A treasure of a divination system in a box that you’ll cherish, Morning Calm Oracle by trained shaman Seo Kelleher invites you to engage with a world of spirits, divinities, and nature magic from the Land of the Morning Calm, a name of endearment given to Korea.
The box design, sigils, and the tactile experience of handling the cards are an exemplary representation of East Asian magic. Those who are sensitive to energy will even feel the difference in the vibrations of this deck in hand compared to other decks you might have in your collection.
I am enchanted by the effortless beauty and the beneficence of this deck. The artwork is done by Alodia Yap, whose artwork is moving and melodic. Yap’s art style here is impressionistic. It works in perfect harmony with what Kelleher set out to achieve.
The deck comes with a guidebook, which is a good companion text to the deck, but I wish for even more, given the most likely audience for this deck. Let me try to explain that better. If this deck was intended only for those already familiar with Korean shamanism or even Taoist and Buddhist mysticism, then the guidebook is great as-is. However, if you’re going into this with next to no prior knowledge of the aforementioned, then you do leave wishing for more.
For the spirit guides empowering the sigil cards: who is Sunkuan Dosah? How do I find out more about the Bari Princess? Or Warrior General Choi?
I also intuit that the guidebook as an operation manual only skates at the surface of what the Morning Calm Oracle cards can do. This deck feels powerful, feels highly capable of helping us navigate the enigmatic, and so with this guidebook, it’s a bit like being handed a scientific graphing calculator, but the manual it comes with only teaches you how to do addition and subtraction with it.
Let’s talk about these beautiful card backs. The cards are subdivided into two sections, and the sections are color-coded by the card backs–red for the sigil cards and blue for the oracles.
I love the carved dragon seal motif and the translucent tile print in the background that grounds you in classical East Asian aesthetics. Card back design choice here is perfection.
There are seven sigil cards (with the red card backs) that petition seven different guides for purposes such as cleansing, creativity, harnessing your divine feminine, your divine masculine, for healing, manifestation, and for psychic power. These are also the seven core elements in the shamanistic practices of Kelleher: Water, the Sun, Tree, Fire, Earth, Metal, and the Moon.
The magic here feels gentle, so I feel comfortable recommending them for general purposes. For those more familiar with Western occultism, this is nothing like, say, Solomonic seals, where you would want to be very specific, intelligent, and informed with how you approach use of such seals. Here, the seals are intended for the lay user to tap into incredible channels of power, but in a measured and tempered way.
If, for example, you’re currently in the process of cleansing and clearing your personal space, then in addition to what you’re doing, leave out the “Cleansing” sigil card on your altar. Place the “Healing” sigil card on the nightstand of one who is sick and working on getting better. The “Psychic Power” one is great to leave out while doing your divinatory readings with this deck. In fact, experiment! Try doing a couple of readings without the sigil cards. Note your results. Then try doing a couple of readings while the “Psychic Power” card is propped up and centered on your reading table. Compare and contrast how the readings feel to you.
Now on to the oracle cards.
I couldn’t find any statements on the medium used for the artwork, but my best guess is watercolor. Some of the illustrations look like they may have been done in gouache. The linework feels soft, like ballet, or staying in theme, a seungmu dance (click here for a YouTube video that explains this dance) with colors that seem to flow into one another, an unbroken channel of energy that runs as an undercurrent through the cards.
There are 45 oracle cards, plus the 7 sigil cards. You get a beautiful balance of Heaven, Earth, and Humanity in these illustrations, and truly do reflect a way of magical living that those of East Asian descent are going to be familiar with. And to those who are not of Asian descent, I am so proud to be recommending this deck as one for introducing you to the collective East Asian heritage and the threads of mysticism that connect us.
Though I did have some critiques of the guidebook, overall it does a great job of explaining what each card means in your reading.
Magpie Spirit, for instance, is a good omen, further reinforced by the symbolism of the persimmons hanging from the branch that the magpie is perched upon. When this card shows up in a reading for you, the forecast is positive and welcomed. Good news is headed your way. The Balance card showing up may suggest that restorative work is needed to regain your center of gravity. The card Burn it Down suggests something constructed in your life may need to be dismantled.
The cards closely resemble the landscape of Asia– the side by side unbroken juxtaposition of modern and ancient. In most parts of Asia you’ll see skyscrapers that feature cutting-edge architecture right up next to a temple or pagoda that’s been there since the 13th century. That’s Asia for you– we’ll ride the high-speed rail, eyes on our iPhones, to get to the monastery where we take off our shoes, burn incense, and pray to three thousand year old gods. And that’s exactly the culture that Morning Calm will bring to you.
This deck works phenomenally well for client readings, for integrating into life coaching sessions, and for meditation. Conclude a client session by pulling a card from this deck. The conversation and the intuitive impressions you’ll get inspired by the card’s imagery and keyword will bring profound clarity and also calm. Something about reading with this deck will always leave you feeling resolved, more relaxed, and empowered.
I used the Morning Calm Oracle as part of my cartomancy forecast for 2021. I pulled a card for every month and noted that card’s keyword and a few notes on the imagery, and wrote these notes at the top of each month-at-a-glance page in my 2021 Metaphysician’s Day Planner.
If you’re interested in Korean shamanism, then you’re going to want to get this deck. It’s a beautiful, powerful, and yet user-friendly introduction to East Asian mysticism.
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 Morning Calm Oracle from the deck creator for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck.