✨ A Gathering Place for Magical Readers and Writers ✨

Findhorn Spirit Oracle Cards, by Swan Treasure

Findhorn Spirit Oracle Cards, by Swan Treasure
Findhorn Press, 9781644113745, 44 cards, 159 pages, March 2022

I have used many oracle decks since I was first introduced to them three decades ago; some resonate with me and some don’t. However, the Findhorn Spirit Oracle Cards by Swan Treasure had an immediate energy to them that I had never before experienced when first introduced to a deck. I had a strong feeling that there were many nature spirits and energies present that seemed to spill out of the box as I held the deck. 

Findhorn is not new to me. I had read quite a few books on this magical place in Scotland and how the nature spirits worked with the ecovillage’s founders Eileen and Peter Caddy and Dorothy Maclean on a barren landscape. With the help and direction of nature spirits beautiful gardens were created which eventually developed into a “planetary village” and the Findhorn Foundation which has a “spiritual lineage of cooperation with the subtle realms.”1

“The land surrounding the Findhorn community is indeed a blessed place, tended by a host of powerful and benevolent spirit forces.”2

Treasure worked with the subtle realms to write and illustrate this deck. The author bio reads:  “Her life is dedicated to raising human consciousness through co-creative spirituality so that we can remember, experience, and awaken the beauty of being fully alive on this planet.”3

The deck was “born” in 2018 at the Co-Creative Spirituality conference at the Findhorn Foundation. The pictures on the deck came through using a “meditative technique called touch-drawing”4 using only the hands and fingernails on tissue paper placed on a board on top of colors.  Spirit beings were invited to participate in the co-creation of the deck.

“The messages that have been received in connection with each of the spirit beings depicted in the cards encourage us to reconnect with our essential nature, to expand our awareness to new realities, to activate our full vital energy, and to engage our power of co-creation with the divine, opening to the joy of partnership with the subtle realms.”5

Each card image represents a spirit made visible to us in an understandable way. 

The deck follows the shamanic medicine wheel and the cards within the wheel can be used as a “tool to access the support and assistance of the spiritual realms both as a path for self-actualization and for divination purposes.”6

Treasure emphasizes patience and time in getting to know the energy of the deck. She recommends at least eight weeks to connect with these subtle realms, to experience the practices of the cards, and to enter the gateways of these energy portals. She also recommends that one asks permission before entering these spaces, with words such as “Am I allowed?”7. Swan also provides  details on consecrating the deck, and how to initiate opening and closing ceremonies when using the deck, all centering on spending time with these energies, not rushing, and extending respect to these guides. 

The deck consists of six sets of seven cards, each set representing a gathering of spirit beings associated with the four directions of the medicine wheel plus the directions of above and below. Within each set of seven there are three “significant” cards: a guardian spirit, a turning point, and a spirit akin to an animal or flower. She offers card layouts and types of readings, including the Shapeshifter Reading, The Essence Reading, and The Chakra Alignment Reading. There is a description for each card that includes a communication from the spirit, a focus, and a practice. 

The card illustrations are subtle and beautifully colored in tones that match the message of the spirit attached to the card. The Blessings card holds the appearance of a figure cloaked in white with what could be branches or hair emanating from the being’s head flowing upward. The predominance of the color green in the card is highlighted with bits of purple, the message being “let your presence be a blessing.”8

This card represents the Angel of Findhorn, who reminds us that we are living miracles. The focus of the card is on laughter, homecoming, and miracles. The practice encourages making drawings of angels and writing on them, “you are loved, I bless you”9 and signing them as the Angel of Findhorn.

The Victory card kept appearing in my work with the deck. Victory comes from the Realm Above with the message that the “warrior within uses resistance to awaken.”10 The colors of the card are various shades of green flecked with yellows, blues, and spots of red. The face of a strong figure predominates.

Victory represents the spirit of inclusivity that encourages one to “quiet down, go within, drop the survival fears that keep you enslaved.”11 The focus is on respect, balance, and contribution. The practice encourages a reflective pause. 

I highly recommend Findhorn Spirit Oracle Cards. I’ve absolutely loved connecting with these cards. This deck has a very powerful elemental energy that results in accurate, heartfelt messages. It’s perfect for the springtime, as the nature spirits are in full bloom. If you do decide to get yourself a copy, I strongly suggest that you take the time to experience all that it offers as it introduces you to the unseen realms that have chosen to work with us.

Zodiac Moon Reading Cards, by Patsy Bennett

Zodiac Moon Reading Cards, by Patsy Bennett and illustrated by Richard Crookes
Rockpool, 9781925924268, 36 cards, 84 pages, March 2021

Patsy Bennett is a journalist, a psychic intuitive, and an astrologer with over 25 years of experience. Writing horoscopes for magazines and newspapers in Australia and around the world, she has also written several books and is a speaker and teacher in the area around her home in Byron Bay. She created the Zodiac Moon Reading Cards as a “powerful 36-card set and booklet depicting the Sun, Moon and eclipses through the zodiac signs.” I watched a YouTube video of Bennett and listened to an interview to get a better idea of her astrology background.  She’s the real deal!

I was intrigued by the use of eclipses in this deck.  Although we will only see four eclipses in 2022 (there were four in 2021 and six in 2020), it is interesting to note the energy of an eclipse in each zodiac sign–and this is what Bennett has captured. She features the twelve Sun signs, twelve Moon signs, and the twelve eclipse signs.

Due to my study of astrology over the past two years, I have been interested in anything that focuses on the zodiac, the Moon, or other planets.  She does a great job of explaining the energy of the Sun, Moon, and eclipses, as well as the twelve zodiac signs.  Her language is easy to understand and very informative. Bennet includes two spreads for the deck, although I decided to focus on one-card readings for my initial foray into these cards.  The guidance shared in the booklet is very rich and detailed.

When I saw this deck, my interest was piqued, as I wondered how the guidance for these cards would be revealed, so I dove right in, deciding to use the cards for my weekly Coffee & Cards group. 

Initially, I asked a question for myself, posing a query around a work situation.  My card was Eclipse in Leo.  Keyword:  Compassion with Tagline: “Shine brightly like the star that you are.”1  The verbiage in the guidebook suggested that I consider this time to be a turning point and remember to use my skills in both compassion and creativity. It also guided me to more self-care and a focus on activities that I love.  

