✨ A Gathering Place for Magical Readers and Writers ✨

The Dragon Riders Oracle, by Arana Fader

The Dragon Riders Oracle, by Christine Arana Fader and illustrated by Elena Dudina
Earthdancer Books, 1644119994, 112 pages, 43 cards, February 2024

Dragons are absolutely majestic, and quite frankly, they can also be intimidating! Though I’ve desired to connect more with dragon energy, I was struggling to find a book or deck that made the grandiosity feel accessible. The Dragon Riders Oracle by Christine Arana Fader and illustrated by Elena Dudina was the “in” that I needed to discover my own dragon and better understand their true nature.

It was the way Fader provides a creation story for the origins of dragons and how they came to be companions to other energetic beings. According to what her own dragon has shared, Fader explains dragons were “the first entities in our universe”1, who were entrusted by Source to be universal protectors. I now see dragons as guardians of the galaxy, an energy that vibrates with high love for the multitude of energetic beings in the universe.

Those energetic beings are the dragon riders–gods, goddesses, elves, angels, and ascended masters–who are coupled with their dragon on the cards in this deck. The dragon riders Fader has depicted come from a range of spiritual traditions (Christianity, Celtic, Greek and Roman Pantheon, Buddhism, Confucianism, and more) giving a wide range of insights. Many of the dragon riders will be familiar names, though there were some energetic beings I was happy to discover and learn more about, while the dragons’ names will most likely be new to readers.

Fader teaches how the true name of each dragon cannot be uttered by humans, as it is a matrix of “pure power and comprises numbers, letters, sounds, symbols, and colors.”2 Reading that sentence, I conjure a mental image of what a potential matrix might appear as, but as Fader notes, it’s hardly translatable to paper! For this reason, she has chosen names that still resonate with the dragon’s energy and have meaning in regard to “the element of the dragon’s being.”3

Another thing Fader notes in the introduction, which I really appreciated, was how the energetic beings portrayed do not actually have human forms; the way they are depicted by Dudina is intended to help readers form a relationship with their energy by giving them a relatable appearance. Fader writes, “All the beings portrayed in the cards have a body, a face, eyes, and distinct colors, but it is important to remember they are not the “truth”, they are only representations to help you make contact.”4 I value this reminder, as it helped me to attune myself to the spiritual dimensions of the cards, while also providing a form I could visualize connecting with while meditating.

The cards themselves are very sturdy with a sleek feel that makes them easy to shuffle. Dudina has done an absolutely incredible job illustrating the multitude of dragon riders and dragons. There are so many types of dragons in all the colors of the rainbow, yet for each one, Dudina has captured their loving spirit in the way she’s drawn the eyes. I feel the regal presence of the dragons shining through, portraying a relationship of mutual love, trust, and devotion with the companion dragon rider. As for the dragon riders, they all look immaculately handsome and beautiful.

Each card is numbered and has the name of the dragon rider and companion dragon along with a short message at the bottom. The number makes it easy to look up the corresponding entry in the guidebook for further insight. In the guidebook entry, Fader provides background on the dragon rider and then a message from both the dragon rider and the dragon. The messages are in direct quotes, indicating it was spoken directly to Fader by the energetic being to be shared with readers.

Here’s an example of the messages from the card Kuan Yin & Susuri. The first quote is a snippet of the message from Kuan Yin, while the second is part of the message from Kuan Yin’s female dragon companion Susuri.

“Follow my teachings and learn to love without expecting anything in return. In doing so, you will discover unimaginable inner riches.”5

“Let me penetrate the very depths of your being; let me expand you from within and break your inner chains. To do this, hold the card over your heart and feel how with my resonance I am at work within you.”6

The insights are not divinatory–they are more like advice directly from these higher spiritual beings for us. In the introduction, Fader even encourages readers to not ask a question when shuffling and pulling a card, rather she instructs to connect to one’s heart and breath, concentrating on being in the moment without overthinking. This is the way to establish the connection with dragons, and the message that is meant for you will come through. There is a specific energetic being that wants to guide you, one whose teachings are most relevant to you at the time of drawing your card.

One fun and unexpected aspect of this deck is the addition of two Joker cards (number 7 and 13) with cats on them. These cards represent “a leap in consciousness”7 and that new opportunities for spiritual growth are on their way. In order to ensure readers are prepared for this new energy headed their direction, the Joker cards offer rituals to perform to find one’s center, becoming the bridge between the spiritual and material world. If readers don’t feel called to work with the Joker cards, they can of course just not include them in their deck.

Overall, The Dragon Riders Oracle is a wonderful way to gain the spiritual wisdom of high vibrational energetic beings of love. From gods and goddesses to angels and ascended masters, this deck opens the door to protection, guidance, and support from the realms above. Most especially, the genuine and powerful essence of the dragons shines through to ensure readers are aligned with their spiritual path. The primal, mystical powers of the dragons is sure to create a fulfilling change in readers’ lives.

The Wealthy Woman Oracle Deck, by Taylor Eaton

The Wealthy Woman Oracle Deck: 44 Oracle Cards for Abundance, by Taylor Eaton and illustrated by Stephanie Wicker-Campbell
Muse Oracle Press, 0645885029, 96 pages, 44 cards, August 2024

Goal of the year? Attune to abundance and get my finances aligned. So, you can only imagine how thrilled I was to discover The Wealthy Woman Oracle Deck by Taylor Eaton, a money mindset expert that has coached hundreds of women to create more wealth in their lives. Her method includes utilizing client’s Human Design charts to maximize their potential. She has tons of information and free resources for those looking to clear their money blocks on her website.

The title of this deck is what really first caught my attention. It feels like gaining financial security always requires chasing something—a new job, more clients, that promotion, and so on. But Eaton’s assertion that there’s a wealthy woman within me already was something new in itself, which instantly reframed my mindset. What might I discover from looking inside myself for the prosperity I seek? 

“Whether you are just beginning your journey to wealthy or want to amplify the abundance you already have in your life, this deck is your invitation to connect with the wealthy woman within you.”1

This 44-card deck has two types of cards: archetype cards and awareness cards. The archetype cards focus on a single woman, who embodies the energy of the archetype, while the awareness cards are more general guidance about what needs to “be shifted, cleared, or activated in order to increase the flow of abundance in your life. 2

Eaton provides brief guidance on how to use the cards, but she more offers the space for readers to find their own relationship with the deck. She does note she’s a fan of single-card pulls, so I’ve been enjoying doing those regularly for guidance every few days. I’ve gained a lot of insight by pairing the archetype card with an awareness card; I’ll separate the cards into each category and pulling from the respective piles. The combination directs my attention towards a focus while also providing me with the archetype energy I can tap into to become more aware of what come through in my reading.

The guidebook is also divided into two sections for each category of card. You can tell which type of card you’ve pulled based on where the name of the card is located (on the bottom is archetype, and on the top is awareness). The cards are arranged alphabetically, making it easy to navigate.

The guidance for each card is immensely insightful. There’s a few sentences that give a quick description of the card, a longer message, and then a final few sentences to bring it all together. Eaton’s perspective on wealth through a feminine lens focused on alignment, flow, and prosperity gives each message and gentle yet empowering feeling that leaves the readers open to new channels of wealth.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do for a career because it seems like I’m at an age where I should have it all “figured out”. Up until this point, I’ve always pieced together a living doing multiple jobs: freelance writing and editing, tutoring, astrology and tarot consultations, substitute teaching. I’ve enjoyed my varied lifestyle and the freedom it gives me. But increasingly, I feel a pressure to have a “real job”, a predetermined career path based on the expectations of others who feel I should be seeking more security at this point in my life. The archetype card I pulled for guidance about what my career path should be was The Key Holder. The guidebook reads:

“You, and you alone, hold the key to your own abundance. You do not need to waste your time or energy following the prescribed path that others have laid out. You do not need to look to others to tell you how you should go about calling in the wealth you desire.”3

Then the awareness card I pulled was Receiving Mode. Part of this card’s messages reads as follows:

“The more you are in the receiving mode, the more you consciously choose to become the version of you who receives abundance—including financial abundance. Money flows to you more easily, more quickly, and in greater amounts.”4

This message was so validating! The two cards together gave me confidence to believe in myself and have more faith that the right opportunities will continue to come my way, even if it doesn’t look like a regular 9-5 job, by remaining open to receiving. I don’t need to plan everything out; the opportunities meant for me show up when I am open to receive them.

As for the cards themselves, they’re exquisite. The gold foil on the sides gives them a luminescent shine, and the quality of the cardstock ensures the deck will hold up well during shuffles. Plus, the artwork done by illustrator Stephanie Wicker-Campbell is truly transcendent. The essence of the women on the cards shines through, attuning the reader to their frequency. All the women look like they’re in a state of divine connection. From sacred surrender to embodied confidence, their faith shines through, inspiring the same in the reader.

There’s this beautiful mixture of celestial and earthly energy embodied in the cards too. They are soft colors—lots of tan, pink, and white tones— that invoke a feeling of ease and gentleness. The stars twinkle above, while lush flowers bloom; a sense of grace is present throughout it all.

Overall, The Wealthy Woman Oracle is a must-have for those seeking to open their channels of prosperity and abundance. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be luxurious. This deck contains the financial wisdom that is not taught yet is essential to transform one’s relationship to wealth. This deck is a wonderful first step in cultivating the wealthy woman within through connecting to your soul’s path, strengthening your faith in your personal path to prosperity by following your intuition. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Starlight Frequencies Oracle, by Leah Shoman

Starlight Frequencies Oracle: The Knowledge You Seek is Seeking You, by Leah Shoman
Sacred Scribe Publishing, 0646846094, 44 cards, 60 pages, February 2024

Are you feeling the shift in your life? As many begin to awaken to new frequencies and dimensions, it can be immensely helpful to lean into cosmic assistance. Starlight Frequencies Oracle: The Knowledge You Seek is Seeking You by Leah Shoman is a deck designed to bridge the current reality with the New World being formed, leading the way towards 5D consciousness with love rather than fear.

“This time is powerful. The veil between fear and the truth is thin and you are being called to be the seeker. You are the being called to cut through this veil and illuminate your light upon the shadows.”1

Creator Leah Shoman is a spiritual writer and tarot and oracle deck creator. Other works of hers include Wild Lands Tarot, Crystal Rituals by the Moon, and Divine Codes Oracle. She also recently launched Sacred Scribe Publishing which publishes items that open doors of consciousness, leading the collective to new levels of spiritual exploration and visionary prowess.

This deck is unique because readers are intended to “interpret and decipher the transmissions for yourself.”2 Shoman describes how these cards were downloaded directly from Source, containing multi-layered light codes within each one that will make themselves known when the timing is right. All the aspects of the card, from title to color to number have specific intentions embedded within, and each reader’s experience will be different, based upon what it is their soul is meant to receive at the time of the reading.

I will admit, this threw me for a loop at first. Not to say I’m a huge guidebook person–I like to follow my own intuitive guidance when it comes to readings–but the limited framework of each card made them a bit of a mystery to me at first. While there is a sentence or two written on each card, which is exactly what it says in the guidebook too, there’s no fast and easy answers with this deck. You really need to spend some time connecting with the card, taking in the imagery and reflecting on the brief message being revealed.

What stands out the most is the visual aesthetics, making it a more meditative deck for me, where one must open up to receive the messages from a higher channel. The box is nice and sturdy with a magnetic latch that keeps the cards nice and secure. The words on the box are written a glistening, silver foil that gives the deck a lot of shimmer and shine. Opening the deck, readers are greeted with the message “Now child, crack open & awaken” on the box’s inside cover, while the bottom of the box is an image of a gorgeous swirling galaxy, filled with hues of pinks, purples, and blues.

The cards are likewise edged with silver foil, as well as the foil creating shining stars on the back of the cards, giving the deck itself an iridescent feel. The imagery on the cards is an eclectic mix of collage. The imagery woven into the cards ranges from Egyptian pyramids to rose buds and doves. It’s a mixture of spiritual symbolism and nature imagery (crystals, shells, flowers, etc.), though these too have their own meanings to convey, which make each card filled with messages to decode. 

There’s a real mystical feel to the deck, combining the cosmic world with the natural world. Rainbows flow through mountains while the cosmos glistens in the background; a white rose blossoms in the mind of a star-filled silhouetted figure with rings around their head, similar to an atom or halo – it’s up to decode what you see and find meaning for it yourself!

My two favorite cards are Expansive Growth (08) and Illumination (24). Expansive Growth features snakes slithering around a ceramic vessel filled with flowers with an infinity symbol on it. The background reminds me of the natural rock arches in Utah, though the scene on the card looks very other-worldly. The message “You are experiencing an infinite loop of expansion.”3 makes me think about how we are always evolving, yet there’s a cyclical nature to our growth.

The card Illumination features a huge orange slice in the sky above a glistening body of water. The orange slice has yellow flowers surrounding it, giving the appearance of a radiant sun. The pop of bright color gives me a wave of hopefulness and inspiration; I can imagine the refreshing tangy taste of the orange on the card, awakening my senses as I gaze at it. The message on the cared, “Shine your light upon those who cannot see.”4 feels empowering, invoking overflowing positive feelings.

These are just my interpretations, of course! Readers will find their own secret message within the imagery on the cards. Shoman’s artistic eye for details makes this deck an on-going exploration for seekers, as there’s always a new dimension to be discovered. The ethereal nature of this deck breaks through stagnant patterns, serving as a channel for Source to come through and make necessary alignments.

Overall, I recommend Starlight Frequencies Oracle for those who are looking to expand their intuitive connection and attune themselves to new realms of consciousness. Creativity naturally awakens from working with deck, opening doors of perception to new realms. Shoman’s work is a perfect mixture of guiding readers in seeking higher knowledge for growth while holding space for them to go deeper and see the beauty hidden within.

Divine Codes Oracle, by Leah Shoman

Divine Codes Oracle, by Leah Shoman
Sacred Scribe Publishing, 9798218092085,46 cards, 80 pages, February 2024

From the shining, metallic type on the deck box to the rich colors of the floral and pop culture collage graphics, Divine Codes Oracle by Leah Shoman is truly a work of art. Within the deck, Shoman combines photos of roses with pianos and Buddhist monks with clouds. Landscapes pair with sky divers and children from the 1960’s play in the stratosphere. Her goal is simple with this deck: share love in all forms and with all people. She tells the reader on the inner lining of the deck’s box:

“I Love you, Sweet One. Pass this love on to all those you encounter, for you are the connection point. You are the point which tips the scales of balance between love and hate.”

Shoman is a crystal energy healer, author, and deck creator, who brings guidance from Spirit to her clients and readers. She has published numerous decks and books. She also has an online crystal shop where she offers crystals sourced from around the world. Learn more about her offerings on her Instagram.

For my first visit with the Divine Codes Oracle, I chose card #33 Sacred Realm. The card features a surfer and orca whales against the backdrop of a Buddhist temple and an eclipse in the sky. Unusual graphics for a message about the importance of tuning into your heart, but Shoman reminds us that we do not need a temple or church, just solitude and a connection to our inner self. In the guidebook, she marries the graphics and lines on the card with a suggestion to “feel the interconnectedness of it all.”1

I took the deck to my Friday Coffee & Cards group and asked each friend to pull a card. Everyone loved the deck! They complimented the colors and rich graphics. However, most of all, they appreciated the messages from Spirit that Shoman reveals.

My friend Paula drew a card that talks about self-acceptance. It highlights a heart that breaks open and then a Divine love that is “finding its way to fill crevices with pure golden light. Repairing, resolving, renewing.”2 Paula said, “I think I can feel that happening in my life right now!”

Another friend drew a card that suggested she start moving her body. It features two dancers and several butterflies. “Step out of your mind and into your heart. Move your body to shift your vibration and release any stagnant energy currently present,”3 the message says. She said that the message really hit home for her.

I really enjoyed working with this deck. I sent card messages to a few friends via text and each one really resonated with the message and the graphics. It seems to me that these cards are truly sourced from Divine wisdom and Shoman has a real way with words that focus on encouragement and healing. My favorite card in the deck is # 30 Bigger Picture:

“Zoom out. A shift in perspective is needed in this moment to gain clarity around a current situation you feel stuck in. You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your own false thoughts.”4

Shoman includes a table of contents, brief introduction, how to use the cards, and three different kinds of spreads. For the three-card spread, she presents five different ways to do a three-card spread. Her five-card spread presented a bit of a twist on what I’ve worked with in the past: “current overall energy; current concerns and complications; hidden factors; new ideas, people or things that can help you grow further; what you need to be more aware of within yourself.”5

This deck is a standard size for oracle decks and the card stock is a good weight. The cards are numbered and shuffle nicely, and I can tell they’ll hold up to frequent use. Along with the metallic imprint on the flip box that holds the set, the cards have a lavender metallic edge. The guidebook messages are clear and concise, in that Shoman keeps the guidance for most cards to a one-page limit. There are a few instances where she features a poem or other channeled guidance on the facing page.

I really like that the guidebook is printed in full color. The pages feature either a full-color thumbnail of the card and guidance or graphics that she has pulled from the cards. For the pages that feature her poems or prose, she prints on top of muted graphics. The paper stock for the guidebook is a nice weight and has a satin finish.

Divine Codes Oracle would be great for any level of oracle or tarot card reader. The guidance is simple to read and understand and you can even use the cards as a stand-alone message–the heart of the message is printed on each card. I plan to add this deck to my collection to use after an intuitive reading or natal chart reading for clients. It will make a nice way to close the session.
Shoman has created a beautiful deck that focuses on love and radiates the importance of self-love and self-acceptance. She sums it up in the introduction:

“Divine Codes Oracle is a deck about LOVE. You are called to hold the frequency of love. You are called to be the embodiment of love and anchor it into the Earth Plane. This deck is bringing forth pure love consciousness, for we as a collective need it now more than ever. It will attune to your energy when you hold it and it will tell you exactly what you need to hear in that moment”6

Wyrd Sisters, by Casey Zabala

Wyrd Sisters: A Deck of Spells and Rituals, by Casey Zabala
Weiser Books, 1578638291, 60 cards, 80 pages, April 2024

Ah, destiny! For those who enjoy contemplating fate, or the inevitable outcome of events, perhaps even tempting it here and there, Wyrd Sisters: A Deck of Spells and Rituals by Casey Zabala is a true delight. The concept of “wyrd”, originating from Old English and Norse mythology related to the predetermined outcome of events, has been explored as a way to understand the interconnectedness of all things and the idea that individuals are part of a larger cosmic pattern. While wyrd implies a sense of inevitability, it also carries the idea that individuals have some agency in shaping their own destinies through their choices and actions. Calling upon the duality of fate and free will, this deck helps readers to explore the mysteries of existence and the human experience.

Zabala is a devotee of the Wyrd Sisters, describing how they “are the ancient Deities who dwelt at the roots of the world tree and set the order of the cosmos through their spinning, weaving, and cutting the cords of fate. Their threefold process affirms the cyclical nature of our being.”1 Just as they weave fate, we too are weaving our own lives:

“We weave specific patterns and shapes for protection and success, with the awareness that our spells and wishes are delivered through the web of wyrd.”2

Believing that spellwork is deeply personal, Zabala has created a very creative and open-ended deck for readers to ascribe their own meanings to the imagery and messages and then use their own magical repertoire to integrate the energy. While there is some guidance provided through the guidebook, this deck really shines as a work of art that assists readers with strengthening their own intuition, crafting their own rituals, and creating magic that feel uniquely meaningful and relevant to them.

“Magic is the fifth element–also known as spirit, ether, or quintessence. It is the ethereal nature that keeps all beings connected and psychically tethered to each other.”3

There are five types of cards in this deck: spell cards, candle magic cards, sigil cards, magical tool cards, and Wyrd Sister cards. The guidebook entry differs depending on the type of card, as the type of magic coming through is aligned to the energy of your draw.

For the spell cards, there is an intuitive message along with a list of spell ingredients that one can use for inspiration. There’s something about being given three to five things and then being told, “Now go figure out what you can do with this” that makes my creativity soar. For instance, the spell ingredients for the card Spell for Surrender are “physical inversions, amethyst, strong winds, sharing secrets with strangers, salt”6. You can absolutely use none, one, some, or all of the spell ingredients, and I feel like the process of coming up with one that feels do-able and relevant for you is magic in itself.

For the candle magic cards, Zabala offers suggestions for the color candle and what to do during your candle magic ceremony. The Candle for Vitality card reads “Call all of your energy back to yourself.. Light a yellow candle and imagine a sunlight shield protecting your auric field from outside disturbance.”7

The guidance for the sigil card includes what to use the sigil, where to place it, and the ruling planet. As an example, the Sigil for Unbinding can be used to “untangle webs of entrapment or psychic manipulation”[/efn_note]page 55[/efn_note]. Zabala notes it should be placed in a ring of salt and the ruling planet is Pluto.

With the magical tool cards, Zabala reminds us, “Each tool represents the essence of our intentions, our spiritual connections, and the art of our will.”8 The guidebook describes the tool and then offers a suggestion of how one can best use their magical energy at this time. There is suggested magic for each one, ranging from speaking one’s truth to establish a boundary (athame) to gathering with friends to celebrate transformation through “ritual, feasting, and revelry”9 (bonfire).

Last but most important are the Wyrd Sister cards. I have yet to pull one myself! I honestly didn’t even want to read the guidebook description because I feel like it’s an initiation to pull one. However, from a quick glance at Zabala’s introduction, I can see they’re related to past, present, and future.

While you can pull a card for quick insight from this deck, as you can tell from reading the various descriptions, some of the cards require some more magical effort. Whether it’s planning out your spellwork, gathering the right color candle, or making preparations to perform the suggested magic related to a tool, it can take days, perhaps even weeks, to put the energy out into the world. It seems as though only the sigil cards can be used for immediate action. But I personally enjoy how the deck calls for you to savor its message and take the time to align with one’s intention and then put forth their magical working. You can always simply see what card comes through and then reflect on it before making any energetic investments.

As for the artwork, this deck is bright, abstract, and filled with symbolism. It definitely speaks to the non-verbal part of the psyche, activating inner knowledge through images, colors, and dimension. One thing I have been doing with this deck is noticing where my eyes go first, as there’s often many places to look, for insight into what is most relevant for me. For those who enjoy divination through creative decks, you could absolutely toss the guidebook aside and find plenty of messages and meaning within the cards themselves.

My favorite card that I’ve pulled so far is Spell for Grounding. Suitably, I pulled this on a night when my lower back was completely out of whack, indicating to me that I was ungrounded and needed to focus on my root chakra, as I rested with a heating pad. The image on the card was so fascinating to look at, and I spent a good five minutes letting my eyes explore. It shows a person with their arms in the air and an infinity symbol witch hat on their head, but the torso of their body is a tree trunk. It is growing from a patch of grass, and one can see the roots below the ground, pushing downward into spirals of energy below.

The guidebook calls for connecting with the earth, listening to plants, being barefoot, and speaking the name of the native land I live on, giving thanks. All of which my body and soul gave a resounding “yes, yes, yes, yes” as I read the entry and continued to meditate on the card. In this case, I didn’t feel a whole spell was needed; simply going outside and laying on the ground seemed to be enough, which I guess could be considered a simple spell in itself, but as Zabala intended, to each their own with this deck!

All in all, Zabala has created a really cool deck for those who love to explore their own magic and discover new possibilities. Wyrd Sisters is the perfect blend of intuitive guidance and freedom to roam with one’s own interpretation. Within the liminal magical space, we have the opportunity to discover our destiny, while also actively changing our fate. It all comes down to the willingness to ride the waves of mystery and magic, learning when to surrender and when to pursue. The Wyrd Sisters may be the universal weavers, but we are the active co-creators shaping the web too. As Zabala encourages:

“May your connection with the Wyrd ones inspire you to embrace the mystery and weave your own magical webs of belonging.”10

The Shining Tribe Tarot, by Rachel Pollack

The Shining Tribe Tarot, by Rachel Pollack
Weiser Books, 9781578638178, 83 cards, 247 pages, April 2024

As a tarot enthusiast and reader for twenty years, I was excited to learn about the publication of Rachel Pollack’s revised deck The Shining Tribe Tarot. Initially published in 1992 by Aquarian Press, the deck was called The Shining Woman Tarot. In 2001 she changed some of the art on some of the cards and the deck was published by Llewellyn. The title was also changed to The Shining Tribe, which she felt better reflected the community of people drawn to tarot for divination and personal growth:

“The name was a kind of invocation, a hope that the deck would shine for others, especially in reading, and light the way for travelers on their own sacred journeys.”1

For this 2024 edition, Pollack created five new cards: one for each of the minor arcana suits and one to represent the major arcana. Although the deck was published after Pollack’s death in 2023, she was able to complete the revisions and supervise the creation of the deck before her death. It is also important to point out that Pollack created the artwork herself for all of the cards.

Rachel Pollack (1945-2023) was a giant mentor in the field of tarot. In addition to writing the bestselling book Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, she wrote the guidebooks for several tarot decks, as well as many fiction and nonfiction books. She taught at The Omega Institute for over thirty years and was a frequent panelist at tarot workshops around the world. I was blessed to meet her at a tarot workshop in Los Angeles in 2007.  She was brilliant, generous, and very friendly. A group of us went to lunch during the workshop where I visited with her and Mary K. Greer! 

In addition to her interest in tarot, Pollack also created the first transgender superhero in several issues of the comic book Doom Patrol. She was also known as a trailblazer within the transgender community. 

“Welcome to the definitive edition of the Shining Tribe Tarot. It’s the equivalent of a director’s cut of a film. It’s the creator’s cut, Rachel Pollock’s cut. Published for the first time with all 83 color corrected cards, it also includes a full colored guidebook in which Rachel discusses the evolution of the deck, offering insights into each card and how to read them. More than merely an accompanying book, this guidebook stands as another of Rachel’s landmark Tarot guides.”2 – Judika Illes, Editor

With this Introduction, the editor opens a door into the special world of Pollack. In the next few pages, Pollack gives us a history of this deck, including the inspiration for the tribal images and artwork that she created. She talks a great deal about symbols and colors and the different cultures on which her images are based. She makes it a point to say that she wants to honor and respect the “history and living power”3 of the symbols.

The structure for this set of cards is fairly traditional, although she has adopted her own names for the suits of the minor arcana: Trees (Fire/Wands), Rivers (Water/Cups), Birds (Air/Swords), and Stones (Earth/Pentacles). She has also renamed the court cards as “Vision” cards: Place (Page), Knowers (Knight), Gifts (Queen), Speakers (King).

Pollack also shares this:

“One difference is that the Vision cards in general do not signify actual people the way the Court cards sometimes do in traditional tarot. Nor do they represent character types in quite the same way. Instead, they take us into an experience of ourselves. They give us a chance to discover and use the power of the elements.”4

The cards are a nice size, a little larger than playing cards. The card stock is a nice weight, and the matte finish is great for the ancient symbols and bright colors of the deck. Each card has a white border, and the name of the card is shown at the bottom in black type. The set comes in a beautiful box with a cut-out portion and ribbon for the cards, as well as ample room for the hefty guidebook.

These cards are easy to shuffle, and I enjoyed using them for my week of daily readings.  For the first day, I drew one card: Three of Trees, which is the Three of Wands in a traditional deck. This card is always a celebration for me and I was interested to see what Pollack shares:

“This card is a celebration, filled with the laughter of the Grandfather. He welcomes and protects us with his open arms.”5

She also includes the story of the artwork, which features “a spirit image formed from a tree by the Ojibwe people of Canada.”6 The image is based on a photograph of this type of tree, which has been carved to represent a person. 

The next day, I did a three-card spread and drew these cards: Knower of Birds, Six of Trees, and The Sun. With Pollack’s guidebook and my own intuition, I created this affirmation, based on the three cards:

“I collect signs and symbols and share my knowledge with confidence and wisdom, as I emerge into the light of divine consciousness.”

Her imagery is so beautiful, and the artwork invites deep contemplation and a connection to the heart. My favorite card in the deck is one of the five “extra” cards:  Portrait of Albert-Bright Through Nobility, which relates to the major arcana and Spirit. Pollack explains that this card is based on the name of her animal guardian, a red fox. “The name Albert means ‘bright through nobility.’ Getting this card means a sense of protection and the ability to ask for and receive help.”7

The guidebook is very easy to navigate, from the Table of Contents to the Glossary.  She includes a large section on Readings and includes lots of ideas for spreads for various situations.  She also includes an Appendix which explains the name changes for all cards, how to work with reversals and how to start your own Shining Tribe. She even has notes for groups, including ways to start conversations and create activities for developing your tarot skills. The last section is a Glossary that includes references to some of the cultures, religions, and symbology used in the deck. 

I really enjoy working with The Shining Tribe Tarot. I can feel the decades of tarot history, as well as the flavors of the various indigenous cultures in the cards. I can’t wait to introduce it at my next Coffee & Cards Zoom with my friends.

Galactic Guides Oracle, by Victoria Maxwell

Galactic Guides Oracle: Be Guided by the Love, Light, and Magic of the Galaxy!, by Victoria Maxwell and illustrated by Ellie Grant
Rockpool Publishing, 1922785415, 144 pages, 36 cards, March 2024

Calling all my cosmos lovers, it’s time to tune into celestial frequencies with Galactic Guides Oracle: Be Guided by the Love, Light, and Magic of the Galaxy! by Victoria Maxwell. This deck is out of this world – literally!

“We often look to the stars, thinking they are so far away and wondering what they have to do with us. They have everything to do with us; we are made of stardust.”1

Maxwell has a talent for attuning oracle card readers to new dimensions. Her previously published decks, Angels Among Us and Goddesses Among Us, are my go-tos when I am in need of some insight. Now with this deck, Maxwell transports readers into the galaxy to connect with the energies of planets, zodiac signs, and star systems for interstellar guidance.

I love what Maxwell shares in her introduction. She describes: “When I stopped focusing on what the planets, constellations and star systems meant according to traditional definitions and simply tuned into their energy, I found I could connect with them on a deeply personal level and invite them to guide me through astrological seasons and moon cycles and help me with what’s happening here on the ground.”2 This appeals to me because as an astrologer I’m always in relationship with the cosmos, yearning to go beyond what I know about each planet from books to create my own energetic connection. This deck is perfect for this purpose.

In the “How to use the cards” section of the guidebook, Maxwell offers different card spreads and describes the difference between the planetary cards, zodiac sign cards, and star system cards. The planetary cards tend to draw attention to something happening here and now that needs your attention; the zodiac sign cards ask you to look at the bigger picture and take a broader perspective; the star system cards have to do with destiny and insight from high-level guides. Additionally, she explains how each card also has an associated element, chakra, crystal, flower, and planet ally that expands the meaning even further. This information adds another layer to readings, though one can certainly glean plenty of insight just from reading the description of each card in the guidebook.

There is just so much guidance for each card! In addition to the aforementioned correspondences, each guidebook entry has an overall message of guidance, questions to ask yourself, description of the card, insight for the five common realms people seek guidance about (love, money, purpose, service, and spirituality), and a message from a lightwork perspective and shadow work perspective. So much insight for each card!

I had an insanely cool synchronicity happen with this deck. I happened upon a list of 100 baby names related to space. My son had a “D” name, so I was looking at other “D” names on the list and came across Draco. I thought it sounded cool, and I was envisioning myself calling my child that, but then told myself to refocus back to working with my deck. I shuffled and then pulled out the card.. Draco! Can you believe it?! The guidebook describes, “Draco, which is Latin for ‘dragon’, is one of hte largest constellations in the sky.”3 To add to the timing, it was also on the Chinese New Year, ushering in the year of the dragon!

I was mostly interested in the the card related to my love life, so I focused on that message in the guidebook, which reads:

“Relationships are the ultimate opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. The people who challenge you may have the most to teach you.”4

This felt extremely resonant, as I was working through some “growing pains” in my current relationship. This card helped me to reframe my perspective and remember that challenges do not mean the relationship isn’t success, rather they present a chance to grow stronger by doing my own inner work and focusing on spiritual growth.

The imagery on the cards, illustrated by Ellie Grant, all feature a person embodying the energy of the planet, zodiac sign, or constellation. They are very accurate, and at times can seem embellished, but I enjoy this because I can study the imagery and see all the attributes and characteristics of each energy personified. The general color theme is what you’d envision for deep space–blues, blacks, purples, greens–along with bursts of colors to make the characters on the cards pop and stand out.

My favorite image in the deck is Saturn, which features a gorgeous elder with striking gray hair. I always get a crone feeling from Saturn, the wise grandmother figure, so I enjoyed seeing Grant portray the energy this way too. Other cards that I got a kick out of include Aquarius, featuring a man who looks like he’s at Burning Man, covered in tattoos, necklaces, a scarf, and reflective sunglasses that flip up to remind us of the third eye. I also love the image of a woman holding her big pregnant belly, wearing a beautiful flower crown, for the Full Moon card. It’s also worth noting this is a very inclusive deck that personifies the energies of a diverse range of people.

My final thoughts about this deck are that it can feel a little ungrounding to work with. For those looking to attune to higher frequencies, it’s perfect! But if you’re not used to working with these energies, you might want to ensure you take the time to ground back in nature after working with the deck. I personally love how the deck gives me an out of body feeling while working with it, but for some this might feel disconcerting. So make sure to take the time to create the right space for working with this deck and balancing yourself afterwards.

Overall, Galactic Guides Oracle is a really amazing way to connect with the celestial energies. Whether you’re looking for inspirational guidance, cool synchronicities, or a fun way to meditate with the energies, this deck has you covered. The imagery on the card does a wonderful job of bringing these energies into a form we can visually identify with, while the guidebook is filled with interesting facts about the stars as well as soulful messages that can help reorient you towards your higher calling. I highly recommend this deck for those who are interested in the myseries of space, the beauty of the stars, and interstellar travel consciousness.

Sock Monkey Oracle, by Shannon Grissom

Sock Monkey Oracle, by Shannon Grissom
Beyond Words,1582708592,  46 cards, 128 pages, April 2022

Looking for a fun and silly oracle deck to put a smile on your face? Sock Monkey Oracle by Shannon Grissom is sure to do the trick! Grissom shows us sock monkeys, a beloved toy handmade from socks, are more than cherished gifts or keepsakes; they can be a source for inspiration and guidance too. 

The history of the sock monkey is an interesting one. They became popular during the Great Depression when crafty people were looking for ingenious ways to make toys for their children. Now, sock monkeys are a reminder that even with the limited materials on hand during tough times, we can find color and joy to uplift our spirits.

Grissom describes how she was inspired to make this deck after she created a sock monkey painting in honor of her loving mother who had passed away. In sorting through her mother’s belongings, she found her mother’s sock monkey, and later decided it was the perfect symbol to paint in tribute to her loving mother. After this first painting, she continued to create 45 more through the years, leading to 46 paintings in total for this oracle. It took some time, but eventually the messages for each painting came to Grissom, finally completing the deck!

There are four spreads that Grissom shares that readers can choose from (my favorite is the seven-card Messy Sock Drawer Spread!), but she also assures readers there is no wrong way to use the deck. She encourages paying extra attention to jumping and revered cards, noting “these lively sock monkeys are merely trying to get you to pay special attention to their guidance.”1

For every card, Grissom offers a main message, symbolic frolic, and affirmation. The symbolic frolic are symbols that you can reflect on, or as Grissom describes play with, to effect change. The messages are overall positive, but not to the extent of ignoring setbacks or unpleasant feelings. Some of the cards do denote a challenge or obstacle to overcome, but the messages always provide uplifting guidance and solutions to help readers gain perspective about how they can preserve.

The cards themselves are very bright and colorful! There is such a cheerfulness to the sock monkeys; their big red lips with pleasant smiles immediately makes me want to smile right back! Grissom has really given life to the sock monkeys, making them feel lively and never static; Some images are more relaxed, while others are dynamic, but you feel their presence in every card. The full-range of colors in the deck add to its vivid, animated energy.

Every card is numbered and the name of the card is written in a very big font at the bottom, making it easy to find the card’s corresponding message in the guidebook. You can sense that each sock monkey has its own personality, and the guidebook messages perfectly align with the image on the card. If you’re more of an intuitive reader, the name of the card and the imagery is more than enough detail to gather insight and answer your questions that way.

Twice in a row I have pulled the same card: Make Music. The card depicted the sock monkey hanging out with an accordion, as though about to play it. When I followed up by reading the guidebook, which stated:

“Making music has so many benefits. First and foremost, it’s fun! It also helps you be more alert, lowers your blood pressure, and calms anxiety. Music gets the good jujus going and keeps them going.”2

And guess what happened not too long after I pulled this card? My husband asked if I wanted to go sing karaoke for a date that night! I clearly, immediately said “Yes!”, and then I told him about how I had just pulled a sock monkey oracle card encouraging me to make music and use my voice. What are the chances?!

We had a wonderful time belting out tunes together. Then when I pulled it again the next day, my husband said, “I guess you have some more kaoroke-ing to do!”. He made me laugh, but it did feel as though the sock monkeys were saying to keep the momentum going and continue to find my rhythm and voice. Having the courage to sing aloud, without worry about how I sound, gives more confidence to more freely express my opinion and thoughts with others – something I could definitely use some work on!

All in all, Sock Monkey Oracle is a fun, lighthearted deck that is exciting to use. The messages are meaningful without being too bogged down with over-elaboration. The sock monkeys absolutely have a special essence that Grissom has done a truly wonderful job communicating for readers through her artwork and guidebook messages. Whether you’re a sock puppet enthusiast or simply enjoy their uplifting energy, this deck will assist you in embodying their sweet, playful spirit in your life.

Witching Hour Oracle, by Lorraine Anderson

Witching Hour Oracle: Awaken Your Inner Magic, by Lorraine Anderson and illustrated by Olivia Bürki
Rockpool Publishing, 1922785008, 112 pages, 44 cards, October 2023

Spiritual transformation, especially through witchcraft, involves the shedding of old patterns and beliefs that no longer serve the individual and the embracing of new perspectives and ways of being. Lorraine Anderson perfectly encapsulated the steps in the process of metamorphosis in the Witching Hour Oracle: Awaken Your Inner Magic. Channeling the highs and lows of her own spiritual journey, this deck guides readers in tapping into their innate power and shifting from the inside out.

“Each card in this deck represents a step on the journey back to your truest self (Deep Being).”1

Anderson explains in the guidebook how this deck came to her “in a time of extreme transformation.”2 In the midst of things falling apart, her priorities were skewed, valuing material gain over spiritual practice and neglecting self-care. Finding herself at a low point, Anderson decided to dismantle what was no longer working and face her shadow head-on. From her journey of being spiritual led through both  lows and highs, she gleaned insight to share with others on their own path, finding joy and magic along the way.

This deck consists of forty-four cards that are filled with glistening and luminous energy brought to life through the illustrations of Olivia Bürki. Nearly every card features the twinkling shine of magic, highlighting the invisible undercurrent constantly flowing around us. There’s a darker tone to the cards, yet there’s still plenty of vibrant colors that awaken the spirit within the imagery, prompting revelation for the readers as they gaze at the messages coming through. Bürki’s illustrations are truly magical, offering visual portals through the imagery of this deck.

While these cards can absolutely be intuitively read using the card’s name, imagery, and the word or sentence at the bottom, the guidebook adds interesting depth. Anderson provides guidance on how to read with companion cards. She describes how a card’s meaning changes depending on the other cards it’s pulled alongside. Using this concept, she has provided companion card descriptions for every card in the deck, which the reader can use to find further meaning in the cards they pulled.

What I like most about the companion card system is how Anderson pairs a companion tarot card for each card in the deck. I normally wouldn’t think to pull both an oracle and tarot card together. Yet I enjoyed this method and felt that working with two decks in tandem added a new flavor to my readings. Also reading the tarot companion card for each card in the deck helped me understand its energy more too.

The entry for each card in the guidebook features keywords, the tarot companion, description of the card’s meaning, and further description of significant companion cards within the deck that may have appeared in the reader together.

As an example, the card I pulled today was Invocation. The keywords are “power of words; kindness matters; criticism”3 and the tarot companion is the Page of Swords. The card’s description talks about how our words have power and so critical thoughts can be harmful both to ourselves and others. This one hit home for me since my husband just pointed out how critical I had been recently, often aiming my sharp words at him to the detriment of the quality of our relationship. Ever since he mentioned this to me I’ve been trying to be more mindful of the way I share my thoughts, and Anderson’s words “with practice you’ll learn to choose love-filled communication and your entire vibration and and situation will shift”4 was quite reassuring.

While I read this card singularly, the companion cards are High Priestess and Salt. Looking for further guidance on how I might better communicate with my husband, I went on to read each one of these cards in the guidebook too. And for those like myself who need some ideas when it comes to doing spreads, Anderson provides a ton to choose from! She provides spreads for getting to know the deck, a weekly self-care check in, discovering resources available to you, seeing the bigger picture, and more! I appreciate how these spreads are ones I can do regularly to stay attuned to my inner knowing.

Overall, Witching Hour Oracle is a wonderful deck for the witch interested in spiritual transformation, self-care, and deepening their connection to their intuition. Anderson has done a wonderful job of illuminating aspects of the spiritual path of the witch, including initiation and all the change that usually accompanies major leaps in spiritual and personal growth. I recommend this deck for everyone who walks the path of the witch, as we all need a little guidance sometimes, and the wisdom of this deck is one that has the power to usher in lasting manifestations and potent change.

2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary, by Stacey Demarco

2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary – Northern Hemisphere, by Stacey Demarco
Rockpool Publishing, 978-1925946666, 216 pages, June 2023

I am really looking forward to using my 2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary – Northern Hemisphere by Stacey Demarco. This diary is beautifully illustrated and the contents on lunar and seasonal energies make it much more than a simple day planner. Each page is an invitation to reflect, plan, and take away some new bit of wisdom that would have otherwise gone unfound. A diary is of no use if it is something more than just a place to count off the days; this diary is so much more than that and then some!

Due diligence has been given by Demarco in creating not only a functional planner but also a source of teachings about lunar workings, correspondences, spell craft, ritual, and introductory astrology. Her writing makes the 2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary accessible to the aficionados of lunar-forward planning and the witches who wants to incorporate powerful magick in their daily life.

The first 20+ pages are dedicated to the lunar arts and topics include elements and directions, spell timings and moon cycles, lunar energies and crystals, and the wheel of the year. The wheel of the year section is a very robust overview of the sabbats that is packed with readily-applied information on how the month’s energy supported the myriad ways of celebration.

The 2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary is organized into the standard twelve-month, weekly format common to most planners. Additionally, each month offers a double page section highlighting a specific deity aligned with that month’s energy and an accompanying spell or ritual guiding how to call that energy into the month’s work. Beautiful graphics herald each month and a quick goal starter introduces the weekly pages. For those who are visually stimulated with the tasks of thinking out your goals, what’s and when’s will be happily committed to paper. The paper itself is strong, heavy stock with no bleed through. 

Would I Recommend?

What I omitted in the beginning of this review is that I am highly selective when it comes to my yearly planner. In fact, so much so that it is not unusual for me to have 5-6 different types and formats of these and still not settle on any one just because it doesn’t hit all my checkboxes.

With that being said, 2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary by Stacey Demarco checks all of the boxes for anyone wanting a beautiful, functional, educational and “just feels right” 2024 diary.  This is a keeper and I am confident that I will be using it for the entirety of the year. 

About the Author Stacey Demarco

Stacey Demarco is The Modern Witch. Passionate about bringing practical magic to everyone and inspiring people to have a deeper connection with nature, she has been teaching witchcraft and mythos for many decades. This diary is now in its 14th edition and is published in both the southern and northern hemispheres. She is the author of The Enchanted Moon and The Priestess Path, which have been translated into other languages. Her oracle card decks include the bestselling Queen of the Moon, Divine Animals, Moon Magick, Elemental Oracle, Oracle of the Universe, and Deep, Dark and Dangerous. An animal activist, ethical beekeeper and dedicated adventure traveler, she lives in Sydney, Australia on a cliff by the beach with her husband and furry companions. Stacey provides private consults as well as teaching workshops, and leads the popular Wild Souls Retreats nationally and internationally.