Visual Zodiac Manual
The Visual Zodiac Manual: Explanatory Guide to the 78 Cards is the companion book to the astrologically-based 78 card deck, the Visual Zodiac. The full book is available in Spanish, and a mini handbook in English.
By Alejandro C. Luna & Nil Orange
eBook - Self Published
Review by M. Grace Melucci
Could it be possible for human nature to be explained by mathematical equations? Can human personality be reduced to a formula of duos, triads and quadrants? Can a 360 degree pie be used to calculate, predict, and explain all our thoughts and actions?
Of course not. But if you read the Visual Zodiac Manual: Explanatory Guide to the 78 Cards by Alejandro Christian Luna and Nil Orange, you may get the impression it can. This e-book is the companion volume to the Visual Zodiac, an oracle deck based on astrology. The cards themselves can be used even without the book, for the art illustrates well the facets of human personality and life. But with the book, it gets better.
If you are not ready for an honest answer to your question, then you might want to think twice before asking it. This book addresses a person's concerns with an uncanny and eerie accuracy that had me looking over my shoulder every time I did readings with it. Constantly I found myself asking, how could you possibly know this?
Each card represents one or two signs of the zodiac. Astrology -- in terms of sun sign, moon sign and ascendant -- supplies personality traits, and these traits in turn supply the meanings in the book for the cards. All our secrets, weaknesses, virtues and talents make appearances, whether we like it or not. If you have issues, the book will let you know.
Some examples of what the card descriptions are like:
The card for Aires/Gemini shows a pair of identical twins having a heated debate, and it is labeled "Discussion." It shows us what happens when the sparky, competitive nature of Aires meets the Gemini need to communicate. The meaning of the card is: "It's time to fully debate. The best decisions emerge from a frank exchange of views. Trust the strength of your thinking. Dare to explain what you really want." Reversed: "Discussions that lead nowhere. Your communication is aggressive, but understanding is almost impossible. Your thinking is too simplistic and it generates friction. Screaming more than your partner will not show you are right." As an added comment it also says, "Never argue with an idiot; they take you down to their level and win by experience."
Another card, called Asterion (another word for the Minotaur) covers Taurus and Scorpio. The Taurean bull meets the underworld of Scorpio here. Drawing from the myths of ancient Crete, the card shows a maiden encountering the Minotaur in the Labyrinth. The meaning: "Your total commitment is what releases the energy that you need. You have to connect with the power of life...and death. You can use the power of others for your own purposes or for the purposes of both of you." Reversed: "Sacrifice that leads nowhere. The exchange of energies can leave you exhausted. You can still be vampirized by toxic people. You are playing the role of victim." An additional comment says: "Love is sacrifice, and if not, it is selfishness."
When we switch combinations around, and the intellectual Gemini meets the underworld of Scorpio, we get the card called the Psychoanalyst. It features a patient on the classic couch, talking to his therapist. The meaning: "It's time to delve into what you feel and be explicit. Saying what you think in the right environment can be healing and purifying. It is a good time to dive into the deep waters of the unconscious." Reversed: "Dissociation between mind and body and psychic drives. Words can kill senselessly. Existential angst. Mental obsessions. Repression." Another comment says: "A mind that is not afraid to go deep is able to heal. Understanding the language of the unconscious generates more from the unconscious. The emotional complexity brought to the consciousness eventually clears the mind."
The book also supplies some spreads to use, one of them based on the houses of the zodiac. There are also questions for meditation for each card. Though some knowledge of astrology would help with the use of the manual and its cards, it is not mandatory in order to do readings. The book explains things so well that there is very little room for confusion.
Though the book is based on astrology, it seems that there's a lot more that went into it than that. There is an innate understanding of psychology and our inner cosmology that lends a sage awareness to all the meanings of the cards. It is the ideal deck and book set to help a person understand what makes him/her (or anyone else) tick.
This is an e-book and currently only available in Spanish (as Manual Visual Zodiac: Guía explicativa de las 78 cartas), but an English version is in the works.
M. Grace Melucci has been a professional tarot reader since 2010.