I took this guidance to mean much more to me about a personal project I am about to undertake and saw it as a “green light” to move ahead. It also urged me to: “Keep the channels of creativity and happiness open with an active and optimistic mindset.”2

Next, I pulled a card for each of the women in my Saturday card group.  One woman asked a question regarding her new job prospects.  The guidance she received came from the card Sun in Sagittarius with Keyword:  Adventure and Tagline: “Stride out into new territory.”3  Similar to my experience with my card, she felt that the card answered a different question she had regarding taking a trip to South America to work with her Shaman.  At the very end of the passage, Bennett shares “If you asked a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, the answer is ‘yes’.”4

Another woman asked a question regarding starting a website to sell tarot decks. She has been studying and buying decks for over twenty years.  Her card was Eclipse in Aquarius with Keyword:  Awakening and Tagline: “Your deeper resolve rises.”5  She shared that just this week, she had made a decision to stop job hunting and focus 100% of her energy on setting up her website for teaching Tarot and selling cards. She felt that this card confirmed that decision. One paragraph really stood out in the guidebook for her:

Digital and technological ventures can reach a new level. You may see your abilities in the digital world in a new light. Avoid being consumed by technology; Ensure you create balance in your life between technology and everyday concerns.6 

She shared in the group that while she had a little experience in developing a website, the new technology was a concern.  She took this card to be her confirmation that she can handle whatever comes her way and that her resolve to provide not only cards for sale, but also educational information and support for people on a spiritual journey will be key.

The cards are a little larger than most oracle decks and hard for my small hands to shuffle in the traditional way.  However, by mixing them up on a tabletop or doing an overhand shuffle, the cards can be shuffled for each use.  The cards are of a medium to light-weight card stock and I’ll have to be careful not to bend the cards.  Also very glossy, the cards are highly varnished on both sides.  I noticed that I had to turn off the overhead light to photograph them for sharing online. The highly varnished surface reflected the light and distorted some of the graphics. However, this is minimized by turning off the light. The deck and guidebook come in a beautiful box, with an indentation to hold the cards and a magnetic closing flap.

Bennett and her illustrator have done a beautiful job of matching the keywords and taglines with images that bring the verbiage to life. The guidebook is easy to read and has been printed in full color, including color photos of each card.  It is arranged in Zodiac order from Aries to Pisces for each of the three sections. Bennett has provided two ways for you to find your card or cards, if you are unfamiliar with the natural order of the Zodiac signs:  1) She has numbered the cards from 1 to 36 and 2) there is also a Table of Contents.

I really enjoyed working with the Zodiac Moon Reading Cards.  The messages were clear and the guidance was detailed and flowed beautifully from the guidebook.  This deck would be great for anyone who wants to learn more about the Zodiac signs and the energy of the Sun, Moon and eclipses.  No prior knowledge of astrology is required and this is really helpful for most people.  I’m also planning to keep this deck close by and refer to it when the Sun and Moon moves into each sign.  This will help me continue to build on my knowledge of the qualities for each of the Zodiac signs.

The Guardian Angel Oracle Deck, by Deia Circcarelli

The Guardian Angel Oracle Deck, by Delia Ciccarelli
CICO Books, 180065085X, 160 pages, 72 cards, January 2022

You’ve most likely heard of people having a guardian angel. Perhaps you’ve even prayed to your guardian angel or felt their protection, love, and guidance. But did you know that you can learn more about your guardian angel based on your birthday?

The Guardian Angel Oracle Deck by Delia Ciccarelli features the 72 angels of the Kabbalah, also referred to as the 72 names of God. Ciccarelli explains that there is a guardian angel for each day of the year and on the day we are born, certain angelic qualities are given to us through this guardian angel. Understanding the gifts of our angel reveals special qualities about ourselves and the purpose of our life structure.

“The guardian angel in Kabbalah is also referred to as “the Angel of the Incarnation,” and it tells us what we have come to manifest in ife and reveals our purpose. Knowing our angels helps us to understand how we work on an energetic level and what we need to change within us to transcend to a higher state of being.”1

As soon as I took the cards out of the box, which is nice and hefty for storing them safely, I was overcome with a feeling of calmness. This tranquility made me feel deeply at ease, initiating a moment of inner peace. I hadn’t realized how scattered and discontent I had been feeling until I was washed in this gentle, healing energy.

Each card is absolutely beautiful. In the guidebook, Ciccarelli makes note that angels are high vibrational energy and not the well-known imagery of a being with wings. Therefore all the images feature serene, elegant images of women dressed in flowing robes. It was comforting to see the feminine aspect of angels. There were some I thought might be male angels, but even if so, there is a very womanly feel to all the images in the deck.

Swirling energy and color give a sense of motion to this deck. The energy of the cards is not static; it certainly feels as though it’s flowing through the reader, but in the most gentle way possible. Holding the cards, or even just gazing at them, activates subtle healing and loving energy within me. Instantly, I feel safe and surrounded by a divine presence.

Ciccarelli shares different ways to connect with the angel of the deck in the guidebook. She suggests invoking the angels, meditating with the angels, and doing oracle readings with the cards. There are four spreads shared for readings, indicating what each card placement means when arranging the cards.

However, there is no divinatory meaning for each card like in most oracle decks. Rather, the reader has to piece together an intuitive understanding of the reading based on the attributes and qualities of the angel. I think it’s easiest to do just a one or two card pull, rather than the more complex spreads. I’ve found them to be especially useful for meditation and journaling.

The guidebook is a hard-covered small book. For all 72 angel oracle cards, there is an epithet, dates of their guardianship, name pronunciation, zodiac sign association, angelic choir level, and their associations and qualities. There’s also a picture of each card, making it nice to browse and learn more about the angels even without using the deck.

Immediately, I went to the guardian angel of my birthday: Manakel. I was very surprised and pleased to see that the listed qualities are some of traits I’ve always most loved about myself, including lasting friendships and finding work quickly. I’ve never hesitated to quit a job because I instantly get a new one! And I always cultivate meaningful, lasting friendships that last years, even decades. Knowing these angelic traits and aspects of my birthday make me appreciate these qualities in a new way.

Another one that I really felt connected to was dreams because I’ve always found meaningful symbolism in my dreams and even considered becoming a professional dreamtender. Now, knowing the qualitiesI feel like I know what aspects of my life to cultivate and grow because they resonate with my guardian angel Manakel. The deck is also very useful for learning the Hebrew names of the angels, as well as the different levels of the angelic hierarchy.

I’ve learned so much about each one through reading the associations, and I’ve enjoyed looking up friends’ and family’s birthday cards to see if they reflect traits about them – and they do! This has helped me when giving advice to people too; I could help them to see these attributes they possess, uplifting their perspective and attuning them to their inner gifts.

All in all, The Guardian Angel Oracle Deck is immensely illuminating. The beauty of the angels shines through each card, alleviating all negative feelings and bringing tranquility and peace to any situation. Connecting with your guardian angel is truly a life-changing experience. This meaningful deck will teach you more about your life path and purpose. It’s an incredible access point to connecting with the angelic realm at any time.

Archangel Fire Oracle, by Alexandra Wenman

Archangel Fire Oracle, by Alexandra Wenman and illustrated by Aveliya Savina
Findhorn Press, 1644112787, 40 cards, 144 pages, April 2021

I love angels. Communicating with angels was one of my earliest spiritual experiences. As I continued to connect with angels through books and decks, I discovered sometimes angelic wisdom gets locked in New-Age conventionality and trappings. When I started to explore esotericism and discovered the work of John Dee, I realized there was a magical art to communicating with angels. Sigils became an important part of my work with angels. Since then I’ve been trying to rediscover the relationship between angels and alchemy.

Archangel Fire Oracle by Alexandra Wenman is a true delight to discover for this reason. It goes beyond the positive, affirming messages of other angel oracle decks, connecting the reader with the genuine essence of each angel. The deck is a blend of color healing, alchemy, and angelic knowledge intended to facilitate awakening in the readers. In addition to learning more about each archangel, Women guides readers to tap into the most divine aspects of themselves through the meditations and exercises that facilitate spiritual awareness, transformation, and a deeper connection to the angelic realm.

There are forty archangel cards in this deck. The archangels are grouped in seventeen suits, each based on a healing color ray or sacred flame. I really enjoy visually seeing the archangels through these different color prisms. It adds a visual connection to each angel, as well as helps to identify archangels that are similar in energy.

The cards themselves are beautiful and some of the best depictions of the archangels I’ve ever seen. It’s very clear the illustrator of this deck, Aveliya Savina, had a strong relationship with the angelic realm and a very intuitive understanding of these energies. There is tons of symbolism in the deck, from animals to flowers, that infuse the cards with meaning. All the elements are represented (fire, air, earth, and water), as well as connections to the solar system and earth. There’s also some mythical energy that opens the reader’s consciousness to different realms.

I have so many favorite images in the deck that it’s hard to choose one. For instance, Rikbeil (11) is shown almost wearing a space suit with sweeping pink wings engulfing his body. Then there’s UFO-like flying saucers in the corner of the cards. It’s neat because the cards aren’t pushing alien-angel connection or anything (I’m so leery of that!), but it is an innovative, modern display of the resonate energetic meaning of the card, which reads:

“Rikbiel is known as the “Chief of the Divine Chariot: – the Merkabah. This Cherubim is said to be the “Power of Love” and he helps us to recognize the incredible power of having loving thoughts. A harmonizing angel, who can influence centrifugal force and find the most loving point between two opposing forces, Rikbiel is especially helpful to call on when working in group situations. Rikbie maintains co-operation and promotes open communication. Like the cosmic diplomat in his oracle card, he shows us that when a group strives towards a common goal based in integrity, they can achieve great things.”1

But while Rikbiel has a cosmic unifier vibe, other cards, such as Asariel (22) have aqueous energy. In this card, Asariel is portrayed with a seashell crown, holding a trident. There’s a hermit crab and treasure chest at her feet, while dolphins and an orca whale leap in the background. I’ve loved gazing at it and inviting the marine energy into my aura. The guidebook explains how she calls us to move with flow, trusting our intuition and dreams.

This deck just really stands apart from others due to the masterful artistry, which is relatable and ignites the imagination, prompting readers to understand the archangel’s energy in a way that goes beyond traditional interpretations of them. Savina’s artwork is perfect for contemplation, meditation, and using the cards on an altar, which is what I’ve been doing most frequently.

The guidebook is phenomenal too! For each of the seventeen suits, Wenman provides the corresponding chakra, crystals, essential oils, magical sigils, and star system. This information alone was worth having the deck for because it opens up so many doors for connecting with each angel. I’ve always been very interested in the relationship between constellations and the angels, and this guidebook has been extremely useful for exploring this.

For every archangel, there is an overall description of their essence, a message from them (a quote of guidance, guidance on how to meet the archangel in the energetic realm through visualization, guidance for diamond fire alchemy with the archangel, and a section on becoming the angel (invoking their energy).

What I love about this wealth of wisdom is that it’s suitable for all levels. Beginners will be content to receive a message from the archangels and learn a bit about their energy. Those who are ready to experience the healing of the archangel might want to do the visualization to meet them or the diamond fire alchemy for spiritual healing or transformation. Then for those who feel experienced enough to invoke the archangel, the final section is very useful in how to embody the energy of the archangel.

While the techniques and exercise require a bit of a time or energetic investment on behalf of the reader, they are truly powerful. As I mentioned, I’ve been very interested in learning more about the archangels, their sigils, and their relationship to the constellations. But Wenman’s guide book helps to take my explorations to a new level through the visualizations and invocation exercises. It’s so useful to have guidance about how to connect with the angels in this way, rather than just having to trace sigils out of an old grimoire I found in PDF form.

Overall, Archangel Fire Oracle is the most authentic angel oracle deck that I’ve come across thus far. Wenman and Savina have successfully channeled the archangels into imagery and a guidebook that is relatable, easy to use, and most of all, soul-stirring. The archangels have been liberated from outdated forms and antiquated definitions of their energy. In this deck, the archangels’ essences shine through, opening readers into a current of love, peace, and spiritual transformation.

The Moon Oracle, by Caroline Smith and John Astrop

The Moon Oracle: Let the Phases of the Moon Guide Your Life, by Caroline Smith & John Astrop
Red Wheel Weiser, 9781590035306, 128 pages, 72 cards, November 2021

In this whimsical and colorful deck of cards and the accompanying guidebook for The Moon Oracle, authors Caroline Smith & John Astrop have created a system that tracks moon phases, moon mansions, and shares information on key Goddesses. Smith also provides the beautiful illustrations, which are rich with history and symbolism. Astrop and Smith were married and worked together to create this deck.  After a prolific career as a designer of children’s books, Astrop passed away in 2013.  Smith is an illustrator who worked alongside Astrop and also contributed to their creation of The Elemental Tarot, which was also released in 2021.

