Thursday, 24 January 2019

The Shaman's Oracle Cards

Circle Network Oracle card deck review: The Shaman's Oracle Cards for Ancient Wisdom and Guidance by John Matthews, illustrated by Wil Kinghan, Published by Watkins
Publishing in a good quality box with pull out drawer with excellent card stock. Pack contains hardback book, 52 cards and a template pictorial of a hand to aid reading. Pack price: £14.99, yes, brilliant value for money!

Information is provided about palaeolithic art which is found worldwide, in Australia, the Americas, Europe and China and has inspired the artwork for this deck. Each card carries a different image. Other information provided is about shamanism as an ancient spiritual practice. There is information on how to use the cards and how to frame questions. A sample layout helps with this process. Beautiful poems accompany each card. The images were excellent in transporting me into an inspirational space where the reading flowed quite naturally, sometimes without needing the book's
explanation, for instance, the Spirit of Healing card is reaching out with a huge open hand, horns or antlered head-dress reminded me of the search for water by the hoofed animals also in the picture. The Dancer of Promise card shows strength in numbers, and energetic action of arms and legs which are great providers. Each card was enjoyable to use, even those with a less than positive meaning, such as The Spirit of Destruction which to me looked like a rat in the throes of internal combustion doing the splits at the same time as holding an explosive in its hand. The Journeyer Card, which represents the seeker seemed to have wings and a light of bright yellow around the head. Strong leg muscles. All wonderfully exciting images to work with, they certainly took me to the dark places hidden within the mountains where the ancient ones recorded their inner world. There are five suits of ten cards each, titled Spirits, Ancestors, Hunters, Dancers, and Shamans which represent divisions and boundaries, home and protection, transition and change and inspiration and spirit. There is also a card, titled The Journeyer, you, the reader, and a card titled, The Companion, which represents your spirit guide. Try the five card layout, using each finger, earth, water, fire, air and spirit portrayed by each finger. 

 The card of  Foresight: Foresight enables you to safely negotiate obstacles and prepare you for all eventualities. Working on your expectations, assumptions and hopes for the future, you will gain a grasp of what is truly possible. Look beyond the moment to whatever new task presents itself and adjust your situation accordingly. Prioritise! Do what is most important – not what you enjoy the most!

The card of Spirit of Wisdom: Wisdom is much more than knowledge. It is a profound understanding of our purpose in the world and an intuitive grasp of how to exercise sound judgment based on experience we have acquired in the course of our lives. With the help of the Spirit of Wisdom, we can access the deepest wells of understanding within our souls, and learn how to make the best possible use of what we know. The Spirit of Wisdom enables us to navigate the road ahead, with realistic expectations - knowing what might and might not happen, for the best and worst; and realising our destiny when we meet it. 

John Matthews is an award winning author, historian and folklorist and has an international reputation in several specialities, such as Arthurian legends and Grail studies. Reviewer: Wendy Stokes

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