Readings with the Divine Muses Oracle cards by Maree Bento feel like a lucid dream. Through my inner ear, I can hear music playing softly in the background as I work with the deck. Bento has worked an exquisite, mysterious magic with a touch of alchemical intrigue into Divine Muses.
Each card represents an archetypal force of alchemy, magic, and mythology that has real world manifestations. They’ve made recurring appearances throughout Bento’s life, which is what inspired her to create this oracle deck.
The cards, along with its companion book, are a “guide that yokes the celestial into the terrestrial, the sacred into the mundane,” writes Bento about Divine Muses.
The deck art is a collage of medieval and Victorian images, though the images span across many cultures and tap in to the diverse wisdom of civilizations from around the world. The muted color tones induce psychic reveries. If you’re an intuitive or shamanic reader, you’re going to really love working with these oracle cards.
The oracle deck is subdivided into three sections—the Oracles, the Muses, and the Animals in Alchemy.
The Oracles are subjects, e.g., Ancestors, Boundaries, Eternal Student, Divine Messenger, Green Goddess, Sin-Eater, Shadow Queen, Wild Woman, etc.
Among the Oracles are the four Totems—Totem of Air, Totem of Earth, Totem of Fire, and Totem of Water, which are inspired by the four suits of the Minor Arcana in the tarot.
Then there are ten Muses, which represent different aspects of human ingenuity, i.e., Muse of Art, Muse of Astrology, Muse of Comedy, Muse of Dance, Muse of Eloquence, and so on. Bento calls them the Channels for Inspiration.
The companion guidebook details the nine Greek Muses, which the Muses of Divine Muses Oracle were inspired by. Bento added a tenth—the Muse of Art. When one of the Muses in the cards appear in your reading, they’re revealing themselves to inspire your creativity, ingenuity, and virtuoso.
Finally, there are six Animals in Alchemy: the Raven King, Lattice of the Soul, Cosmic Prince, Celestial Union, Ultima Materia, and Totality & Infinity. I liken the Animals in Alchemy as verbs, calls to action. Each is symbolic of an alchemical process. Bento’s Animals in Alchemy come from Thomas Aquinas and the Book of Lambspring, Adam McLean, and Carl G. Jung.
|The Six Animals in Alchemy||Alchemical Phase||Classical Symbology|
|Raven King||Blackening, Nigredo||Raven|
|Lattice of the Soul||Whitening, Albedo||Deer Skeleton|
|Celestial Union||Yellowing, Citrinatas||Humans|
|Ultima Materia||Reddening, Rubedo||Lion|
|Totality & Infinity||Cycles and Rebirth||Ourosboros|
Every card expresses a binary, described as Essence and Shadow. The Essence is when the archetype is in balance. The Shadow is when the archetype is imbalanced.
The guidebook is impressive. It’s thorough, well-researched, and dense with wisdom.
You can be a total card reading beginner, pick up Divine Muses and its guidebook, and pick up the skill right away.
A comprehensive write-up is devoted to each and every card, which means you can dive deep into this oracle system. Bento intended the deck to be functional for both magic and divination, and it truly is.
Also, as a deck collector nerd, I love that she includes notes so you know what exactly is pictured on each card and the deck creator’s intentions.
With the Divine Muses, I read with reversals. It’s a simple, straightforward way to distinguish the Essence and the Shadow side of each archetype during divination. Above everything else I’ve said about the deck, I love how it reads.
Maree Bento is also a professional tarot and oracle card reader, astrologer, and works within a very unique style of intuitive reading of creating a personal astro-map for you. Check out Book a Reading from Maree Bento.
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 the Divine Muses Oracle from the deck creator for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck.