl with water as well as sea or table salt enough to completely submerge the crystals being cleansed. Commonly, the crystals will remain in the bath for a day or overnight, but they can be left for as long as you deem necessary. Just make sure to rinse them off after their bath and check to see if your crystal is compatible with water and salt. This can also be performed with salt alone in a similar fashion.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE WITH CLEANSING METHODS CONTAINING WATER

Not all crystals and minerals will be able to withstand being placed in water because they do not have a very resistant hardness. For example, if the mineral selenite is placed in water, it will immediately start to crumble whereas something like a diamond could be infinitely housed in water. An easy way to determine if your gem is safe to be placed in water or not is to simply research the Mohs Scale of Hardness to see where your gem falls. This scale determines the hardness of minerals from a scale of 1 (Talc) to 10 (Diamond). As a general rule of thumb, gems with a hardness above 6 will generally be safe to be exposed to water. These stones include sodalite, most forms of jade, garnet, quartz, and tourmaline.

 

Geode and Druzy Energy

Geode and Druzy crystal formations hold a lot of energy. Due to how many points these structures have emanating energy, they can transfer that energy to other crystals who can then benefit from their aura. Simply place these crystals on top of or inside of the formation for as long as deemed necessary. This can be doubly effective if the entire cluster is placed underneath the light of the full moon. Some crystals that are especially good for charging others are quartz and amethyst clusters, as well as selenite wands.

 

Herbs, Sage, and Palo Santo

One of the most well-known ways to cleanse is with the aid of plant allies. Often times, these plants are burned to release a smoke in which the gems will be exposed to, often times with the aid of a purifying intention. They can be burned over a charcoal burner, or simply lit directly in the case of herb bundles or Palo Santo. As you proceed, watch the smoke and how it behaves. When there is energy that needs to be diffused, the smoke may flow erratically as it interacts with this energy. A charged and or balanced stone, area, or person when exposed to this smoke may have little to no effect on how the smoke behaves. It will flow upward calmly with ease. Always look for this behavior alongside the feeling you receive to know when the cleansing is complete.

A few great herbs alongside sage and palo santo for cleansings include rosemary, cedar, mugwort, rose, and peppermint to name just a few. If you’re not one for the smoke, it is possible to bury your crystals in a bowl of these herbs as well, similar to a dry salt bath.

 

Visualization

A very simple way to cleanse that can be used for free by anyone at any time is to simply hold the stone in your hands while visualizing a white purifying light entering and shining through the crystal. Continue until you can feel a solid bond forming between your two energies or when you feel the work has been completed.

 

Sound Baths

Tibetan singing bowls, binaural beats, tuning forks, drums, and other instruments will cleanse and energize crystals just as they can elevate our own states of consciousness. Simply playing these vibrations around your stones until you feel satisfied is sufficient, and having these frequencies playing around the home on a regular basis is an excellent way to perform maintenance work on both you and your stones.

This is just a small list on the numerous ways that one can charge their stones. Everyone will find what ways work best with them, so don’t get caught up too much in the formality that it can sometimes be portrayed to be. Listen to your intuition and the relationships to your stones and let it flow!

 

New Moon in Aries, April 15, 2018

New Moon in Aries, April 15, 2018

By Thraicie Hawkner

The New Moon of April 15th is in Aries. Our key word is “dynamic”! We are apt to be more action-oriented than usual for the few days surrounding this dark moon. New Moon is always a good time to start something new, but this one is particularly prone to instigation.

Be aware that Mercury is also in Aries and has been retrograde. It will just be stationing direct, at this point. Don’t rush into anything crazy. There may still be some frustrations and hiccups. But do expect more successful forward-motion with your efforts in the days to come. Our Van Van oil, spray, and candles are designed to remedy any remaining difficulties.

Mars is still in Capricorn, as we discussed in the last newsletter. The key words are “Strategy” and “Purpose.” If we can stay focused on the goal and stay on plan, success is assured, especially with all this Aries power behind us! This week, there are also some powerful aspects that bring an emphasis on deep spirituality, awareness of use (or misuse) of power, and some serious consideration of religious beliefs and political & financial philosophies (Mars sextile Neptune and Jupiter sextile Pluto).

Shungite is a particularly good stone for this time. It is as dark as the New Moon, and helps to conduct/focus your intentions toward powerful manifestation. Consider combining it with Yarrow herb, to help overcome any fears or sense of weakness, that might be undermining your success.

Stop by the Eye of Horus today, or visit our online store, to pick up your New Moon supplies today!