Straight out of the gate there is one major difference between this deck’s guidebook and the guidebooks of the others. It’s written for an audience that wants to work with deity or already does. Now, this doesn’t mean this is a requirement to use this deck, but rather that there’s quite a large chunk of content that is ritual-focused. I mentioned this in my condensed IG post about this deck that I think anyone who is Pagan, Wiccan, a Witch, anyone who connects with or wishes to invoke Goddesses is going to really get along well with this set.
There are some ritual basics outlined in the introductory section of the book like casting a circle and getting grounded. I really dig the emphasis on exposing the reader to different elements and styles of ritual and then encouraging them to make their own, to individualize their rituals in general. It’s like Roger Horne said in his Folk Witchcraft book (paraphrasing here), magick and ritual that is not personalized can be rather hollow.
I was so happy to finally purchase The Divine Feminine Oracle deck. When it arrived on Tuesday, I couldn’t wait to unpack it and explore. This is such a grown up collection. That probably sounds really bizarre, but I feel it’s accurate. You have the deck you might get your kid or young teenager (though even then I might question that) to introduce them to different names and faces and stories. And then you have this one. I look at the quality of the imagery, the power of it. I examine the guidebook and read the care and consideration put into the entries. This is the deck you buy for seriously connecting with the spirit and knowledge offered here.
These are not caricatures visually or contextually. The background and information provided hasn’t been run through a Disney machine to sanitize everything with rainbows and smiley faces. Each individual gets about a three page write up that includes a bit of background, symbolism, cultural impact, as well as a meditative phrase and intention. This is a grown up deck. Rather than classify this as a sunny-side-of-the-street deck, I’d rather say that its tone is inline with its purpose and overall it is very motivating.
There’s quite a nice age range featured here as well, beyond the big three of maiden, mother, and crone. A woman’s age and how that impacts her appearance is (unfortunately) such a large part of the psyche. It’s refreshing to see older faces glowing with vivaciousness rather than being so weathered and perhaps diminished in spirit. For me at least, I think a person’s inner vitality is reflected a lot in their expression and demeanor regardless of age. When it comes to artistic representation of that, society’s prejudices about women who are older can dim the glow or dull the magnetism. Happy to report that every Goddess here presents powerfully, however their definition of power manifests.
My first oracle deck arrived. I picked the Goddess Guidance deck by Doreen Virtue.
Really beautiful set. The artwork is captivating. But I feel like some of the Goddesses could’ve had their respective ethnicities depicted more accurately. With Goddesses selected from cultures where colourism is (sadly) alive and well, I guess I expected more in the way of being sensitive and aware of that issue.
The cards are thick, but not too thick. Gilded. I did have to go through with the rather nice guidebook and double check that I had separated out all the cards that were stuck together.
Here is a breakdown of the different systems represented: Buddhist (1), Buddhist/Hindu/Shakti (2), Hindu (3), Celtic (13), Christian (2), Dahomean (1), Egyptian (5), Germanic (1), Gnostic (1), Greek (4), Hawaiian (1), Inuit (1), Mayan (1), Meso/Sumerian (1), Native American (1), Norse (1), Roman (3), Welsh (1), Yoruban (1).
Plenty of faces new to me to study. I support projects like these (cross cultural/beliefs) as it helps broaden a person’s knowledge and respect of others. I would love to see an expanded version that’s even more diverse.
… and when we come to know from experience that the dark and the difficult are needed as much as the light and easy, then we begin to have a very different perspective on the world. By allowing all of life’s colors to penetrate us, we become more integrated.
Commentary for “New Vision” (Major Arcana #12 The Hanged Man), Osho Zen Tarot.
I picked this deck because I feel like there’s a lot of transformation I still need to navigate. Perfect time for this in Scorpio season, no? It’s very specialized if you read through the contents page. The book by the way is quite thick and lovely. The reviews also played a part in swaying me to buy it as it was mentioned quite a bit that the feel and connection with the deck was a very fresh and different experience. Similar to the Lovers Path Tarot that I posted recently, it’s designed for something beyond what I would call a typical tarot reading.
The book with notes and explanations will be put to good use. It’s easy to recognize a fair amount of the traditional card symbolism in this deck. But, there are many layers to the imagery that really transforms these cards into a differently tuned instrument of divination for me. When I shuffled through the cards, I knew instantly this deck was a tool I needed to aid me in my personal growth and buying it was the right decision for me.
When I first saw photos online of The Lovers Path Tarot by Kris Waldherr, I felt emotional. It was more than being moved. It was stronger, deeper. I love tarot decks and there are dozens I’d love to have. But there was this pull to have it. Like my heart ached for it. The booklet I will definitely use as the Major Arcana are connected to different couples.
This second photo gives examples of the High Priestess (Shahrazade and Shahriyar), the Empress (Cleopatra and Caesar), the Emperor (Arthur and Guinevere), the Hierophant (Romeo and Juliet), and the Lovers (Isis and Osiris) cards. There’s a lot of opportunity to do extra research into the history of the personalities of these couples and how they connect to the archetypes of their traditional Tarot card counterparts.
So, so beautiful. And they feel great in the hands.