Deck/Booklet Review:  Affirmations For the Everyday Goddess
James Ricklef's Tarot and More
Affirmations For the Everyday Goddess
Spiritual Guidebook and 22 Wisdom Cards for Contemplation and Prayer
By Pamela Wells
Self-Published, 2009
ISBN-13:  978-0-615-24049-7

Review by James Ricklef © 2009
Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess cover
Set of Booklet and deck, fanned
A few days ago I found myself wondering when my copy of "Affirmations For the
Everyday Goddess" (AFEG) was going to arrive.  It had been about a week since
Pamela Wells had notified me that she was mailing it to me, so I was anxiously
anticipating its arrival. Then no sooner had these thoughts trickled through my
head than the doorbell rang. It was the mailman – mail-woman actually, a
substitute for our regular letter carrier, who is male – and she was delivering the
package I had been thinking about. These "coincidences" were too auspicious to
ignore, so I decided to review this book and deck set without delay, and here it is.

My first impression of this deck is of its artistic beauty. Not only are the card
images all quite lovely, but with their golden borders and the exquisite card back
image (which is of a spotted leopard in a lush jungle setting), the cards as a total
package are a visual delight.  I've tried to pick my favorite painting in this little art-
gallery-in-a-box, but I really cannot choose just one. A few highlights are the
Strength card (where dazzling sunlight is filtering through a forest canopy to shine
upon a woman flanked by a tiger and a leopard), the Temperance card (with a
luminous angel and a background landscape bathed in the soft glow of twilight),
and the Star card (with its serene, ethereal nightscape).
Temperance card flanked by image from Strength and Star cards
I also like the affirmations on the cards in all but one case. (I found the affirmation printed
on the High Priest card to be too esoteric, but that may reflect my own way of creating and
using affirmations.) My favorites are the ones on the Lovers card ("I see the Divine in myself
reflected in another.") and on the Justice card (which includes the phrase "I take full
responsibility for my choices.")  Of course, there is limited space on the cards for printed
affirmations, but that's where the accompanying booklet comes in. It provides fuller
explanations of the cards' symbolism and meaning, associated spiritual contemplations, and
discussions that suggest other affirmations for the cards. For example, Wells has associated
a short prayer with each card, which may be easily converted into an affirmation. As an
example, I came up with an affirmation for the High Priest that I liked based on its prayer: "I
am in touch with something greater than myself."

The booklet that comes with this deck starts off with a valuable discussion about what
affirmations are and how to use them in the context of these cards.  But its introductory
remarks, as well as its discussions about the individual cards, go well beyond the
expectations that one might have based on the title of this deck. Indeed, affirmations are
only one facet of this book and deck set.

As stated in the AFEG booklet's introduction, the purpose of this set includes helping
people "to explore the mysteries of life's meaning and purpose" and "to become more
aware of who you are and what is meaningful to you within the framework of your spiritual
and religious beliefs." To accomplish this, it examines the archetypal energy of the cards,
provides a framework for meditation and contemplation of them, and suggests exercises
that will help you explore the cards' spiritual meaning within the context of our mundane,
material world.  And it includes an inspirational prayer to accompany each card.

To gain a little more insight into this deck, I dealt myself one card to see what it wanted to
say to me at this time.  The card I got was Temperance, and the affirmation on that card
reads: "May the Lord make me an instrument of peace." I've transformed this into the
following affirmation, which is in a more traditional style:  "I am an instrument of peace."

Based in this, my initial impression is that this deck can be a way to find peace and serenity
in my life. This card's lovely garden setting also reminds me that I often find peaceful refuge
from the strife and stress of life through gardening, which implies that this deck can have a
similarly palliative effect.

Also, the prayer provided in the booklet for this card is: "May I see the invisible world and
the visible world as one."  What's interesting about this is that, as noted above, the AFEG
booklet provides exercises to help you explore the cards' spiritual meaning within the
context of the mundane, material world. Seeing this non-duality is an important spiritual
step, and (as this prayer suggests), this book and deck set can help us take that step.

Finally, let me provide a few concluding remarks about the AFEG set.

First, I want to caution people about the title, "Affirmations For the Everyday Goddess." I
have already noted that affirmations are only one aspect of this book and deck set, perhaps
even being secondary to its aspect of spiritual exploration and evolution. I would also like to
say that the AFEG set, which is also billed as "Inner Guidance Cards for Women," can
certainly prove valuable for men as well as for women. I suspect that the set's title may
deter some men from considering it, though, which is unfortunate.

Secondly, although I believe that AFEG's higher purpose is to function as a Hermit's lantern
that will illuminate your path along a spiritual journey, it certainly can be used for
"traditional" Tarot readings if one wants to do "Majors only" readings. The cards are
certainly evocative and archetypal enough on their own for such a use.

           
Miscellaneous technical specifications:

*  The back images are non-reversible.
*  Trim size:  4" x 5.75" box kit contains a 3.75" x 5.5" booklet (120 pages) and
(24) 3.75" x 5.5" illustrated cards: 22 Major Arcana cards, a title card, and
a Wisdom Card Prayer Guide.
*  The cards are of a nice, heavy cardstock.  
Caution: They stick together a bit at first, but that small problem quickly abates with
           just a little use.
*  Strength is 8 and Justice is 11
*  Renaming:  
High Priest for Hierophant
Hanged One for Hanged Man
*  Retail Price:  $14.95
Images from Affirmations For the Everyday Goddess © Pamela Wells 2009
.
For more about this deck, see also my interview with Pamela Wells on my Tarot Blog.