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.
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: