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.
Last year, I purchased Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle deck (GGO). Since then, I have done a few posts about it and occasionally a reading. It wasn’t long after that I made the decision to replace it with The Divine Feminine Oracle (DFO) deck by Meggan Watterson. While the cards I drew from the GGO resonated with me for those situations, I still felt put off by the guidebook. Even when I stopped bringing the book out altogether and started diving straight into my own research, there felt like this wall in between me and the deck.
The Back Story
I bought the GGO (and then decided to buy DFO) because for most of my life I haven’t had many positive female influences. The women who raised me were all powerful in certain ways, but very dysfunctional. Some were very much not who I should have looked up to as role models for how to function in relationships or even how to interact with my self. Through ancestor work and my love of learning about different cultures, I wanted a deck focused on feminine energy with deities, archetypes, and heroes that could help me grow in places that were neglected. Obviously, this is why I was so disappointed in how GGO handled introducing the strong female identities.
Today is my maternal grandmother’s birthday, 7/11. She was a boss in every sense of the word. She ran the books, the businesses, the households. Wife, mother, partner. Shrewd and with one of the strongest senses of discernment I’ve ever known. While these qualities made her an amazing business owner, they often complicated her relationship with her children and, of course, me (her only grandchild). I learned a lot about people and negotiation watching her. The things she could do with money and a business were amazing. But years of fighting to survive starting at a super young age and then going into television and radio, followed by construction, and then finally the healthcare sector created a toughness that never really went away — not even at home with a four year old.
Though she passed over a decade ago, it has taken some work to process how her parenting decisions impacted my childhood. While I value my independence and disinterest in what my peers think of my hobbies or abilities, I’m still struggling to break free from the isolationism and the harsh black-and-white view I can have of other people’s judgement. As an adult, I’ve come to realize that it is important to have a support system of friends for when times are tough and when you just want to have some fun. There’s still quite a bit unwiring and rewiring to do. However, through my efforts to move past the upset and see her more completely as a woman, I’ve arrived at a place where I can value both her abilities and accomplishments.
Before this reading, I was actually praying and crying to her. I really need those qualities, her super powers, right now. Her drive, her strength, her determination, her business sense, her wisdom about money. That steel to keep me held up cause there’s nobody left to help pick me up anymore. I’m all I’ve got at the minute. Add to it that I’m like most Geminis and I make my best money when I’m happy and energized. If I could just tap into her energy and get supercharged, it could really help me turn a corner I feel. Plus there was always this vibe of unflappability she projected. She was human and I know things got to her. But she always said that there would be a time to cry later. It’s good that I’m learning to access and process my emotions through shadow work, but I still need to be able to put them to the side in order to see a situation clearly and make the best decision.
I asked what Goddesses I should also look to for qualities that I need to accomplish my goals. Shuffling the deck, these are the two Goddesses that came out:
Felt the pull to break out my Goddess Guidance Oracle Deck to see who I should connect with to navigate through January.
Hawaiian Pele and Celtic Aine goddesses hopped out of a nicely flowing shuffle.
With Tutu Pele, the theme of fire and deeper creation through the surface of destruction mirrors a lot of the wands energy I’ve been getting in Tarot lately. A way for me to survive was going dormant. Now, I need to transition out of that and become passionate again, motivated, creative. There’s a lot inside that has hardened and needs to be cracked so that new and fresh can flow through for growth.
Regarding Aine, my Venus in Cancer loves her connection to water, healing, musicality, emotional expression, sensuality, wealth and abundance, and the moon. Her correspondences are air (Gemini & Aquarius power!), rabbits, and is depicted as a redhead! As gentle and caring as she is, there is also a ferocity present. Justice is a theme I get from reading about her. The bit about the rabbits really touched my heart for personal reasons.
I can be nurturing without putting myself in an unbalanced and unhealthy situation. I can harness the power of these gifts to both create and connect to ultimately gain my independence.
Vesta decided to come through on an ending shuffle and is more of an affirmation of the changes materialising within my family unit. I’m seeing great positive progress in certain areas. For that, I’m very grateful.
I woke up today and decided to do my first reading with the Goddess Guidance Oracle Deck. Scorpio Season and Venus in retrograde have taken the peaceful little bay I’ve created for myself and people I love and turned it into an insane whirlpool of feels. People are not just becoming unmoored, but they are straight up losing their shit.
I need some help. I need some guidance. I need some positive, powerful female forces. So, I asked to see which Goddesses from whose stories I could learn the most and then apply that knowledge to help things right now. This is who popped up:
I love this squad of awesome Goddesses. There’s an element of Duality in their nature in some of them that I really connect with as a Gemini. There’s also a strong theme of water energy present which my Venus in Cancer is drinking up.
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.