New Familiar Spirits – Pokémon at the Eye

New Familiar Spirits – Pokémon at the Eye

It is traditional to burn incense as an offering to spirits in many traditions, but some Eye of Horus Staff and readers have discovered our incense selection is drawing some new familiar spirits… Pokémon. It seems there is a pokémon stop just a few steps from the front door to our store. Admittedly, these aren’t the familiar spirits we are used to, but we really do support diversity. Rather than discourage visitations, we have decided to welcome them into our store and even have gotten some photos of them exploring the store. We also think, though this is a game, we can learn a thing or two about nature spirits and incense and archetypes.

Incense Lures Them

Photo of Pokemon Eevee in Incense Section

Eeevee in the Incense Section – After Dragon’s Blood perhaps?

We think it’s our incense section at the front of the store that lures the Pokémon in. There’s stick, cone, dhoop and traditional resin incense and herbs which make that front corner a favorite location. We aren’t sure if they are drawn to the three different types of Nag Champa (Blue Satya, Golden Nag, or Red Shanthimalai), or the Sage Bundles, or the traditional Japanese Incense sticks.

Japanese Incense Ceremony

Seriously, though, cultures from around the world have used incense as offerings and to draw in good energy and spirits for millennia. We carry incense from around the world. All over, various floral and spice scents are used, but different areas have different prime “notes” for the region. Frankincense is sacred in the middle east, Sandalwood and NagChampa in India, Amber in Europe, Sage in America. But in Japan, they take their incense very seriously. Kōdō (香道, “Way of Fragrance”) is the name of the Japanese tradition of incense burning. Kōdō is counted as one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement, along with kadō for flower arrangement, and chadō for tea and the tea ceremony.

Elemental Spirits Aren’t a New Thing

Pokémon originated in Japan and have migrated here. We take the point of view that these characters are simply commercialized archetypes of nature spirits, and anyone familiar with the elemental spirits will see parallels with some of the “types.” There are eighteen different Types of Pokémon which include Normal, Fighting, Flying, Poison, Ground, Rock, Bug, Ghost, Steel, Fire, Grass, Water, Electric, Psychic, Ice, Dragon, Dark and Fairy. Each has their own unique strengths, representing the various gifts and aspects of the world in which they inhabit; not unlike the Earth, Air, Fire and Water, the four elements used in western magic magic and mysticism, and represented in the four suits of the Tarot. We think this is why this Jynx is visiting our Tarot Demo Station… Not only is it a Psychic Type of Pokémon, but the symbols of the Tarot are no doubt familiar.

Jynx Pokemon in Tarot Demo Station

Pokémon are a cultural Phenomenon with Ancient Ancestors

In western Europe, there was a tradition of Fairies, in Scandinavia there were Land Wights and Huldre. Many of our stories, which began as tales of interaction with natural forces and deities, have echos in modern art and cartoons. Pokémon seem like a similar thing to fairies, though with a broader scope.  Though, since Pokémon come from Japan, the creators draw more on their own culture for archetypes. The indigenous practice and beliefs of Japan is Shintō, which literally means “the way of kami” (kami means “mystical,” “superior,” or “divine,” generally sacred or divine power, specifically the various gods or deities). In Shintō all the deities are said to cooperate with one another, and life lived in accordance with a kami’s will is believed to produce a mystical power that gains the protection, cooperation, and approval of all the particular kami.

So, yes, we welcome Pokémon in our store, and people outside “capturing” them, with the understanding that the games we play do affect our outlook on the world, not as profoundly as spiritual practice and interaction with the deities and spirits of earth-based religions, but as an opportunity to celebrate the diversity offered in these characters and to use as a springboard to further understand our own cultural paradigms. It’s also okay to have fun every now and then.

We also think, that when you are out walking, you should turn off your phone now and again to experience the sacred mystery and diversity of the elemental, animal and earth spirits our western culture has either demonized, demoted or forgotten. Step away from the game and into the mystic.

Chrysalis Tarot – First Impressions

Chrysalis Tarot – First Impressions

Chrysalis Tarot Suits Sample Cards

Chrysalis Tarot Suits

Chrysalis Tarot is a 78 card tarot deck with art by Holly Sierra and a little white book by Toney Brooks. The theme of the chrysalis, that of transformation is what this deck is about because it gives a fresh perspective on the paths and meanings of the tarot.  Instead of traditional, it is flexible, working with myth in a modern way. That is, it draws its images from a variety of mythologies most familiar to modern seekers and tarot readers.  You will find deities and spirits represented such as Herne, Kali, Ariadne, the Green Man, Psyche and even Papa Legba.

