A Tarot Book for Self-Help: EXSTATICA by Frank & Shanti – Promo Post

A Tarot Book for Self-Help: EXSTATICA by Frank & Shanti – Promo Post

AD – Today on the blog we welcome author Frank, with his Promotional Post for his new book ‘EXSTATICA‘ A Tarot Book for Self-Help, released on 19th January 2021.

Exstatica by Frank and Shanti


Author – Frank Ra
Pages – 122
Release Date – 19th January 2021
ISBN 13 – 978-0578842783
Format – paperback


“EXSTATICA – Self-Help Essentials. Unleash the Transformative Sparkles of the Renaissance Mantegna Tarot” shows you how to turn your life into a masterpiece, for the benefit of all.

This hands-on book presents actionable ways to use the Mantegna Tarot as a tool of personal growth, to flourish for the benefit of all beings by tapping into the creative sparkles of the Italian Renaissance. It is not an academic treatise about tarots, nor about the mesmerizing history of the Renaissance. It explains how to use the Mantegna Tarot to gain more insights about the Four Spheres of life: behavior, emotions, cognition, meaning.

When these spheres are in harmony, you live a meaningful life that expresses its full potential for the benefit of all. When the Four Spheres are not in synch, problems arise. Each of the first four chapters of this book, analyzes the Mantegna Tarot cards for the corresponding sphere. The remaining chapters explain how to use the cards, integrating them into your daily life.

You do not need to buy a Mantegna Tarot deck to use this book. These engravings are printed inside the book, on regular pages. If you like, you can cut them out, glue them to cardboard, and cut out each card. Back-pages were intentionally left blank, to ensure cards can be cut without affecting the text of the book.

Each chapter ends with short, mindful insights, inspired by Shanti, a lovely Coton de Tulear.

What Reviewers’ are Saying

– It’s perfect to make you find that time of the day to self-reflect and think about yourself – 5 Stars

– Compact and intuitive, it is one of my fav readings for personal development and applied psychology – 5 Stars

– I am using the mantegna tarot as an intuitive compass, to understand my life. – 5 Stars

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How can you use the Tarot for Self-Help, to turn your life into a masterpiece, for the benefit of all beings? “EXSTATICA Self-Help Essentials: Unleash the Transformative Sparkles of the Renaissance Mantegna Tarot” gives you a practical approach, for you to find your own answers to this question. We discuss this tarot and self help book with one of his co-authors, Frank Ra.


It is an approach to meaningful personal development and self-help. In this book, we use the Mantegna Tarot deck as a tool to develop personal awareness. But this journey can also be done with meditation, volunteering etc. The important part is to understand our purpose, and live it daily.

To facilitate personal awareness, with EXSTATICA we explore Four Spheres: Meaning, Cognition, Emotion, Behavior. They are not separated from each other, they are nested. The Sphere of Meaning includes everything else. It hosts the Sphere of Cognition, which has the Sphere of Emotion inside itself. Lastly, the Sphere of Emotion contains the one of Behavior. When these spheres are not in harmony, our lives are severely affected. To make a practical example: if “family life” fills our Sphere of Meaning, but our Sphere of Behavior is filled with a lot of “traveling for work”, then we will likely have mixed feelings and thoughts, because we are missing our core purpose. Another example: people may have been conditioned, or pushed, to settle down into a “conventional life”. But they are unclear about their feelings, and their talents and purpose are ignited by traveling the world as an artist. Again, we have a clear misalignment. By exploring these spheres, unsealing them temporarily through the Tarot cards, and then consciously deciding how to proceed, we realign the spheres and bring harmony back.

The book can be used with other tarot decks. Both historic (Visconti Sforza, Sola Busca) and more modern ones (Marseilles, Rider-Waite, Thoth Tarot). However, it is ready to be used with the Mantegna Tarot that is printed inside the book. A reader can easily cut the related pages, paste them on cardboard, and have a DYI of the Mantegna Tarot that is ready to use. The process also helps to familiarize with the groups and individual cards.

What is the Mantegna Tarot?

The “Mantegna Tarot” cards have a very interesting history. They were not meant to be a Tarot deck. And they were not drawn by Andrea Mantegna. Still, they become known as Mantegna Tarot. An ironic reminder that labels often do not really mean anything, even if for several centuries there is a consensus about their accuracy. We do not have written proofs of how they were initially meant to be used. It is likely they were compiled as a book, for educational purposes. To show different social, cultural, and philosophical aspects to students. They were indeed engraved during the Renaissance. Likely in Central Italy. With an initial version commissioned in Emilia Romagna, and a second version in Tuscany.

Their most interesting application is psychological: as a window on our inner world, decorated with Renaissance themes. Reconnecting to the Four Spheres: Meaning is represented by the cards 31 to 50. Cognition, 21 to 30. Emotion, 11 to 20. Behavior, 1 to 10. The aleatory interplay of the cards helps us to see deeper inside ourselves, untying new opportunities.

What are your favorite Mantegna Tarot cards?

Each card has its own importance. A couple of Mantegna Tarot cards that I’d like to share with you:

Mantegna Tarots

They represent the dance of the Feminine Principle and the Masculine Principle. They are messengers: the first, of Love on Earth. The second, of Wisdom. They point to the importance of embracing diversity. For some reasons, our approach to reality has been sickened by seeing many things as opposites. Up and down. Female and masculine. Light and darkness. In reality, they complement each other.

Who would you like to thank for this book?

Each book has its own story. I’d like to thank all the people I have been interacting with, directly and indirectly. And the one who influenced it the most: our puppy Shanti. The book was initially meant to be more historic and theoretical. Shanti inspired me to throw away the old approach, and write this tarot book as it is now. A practical workbook, to develop a personal awareness practice, easily integrated into our routine. It was meant to be a celebration of our life all together. But just before the book was finished, the unexpected happened. So now it is also a way to remember her.

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Author Info

Shanti and Frank EXSTATICA

“EXSTATICA Self-Help Essentials: Unleash the Transformative Sparkles of the Renaissance Mantegna Tarot” is brought to you by Shanti. A lovely Coton de Tulear. And Frank Ra.

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EXSTATICA Pentagram of Venus Petals

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10 Responses

  1. DJ Sakata says:

    I have a deck of colorful tarot cards and have never known what to do with them

  2. Robin Loves Reading says:

    I know that this is popular but it’s some thing that I’m not comfortable reading about.

  3. Nadene says:

    Tarot is not something for me, thanks for sharing.

  4. Bianca says:

    I have been slowly collecting these. I just love the artwork.

  5. Thanks DJ. In my teens I used to use Tarot a lot. Whilst I still own two decks of them I haven’t used them in many years and I doubt I could remember the cards and their meanings.

  6. Thanks Robin, I believe Tarot has become more popular over the last few years in the same way wicca, wtc has become more popular.

  7. Thanks Nadene. I totally understand it isn’t for everyone.

  8. Thanks Bianca, lovely to hear you have been collecting Tarot cards.

  9. This is very up my alley. I have never used a Mantegna deck but wow, this has me wanting to expand beyond the “traditional” 78 card decks I collect now.

  10. Thank Kate, glad to see I have introduced you to a new Tarot deck. I hope you discover more about the cards.