There are hundreds — maybe even thousands — of reading decks out there today, both infinite variations on Tarot and the ever-blooming garden of new oracle and divination decks. People notice that I use eight of them in my personal “workbox” and often read with two or three at a time. I always get asked “why these particular decks?” So I thought I’d share them with you here.
The cards are in the top illustration, and they are in the following order:
TOP ROW: Tarot Illuminati, Faeries Oracle, Healing Angels, Ascended Masters
BOTTOM ROW: Earth Magic, Joy of Relationship, Medicine Wheel, Cat Wisdom
TAROT ILLUMINATI: For decades I used the Morgan-Greer Tarot deck: the faces were clear, the storytelling in the decks useful for teaching my clients. But then, Erik C. Dunne’s masterful interpretation was put in my hands in the summer of 2013 and I was instantly transported. Erik has travelled the world and is a fine artist as in “Fine Art” — the richness of the illustrations, the choice of color and design, even his choosing four distinct worlds for his suits (Wands are Middle Eastern in flavor; Pentacles are Asian; Swords are Tudor England and Cups are fantastical but with a Russian/Scandinavian flair) gives depth and nuance to one’s readings. Even though I’ve been reading for 40 years now, I find my readings are broader in scope with a different level of information when I use this deck. It swept the awards for Best New Tarot Deck the year it appeared, and it’s the deck I highly recommend.
THE FAERIES’ ORACLE: This is one of the first non-Tarot decks that ever really called me. I wasn’t into what I call “glurpy purple” type faeries. These folks were the Sidhe — the Wild Ride — the Fae of the United Kingdom that can strike terror into the heart if not respected. Brian Froud, who did the art design for the creatures in Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, has a style that evokes both light and dark, as do the Faerie themselves. Jesa Macbeth, who has written the interpretive text, clearly has solid communication with the faeries portrayed, and her card discussions are full of insight and humor in equal measure. It’s the deck I use when someone has serious metaphysical questions, or is at a loss about where on their Spiritual Road they need to go next. Not a deck for “rookie clients,” but for those who are unafraid of receiving Real Answers.
HEALING WITH THE ANGELS ORACLE: No one does Angelic oracle decks like Doreen Virtue. It’s become her stock-in-trade and most readers will have at least one of her decks in their reading arsenal. This was the first one of hers that I purchased, and is a very good deck to use with “rookies” — those who have never had readings before or who are scared of “bad news” (though my clients know I never see anything as bad news, but rather a challenge to be addressed). The artwork, of course, has angels of every size and shape, with artists ranging from Renaissance masters to modern interpreters. I often will open a reading with a five card spread, dealing with Old Paths, New Paths, Lessons, Highest Truths, and Outcomes.
ASCENDED MASTERS ORACLE: Another Doreen Virtue production, this deck of 44 cards has Ascended Masters as the focus, ranging from Isis to Jesus to Paul the Venetian to St. Germain to Ganesh. Each deck has one word or phrase associated with the avatar pictured (Pallas Athena, for instance, is pictured under “Detach from Drama”). All artwork appears to be from modern sources. I will often finish a reading session by pulling seven cards to form a “storyboard” for the client’s year to come.
EARTH MAGIC ORACLE CARDS: This deck by Steven Farmer is element-based, and rich in natural lore and depictions. The artwork is layered and lush, and I will often pick it up when I want to show a client what the “elements” are in their life currently: Earth (how they ground themselves), Air (how they think about things), Fire (where their passion lies), Water (their emotional balance) and Aether (what Spirit brings to the equation). A very good deck for beginners who want a little something other than angels or fantasy creatures.
THE JOY OF RELATIONSHIP CARDS: Created by John Gray of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus fame, this is a splendid deck for exploring the situation between (or among) people or looking more closely at Karma. The artwork is stylized and beautifully colored, with certain themes repeating themselves organically through the deck. They are larger cards, and so the artwork is very good for explaining the nuances to your clients. I will often partner this with a standard five-card spread for a relationship, with these cards underneath showing the Karmic plans and pathways involved.
SPIRIT OF THE WHEEL MEDITATION DECK: Susan Seddon Boulet was a renowned visionary artist of the ’80s and ’90s who had a deep connection with spirits, shamans, gods and goddesses, and the cosmic realm. Her untimely death at 55 left a great hole in the art world, but in my book, Jody Bergsma is her clear heir apparent. She and Linda Ewashina have created a gorgeous deck with a Medicine Wheel central theme, and Bergsma’s art honors the First Nations tribes of Northwest North America with beauty and grace. The deck is done in muted tones, with many power animals and First Nations figures populating the cards. It is my own personal/sacred deck, the only one I do not let clients handle, and I use it specifically to find a spirit path for clients. The five cards the deck asks me to pull are What brings the client into this life; What is their Passion; What is the Teaching; What is their Legacy; and What is the Hub of their personal Wheel.
CAT WISDOM CARDS: I generally don’t read for people under 18 except for very rare circumstances. Invariably, however, people bring their children to psychic fairs and sometimes the child wants their very own reading. I allow them to pull a card from this deck and we interpret it together. The deck has 45 cards and is illustrated with pictures of ridiculously cute kittens doing — well, what kittens do, along with the occasional puppy, squirrel, fish or bird. The keywords are also matched to a child’s understanding: playtime, stretch yourself, and don’t worry are good examples. Because this deck has NO scary images, unlike most other decks, the child can have a reading experience with me without fear of nightmares later on. (For you folks who speak Woof better than Meow, there is a matching Dog Wisdom deck featuring equally ridiculously cute puppies.)
If you like any of these descriptions, then by all means get one (or more) for yourself. You will be able to order them through our Amazon Resources page (coming soon)!