This is going to be a walk-through of the Metaphysical Cannabis Oracle deck, and not a full-on review. This Liminal 11 deck is the debut publication of Maggie Wilson, a cannabis sommelier, and is illustrated by Ejiwa Ebenebe.
I’m describing this as just a walk-through and not a deck review because I won’t be deep-diving into the substance of its system. I’m not sufficiently qualified to be doing an intelligent review of the deck, so all I can really offer are my first impressions.
Upon first impression, without taking a closer look, my immediate presumption was a tarot deck, and it wasn’t until a second glance that I realized this is being presented as an oracle. You could convince me that the first card is a Fool card, then Manifesteer: Creation is The Magician card, then The Witch Doctor: Wisdom is The High Priestess, the queen mother Sarauniya Uwa: Nurture is The Empress, and Sarki: Stability is The Emperor.
Above to the left is a sketch I did by hand, first in pencil, then outlined in ink. I started with the following prompt, text I typed out myself and stared at for a good five minutes before putting pencil to paper: Solitude. Contemplating. Maiden in a moment of self-questioning.
I copied some text written by Hildegard of Binden on the transcendental experience of God, to fill the blank space. What you see took me two hours. Uh, tbh, probably longer than two hours. I lose track of time when I’m doodling. (The barely-there blue grid lines was added digitally, because that’s just something I like to do when I share my doodles to the public.)
What you see to the above right was produced via NightCafe, an AI art generator, with the same exact text as the prompt: Solitude. Contemplating. Maiden in a moment of self-questioning. I selected the art style “Charcoal” to see how close to a pen and ink sketch it could go. The illustration to the right took the program two minutes.
I’m fascinated by how similar the interpretations were, between me, a human, and AI tapping in to collective knowledge. In fact, in the past I’ve drawn illustrations in charcoal very similar to what the AI produced!
The pose, the facial expression, the way the hair falls, the vulnerability– if I rummage through my old art portfolio from high school, I can excavate a charcoal or pastel drawing that looks more or less the same with that!
So while I have many conflicting thoughts about AI art, the accusation that it lacks soul isn’t one of them. If anything, I wonder if the full body of AI generated art is mirroring back something deep within us collectively, for us to see.
Oh, and to illustrate what the community has been buzzing about with regard to AI-generated tarot decks (or in collaboration with AI) coming on to the market, I’ll feature several throughout this commentary.
For those who are new to the Metaphysician’s Day Planner (MDP), this is a product description and walk-through.
My dedicated use of the MDP year to year has been essential to my success and also personal wellbeing. The organizer-planner is structured in such a way to inspire a holistic and comprehensive approach to the health of your mind, body, and spirit.
In short summary, it’s customized with your birth chart, 2023 solar returns chart (though I calibrate to the day, rather than to the sun’s degree), and the text you’d like on the interior first page. (Most people will customize their name here, a power word for the year, or a brief phrase.) This name or text is in Prompt #3 from the Order Form below.
This year there will be an optional $8 add-on that includes 4 videos:
Recap of 2023 forecasts (full details and receipts are always in the guidebook) and your 2023 survival guide,
Achieving the goals you set with divination and ritual,
How to improve and master anything, and
Practical & mystical guidance on achieving prosperity.
I’ve had a working draft of this blog post, on this topic, started in 2020, and already I was feeling late to it, since it was a topic trending in 2019. Life and other priorities got in the way so I left this draft unfinished.
In 2021 I started seeing this topic discussed with fervor again. It inspired me to reopen this post. I worked on it some more, but again, just didn’t care to finish my train of thought, for whatever reason.
Now it’s 2022 and this same exact topic of conversation in the tarot community is still going strong.
Maybe this time I can finally finish what I was trying to say. I’ll divide up my thoughts by the recurring subtopics or points of argument you hear when community members start talking about tarot deck collecting, culling, and consumerism.
To balance out the paragraphs of text, I’ll be sharing random photos of decks you’d spot around my house.
Hummingbird Wisdom is a 44-card oracle deck with thematic phrases and call-to-action oracular messages. It’s like a life coach in a box.
Gentle and sweet, these cards inspire you to fully enjoy the nectar of life. The messages are affirming and inspiring. Here, you see the Powerful Warrior. This hummingbird’s message to you: Do not feel small. You are stronger, braver, and more valued than you know. It’s time to tap into your true source of power.
Tarot for Real Life by Jack Chanek, published by Llewellyn Books, presents one of the best approaches to learning tarot that you can find. I love its focus on the Minor Arcana rather than the Majors, though it most certainly gives due treatment to the Majors as well.
The structure and layout of the book also makes it user-friendly, and the go-to reference you’ll want at your fingertips. If you’re looking up a specific card, there’s a separate table of contents in the front pages just for the 78 cards.
The meat of the book is subdivided into six parts: Practical, Intellectual, Emotional, Aspirational, Personal, and The Big Picture. Respectively they correspond with discussions on the suit of Pentacles, Swords, Cups, Wands, the court cards (under Personal), and the Major Arcana (under The Big Picture).
Tarot Neocolonial de las Américas is one of the most impressive decks I’ve come across. Often, decks either have beautiful artwork but the substance isn’t there, or the substance is there and the art is mediocre. Puerto Rican American artist Patrick McGrath Muñiz has created a deck with delectable esoteric elements, expressing themes of colonialism, consumerism, and climate change, while still producing a tarot deck operable for divination.
Muñiz utilizes classical Renaissance, Baroque and Latin American colonial art styles that blend Christian iconography from colonial Latin America with contemporary consumer media subculture.
This will be a review of his Tarot Neocolonial de las Américas, but I strongly urge you to check out his portfolio of art. They’re incredible! His style is sociopolitical commentary and satire depicted through the blending of classical European art with alchemical and hermetic symbolism. Take, for instance, his work “Misteriorum Creationis Humani” (2018), oil on canvas.
A Lenormand oracle deck for La Santa Muerte devotees, this beautifully crafted deck, both as thought form and fine art, will aid you in love, health, abundance, dealing with substance use, removing blockages, and working through legal troubles. Our Lady of the Holy Death is known for answering prayers that other saints will not; and likewise, this 38-card Lenormand oracle might take you where other Lenormand decks have not.
La Santa Muerte (Spanish for “Our Lady of the Holy Death”) is theorized to have originated from the Aztec deity Mictēcacihuātl, Goddess of Death. An alternate theory is a lineage to the Moirai of Greece, in the form of Parca Morta, the Fate of Death. La Parca is the feminized Grim Reaper dating back to the bubonic plague. Señora de la Noche, our Lady of the Night, is beloved and venerated by many communities across the Americas.
I’ve gotten a bit undisciplined, or at the very least haphazard with the order I’m drawing these cards. I hop and skip around the deck, arbitrarily picking what to draw next based on my whims.
So here we are at the Wheel of Fortune.
I went with the 1870 Jeu de l’Oracle des Dames version of Card 20 for reference. The monkey king with a cape and sword situation didn’t really vibe with me.
Lady Fortuna as depicted in the illustration is a syncretizing of Haudenosaunee traditional indigenous patterns draped in a Greco-Roman style. (Update: I digitally fixed her left sleeve so it wouldn’t be so wonky looking.)