The Deep Place Oracle by Rae Serafina Barker is a 60-card oracle deck created to help you process the depths of your emotions, to work through grief, to be there as a companion and guide when you navigate the dark night of your soul, and to be the light when you explore your shadows.
It is a hug deck in the best possible way, creating an expansive space for you to work through difficult times and complex feelings. As the deck description notes, this deck is to help you when you’re “journeying through the deep place” and need a guiding light to “illuminate truth, expand your sense of what’s possible, and bless your unfolding.”
There are three subdivisions in this deck’s architecture: The Above, The Below, and The Liminal. The Above is the daylight world–that which is visible and clear; that which you can already see, that you already know, and experience in full light of consciousness. This is about validating and reinforcing your awareness. Cards like Emergence, North Star, Aliveness, Embrace, Melody, and Beauty are from The Above.
Then there’s The Below, which is your inner underworld, the unseen, the subconscious, the shadows and your life mysteries. The Above is the counter-balance and the light that will help ease a transition into awareness of The Below. These are the cards of your shadow work, that reveal what you grieve for, and what it is you’re feeling deeply. These are cards like First Light, Sanctum, Mystery, The Waters, or The Forgotten Place.
Quietude, one of The Below cards, is about learning how to trust yourself, transforming self-doubt to self-trust, and how to quiet all the noise that’s otherwise distracting you. When Quietude comes up, ask yourself: What is the frequency and the texture of your inner quietude?
The Shadow card is about holy darkness. It helps you to work through what you’re afraid of, what’s been reaching for you through your own inner darkness, and to identify that shadow that’s been reaching for you.
Storm is chaos, destruction, and terror. This is inner wildness or tumult. The guidebook offers affirmations to work through when the theme of your life is the Storm: “I am big enough to withstand any storm. I trust myself to be in and to work with my wildest power and my most intense energies.”
In between The Above and The Below is The Liminal. This transitional and transformational space illuminates both of the other planes. The Liminal is “the neither and the nor,” and all of the spaces in between what you know and what you don’t know, what you’re ready to deal with and what you’re not yet ready to face. This is the space of Change, of what is ever and still changing forces in your life path. So in many ways, it highlights your potential.
Cards in The Liminal space include Seedling, Tree of Life, Lineage, Sanctuary, Portal, Dreamtime, Enchantment, and Threshold, to name a few. The Portal card, for instance, reveals a moment in your life when something has opened, inviting you into another reality. When that card comes up, look for the open spaces in your life and think on how you might step through them.
The Deep Place is a sensing-feeling deck. Serafina Barker started this project in October of 2020 amidst a global, collective hardship. Through that time, she found sanctuary in art, and The Deep Place Oracle was born. I love the digital collage art and the muted color palette. I’m somewhat reminded of the Starchild Tarot.
I’ve really fallen in love with this deck. The cards bring out my softer, more nurturing, and tender side. I love how effective the deck is at helping me to dialogue and engage with my inner creativity. Start by personifying your inner creativity as a spirit. Then ask the spirit of your creativity (or the spirit of your creation) to speak to you through the cards. Present your question to that personified spirit of your higher genius, and draw a card. Where these cards take you next in terms of insight will leave you speechless.
When working with The Deep Place Oracle cards, or any deck at all, Rae Serafina Barker offers a set of inquiries to guide your thought process and inner inquiry. I’m paraphrasing her and extrapolating 7 questions from 4 bullet points she lists in the companion guidebook, but here’s the step-by-step process of questions you ask yourself as you study a card you’ve drawn in a reading:
- What do I see when I look at this card?
- How do I feel when I look at this card?
- What’s alive for me in the seeing and feeling?
- What ideas form in my mind as I look at this card?
- What memories return to my mind as I look at this card?
- What associations form in my mind as I look at this card?
- What possibilities are inspired as I look at this card?
The deck is printed on 400 gsm cardstock and in terms of dimensions, slightly larger than your standard tarot deck– at 3″ x 4.75″. You’ve got the gold edging and this luxurious dream-like card back design that sets the tone for your reading.
The deck comes with a printed guidebook inside the box set with the cards (not pictured in these photographs) that’s meaty, substantive, and gives you a lot of information to work with for each and every card. Each card is given a dedicated entry describing what you’re seeing in the image, the core themes of that card, questions for reflection when the card comes up in your reading, affirmations, and recommended practices.
Rae Serafina Barker’s The Deep Place Oracle is a companion deck for those going through grief counseling or who seek to journey through their inner underworld. It was created to be a spiritual or astral sanctuary for you during times when you’re undergoing the most difficult forms of personal work.
I’ve loved working with it in tandem with my SKT Revelation deck, or with other photo college decks, such as the Tarot of Enchanted Dreams, the Tazama African Tarot, or the Lua Tarot. I recently posted a review of Nick Bantock’s Archeo Cards and another great combination of decks would be the Archeo Cards with The Deep Place Oracle.