Here’s the thing. I’m such a snot. I didn’t want to like this deck. Oh no. I wanted to sneer at it. I wanted to toss my chin and hand up in the air and say, “What fluff!” But…
…I like it. I do. I really like this oracle deck. Deep down, I’m just a big fluffy bunny rabbit tarot practitioner. Because I really like Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance oracle cards.
The cards are 3.5″ x 5.0″, with gilded gold edges, and come in a sturdy cardboard box. There’s 44 cards in total. I don’t know whether 44 was an intentional number (though 444 does indicate God’s presence) or that was just the number of goddesses they could come up with. Personally, I would have liked to see He Xiangu, the Immortal Woman (from my culture), who was the only female deity among the Eight Immortals of Chinese mythology. I would have also liked to see Aryuda, the benevolent sorceress who thought of the malevolence and evil of humanity and, thinking on sentient suffering, cried tears of crystal. She’s not a goddess per se, but there were many figures in this deck that weren’t goddesses so I think it would have been nice to include Aryuda as well. But hey. This isn’t my deck.
While the cards are sturdier than most tarot decks, I don’t know what they coated the cardboard with, but it causes the cards to stick to each other. Shuffling well with these cards, for me at least, is next to impossible.
I won’t post many photos of the deck images because they’re all over the place online. Doreen Virtue is a bit of a celebrity in the New Age circles. Everybody and their mother, sister, and third cousin twice removed is gushing over one Doreen Virtue angel oracle deck or another. Don’t get me wrong– I completely understand why. These are feel-good cards, no doubt.
Every card has a sweet message that would make you a better human being if you followed. The artwork is ever so pretty. They’re as peaches and cream as you can possibly get without literally painting peaches and cream.
“There are no frightening cards in the deck.” That’s written on page 1 of the opening in the accompanying guidebook. The deck is true to that statement. I recall watching an interview of Dr. Virtue where she emphasized the non-frightening-ness of her Angel Tarot. I don’t know. If a couple of figure drawings on cards can frighten you, then real life must be terrifying.
It’s not a professional reading deck by any means and here is where I revert to the snot again and say that if a tarot professional did pull out this oracle deck during a reading, I would be very put off. It’s not a professional reading deck. It’s a cutesie, girly, goddessy deck you keep in your personal drawer that you pull out for yourself from time to time. See, for that purpose, I really, really like this deck.
There is no need to jump into the symbolism on this deck because there is no symbolism. The cards feature soft, pretty paintings of the goddesses in question. The point is not to retrieve occult information from the collective unconscious; the point is to look at the pretty painting and read the fortune cookie statement at the bottom of each goddess card and feel warm and fuzzy inside. Oh, and FYI, not all of them were goddesses, but that’s fine, I don’t want to split hairs here.
After consecrating and then shuffling these oracle cards for the first time, I drew the most interesting first card.
Here’s where the oracle deck really shines: the guidebook. I love the collection of goddess profiles and content. The guidebook is what elevates the Goddess Guidance oracle cards to something I would consider giving away as gifts to girlfriends who are mildly intrigued by the idea of tarot and oracle cards, but don’t know much about them. As for my first card, let’s just say it could be a very appropriate card, though we shall see.
Doreen Virtue has created just shy of 20 oracle/tarot decks in the span of about 13 years and I confess being one part jelly of how creative she is and one part skeptical of how much thought was really put into each deck when other practitioners take upwards 10 years to produce a single deck. The Goddess Guidance is my first Doreen Virtue deck and I absolutely see why millions swear by her angel stuff. She’s a lovely spirit with a positive, uplifting message. Our society needs a Doreen Virtue right now, and for that I believe what she is doing is great. I bought the Goddess Guidance oracle really just to add a Doreen Virtue deck to my collection. I really can’t be part of the 21st century of tarot/oracle practitioners and not have a DV deck, right?
One of my favorite ways to integrate oracle cards into readings is to pull it out after a tarot reading, divide the oracle deck into four piles corresponding with IHVH to represent the four sectors of the human condition. (If that does not sound familiar to you, it’s based on the First Operation. More here and here.) Then I pick up the pile among the four that corresponds with the topic of the Seeker’s inquiry or, if the Seeker has a follow-up question after the tarot reading, the nature of that follow-up inquiry.
I then splay the cards out from that pile before the Seeker and have him or her select a card. That oracle card will have a significant message for the Seeker about the matter at hand. If you use the Goddess Guidance oracle for that purpose, it’s 100% guaranteed to be an uplifting message and see your client off on a positive high note. So. Something to consider in terms of integrating oracles into your practice.