In the guidebook, Smith and Astrop chronicle the influence of the Moon from Shakespeare to scientific references. The eight phases of the Moon are explained as being similar to stages in plant life. Smith then utilizes this symbolism in her illustrations of the eight Moon phases in each of the four elements. This creates a section of 32 cards with colors that reflect the element and artwork that reflects the Moon phases as plants.

Did you know that the earliest astrology was Moon based, rather than being Sun-centric. For example, the Roman “Emperor Augustus used his moon sign, Capricorn, on his coinage.”1  This idea forms the basis of the 28 moon mansions. 

The final section of cards comprises 12 goddesses and each aligns with a Zodiac sign. In addition to providing information for a reading, any Goddess card that is drawn also “presides over the question. She acts like a guardian Angel or fairy godmother who looks after your interests.”2

At first glance, the deck’s symbolism may be hard to read and understand.  However, the authors have done a great job of explaining how to use the different phases, mansions and goddesses for divination. I decided to test the deck with one of my Facebook groups.

I did a simple one card reading for ten people, and every person shared that the message was spot on and very helpful for helping her navigate some area of current life. These readings were all done for what I call a “general” reading. In other words, no one asked me a question beforehand. I simply pulled a card for each person and then shared a portion of the message from the guidebook. One friend said that the message was “eerily resonant.”

The information in the guidebook for each card is succinct, insightful, and rich in symbolism. The more I worked with the deck, the more clues and symbols I found, such as all eight of the phases of the moon appearing on each of the Moon Phase Cards, with the phase highlighted in a darker color for the specific card selected. 

The creators of this deck also include several original card spreads to make utilizing this deck easy and beneficial. To make it simple to pull the correct Moon Phase card for the day you are divining, there are Moon Tables in the back of the guidebook for 2016-2032.

I also did a five card reading for myself utilizing one of the spreads shared in the guidebook. The spread I utilized was called  “The Elemental Cross.”3

My question revolved around whether it was time to create an astrology class I had been contemplating.  With the messages from the five cards, I learned that 

  1. It’s an ideal time to start.
  2. If I decide to jump into this situation, it will be successful.
  3. Good planning is required and no need to be perfectionistic.
  4. I have all of the elements I need and may want to think outside the box.
  5. A systematic approach is best, allowing things to fall into place.

What a great reading!  I’m ready to go!

The last card also included a message on timing and the month of “September” was referenced. To me, this means that it may take some time for the pandemic to slow down its spread, and as people are returning to a more “normal” way of life, I might plan my class for Fall 2022. 

This deck would be best for a more experienced card reader and someone who has a basic knowledge of astrology, including the cycles and phases of the Moon.  I’ve been studying the Moon for over a year and I had to read and re-read the information to make sure I was understanding the symbols and selecting the correct card. For most of the spreads outlined in the guidebook, you’ll want to separate the deck into the three parts:  Elemental Moon Phases, Moon Mansions, and Goddesses. This is unusual, even for an oracle deck.

Since I tend to just “jump in” with most oracle decks, I was not initially aware of this and it led to a kind of muddled reading the first time I worked with the cards. I would say that most people will want to read the Introduction and the material for each of the three different parts of the deck. Without this background information on The Moon Oracle system, it may prove confusing and you might not receive a clear reading. Even with the spreads included, you may want to go through the directions and their sample readings, to make sure you understand how to use the cards for best results.

The deck comes in a sturdy box that holds the cards in a type of shadowbox indentation.  There is also room for the oversized guidebook to sit on top of the cards.  This box slides easily into a nice slipcase in the same rose color as the other box.  The guidebook is a larger size and has a rose card-stock cover. Each of the cards is shown in black and white on the page that gives the symbolism and meaning.

The deck itself is printed on a nice glossy card-stock, in rich, jewel-toned colors.  The back of the cards is printed in silver with the image of the winged goddess Artemis, a lioness and a deer.  The cards are a nice weight and fairly easy to shuffle. The cards are 3 X 5, so if you have smaller hands like me, you may want to use an overhand shuffle for the cards, rather than a riffle shuffle.

My favorite card in the deck is Moon Mansion #25, Rebel.  It features a red-headed lady hanging upside down in the nude.  It features both Uranus and Mercury in Aquarius, which is Astro-speak for “cares very little for rules and tradition.”4

Not only am I drawn to the illustration, I also love the message:

“If this card is drawn there is the potential for exceptionally bright thinking that produces sparks of genius. It indicates a powerful devotion to a cause. You are certain that your position is correct no matter how ‘out on a limb’ you seem to others. You must be prepared to act totally out of character to achieve your intended aims.”5

For those of you who are utilizing the Moon and her 28-day cycle and 8 phases to steer your life, this deck presents a divination tool for even better navigation.  

 I really enjoyed working with The Moon Oracle and look forward to more divination adventures.  This oracle card set would be great for an astrologer, an astrology student, or someone who wants to learn more about the Moon and using the Moon for guidance. 

Empath Activation Cards, by Rev. Stephanie Red Feather

Empath Activation Cards: Discover Your Cosmic Purpose, by Reverand Stephanie Red Feather
Bear & Company, 1591434173, 224 pages, November 2021

Empath. What’s an empath? According to Merriam Webster an empath is “one who experiences the emotions of others.”1 Now I get it, I’m quoting a dictionary, but this is important. Important to me as a person and important to this review.

I have from a very early age basically been a sponge for emotions. I could feel and access the vibe/feel of a space or hone in on the strong emotions of an individual with relative ease. And long-ish story short, it messed me up a bit. Young me not knowing how to handle all this extra data was so overwhelmed with processing that, that working on my own personal emotions fell to the wayside and is still developing today. 

I’m opening up about this here because I know I’m not alone in this experience. I don’t doubt that there are many empaths out there who aren’t entirely aware of this side of them. who don’t quite know where they fall in this world and are just kind of floating aimlessly and going through the motions of adult life. Empath Activation Cards: Discover Your Cosmic Purpose by Reverand Stephanie Red Feather claims to help you figure that out, it says that it’s a rite of passage and being “cross-cultural in design”2 will touch everyone who handles them. I had to test these bold, bold claims made by Red Feather for myself. 

Right off the bat, I was hooked on the box. It is bright, it is eye-catching, and dare I say a bit gaudy. Bright red, featuring a magnetic flap closure that just shouts, “Look at me I’m important!”, right into my eye sockets. You can’t look away once you catch a glimpse, so much so I have to make sure the box is behind me while writing this to keep from going to play with it.

Structurally, it’s pretty tanky. Like it could handle a decent toss across a bed or into a bag with other items without dumping your cards everywhere. The flap is a bit tricky to get open one handed, so be aware of this if you end up having like 50 things going at once and only one free hand.

On opening the box the first thing we see is the guidebook. The book itself is a good size and fits well in my hands even if it doesn’t like to lie flat just yet. Inside, we have a quick foreword by Daniel Moler (“Author, artist, and a sanctioned teacher in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition, a cross-cultural shamanic lineage”3). After this foreword there’s an introduction by our creator Red Feather and then four main sections where the card meanings and exercises are separated into.

In this introduction, Red Feather gives us her personal definition of empath. There’s five main aspects listed, and I highly recommend picking this deck up to learn more. It then talks of a couple ways to use this deck. Obviously there’s the regular reading method, but there’s also the meditative journey. You can opt to either work through each card in numerical order or do like a weekly draw and work with that card for a time.

A recommendation is made in the intro to “cleanse your deck with sage, sweet-grass, or palo santo”4 as a means to activate and bond with the cards. Yet, this makes me a little uncomfy. I get the cleansing bit, I really do, but why sage? Why sweetgrass? Why palo santo? I’d love to hear Red Feather’s reasoning, as well as a clarification on if it’s common sage or not, and possibly a note to make sure you source your stuff as ethically as possible.

“The deck has life force and each oracle has its own consciousness and message beyond the meaning written on the card.”5

The cards themselves have an energy. They make my tummy do flip-flops when I pick them up; good flip-flops but flip-flops nonetheless. Our front facing card in the first slot is called Abundant Universe, which is fitting. There is nothing but possibility ahead of us, we just need to see it. 

The cards in this deck make you think. There are no quick keywords in the meaning sections. You really need to sit down and think about the meaning of the cards you have pulled to really and truly understand them. I have been sitting with card 1 Abundant Universe since I got the deck (which has basically been a full month), and I am still pulling new meaning from it.

There is so much going on in these cards. The colors are wonderful, and if you can blur or unfocus your eyes, I highly recommend doing that at least a little bit when working with a card. Something about doing that opens new avenues of understanding for me and it might do the same for you.

Personally, I think the meditation route is the best use for these cards. This is because the shuffle feel is a bit off due to them being rather wide and the drastically different personalities contained in each card would distract me in a spread larger than a single draw. Our author provides us some spreads, but I doubt I’ll be using them except for the Ascension Initiation Sequence one. This particular spread outlines a smaller meditation sequence that is tailored specifically to what you need at this moment. Just an FYI, a plate stand makes a great card holder for use in meditations.

I would recommend Empath Activation Cards, even if you don’t identify as an empath. Slowing down and connoting to yourself and the wider universe is something we could all stand to do. I know it’s hard to sit down and slow the mind, but aren’t the challenging things the most rewarding in the end? So, start up a practice of slowing down, meditating, trying journaling on these cards or other things in your life. Your mind and body will thank you in the long run.

Astral Realms Crystal Oracle, by Dark Moon Crystals

Astral Realms Crystal Oracle: A 33-Card Deck and Guidebook, by Dark Moon Crystals and Prism + Fleur Design Studio
Rockpool Publishing, 1925946282, 33 cards, 128 pages, September 2021

Gorgeous pink oracle cards covered with dazzling crystals? Yes, please! I have been adoring the way Astral Realms Crystal Oracle by Dark Moon Crystals and Prism + Fleur Design Studio looks on my altar recently. Plus, the accompanying guidebook has really inspired me to step-up my crystal game and made me more dedicated to my spiritual practice.

I was initially drawn to this deck for its aesthetics. Pink is my favorite color and it is the background of all the cards, which have tinted pink edges as well. The vibe of the deck reminded me of Work Your Light Oracle Deck and The Starseed Oracle created by Rebecca Campbell with artwork by Danielle Noel. The design on these cards, by Prism + Fleur Design Studio, is more ethereal and simplistic, but each one is absolutely beautiful.

I have gotten the most out of the deck by spending time meditating with the cards and looking at the beautiful images. There’s a soft feminine feel to the deck, which opens intuitive portals to connect with the crystals. I really like the layer done, where some cards have faded images in the background with other images bold and center. Glyphs, seashells, columns, mushrooms, and flowers fill the cards, bringing them to life with potent spiritual symbolism.

The deck has a really unique approach, which extends the meaning of the cards beyond just the crystal energy. By combining astrology and chakra energies, divination occurs trifold. The guidebook states:

“Seeking insight from the astrological transits of celestial bodies, turning within to enhance and unblock flow through your energetic (chakral) field and utilising the healing and empowering frequencies of crystals is what we call the ‘trifecta’, a divinely guided approach to raising your frequency and deepening your connection to the astral realm.”1

These different energies are perfectly integrated with the cards’ design. At the bottom of each card is an energetic signature, or word which encapsulates the trifold meaning of the card. On the left side of the card is the crystal messenger, or the name of the crystal shown on the card that can be worked with to further enhance the energetic connection. Then on the right-side of the card is the supporting element, which is either a celestial body, chakra, or earth element. At the top of the card is a number to make it easy to find the card’s message in the guidebook.

I especially love the incorporation of the supporting element because as an astrologer and Reiki master, it really expands my understanding of both the crystal and its message. For instance, Card 18 has Clarity as the energetic signature, citrine as the crystal messenger, and Sun as the supporting element. Through understanding the astrological energy of the Sun, I feel a more solid connection to citrine. When I close my eyes, in my mind’s eye, it’s like I’m blending all the energies together and feeling the essence of Clarity emerge. While I am drawing upon my astrological knowledge to learn more about crystals, others who know more about crystals can do the opposite with the cards to learn more about astrology or chakras. 

