A Collective Gathering Place for Readers, Writers, and Seekers

Kali Oracle, by Alana Fairchild

Kali Oracle: Ferocious Grace and Supreme Protection with the Wild Divine Mother, by Alana Fairchild, illustrated by Jimmy Manton
Blue Angel Publishing, 0648746713, 44 cards, 228 pages, January 2021

Fierce. Provocative. Destructive. These are the words that usually come to mind when thinking of the Kali, but they can hardly encapsulate the myriad forms this goddess of transformation can take. Kali Oracle, created by Alana Fairchild and illustrated by Jimmy Manton, perfectly captures the dark, primal nature of Kali, while also initiating the reader into some of her lesser-known forms to help the reader get the full picture of this powerful dark goddess. This deck has become my go-to when I want the raw truth, and so far it hasn’t steered me in the wrong direction.

Kali is not for everyone. In Sanskirt Kali means “She Who is Black” or “She Who is Death.”1 The artwork in this deck often portrays her wearing a necklace of skulls, or holding a severed head in her hand — images that may be hard for some to stomach. The box-cover alone is sure to scare off some, for Kali stands mightily wielding her swords with a horned headdress and blazing red eyes. But for those who have the courage to pick this deck up, there’s a lot of wisdom to behold.

I’m genuinely impressed with the range of emotional depth and information within the guidebook. Farichild’s introduction is heartfelt, describing a situation where she needed the strength of Kali to face the pain of a situation and cut through the suffering to find spiritual freedom. As Kali is my middle name, I’ve always felt a very close connection to this goddess and I found Fairchild’s introduction to be one of the best descriptions of Kali and her power to end the grip of fear and suffering.

“A bandaid eventually needs to come off so a wound can heal. We may fear the pain and pull at it, feeling the prolonged suffering as hair by hair is pulled out by the root. However, if we take too long, we may miss a vital unfoldment of our destiny. Kali manifests to get us moving and will rip the darn thing clear off. There is shock, but if we can brave the pain, knowing that it will pass, we will truly release an era of suffering.”2

It is clear Fairchild has worked extensively with Kali and used her craft of writing and creating oracle decks to imbue this deck with the goddess’s energy. Through the channeled wisdom messages of each card, Kali’s energy streams to liberate the reader from their bond to trauma, illuminating the way out of pain, hurt, and fear to reclaim their empowered spiritual center.

Following the extremely informative Introduction, Fairchild makes a note on the topic of tantra. While it is only a brief overview of the tantric path and its history, I still found it informative and useful for working with the deck. I especially like how she framed Kali as “the tantric queen — for those who seek to awaken according to their inner path, using their life experiences as their core learning material.” 3 While I do know practitioners who have undertaken initiations into tantric traditions, Fairchild asserts that it’s a path one can follow regardless of religious belief or free from any religious structure at all. This inclusive nature may turn some fundamentalists away, but I enjoy her assertion that we all can walk the tantric path.

Many of the divinations in the guidebook inspire the reader to purify these situations, create proper boundaries, and trust in the spiritual process even when the world seems against us. These are all the messages we truly need to hear in times of crisis that many oracle decks often overlook in favor of more whimsical or positive messages of hope. This bold oracle energy make this deck worth having in one’s collection.

Kali Oracle is honest, and its frank messages bring one back into their personal authority and remind us of our ability to land back on our feet in all situations. Every card also has an Invocation Ritual, or short prayer to say to draw in the energy of the card, found in the guidebook. This helps to give one the spiritual power to go act on the divinatory information received.

The cards themselves are filled with bold colors and visually-stunning depictions of Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddesses. There are also cards with symbols such as mandala beads, flowers, and sacred weaponry. Many of the figures in the cards stare you directly in the eye, creating this very neat connection to their energy that feels almost visceral.

My favorite card is “Mahakali” that depicts Kali in her full 8-armed glory. With her bejeweled arms carrying her most sacred objects, she looks absolutely stunning. I have been keeping this card on my altar, which is another way to make use of the Kali Oracle. Every time I look at this card, I feel filled with a sacred fierceness that keeps me grounded and in alignment with my spirit.

The deck especially speaks to me as someone who often falls into the trap of over-giving and never feeling worthy enough. Whenever I pull a card from this deck, I reconnect with the part of me that is wild, honest, genuine, and quite frankly, a bad ass. Every reading I do is a reminder to step back into my sovereignty, liberate my doubts, and remember that I have nothing to fear. The wisdom of Kali Oracle helps me to move through the tough times by reminding me that I am not a victim and beauty can come forth from the toughness of life.

