The Book Report by Rebecca Traver 

“Art is infinite. It has no beginning and no end.”
~Stephen Sondheim
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Inspiration and support for life's journey are foundational intentions for us at Paradise Found. We are so pleased and grateful to have found a place in your life. Thank you.

runes kit with wooden runes, informational booklet, and a keepsake box with green forest pattern.

I thought we’d start out this report with some wonderful divination tools and accessories from the publishing firm Lo Scarabeo My first loves will always be the Tarot and oracle decks, but it’s good to diversify and Rune Lore is an excellent alternative. This company has several rune offerings and these are two of my favorites:

A set of 25 Wooden Runes that comes with its own bag and an instruction booklet and a Runes Kit: The God's Magical Alphabet which comes as a boxed kit including 25 runes, a bag, and a 144-page guidebook. 

If your heart is set on a Tarot deck, take a look at these beauties - each of which comes with its own guidebook:

tarot cards with artwork by Gustav Klimt

Golden Tarot of Klimt is a gorgeous deck featuring the artwork of Viennese artist Gustav Klimt, known for his passionate and romantic imagery. The accompanying guidebook is just as lovely in its interpretations of the cards and their connections.

The Tarot of Pagan Cats Mini Deck is small enough to fit in your purse or pocket and makes a great stocking stuffer for the tarot enthusiasts on your gift list. I love the illustrations here - cats + tarot…it just makes sense.

set of crystals that correspond to the seven chakras or energy centers. Comes with an informational booklet and a keepsake box.

One of the most innovative tarot decks I’ve come across is Universal Transparent Tarot which features clear panels on each card for superimposing the cards, up to six at once, creating a mosaic reflecting your own unique desires, choices, and actions. This is very cool and comes with its own companion instruction booklet.

My final Lo Scarabeo share is the Chakras Kit: The Seven Doors of Energy in which we learn to use stones and crystals each of which resonates with one of the seven major chakras to help us support and optimize our energetic flow. It comes in a box and includes a bag and a 64-page guidebook.

“There was so much to love, I could not love it all; I could not love it enough.” 
~Louise Bogan

A few other decks calling to me include:

seed and sickle oracle deck | orange box decorated with flowers and a curved sickle

The Field Tarot from Hannah Elizabeth Fofana was recently gifted to me by a dear friend and has quickly risen to the top of my favorite decks. It was created to guide readers through the sacred space (‘the field’) where the tarot narrative lives. It comes with a beautifully designed and written guidebook. I am deeply smitten this deck and am confident you will be too.

sacred earth oracle cards | decorated with fantastical watercolors of human figures merging with colorful landscapes

I am so pleased to introduce this new The Seed and Sickle Oracle Deck from Fez Inkwright. It brings skillful attention and awareness to the cycles of sowing and harvesting that we see and experience every day. There are optimal times for productivity and for rest and each of the cards in this deck is designed to encourage reflection on both aspects of this cycle. The cards impart two meanings - one for times when moving forward is important and one to slow down and cultivate your own well-being.

Sacred Earth Oracle and Journal from Helena Nelson-Reed, Toni Carmine Salerno and Leela J. Williams inspire us to remember that life on Earth is a story of genesis, innovation, persistence, and diversity. When we consciously connect to this powerful recourse we can facilitate our awakening into greater truths and into alignment with divinity. I just love what these folks have created and their invitations to growth.

For other books tickling my fancy, read on…

the big book of magical incense by sara mastros | cover image is black with wafting incense smoke

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the healing and divination properties of incense, then The Big Book of Magical Incense by Sara L. Mastros is for you. Within these pages you will learn basic botanical ingredients, recipes, spells, and ritual practices from a wide variety of sources and traditions. 

the enchanted moon: the ultimate book of lunar magic by stacey demarco | cover image is silver moon on a dark blue background

The Enchanted Moon: The Ultimate Book of Lunar Magic by Stacey DeMarco blends ancient and contemporary rituals to reveal the alchemy of lunar science - showing us how moon cycles flow for balance, healing, and self-realization. Includes authentic mediations or spells for every one of the 28 phases of the moon, crystal suggestions for each moon phase, gardening by the moon guidelines, and a handy 15-year chart of full, dark, and new moons for easy reference.

on consolation: finding solace in dark times by michael ignatieff | cover is a yellow circle against a cobalt blue painted background

Author Michael Ignatieff brings us On Consolation: Finding Solace in Dark Times - a collection of timely and profound meditations on how great figures in history, literature, music, and art searched for solace in the midst of tragedy and crisis. How do we console and support each other in an age of rapid change and divisiveness? We can learn much from those who have traveled the path before us, blazing a trail of love, hope, and resilience.

wake up grateful by kristi nelson | pale green cover with stripes of yellow, pink and orange

Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted from A Network for Grateful Living director Kristi Nelson, with a foreword by Brother David Steindl-Rast, shines a beautiful light on the path toward recognizing abundance in every moment, no matter the circumstances. There’s nothing to grasp for, nothing is missing. Using the story of her own cancer experience as a touchstone, Nelson shares deep insight and help in finding resilience and well-being in the face of life’s uncertainties and offers the opportunity for creating profound personal growth.

Teacher and researcher of mythic language and symbolism, Betty J. Kovács shares evidence of how humanity’s shaman-mystic-scientist past has been persistently repressed by Church and State in her masterwork Merchants of Light: The Consciousness That Is Changing the World. She shows how the ancient blueprint for our evolution is revealed in the heart wisdom of the mystic and the new science of quantum physics. The message is clear; we are divine, immortal, and creative and it is the wisdom of the heart upon which our survival now depends.

The Everybody Ensemble: Donkeys, Essays, and Other Pandemoniums by amy leach | red cover with silhouettes of many different animals

The collection of essays called The Everybody Ensemble: Donkeys, Essays, and Other Pandemoniums by Amy Leach is a bright invitation to see and celebrate our oddball, interconnected world. This book is an antidote to the pressure to conform, shrink, or deny our unique point of view and how we express it in the world.

do/earth/healing strategies for humankind by tamsin omond | white cover with a blue green painted flamelike shape

Do Earth: Healing Strategies for Humankind by innovative social and political activist Tamsin Omond shows us all a path forward as we grapple with how to live lives of strength and beauty in the face of climate change and the fatigue of fighting the good fight for the planet and the life forms with whom we share this world.

a queer dharma: yoga and meditations for liberation by jacoby ballard | bold hot pink text on a cheerful abstract cover of dynamic wavelike shapes and a sun, in bright yellows, blues and pinkst

Social justice educator, yoga teacher, and Buddhist teacher-in-training Jacoby Ballard brings us A Queer Dharma: Yoga and Meditations for Liberation - an empowering and affirming guide to embodied healing through yoga and dharma, grounded in the lived experiences of queer folks. This is a strong and unapologetic offer for everyone to open up, learn, and move beyond whatever limiting biases we may be carrying. 

Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared by jessica honegger | white cover with six large different colored dots lined in two rows

If you are finding yourself wanting to make a move in your life, but are holding back out of fear and attachment to your comfort zone, then Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared by Jessica Honegger is a book for you. This book takes you gently, but firmly by the hand and says, come with me, let’s go live lives of greater meaning and purpose - together! 

I am bowled over in the best possible ways by Why Bother? Discover the Desire for What's Next by Jennifer Louden. I’ve been reading this slowly because it’s so rich with inspiration and insight and support for prioritizing our dreams. How many times has the siren call to distract, suppress, or deny the call to honor our desires hijacked your attention? My guess is that the answer would be often and regularly. And, the truth is that that strategy is a one-way ticket to despair and lives smaller than we are at our core. One of my favorite things about this book is Jen’s clarity and willingness to share her messiest choices and consequences with us. She doesn’t pretend to have ‘arrived’ and I welcome that vibe so very much. Read this book, friends, and be met with grace, intelligence, humility, humor, and strong support for the journey.

For the young and the young at heart…

outside, inside by LeUyen Pham | cover image is a black haired child with her back turned, looking out a window next to a black cat. Window is decorated with colorful paper hearts, potted plants and a teddy bear.

Red and Green and Blue and White by Lee Wind with illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky is inspired by a true story and presents a tale of a community that banded together to spread light and inspiration. This is a quiet, uplifting story and perfect for any time of year.

i sang you down from the stars by tasha spillet sumner | dark haired, brown skinned woman holds a baby, on a background of night sky full of stars.

Outside, Inside by Caldecott honoree LeUyen Pham is a picture book celebrating the lives and contributions of essential workers and the general community coming together to face the challenges of the global pandemic. While the world changed outside, we became stronger on the inside.

I Sang You Down from the Stars from Tasha Spillet-Sumner with illustrations by Michaela Goade is a love story woven through with Native cultural detail as a young mother-to-be awaits the arrival of her new baby. This is a beautiful book in celebration of the bond between mother and child - one that extends to the greater community and across time.

Make just a ripple.
Come on be brave.
This time a ripple,
Next time a wave.
Sometimes you have to start small,
Climbing the tiniest wall.
Maybe you're going to fall—
But it is better than not starting at all!

~“Everybody Says Don’t,” Anyone Can Whistle by Stephen Sondheim

Please visit our online Bookshop to see our full selection of lists and titles. 
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May you be inspired, supported, and delighted by what you find here.

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