Tuesday, August 30, 2011

September New Moon Is Out--Check Your Inbox!

For those of you who currently subscribe to our email newsletter for booksellers, The Moon, you may have noticed a few changes.

We've streamlined the look, included new features, and christened it with a new moniker: The New Moon. As with this blog, our goal is to really connect with you, our selling partners, each month and offer support, guidance, and resources with the aim of helping you grow and thrive in this ever-changing market.

Our September issue of the New Moon was mailed this morning. If you did not receive a copy in your email inbox, you can also view it here: The New Moon, September 2011 Issue.

You can also visit our website to subscribe to The New Moon, ensuring that it reaches you each month (please note that you will need to log in/register to be able to join our mailing list).

Monday, August 15, 2011

True Blood, True Witches?

True Blood“True Blood” image from HBO.com

Have you seen True Blood — the popular HBO vampire drama teeming with spooky thrills, blood, sex, and camp?

I admit, the award-winning series has been a guilty pleasure of mine since its 2008 premiere. Set in a fictional backwater Louisiana town (where else?), True Blood brings to life all sorts of mystical creatures who must cope with humans, and each other, in the modern world. We’re talking werewolves, shapeshifters, psychics, fairies, werecats, and, yes, bloodthirsty vamps.

The fourth season of True Blood tackles something new: Wiccans. The recent Reuters article, “Real Witches Cry Foul at Portrayal on ‘True Blood,’” explores how real witches feel about the television show’s portrayal of Witchcraft. Several witches offer their view, including Llewellyn authors Christopher Penczak and Ellen Dugan. Note that not all of them “cry foul” as the headline suggests.

Are you concerned that television shows like True Blood may be giving Wiccans and Pagans a bad name? Or do you believe mainstream entertainment plays an important role is building awareness of nature-based spirituality? Have TV shows like Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer impacted sales at your store? Please shares your thoughts and stories!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tips for Hand Selling Tarot: Part 3

Tarot author and consultant Barbara Moore concludes her insightful series on hand selling tarot. (Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2.) In this last installment, she explores deck characteristics that are important to experienced tarot readers and offers guidance in selecting decks for beginners.

Tips for Hand Selling Tarot: What Experienced Readers and Newbies Are Looking For
By Barbara Moore

There are a few things that more seasoned readers will ask about. If you make a quick survey or jot down notes about these issues, you can easily answer their questions. Here are a few things I suggest you know about each deck you carry:

1. Strength and Justice.
In the RWS tradition, these are numbered 8 and 11 respectively. In other traditions, they are reversed. For many readers, especially those who incorporate numerology, this is very important to know before buying a deck.

2. Wands and Swords.
In tarot the four suits are associated with elements. Cups are water and pentacles are earth. Wands and swords, however, can vary. The most popular pairing is wands with fire and swords with air. However, there are a few readers who prefer it reversed and will ask.

3. Court Cards.
The traditional courts are page, knight, queen, and king. However, in many modern decks, even those in the RWS tradition, it's not uncommon for the court cards to change. Most readers have no trouble adjusting to new names (such as son, daughter, mother, father or seeker, explorer, protector, teacher), but most will want to know if the court names have been changed.

Once prepared with this information, it’ll be much easier for you to put the perfect deck in the hands of any customer, whether a newbie or seasoned professional. Simply ask a few key questions and you’ll easily narrow down the options.

First, find out if they are a beginner. If so, steer them toward the RWS decks and then focus on themes and the art. If they are more experienced readers, ask what tradition they like and if they have other preferences. Helping them weed out decks that are unsuitable to their uses and/or tastes will be a great service to them . . . and is something Amazon cannot do! Become a resource for sample decks and information and your customers will come to rely on you, coming back for all their tarot needs.

Bonus Tip for Selling to Newbies
Sometimes they get nervous just before a purchase, thinking that it will be too hard to learn to read the cards. Take the sample deck that they are considering, have them shuffle and lay out three cards. Then encourage them to tell a story based on the images. That will help them see how easy it can be to get started as well as help them determine if the art resonates with them.

New Deck Party
Once a season, offer a tarot open house. Have your in-house tarot expert give a short talk about tarot. Then introduce the new decks as well as old favorites. Get people excited about the decks and give them an opportunity to handle them and work with them with other tarot enthusiasts.

Barbara Moore is the author of the guides to Mystic Faerie Tarot, The Gilded Tarot, the Mystic Dreamer Tarot, and Shadowscapes Tarot. She also wrote Tarot for Beginners. Her new book Tarot Spreads will be available in April 2012 and her latest deck, The Steampunk Tarot, will be available in Spring 2012.

In addition to teaching tarot classes and providing personal readings, she works as a consultant for tarot publishers Llewellyn Worldwide and Lo Scarabeo. She also contributes to Llewellyn’s Tarot Pathways blog, keeps a personal tarot blog, and a blog documenting the creative process of The Steampunk Tarot.

Barbara's favorite metaphysical bookstore:
"I love the Eye of Horus, with its hip, urban, art gallery vibe—a great space for the mysterious content and magical items offered there."

Free Tarot Sample Cards
Make tarot deck selection an easy process for your customers. Take advantage of our free tarot sample card offer — exclusive to stores that have a Llewellyn account.

This offer includes all divination decks and kits available from Llewellyn and Lo Scarabeo. Card samples are absolutely free and consist of four to six cards. For more information, please call 1-800-843-6666 and ask to speak to a sales representative.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bringing Your Pet to Work

Who wouldn’t love to spend the entire day with their furry, feathered, or scaled loved ones? Do you bring your pet with you to your store to roam the aisle and greet customers? Are you considering making this leap?

In The Pet Project, an article published by New Age Retailer, Janine DePaulo explores the blessings and challenges of keeping pets in a retail shop. Animal allergies, social skills (of the animal), legal issues, and various other factors come into play when an animal takes on the honored roll as store mascot. This article shares tips for making it a positive experience for your pet, your customers, and your business.

If you decide to go for it, DePaulo suggests setting up a special display that will of special interest to cat fanciers, dog fans, and other animal lovers.

". . . consider creating a pet corner or display that regularly features the latest animal books, art, and other related products . . . Name the space after your pet: “Kallie’s K-9 Korner” or “Payton’s Purrfect Picks.” When customers show an interest in your pet or start telling you their own pet stories, ask them if they have checked out the display. Chances are, if they are interested in animals, they are interested in animal merchandise.

Need ideas for products to fill in your special animal section? Here are some suggestions:

The Enchanted Cat

The Healing Wisdom of Birds

Tarot of Pagan Cats

Cat's Eyes Journal

What Animals Tell Me

Animal Omens

Is Your Pet Psychic?

An Uplifting and Engaging Guide to Healing Grief from Psychic Medium and Lawyer Mark Anthony

Losing a loved one is, unfortunately, a universal experience. Yet how we grieve is utterly unique to each of us. While there are no shortcuts through the grieving process, it’s possible to find comfort and, eventually, healing. Never Letting Go, written by psychic medium and practicing attorney Mark Anthony, offers hope and guidance through the darkest hours of bereavement.

After his mother’s death, Mark Anthony was devastated—until he experienced the impossible: a visit from her. This profound and life-changing experience not only helped him cope with crushing grief but inspired him to develop his gift of spirit communication and bring healing to others.

Opening up to the notion that life transcends death is the first powerful lesson in Anthony’s engaging and uplifting guide to healing from grief. Evidence of the soul’s immortality is illustrated in his moving accounts of delivering life-affirming messages of forgiveness, gratitude, hope, and comfort from loved ones on the Other Side. By sharing his experiences and wisdom as a psychic lawyer and medium, Anthony reveals the healing nature of spirit communication and the rewards of opening our hearts to beloved friends and family in spirit.

This inspirational guide also outlines a healthy grieving process, featuring guidelines on avoiding self-destructive behaviors, embracing the notion of life after death, recognizing spirit messages, knowing when to seek a medium, and continuing a relationship with someone in spirit

Here’s a heart-touching and uplifting excerpt from Mark Anthony’s Never Letting Go: Heal Grief with Help from the Other Side.

Contact with a spirit can be an incredibly healing experience because it teaches us to let go of the sorrow caused by the death, but hold on to the love for the person who died. Spirit contact also helps us understand that God exists, the Other Side exists, the soul is immortal, and that we will be reunited with our loved ones when it is our time to leave this material world.

I’m often asked how I can be so sure of this. I certainly don’t have all the answers, no one does, but I do have some insight. I am a psychic medium who was born with the ability to communicate with spirits.

I’m also a criminal defense and personal injury trial lawyer. I’ve represented thousands of people, many whose lives have been shattered by the deaths of loved ones. As a lawyer, I advise people that you can’t change the fact someone you loved died. What you can do is change your perspective on death. With the help of spirits, that is what I do as a medium.

Many people seek my services as a medium to establish communication with the spirit of a loved one. Those who do have progressed to the point in their journey through grief where they believe it will be healing to communicate with the Other Side. In several instances though, it is the spirits who choose the time and place of the contact. Sometimes, this occurs when you least expect it, as I discovered one day in my capacity as a lawyer during a jury trial.

