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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.

Crystal Clear Oracle, by Nadine Gordon-Taylor

Crystal Clear Oracle: Loving Guidance from the Mineral Kingdom, by Nadine Gordon-Taylor
Bear & Company, 9781591434849, 40 cards, 166 pages, December 2023

With the Crystal Clear Oracle: Loving Guidance from the Mineral Kingdom, intuitive artist Nadine Gordon-Taylor has combined 44 well known crystals and minerals with beautiful symbols from plants, animals, elementals, and ancient symbols to provide unique guidance for our lives.

This deck is the third deck created by Gordon-Taylor, who holds both MFA and doctorate degrees in art.  She has taught for more than 30 years through lectures and workshops.  Her artwork has been shown in galleries and collections around the world. She owns a gallery called Third Eye Arts in Peekskill, NY.  Learn more about her through her website https://www.thethirdeyestudio.com/meet-the-artist.

As someone who has been studying crystals for over 20 years, I was immediately drawn to this deck. Unlike most crystal oracle decks, this deck also features many different symbols on each card. You can choose to focus only on the crystal or mineral for a quick message or add layers to the guidance by reading about each symbol featured. Here is just one example of the symbols on these cards. (I’ve added brief information from the guidebook, as well.)   

“CRYSTAL:  Hanksite
Moniker:  The Earthy Supporter
Key words: Cleansing, grounding, and heightened sense of reality
Mineral content: Rare potassium sulfate
Healing properties: Realignment of your etheric chakra system. Hold me over any area of your body that feels unbalanced and needs healing.

SYMBOLS:
Capybara: You function best with others.
Beaver:  Follow your intuition on new projects.
Tulips: Rebirth, and two tulips mean you might want to look for balance and partnership.
Honeybees:  Examine your productivity with dedication, hard work, and collaboration.
Full Moon:  There is new information and brilliant epiphanies for you.
Viaduct:  Watch for opportunities for transition and change.
Earth: Look to your home planet for support.
Shooting Star: Your wishes will inevitably come true!
Affirmation: I am on the right track to my spiritual destination”1

As you can see, Gordon-Taylor weaves lots of guidance and encouraging information about each crystal or mineral, as well as the symbols she has chosen for each card.

Each card is brilliantly painted in a very realistic style.  I’ve seen artists attempt to draw or paint crystals and miss the mark. This is not the case with Gordon-Taylor. Each one of her renderings of the crystals and minerals is as realistic as any photo. She is very talented when it comes to painting the crystals and minerals as they appear in nature. She uses fine detail, shading, and an authentic depiction of the crystal in a traditional shape to present each crystal or mineral. Two of my favorite depictions in these cards are fluorite and aquamarine. 

The back of the card box declares that the cards are “intricately illustrated,”2 and this is true! She also uses different border colors to accent the pictorial layouts. The cards are a large format, measuring 4” inches by almost 6” inches. The back of the cards features a magnified view of an iolite crystal. 

As I’ve mentioned with the example for Hanksite above, the guidebook contains a wealth of information, with two to three pages per mineral. The messages are written in first person, from the point of view of each crystal. For example for Hanksite she relates:

“I am Hanksite, a rare potassium sulfate mineral, and I connect you with the Earth.  I am commonly found beneath the surface, embedded in mud or drill cores.”3

Gordon-Taylor utilizes different colors for the type in the Table of Contents, as well as the passages for each crystal. This makes the various headings really pop! Each card is also shown in the guidebook with a small four-color photo. She ends the guidance with three affirmations for each crystal.

The Table of Contents is laid out in alphabetical order and includes the name of the crystal, the moniker, key words and page number. This layout is brilliant because you can open the guidebook and run your finger down the page and select a crystal randomly for yourself or others, without taking the cards with you. In the Introduction, Gordon-Taylor shares her long history with minerals and her goal for this deck: 

“The constructive and positive messages found in this book allow you to access new and loving energies that inspire, empower, and heal. These messages come directly from the crystals that appear in each image.”4

Gordon-Taylor also shares how to use the cards, including different ways to clear the cards, spreads for use with the cards and the use of a sketchbook as a journal. At the back of the guidebook, she includes a 30-page glossary with words and phrases about crystals and minerals, as well as spiritual terms. The cards are stored in a beautiful box with an indentation for the cards, ample room for the guidebook and a magnetic clasp. 

These cards arrived in the mail and I didn’t have the chance to glance through them before my husband and I left to attend a gem and mineral show. I came home with three crystals (mangano, calcite, septarian) and an ammonite tray. When I pulled out these cards the next morning for my daily draw, I drew the card Ammonite!

For my friend Ann, I drew the card: Chrysanthemum Stone. This stone is known as The Karmic Liberator and references intuition, optimism and akashic records.

Ammonite helps you release the past and welcome change, evolution, and personal growth. According to Gordon-Taylor, ammonite is “The Ancient Emancipator,” and aids in “adapting to a new, exciting timeline and a new version of yourself.”5

“You have chosen this card because you are a beautiful soul experiencing challenging situations. You also want to feel joy again. I can help you reset your energy grid. Hold me in your hands when meditating and burrow deep into your intuition . . . You are here at this time to work out issues balancing the mind and heart.”6

My friend has had some challenges lately, and just accepted a new temporary position with a hospital in another state.  She loved the encouragement that she received from this stone, as well as from the symbology of the eagles, groundhogs, cherry tree, infinity symbol and the ankh.  I sent her a photo of the card and the verbiage for even more support. 

Crystal Clear Oracle is great for any level of oracle reader or crystal student. With the depth of the information about each crystal or mineral, as well as the reference materials on the various symbols, anyone can benefit from the knowledge shared by Gordon-Taylor. You can focus only on the crystal or read further and integrate all the information for a complete guidance session. I can see myself using these cards to add a footnote to a client reading or pull a card for myself when I’m troubled by a situation.

Oralce of the Birds, by Jeanne Roland and Petra Kühne

Oracle of the Birds: A 46-Card Deck and Guidebook, by Jeanne Ruland and illustrated by Petra Kühne
Findhorn Press, 1644119617, 112 pages, 46 cards, October 2023

I recently read The Madonna Secret by Sophie Strand, and in this book, the main character Miriam often receives guidance from the natural world, especially birds. This got me thinking about my own relationship with birds and questioning “Have I been pausing to appreciate them and hear their message?” Honestly, I had not been paying much mind to the birds, so I started to become more aware of the birds around me–when they appear, how they make me feel, and the tone of their chatter.

Soon after, I noticed the Oracle of the Birds by Jeanne Ruland, and I felt prompted to delve deeper into my bird explorations. This gorgeous deck, illustrated by Petra Kühne, shares the spiritual messages from a variety of birds, providing meaning and affirmations for me to explore, and it has brought a new appreciation for birds into my life. Ruland reminds us:

“They touch our soul. Our soul is like them–free, fluidly connected, unique, and yet belonging to Heaven.”1

This deck consists of 46 cards, which are mostly birds, but also include some mythical bird figures (Ba, Garuda) and bird-related items (Egg, Nest, Feather). From the largest bird (Ostrich) to the tiniest bird (Hummingbird), the wide range of birds in this deck spans the globe.

Kühne has done an amazing job bringing these birds to life on the cards. Flipping through the deck and looking at the images, I feel a subtle humming in my hands, as though the spirits of the birds are being infused right into my soul. The deck is bright with each bird in their own colorful habitat. My favorite part about Kühne’s design is the patterns and sacred geometry patterns shining through softly in the background, reminding me of the divinity of these birds.

On each card is the name of the bird, a few keywords, and then a sentence or two of guidance. This makes the cards wonderful to use on an altar space or simply keep out for the day to glance at for inspiration. The back of the cards is the same for the whole deck, but it also has an encouraging message that reminds readers to keep their gaze uplifted.

The guidebook is short and sweet in its introduction to the cards, quickly delving into the card profiles, which are organized alphabetically. Every description includes a title, image of the card, meaning of the card, message from the bird’s magic feather, list of additional meanings, and an affirmation.

I appreciate how for each card meaning Ruland takes the time to describe how the bird enters your life. For instance he writes, “Death-defying, the falcon plunges into your energy field to hunt demons.”2 Meanwhile, he describes how Goose “comes waddling into your life and enables you to recognize the deep truth of things.”3 His descriptive writing is a portal for the bird’s energy, and I enjoy the sensation of feeling and imagining the way the bird of the day enters during my daily pull to share their insight.

This week I keep pulling the same card, and clearly I feel like I’m being sent a message with the consistency of it appearing day after day, even with multiple shufflings. The card is Garuda, who Ruland describes as “a mythical and immortal messenger of light from the Upper World.”4

The overall message from this card is centered on me opening up to messages from higher realms, listening to my heart, and trusting the guidance of the divine, while remembering that I am a source of light. I really resonate with Garuda, especially how Ruland interprets the card as a sign to focus on my own spiritual development and “connection to the existence of creation.”5

As much as many of us strive to be grounded, this deck reminds us that sometimes we need to let our spirits fly high for a new perspective. Ruland has attentively channeled the wisdom of birds into affirming messages that shift our gaze towards the sky and bring new insights. The imagery created by Kühne transports us into new habitats and states of mind, gleaming with elegance, grace, and possibility.

Overall, Oracle of the Birds is an excellent resource for anyone looking to deepen their spiritual practice and connect with the natural world. The beautiful artwork and insightful messages make it a joy to work with, and the guidance and wisdom of the birds can help you discover insights on your spiritual path. Whether you’re looking for clarity, guidance, or inspiration, this deck can help you connect with the energy of birds and tap into their powerful wisdom.

Lucid Dreaming, Lucid Living, by Norma Burton and Nisha Burton

Lucid Dreaming, Lucid Living: Your Oracle & Guide to Mastering the Dreamscape, by Norma J. Burton & Nisha Burton
Red Wheel, 1590035380, 200 pages, 44 cards, September 2023

If you have ever had the wild experience of knowing you were dreaming within a dream, and then discovered that you had the ability to manipulate the dream world with your thoughts, then you have tapped into the latent power of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a potent therapeutic practice that can reduce stress, improve memory, and assist in shadow integration, healing trauma, and overcoming addiction. Lucidity also enhances personal empowerment by bringing mindfulness and a greater sense of agency to both dreams and waking reality. The average person has three to seven oneiric visions a night, but 95 percent of these experiences are forgotten upon waking.1 Fortunately, dream recall is a skill that can be strengthened with practice, and the Lucid Dreaming, Lucid Living oracle teaches dreamers how to achieve conscious awareness and navigate their dreamscapes with intention.

Lucid Dreaming, Lucid Living: Your Oracle & Guide to Mastering the Dreamscape is a collaborative project created by Norma and Nisha Burton, a mother and daughter dream team.2 Transpersonal psychologist Norma Burton has over thirty years of experience in her personal practice, and her work is informed by Jungian analysis, applied neuroscience, and comparative world religions, with an emphasis on Buddhism. Norma also apprenticed with Mexican Huichol shamans for twenty years, who gave her permission to incorporate their shadow healing tradition into her practice, and she is well versed in the shamanic traditions of other cultures, such as the Japanese Shugendo mountain shamans, the Brazilian Condoble-Espiritu healers, and the North American Cherokee, Hopi, Iroquois, and Navajo healers. Norma’s daughter, Nisha Burton, is a visual artist, graphic designer, and filmmaker, whose unique artistic vision enlivens the surreal dreamscapes pictured on the cards.3

This beautiful oracle consists of 44 gilded cards and a glossy full-color 200 page companion guidebook. In the guidebook, each card has a “Lucid Dreaming Teaching” and a “Lucid Living Message,” which advises the dreamer on how to integrate the lesson in both dreaming and waking life. 

The cards are divided into three categories, recognizable by their black, white, and starry night sky backgrounds. The black cards, numbered 1 through 22, are for “Lucid Dream Journeys”; the white cards, numbered 23 through 33, are for “State Checks, Stabilizing, and Reality-Shifting”; and the starry night cards, numbered 34-44, represent “Guides and Guardians.” [14-15]

The black cards give guidance for navigating various types of dreamscapes. Three of these cards (Card 6, “Nightmare Rewrite,” Card 12, “False Awakening,” and Card 13, “Sleep Paralysis”) advise on how to overcome frightening dream experiences by using your personal power to flip the script of the dream or transform these scenarios into opportunities for greater lucidity and mobility through out-of-body experiences.

One of my favorite cards is number 7, titled “Portals,” which teaches that “in lucid dreams, mirrors are entryways into other realities.”4 The Lucid Living message says, “Use them in waking reality to focus on what you like about yourself rather than your perceived flaws.”5 This card delighted me because I use black mirror scrying in my shadow work, and after reading about this card in the guidebook, I had a vivid dream in which I continued this practice in my sleep.  

The white cards teach various practices, called “state checks,” which can help one become lucid while dreaming. The guidebook defines a state check as “an action you conduct during the day to ‘check’ what ‘state’ or reality you are in—dreaming, awake, or out-of-body.”6 State checks performed in the dream realm can trigger lucidity. For example, card 27, titled “Solid Structures,” advises you to touch objects that should be solid to see if your hand will pass through them.7 Performing this state check throughout the day can help program your mind to do the same while dreaming, and will also heighten your critical thinking skills in waking reality. 

The starry night cards depict archetypal guardians and guides that you may encounter in the dream realms. They often represent subconscious aspects of yourself seeking integration, such as your “Cosmic Self and Inner Child,” and “Animal Guides” whose spiritual powers may benefit you at this time. 

I was eager to dive headfirst into this deck. For my first reading, I drew Card 16, “The Three Worlds” and Card 9, “The Dream World Home Base.” Both of these cards are black cards for lucid dream journeys, and feature locations in the Dreamtime, reminding me of a star map. 

“The Three Worlds” card depicts the three shamanic realms that dreamers can access. In “The Three Worlds” card:

“The dreamer navigates upward through the three worlds—the Underworld, the Middle World, and the Upper World. She has learned how to differentiate and distinguish between these dimensions and has integrated the powerful lessons held in each one.”8

The keywords associated with this card are: “Moving, State of flux, Re-surfacing of old wounds, Power struggles, Survival needs, Internal metamorphoses.”9

Working with “The Three Worlds” card entails me categorizing my dreams according to which shamanic realm they take place in. For example, I’ve noticed that all of my Underworld dreams take place underground, in some sort of catacomb, tomb, cave, or the basement of a large haunted house. According to the “Lucid Living Message” in the guidebook, Underworld dreams “include the resurfacing of psychological wounds that occurred in your childhood. It may be related to ancestral baggage and the need to heal patterns from your lineage.”10

The night before I drew this card I had a vivid Underworld dream. I dreamed I was speaking with my deceased father in a room with earthen walls, which I realized was his grave when I woke up. We were both crying in the dream, and it felt like we were resolving unfinished business between us. 

Middle World dreams are out-of-body experiences and mirror the earth plane. I began experimenting with astral projection when I was around 12 years old. Even though I had lucidity during these experiences, I had difficulty directing where I went and often lost consciousness and fell deeper into sleep. 

My Upper World dreams often involve spirit flights through space. In these vivid dreams, my astral body rockets through the earth’s atmosphere at the speed of thought, visiting the moon and planets both in this solar system and beyond. The most vivid one involved me floating near the rings of Saturn. I had a frightening sense of weightlessness and being suspended in the black void of space without any kind of tether to ground me and guide me back to earth. After reading the guidebook cover to cover, I was amazed to find a card titled “The Void” that describes this experience. I thought it was unique to me but apparently it is common among dreamers to encounter “The Void.” 

Sometimes these Upper World dreams involve me being on earth, but looking up at the sky to see the planets looming larger than life overhead and being drawn down towards me. I have also seen UFOs phasing in and out of the earth plane, revealing themselves to me by flickering like blue holograms. These dreams are frightening, because the veil thins and I become aware that there are alien forces all around us, cloaked so that most people can’t see them. I get the sense that these mysterious vessels are influencing our reality but I can’t discern how or what their intentions are. 

The second card I drew was “Dream World Home Base.” This card advises me to establish a safe and secure home base to ground myself in the ever-shifting dream realms. The guidebook suggests creating a home base through visualization, and locking the entrance so it is only accessible to me. 

This card reminded me of the astral castle I created in my late teens, and still visit on occasion. My favorite space is a reading room in a huge private library, with multiple floors of oak bookshelves and warm sunlight streaming through stained glass windows. There is a cloistered garden outside with a beautiful snow-white peacock that eats out of my hand. I haven’t visited in a while so I’m going to make some improvements and peruse the shelves. 

“If your home base is on another planet,” the guidebook says, “try putting a fingerprint or eye-scanning device on the portal to secure it.”11

The thought had never occurred to me to create my own dream planet as a home base, and I love the idea. Perhaps these cards are telling me that I already have a home base on another world that I may soon discover in my dreams.

I learned so much about dreaming from this comprehensive guidebook. It turns out that many experiences I thought were strange or unique to me are actually common dream experiences that are explored in one of the cards. While I haven’t had a fully lucid dream recently, using this deck has improved my dream recall and motivated me to be more consistent in journaling about my dreams. 

I have noticed that I often achieve a certain degree of lucidity in dreams, even if only for a brief moment of awareness that I am dreaming. For example, if my conscious mind is resistant to what is happening in the dream, I will remind myself to allow the dream’s narrative to unfold organically and witness it, so I can see what message it has for me. I have found that trying too hard to control and shape the dream takes too much psychic energy and exhausts me out of lucidity. I also like the surprises that come through the natural progression of dream sequences. For me, the most important benefit of lucidity is dream recall. I would rather observe the dream with mindful awareness and wake up to write it down rather than try to exert control over what happens and risk losing lucidity. 

The Lucid Dreaming, Lucid Living oracle is a phenomenal tool for mindful dreaming, astral projection, and deepening self-knowledge through shadow work. Both beginning and seasoned lucid dreamers will be inspired by this visually stunning deck and insightful guidebook, which teaches us the value of being present, as we lead double lives in our waking and dreaming realities. 

Are you awake right now? Or are you dreaming?

Essential Oils Oracle Cards, by Dennis Mock

Essential Oils Oracle Cards: Wisdom and Guidance from 40 Healing Plants, by Dennis Moeck with illustrations by Ulrike Annyma Kern
Inner Traditions, 9781644118795, 40 cards, 15 pages, September 2023

As someone who has been utilizing essential oils in my life for more than fifteen years, I am excited to see an oracle deck devoted to this subject. Essential Oils Oracle Cards: Wisdom and Guidance from 40 Healing Plants by Dennis Moeck with illustrations by Ulrike Annyma Kern is both beautiful and educational. The wisdom Moeck shares about the plants is equally matched by the guidance he imparts for each card. 