There is a full range of mythological creatures as well: a Pheonix, a Unicorn, aDragon, a Pegasus, a Pirate (Corsair). All the images of the Chrysalis Tarot are anything but typical or traditional, yet they are familiar to anyone who is versed in fantasy or mythology.  It is refreshing to see some diversity here, both in the myths and the cultures, though I’m sure purists would object to having such a jambalaya of references and peoples. But this modern mix of mysteries and archetypes both big and small is what makes this deck refreshingly appropriate for today’s tarot reader. We are familiar with and inspired by different cultures, and with such a strong artistic voice, they do somehow seem to work together.

The four suits that make up the Minor Arcana in the Chrysalis Tarot are:

  • Mirrors (Cups) – theme color blue
  • Stones (Pentacles) – theme color green
  • Spirals (Wands) – theme color gold or yellow
  • Scrolls (Swords)- theme color purple

The Court Cards stand out a bit with a frame around the figure, and again, they are anything but typical.  All of them are well, friendly, and familiar enough to work with. The Chrysalis tarot is just a visual delight overall and generally full of pleasant thematic surprises.

The Chrysalis Tarot is available from the online Tarot Shop at shop.Eyeofhorus.biz or in our Minneapolis Store. We even have a demo deck if you stop into the store, as we do for most decks. You can even get the Chrysalis Tarot as an app, though we haven’t tried that out. We tend to prefer actual cards at the Eye.

Chrysalis Tarot Card Back

Chrysalis Tarot Back

About Holly Sierra

Holly Sierra has been drawn to all things mystical and magical since her childhood. Her vibrant paintings allow us a glimpse into an enchanted world filled with goddesses and mythological creatures. Holly’s infatuation with Tarot began when she was a teen and discovered an antique deck amongst her parents’ possessions. The Chrysalis Tarot deck is dedicated to both her beloved parents. After pursuing a fine arts education, Holly lived and traveled extensively in Asia. Multicultural themes influence her artwork, which has appeared in children’s books, magazines and greeting cards. Holly makes her home amidst the picturesque, green mountains of Stowe, Vermont.

About Toney Brooks

After retiring from broadcasting twenty years ago, Toney traveled the world researching spirituality. He studied, both formally and informally, a number of metaphysical subjects including comparative mythology, philosophy of history, and an obscure area of theology known as Mariology. He holds a PhD in Metaphysics and a certification in Spiritual Counseling.

Witches Tarot Deck by Ellen Dugan – Inside the Box

Witches Tarot Deck by Ellen Dugan – Inside the Box

Back of the Witches Tarot Cards - Triple moon in stars

Witches Tarot Back

Review by Jane R Hansen

How do you make a Tarot Deck for Witches: No, not the pointy-hat halloween kind of witches, but Wiccans and others who practice the Craft of the Wise?  Well, I suppose it’s like stirring a good spell. You bring everything you know to the table and select just the right ingredients to get the job done, and you work with nature, make room for the magick, and create a clear image to manifest. This seems to be what Ellen Dugan has done in her Witches Tarot, as she worked with award-winning illustrator Mark Evans to take the traditional symbols of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and brought in a supporting cast of plant, animal and otherworld folk. She also renamed four of the major arcana cards with slightly different names. But more on that later in this review.

Her companion guide spells it all out in detail. You can definitely read with the deck right out of the box, if you are adept with the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) type deck. The renamed Major Arcana make sense, and the rest of the art is mostly a variation on the “standard” art of the RWS deck.

Queen of Wands with cat on lap from Witches Tarot Deck

Queen of Wands

Flora and Fauna

For you herbalists and gardeners out there, pay attention to the plants in the cards. Ellen put some serious thought into the meanings… she isn’t known as “The Garden Witch” for nothing, you know. The Monkshood in the Ten of Swords. Not only is the plant poisonous, but in the language of flowers, monkshood says a foe is near.  This gives double weight to heed the warning of the card to pay attention to your instincts and keep your back to the wall! Throughout Witches Tarot, the flowers and plants have meaning and they are explained in the companion book.

Seven of Cups Witches Tarot Deck

Seven of Cups

What is a witch without her familiar? For you cat-lovers, our favorite familiars do show up in expected and unexpected places.  The Queen of wands has a friend on her lap, but the seven of cups also has a the kitty in a cup. Awe, isn’t that cute! But you’ll also find our feline friends on the High Priestess, Page of Wands, Two of Wands and the Three of pentacles. That’s not even counting the Lion in strength or on the World Card.

But wait, there’s more! Yes, as you wander through the world of Witches Tarot you’ll see a rabbit, stags, ravens, an eagle, hawks, lions, horses, an ibis, wolves, a dolphin, butterflies, dragonflies, a white hind and I’m sure there’s more I didn’t spot when compiling this listing. Best of all, with everything that’s in there, it never seems out of place. [Read more…]