The Beloved Dead: An Oracle for Divining Ancient Wisdom, by Carrie Paris and Tina Hardt
Weiser Books, 9781578638109, 82 cards, 144 pages, September 2023
After following Carrie Paris for several years and buying a few of her decks, I was excited about getting my hands on The Beloved Dead: An Oracle for Diving Ancient Wisdom.
The beautiful cards are edged in gold and feature old photographs with artful collage treatments. Each card tells a story and connects the reader to guidance from friends or loved ones in spirit. The cards include a Spirit Throne card, which allows you to invite a friend or loved one in spirit to join you for the reading, ten Acts of Love cards, which contain messages and instructions, and 71 Beloved Dead cards, representing “our esteemed family of radiant souls.”1
Carrie Paris has a master’s degree in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination from the University of Kent, UK. She has created four Lenormand decks, as well as three versions of the Magpie Oracle, which includes charms used for divination. Paris has also created the Relative Tarot. She and her husband divide their time between California and Italy.
Tina Hardt considers herself a cartomancer, charm caster, and Spiritualist. She is also a creator of several tarot and oracle decks. She was introduced to the world of reading cards in her grandmother’s parlor by her grandmother, an aunt, and two cousins. Hardt lives in Ontario, Canada.
The first day I opened this deck, I posed a question about how best to capitalize on the energy of Mars moving into Scorpio. I utilized the “General Three-Card Spread,” which spoke to the 1) Main Idea, 2) Heart of the matter, and 3) Outcome or Advice.2
The cards I drew included Personality, Perfection, and Backstory. For Personality, the guidebook shared that “your soul has the blueprint for your best self, the brightest and most authentic expression of this gift of life.”3 From this wisdom, I felt the nudge to go for it! To do ME! I also felt that this is no time to shrink back or refuse to shine!
When I read the guidance from Perfection, I learned that it is time to stop being so hard on myself and stop TRYING to be perfect. This message confirmed what I learned from the first card. For the third card, Backstory, the card shared this message:
“The Beloved Dead of Backstory is helping you rewrite inherited scripts. Red pencil out any stale and limiting storylines so that you can make better free-will choices. This card acknowledges that you’re on a journey of self-realization, healing and happiness.”4
The wisdom of these three cards combined to give me this overall guidance: When I “go for it” in my own imperfect way, I write my own story and enjoy healing and happiness.
Next, I asked a client of mine to allow me to do an Evidential Spread reading for her, which opens the opportunity for spirit communication. This spread is also a three-card reading and features the following keywords for each card:
1) Who (this can also describe an event or incident)
My client, who I’ll call KT, asked this question: “Who will step forward to support me in my coaching practice?” I placed the special Spirit Throne card in front of me and shuffled the cards.
The following cards were dealt: Hospitality, Home and Prophecy. When KT saw the first card, Hospitality, which featured a man with a nice smile serving drinks, she immediately said, “That’s my Aunt Lydia! She was a nurse and a doctor’s wife, and they had lots of parties and always entertained lots of people.”
She went on to share that her aunt struggled with an immune-deficiency condition late in life. The wisdom from this card suggested taking better care of oneself and warned of the dangers of over-giving. KT understood perfectly that she often gives 110% to clients and fails to get enough rest or take time to eat nutritious foods.
The second card, Home, was a great validation of the message from KT’s aunt, as she loved to visit her aunt’s home when she was a child. Her aunt’s home had a cozy, welcoming vibe and KT realized that she needed to clear some clutter and make some changes to her own home.
Finally, with the third card, Prophecy, KT’s aunt shared with me that she also “dabbled in cards.” When I related this to KT, she was not surprised. She said that she noticed crystals and an Ouija board in her aunt’s house. Her aunt also shared that she was available to talk with KT anytime in the future.
These three cards joined together to provide this guidance: Take good care of your personal energy, clear clutter, and enjoy your cozy home, so you can shine and better support your clients!
KT loved the wisdom I shared and the reminder to call on her ancestors for support.
I love that these cards can be used for simple readings and basic spirit communication, as well as more layered readings for insight into your personal journey. The Beloved Dead Spread features 12 cards that can “reveal key information about your upbringing and allow you to discover the parallels that exist between your past and present that may still be influencing your future, whether for good or for bad.”5
Another 12-card spread, The Pillar of Personal Power Spread, can “provide you with a model and blueprint for self-actualization or soul level realignment.”6
The cards are printed in sepia tones with sky blue or aqua backgrounds. Many of the people in the images sport wings. It’s a really fun deck, yet it also has very serious undertones. The imagery works on many different levels and each reading is informed by the reader’s personal interaction with the graphics. The card stock is a nice weight, and the cards are easy to shuffle. The kit comes in a beautiful box with a magnetic clasp and an indention that easily holds the cards. The box includes a ribbon for pulling out the cards and has ample space for the guidebook.
The Beloved Dead works as a portal into the unconscious. Each of the elements on the cards speak to individuals in very personal ways. I loved focusing on the images and making my own notes and then turning to the guidebook for further wisdom. This deck is not one for doing a quick reading, as it asks you to really sit with the cards and allow the messages to come through in a timely manner. This deck would be best for someone with experience reading cards, and if the person also has experience in mediumship, this would be helpful.
I’m looking forward to using this deck to speak to my ancestors and also offer readings to clients when wisdom from friends and loved ones on the other side might bring a new perspective to life’s many challenges.
PJ Spur is an author, intuitive, spiritual mentor, astrologer, and hypnotist. She does tarot & oracle card readings, natal chart readings, grief coaching, and relationship healing. She also has hosted a weekly “Coffee & Cards” event with her Soul Compass Community for the past four years. Her book Navigating Grief with Grace is available on Amazon. Learn more at www.dearpj.com