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.
Alanna Kali is an astrologer, numerologist, and pioneer spirit that loves to explore life through the lens of depth psychology. She has a passion for studying the humanities and social trends. Her academic work is centered upon reuniting body, mind, and spirit through eco-psychology. She loves reading, spending time in nature, and travel.