The Cantigee Oracle by Rae Diamond and illustrated with watercolor art by Laura Zuspan is a deck that inspires mindfulness, compassion, and creativity. It seeks to motivate evolutionary change in both the individual and the collective. You’ll find homages to Buddhism, Taoism, Yoga, animism, and science.
This is a 52-card circular deck with standard cardstock and a slight laminate finish. Some of the oracle messages are omens, such as “A Swarm of Bees,” “The Coiled Snake,” or “The Exploding Star.” You’ll get messages like “Your Ears Become a Butterfly” and “Clouds Pass but the Mountain Remains,” evocative of the pithy figurative language often found in Taoist texts.
Accompanying the watercolor images are stories and thought exercises you’ll find in the guidebook. The symbology of the card is explained, in addition to divinatory guidance, practicums for how to use the card image as an icon or point of focus in meditation, the portal that card represents, creative prompts, and most notably, what the card is saying to you about environmental health and sustainability– what is the ecological connection here?
Thus, at every turn, the cards connect you to Mother Nature, to the forces of nature, and how to live harmoniously in alignment with those forces.
Look at the cool optical illusion of Card 8! “A Swan in a Crowd of Crows” asks you to recognize what makes you distinct from others, and distinct from the circumstances in which you find yourself. Instead of seeing yourself as separate, however, see yourself as a unique facet of the greater Oneness of the collective. This archetype expresses the importance of honoring the discomfort of feeling different.
As an icon, Card 8 inspires you to honor the people in your life who do not fit in to the usual categories. Open up a portal with card by meditating on this series of questions:
- What if your uniqueness has a true home in your community?
- What if your uniqueness indicates a singular purpose that only you can fulfill in this community?
- What if the uniqueness of you is sacred? How is this uniqueness an attribute that the Divine has intentionally blessed you with?
Artist Laura Zuspan’s style represents both the grotesque and the symphonic aspects of nature, and the circular connection between them. You’ll find in her art an exploration of that liminal space where beauty and horror meet.
“Your Heart in Sync with Cricket Song” answers your question with a resounding “yes.” This is a card of affirmation.
Your journey began long ago, and thus you have now walked a great distance. At times, there were companions beside you, but you were each on your own journey, and so time and time again, you parted with one after another. In this latest spell of traveling alone, you have become fascinated by the interlocking rhythms of the different pulses. You never knew before where you were traveling to, or if there even was a destination, but now you know with all certainty that you have at along last arrived.
The second person narrative of the guidebook immediately draws you in.
The deck’s namesake, Cantigee, essentially means Earth song, a song that is also a spell it weaves. Each card represents a prayer, one of gratitude, healing, or awakening.
These prayer cards inspire stillness. “Sometimes the most positive and radical actions are stillness, observation, and quiet.” I love how the creators describe the Cantigee Oracle as “the Swiss Army knife of oracle decks.” Not only can you use it for divinatory insight, but it has many other functions as well.
The numbered cards are designed to support a sequential structure where you begin with 1. The Dark Solstice of the Sun on the day of the winter solstice, which happens to be today, the day this review is being posted. A week later, you move on to the second card, You Don’t Know Where You Are, but You Are Free, and so on throughout the year. The Exploding Star, Card 27, is timed to the summer solstice.
Cantigee is also a deck of icons, visual reminders of that which you are aspiring to cultivate or shift. As a form of personal development, work with the affirmations attributed to each card. Each icon is a portal for helping you integrate its associated energies into your life.
Each card lists out several creative prompts in the guidebook. Artists and non-artists alike can utilize the creative prompts to spark new projects, to inspire them to craft and explore the arts. Every card inspires a creative practice relating to music, movement, drawing, sculpture, poetry, fiction, or videography.
Cantigee is also intended to deepen your relationship with Nature. The themes of cycles expressed in every design element of this deck helps you to connect with nature’s structures, processes, beauty, wisdom, and playfulness, at both the macro and micro levels.
The “Ecological Connection” section in each card entry shares how that card’s archetype relates to nature and the environment. These prompts inspire you to look more closely at nature, to deepen your awareness of how nature supports, you, develop greater awareness of how you are impacting nature, and how to optimize your impact.
Card 46, The Unburdened Bones, connects you to deciduous trees as teachers of the process of letting go of the necessary, and resting in the most essential of one’s being. But electric lights near deciduous trees hinder their ability to drop their leaves in autumn, and so the leaves remain hanging, clinging to the branches growing old and brittle through the winter. It’s a disturbance of the natural cycle.
Card 3 corresponds with early winter after the solstice. During this period, focus more on what causes illumination. Meditate on the concept of light in dark spaces… light in dark times. The ecological connection here is the natural rhythm of light and dark encoded into all ecosystems and into DNA.
Rae Diamond and Laura Zuspan as a creative duo have given us an expressionistic art deck for contemplation and thought exploration. Plus, the oracle deck pairs so well with Zuspan’s Luminous Void Tarot! Inspiring emotional experiences, the Cantigee Oracle is a one-of-a-kind deck of fine art that at once enchants and uplifts. A great complement to any nature-based spiritual practice.
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 deck and book set from the publisher for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck and book.