The Metaphysical Cannabis Oracle by Maggie Wilson and Ejiwa Ebenebe

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.

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Tarot Deck Collecting and Consumerism: My Thoughts

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.

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Hummingbird Wisdom Oracle by Ellen Valladares and Yasmeen Westwood

This is a deck walk-through of the Hummingbird Wisdom Oracle by Ellen Wolfson Valladares and illustrated by Yasmeen Westwood, who also created the Tarot of Enchanted Dreams.

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.

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Tarot Neocolonial de las Américas by Patrick McGrath Muñiz

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.

Misteriorum Creationis Humani (2018) by Patrick McGrath Muñiz

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.

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La Santa Muerte Lenormand by Dan M. Pelletier and Illustrated by Callie L. French

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.

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Oracle of Novice Witches Look-See

Oracle of Novice Witches is a 50-card deck featuring 24 witches and wizards from history and folklore, 13 tools of the craft, and 13 animal familiars. The deck was created by Francesca Matteoni and with art by Elisa Macellari.

The full-color guidebook accompanying the cards features a profile summary of every witch and wizard depicted. Entries for the tools of craft define each tool’s purpose and how it’s generally used. For the familiars, animal symbolism and correspondences are provided.

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The Art of Adventure Tarot by Bilal Lashari

With a berry and jewel toned color palette, The Art of Adventure Tarot is a space-faring sci-fi graphic novel in the form of a 78-card tarot deck. The deck is the brainchild of Pakistani filmmaker Bilal Lashari and illustrated by Manuel Pasmino.

This fun-filled deck is a little bit of everything. You get Victorian Steampunk that’s retrofuturistic with industrial machines and robotic motifs. It’s dystopian. It’s utopian. And everything in between.

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Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larson

Box Design and Monogrammed Card Backs

Created with the intention of being a shadow tarot deck, the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and illustrated by Abigail Larson unveils the hidden aspects of your inner psyche. It is designed to guide you into uncharted territory, expressed as the forest deep.

Major Arcana, Keys 0 – XIII

Atmospheric, gothic-inspired, with a Legend of Sleepy Hollow vibe to it, and steeped in animal symbolism, this is a deliciously witchy deck– the Shadow Witch, to be exact. If you love animal symbolism, you are going to love this deck.

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Angels and Ancestors Oracle, Sámi Erasure, and Takeaway Lessons

Inlé’s Inlet recently posted the above deck review and commentary on the Angels and Ancestors Oracle Cards, which raises cultural awareness of some concerns with the imagery in this deck. To be more precise, it’s not the imagery that’s of concern, but the lack of credit and acknowledgement for where the sources of inspiration came from.

The distinct drum design featured on the Drum card, the Shaman card, and on the card back of the Angels and Ancestors deck (photographs of it in my deck review) have been taken directly from Sámi religious and spiritual iconography.

However, no credit, reference, or source citation was provided in the accompanying guidebook, in effect erasing the Sámi, who are a historically marginalized indigenous minority.

This is a form of appropriation of indigenous cultural intellectual property rights. Yet this particular instance is one that could be reasonably remedied.

In this type of a scenario, I do think addressing the issue head-on is the compassionate approach.

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Reading with the Livre du Destin (or Book of Fate)

A while back I shared zip file downloads of the above deck here. I called it the Petit Etteilla, because that’s what it was called on the British Museum page that I got the images from.

And then much smarter cartomancy community members pointed out that it’s actually a deck called the Livre du Destin, or Book of Fate.

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