I was representing a client who was accused of assault and battery. Jury selection is the beginning phase of the trial, which occurs before evidence is presented. The objective is to question a panel of prospective jurors to determine if they have any bias so both parties can obtain a fair and impartial jury. As I stood at the podium before the panel of jurors, I had an uneasy feeling about one of them. Prospective Juror Number Nine was a nervous middle aged woman with a beautiful olive complexion, whom I’ll refer to as “Juror Nine.” My intuition about Juror Nine was confirmed when I became aware of a female spirit’s presence near her. While it isn’t unusual for me to perceive spirits, this wasn’t the ideal time and place for a connection with the Other Side. I tried to ignore the spirit so I continued on with my questioning of the jurors.

Since it was my obligation to seek out potential bias against my client, I asked Juror Nine, “Have you, or has anyone in your family, ever been the victim of a crime?”

She took a deep breath, and then started to tremble, “Yes—about a year ago.”

This information was important to the client I was representing since I had to ensure he would have an impartial jury. Apparently, this was also important to the spirit who wanted to communicate with Juror Nine because my link with the spirit intensified. I felt a tightening around my throat which indicated to me that the spirit had a problem breathing prior to her physical death. I continued, “What type of crime was that—if I may ask?”

“My sister was in a foreign country when an escaped mental patient strangled her. Then he dismembered her body and threw it in a dumpster—like she was garbage!” Juror Nine said as she covered her face with her hands and burst into tears.

I was aghast. The courtroom became extremely still. A few people gasped. One of the other jurors looked like he might become ill. Even the normally vociferous prosecuting attorney was temporarily speechless.

All eyes were upon me. Stunned and at a loss for words, I knew everyone expected me to do something. My professors in law school certainly didn’t teach me how to deal with this situation.

“I—I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine what you and your family have been through,” came stumbling out of my mouth. “I wish I had the right words to console you.”

“What could a lawyer possibly say to make me feel better?” Juror Nine replied bitterly.

“Please forgive me for bringing up such a painful memory,” I responded.

“Painful? You have no idea what painful is,” she said struggling to regain her composure.

I wanted to move on, but Juror Nine was in agony and her sister’s spirit had come to her rescue. It was a huge risk personally and professionally, but I had to try, “Perhaps if she was here—your younger sister would want you to know that her immortal soul lives on.”

“They tell me that in grief counseling at my church. I’m sorry for being angry with you. It’s not your fault. Please forgive me,” Juror Nine said softly, “Maybe it’s foolish, but I pray everyday just to hear from my sister. Just to know she’s okay.”

The message from her sister’s spirit resonated through me. I had to deliver it.

“Maybe when it comes to hearing from Heaven— sometimes—no news is good news,” I relayed the message.

No news is good news!” Juror Nine repeated excitedly as she sat up straight, “That’s something we always said to each other! It was our secret inside joke. How in the world do you know that? Or that she was my little sister?”

“Objection!” boomed the prosecuting attorney.

“Sustained!” the Judge ruled, “Mr. Anthony, I don’t know what purpose this discourse is supposed to accomplish. Please move on to another juror.”

Wiping the tears from her eyes with a tissue, Juror Nine looked at me and smiled gently, “Thank you—that made my day.”

I’m often asked how I can be both an attorney and a medium at the same time. Having a foot in both worlds is challenging at times, yet I’ve never seen them as conflicting. Being both a medium and an attorney has proven beneficial to my clients over the years. I’ve also seen striking similarities between my dual professions.

Both of these careers are about helping people—to solve their legal problems or to ease their grief. In my legal and spiritual work, I’ve also seen how choosing the wrong means of dealing with death can devastate someone and the lives of those around that person. Finding the right path through grief is extremely important.

Mark Anthony has practiced law for over twenty years and has been a regular guest legal commentator on the Fox News Network. As a medium who studied at the prestigious Arthur Findlay College for the Advancement of Psychic Science in England, he has combined his intuitive gifts with his legal experience to share insight and guidance to people coping with the aftermath of a life-threatening, life-changing, or life-ending trauma.

A member of the Florida Bar, US Supreme Court Bar, Washington DC Bar, and the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Bar, the author is a graduate from Mercer University Law School with Honors and studied law at Oxford University in England. Through his numerous lectures and call-in media interviews he has helped thousands of people better understand the afterlife. He lives in Florida. For more information about Mark Anthony visit HealGriefWithBelief.com.