Monday, April 4, 2011

This Week's Oracle Deck (Earth Magic)

For picking out this week's deck I decided to post to the Facebook page a poll to ask people what deck that might want to see the daily card for this week.  The deck that won is one of my favorites, Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Stephen D. Farmer.  These are such beautiful cards and if you're looking for a deck of oracle cards to get started with I'd definitely recommend these.  Below is my review of the deck that was originally in my blog, One Witch's Way. 

After a long time away from doing reviews I decided it was time to get back to it and I have decided to kick this off with a deck that I have been using lately on Twitter and Facebook for the daily card reading. The deck is the Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer. Farmer is the author of the book "Earth Magic" (which these cards compliment nicely but are not directly connected) and another favorite reference book that I use called "Animal Spirit Guides". Farmer is also the author and creator of another great oracle deck, Messages from Your Animal Spirit Guides Oracle Cards, which I highly recommend to those looking for decks focused on animal spirits.

Earth Magic is a deck of 48 cards that takes various elements and aspects of the physical earth and combines it with the spiritual and energetic aspects of many of these natural wonders to guide us toward some of the powerful messages and insights that the earth has to share with us. The cards depict everything from moon phases and seasonal changes to the Milky Way, certain animals like the Eagle, and acts of nature like the Tsunami and Lightning. The artwork was what originally drew me to this deck. The cover of the box holds the image for the Spring Equinox card in the deck which has art by Helena Nelson-Reed. I love this image and it definitely intrigued me to look into other images with the deck. It didn't take long for me to realize this deck was going to be one that would be diverse, dynamic, and truly beautiful.

Other images in deck that were particularly interesting to me were the images used for the following cards:

Ocean: a beautiful image of a sunset against large blue waves and white caps.
Dreamtime: A aboriginal shaman plays a didgeridoo and out from it comes the energy of dreams and journeys yet to be had.
Ceremony: A woman sits at the hearth, hands delicately placed over a crystal grid while candles and incense burn as she works powerful healing magick with her guides.

It's hard to pick a favorite card in the deck but I can honestly say that the art chosen for these cards is some of the most befitting of the card meanings in any oracle deck that I have worked with in the last few years. It's also very dynamic in that it truly covers all sends of the spectrum. There are cards that call upon the happier moments of life, like Childhood and Lotus Flower, and other cards to look at the more difficult trials we endure in life such as the volatility in the Volcano and the wake up call that the Tsunami brings. This is something that I personally find really important with oracle decks; some decks lack a balance but this deck really holds the true balance and power of nature, both it's destruction and rebirth, and helps us see the lessons these things around us.

The deck comes with an extensive 170 page guidebook that presents both the facts of the card, explaining the card in a "real world", physical sense, which is then followed up by a metaphysical interpretation. Many of these two different descriptions of the cards come together really nicely making the lesson of each card seem quite clear and applicable to most life situations. The guidebook includes a few standard spreads and the usual recommendations for cleansing and using the cards.

As with all oracle card decks I highly recommend looking through the book but use your own guidance and intuition with them in reading and meditation situations. This deck is one that I personally feels offers many great opportunities to really let go and connect intuitively to the cards. The images, along with the title of the card, have a (mostly) single word reference that helps to open up the way for understanding.

The cards themselves are not heavy but not terribly thin; they will certainly hold up with repeated use. They have a glossy finish but not so much so that they are difficult to handle or shuffle. When initially coming out of the box they did need to be "cracked" as the edges were a bit stiff and the cards were sticking together a bit. Once all the cards were individually pulled from the deck and separated from one another I never had any other issue with the cards themselves.

This is a deck that would make a great first oracle deck for someone just getting started or for someone looking for a nice deck to use in daily meditation. It would make a great gift for anyone in your life that is part of any earth-based spiritual practice.

I would definitely rate this deck as 5 out of 5 stars.
Earth Magic Oracle Cards - Find it on!

----Below is a sample reading I've done with this deck to give an example of using it----

I'm using The Cross spread from the book for my question.

Not really the best picture...sorry!

The question I'm asking is what guidance would help me right now to get past my feelings of being overwhelmed with my current work load and schedule.

Card 1: Represents the Issue
Autumnal Equinox - release

The issue at hand here, the thing that seems to be a core problem, is a need to cut back and let go of the things that just aren't working and aren't necessary anymore. During the autumn season nature sheds the things that have died or are no longer needed in order to make room for new growth in the coming seasons. I know that I've been holding on to some things that aren't growing anymore and I'm sure that if I let those things go I'd feel less pressured.

Card 2: Subconscious influence you're unaware of
Dragonfly - emergence

Interesting; here I feel that the issue of emergence, breaking free and moving on to the next phase in life is something that I'm resisting. It's knocking and pushing harder and harder, probably being one of the things that is causing this feeling of restlessness and being overwhelmed by adding to the pile rather than shedding things first. It's hard to break free when you keep burying yourself deeper. I feel like this might be something that I'm resisting out of fear of the unknown so it's easier to just avoid it.

Card 3: External influence you're aware of
Eagle - communion

Another interesting card; Eagle is a guide that talks about communicating with Spirit but also can be a sign of flying to heights that we may sometimes think we can't get to. Here the communication from Eagle is one that says "look and see what you've done and follow me to where you can go". I have seen that recently in my life and I am making the steps to follow Eagle forward, the problem again comes back to having to let go and make room to do it.

Card 4: What is required for resolution
Fairies - earth magic

This card set me back a bit and I had to ask the card and the guides of the card for some insight. The message seems to be a simple one; take pause and get out! I admit that I have spent every day for months indoors, tied to a computer or other electronic device of one form or another, and somewhat divorced from the natural magick of the earth. The fae are there calling for a reconnect to that natural stream of magick inherent in the earth and the world around us. It will help to clear away the cobwebs and make things seem more clear making the process of release seem much easier.

Card 5: Resolution
Dawn - new beginnings

Nothing could make things more clear than this card as it ties everything together nicely. This card is crystal clear; it's time to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new. Let go of the things that hold you back, let go of self-imposed constraints. I am the queen creating and holding on to my own restrictions. If I want to get past this issue of feeling overwhelmed I need to listen to the messages of Eagle and connection to the power of the Fairies and let go of the things that aren't helping me any longer.

So I have my answer there! Pretty clear and I love this deck for these sorts of things.