✨ A Gathering Place for Magical Readers and Writers ✨

Psychic Reading Cards, by Debbie Malone

Psychic Reading Cards: Awaken your Psychic Abilities, by Debbie Malone and illustrated by Amalia I. Chitulescu 
Rockpool Publishing, 925924763, 36 cards, 96 pages, February 2021

I’ll admit that the Psychic Reading Cards by Debbie Malone deck piqued my interest immediately because of the vivid imagery of a phoenix on the deck box done by illustrator Amalia I. Chitulescu. You know what they say about judging a book by its cover, but great cover art will get my attention every time.

Malone, is a celebrated psychic medium and clairvoyant from Australia who has assisted police departments across her country in missing-persons and murder investigations for well over a decade. She has written other books that mainly center around this work, including Clues from Beyond: True Crime Stories from Australia’s #1 Psychic Detective and Never Alone: A Medium’s Journey – Real Life Files from a Psychic Detective.  The author has also created two other card decks, Angel Reading Cards and Guardian Angel Reading Cards, also both illustrated by Chitulescu.

The cards in this deck sport vibrant illustrations and mostly single word titles, such as Coins, Nature, Abundance, Celebration, Mirror, and Doorways. I’m always curious what my first draw will be from a new deck. This one was an accurate acknowledgment of my present reality with a card titled Juggler – illustrated with a woman sitting cross legged and juggling several different items including a clock, a house, a book, a dollar bill, and some baby shoes.

I was indeed juggling quite a few different obligations the day I drew the card, and I chuckled at the deck’s sense of humor. Interestingly, the following day I did a group reading for over a dozen people and not a single card repeated itself, until I drew one for myself… yep, still juggling I was.

The single word (or in a few cases, multi-word) titles evoke a strong meaning on their own, which coupled with the illustration for each card seem to speak volumes. In the single card readings I did most of the querents felt like they knew exactly what the card was saying without any explanation from me or from the accompanying book.

The guidebook, though, is a beautiful addition, full of wise uplifting words and gorgeously illustrated on every glossy page with full color renditions of the cards and beautiful graphic design throughout. 

All in all, I did over a dozen single-card readings, as well as half a dozen multiple-card readings using the spreads provided in the accompanying guidebook. There were many things in common among the responses from querents – but the two that were unanimous were an excitement about the images and the sense that the deck spoke very clearly to their current situations.

Several people commented they had unspoken questions answered and had received much clarity, such as this actual comment sent to me by a querent in response to her reading (quoted here with her permission):

“I loved the imagery of the cards. They felt so comforting and it was easy to gather the messages from the images. The words that accompanied the images were spot on. What I love is the realness and earthiness of the card descriptions. Sometimes I feel confused by card descriptions but these were really simple to read through and follow. They were relatable and straight to the point. The questions the creator asked in the cards were perfect as well.

In terms of the reading itself it is most definitely resonating. I started to put into works a trip to visit a friend soon. I’d been thinking about it but this spread helped me take some action on it and confirmed for me that was a good step to take. The doors opening and phoenix were so timely as well. I felt there was such a nice flow with the messages of these cards.”

The above comments are indicative of the responses I received from all the querents I read for using this deck. The card meanings in this deck and guidebook all lean towards the extreme positive, which could be partly the reason that all of the comments I received about readings were very positive and optimistic! And even though the card meanings are positive, the author doesn’t hesitate to ask powerful questions that will possibly evoke strong emotion from honest answers.

Each card description begins with an italicized sentence that gives the overall idea for the card. For example, the card titled Phoenix, which is pictured on the deck/book packaging, encapsulates its message in the sentence “It is your time to rise and begin again.”1

The card descriptions go on to not only give advice, but to also ask very good questions that would make for powerful inquiry and journaling prompts. The Phoenix asks:

“Have you been feeling stuck and blocked with your spiritual journey? Have you found it difficult to let go of issues from the past? Do you feel that everything in your life seems to be going wrong? Do you question when will it be your time to shine? Do you feel that you don’t have the power and ability to achieve your goals?”2

As for specifics, the cards are very large – 4 ½ x 5 inches. They are not so easily shuffled if you have small hands, but the trade-off is having those large, gorgeous images. The cards are made of quality glossy cardstock that is thin enough to shuffle easily and thick enough to feel durable. The book is just shy of 5×7 inches and both items come in a beautiful and sturdy box that closes with a magnetic clasp. The lovely, sturdy case is definitely a plus in my book.

I would recommend Psychic Reading Cards for anyone looking for very positive oracle cards, beautiful surrealist collage art, and great journaling prompts for doing deeper work and encouraging intuitive messages.

Sacred Hags Oracle, by Danielle Dulsky

Sacred Hags Oracle: Visionary Guidance for Dreamers, Witches, and Wild Hearts, by Danielle Dulsky with illustrations by Janine Houseman
New World Library, 1608686795, 56 cards, 160 pages, March 2021

Sacred Hags Oracle: Visionary Guidance for Dreamers, Witches, and Wild Hearts by Danielle Dulsky and illustrator Janine Houseman puts a new spin on oracle decks. Usually we pick a card for guidance, passively seeking to be given the guidance and directed a certain way. But this deck doesn’t hand out divinations that easily, rather it invites the reader into a co-creative process with the most sacred, wise, and wild aspect of yourself.

From the get go, Dulsky’s word echoed through my being, enchanting me to read on with curiosity as to how coming to know this deck would unfold.

“To befriend an oracle is to bow deeply to that wild and unseen web to which we already belong. An oracle is more than a divination tool; an oracle is a portal to the not yet known.”1

Immediately, I was drawn into a liminal world where endless possibilities roam. The introduction, written in Dulsky’s poetic form, invites the oracle reader to make the necessary sacrifices to prepare for what the future holds, step into a different notion of time, wake new parts of our Self, and pay homage to the deities that we call upon. This was a whole different approach to working with the oracle deck that filled me with awe at the tenderness and respect Dulsky affords to this special connection we share with the cards we divine from.

I mean, being completely honest, most of the time I’m slinging oracle cards in the morning or evening out of pure curiosity of what the day holds or frustration at a situation trying to figure out why things are going down the way they are right now. I will confess, I am not always the most “tuned in” to my most holy Self during this process.

Sacred Hags Oracle is different because it doesn’t so readily give me the answers I seek. Rather, this deck prompts the reader through ritual and reflection to embody their spirituality, reconnect with the most sacred parts of ourselves, and cherish the relationship we have with the Sacred Hag, which is meant to be tended to, fed, and nourished with our energy. This certainly seems to negate my tendency to fall into auto-pilot mode in my readings.

Before working with the deck, Dulsky offers six rituals to affirm your abilities as a seer through intuitive psychic and body exercises to familiarize yourself with the oracle. While the guidebook itself is filled with potent stories, the introductory rituals also invite you to connect with the sigils on the card deck. These sigils were all designed by sigil witch Janine Houseman, a talented tattoo artist who offers her services to others through her sacred, personalized skin-cantations. There is a sigil for each type of card in the deck: The Sacred Hags, The Seasons, The Stories, and The Spells. Each type of card is also color-coded, which helps when working with the deck.

Before diving into my first reading, I went through the spreads suggested to use with this oracle deck, ranging from one-card to a spread that includes all the cards in the deck. I decided to begin with a one-card reading and make my way from there. I really like that the suggested spreads have an embodied component to them. For instance with the Unanswerable Question one-card pull Dulsky advises to “Feel the image, the sigil, and the words on it.”2 then to “Take three low-belly breaths, and open your eyes again.”3 This reminder to feel the card through my senses and breathe in the process of divination really made a notable difference in my connection with my reading.

The guidebook interpretations are so very interesting and unique. There is a keyword/phrase, a section called Grandmother Speaks, which tells an illuminating story or shares a bit of wisdom, and both a Morning and Moonlight Ritual. Yes, that’s right, a full on ritual for YOU to connect with your inner guidance via the oracle cards, rather than an out-right, mote interpretation. Like I said at the beginning, you’ve got to put in the work too with this oracle deck in a co-creative process, but the rewards are immensely fulfilling!

I pulled the card Season of Spice and Heart (26), which had the keyword “Death,” so aptly suited for the phase of life I am in right now of releasing many outdated habits, beliefs, and situations. Well, the Morning Ritual actually called for me to eulogize these roles I no longer fit into through writing, light a candle, and read the words aloud. I got really into this process, and in the end I felt a million times lighter. This small ritual act did wonders for reorienting my psyche. I plan on saying the accompanying bedtime prayer this evening that was offered under the Moonlight Ritual.

This is what I mean about the cards inviting us to participate in the magic, affirming our abilities to be sacred seers and divine creators. I will admit, at first I was a bit like, “Oh man this is going to require some of my personal energy..” since I was used to pulling cards so I didn’t have to think anymore and could passively receive answers. But working with this deck the past week has been an opportunity to reconnect with myself both morning and night, nourish my relationship with the ancient ones, and be a bit more intentional with my oracle usage.

The imagery on the cards is absolutely breath-taking and immediately evokes a sense of deep connection to the natural world, along with wonder and possibility. My favorite card is Hag of Selkies (14), where a wise woman has seashells and bone strung in her hair with her long-nailed, ring-covered fingers hovering over a crystal ball filled with blue, purple, and gold energy. Filled with magnificent, fierce women, mermaids, animals, and symbolic imagery, the cards themselves make for wonderful meditation. The images really coalesce when laid out side by side for a reading, crafting a story and enhancing visualization of the cards’ energies. 

There are so many different pieces of wisdom, written in Dulsky’s one-of-a-kind prose that just speaks right to the heart and ignites divine revelation, within this deck. Just as a sample, here’s a line of the Grandmother Speaks for Season of Holy Thunder (22):

“So easily can the sun distract us, my love. The omens are much more easily seen in the dark, but it is the mark of a true Witch to witness synchronicities by the light of day, to see shapes in the clouds and scry her future in sidewalk gum.”4

Oh, how marvelously true this is. For those who enjoyed Dulsky’s books The Holy Wild, Season of Moon and Flame, and Woman Most Wild, you will absolutely love what the Sacred Hag Oracle brings into your life. Within this oracle deck are endless rituals, stories, and wisdom to help you hear your own inner voice more clearly, in harmony with the energies of the earth and sacred deities.

I highly recommend Sacred Hags Oracle to the divine seekers and intuitive readers that want to awaken their own inner visions. These cards are filled with magic, sacred feminine knowledge, and the undefinable qualities of all witches. The visionary guidance that comes through this beautifully crafted deck is sure to inspire, transform, and shift your perceptions. This is the first deck that I feel has a malleable quality, able to merge itself and blend with your psyche to invite a fresh perspective and genuinely different reading every time. I look forward to seeing how my relationship with this deck evolves over the weeks, months, and years to come.

The Magical Nordic Tarot, by Jayne Wallace

The Magical Nordic Tarot: Be Inspired by Nordic Legends and Explore Your Past, Present, and Future, by Jayne Wallace and illustrated by Hannah Davies and Tracey Emin
CICO Books, 1782498865, 64 page, 2020

The Magical Nordic Tarot by Jayne Wallace is a serenely magical deck. In recent years I’ve found myself attracted to all things Nordic such as hygge, the Northern Lights (which is on my list of things to see), and a society that promote a healthy work/life balance. However, I am not at all familiar with Nordic myths and legends. I have been looking forward to using this deck because I was curious to see how this deck would incorporate Nordic myths, gods, and goddess with the card interpretations. I am happy to say it wonderfully connects the reader with the exceptional energy of Nordic mythology, infusing the reading with the wisdom of Scandinavian culture.

The deck has a nice card stock and the card size is manageable (about 4” x 6”). The illustration on the outside of the cards reminds me of a love child between Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night and the Northern Lights. A bright yellow star is and smaller illuminated stars are placed on a background of colors of muted purples, pinks, and greens.

Hannah Davies’s illustrations of the Major Arcana cards are pure beauty. The depiction of light, landscape, and images reminds me of the dancing Northern Lights. Most of the images on the Major Arcana cards are set in a Nordic landscape and each card has a unique keyword at the bottom. In the accompanying book Jayne provides a description of the scene, key words, a message, and a meaning. Also included is a description of the card’s connection to Nordic myths, folklore, gods, goddesses, or legends that provides a deeper explanation of the card’s imagery. 

I pulled a few Major Arcana cards as I familiarized myself with the deck.

The Lovers shows a man and woman each standing on what appears to be a mini iceberg. Two white swans swim towards them. Pastel colors of purple, pink, and turquoise are used in the illustration. “Passion” appears at the card’s bottom, supporting the message “I am entwined with passion.” 1 As the Nordic connection to the card, Jayne writes that “The goddess of spring and eternal youth, Idun, was thought to have magical apples that would help the gods and goddesses stay young and beautiful forever.” 2

The Magician is cloaked in a fur-trimmed jacket with the beams of the Northern Lights behind him. In the foreground is a compass, representing the directional points in which one can move. Mastery is the keyword of the card, representing that ultimately, we are all masters of our own fate.

In the Empress card, a woman sits on the ground, surrounded by blooming flowers and three rabbits (fertility). She lovingly caresses her belly that is pregnant with new life. In the background, mountains are set against the Northern Lights. Jayne describes that “in Nordic folklore it was said that seeing the Northern Lights could ease the pain of childbirth.” 3 Nurture is the keyword for this card, a reminder that we need to nurture the new. 

The Hermit depicts a young man sitting in contemplation against the background of a waterfall. In the far distance, the Northern Lights shine like beacons. A rabbit and deer stand near but do not disturb the man. Jayne details that “the Nordic tree of life was thought to have three wells under it, all of which would water its roots and keep it alive.” 4  Wisdom is the keyword, the wisdom that comes from inner knowing that bubbles up when we are silent.

Interestingly, Jayne included an extra card titled Clarity to the Major Arcana. Clarity is depicted as a blue cat, “one of the most sacred animals in Nordic mythology.” 5 Unlike the other cards in the deck, this card was illustrated by Tracey Emin and so has a different style, more of a loose Japanese water color with no Nordic references.  It is described as a card of compassion and self-care. The blue cat is “synonymous with the goddess of love and beauty, Freya, who’s thought to have traveled in a chariot pulled by cats, felines were highly prized by ancient Nordic people, who believed the cats had been given to Freya as a gift from Thor.” 6 I did not pull this card in any of my readings, though, but remain intrigued by its placement in the deck. I’m curious to see in which reading it will emerge.

The Minor Arcana cards contain depictions of each of the four suits. In the book, Jayne explains each of the four suits, their respective elements, and associations (for example, finances for Pentacles). The accompanying book also provides a description of the meaning of each card and a keyword. There are no Nordic legends or myths written about for the Minor Arcana cards. 

The numbered cards of the Minor Arcana show the respective number and suit image with a different colored background for each suit. For example, One of Swords has one sword on the card against a purplish background. While the numbered cards lack illustrations that might help one in determining a message, each card has keyword at the bottom. Going back to the One of Swords, the clarifying word is Clarity. However, the court cards of the Minor Arcana are illustrated in the same Nordic style of the Major Arcana card. Most are set against a background of mountains and Northern Lights. They also include a keyword. I feel that a beginner can easily become familiar with the meanings of the Minor Arcana with a keyword which compensates for the lack of an illustration. The austere background of the numbered cards in no way diminishes one’s ability to read the cards. 

The accompanying guide book is divided into four sections: Introduction, the Spreads, Major Arcana, and Minor Arcana. 

The Introduction offered advice to both novice and experienced readers. I liked that Jayne Wallace walks new readers through various ways to connecting with the deck. Before diving into different spreads and the card meanings, Jayne suggests ways to get the most of a reading, advice that I have found is often skipped in tarot books. I think it’s really important to build a relationship with one’s cards and liked that this information was included. Jayne recommended various ways to connect with your deck including touching every card and also sleeping with the deck under your pillow. She also offers ways to care for your cards, which I think is another aspect of working with a deck that is also often neglected. 

The Introduction also suggested various ways to begin the reading, set the mood, and participate in a closing ritual. I feel that these different components covered in this section reinforce the idea of respecting the cards, opening a “dialogue” with them, honoring the process of a reading, and concluding the reading with a ritual. I admit that I haven’t done a closing ritual in all my years of working with my cards but now plan on including last step in my ritual, which is generally centering one’s self and thanking the cards. Beautiful!

The second section of the book was on various Spreads. The Spreads range from one and three cards spreads to a spread that used 36 cards. The smaller Spreads are geared to both the Beginner and also a more experienced reader who wants a quick bit of guidance or clarification. I was not familiar with some of the spreads that Jayne included such as the four card Nordic Compass, the six card Horseshoe, the seven card Light Within, and that large 36 card spread, Clock. 

I did a few quick reads which were amazingly spot on. But of course, I had to try the Clock spread which intrigued me. In this spread you pull 12 cards and set them out like the numbers on a clock and continue the process of laying out the cards until you have three cards for each of the 12 number spots, each of which corresponds to a topic such as Money, New Beginnings, Obstacles, and Past. As Jayne writes, the spread is meant to give insight into life at the present, offering help and guidance to any obstacles or challenges. As I sat with each of the 12 piles I came to see that the three cards in each spot began to reveal a story and I was able to get a deeper understanding of the message coming forth in each of the 12 positions; much more clarification came through by pulling the three cards rather than just one as many spreads often suggest.

All in all, The Magical Nordic Tarot is a beautiful deck. I enjoyed embracing the Nordic myths and legends while engaging with the deck. The deck seemed “quiet” to me, quite like the world seems after a snowfall. The messages come through, but in a muted way that gently seeps into one’s being versus a loud pronouncement. This feeling invited me to sit with the cards, enabling them to open themselves to me. I highly recommend this deck for those who seek an unassuming read filled with the beauty of Nordic landscapes, myths, and spirituality.

The Tree Angel Oracle, by Fred Hageneder

The Tree Angel Oracle: The Ancient Path into the Sacred Grove, by Fred Hageneder and illustrated by Anne Heng
Earthdancer Books, 1644110386, 1144 pages, 2nd Edition 2020

The Tree Angel Oracle by Fred Hageneder is a truly beautiful deck, illustrated by Anne Heng. The cards are illustrated with fairy-like figures ethereally interwoven with an image of a tree, creating a magical, endearing effect.  Printed on heavy, shiny cardstock, the cards felt special and charged from the moment I took them out of the box.  I delighted in selecting the cards that match trees that grow in my yard and around my neighborhood, such as Oak, Holly, Cherry, and Apple. I quickly choose all the cards matching the species of trees I have on my property and had a fun time envisioning these angels living in my trees.  The Tree Angels in these cards are drawn with such delicacy and care that I can truly get a feel for the character of the tree angels and also how they connect to that particular species of tree.

The book opens with an endearing introduction where Hageneder writes about a visionary experience he had while attending a Kundalini Yoga Retreat.  In his vision, he was invited into a sacred grove of trees and encouraged by the Tree Angels themselves to develop this oracle deck based on his experiences connecting deeply to trees.

However, unfortunately for me, the fantasy ended there.  In the first chapter of the book, Hageneder presents sort of a “woven tapestry” per se of world religions, their symbolism and mythologies, and how they each hold trees in high esteem.  He presents a particular interpretation on some ubiquitous religious stories, in particular the Garden of Eden story from the Book of Genesis. Here, he very matter-of-factly presents a remarkably modern and “New Age” summation of what that symbology means. Being somewhat of a nerd about classical Theology, I was miffed not seeing appropriate academic citations to back up his interpretative claims, and by the time I got past this, I was far from thinking about trees. Though his religious world-view is interesting — I probably agree with more of it than I disagree — I think it is problematic to present interpretations on religious symbolism as fact without contextualizing the scholarship that gave rise to those interpretations.  But we’ve strayed from the topic of trees, so let’s get back to that.

Obviously, there are hundreds of species of tree in the world and there are only 36 cards in this deck.  Hageneder has based his selection of trees on the “Ancient Irish Tree Alphabet” called the “ogham.” (p. 25) However because this particular catalogue of trees (and he doesn’t describe the “ogham” any further) all originate in a particular geographical area occupied by the Celts, he has omitted some of those trees in favor of wider diversity. For example, he included Ginkgo and Sycamore, which are native to other regions.

Hageneder offers several simple spreads to read the cards, though he emphasizes that choosing one card at a time is a great method for this deck.  I like the “Silent Guardians” spread which is a two-card spread where each card is part of a message relating to a transition in your life – passing from one phase to another.  The three-card spread suggested is called “The Primeval Doorway,” and in this spread the Tree Angels invite you to meet your guide on a journey into the Underworld.

The messages The Tree Angel Oracle cards offer are rich and long, with multiple meanings embedded.  Oak is one of my favorite cards because Oak trees are often associated with magic.

“The source of the life force nourishes your deepest roots with vitality, will, and power.  Make the world your own! But take care, hear the secrets of success, care for those in need, bring tenderness where emptiness once ruled.” (p. 57)

Oak is about being strong and enjoying vitality, but also about having integrity and being compassionate.

Sometimes the descriptions surprised me.  For example, the Ivy Tree Angel signifies humility, though in other sources I’ve known, ivy represents a protector and in other sources, an opportunist. So it seems to me that Hageneder is developing his meanings and interpretations from his own inspiration instead of drawing on ideas about tree spiritual energies that others have written about.

I am grateful for this deck, grateful for the window into deeper communion with trees that The Tree Angel Oracle offers. The cards are so beautifully illustrated by Anne Heng. The messages about the spiritual consciousness that is alive in trees is also beautiful – for this is something I very much believe in.  While Hageneder’s descriptions of the Tree Angel Oracle do not always resonate with me, I believe there is something profoundly magical and alive in these cards and there is a story to tell about discovering the consciousness in trees.

Cosmic Dancer Oracle, by Sedona Soulfire and Tess Whitehurst

Cosmic Dancer Oracle, by Sedona Soulfire and Tess Whitehurst, illustrated by Elinore Eaton
Llewellyn Publications, 0738767107, 44 cards, 148 pages, 2020 

The Cosmic Dancer Oracle by Sedona Soulfire and Tess Whitehurst perfectly captures the soulful integration of mind, body, and soul. This deck is a mixture of radiance and delight, as the cards beautifully show the flow of energy within the relationship between body and spirit. Elinore Eaton, the deck’s illustrator, has magnificently expressed the dynamic rhythm of the movement as a form of self-expression in this illuminating, brightly colored work of art. Working with this deck has been an exciting journey, as it’s invited my body to participate in the process of connecting with the unseen to glimpse the answer I seek and revitalize my spirit.

I’ve always enjoyed exploring my intuition through my body. I actually wrote my thesis on the importance of teaching in a way that promotes one’s kinesthetic intelligence, or the body’s knowing, as a learning tool. This project evolved into me dancing the principles of eco-psychology and documenting the self-reflection process. Countless hours were spent discovering my body’s intelligence, while also researching how impactful dance can be as a form of therapy. It is for this reason that I absolutely adore and appreciate Soulfire and Whitehurst’s intention in creating this deck.

As the introduction states, “Life really is a dance. Sometimes it’s time to sparkle and shine, and sometimes it’s time to retreat and recharge. Some days you’re called to lead, and others you’re called to follow. At times it’s appropriate to improvise, and others call for well-practiced choreography. What’s more, invisible currents of energy and vibration coalesce in ways that create and animate everyone and everything in the Universe (seen and unseen), even the passage of time.” 1 This deck has done a wonderful job of portraying this sentiment visually, while also providing guidance for the reader to use movement to anchor the oracle cards’ messages in their own body.

There are 44 cards in the Cosmic Dancer Oracle, and every single one is unique. The deck truly represents the range of emotions people are able to share through their bodies. Blending cosmic energy and elemental power, the cards offer the reader intuitive images that are sensational visual representations of dancers using movement to embody a sacred oracle message. Truthfully, the artwork on the cards is some of the best I’ve ever seen in an oracle deck. Looking through the deck, each card fills me with the excitement akin to going to a museum exhibition of my favorite artist. Eaton’s imagery activates my psyche and speaks directly to my soul. Some cards make me want to get up and dance, while others help me to honor the need to rest. As I look from card to card, each one’s energy activates both my body and intuition.

The accompanying guidebook is uplifting and straightforward in the guidance offered. Messages affirm the importance of ancestry, offerings, surrender, and creative flow. It feels as though I am receiving a gentle spiritual reminder when reading the message for the cards I’ve pulled that help me to shift my focus towards love, openness, and unity with the current situation I am inquiring about. The guidebook’s messages further help to facilitate connection to one’s body by offering a movement, pose, or dance for every message. I’ve really enjoyed following the guidance and doing this, as I feel like it imparts the cards within into my embody reality.

For instance, the card I pulled today was Clear The Vessel. This was very apt to how I was feeling, as I had just finished deleting emails back to 2018 to do a bit of techno-cleansing to prepare for the new year. The guidebook offered a breathing posture of moving into a stance with my feet shoulder-width apart, extending my arm upward, pressing together my index finger and thumb, and doing rapid breathing. As I did this pose, I instantly felt my energy becoming grounded and excess energy being released through  my body. It made me feel purified, relaxed, and ready to move onto my next task.

Overall, Cosmic Dancer Oracle is a wonderfully intuitive and well-integrated deck. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to add a bit of mystic movement to their life. The artwork is gorgeous and makes it so this deck can be used for oracle reads, meditative visualization, and altar creation. All my readings with the deck thus far have been just what I needed to hear in the moment. This is definitely a deck that’s not going to get dusty, as I’m sure it will be used it frequently.

The Heart Path Oracle Cards, by Nadine Gordon-Taylor

The Heart Path Oracle Cards, by Nadine Gordon-Taylor
Bear & Company, 1591433903, 53 cards, 128 pages, September 2020

The Heart Path Oracle Cards tell stunning, evocative stories through rich imagery. Nadine Gordon-Taylor, artist and author, offers us the beauty of the natural and the mythic world with incredible technical skill and a visceral understanding of color. Each of these 53 cards holds the galaxy within them.

Gordon-Taylor is able to render exquisite details in a surrealist landscape. Her intimate understanding of the natural world allows this vivid imagery to come alive. The images themselves are portals, offering an initiation into the energy they hold. Each card comes with text that aids you in understanding the transmission of the image if this visual way of understanding the universe is new to you. The visual depth of each card also allows you to put the book aside for your own journey and information to emerge. 

Gordon-Taylor holds an MFA and EdD. She is a classically-trained visual artist. She has a depth of knowledge of both the natural world and the mythological one. The accompanying book offers a vivid description of what is held within the card itself. She includes a channeled message of the card as well as an affirmation to anchor the energy of that card in your body. It is a helpful tool, particularly if you are a beginner in using oracle decks, to deepen your intimacy with yourself and with the more than human world.

I confess, I quickly put aside the booklet, more drawn to the imagery than the writing. As someone who sits with clients regularly, tarot or oracle deck in hand, I found that these cards deepen the divinatory and narrative arc of the reading. They are generous in how they invite you into the mysteries of yourself, of the natural world, of the cosmic and elemental energies swirling around us just waiting to be acknowledged. 

One thing I loved about this deck as I sat with clients is how deftly it moved from the mundane to the inner realms of the heart to the outer realms of the galactic. Each card holds the human-being experience, and how it is that we root into the earth and reach up to the stars. 

As a white person working with a variety of decks, I appreciate in this deck that there are different races and ethnicities as well as some variation in body size.

There are some cards that feel like initiations into the deeper mysteries. Some cards that remind you it gets better. These cards can be an instruction on your spiritual path. “Programming your Highest Intentions” is a card that invites you to use the power of intention to change the reality of your everyday life. There is a playful irreverence to some of the messages. This artist allows vitality and play as a through-line to her work. 

My favorite card, “The Connection” invites you to take deep breaths. A woman-tree at the center of a grove of trees is circled by lambs and her tree family. Above, helping guides offer peace and love. The trees themselves take the shape of a heart. The use of light and shadow brings both grace and soft intensity. It reminds you that you are always held in the nest of the universe. 

The guidebook is practical and accessible as it speaks to these great cosmic archetypes and energies. It is a tool that will meet you where you’re at and invite you to go deeper into what you are seeing and feeling with the imagery. There is a glossary at the back of the book to support you in your growth and learning, if you come to these cards as a beginner. I celebrate the work to take these profound energies and make them accessible. 

Each card is laid out so that the painting fills the majority of the frame. The text of the card gives both title and baseline instruction. Take deep breaths, setting boundaries, manifest your dreams, birthing a new life. In this way, you can be in imaginal space and communion with the card without having to refer to the book. The book will take you deeper if you desire it. For me, the style of writing didn’t land with how I receive and understand information. 

The Heart Path Oracle Cards are truly for anyone who wants help in deepening understanding the messages of love that are offered to us from the unseen world, from the natural world, from our own bodies and hearts. It is a fantastic beginner deck because it delves into profound concepts in accessible ways. For me, this deck inspires me to get outside, to breathe, and to remember my vital, small role in the great organism of the universe. 

Women of Science Tarot, by Massive Science

Women of Science Tarot, by Massive Science
MIT Press, 0262539934, 94 pages, September 2020

Did you know the first African American woman to get a PhD in chemistry was Marie Maynard Daly? I didn’t until recently! This is one of the many things I’ve learned from Massive Science’s Women of Science Tarot deck. Though it is promoted as a game deck, it has all the features of a standard tarot deck. Designed to explore the tarot through the lens of science, all the minor arcana features pioneering women who made their mark in scientific fields. The blending of tarot, science, and inspirational women makes this one radically unique and empowering way to seek guidance.