I highly recommend Kali Oracle to anyone looking for a deck to work with their shadow and liberate themselves from the conventional platitudes oracle decks often offer. Kali has power to reveal the pain, but in service of liberation and spiritual healing. Her strength can hold us through the darkest of times and guide us back in touch with our most primal, authentic sovereignty. Working with this deck is bound to create changes in your life if you have the courage to drop the illusions and face your demons head-on.

Green Witch Oracle, by Cheralyn Darcey

Green Witch Oracle: Discover real secrets of botanical magick, by Cheralyn Darcey
Rockpool Publishing, 1925924718, 44 cards, 144 pages, February 2021

Green Witch Oracle: Discover real secrets of botanical magick by Cheralyn Darcey is absolutely bursting with garden wisdom and colorful fun. This deck really pops, and it reminds me of a plentiful garden on a warm summer’s day. Darcey has beautifully blended elemental affinity with the secret sagacity of plants to create a multi-purpose deck. It is a splendid resource to create a magickal bond with plants through spellwork, learn about the different plant correspondences as you garden, or engage in divination with plant energy.

Opening the box and seeing the brilliant green back of the cards filled me with a sense of heart-opening abundance. The alchemical symbols for the four elements (fire, water, air, earth) are drawn in white on the back of the cards. The cards were nice and smooth as I shuffled them, offering little resistance due to their glistening shine.

Looking through the deck, I was struck by the bright color of all the varieties of plants featured in the deck. The creamy background is the perfect contrast to make the images burst forth and capture the reader’s attention. Black ink blots add to the dynamic energy of each card, further illuminating the plant image. There’s a wide range of plants featured in the deck, which include fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs.

On every card is the number at the top for guidebook reference, the elemental symbol, a key word, and the name of the plant (both common name and genus/species name). If the plant has an astrological correspondence, there is also a glyph of the zodiac sign. There are also little sketches of metaphysical objects that are related to the card’s meaning, such as a dreamcatcher for Marigold’s key word ‘Positivity’ and a sword for Fennel’s key word ‘Strength.’

I’ve been pulling a card a day and have very much enjoyed reading the guidebook to better understand the energy of each one. Reading through it I noticed that the deck is organized so that certain types of plants correspond with an elemental energy: vegetables are earth, herbs are fire, fruits are water, and flowers are air. Also being a tarot reader, the elemental correspondence of the cards made intuitive sense to me. Now when I pull a card, I am also able to sense the elemental energy within it too, which I feel has enhanced my readings.

In the guidebook, Darcey first provides a short and sweet introduction and a bit of information on how to use the deck. Then there are three garden-themed card spreads suggested. My favorite to use so far has been “The garden shed” that is meant to help the reader with a challenge they are facing. The card placements relate to gardening, such as Card 1 being called “the shovel,” and this card is meant to highlight the energy of “the deepest part that needs to come to light.”1 All the spreads are creative and well-suited for this deck. It was unique to see something different than the standard card placements (ex. past, present, future) often suggested.

The rest of the guidebook focuses on the 44 cards in the deck. For each card there is a quote, oracle meaning, description of the plant’s cultivation, and list of magical correspondences (uses, deities, celestial, and astrological sign). The best part is that there is also a spell to generate the energy of the plant in your life. All the spells listed use the plant of their card in the spellwork, which gives the reader another way to connect to the magickal energy of each plant.

So far I’ve only tried one spell: a desire spell from the Lettuce card. Who would have thought you could make an incredible facial mask with lettuce and use it to super-charge your desire? I did have to switch out dried milk for a bit of whole milk, but it still turned out just fine. Looking through the spells, I would say the majority of them can be done easily with simple ingredients most people already have in their kitchen. Next time I want to do some protection work, I plan on using the spell given in the guidebook for Onion!

The very end of the guidebook includes a small glossary of terms used and also *drum roll* a bibliography! I really like to see a nice bibliography, as so many books and decks seem to freely dispense information with no sources listed for where it was found. While things like the oracle meaning of the card are bound to be more subjective, I value Darcey’s sharing the sources of her knowledge. This is sure to be a starting point for readers that use the deck and wish to continue learning more about the gardening techniques and properties of different types of plants.

For anyone interested in enhancing their magick with a bit of green witchery this is absolutely a deck you’ll want to have in your collection. I highly recommend Green Witch Oracle to anyone who is interested in learning more about the energy of plants. Whether you’re interested in cultivating a magickal relationship or simply discovering new ways to connect with your garden through learning about plant properties and timing techniques, this deck is a wonderful resource. It’s a deck filled with an enthusiastic levity that makes these explorations fun and exciting.

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

Seasons of the Witch: Samhain Oracle: Harness the Intuitive Power of the Year’s Most Magical Night, by Lorraine Anderson and Juliet Diaz
Rockpool Publishing, 978-1925924657, 180 pages, October 2020

I knew the deep magic of Halloween well before I ever heard the name Samhain. Sound familiar? This potent tome and deck of wisdom offers you the secrets of this sacred time in just the style to make your witchy heart sing. The Seasons of the Witch: Samhain Oracle is a powerful transmission by mavens of their craft, Lorraine Anderson and Juliet Diaz. Anderson draws on her varied cultural heritage, which includes Benish, Romanian, and Irish. She is the co-founder of Sacred Craft Academy, an online school for mysticism and spiritual truth. Juliet Diaz is an Indigenous Taino Cubana. She is the author of Witchery: Embracing the Witch Within. This magical deck is exquisitely illustrated by Giada Rose, a Kentucky-based illustrator and designer who “strives with her paintings to create a portal into stillness,”1

This deck first pulled me in by it’s witchy aesthetic that is a little Charles Addams, a little Edward Gorey, and a whole lot of visual intuition and expressive magic. These images have an incredibly witchy vibe to them. The color palette is beautifully autumnal. The red gilt edges and details remind you that you are about to enter into ritual. Each card pairs a few lines of poetry with an evocative image to make this an accessible deck for working your will as a witch or witchling. This deck speaks so beautifully to young witches curious about what the craft might mean to them, especially as they deepen their knowledge of this sabbat. Any experienced witch who favors this season will no doubt enjoy the chance to immerse themselves in these archetypes. 

Samhain Oracle has come into my hands closer to Ostara, the spring equinox, than Samhain, the vernal equinox. I so appreciate being brought back into the energy of the thinning veil, of long, quiet nights to explore the inner realm. This deck does that impeccably. 

I offered my stepdaughter a reading with these cards over tea one afternoon; the deck practically begs for such precious rituals. We both loved how the poetry allowed us to wend our way into the cards with its familiars, tools, and archetypes of Samhain. The guidebook took us so much deeper in language both profound and accessible. One card we drew together was Dark Moon. A slender white woman set against the dark moon releases smoke from her palm — “In the dark of your heart lives new breath / waiting for you to release its ghost.”2 The card was on point for us both.

There are a couple cards that sing to me in particular. Wolf (44) offers two slender, white-skinned witches sitting at the hearth. The room they are in is both a home and a galaxy. The full moon shows its face through the window as a white wolf howls. There is so much vitality and quirkiness to these drawings, the hand of the artist is present in the way ink and watercolor stain the page and in the way objects are drawn. Wolf invites you all to “devour the ferocious calling within the howling of your / spirit. Run wildly into the freedom of your knowing.”3 

Pulling Healer (22) we see the lone woman of color represented in this deck; her soft, direct gaze centered by the full moon behind her and the full and crescent moon that sit at her third eye as she stands in ceremonial, feathered regalia. She invites us to “listen as the medicine bleeds through her / teeth, a river of mercy blessed by Mother. / Seen only by those who hold her mirror.”4 There’s something powerful in the joining of these paintings and poems; it gives you so much space to allow meaning to arise from the cauldron of your belly.

Throughout the deck there are so many potent symbols — Owl, Cauldron, Frog, The Veil. As I attune to the cards, I find they offer so much space for inquiry and curiosity. The visuals strike an exquisite balance between the macabre, so appropriate to the season, the whimsical, and the alchemical rooted in the power and agency of the wielder.

I am not usually that interested in guidebooks. Here with this deck, the book feels essential, particularly for those people who are learning to deepen their craft. There is an exquisite attention to color in Candle Magic (9); There is a wealth of information on the magical properties of Crystals and Herbs (12). This book is clearly written by experts in their fields — knowledgeable, wise women who want to make this knowing accessible.

I appreciate that Anderson and Diaz offered the reversal of each card. When you pull Wolf in reverse, the card invites you to “let yourself run wild, howl at the moon, dance naked, laugh for no reason, and sing your heart.”5 This deck is full of life that invites the querent to embody the wisdom offered in these cards through their own lived experience. 

Another delightful thing about the deck is how easy it is to shuffle the cards. They are thick enough to feel substantial and bendable enough for the perfect bridge shuffle. The flash of red as you work them is on point for the season. 

Seasons of the Witch: Samhain Oracle is a tool for someone who wants to understand witchcraft more deeply. It does not shy away from the more high sensation pieces of the witchy human-being experience–grief, transformation, letting go, being a bridge between the seen and unseen world. 

My deck is already promised to my stepdaughter, who is eagerly awaiting it. Hopefully, she’ll let me borrow it on occasion. It is a wonderful remember of how much poetry can help to anchor an idea while giving it room to grow. I absolutely plan to gift this to my playful, witchy friends when my favorite holiday looms.

Goddess Love Oracle, by Wendy Andrew

Goddess Love Oracle, written and illustrated by Wendy Andrew
Rockpool Publishing, 1925924329, 107 pages, 2021

Goddess Love Oracle is an incredible deck that packs a lot of Goddess guidance into it. Measuring only about 3 inches by 4 inches, the deck and accompanying guidebook are easily portable. In fact, creator Wendy Andrew recommends carrying the guidebook in your bag or pocket and opening it if you need inspiration or a bit of direction. As both author and illustrator, Andrew brings the wisdom of the Goddess into our lives with her beautiful paintings and accompanying writings. Based in southern England, she writes that she first heard “Goddess whispering in the wind and vibrating through the land.”1

When I first received the deck, I shuffled the cards and pulled Radiance, a card that illustrated the Goddess Flora, ringlets of golden hair flowing down her back. A halo of purple and pink flowers surround her head as she tilts her face toward the light and warmth of the sun. Her guidance was spot on for what was going on in my life: “No more hiding in the shadows, no more silencing your voice and no more walling up your heart.”2 I was immediately drawn in by the warm colors and comforting illustrations, which all have a feminine sense of fluidity to them.

Another day I did a three-card spread that Andrew calls “Work, Play and People.”3 Cards fully shuffled, I cut them into three piles and magically, I pulled three cards in numeric order, Rebirth, Reflection, and Rest, all cards that encouraged inward thinking, restoring one’s energy, and stillness. Incubating periods versus outward growth. Again, the cards resonated, and I felt the Goddesses communicated with me.

I truly loved how Andrew approached the deck – simple but certainly not simplistic, uncomplicated but complex. In the guidebook she writes that “there are no hard and fast rules about how to use the cards; simply do what feels right and that will be Goddess guiding you. Allow yourself to feel the essence of Her messages as Her love enfolds you.”4 She continues by offering very easy ways to connect with the message of the cards – sit quietly and when it feels right, shuffle the cards. Although she writes that there are many ways of laying out a card spread, she offers only three. There is a single-card reading and two three-card spreads: one on work, play, and people and the other on body, mind, and spirit.

The back of the cards contains a circle of 12 winter-bare trees, their roots extending into the earth until they reach a circle of eight purple hearts. The trees appear against what reminds me of a purple-colored, star-filled night sky. Then every Goddess is richly illustrated, inviting one to go deeper into the meaning/communication by quietly sitting with the image. As Andrew recommends, put the drawn card on your altar (if you have one) or in place where you’ll see it during the day. Allow the image and the Goddess’s message to become part of your day. Invite in the Goddess’s love and wisdom.

There are 36 Goddess cards in the deck, each card offering a message and also a connected “Goddess-inspired daily practice” such as a guided meditation, journaling/vision boarding, or doing something that brings you out of your comfort zone. The daily practices are intended to “deepen the communication”5 from the Goddess.

Almost all of the images contain animals with rabbits/hares and foxes dominating the group. I use the term animal loosely, including those of the air and water. Only two cards do not contain animal imagery, Rati (Love Your Body) and Quan Yin (Compassion). Also present in most of the cards is the spiral of the Divine Feminine, sometimes obvious and other times very subtle. The cards foster a sense of connection to the natural world.

Named Goddesses do not appear on all of the cards but those that are represented by name include Rhiannon (twice), Brigid (twice), Lakshmi, Demeter, Freya, Arta, Flora, Iananna, Cerridwen, and Mellangell. Other cards simply reference a communication from “Goddess.” 

The two cards featuring Brigid contain her flame, her light. One of Brigid’s cards is Awakening, encouraging us to live in the moment. A swan appears behind her, its extended white wings seemingly giving her the ability to fly. Spirals appear in her orange flowing hair and also on her forehead. Five white stars crown her head. He is cloaked in a garment covered in winter snowdrops, the flowers that first poke through the earth around Imbolc. A hare stands near her as she cradles a flame in her hand, Brigid asking if we are “ready to be fully awake?”6 The Goddess-inspired daily practices asks the reader to ask one’s self “What would happen if I released rather than strived?”7

Another card that I was drawn to was Hope, reminding us that “out of darkness comes light.”8 The card features Demeter and her daughter, Persephone. The star-filled winter evening sky contains a crescent moon. Bare trees stand on the landscape. In the right corner of the image one sees the pink of the rising sun. Two birds fly around Demeter, her head crowned in brown flowers. Her arms open to surround her daughter who holds a brown hare. Although this reunion will be short-lived, Persephone brings flowers and the hope of rebirth. As Andrew writes, “Demeter comes to you now, saying: ‘I understand. I hear you when you call for help. I know that there are times when life can be hard. But I also know that the darkness is balanced by the light.’”9 The Goddess-inspired daily practice encourages one to find a symbol of hope to carry around. 

Perhaps my favorite card is Wisdom, the last card in the deck. Here we encounter Cerridwen, the crone, the “ancient Welsh Mother Goddess.”10 Cerridwen is cloaked in purple, her garment covered in spirals. A spiral also appears on her forehead. She holds a cat that tenderly strokes her long hair. In her other hand she holds an orange pumpkin, carved with leaves and tendrils. The pumpkin holds a brewing hot liquid, steaming rising from its center. Cerridwen stands against a purple colored night sky, a sky that contains stars and a crescent moon.

Andrew reminds the reader that Cerridwen is here to tell that “you came into this life as a wise being and you have spent much of your time forgetting and unlearning.”11 She writes how the Goddess will “come…at significant times during your life to give you special opportunities to rediscover your inner wisdom.”12 The Goddess-inspired daily practice is a guided meditation that brings one into the presence of Cerridwen where one is invited into her house in the woods. 

I highly recommend Goddess Love Oracle for those who want a colorful burst of Goddess energy in their life. It is filled with messages of warmth and love, of hope and inspiration, of tenderness and guidance. Wendy encourages us to be “alert to any synchronicities that may occur” as we use the deck for “these may not be mere coincidences by subtle nudges from Goddess to heed her message.”13 I’ll let Andrew’s words close this review as they embody the intention of the deck: “May Goddess bless you with clarity, enlightenment and love.”14

The Lantern Oracle, by Angelina Mirabito

The Lantern Oracle, by Angelina Mirabito, PhD and illustrated by Yuly Alego
Blue Angel Publishing, 1925538908, 44 cards, 144 pages, July 2020

In the rush of life, it can be common to overlook the importance of a strong spiritual foundation. The Lantern Oracle by Angelina Mirabito, PhD is a reminder of the sacredness in the everyday life of all women. In this touching deck, the beauty of connection among women across the span of time is woven together to create a spring of generational insight. This deck is a gateway to exploring woman’s wisdom through the archetypal forms of feminine consciousness: Maiden, Mother, Guardian, and Crone.

“Together, the young ladies and women of The Lantern Oracle nurture clarity, self-empowerment, and healing. They provide access to the eternal feminine energy, living love, and wisdom as medicine to work with, personalise, and integrate.”1

Mirabito introduces the concept of the deck in the guidebook, which explains how the 44-card deck has 11 cards in each of the four sections of feminine archetypal energy mentioned above. There is a description provided for all of these archetypes that demonstrates how one builds upon the former. For instance Mirabito writes, “Choices that are often naively and idealistically made during the Maiden stage can culminate in the birthing of a new reality or an illusion during the Mother stage.”2

Something I think is unique, which I really appreciate, is her addition of Guardian as an archetypal energy, which seems to add another layer of depth to the traditional triple goddess expression of energy (Maiden, Mother, Crone). I’ve always felt there was a phase in-between Mother and Crone, which Mirabito aptly expresses in the deck and guidebook explanations of the cards in this section.

The Guardian phase is the time of midlife, where one discovers their sense of self in an empowered way. These messages are about learning to stand in one’s own authority, having been renewed through the mistakes of young adulthood and now having learned to carry oneself with composure. Maturity, regeneration, and a sense of responsibility highlight this passageway.

The illustrations on The Lantern Oracle cards, done by Yuly Ageo, really create an encompassing sense of connection between all women, which once again adds to the feeling of this being a deck of universal wisdom. Though there is a mixture of fantasy, with some images having elf-like ears, most of the cards feature ordinary women of all ages. The commonality between these women is evident, who all on their journey towards wholeness and personal fulfillment must face the ups and downs of the wheel of life.

Within Ageo’s images on the cards, I can see the challenges, fears, hopes, and dreams of these women, which emotionally brings them to life for me. Even if the women on the cards don’t look like me physically (there are many cultures portrayed), as I shuffle through the deck I am able to identify the faces of my grandmothers, aunts, mother, and friends because there is a sense of solidarity on the path of feminine wisdom. These cards become a visual reminder of the shared experiences we go through as a collective on the path to learning how to nurture, empower, and tend to ourselves with care, no matter where we originate from or live.

My favorite part of the deck is Marabito’s choice of cards and the wisdom within each one. The different cards have a sense of authenticity, that give meaningful spiritual insight without glossing over reality, putting a positive spin, or becoming too ominous. It feels as though the wisest part of oneself is speaking through the cards, a higher self if you will. Due to the cross-generational messages of the cards, healing is accessible through connection to parts of yourself in former life stages, as well as future ones.

For instance, Trusting Tricksters, is card number six in the Maiden section. I certainly know that as a Maiden I trust quite a few tricksters, who lead me astray and caused confusion in my life. Drawing this card in the present reminds me of that time in life, makes me recall the lessons I learned, and then allows me to consciously put that wisdom into action.

I especially find the cards for Motherhood empowering too right now, as these are the words I wish I had someone telling me as I make my way through early adulthood. Cards such as Melting Mask (16), Radical Honesty (18), and Enough (20) all remind me of the necessity of feeling like I am worthy, moving away from roles that suffocate my spirit, and aligning with who I truly feel myself to be. While these are the lessons we should be teaching all women, it is this wisdom that is often more difficult to hear in a world that drowns out the voice of our soul all too often.

Working with these cards on a daily basis has improved my confidence, made me feel more attuned to my soul, and also reminded me of the inevitable turning of the great wheel of life. I am more relaxed accepting where I am currently, facing what comes my way with a sense of calmness and ease, acknowledging there is always going to be room for growth, new experiences, and transformation. With this deck, I have a trusted resource to guide me in love, compassion, and strength through life’s ups and downs.

I recommend The Lantern Oracle for those looking to bring feminine wisdom into their life on a daily basis for guidance, encouragement, and attunement. Mirabito’s words are so genuine, and just what I need to hear on a daily basis to remember my innate wisdom and soul’s path. Alejo’s artwork is absolutely beautiful, reminding me of my connection to all women, despite our external differences. The inclusive nature of feminine energy shines through this deck and holds space for integrating the lessons of the four phases of consciousness we all pass through on our spiritual journey. This deck is a true spiritual treasure whose timeless quality makes it perfect for working with long term.

Dragon Wisdom Oracle Cards, by Christine Arana Fader

Dragon Wisdom: 43-Card Oracle Deck and Book, by Christine Arana Fader and illustrated by Anja Kostka
Earthdancer, 1644111086, 112 pages, 43 cards, 2021

In creating the Dragon Wisdom: 43-Card Oracle Deck and Book, Christine Arana Fader has written a mystical book about magical beings that can support you on your spiritual journey.  She worked closely with Anja Kostka to create artwork that captures 38 dragons, 4 elements, and one elf.  In 2000, Christine Arana Fader was introduced to the dragon’s energy by the spirit world and came to work with this energy to introduce people to its power and the energy of Avalon.

Also known as the “Dragon Woman,” Fader has met many teachers on her spiritual journey—angels, power animals, ascended masters, Merlin, and especially dragons. Since 2010 she has led dragon workshops and trance journeys. The author of different publications on mystical beings like dragons and elves, she lives in Germany.

Anja Kostka attended Fachoberschule für Gestaltung in Munich. In addition to the traditional painting and the usual drawing techniques, she also learned to work with many different materials, such as glass, felt, wood, metal and clay. She also got to know the technical world of computers. After excessive self-study she was accepted by Qantm Institute to study game design and earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2010.

After enjoying Game of Thrones, King Arthur, and other such books and movies, I was interested in learning more about dragon energy and how these magical beings might support me on my spiritual journey.

Since I host a weekly “Coffee and Cards” group for my community, I was excited to open the Dragon Wisdom deck and do a reading for myself.  I asked a question about a situation at work that I am currently experiencing and drew the card entitled “Avalon.”  I learned “a powerful, magical energy wants to rise within you.  The moon dragon wants to wake the priestess or sorcerer within you.”1

Furthermore, I learned that the beautiful dragon will travel with me to the world of my ancestors and show me the way to solve my current dilemma.  I very clearly connected with the energy of my grandmother on this journey and heard the word “compassion.”  I was reminded that we never know everything that someone is dealing with.  I felt guided to act with compassion regarding the person at my office.   

Then, I drew a card for the group and drew the card “Decision.”  The key concepts included the importance of making a decision in a timely fashion.  We can ask the brown dragon for support if the decision seems like too great a burden. Fader also included an easy energy clearing tool with this card.2

I love to pull a card for the group and allow people to read the message on Facebook and receive the guidance if the message speaks to their heart. I’ve already heard from one woman who said that the message clearly spoke to her and she expressed her thanks.

I absolutely love these cards.  The dragon artwork is stunning and quite varied.  Some of the designs are very simple and others are multi-layered with lots of shading and color variations. Along with the guidance shared, Fader includes a visualization or exercise to further connect with the dragon energy and these are very well written.  As I also shared, I really enjoyed the exercises or energy clearing tools. The cards are a great quality, with a very nice varnish on both sides and rounded corners. The cards are a good weight for shuffling. 

My favorite card is the one entitled “Peace.”  The dragon is created in shades of blue, from cobalt blue to the light blue of a spring sky. He looks formidable, yet there is kindness in his eyes.  It is a beautiful card for meditation and Fader includes a beautiful suggestion with blue candles and soft music. She begins with “Peace in this world begins within you.”3

She also includes this affirmation:  

“I am the expression of divine peace, peace is within me.”4

I also enjoyed the elemental cards, such as the one entitled “Fire Chalice.”  This card features a ritual from Alba, the queen of all dragons, who invites you to do a ritual she calls “baptism in the element of fire.” She explains that “The baptism is a rite, a rebirth, a ritual cleansing. Baptism is the threshold from the old to a new way of being.”5

At the end of the book is a trance meditation that you can record and then utilize to meet YOUR dragon.

The Dragon Wisdom Oracle deck gives you a hands-on way to connect with the wisdom, love, and magic of dragons. The artwork is created in brilliant full-color and the guidebook includes a black and white photo of each drawing, so you can match the card to the guidance.  Note that the cards are not numbered. However, the guidebook is arranged in alphabetical order, to make it easy to find the information for each card.

The dragon artwork is really stunning and makes it easy to connect with the images, so that you can experience and activate the dragon energies and interact on an intuitive level. These cards would be good for seekers of all ages.  You can use the cards for daily messages and take the experience even deeper by using the visualizations or energy clearing tools. Pre-teens or teens would also enjoy the cards, due to the beautiful artwork.

“You hold a set of cards full of magic and wisdom in your hands. It is an enchanting mixture of exercises and messages, created from the wisdom and power of Dragons.”6

I really enjoyed Dragon Wisdom.  The artwork is matched only by the beautiful prose of Fader’s mystical work with her dragon guides.  I can’t wait to share this deck with my granddaughter, who is 10 and loves Harry Potter and all things magical! I particularly love the script Fader included for a dragon journey, where you can meet your own mystical guide for your daily life.

Kabbalah: The Tree of Life Oracle, by Cherry Gilchrist and Gila Zur

Kabbalah: The Tree of Life Oracle: Sacred Wisdom To Enrich Your Life, by Cherry Gilchrist and Gila Zur
Eddison Books, 1859064658, 144 pages, September 2020

KABBALAH – the word itself sounds mysterious, doesn’t it? The word itself always sounded like a mantra in itself, as if just saying it will bring gifts. In fact, the word itself means “to receive” Cherry Gilchrist and Gila Zur write in Kabbalah: The Tree of Life Oracle: Sacred Wisdom To Enrich Your Life, and that is the best spirit in which to use this oracle.1 In order to properly receive, you must make room – in your mind, heart, in your being, and in your life. That’s what I found to be true for myself as I set off with this deck because the system presented is complex and takes effort to understand. As with any esoteric art, you must have the deep willingness to experience it for yourself, and for that, you will be richly rewarded. 

This oracle deck and book is a new branch born of a tree with ancient roots in Kabbalah, a Jewish mystical tradition of many centuries. Only about fifty years ago in London, two Kabbalists came up with a novel placement of the twenty-two Hebrew letters on the Tree of Life, the key symbol of Kabbalah. The Tree of Life is a symbol that once seen will be remembered, even if one has no idea what it is really about.

It has ten circles (sefirot) and twenty-two paths (connection between two sefirot) that connect them. From that new juxtaposition of letters, these Kabbalahist articulated a complete divination system, known as Galgal, meaning “wheels.”2 There are fourteen wheels, centered on the various sefiroh of the Tree of Life, and four words from each wheel, comprising, therefore, a total of fifty-six cards, plus a blank one, for a total of fifty-seven.

The four words correspond to four suits: Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. In Kabbalah: The Tree of Life Oracle: Sacred Wisdom To Enrich Your Life, Gilchrist’s gives new life to this divination method, by expanding on the earlier work of early 1970’s, when she was one of the original authors who wrote the instructions for the oracular method of Galgal.

When I first held the deck, the red and white and gold design and coloring made it look and feel somewhat like a jewelry box. Opening it, it felt compact and easy to hold, but sparkling an energy of compressed clarity – like stone. It felt worthy of careful attention. Cherry Gilchrist is a striking name and I wondered if Cherry herself has chosen red as the predominant color because of her name.

I looked her up and discovered that she is quite a character! She has traveled widely, including over fifty trips to Russia, has run a vintage clothing shop and Russian arts businesses, and has performed and taught singing and writing. Gilchrist’s deep interest in astrology and divination, her passion for writing and teaching, and her wide range of life experiences suffuses this deck. 

This book is organized into three parts: Introduction, The Cards, Reading the Cards. Her succinct introduction to Kabbalah and the Tree of Life impressed me with how much information it contains. Given my relatively recent introduction to Kabbalah, I find it worthwhile to keep re-reading that passage.

Each card is explained in three sections: Oracle, Commentary, Interpretations. She explains that the Oracle meanings have been adapted from the original versions by Eddie Prevost and that she has added writing in Commentary and Interpretations for fuller explanation.

The section Reading the Cards presents the unique spread that this deck offers, using the symbol of Tree of Life and astrological houses. Thankfully, the spread is presented in a big sheet that can be unfolded for use. 

As I familiarized myself with the fifty-six concepts, it made me ponder how each oracle deck presents its own map of reality. Tarot uses 78 cards to present its map and symbol of the universe; this Tree of Life deck uses 57. Depending on how you count, almost two dozen of the cards represent people or archetypal characters. For example there is The Beloved, The Servant, The Eater, The Warrior, The Disciple, The Gambler, and the list goes on. There are three body parts: The Head, The Skeleton, and The Heart. The other half of the cards run the gamut of personal to social to spiritual concepts, from the very concrete to interpersonal to the most metaphysical. For example, there is The Seed, The Applause, and Causality. 

This may sound like a lot. So, let me share a reading I did for one of my best friends that was of profound importance to him: how can I find the best wife for me? This reading was of particular importance to me as well because he had helped my partner and me tremendously through our own convoluted path.

As I am more versed with more free-form methods of oracle readings, having the strict structure of this oracle required that we set aside significant time to truly focus and work with this new deck. Since this query concerned the most important project of the year for him, we did the full fourteen card reading. The first card is the First Significator, which speaks to the essential situation or nature of matter. Then comes the twelve cards for each astrological house. Last is the Second Significator, which is the Point of Action or Hope

 My friend’s first card was The Myth. That was fitting because his quest for a wife is at a mythic level of importance. Gilchrist lists among possible meanings “A question concerning religion, an ideal or a cause.”3 The last card of his reading was The Benefactor: “The person who cares and is anxious for the welfare of another.”4 This outcome card felt useful and meaningful since it bespoke the need to work with others who care about his situation and to find allies for his search.

Notably, the only fire cards were in the 9, 10, and 11th houses – all relating to the time frames of the future: far future, future, and near future. Gilchrist notes that the elements are similar to those in astrology, and fire is creative and energizing. I took that to mean that he needs to look where he may not have looked before and that it is important to take action.

Six out of the fourteen cards were earth cards, congruent with the very practical nature of his actions on this project during the past few years. His return to his country of origin after spending the bulk of his adult years in the United States and learning about the marriage institution there has been a sobering experience of learning that it is truly difficult, nearly impossible, to be seen for who he actually is, rather than what his culture fears of people who have lived in the United States. 

Because Kabbalah: The Tree of Life Oracle requires focus to learn, I would recommend this deck to those who are already somewhat familiar and interested in the Kabbalah. From my initial experience, I can see that this is a deck through which deep wisdom will flow to those who are motivated to work to receive it.