The Sacred Awakening Lemurian Temple Oracle Cards, created by Sa’arah Esther Felix, was first published back in 2013. The artwork created from original paintings by Sa’arah melted with photo-collage.
Production wise, the cardstock is very thin and high gloss. While my copy seems to have sustained quite a bit of wear and tear over the last decade, as you can see from the photographs, they’ve still held up to the test of time.
Each card is intended to be a vessel for an ancient mystery, invoking the divine sciences. Working with the deck helps to activate your higher consciousness and connection to the ascended masters.
The images are designed to hold healing power and the ability to transmit encoded information from the Lemurian Temple.
Jianghu 江湖 is the code of honor and fundamental values of Wuxia, a longstanding genre of Chinese martial arts literature. Jianghu translates literally to “Rivers and Lakes,” though those terms are used metaphorically here, covering multiple layers of meaning.
[Compare, for instance, how Feng Shui translates literally to “Wind and Water,” but it’s in reference to how the energies of people, places, and things harmonize with one another.]
In story writing, Jianghu is part of the setting that the author develops for a Wuxia novel. It is world-building. It’s the structure of social order, the class system, the magical system, the various martial arts factions or lineages, the government, the peasants, and everyone in between.
Jianghu expresses the cast of heroes and villains, the power structure of the world the Wuxia author has built. In this Lenormand deck, there are two versions for the Man and Woman cards (see above) — for the Man, the versions are Swordsman and Scholar; for the Woman, the versions are Swordswoman and Maiden.
Jianghu is also the landscape of sacred mountains and mystical forests. It’s the many regions of the kingdom the cast of characters travel to on their adventure to obtaining magical relics.
I love the extra Special Card, as it’s called, in this deck– Alcohol. Per the explanation in the little white booklet:
“As a cultural artifact, alcohol connects our lives, emotions and spirits. In Jianghu, heroes drink to meet friends, writers and poets drink away their bitter sorrow alone. People drink by the red wedding candles to celebrate happiness, and drink in front of tombs to bid farewell to the dead on Tomb Sweeping Day.”
Just a side FYI — red is the color predominantly used in Chinese weddings. So “red wedding” has a very different connotation to the culturally Chinese than what you might be thinking right now, post-Game of Thrones…
The Chinese Lunar Mansions Oracle by Zhong Ling and Wu Xue might be the first of its kind. And with its companion guidebook that details the classical attributions for the 28 lunar mansions, the deck is a great beginner step for learning about this system of Eastern astrology.
This will be both a review of Chengdu Arcana’s Lunar Mansions Oracle and an introductory overview of Chinese lunar mansions astrology.
The Oracle is a set of 28 cards in a standard finish, typical of mass market decks, though longer and wider than standard tarot card size. The card back design features the four directional animals that are the basis of lunar mansions astrology.
The Transformational Oracle of the Morrighan by Bela Síol and illustrated by Igor Alexandre is a mostly black-and-white illustrated deck with accents of color. The Oracle set is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking connection to the Morrighan.
Bela Síol is a Brazilian pagan priestess and creator of The Oracle of Nehalennia, The Oracle of Freya, The Oracle of Arianrhod, The Oracle of Venus, and many more. The illustrator Igor Alexandre is a priest and herbalist who explores themes of the occult, nature, and paganism in his art.
As a priestess Síol first connected with The Morrighan in 2009. Morrighan, or Morrigu, refers to the one but also the multifaceted Goddess of Ireland, namely the triad of goddesses Badb, Macha, and Morrigu, and sometimes appearing as the triad of Banba, Fodla, and Eriu. Still others, it’s a triad inclusive of the war goddesses Fea or Nemain.
This all weaves a complex mythology for The Morrigan. Síol’s The Transformational Oracle of the Morrighan is based on the triad of Badb, Macha, and Morrigu or Anand (sometimes Nemain). Each card explores one of the many key lessons connected to The Morrighan.
Those who love Renaissance fairs are going to love the Fragments Grøgryn oracle by the artist Le Page Novembre. Novembre describes themselves as “a queer, non-binary, neuro-spicy illustrator and writer” who crafts tarot and neo-medieval art, in the pursuit of “queering catholic imagery.”
They recently launched the brand Grøgryn, an indie sole proprietorship that creates oracles, tarots, and other games. One such artisanal works by Grøgryn is Fragments.
The boutique indie publisher Abusua Pa, who printed the Tazama African Tarot, has released an absolutely exquisite and divine oracle deck, the Love Oracle of Eden. This is the second deck by the Black-owned publishing house, whose mission is to increase Black representation in tarot and art.
With the Love Oracle of Eden, writes the creators Bjorn Franklin and Chiria Da Luz Fortes, “We had the idea to create a deck about love and relationships, as we did not come across many decks that covered this important subject while including people of colour.”
They stumbled upon the art of A.J. and Chantelle Hamilton, the artists of the Love Oracle of Eden. 56 incredible models posed for these photographic compositions, each meticulously curated by the artists for this deck.
Let’s start with the production value. Holy smokes I’ve never seen anything quite like this. The caliber of thought and, like, at this point that deck box is some sort of origami, the level of care that goes into the craftsmanship is impressive. Every design element is not only beautiful, but serves symbolic purpose.
This is a look-through of one of the most talked about oracle decks of late 2022, and that’s The Magickal Botanical Oracle: Plants from the Witch’s Garden by Christopher Penczak and illustrated by Maxine Miller.
The aesthetic is reminiscent of a Victorian botanical illustrations. It’s a witchier, grimoire art-esque version of A Curious Herbal (1737) a la Elizabeth Blackwell. This is the plant kingdom as seen through the eyes of the witch– as alive, animate, and willing to commune with us.
Wisdom from the Epics of Hind is easily one of my favorite oracle decks, and the production value is perfection. The artwork is beautiful, I love Rahul Das’s style, and you’ll learn so much about how to approach professional divinatory readings from Pankhuri Agarwal’s guidebook.
This deck brings in influences from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Vedas, Puranas, and the Upanishads, just to name a few. Practical advice is offered for every card, such as guidance on forest bathing (walking, breathing, and meditating through the woods to restore your health) and including foods that contain vitamin E and omega fatty acids in your diet, to the spiritual practice of kindness, how you can be both kind and shrewd at the same time and taking note of the moon phase whenever you’re feeling moody to see if there is a pattern emerging. And learn the moon mantra: Om Chandraya Namaha.
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.
Mellissae Lucia’s Oracle of Initiation was first released a decade ago in 2012, but it’s new to me, and I am utterly in awe of the breadth and scope of this divination system. This is a review of the deck, but also its 400-page companion book by the same name.
The Oracle of Initiation is the narrative story of one woman’s descent into the underworld and return. It is a mesmerizing photographic memoir of loss, initial resistance with numbness, realizing you need to surrender, and reawakening your inner magic.
At the age of 33, Lucia lost her husband to cancer. She entered limbo. But then she chose to live, to thrive, and supported by spirit guides along the way, went on a 7-year vision quest. These images chronicle her Artemis Return, a concept coined by Lucia.
Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wild instinctive wisdom of the feminine within nature. She is a guardian of the untamed within all of us, the primal aspects of our original essence.
Like a Saturn Return, an Artemis Return is a cyclical return after a pivotal event in your life, in which you cross a threshold of catharsis, maturation, and awakening, and re-align with that wild instinctive wisdom within.