Moeck has studied aromatherapy, crystals, psychology, shamanism, ayurveda, and trauma therapy. His coaching practice focuses on consciousness and inner journeys through online courses, workshops, and retreats. Moeck has worked with essential oils for decades. He lives in Germany.

Kern is not only an artist, she is also an author and spiritual teacher. She has created an oracle deck based on archangels and written several books, one of which has been translated into English and features the chakra system.  She also lives in Germany.

These cards are very easy to use, and I decided to do a card pull right away. I asked the question: “What do I need to know in order to utilize the power of the Solar Eclipse?”

After shuffling the cards and fanning them out, I drew the card for Lemon.

“The time for cleansing and clarity has come.Refreshed and reinvigorated, you can rediscover your original inner light, a light that will guide you to the truth in this light. … the spirit of women is eager to guide you through the realm of shadows where it will kindle light in the rooms of your mind.”1

What a great message for me, for eclipse season! On the flip side of the card, I read additional guidance that says that lemon will help me to focus on what is essential, fresh, and pure. It also says that lemon aids the solar plexus chakra and that its scent can help me to celebrate life.

The affirmation reads:

“I am ready to open myself to life unconditionally and to welcome what I am.”2

The guidebook suggested that I “connect with the soul of the plant and tell it what is currently on your mind . . . .  Imagine that you are integrating with the energy of the healing plant soul and look back on yourself. . . . What advice do you give yourself?”3

Moeck advises the card reader to work with the energy of the card for 21 days, as well as suggesting they diffuse the essential oil or place the oil on pulse points or the heart space. I had some lemon essential oil on hand, so I added it to my diffuser. With the guidance, the image of the lemon plant, and the essential oil wafting through my space, I feel that I was able to integrate the wisdom more easily from the card.

Next, I wanted to reach out to clients and friends and pulled cards for 18 people. The feedback I received is overwhelmingly positive for each of the essential oils and messages shared. Here is what one friend has to say about her card, which was Patchouli:

“PJ drew the Patchouli card for me. From the very first line, I knew this was spot on and PJ had connected with my spirit. This was a week of worldwide turmoil with a personal connection, a relationship dilemma within my family, and a deeper, more personal emotional process that did indeed leave a “crack in my soul.” All areas of my life are in need of soul recognition and healing. Interestingly, Patchouli’s scent is highly obnoxious to me and this really surprised me. The plant, however, challenges me to view it, as well as the events in my life, with a new perspective and allow for the body/soul connection to do its necessary work.”  -BB in Dallas

A client who is currently struggling with where she is in life right now has this to say about her card, which was Frankincense:

“Thanks, PJ! The first paragraph of the second side mentioned something about recognizing My Divine Being. I needed the reminder.” – ST in Austin

Finally, a client with the card Cedarwood, shared that she LIVES on Cedarwood Drive! She also added this feedback regarding her guidance:

“I love the message of going forward playfully and trusting the divine timing of things. Less serious. Play, Relax and Trust the process Thank you so much. This resonates so much.” -HC in Boston

These cards are so very easy to use and share with clients.  The size of the cards and quality of the card stock work well and will last through many readings. The beautiful illustrations add to the message, without being overbearing or cryptic.  I really like this aspect.

In addition to the basic message about the history of the use of the plant and essential oil on Side A, the additional information on Side B adds even more guidance.  Moeck shares an affirmation, additional wisdom, a “Top Tip”, key words, and the chakra for which the oil might best be used.

The short guidebook is also very informative and helpful.  It shares an introduction, various ways to use the cards, how to phrase your question, and ways to read the cards. Moeck also shares ways to work with essential oils, including important safety notes. He also offers a way to close a card reading:

“Return to your own self, breathe deeply, absorb the advice, and then take a couple of minutes to reflect on it. Are there any other issues where the soul of the plant can deliver support? In this way, by changing roles and switching places with a plant, however many times it takes, you can make a connection and seek the plant’s advice.”4

Essential Oils Oracle Cards is good for  readers of all skill levels.  It is easy to use and shares information and guidance that applies on many levels. People who love working with essential oils will benefit greatly from the information in this deck. For those new to essential oils, this deck will be a great introduction to essential oils and their uses. I plan to use the deck to close out client readings when I feel led to refer to essential oils.

Persephone’s Oracle, by Jennifer Heather

Persephone’s Oracle, by Jennifer Heather
Independently Published, 22 cards, 29 pages, January 2023

Persephone is my goddess archetype, and during the fall, I honor her annual descent into the Underworld to sit on the Iron Throne as Queen of Shadows. As the Sun enters the Venus-ruled sign of Libra, where Saturn is exalted, it is a time for evaluating our relationships and honoring our commitments. I see Persephone as the Virgo Harvest Maiden, led by her psychopomp Mercury into the cavernous Great Below with the Golden Scales of Libra in hand, ready to renew her infernal vows with Hades and share in his judgment of the dead, balancing his Saturnine sternness with her Venusian grace and compassion.

This year, I was thrilled when my Hadean partner surprised me with Persephone’s Oracle as an Autumn Equinox gift. The creator of this deck, Jennifer Heather, is based in the UK and sells this oracle in her ObsidianSirenShop on Etsy. I love supporting Etsy creators, and this deck, as well as her Aphrodite’s Oracle and Hekate’s Oracle, have been on my wish list for a while.

Persephone’s Oracle is a shadow work deck consisting of 22 cards and a slim guidebook devoting a full page to interpreting each one. The entries also include journal prompts to facilitate shadow work and deepen self-knowledge.

In the introduction chapter of the guidebook, creator Jennifer Heather says, “Persephone’s Oracle is symbolic of the journey towards wisdom as experienced by the archetypal maiden descending into the Underworld to face the unknown terror of darkness,”1 and the cards “depict the transition of the maiden to maturity and the lessons obtained along the way.”2 If the cards are read in order, they begin with card 1, titled “Innocence,” relating to Persephone’s beginning as Kore, the innocent Flower Maiden.