Before diving into the Women of Science Tarot, let’s start with the organization, Massive Science, who published this deck in coordination with MIT Press. Massive Science is a content and media company that has a consortium of scientists publishing articles for the masses. They deliver cutting-edge scientific research to their subscribers, all authored by current scientists in the field. As of now, scientists from over 50 countries have joined Massive Science’s mission of “giving science a voice in cultural conversation.” 1 You can learn more about this innovative organization here.

The community-centered approach of Massive Science is wonderfully applied to the Women of Science Tarot, which features 56 women scientists that have contributed to advancing their respective fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). These scientists all worked to overcome obstacles in their personal life and careers to leave a lasting legacy. Honestly, I am not familiar with most of the women on the cards. It has been exciting to learn more about the biographical information of these women and the paths they forged.

The box of Women of Science Tarot is well-designed and looks very couth. Upon close inspection, the box dons what appears to be a Venus of Willendorf symbol, along with mer-women holding science tools like beakers and telescopes. My favorite part was the number of players ranging from 1- ∞, once again promoting a sense of inclusivity.

Opening the box reveals a glossy, sleek guidebook and bright pink cards. The guidebook is color-coded by section. The Introduction is brief, but does include an informative suggestion to “Use the meaning of each card to narrate the plot points of a story you tell yourself or a friend.” 2 This is very helpful advice on how to use this deck for guidance, as the meanings aren’t as explicitly stated for each card and require a bit of ingenious thinking to make the connections — a very fitting method for a science-themed deck!

The next section is Major Arcana. The major arcana cards all have science images on them, intended to represent the traditional meaning of the card but through a scientific lens. The description in the guidebook reflects this scientific paradigm and ties in bits of history, knowledge, and insight for reflection. For instance, the description of the Death card discusses the extinction of the dinosaurs with a reminder that sometimes old systems of beliefs need to die off for new ones to emerge. 3

One of my favorite cards in the major arcana of this deck is Justice, which features what appears to be a swirling galaxy surrounded by the ouroboros. This card perfectly captures the merge of esoteric, mystical knowledge with science. The guidebook description discusses the conservation of energy in physics and how new stars and galaxies are constantly being formed from the remnants of old stars. 4 This is beautiful to me and really hits my soul, knowing this process is always in motion. This scientific knowledge seems to bring gnostic wisdom to life by allowing one to see how these principles are embodied in the Universe, nature, and life.

The final section is Minor Arcana, which is divided into colors to distinguish the four suits. This deck labels them nano (cups), micro (wands), macro (pentacles), and astro (swords). Nano represents sciences in the invisible field, such as math and physics; micro is the suit of molecular fields, such as chemistry and microbiology; macro is the systematic fields, such as ecology and geology; astro is the cosmic fields like astronomy. 5

The minor arcana cards have the name of the woman in the top center, with the rank to the left and the suit symbol to the right. Underneath the woman’s name is the type of scientist she was. Then there is an image of her on the card, depicting each woman in her element. All the cards have a color palette of pink, maroon, grey, and black, which makes for visually appealing color contrast on the cards. The women on the cards span centuries, come from different economic backgrounds, and represent a range of cultures, nationalities, and races, which is something I always appreciate! Yet another example of inclusivity in this deck.

To be honest, at first the symbols on the cards were a bit confusing to me. But once I found the explanations of suits in the guidebook the cards made a lot more sense. I would recommend looking at it on page 32, along with the brief description of each type of minor card on page 33, before doing your first reading. Once I understood the correspondences, the cards became much more intuitive. I was then able to translate my readings better because I could draw from the energy of the traditional tarot card and mix it with the message of the Women of Science description of the scientist featured on the cards drawn.

However, even with the informative cards, I still rely heavily on the guidebook for the purpose of familiarizing myself with each scientist. While some are well-established heroes of mine, such as Hypatia (Ace of Astro) and Ursula K. LeGuin (Page of Astro), the majority of women I have yet to learn about. For me, this is a fun endeavour because I find out more about each woman’s inspirational story, while also buffing up on my scientific knowledge.

It’s an interesting combination to be in the midst of an intuitive reading, when suddenly I find myself researching more about mRNA to better understand the message Elisa Izaurraide (Two of Micro) has for my life. Since she’s appeared in my readings three times so far, I feel there’s a deeper connection here I need to make with her, and to do this requires me to delve into her research and more deeply ponder how it may be relevant to my own life.

I’ve always loved reading biographies of women because their life stories are often filled with nuggets of wisdom and motivation. In the highlight reel society of our time, featuring on the most memorable Instagram posts to paint a picture of perfection, biographies have always reminded me of the highs and lows of life that no one can hide from. They feed me stories of how women before me have overcome their challenges, conquered their insecurities, and pushed forward on their path, regardless of the obstacles that stand in their way — and not without the occasional fall from grace or grief-striking moments in life that seem to rip it apart at the seams, humbling me to my own perceived slights from the Universe.

Women of Science Tarot is the perfect mixture of stories about these scientists’ lives and guidance for our own lives, distilled from their accomplishments, struggles, and research. Using this deck may be a new style for more intuitive readers, but the descriptions in the guidebook make it easily accessible to even the left-brained, more creative thinkers to find meaning from the lives of these scientists. It’s a different type of reading that prompts us to celebrate the pioneering path of women scientists, while also promoting creativity in how we invite their stories into our lives to bring us to new heights and revelation. I highly recommend it to everyone, for we can all use a bit of scientific wisdom and women empowerment in our lives.

Heavenly Bodies Astrology, by Lily Ashwell

Heavenly Bodies Astrology: Deck and Little Guidebook, by Lily Ashwell
CICO Books, 1782499312, 51 cards, 144 pages, February 2021

I have been reading different decks for almost 30 years (I started young!). But when Heavenly Bodies Astrology by Lily Ashwell arrived, I got chills. The presentation of this boxset is unlike any I’ve ever seen. The deck and guidebook came in a gorgeous keepsake box, which really made for a memorable deck unveiling. As I opened the inner cover of the box, I was greeted with a quote by Henry David Thoreau that instantly made me marvel at the idea that heaven is ever-present . Illustrated in tones of pinks and grays, lace, and a full moon, the deck mesmerized me from the get-go. It even has a gold ribbon that can be used to gently remove the deck from the box with grace and ease!