The guidebook is also really helpful for learning more about crystals. For every card, there are additional keywords, along with a description of the trifecta, activation guidance for the energy, and an affirmation to recite. The trifecta description delves into the energy of earth element, chakra, celestial body, and crystal to assist the reader in understanding how they all come together within the card.

Then the activation guidance is an activity the reader can do to further connect with the card. Some examples of activation guidance are journal prompts, taking a ritual bath, breathing exercises, visualization, and meditation. Most of them are easy to do right away, but some are more involved, such as buying a plant or doing a yoga pose. There’s one instance where it even calls to look up your South Node in astrology, which I think is definitely useful for everyone to know!

Using this deck makes me feel calm and inspired. While the astral realm might feel spacey or out-of-reach, these cards ground the energy for me. I like how I can hold the gorgeous cards, which tangibly link me to the energy. Looking at the images stimulates my mind’s eye, and the colors soften my energy to be receptive to my intuition and the guidance of these different energies. I also have found it helpful to pull out a card if I am feeling called to work with that energy. For instance, meditating on the Moonstone card to activate my Crown Chakra. There’s a ton of ways to work with Astral Realms Crystal Oracle; it’s versatility makes it both unique and useful to have nearby.

All in all, Astral Realms Crystal Oracle is a wonderful deck for all spiritual seekers. It combines so much wisdom! The mixture of astrology, chakras, and crystals is potent. Combining different energy systems and drawing upon one to bolster another is extremely beneficial. Dark Moon Crystals has done a wonderful job of both weaving these trifecta energies together, as well as making it a great access point for all levels of experience. I highly recommend this deck for those hoping to practice the art of integrating energy and those who simply appreciate art because it’s so well designed! This deck will definitely be on my altar for quite some time.

Through the Eyes of the Soul, by Cheryl Yambrach Rose

Through the Eyes of the Soul: 52 Prophecy Cards & Guidebook, by Cheryl Yambrach Rose
Blue Angel Publishing, 9780648746799, 52 cards, 68 pages, May 2021

We, as humans, are collectively engaged and catalyzed by imagery. The development of keen visualization skills is one of the most important trainings required in spiritual/magickal disciplines. We find our voices through imagery. We sense the emotions and intellect of intention through imagery. We see physically and with our subtle senses. We are continually processing and organizing information through imagery. So, when we are seeking answers to our most personal and profound questions, the imagery provided by whatever oracular tool we use is paramount in being able to completely pull us into that moment of intention and query.

Through the Eyes of the Soul: 52 Prophecy Cards & Guidebook by Cheryl Yambrach Rose checks off all of the boxes of what an oracle deck should accomplish. The imagery is beautiful and has a depth that speaks to Rose’s artistic talents and clearly demonstrates her knowledge of spiritual practice and deep teachings.

“Cheryl Yambrach Rose (Glastonbury, UK) is a visionary artist, portrait painter, and author. Her spiritual portraits are published and shown worldwide, appearing in the Nelson Rockefeller Collection, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts, and more.”1

The deck includes 52 cards and a guidebook of interpretations for the meanings of each. Upon opening the box, I noted the image selected for the back of the cards. This image is not simply decorative; rather, it powerfully sets the tone for what is contained on its other side and emanates a subtle energy of deep contemplative quiet. I was immediately drawn into this reflective state and readied for whatever wisdom I was to glean from this palpable visual stimulation.

Each of the cards evokes an emotional response, as any finely crafted piece of art should. The images easily resonate as human to human, rather than fantastical images that are more of deep imaginings. However, upon closer inspection the seeker will be able to sense that although human in representation, those beings depicted on the cards have stepped more fully into their Higher Self and Divine nature. I found this very encouraging of remembering my own Higher Self and what is possible when that transformative awareness comes out of the pictures.

I chose to test out the oracle cards with a simple three-card query: What has brought me to where I am now? Where do I stand in the present? What is my work in moving forward? The three cards selected were on point with my (and, yes I know, very open ended) questions. The gift in the answers was not so much about whether these were magickal cards that could somehow predict, but in the very succinct, yet deeply catalyzing interpretations I read in the accompanying booklet.

As the reader moves through the guidebook of Through the Eyes of the Soul, it becomes apparent that each of the cards contained within the deck hold special relevance to a particular God/dess, enlightened being or evolved individual from a variety of spiritual paths. The cards of my three-card draw reflected the trials a boy endured as he “climbs the ladder of enlightenment” to become a Shaman of his tribe in Suriname. The second card spoke to the wisdom of the Celtic Shaman and the “Dawning of the Green Man” and the third card introduced me to Libuse, the Prophetess of Prague, a Druid princess in the eighth century and the origins and greater meaning of the naming of Prague.

“This oracle deck is a vehicle for providing intuitive guidance from the mythic beings and divine entities who inhabit sacred sites and spaces. Deep insights and profound answers are hidden within the paintings. Meditating on a card image connects you to the energy of the location where the painting was conceived. You become the weaver of your fate by tuning into the higher self and allowing that spontaneous connection to answer questions or suggest advice.”2

One of my favorite cards from Through the Eyes of the Soul is Card 36, “Retreat into Nature. Solitude.”:

“Take time for yourself. Leave the daily routine and return refreshed and renewed…Inside the Redwood tree the (non-cultural) Shamanka/Shaman can retreat in silence and enter into the deeper realm of consciousness while feeling totally protected by animal allies.”3

This message, in particular, rang very true for me and I am quite sure it holds true for so many of us. We seek the paths of the old ways, and yet are continually pulled and battered about societal expectations, deadlines, and more. Just simply placing your awareness and intention in the painting of this card, immediately transports the user to otherworldly places, the redwood forests and a space of respite.

I have many oracle decks and have come to hold a good dose of skepticism for how deep they will take the reader and the overall appearance that many have. That is not to say that they do not have an audience that will resonate and gain much from them, but, having a daughter who is a fine artists and has produced some deeply profound and beautiful spiritual paintings has, I admit somewhat heightened my levels of preferring imagery that is magickal simply in its every line, nuance and shading. These are the paintings and images that at first glance “transport” you along a journey of wisdom as each of your senses is awakened in resonance with what you have “seen”.

Rose has succeeded precisely in the expectation that I hold. Through the Eyes of the Soul is a gift to your spiritual and mundane Self/self that will awaken within you doorways to unimagined beauty and wisdom. I’ll be enjoying this deck for quite some time.

