The Christmas Oracle by John Hijatt with art by Vinnora

The 2021 Christmas Oracle is a limited run deck of 500 that would be a perfect stocking stuffer for your favorite cartomancer. I met John and his husband several years back at PantheaCon where we were talking about the nascent stages of this deck concept. John started it back in 2015. I’m so excited that he’s now finally releasing this long-awaited deck project.

I love how the two-piece box looks like a miniature box of chocolates! Mine came with these adorable little gold foil ornaments that match what you see pictured on the box top.

Christmas is a time for get-togethers among family and friends, and how nice would it be to use a theme-specific tarot or oracle deck around this season! There are so many Halloween-themed oracle decks, so why not for the winter solstice? That was what inspired John Hijatt to undertake The Christmas Oracle.

The edges are metallic red, reminiscent of poinsettias, and super smooth. Since the finish on the cards is glossy, there’s great slip here. You can fan the cards across the table with ease and they riffle shuffle effortlessly.

Cards like Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, indicates the warm, caring, and jovial aspects of the father archetype, like Odin, Dagda, or Ullr. “Look for things out of the ordinary when Santa visits your reading.” Mrs. Claus is about being a taskmaster, and staying focused on the work at hand.

And it’s not all joy and cheer– Blizzard, Card 5, suggests maybe there’s something to the situation you’re blinded to, that you’re not seeing clearly. Card 9, Unwrapped Gifts, reminds you to reexamine what you have in hand already, and think about how you can use what you have been given to you, instead of wishing for what you don’t have.

The guidebook is in full color, written in a way that is easy to read for any grade level, meaning this would be a lovely present at any age. Family-friendly and encouraging of interactive play, relatives and friends, young and old gathered together, can follow the card spreads instructed in the guidebook, lay out cards, and look up the card meanings together. Instead of board games this year, get The Christmas Oracle!

For example, an easy 3-card Magi Spread taught in the guidebook:

  1. Myrrh: This is what is needed to heal you.
  2. Gold: This is what is needed to ground you and give you stabilizing security.
  3. Frankincense: This is what you need to see your own future and the path ahead with clarity.

That would be an incredible bonding exercise at any social gathering this winter holiday– everyone takes turn pulling three cards following that spread, and together, as a group, try to interpret each person’s reading. Both humorous and profound messages will come through.

Hijatt worked with Vinnora, a local artist in California, and together they brought this vision of holiday spirits to life. The soft yet bright colors in the palette that Vinnora uses is magical and perfect for the theme of The Christmas Oracle.

It was also important to both creator and artist that this deck reflected diversity and ensured representation, particularly the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities.

There are some subtle distinctions presented here that I love, like the many contexts of the Sleigh– Sleigh in the Sky, portending travel of great distances and advancements, and Sleigh on Ground, portending travel of short distances, staying local, and accomplishing short-term goals.

The Yule Log is traditionally burned on the eve before Yule, or the midwinter solstice, and then again later on Christmas. It’s symbolic of endurance through the darkness to welcome a returning sun. Rituals around the Yule Log are intended to ward off misfortune for the coming year. When this card shows up in your reading, gather the wisdom of your ancestors.

What I love the most about handling this deck is the love imbued into it. “This deck was born out of the love, giving, and calmness of the season,” writes Hijatt in the little companion guidebook, and you can feel it. The cards are evocative of peppermint and cinnamon, clove, a brisk, invigorating chill in the air, and the golden halos of candles lit through the nights.

Another charming aspect to this deck is its family-friendliness and the imparting of wisdom. Card 31, Letter to Santa, for example, is a gentle encouragement to figure out what it is you want, because if you don’t even know for yourself, how can you expect others to know? Also, when you need help, ask– learn to be specific with your needs and requests. Or Card 35, Sugar Plums– take time to dream. Be inspired by your dreams.

The one suggestion I might have as a consumer is for this type of oracle deck, personally I would prefer instructive, divinatory keywords printed directly onto each card. Why? Because who will be best served by this oracle deck is likely to be someone who isn’t a cartomancer. There’s wider appeal to a Christmas-themed oracle deck like The Christmas Oracle, and so with keywords, it’d enable the deck to be user-friendly right out of the box. Then the extra supportive guidance provided in the companion book helps to add depth and round out the initial keyword prompts.

However, that’s easily remedied by the seasoned card reader who buys this for a social gathering– write in the keywords yourself! Then present it to the group!

Hijatt and Vinnora collaborated with deck developer Bela Siol Oracle Decks to produce The Christmas Oracle. The cards are the perfect size in tiny hands– 2.5″ x 3.5″ in dimension, and each order comes with a Christmas charm and encased in a metallic gold bag. There truly is no better way to get in the holiday spirit this year, and every year after, than with The Christmas Oracle. How meaningful would it be to make this a yearly tradition!

Fenik’s Shop on Etsy

BUY THE CHRISTMAS ORACLE

For more info, you can reach out directly to the Christmas Oracle team on Facebook and Instagram @thechristmasoracle.

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 oracle deck set from the publisher for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck and book set.

2 thoughts on “The Christmas Oracle by John Hijatt with art by Vinnora

  1. Thank you for this lovely review, Benebell. I am so glad you like the deck and do hope it will bring a lot of joy during the holiday season and year round.

    Great suggestion about the key words! I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll put it on the list for the next edition.

    May your holiday season be joyful.

    All the best

    John Hijatt

    Like

  2. Pingback: Holiday Season 2021 – Gifts of the Wyrd

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