✨ A Gathering Place for Magical Readers and Writers ✨

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.

Visionary Path Tarot, by Lucy Delics

Visionary Path Tarot: A 78-Card Deck, by Lucy Delics
Park Street Press, 1644110601, 32 pages, 78 cards, 2020

Lucy Delics (aka Emma Lucy Shaw) has created a stunning black and white deck that captures tarot archetypes woven with spiritual symbols, plant medicines, and Peruvian images in Visionary Path Tarot. Delics worked for over three years on the creation of this deck, utilizing the plant medicines ayahuasca and huachuma and connecting with her guides, high up in the Andes mountains of Peru. The Visionary Path Tarot contains all of the 78 cards of the Major and Minor Arcana of a traditional tarot deck. (Note:  Delic does not number the Major Arcana cards, yet the guidebook lists them in their traditional order for your reference.)

In the guidebook, Delic describes her journey from the UK to Peru and how ancient plant medicines and Peruvian Spirit doctors helped her heal her heart after her mother’s death.1 She goes on to describe experiences with shapeshifting, psychedelic journeys, and seeing the visuals that became many of the images for these beautiful cards. The guidebook provides direct and reversed interpretations for each card, as well as a few spreads for utilizing the cards for divination. 

On Delic’s website, she says that the deck, “Features intricate black-and-white archetypal and fractal images that act as binary codes of consciousness, allowing you to feel the inner guidance flowing from the cards and make intuitive interpretations.”2  She also shared briefly about her studies of several different traditions, including Norse, Celtic, Navajo, and Egyptian.  

These cards are so beautiful and are both intricate and simple in design. For example, the Two of Pentacles features a scale and an eagle.  Only two elements, yet the background design is also an intricate series of curvy lines that can take you on your own journey. If you meditate on the card, you can allow the energy to be your vehicle for transformation or healing. When you connect in with the card’s imagery, you can also feel a message bubbling up and the guidance enters your aura and lands on your heart and soul.

I really enjoyed the back design of the cards as well.  It features the drawing of a hand, also created with intricate, black and white art, with the index finger touching a four-pointed star.  It is like the healing hand of some great Medicine Doctor or Peruvian Shaman. It makes a great meditation aide, as well as the flip side, where you find each card design.

It was hard to select a favorite card, so I picked two:  Death and Strength.  Strength is typically the card I look to when I am appraising a deck for my own personal use.  If I can connect with the Strength card, then the deck is going to be a good fit for me. In this case, Delics uses the traditional symbolism of the maiden and the lion. Yet, the girl is not the demure archetype in other decks.  She is strong, confident, and commanding.  I also get a “yellow brick road” vibe from this card, as if she is on her way to fulfilling her dreams. The lion is there to remind her of her innate courage and strength.

The Death card features a coyote or some type of fox.  He is cunning, kind, and benevolent, according to the feelings that I get when I meditate on this card.  There is also a beating heart, which is connected to both the Spirit Animal and the designs on the card. Some of the valves are attached to arteries and one is attached to a leaf, perhaps plant medicine? She also features a snake skin for rejuvenation, a figure eight for simplicity and balance, and a face that looks like an Egyptian Pharaoh.  All in all, this Death card represents transformation, regeneration, and rebirth.  I could meditate on it for hours and learn more and more about myself and my journey.

I used the deck for a reading for myself, using one of the spreads that Delics includes. The Horseshoe Spread3 is a good one for an overall reading.  With the 7 cards that I drew, I learned that I might benefit from:

Being aware of too many irons in the fire, as well as being ready to take a risk on a new beginning.  I was also reminded that I have all of the resources I need and a suggestion to use my healing gifts for myself and my family.  

Such a strong message from these cards!  I really enjoyed this reading and the simple, yet profound messages that came through. I’m looking forward to using the cards more for personal reflection and healing work.

The Visionary Path Tarot might be best for a seasoned tarot reader or student.  Because the designs are simple, yet intricate and more than a few vary greatly from traditional tarot symbolism, a reader might want to have some experience and knowledge in the tarot to benefit from using these cards. The guidebook has very basic meanings for each card, almost like key words.  For this reason, I also recommend this deck for a more experienced reader. 

Delics has created a truly magical deck, rich in symbolism and imbued with hidden messages and codes for personal healing. She currently lives in the Peruvian Andes with her family.

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.