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.