The first five cards in the series contain uplifting messages about connecting with your inner child, letting your light shine, and spending more time in nature. The tone shifts with card 6, titled “Surrender,” which speaks of the trauma of Persephone being abducted by Hades in the meadow and carried down into the Underworld, a terrifying ordeal which she had no other choice but to accept. The series continues through various aspects of Persephone’s process of individuation as she is transformed by her journey through the Underworld, and returns to the surface in card 22, titled “Ascension.”

One of my favorite things about Persephone’s Oracle is that the cards are graced with the masterpieces of a variety of famous artists, and the name of the painting, the artist, and the date it was produced is given in the guidebook, so each card is like a mini art history lesson. For example, six cards feature the Art Nouveau paintings of Alfons Mucha, and French Symbolist Odilon Redon’s work appears on four cards. My personal favorite is Proserpine by the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rosetti (1874).

I immediately connected with this oracle, and as I shuffled, I asked for a message from Persephone. I felt her gentle, loving energy radiating from the cards. “Cycles” jumped out of the deck, which advised me to “harmonize and flow with life’s rhythm.”3 The painting on this card is Autumn by Alfons Mucha (1896). Autumn is depicted as a nymph with long, flowing auburn hair and a crown of chrysanthemums upon her head. She floats in a vineyard, harvesting grapes. The grape vine is sacred to Dionysos and I see Autumn as one of his female followers, the maenads. I imagine her pressing grapes beneath her bare feet to make wine, the blood of Dionysos. Her flower wreath is significant because the ancient Greeks wore chaplets of chrysanthemums to ward off evil spirits.4

According to Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, mums are protective solar flowers associated with the element of fire. He claims that imbibing an infusion of chrysanthemums is a cure for drunkenness. When worn, he says the flowers protect one from divine wrath, and growing mums in the garden repels evil spirits. 

I decided to explore the journal prompts in the guidebook by pulling a tarot card for additional guidance. I chose the journal prompt: “In which areas of my life do I resist change?”5 I pulled the Nine of Knives (Nine of Swords) from The Tarot of Vampyres, my current go-to shadow work deck.

The Nine of Knives depicts a moonlit vampire in a torture chamber, holding a dagger and licking blood off her fingers. There are meat hooks hanging on the wall behind her, reminding me of the Sumerian tale of the descent of the goddess Inanna into the Underworld, where she was killed by the Queen of the Great Below, her shadow twin Ereshkigal, and her corpse was hung on a meat hook. The Nine of Knives brings “change through torment” and indicates that “an enemy is projecting their phantoms onto us.”6

Like Persephone, I resist change when an attacker is attempting to force it upon me. I think this is true for most people, because no one wants to be forced to change against their will, but sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. While some cycles, like the changing of the seasons, are a natural part of life, others, like addictions, negative behavioral patterns, and cycles of abuse are meant to be broken, and hitting rock bottom can be a catalyst for positive transformation. Like the Underworld journeys of Inanna and Persephone, a painful change that is forced upon us can liberate us by destroying a false sense of self and initiate our metamorphosis into a new, more empowered and authentic identity. 

The chrysanthemums on the “Cycles” card represent protection from evil spirits, the shadowy phantoms that others project upon us. Flower medicine is one of the gifts of Persephone. Pulling these cards prompted me to get a pot of vibrant orange mums for my front porch, and to press a few flowers in my grimoire for future protection spells.

Persephone’s Oracle is an insightful tool for shadow work and self-discovery, and a great complement to tarot. The paintings stimulate the imagination, lending themselves to additional interpretation. Just as Persephone found her latent powers and the hidden aspects of her personality during her dormancy in the darkness, and bloomed with the renewal of spring, we can do the same by embracing the cyclical rhythms of our lives, and the archetypal journey from darkness to light.

Celtic Healing Oracle, by Rosemarie Anderson

Celtic Healing Oracle, by Rosemarie Anderson and illustrated by Susan Dorf
Inner Traditions, 9781644114964, 165 pages, 64 cards, January 2023

An interesting combination of both myth and tradition, the Celtic Healing Oracle card deck by Rosemarie Anderson is filled with healing information and guidance.

Anderson has been studying Celtic traditions since the late 1970’s.  She is an author, poet, professor emerita of psychology, Episcopal priest, and award-winning researcher. She is the author of six books, including The Divine Feminine Tao Te Ching, Transforming Self & Others Through Research, and Celtic Oracles: A New System for Spiritual Growth and Divination. She has lived in many different countries around the world, including South Korea, Japan, Germany, Italy, and Ireland. She now lives in Oregon.

The artwork for the cards was created with an art knife and black paper by the artist Susan Dorf. She created the images to represent contemporary block prints.  She is well known for her sketches, paintings and prints, as well as workshops in painting and journaling in several countries.  She currently lives in Mexico.

Anderson traces her journey to create these cards to a time almost forty years ago when she lived in Germany.  Here she visited the forests and woodland creatures and became aware of the Celts and their belief in the interconnectedness of life. Later, she would live in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland and learn more about the Celts and their rich traditions.

The Celts divined answers to life’s questions from the animals, plants, wind, and seasons. Trees and animals had particular knowledge of all things – past, present and future.

In addition to the history of the Celts and their belief systems, Anderson includes tips on how to best use and interpret the cards. For example, she speaks about what to do if the same card shows up time and again:

“If so, watch for that symbol mirroring many aspects of your life. A basic issue, represented by one or more related symbols, may have overriding significance in your life at this time period. For example, you might repeatedly cast one or several manifestations of the goddess in response to a variety of questions, signifying integration of certain of her aspects.”1

Anderson also includes several different spreads for use with the cards, including the Spiritual Development Spread. This spread features six cards and a variety of questions that Anderson bases on her own use of oracle systems.

I did a reading for myself with this spread and received a succinct answer to a question that I had been pondering for quite some time.  The message of the six cards could be distilled into a guidance that assured me that I had all of the tools within me to heal old wounds and take decisive action in future endeavors.

Next, I did a one-card reading for each of the women attending my Sunday Coffee & Cards event on Zoom. For one woman, I drew the Raven card, which speaks of truth-telling and prophecy.  She related that the message really resonated, including the portion that said:

“Your present situation may require speaking the truth to clear the way for newness and avoid misunderstandings. Telling the truth is akin to prophecy. It cleans the eye of the heart.”2

For another woman, I drew the Ram-Horned Snake/Shape-shifting card.  She related that over this past summer she took a month-long trip to her home state and enjoyed carefree travel plans. She related:

“This ties into my summer so much!  Shape-shifting or going with the flow as events present themselves.  Don’t wait!  I’ve had so many messages from animals and plants lately, too.  Thank you for this confirmation.”

