Mudras: For Awakening the Energy Body is a deck and book set that I have had my eye on for months now, before it was even released out onto the market. The production value by U.S. Games here is way high. If yoga, meditation, or Eastern mysticism is of any interest to you, then I recommend that you get this deck.
The box has a beautiful matte finish, is sturdy, and the quality of the packaging is just about as good as it is going to get. The cards themselves are about 4.3″ x 5.0″, which make them large compared to standard size tarot and oracle decks currently on the market. The book is about roughly the same dimensions. In total you have 40 cards, which consists of 7 chakra cards and 33 hand mudras.
The book is not just an accompaniment to the cards, but is an independent text all on its own, covering Eastern mystic energy body and chakra principles to the auric field and the hand mudras categorized by the chakras they stimulate. The book itself is 111 pages, a matte finish cover, and perfect bound.
I loved reading about the koshas. I remember in junior high, my mother took me to a talk by some martial arts meditation spiritual teacher guy (who adolescent-me thought was kind of weird) who was giving us a talk about yoga and meditation way, way before yoga and meditation were fads in this country. After his talk, my mother wanted to chat with him. They chatted. I stood there bored and counting the tiles on the ceiling. He then told me both my mother and I had very big and bright auras. I looked at him incredulously. Skeptically, really. “You can’t really see that,” I said at him.
He then gave my mother and me a mini-talk on the koshas, though because he was speaking Mandarin Chinese, he didn’t refer to them as koshas. What he said though, was exactly what is discussed on those pages photographed. He talked about the energy body, how to train yourself to see the energy body, and why you want to be able to see other people’s energy bodies. All that was to say that going through this book brought back a lot of memories and I wonder where that martial arts meditation spiritual teacher guy is today. He must be like a million years old now.
Years ago I started off quite skeptical of the whole concept of chakras. Recently I decided I couldn’t really be judiciously skeptical without learning everything about them first. So I’ve been immersing myself in learning as much as I can, and as timing would have it, here comes this deck and book set into my life. However, this deck isn’t about chakras. It’s about hand mudras.
The book does a fantastic job explaining hand mudras to the Western reader, so I won’t get too much into it. You have to get Mudras and read it for yourself. Seriously. Best comprehensive explanation ever. In a nutshell, though, Eastern mystics believe that metaphysical energy can be transferred and transmuted through your hands in very potent ways, and hand mudras are formations of the hands and fingers that serve very specific metaphysical functions.
In terms of inner alchemy, which is really what this text Mudras focuses on without actually using that term “inner alchemy,” you can use hand mudras along with meditation, mindfulness, and other practices to align, correct, stimulate, yada yada your personal energy body. Or Qi (Wikipedia link if you’d like to read).
[A section in my forthcoming book The Tao of Craft talks about how hand mudras are used in spellcrafting per Eastern esoteric traditions, but I definitely don’t get into it as in-depth as Mudras, so if that kind of thing interests you, you’re going to want to get this deck set.]
Here are the first seven cards of the deck: the seven main chakras along our center. There are so many uses these cards could serve, given the brilliant, bold coloring. The book goes through a couple of different purposes for the cards. I’ll get to how you might use these cards for divination at the end of the review.
You’ll see that the cards are double-sided, meaning there are no “card backs” as you might find in traditional oracle and tarot decks made for divination (or card games, yeah, yeah, need to add that so that the tarot-is-a-card-game-not-for-fortune-telling community won’t breathe down my neck). One side covers one of the chakras or hand mudras, and the other side offers text to explain the chakra or mudra. So you can use these cards as a learning deck, to educate yourself.
I really like the coverage of info on these chakra cards. I would have liked to see an additional paragraph of information on each chakra underneath the profile, as you see in the above photograph. There certainly is enough empty space at the bottom of each of these chakra cards to do so. I’d imagine that the purchaser of this deck is likely a novice coming in to Eastern mysticism at the introductory level, so the extra paragraph of info would have really helped.
Next, the hand mudra cards are color coded by the chakras they stimulate. Above are three sample cards from the root chakra corresponding mudras, color coded red. There is a total of five mudras for the root chakra.
The above is a glimpse into what the other side of the mudra cards look like. I love the conciseness of the information and the way it is organized. It’s very easy on the eyes and enables the data to be quite digestible. You’ll note that the information on all of these cards are found verbatim in the accompanying book. Thus, deck and book can be used as standalones. If you want to learn, you can take just the book around with you to study hand mudras. Or you can work with just the cards. And if you only have the cards, it’s okay; you don’t actually need the book to look up any information. All the info you would need is right there on the card.
The above two photos are mudras for the sacral chakra. Again, there is a total of five cards for the sacral chakra, all color coded orange for visual referencing. I really love the bright colors of these cards. They bring such a feeling of energy and calm.
Those were the cards for the solar plexus chakra. Here we only have four, and they are color coded yellow. You’ll see I’ve zoomed in on Card 18: Transformation for the Matangi Mudra. You can see there the substance of info provided on each mudra.
There are five mudra cards for the heart chakra, color coded green. I love some of these mudras, which are quite familiar to me. The Tejas Mudra is a popular one for healing. See below for more info on the mudra.
The below are three mudras for the throat chakra, color coded blue. Again, a total of five mudra cards for the throat chakra.
There are also five mudra cards for the third eye chakra, aptly color coded indigo. Below is a snapshot of only one of such cards, one that might look familiar.
For the seventh and final chakra, the crown chakra, there are four cards, color coded violet. By the way I love the artwork here. I love the monochrome coloring and the detailing of the background behind each of the illustrated hand mudras. Every card’s mudra art brings a sense of serenity and calm.
Now, most readers of this blog are specifically interested in how cards might be used for divination. The book offers an intriguing method. Close your eyes and shuffle the deck. Then, with eyes still closed, draw out three cards, placed left to right as you see below. When you are drawing the first card, think MIND. As you draw the second, think BODY. For the third, SPIRIT.
That is my first reading with the deck early in the morning. Per the guidebook, the left-most can also be read as the energetic support from your past. The center card represents what you need right now, the affirmation and correction of the energy body to work on. The last card is for what to activate to align your future auspiciously.
Then you turn over the cards for more information. use the “Focus” affirmations to guide your mindfulness. Incorporate the mudras themselves into your yoga or meditation practices. Note the contents of each card and how you might use that information to work on where you are right now in terms of your spiritual path.
I found it quite cool that, randomized and drawing the cards out with eyes closed, the sequence of cards per chakras kind of follow the mind, body, and spirit sequence. Having a sacral chakra mudra card appear for my mind suggests needing to focus on individuality right now. The root chakra for body makes sense, as does the crown chakra for spirit. You’re going to find the same beautiful synchronicities for yourself when using these cards. There’s definitely a strong calming, spiritual energy about this deck that you can’t help but absorb.
The Mudras: For Awakening the Energy Body deck and book set is by Alison DeNicola, a yoga and meditation teacher, energy healer, and writer. She studies yoga, shamanic healing, and other Eastern esoteric practices, working primarily with goddess and angel energy. She’s pictured at left. The beautiful artwork here is by Colorado-based artist Sabina Espinet, whose illustrations are influenced by her multicultural background and world travels. She is very much interested in mythic and religious imagery. Definitely check out Espinet’s website– her art portfolio is awe-inspiring.
The Mudras deck and book set is amazing for helping you focus energy and expand your awareness of your metaphysical energy body. By learning how to regulate that energy body, you increase your ability to work effectively with metaphysical energy. Thus, hand mudras have been considered an integral part to Eastern forms of spell-crafting and, of course, the uses mentioned in the book: yoga and meditation. You’re going to love the inspirational artwork by Espinet, the wealth of information on a subject matter not often covered as comprehensively as it is here in Western texts, and the stress relief that these mudras and cards are able to provide. Highly recommend.
FTC Disclosure: In accordance with Title 16 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Part 255, “Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” I received Mudras: For Awakening the Energy Body from U.S. Games for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck and book set.