The Citadel is a 33-card oracle deck in a unique hexagonal cut. I’ve been describing the deck as cube of space meets archetypes from a medieval fantasy live action role play. It’s certainly got that vibe.
The creator of Seed and Sickle Oracle is also the author and illustrator behind The Citadel, having built an incredible Dungeons-and-Dragons-esque world, or more specifically, a city– The Citadel– atop a cliff, with white stone walls that “gleam in the sun, and banners snapping lazily in the breeze.” I feel like I’m reading YA high fantasy now.
“The sea below curls lazily at the rocks, warm and placid, with farms and orchards and livestock.” Oh now it’s definitely reading like YA fantasy.
This city, The Citadel, consists of three walled Circles, or communities, represented by three symbols, which you’ll find at the bottoms of the cards. In a sense, the deck is subdivided into three suits.
You can see images of the Citadel on the card back design, helping you to visualize the three Circles.
The outermost circle is the Crowd, signified by the blossom and alchemical glyph of earth below it. “Cards in this Circle represent hard work and necessity, as well as fulfillment and freedom.”
Here we find social classes– vocations– such as The Archer, The Hunter, The Shepherd, The Weaver, The Sailor, The Thief, and The Witch, and titles like The Pathless and The Forgotten.
“A canal runs through the Citadel, deep and silent, reflecting the evening lanterns. . . . The Forgotten does not speak nor hear nor even see; they are so certain that they have nothing to give the world that they do not even try.” The Forgotten is a card of missed opportunities, broken social ties, and the fear of rejection.
Next is the Coterie, represented by the two crossed sticks and a circle. “These cards represent learning, aspirations, and development.”
The Priest is from the Coterie, an archetype of faith and patience. “Silence fills the hall,” reads the guidebook entry, “warm and welcoming in its perfect hush. The Priest turns their face to the sunlight, waiting. They know from experience that true fulfillment comes only from biding one’s time; impatience will cause more problems than it solves.”
Other archetypes in the Coterie– The Summoner (forming new relationships; emotional intelligence), The Cartographer (forging your own path), The Champion (success, achievement, but a potential downfall), The Warrior (hard work, perfectionism, burnout), The Sentinel (protection and determination; certainty), and The Enchanter (arcane knowledge; inner will).
The third at the center of the Citadel city is the Court. “These are cards of achievement and completion– yet also of bonds and ties that come with the greatest responsibility.”
You can do single card draws with this deck, and the guidebook recommends two different methods. One is to draw a single card for The Gates– a card that’s going to give you advice and insight into the background of a situation you’re inquiring about. This “may speak to past actions or a broader contextual setting against the question.”
The second approach to a single card draw is The Castle. This is like a clarifying card. You would use this as an oracle card draw– with the Citadel deck– after a full tarot card reading. “After a tarot reading, to prompt how to resolve difficulties,” draw a single Citadel card for The Castle. The Castle card is “a second voice to help you choose your path.”
I love the black and white line drawings with the metallic bronze foil accents. In the above photo you can see how the bronze shines.
One of the ways I read with this deck is to draw four cards, right to left, for Fire (career matters), where I pulled The Hound, Water (relationships and the domestic sphere)– I pulled The Enchanter, Air (social sphere)– I got The Queen, and Earth (personal economics/security)–The Shepherd.
I looked up each card meaning in the little guidebook, which includes divinatory messages. I’ll just say this: very accurate. And insighful. This reading gave me some seriously useful advice.
The top paragraph for each entry describes the character from the Citadel world. The second paragraph is your divinatory message, and is remarkably well-written.
The top and bottom lids to the box design are magnetic, and so the box snaps closed. It’s very cool.
Oh, and also– check this out. You can flip around the box lids and they still line up! That’s a really clever design!
I couldn’t find an option on the Liminal 11 website for you to order The Citadel deck separate from the Seed and Sickle Oracle, but the Fez Inkwright Special Limited Edition box set is totally worth getting.
The Citadel deck fits snugly in my little hands and I love tucking it into my handbag and taking it with me on the go. I’ve got that guidebook for reference, which fits perfectly inside the box with the cards. I have to say, I’m quite surprised myself by how much I’m loving these oracle cards.
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 this deck from the publisher for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck and book set.