The intricate beauty put into the presentation of the deck and “little guidebook” conveyed to me that just as much care and love was put into the design of this deck. The smaller box within the keepsake box holds the deck, which also has a ribbon to be used to remove it from its holder. The back of the deck’s box has a quote by Rainer Maria Rilke, one of my favorite poets, while the inner lid of the deck’s box has a quote by William Blake. In her Introduction, Lily describes the importance of this quote in her journey, which brought the box to life. 

I normally don’t gush over presentations and artwork, but this deck is truly a magnificent work of art. The contents of this box set are appropriately referred to as “treasures” on the box sleeve. I actually sat with these three pieces laid out on the table in front of me to soak in the craftsmanship that went into their creation. I felt as if someone had shared treasure with me, and I relished opening the book to read its content and then opening the deck to hold the cards as I would a new baby. These feelings were confirmed when I read Lily’s description in the book’s Introduction:

“This deck and guidebook did not begin as something to be shared, let alone published, but as my own study tool, to deepen my understanding of the cosmos.” 1

Bingo – the box and its contents felt like I had come upon someone’s preciously stored items and private writings, something very personal written from the heart and soul. Ashwell is both author and illustrator of the cards and book. Her training at London’s Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design (inner back of book) is vividly demonstrated in the design of the cards, which combine symbolism and astrology to create meaningful works art on each card.

Lily recommends using the cards to learn astrology, decode planetary placements in one’s birth chart, and/or communicate with the angels. As she explains in the guidebook, “understanding the deck requires a general understanding of astrology.”2 She proceeds to give a brief introduction to items such as the planets, zodiac, houses, and major aspects.

As someone who becomes quickly lost when astrological discussions move beyond Sun signs, I appreciated how Lily builds upon concept upon concept to help me begin to better understand the workings of astrology. She began with using the card Jupiter, and then illustrated what Jupiter in Aries meant, and then what Jupiter in Aries in the 7th House meant. This introduction made me feel a bit less intimated to begin working with the cards. I say “a little” because I admit to my head spinning when I got into Nodes, Trine, and Sextile! However, the guidebook generously helped me to navigate the unknown and still find the answers I was seeking.

I was glad to read in the guidebook that she understood that one could become overwhelmed when first beginning to work with the cards, especially if one has a very limited understanding of astrology. I very much appreciated her writing, “That’s okay and totally normal – I felt that way too. Just remember, you don’t need to grasp how everything pieces together right away. This is the journey.”3

Lily remembers her own introduction to astrology and chose to make this deck usable and not intimidating.

“When I began my journey with the cosmos, I felt thirsty for information, but bored and uninspired by the textbook-ish materials available. It’s why I made this little guidebook simple and the cards beautiful. They provide you with enough information to explore the subject but not enough to trigger overwhelm.”4

This reassured me that I didn’t need to be an astrology expert to use the deck; I could use the deck to familiarize myself with astrology, while also enjoying the stunning visuals that help me to learn about the different energies described.

The cards themselves are absolutely beautiful. Each card offers keywords and an “omen,” or the card’s overriding message. There are six categories of cards: the Planets, the Signs of the Zodiac, the Houses, the Major Aspects, the Natural Zodiac, and the Nodes of Destiny. They are have gentle, dreamlike colored tones that make you sink into your imagination when looking at them. The flowing design of the cards seems to make it easier to access my own inner knowing and also receive the card’s message on a soul level.

All the cards are filled with symbolic imagery, helping the reader to access the energy of the astrology viscerally, rather than just through the mind. The Earth card, for example, has four roses in various stages of blooming. There is a heart in the middle of the card, one side of the heart is a cage of bones while the other side is an intact red heart. The keywords are persistence, patience, and practicality. Then, Mercury has a butterfly set against the planet with a watercolor background of what reminds me of waterlilies. Venus’s card has a pale pink background, with an open clamshell displaying a white pearl, set against the planet itself.

My favorite illustrations are found on the House cards, which are bird-themed. The House Four card has a nest containing two eggs, set in a tree, against a full moon in a blue-black sky. The key words are cultural and family roots, home, peace, and comfort. Looking at this card makes me feel that sense of calmness, connectedness, and grounding associated with domestic life (which I also learned is it’s energy in astrology!)

I decided to work with the cards as Lily suggests, get to know them, try various spreads, allow them to speak to me, and to not get hung up with astrological terms. And guess what? I love, love, love working with them! I value Lily’s advice about asking questions of the cards by framing it as “what is…” versus yes or no questions. For example, “What is the best way to approach a job change?” instead of “Should I apply for job A next week?” This method helped me to open up to receive intuitive messages, deepening my capacity for communion with the cards.

In the guidebook, Liluyoffers three card spreads; a one card of the day, a three-card soul spread, and a four-card third eye spread. My favorite spread with this deck was the three-card soul spread, cards that revealed what one is learning, how one is learning it, and where the wisdom will take one.5 Without revealing my own card pulls, I will say that the way these cards communicated with me enabled me to drop my resistance to diving deeper into astrology and working with concepts other than my Sun sign.

I did the one card pulls for a few days. I sat with the selected card each day, reading the guidebook’s description and letting it marinate. I liked to pick my card early in the morning and sit with it all day – throughout my daily activities. Sometimes it resonated very quickly. Other times, it slowly revealed its meaning to me.

Three days in a row, I have pulled the card Yin! So, I’ve been trying to incorporate a slower pace in life. The Yin card is part of the Natural Zodiac in the Little Guidebook, along with Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Yang, Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. In addition to the keywords listed on the card itself, the guidebook also lists the “omen” for each card as described earlier as well as a description of the energy of the card itself. For example, for the Yin card, Lily writes about the “energy of the Divine Feminine.” 

The guidebook is easy to read and even includes blank pages at the end for note-taking, which offers the opportunity for me to personalize my deck with my thoughts and discoveries. I responded to Lily’s description of the energy of each card and found great insight in each card’s “omens.” I used the omen of a card to guide me, inspire me, and give me pause in my response to some of the questions posed. All food for thought – or rather, for the soul to digest.  I look forward to continuing taking it slow with the cards, allowing our relationship to develop, and learning more about the energy of astrology through the cards.

My next step using the cards is going to be laying them out to create different planet placements in my chart. I hope to gain insight from the visual representation of the energy of my personal astrological make-up, such as Moon in Aries in the first house and Mars in Taurus in the third house. I believe the keywords on the cards will help me to better understand these aspects in my chart, further deepening my astrological understanding.

All in all, Heavenly Bodies Astrology is a true gift in its beauty and its message. Lily’s honesty in describing her journey using astrology, her sharing of her artwork on the cards and in the little guidebook, and her gentle taking of the reader’s hand to encourage us to “find out own direct connection to the heavens,”6 makes for a very personalized feeling in this deck. The supreme elegance of the symbolic representation of the cosmos creates the feeling of sublime connection to the heavens. I highly recommend that you bring this treasure into your life. Whether you’re a novice or expert astrologer, you’ll feel there’s an exalted mysticism within these cards. As Ashwell writes, if this deck resonates with you, trust that you were brought to it for a reason. 

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.

Angel Tarot, by Travis McHenry

Angel Tarot, by Travis McHenry
Rockpool Publishing, 1925924206, 72 cards, 122 pages, April 2020

Many angel oracle or tarot decks feature sweeping images of light, splendor, and magnificence, along with a comforting affirmation of the angels’ eternal love and devotion. While Angel Tarot by Travis McHenry does facilitate this sacred connection to the power of the angels, the deck is unique because it also offers sigils, seals, and ancient grimoire knowledge to invite the angels into your life. Working with the Angel Tarot allows you to do more than just your standard tarot reading; the energy of the angels is yours to evoke, meditate with, and conjure for magical purposes.

Travis McHenry is a seasoned occultist that has had a varied career. He has an academic background in anthropology and has studied a variety of religions; he was even ordained as a deacon in the Baptist church at one time. McHenry also served in the United States Navy as an intelligence specialist. Afterwards he became a recruiter for the largest telephone psychic company in the world.1 Previously to publishing this deck, McHenry created The Occult Tarot, which is a 78-card deck featuring daemons of the 17th century with guidance on demon conjuration according to Solomonic principles.

It is McHenry’s incorporation of high magic that makes Angel Tarot very different from the usual New Age angel oracle cards or tarot decks. Every card features the tarot correspondence, the angel’s divine name, angelic number, few word description of the meaning of the name, astrological meaning of the card and angel, the angel’s abilities, summoning sigil, and magical seal. I realize this may not make sense to someone who doesn’t have much experience with high magic, but McHenry offers enough guidance that even a novice would be able to effectively use the cards to summon angels.

The guidebook introduction describes Cornelia Agrippa’s doctrine about every human being born with three guardian angels. McHerny describes the difference between each guardian angel, but leaves it up to the deck user to figure out which angels are their guardians. Then there is a brief overview of the hierarchy of angels. I have written a series about the different angels, so if you’re interested you can read a general overview here.

From here, McHenry provides succinct and straightforward directions to conjure angelic spirits. He even includes an image of the Grand Pentacle of Solomon to keep practitioners safe while using the deck. For those who wish to evoke an angel using one of the cards, there is a script for before and after the evocation. McHenry’s directions make it very easy to choose an angel from the deck to petition, connect with the angel, state your request, and then formally end the ritual. I absolutely love the ability to use the cards as a focal point while summoning angels. Angel magic has been what I plan on devoting my studies to this year, and the Angel Tarot is the perfect accompaniment for this undertaking in a safe, contained manner.

Other ways to use the cards suggested by McHenry are meditation and divination. Meditation can attune someone to the angel of your choice’s energy if they do not feel up for doing the full evocation ritual, and is what I would recommend from someone just getting used to the system of this method of working with angels. Then for those doing divination, McHenry writes, “When reading with this deck your answers may come from the tarot connection, the angel’s astrological connection or the angel’s ability.”2 This gives a lot of versatility with this deck, along with plenty of room to explore the different angel correspondences for study and oracular purposes. So far I’ve enjoyed working with the cards more for meditation than divination.

The rest guidebook is the description of meaning for each card. Fair warning, it is not in the style of a usual guidebook that will explicitly state what the card means. Each description has a biblical verse, photograph of the card, and information about when the angel is the soul, mortal, or physical guardian (excluding the six archangels, which have almost the exact same description on their card). This information is how one can find out who their three guardian angels are if they are interested in fostering a relationship with them in particular. The guidebook also shares the intonation for each angel’s name, which is important for ritual evocation, and rank in the angel hierarchy. I learned my moral and soul guardian are the same angel!

There are no specifics given about how the cards relate to the tarot other than this card is this tarot correspondence and guidance on how to do some common tarot spreads. Therefore you should already be familiar with the energy of tarot, otherwise you will not be able to make the associations as easily. Even without knowing the tarot correspondence though, there’s still value in this deck as a method to work with angels. I say this to ensure that someone who sees the title Angel Tarot knows that the main focus is on the 78 angels.

The cards in the deck are gorgeous. They are all coated in gold trim and have The Grand Pentacle of Solomon on the back and in the background of the front of the cards as all. The color scheme of gold, grey, and white hues give the deck a sleek, classical feeling. The images on the front of the cards look like Renaissance sketches. There’s a complexity to the simplicity to the cards, for they all look clean-cut but are filled with sigils, seals, imagery, and words that all seem to attract the eye at once. Red and black emphasize the imagery on some cards, making them more pronounced and striking as one looks through the deck.

I highly recommend Angel Tarot to anyone looking to establish a practice of summoning angels, enhancing their high magic practice, or learn more about the kabbalah hierarchy of angels. While it seems more suited for an experienced occultist, this deck is absolutely user-friendly for people to work with at a beginner level. As I delve into my year of dedicated study of the angels, I am very grateful to have this deck as an enhancement to work I plan on doing. McHenry has done a wonderful job of synthesizing arcane grimoires, occult knowledge, and magical practice to create an outstanding deck.