Seasons of the Witch: Yule Oracle, by Juliet Diaz and Lorraine Anderson

Seasons of the Witch: Yule Oracle, by Juliet Diaz and Lorraine Anderson
Rockpool Publishing, 1925946223, 44 cards, 144 pages, September 2021

Even though we are quickly approaching one of my favorite sabbats, Samhain, my mind recently has been wondering towards Yuletide already. This is because I’ve been doing daily pulls from Seasons of the Witch: Yule Oracle by Lorraine Anderson and Juliet Diaz. While I know the first deck in this series, Season of the Witch: Samhain Oracle, might be more appropriate for the current season, I haven’t made the switch just yet. The insight I’ve been receiving from Seasons of the Witch: Yule Oracle is just too good to await the winter to use!

I want to start off by saying the deck is absolutely beautiful. With gilded green edges, it feels like I’m holding a shiny present in my hand. Images of candles, Fir trees, and furry animals make the deck come to life. There’s a gentle warmth that radiates from the deck, which reminds me of the sense of community and hope that we naturally call on to make it through the dark days of Winter. Simultaneously, cards such as Solitude and Crone remind us of the inevitable necessity of going inward and facing one’s own depths during this season too.

As I look through the deck and do my daily pull, I find the oracle cards perfectly capture all the cozy, snowy, magical feelings of the Yuletide season. I am genuinely impressed with Anderson and Diaz’s choices for card names, such as Chills and Ringing of the Bells, which instantly tap me into the sensation of Winter. I enjoy how the deck includes Reindeer Medicine and Bear Medicine, along with Poinsettia, Mother Mary, and Father Christmas.  The cards are a soulful reminder of all the special parts of the Yuletide season for one’s craft. As the authors write:

“Christmas is a Christian tradition but its roots are based in pagan ways. Familiar symbols such as Christmas trees, stars, lights, giving gifts, and even Santa Claus are threaded through pagan cultures and predate the Chrsitian celebration.”1

My favorite cards feature traditional Yuletide snowy scenes with silhouettes of a witch on her broom riding in the sky. The folklore of La Befana, the Italian Christmas witch, is near and dear to my heart, so I truly enjoy seeing a witch in action outside of the usual Halloween imagery. I like imagining there’s a Christmas witch that watches over us all, delivering presents of the heart to us as we are hunkered down inside for the cold Winter months.

Each oracle card features a beautiful image, the name and number of the card, and a short one-sentence oracle message. The guidebook then elaborates quite eloquently on each card, offering keywords and heartfelt messages that have been spot-on every time I’ve pulled a card so far. Along with advice for working with this deck, including spreads and magic tips for some cards, the guidebook is also filled with Yuletide imagery. It’s a pleasure to look through it, as images of mistletoe and holly line the pages. It’s worth noting this guidebook does not provide reverse oracle meanings as the guidebook for the Samhain Oracle does, but this didn’t bother me at all because I hardly use reverse cards in oracle readings.

One spread I really like is The Evergreen Wreath, which assists the reader in figuring out where they are now and where they want to go. Another one I thought is creative is The Christmas Cross Tarot Spread, based on the traditional Celtic Cross, but framed in the perspective of Yuletide (ex. Card 2 is Winter Storm, while Card 5 is Ghost of the Past), once again heightening the connection to the season. I’m also looking forward to The New Year Ahead spread once it gets closer to the start of 2022.

I’ve come to trust this deck, which doesn’t always happen instantly for me, and not just because my first pull was the card Squirrel Medicine, when squirrels are my favorite animal ever. It’s something more; Yule Oracle feels imbued with good vibes and an openness, which I believe stems from the author’s intention when crafting this deck. There is a really heartfelt section in the guidebook about reclaiming the witch, in which the authors write: 

“The way we view magic needs to change. It’s time to reclaim this world for yourself. To reclaim magic means to honor yourself through the magic you create. If your magic is pink and purple with glitter and that feels good to you, then it’s your right to express that magic in this way. If you love beautiful things and aesthetically pleasing design but are also a witch, know that your magic is no less valuable because you also value art. If your magic is about rolling in the dirt under a full moon to connect with the earth, then so it is. Your magic is beautiful in its dirty rawness.”2

This meaningful passage really made me appreciate the mindset of the authors. It also reaffirmed that my magic, which I will say leans towards the pink and glittery kind, is valuable, even if it’s not the traditional imagery of gothic witchcraft. I feel like there’s this greater reclaiming of our inherent magic, and within this shifting of the imagery, there is limitless potential of how everyone’s unique magic will be expressed. I have a lot of respect for Anderson and Diaz for acknowledging this as part of this introduction to this deck, especially since they also acknowledge the lack of diversity in Samhain Oracle.

All in all, I can say I’m in love with the Seasons of the Witch: Yule Oracle. There’s just something about the traditions and sentiments of this season that always brings up the good tidings. The range of oracles in this deck provide inspiration and divination from all sorts of guides: animals, sacred symbols, Yuletide folklore, and the simplicity of winter life. I think this deck will be the perfect present for Witch Switch gift swaps or to give as a meaningful gift to your inner coven of loved ones.

And, just to get you excited, I found out via Google that there will be a Seasons of the Witch: Beltane Oracle coming in March 2022! Woohoo! 🙂 I’m a very seasonal person, so it’s a thrill to have decks to embrace the energy of the season. Speaking of which, it’s probably time to pull out my Seasons of the Witch: Samhain Oracle!

Body Healing Cards, by Ewald Kliegel

Body Healing Cards, by Ewald Kliegel with illustrations by Anne Heng
Findhorn Press, 9781644112557, 56 cards and 127 pages, June 2021

In this beautiful set of cards and the accompanying guidebook, Body Healing Cards, author Ewald Kliegel & illustrator Anne Heng provide a wonderful way to talk with your body’s organs.  By focusing on an organ and then either choosing or intuitively drawing cards, one can learn more about disease, illness, or upset in the body and discover ways to heal.  Using his 40+ years of experience as a massage therapist, naturopath, and reflexologist, Kliegel really knows the human body. 

He invites you to use this set of cards to communicate with your body and “intuitively investigate the essence of your individual organs and discover their physical, soul and spiritual layers.”1 I was intrigued by the concept of these cards due to my work as a Reiki master, hypnotist, and tarot card reader. 

