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.
Before diving into my first reading with the DFO deck (pictured above), I want to talk about Khadijah. While I make it very clear that I’m head over heels about the artwork in this deck, this card in particular is at the very top of my favorites. Her pose, her power, her style, her age. It fits so well with her story, but is also a perfect example of what I see in my mind’s eye when I think of an empowered, respected, successful woman. As a woman who not only has her own business, but comes from a line of women who have done the same, I find that Khadijah resonates deeply with me. Meeting her at this time in my life is really magickal, in my eyes, as there are still things I want to achieve professionally, but also desire to start a family of my own. While working on this unboxing post and the previous comparison post, her card was one of the first that stood out to me. She’s hard to miss! In fact, when I would shuffle, select, or arrange the cards, her card kept reappearing.
I honestly didn’t who she was prior to looking her up in the guidebook. It has inspired me to learn more about her though and I wish more people knew of her as I think that would really go far in combating discrimination and stereotypes. This, in and of itself, is one of the prime examples of why I believe in and support a deck like this that seemingly approaches these revered figures with tremendous love and respect.
When I first began shuffling, it was a bit awkward as the matte finish of the cards forces a change in how my fingers need to work. Practice makes perfect and as time went on, I found the rhythm. Prior to this, I had cleansed under the moon the scarf you see beneath the cards and then slept with the deck under my pillow. A delightfully clean blend of Rosemary and Spearmint was burning through the evening and as I did this reading.
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.
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.