Review by Bonnie Cehovet
"AngeLynx" is a 52 card divination deck, the product of over ten years work by John Sacelli - shaman, astrologer, and spiritual counselor. Where to begin? With the cover scan from the box and book, I think. The scan is a compilation of the Angel and the Lynx cards, showing the gold's, green's and brown's of the Maltese Cross on the Angel card, and with the face of the Lynx superimposed over the middle of the cross. The eyes stare, hypnotically, straight out from the card. To meet this gaze is to enter the deck and begin the work.
The cards are meant to correspond to the 52 Strengths not weeks of the year. In Angelish, YEAR means YE ARe - our place in time. The MA-THEMATICS Mother;s Themes of Angelish are organized by six symbols. From the LWB (Little White Book - the booklet that accompanies the deck):
* Cards number 1-9 - Angels: They introduce the system Sacelli terms "Angelish". From Spelling Casting spells to Righting; Correcting Miscast Spells.
* Cards number 10-18 - Atoms: AT OM; AT HoMe. Here we explore Fizz Eeeks Physics; Physiques, or the Fizz I Call Whirled Physical World. The Creation.
* Cards number 19-27 - Atone To be AT ONE. The Arts of Angelish, from the first or A Tone, to the last of Trance End Dance.
* Cards number 28-36 - Insects: In Sects behaviors be! Have yours! Bee hive yours.
* Cards 37-45 - Sex: "Sex is THE HOLY SPIRIT the hole, spear it! To be frisky, life must be a little risky or risque".
* Cards 46-52 - From the POET TREE of Life to the Collective Dream High Bear Nation.
To work with this deck is to take a leap of faith - to be willing to open your mind, and your heart, and play like a child with the language of our lives. In some small manner, we already do this, with such terms as "dis-ease" (disease) and "his-story" (history).
Sacelli notes in the booklet that the "Angelish" spelling in this deck can be differentiated from the English spelling because it has been put in a second font - one which strongly resembles italics. Two fundamental insights of Angelish are noted: Angels angles link lynx us from the god-center sent her to the world whirled. The "spoken word" is the spoke, or radius ray deus; ray of god from the center or hub to the wheel of creation. The authors stated purpose for this deck is to remind us of our original divine connections.
The five fundamental Promises of God, or vows of El, in Angelish are:
* "AH" - a-hAH! The satisfaction of being present
* "A" - creation
* "E" - destruction
* "O" - as in Om, the whole, or hole
* "OU" - as in "yOU", intimacy, meeting
Sacelli suggests that the weirds (words) of Angelish may "blow your mind", making space for new possibilities. The images, or I-Mages, grip onto, or attach themselves to, static emotional patterns, bringing us fresh energy! If the words do not make their intent known to you, focus on the images. If the images blur, return to the words. Find the humor in your world!
Every question becomes a quest-I-on, or a search for understanding, and understanding of "why" or "y" things are as they are. Our past choices make up the story, the story of how our present came to be, and from which our future will emerge. I think everyone who works with divination in any form understands that this is at the basis of the work.
I especially like the section on readings, which become "re-dings"! Dings from the past - this is what readings are made of. Sacelli makes the point that any spread, from Tarot or any other divination source, can be used with the AngeLynx deck. The spreads that are shown are the Seven Chakra reading, placed in a stair-step pattern, rather than the traditional straight up and down scheme. The Listen Reading is a ten-card reading somewhat similar to the Celtic Cross spread, but not exactly the same. A five-card Simple Reading can be adjusted to whatever question or situation/issue the Seeker poses.
The question of reading reversals is compounded in this deck, as there is writing on all four sides of the card! According to Sacelli, wherever you focus first becomes the entry point for your story.
The cards themselves are 4" by 5 1/2", of good quality, glossy, non-coated card stock. Care would need to be taken in shuffling this deck to extend its life. The backs are a medium gray, with a slightly lighter gray inset. It would not be possible to tell if a card was reversed or upright. The card faces have a medium gray border, with the card number in white in the upper left hand corner, the symbol for the card division in the upper right hand corner. The symbols are reversed on the bottom corners. Each side contains a word, in white, with a description in color.
The artwork for this deck lies very much in the area of fantasy and imagination. Faces and forms are easily seen in the cards, which are colored in dark tones of green, red, orange, brown, yellow, and black. No lightweight pastels for this deck! We find faces in the Mystery (almost a "Green man" look), Hibernation, Hibernation, Intuition, Fear, Resent, Mary, Nose, Guru, Seizures, Words, Understand, and Nun cards. In each card, the face brings out different emotions, and different themes. Another "them" that I did note ran through the cards, whether intentional or not, was that of the Chakra's. Cards featuring what could be taken to be a chakra type feel were Irate, Image, Right, Gold, Tale, Kinky, Existence, Chemistry, Eight, Holy Grail, Management, Atone, Insects, Holocaust, and Ascendance. Drugs features human forms amongst a forest of trees, and Crone features an almost "Buddha like" figure, with their head bent in prayer.
The LWB covers all six sections of cards, using text (in English and Angelish), but without the benefit of a scan of the card. If there were to be any changes to this book/deck, this is the change that I would make - add scans.
From the LWB:
2. IMAGE - I'm Age - wisdom/sage*I MAGE - I MAGIc * IMAGINATION - I Magic Nation * Nation of MAGICIANS
Image is I-Mage - I the Magician. The left brain uses words to discriminate ont thing from another. The right brain uses images. Imagination "image in a tie on" to something else flows from one act of creation "I Mage" to all of creation I Magi Nation. We are all the Creator.
When you receive this card, you are being asked to remember your dreams, or to dream new ones. The world is born as it has first been imagined.
14. ATTENTION - precedes learning / A TENSION - precedes action / INTENTION - precedes creation / IN TENSION - precedes birth
Tension : tense ion. Ions are polarized particles with excess charge. Their "in-tense-ion" or desire to bond, impels them to new connections. When we "pay a tense ion" to other energy fields, we are amply repaid in the meeting, learning, and acts of creation create ion; create I-on-and-on.
Student: What is the secret of life? Teacher: pay attention, Student: That's all? Just pay attention? I'm doing all this searching, and that's all you can tell me? There must be a better teacher. Teacher: Oh, there is, and you'll find him. His name is Master Pain.
Pay a tension before you have to learn from Master Pain.
29. IRATE * ire ate, consuming self * I RATE * self-inflation * MISERABLE * miser-able; poverty * MISER-RABBLE * social cost of I-Rate
When we misrepresent our own importance, make ourselves too big or too small, greed and anger or self-hatred begin to consume the self and distort our social relations. Does misery make us angry? Or does anger make us miserable?
Do I see myself clearly: is my "I-rate" fair and accurate?
51. MYSTERY * a haunted home* MIST AERIE - where fairies roam * MS. STORY - a woman's tome * MYSTICAL - the MIST I CALL a favored poem.
Eagle is a totem of spirit, and eagles, like other faeried creatures, live high in misty haunts. These "mist aeries" are spirit homes and gauzy dreams; they elevate our hopes, suffuse and sustain our sense of a life beyond.
You are the mystery. You are the story emerging from the past.
The AngeLynx Deck for me carries the spirited energy of two other decks: James Wanless's "Voyager Tarot", and Deborah Koff-Chapin's "Soul Cards". Both of these decks ask us to expand our minds, and to reach out into the unknown.
If you are willing to work on yourself, and put in the work to connect with these cards, they can take you a long way into understanding your life, your path, and your options. They will help you to take down boundaries, and open doors that you were not even aware were there. Not for the traditional, this deck could well be used for private meditation or ritual, for private readings, for readings for others, or in group work.
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.