Although the cards do not appear to be arranged in any particular order, Anderson numbers the cards.  This tool makes it easy to find the guidance in the book, which also features a Table of Contents. To break up the black and white art and type in the guidebook, Dorf highlights the name of each card in green and also uses red type for section titles. Anderson includes a bit of history for each card in a section of invocation.  Then, she features a section called “If you drew this card,” where she shares guidance and messages. 

The invocation section title is really helpful, as it gives a word or two that contains the overall energy of the card.  For example, with my own six-card reading, I received these words of encouragement:

Power – Change – Selfless Action – Wholeness – Honor – Decisive Action

The cards are printed on a nice card stock and will hold up nicely to repeated use.  Although the cards are printed with a glossy finish, they do not show fingerprints. The back of the cards is printed in green with a black Celtic symbol, while the front of the cards is black and white with tiny green leaves as accents.  The deck is a standard oracle card size with its 3.5 X 5 dimensions.

My favorite card in this deck is #12 Mare – Healing the Wounds of Abandonment and Loss of Trust.  Perhaps because I drew this card in the spread where I was asking for clarity, this card really spoke to me of the power of healing the heart so you can be more open and free.  

This deck would be good for any level of oracle or tarot reader.  The way the guidebook is presented, and the simple design of the cards makes it easy for any reader to utilize.  I can see myself adding a one card reading to my intuitive readings or coaching sessions for clients.  The guidance is easy to understand and the additional information on Celtic history and traditions enriches the messages. 

Anderson also includes a complete “Selected Celtic Bibliography” for those who might want to further investigate Celtic traditions.

In Anderson’s own words, the Celtic Healing Oracle cards provide guidance from a rich symbology:

“Whether you choose a card from the card deck to answer a specific question or create a card spread from the cards, the symbols provide a practical and spiritual perspective into the hidden forces within your nature and present circumstances.”3

I’ll be looking forward to working with this deck in the coming months to learn more about myself, in light of the nature symbols and Celtic traditions.

Magdalene Manifestation Cards, by Danielle Rama Hoffman

Magdalene Manifestation Cards: Create Abundance through Love, by Danielle Rama Hoffman and illustrated by Christine Lucas
Bear & Company, 9781591434801, 44 cards, 202 pages, May 2023

In creating the Magdalene Manifestation Cards: Create Abundance through Love deck, Danielle Rama Hoffman has brought keys and holograms for manifestation into the hands of everyone who chooses to work with these codes of light.

Hoffman is an author, channel, and coach, who has been on the leading edge of the evolution of consciousness for almost 30 years. Her clients are healers, coaches, and lightworkers. She has trained massage therapists, reiki masters, and Quantum Light practitioners, as well as led tours to Egypt and France.

Christine Lucas is the illustrator of the beautiful keys, holograms, and light codes. She assigns her lineage to the Ascended Masters Lineage of Thoth. Lucas worked closely with Thoth, the Magdalenes, the Codes of Love, and Danielle to bring these cards to life. Lucas is an intuitive artist, illustrator, and graphic designer, who also has a background in meditation. She loves nature, travel, photography, and music.

Initially attracted to these cards because of the Magdalenes. Then once I began to play with the energy of the cards, I really resonated with the light codes and glyphs that Lucas and Hoffman have created. The deck is divided into two sections: 1) Four Resource Codes and 2) Twenty Codes of Love. Within the Twenty Codes of Love, you’ll find a pair of cards for each concept. The total number of cards in the deck is 44.

Hoffman presents an extensive introduction to the cards, how they came to be created, and her almost 30-year journey with Thoth. She includes some of her journey entries from several different meetings with Thoth, both in France and Egypt. She also defines the Magdalenes:

“A group of love beings including Anna, Isis, Mary Magdalene, the black Madonna, and many galactic beings.”1

When she returned from Egypt in 2020 and the pandemic lockdown began, she started to transcribe more of the Magdalene Codes and work on creating this deck. In the introduction, she shares stories from clients and friends who worked with the codes to manifest incredible results in health, wealth, and business success.

Hoffman shares several ways to work with this deck, from simple one card readings to a tableau of 16 cards. I chose to work with a one-card reading for 3 days in a row. As Hoffman suggests, I pulled a card from the deck and then found its “pair” for a complete reading and activation of the love codes.

My first card was the key card: Ecstatic Bliss – Joyful Simplicity.

“It is a joy to be me. Bliss exists in every moment. Home in on what matters most to you. Simplify to amplify your results.”2

This card really hit home for me, in that we are in the midst of a Venus retrograde, which asks us to really look at what we value and what we really want, focusing on that and letting go of the rest.

Then, I looked through the deck for the second card, the pair to that key, and I found the hologram: Ecstatic Bliss – Signature Essence.

“The difference of you is what matters. Boldly shine your uniqueness for consistent, predictable manifestation.”3

This concept is also something I’ve really been focusing on over the past year as I’ve worked with a designer to revise my website and fine-tune my offerings to be more true to who I am. I am also learning to put myself out there more with my blog and other posts on social media.

The guidebook has even more guidance from the Magdalenes and Thoth for each card, such as this from the passage on Ecstatic Bliss – Signature Essence:

“Simple, elegant, streamlined. Steep in this hologram to reabsorb that which is no longer aligned with you so that it organically falls away, like leaves on a tree that know when it’s time to fall with grace, ease, and an exhale. What remains is Ecstatic Bliss.”4

Hoffman also includes what she calls an application for each of the hologram cards. This consists of some suggestions for integrating the message of the card. It may include a ritual, an exercise, or something to do in nature, among other things.

Next, I did readings for three friends with this deck. I pulled the cards and then sent them photos of the cards and brief messages from the guidebook. For one friend who was struggling with a recent move for her business, I drew Birthright of Love. The key card is Authentic Expression, and the hologram card is Openhearted Connection.

The guidance for the key card recommended that she bring in the energy of the four Resource Codes, so I sent her photos of those four cards, as well. The other guidance that she really took to heart:

“Take one loving action today, not because you have to, but because it is natural for Love to move through you.”5

From the hologram card, I read that it was time to call upon the Birthright of Love Code. This guidance was recommended for the start of a new project, which was relevant to my friend’s new location for her business. The guidance went on to suggest focusing on the following affirmation:

“I am loved. All my creations are loved. Love is a given in this situation.6

My friend loved the guidance from these cards and was planning to print out all six cards and use them in her workspace. She called me later to say she printed a second set of cards for her home!

The artwork on these cards and the colors selected are very beautiful. Jewel tones are used with bright colored accents, some of which are almost neon. Each of the pairs of cards share the same color scheme, which makes it easy to find the matching card within the deck.
For another friend, I drew two of the resource code cards: Yummy Money and Divine Relationships.

Her message was a combination of allowing money “do things for you and watch your mission thrive”7 and remembering that “you may require primary relationships with light beings, animals, nature and crystals.”8 The guidebook encouraged my friend to use the word “Yummy” or say “mmmmm” each time she said or thought about money. Doing so raises your vibration. My friend loved the guidance and loved the Yummy Money challenge!

In order to find the guidance, one must use the table of contents and search for the name of each of the Codes of Love. These are not listed in alphabetical order, which takes a little longer to find the correct code. Once you find the code, you’ll see that there is a number assigned to each pair. It would have been very helpful for the designer to incorporate this number on the cards.

Due to the complex nature of the cards, the guidance, and the system to use these cards, I feel that this deck is best suited to someone with several years’ experience working with either tarot or oracle cards. Or, someone who is learning light language or learning to work with Thoth or any ascended masters for manifestation or personal healing would also benefit from this deck.

Hoffman includes extensive information on how to best work with the cards, including the use of a 16-card tableau for what she calls “Multi-D Abundance.”9 She also includes directions for using the cards for both personal and professional relationships, changing your money story and enhancing your energy. I’ll look forward to utilizing Magdalene Manifestation Cards in some of my groups and with clients who want to change the energy around relationships, abundance or vitality.

The Inner Compass Oracle, by Dana Whitby

The Inner Compass Oracle, by Dana Whitby, illustrated by Coral Antler
Shuffled Ink, 9798218032456, 48 cards, 124 pages, 2023

The Inner Compass Oracle is a beautiful deck of 48 jewel-toned cards with a companion guide book that shares wisdom for life. Within the framework of the four directions, Dana Whitby issues this invitation:

“As you use The Inner Compass Oracle, you will journey through each of these directions to discover what they represent to you and how to utilize their power.”1

Dana is well versed in mediumship, regression therapy, holy fire reiki, and meditation. She has been using divination cards since 1999 and holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling. Dana also has a number of courses available on various online sites. You can learn more about her at www.danawhitby.com.

With a combination of digital collage and colorful accents, Coral Antler has illustrated this deck in a richly symbolic style. Coral Antler works with spiritual entrepreneurs to brand and communicate their soul gifts. Also known as Jennifer Birge, she is a seer and offers healing services to her community. Learn more about her at: www.coralantler.com.

Dana was a participant on a webinar I recently attended. I entered a contest to win her new deck, and I won! Here’s the creator’s own description of the oracle deck:

“The Inner Compass Oracle is your guide to harnessing this tool for yourself in order to better navigate the changing tides ahead of you.”2

The box is decorated in a palette of desert colors, from gold to russet to the lilac of a sunset. It is sturdy enough to hold the cards and stand up to routine use. Once inside the box, I saw that the cards themselves were created in rich jewel tones. They are a standard size for oracle cards (3.5 X 5) and feature a matte finish and rounded corners. Plus, the card stock is a nice weight.

The deck is stunningly beautiful and easy to use. Each card is a masterpiece! Most feature landscapes or seascapes and many are adorned with a female figure. Some highlight everyday items, such as a cottage or compass or weeping willow. Others feature spirit animals, crystals, or divine messengers. The combination of graphic elements is truly magical.

Here is a synopsis of the four directions used by Dana to separate the cards into four sections: east reminds us we are always divinely connected, south helps us with shadow work, west focuses on self-love, and north tunes us into intuition to move forward and create positive change. Dana also includes basic information, such as how to set up a reading, two ideas for spreads and astrological information to add additional guidance for five specific cards.

I jumped right in with this deck and did a three-card spread for myself, using one that Dana recommended: Body, Mind, Spirit. I worked with this question, also from the guidebook: “What is most important for me to know at this time?”3

The cards I drew are as follows:
Body: Lake (East) – Reflection, Unconditional Love, Divinity, Heaven on Earth
Mind: Pluto (North) – Fears, Removing Barriers, Subconscious
Spirit: Polaris (North) – Consistency, Self-Reliance, Structure

From the very first card, I knew that I needed to get out in nature, especially near the water or under the night sky. The messages from the guidebook combined to remind me of my divinity, the importance of facing my fears and the gifts of my own self-reliance and consistency. The Pluto card spoke to me directly and a message came through from my own Guidance Team: “May I now see and celebrate such beauty in myself.”

Making note of this personal bit of guidance is so important. Dana writes several times in the guidebook about the value of listening to our own guidance, rather than simply relying on only her words for each card:

“This isn’t to say I doubt my own channel messages, but any thoughts, feelings or emotions you experience trumps all. Your own intuition is your supreme guidance, so if you feel a different interpretation coming up for you, choose that. You are your own greatest source of truth, so let my messages serve as a jumping off point.”4

Very impressive for a deck creator to remind her audience of the value of claiming their own guidance. This is the mark of a true master teacher!

Next, I did readings for thirteen friends, which were quick, one-card readings with the information from the guidebook, so I could gauge the authenticity and relatability of the messages. For the first friend, who is a healing practitioner who works in several modalities, I drew Aquarius (North).

This card spoke very directly to her readiness to share the wisdom gained from a lifetime of living on earth and employing spiritual principles. As a healer and elder in our community, it’s time for her to step up and be heard. She thanked me for the message and said that she was considering doing some classes. This message was confirmation for her.

For another friend, I drew Nautilus with key words: Inspired Action, Evolution, Spiral Path. The guidance from Dana and her Divine Team shared the idea of seeing life as a spiral, and the need to revisit old patterns in order to heal. My friend wrote to thank me for the reading and added: “That couldn’t be more accurate. I’m definitely going through another spiral with something.” Every person wrote to thank me for the guidance, and a few commented on the timeliness and truth behind the messages they received.

My personal favorite card in the deck is Wildflower. Dana encourages us to stop comparison or self-criticism and stand up tall, like a wildflower. The beautiful flowers depicted on the card and the joyfulness of the female figure really spoke to me.

This deck would be good for anyone from a new reader to a more seasoned reader of oracle cards. Dana walks you through every step to do a reading for yourself or another person. The language is written in a very conversational tone and you really feel she is right there with you, encouraging you on your journey. Dana and Coral added this note about the artwork and I enthusiastically concur:

“Each piece of artwork in this deck was consciously and lovingly created by Coral Antler to honor both the heavens and earth, mirroring the duality of the Divinity and humanity within you. All images and messages have been channeled directly from the Divine so that you may receive validation, encouragement, and support.”5

In the future, I’ll use this deck in client readings to start the reading, to provide context or tone for the guidance that I will share. I feel that the messages from The Inner Compass Oracle will be a magical addition to the work I do with women who are seeking life guidance.

Goddess Among Us, by Victoria Maxwell

Goddesses Among Us: Oracle Deck with 36 Full-Color Cards and 128-Page Guidebook, by Victoria Maxwell and illustrated by Ellie Grant
Rockpool Publishing, 1922579319, 128 pages, 36 cards, October 2022

A goddess oracle deck that represents a diversity of women? Yes, please! Goddesses Among Us by Victoria Maxwell and illustrated by Ellie Grant portrays timeless goddesses in modern fashion and updated to make  them accessible for readers to connect with here and now.

“The goddesses featured in this oracle are from various cultures, religious, and spiritual paths, but they are all aspects of one goddess: a primal, creative force of love that really has no words and no bounds.”1

Using this deck so far, I have loved Grant’s illustrative approach because when I flip over a card, I see women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds staring back at me in a way I might see them out in public. In turn, this has opened me to remembering the divinity in women I see out and about and how the goddess is within us all always, even in the ordinary and mundane moments of life. There isn’t a one-size-fits all for the goddess, but rather many, many representations of her different attributes, reflected in a variety of looks, lessons, and energy.

For instance, the card portraying the ancient Greek goddess Artemis doesn’t show an ancient image of her clocked in a tunic, but features a tan, brown-haired woman in a wheelchair wearing an athleisure dress with her bow and arrow primed. Kali looks like a blue-haired badass sticking her tongue out wearing her crop-top and jacket with skulls all over it; Pachamama is portrayed as a down-to-earth indigenous activist in blue jeans with beautiful gold jewelry on; while Sulis Minerva has wavy, long auburn hair, braided around the crown, with a one-shouldered blue dress that shows off a solar tattoo on the uncovered arm.

It’s nice and easy to learn which goddess is on the card, as the number of the card and name of the goddess is featured in the upper lefthand corner. There’s a symbol encompassing the image of each goddess, adding to their sense of divinity and giving more insight into the unique power of the goddess. And then there are three key words surrounding the goddess on each card. I just love the font used for this deck! The beauty of the script adds to the flowing, intuitive energy of the deck. Plus, it’s a very colorful deck, making it perfect to use the cards on an altar.

My favorite card visually is The Black Madonna. The card features a voluptuous black woman with a serious look on her face, wearing a tan romper and black jacket with stars on it. She has big hoop earrings in the shape of stars, along with a necklace with an ankh and one with a coptic cross. She’s holding a red rose and the symbol around her head looks like a moon with stars on it too. The keywords are “Cosmic mother”, “The beginning”, and “The void”. It’s also my favorite number (18!) and was the first face of the goddess I met on my spiritual journey, making it feel very special and resonate to me.

In the guidebook, Maxwell provides thorough information on how to use the cards, including how to activate the deck, prepare for a reading, ask questions, and read reversals. She also depicts four different spreads that can be used: Divine feminine activation spread, Goddess guidance spread, Advice and action spread, and Priestess path of the goddess spread.

Then for every goddess card the guidebook features the image of the card, keywords, background information on the goddess (very helpful for when the goddess is new to you!), a general oracle message, extended card meanings, and bullet point lists of what to call on the goddess for and how to embody the goddess.

The extended card meanings provide a more specific oracle message in the areas of love, prosperity, purpose, healing, creativity, and magic. I absolutely loved the deeper insight into these specific areas, especially creativity and magic, which I often forget I can glean oracle advice about. These specific messages makes the deck feel a lot more fine-tuned for readings; I enjoy knowing I can turn to the deck with a very focused questioned in mind and get precise guidance rather than receive a general oracle message that I have to extrapolate the answer to my question by discerning how it’s message relates to what I asked.

I also really appreciate Maxwell sharing what we can call on each goddess for and how we can embody her energy in our lives. Two days in a row, when I was having self-doubts and lacking in self-love, I pulled the card Aphrodite. Some of the ways Maxwell encourages readers to embody this energy are “choosing luxury”, “seeing and owning your own beauty”, and “allowing yourself to experience and receive pleasure in all forms.”2 I realized I had been doing absolutely none of that and spent the whole week doing my best to bring in Aphrodite energy to my life: splurging on fancy organic chocolate, affirming my postpartum body, and feeling more free-flowing love in my relationships.

I also really resonated with Maxwell’s sentiment in her introduction that the goddess can be found anywhere:

“When I opened my heart to her, the goddess began to show me that she was everywhere. I found her in wicca and witchcraft, paganism, the New Age, the ascension path and yogic teachings. I even spent  some time seeking out the goddess in the church, finding her secret messages hidden away in Bible passages..”3

I think the way Maxwell so earnestly sought connection with the goddess in a myriad of spiritual paths is what makes this deck so especially diverse. Many other goddess oracle decks I’ve worked with usually don’t include Christian saints. And the choice of goddesses from all different pantheons make the reader excited for each pull, eager to see which goddess has some insight for them.

The combination of the vibrant colorful cards depicting the goddess as normal women and the potent messages of guidance has made Goddess Among Us a new favorite of mine. As someone who owns approximately four goddess oracle decks, I can say with confidence this one tops them all. For those looking to connect with the goddess in all her wonderful, varied forms while also getting meaningful insight into the questions pressing on their hearts, this is absolutely the deck for you!