After briefly perusing the first few pages of the guidebook, I decided to do a card reading regarding my shoulders.  I have an old injury on one shoulder and some arthritis in both shoulders.  Sometimes I have pain in one or both shoulders during the night, as I am a side sleeper. 

I chose the Health Generator Spread2 and chose the Shoulders card for the center of the reading. The design on the Shoulder card featured a human form balancing itself on a spire, with arms outstretched and an apothecary scale behind it. It reminds me of a tightrope walker, and I considered how my shoulders help me balance myself and my life.

With Shoulders lying face up, I proceeded to shuffle the cards and then drew three cards and placed them face down on the right of the center card. Next, I drew two cards and placed those face down on the left of the center card. Now that I had all of my cards, I focused on the Shoulders card and followed Kliegel’s six questions to ask both the card and my shoulders for clues about my pain. 

1. What do I see in this image?
2. Which sensations, feelings, emotions, perceptions or memories come to mind?
3. What do I like most about the image?
4. What do I not like at all in the image?
5. If I were to step inside the image, what could I see, hear or recognize as the person in it?
6. How does all this fit together with the organ and my topic?3  

As I went through the questions, I felt into the beautiful design of blues and purples. The idea of balance came up with this thought:  “As long as I am balanced, I am also safe.” Lastly, I turned to the page in the guidebook where Kliegel shares more information about the Shoulders and suggests Hypersthene and Fluorite as two crystals that may support shoulder health.4

The first three cards revealed even more about this situation.  The first card was Thymus. It featured all of the chakra colors and a human being with arms raised over its head, reaching skyward.  This visual led me to think about the interconnectedness of all of the parts of my body and how when I am stressed, I may tense or hold my shoulders in a tight or constricted way.  

The questions led me to realize that my thymus can help transform my stress.  The crystals Kliegel recommended were Bloodstone and Aquamarine.  I realized that I had some of these beads on hand and decided to make a bracelet with these stones and others I may learn about during this adventure. 

In the second card, I saw Throat and the human being was singing out, free and easy.  She seemed so powerful, asking for help or support, to lighten her burdens.  Again, I caught the tie-in to my shoulders. 

For the third card in this series, Ears appeared, and I felt the sensation of the sound of the ocean when you hold a shell to your ear.  I also heard a soft echo and classical music. I loved the spiral shape of the background artwork and the pleasing rainbow of colors. One suggestion I heard while reviewing this card: “How may I listen to my shoulders for healing clues?” 

Next, I turned to the two cards to the left of the Shoulder card.  Here I found the card for Bronchi, which are the tubes that connect your trachea to your lungs. By following the trail of the 5 questions (which are slightly different for these two cards in this spread), I was reminded of the power of the breath to bring calm.  Once again, when I am calm, the shoulders relax and I can center myself.  I saw myself in a calming oasis and realized that I may be holding my breath and tensing up during my day.  Kliegel suggests that you “Follow your breath without trying to change it.”5  

The last card in this spread was Connective Tissue.  The visual was a boy holding an egg, filled with a tree, a dragonfly, water and plants.  One of the questions led me to realize that I live inside nature and that I can find my calm place in nature. This helped me to see the interconnectedness of everything again and how nature responds to me and my feelings.

Kliegel really encourages you to look at all of the cards and “See how these organs relate to my question, issue or situation?”6 This works as a type of summation of the time you have spent with the cards regarding your health issue.  Another helpful question is “How may I use what I have learned to make a change in my health situation?”7

In the section called “Portraits of the Organs”, Kliegel goes through each of 52 organs and gives basic information and two crystals for healing benefits.  You can refer to this information to learn more about the organs and create affirmations.  Kliegel recommends that you create two affirmations for each card and consider utilizing the crystal recommendations, as well.

I used the Health Generator Spread again for my husband and a friend.  My husband was interested in learning more about his fatty liver.  He learned about the importance of deep breathing and formulated some affirmations to help better nourish himself and be more conscious of his fears.

For my friend, we investigated her diverticulitis, which is based in her large intestine.  From her spread, she learned to “Concentrate on what’s important, and let go of trivial matters.”8 Surprisingly, she also got a message from her stomach and learned this:

“The druid of the stomach cauldron watches over our food as well as how we think and feel about our life force and nourishing our soul.” 9

She shared that this visual will help her make better choices for her own nutrition. 

The guidebook has several spreads, some of which are very complex. One even makes use of all of the cards. I tried Spread 5, Healing Connections, and found it very complicated, as it used ten cards and multiple questions.  If one had a very complex health situation, perhaps the more complicated spreads could be helpful. However, I found the spread with five cards that accented the one central card to be very targeted and helpful. 

At the back of the guidebook, Kliegel offers a chart of all of the organs, arranged in alphabetical order and adds two affirmations and two crystal recommendations. For example, for my husband’s reading, we found a great affirmation for his liver: “I draw on abundance and imagination.” efn_note]page 117[/efn_note] Kliegel also recommends Malachite and Chrome Diopside for supportive crystals. 

The cards are printed on a very nice card-stock, are a good size, and are not too large for easy shuffling.  The colors of the artwork are very pleasing to the eye and also add to the healing quality of the entire card system.  The back of the cards is a beautiful mix of cooling blues and sea-foam green.  I found the cards visually appealing and calming. I loved the box, with its magnetic flap and cutout to hold the cards, with just enough room for the guidebook to fit easily inside.

This card set is probably best for someone who has some experience working with tarot or oracle cards and is comfortable working with different spreads.  I really love all of the questions that Kliegel utilizes in each of the spreads.  He also has a few simple meditations that one can use to get into a good space for doing work with this deck.  Here is one example:

To go back and create space for the whole, close your eyes for a moment and get into the flow with the practice of the four breaths:
– Root yourself in the earth with magma splashing.
– Open your imaginary sunroof for the universal light beam 
– Feel the bubble bath of light around your roots in the magma
– Let the flames blaze high10

I really enjoyed working with the Body Healing Cards and look forward to more adventures.  You can always use it for a quick reading (a three-card spread would also work very well) and refer to the guidebook as needed. This card set would be great for a massage therapist or any type of body worker to accent client sessions. I am also inspired to reflect more on the interconnectedness of my body and its many organs, which work in concert for my good health.