Kris Waldherr: Goddess Inspiration Oracle (Llewellyn, 2007; ISBN: 978-0-7387-1167-6)
My initial reaction to Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr (creator of the popular Goddess
Tarot and author of The Book of Goddesses) was quite a few notches short of enthusiasm. I looked at the somber
color scheme and melancholic expressions of the goddesses on its box and manual. Unsealing the 80-card deck, I saw the cards’
muddy-dark borders, black backgrounds and small, often hazy goddess images and thought, "Oh, dear..." I’m still not totally
sold on Waldherr’s design concept or all of her artwork, but I have since had the pleasure of successfully working with her
culturally-diverse goddesses in a few readings.
Some of these images are quietly, mysteriously captivating. Two particularly well-rendered portraits–the tropical Cimidye,
for instance, surrounded by flora and fauna and the dark-shrouded Hekate--are side-by-side on my desk right now, teaching
me intense, Scorpionic lessons. I discovered that Waldherr’s goddesses speak clearly and bring spark to any reading, whether
used on their own or to enhance a more traditional Tarot deck’s layout. They’re powerful for one-card consultation (ask a
goddess a question) or meditation.
This is also a very easy deck to learn. Consult the 120-page manual for handy background information on goddesses who might
be unfamiliar to you and for Waldherr’s excellent bibliographic recommendations. Otherwise, plunge right in; explore the cards
on your own and try a reading.
Each card bears its goddess’s name, attribute and oracle statement–for instance, Rhiannon, The Horse Goddess, counsels
you to "Choose an action to reach your goal. Now is the time." Hsi Wang Mu, Goddess of Eternity, counsels you to "Find what
is eternal within yourself." The set includes a lovely, antique gold drawstring bag to store these goddesses in due style.
Francene Hart: Sacred Geometry Oracle Deck (Bear & Co, 2001; 1-879181-73-8)
There’s something appealing to the human psyche about the stripped-down archetypes of geometrical shapes: circles, triangles,
squares. Francene Hart takes these basic ones and adds in many other images of sacred import: the hexagon, the yogic
Sri Yantra, the DNA helix and many more symbols that sometimes overlap shamanism and ascension spirituality. As a work of
art, this 64-card deck has mixed results. Some cards are fanciful and stunning–for instance, June Companions ("Transformation"),
with its detailed illustrations of swallowtail butterflies and dragonflies, one of my favorites. Others are mind-boggling
plain and wan. For the most part, however, this deck will stimulate your imagination, and the 143-page, well-written book
will guide you through Hart’s esoteric pathways.
Alex Grey: Sacred Mirrors Cards (Inner Traditions, 2006; 1-59477-162-6)
Admirers of Alex Grey’s visionary art will enjoy this richly-produced collector’s item: a deck of 22 oversized (8
x 4 1/2) images from Grey’s out-of-this-world Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. The paintings span the spectrum of humanity, showing
every anatomical and spiritual layer of being. See www.cosm.org for more information about the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors.