June 3, 2015

Review - Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck

It might be early morning or sunset, New moon or Full. You have set aside some time, could be half an hour or half a day, to connect with your most sacred and authentic self. Maybe you are outside in nature, maybe you're snuggled in jammies sitting on your bed, either way you have spread out a silk scarf and are shuffling cards, relaxed and focused. Music or bird song fills the space, you are pleasantly aware of the smell of incense, roses, fresh air. Cleansed and purified, you are ready to begin your journey.

The Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck by Lisa Porter, published by U.S Games Systems, offers the seeker a way to reconnect with the archetypes of feminine wisdom. "When we develop access to our higher senses, we are being initiated into higher dimensional awareness and begin to work with universal energy... When we learn to call forth our eternal spirit back into our earthly bodies, we experience the ancient arts of actualization and connection to universal truth" (from the introduction).

Consisting of 36 Goddess Cards, 3 Confirmation cards, and a 48 page booklet, The Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck strives to activate both the right and left sides of the brain. Looking at the images stirs the creative imagination while reading the ancient stories brings about deep understanding, wisdom, and transcendence. The 3 Confirmation cards (Negation, Affirmation, and Revelation) can be shuffled in or used separately to explore the shadow aspects of the particular deity as well as to affirm positive aspects, or to create more mindfulness by cultivating non-duality.

It is a full Moon in June, and after a ritual bath I am wrapped in my favorite kimono, sitting on the deck with both the cats, where I have created an altar to welcome in the summer. The smell of jasmine is in the air, I can hear the barking of seals down at the wharf, and I arrange and rearrange the crystals and seashells into pleasing patterns while chanting softly to myself.

I set the intention to look at who is affirming my path, what shadow aspect do I need to embrace in order to experience enlightenment, and where do I combine my energies in order to synthesize a greater sense of wholeness. First I take the Confirmation cards and randomly place them, face down. Then I pull three goddesses to guide me, placing them also face down on top of the Confirmation cards.

As I flip the cards, the first pairing is Revelation/Confirmation, with Mary Magdalene/Identity - 22. "The Zen-like Revelation card is a sacred talisman... always a very personal experience, and requires meditative contemplation." Mary is seen with the sun behind her which casts her shadow into the desert, a serene look on her face, holding an alabaster vessel filled with sacred oils, long hair braided. Her message is to ask myself the eternal question, "Who am I and what are my values?" Much to ponder.

The next set is Negation/Confirmation, with Seshat/Intellect - 29. In the Negation card, we see the cup has spilled, the altar cloth stained, but still a full moon shines brightly in a window, symbol of renewal, rejuvenation, release. Seshat appears as an Egyptian scribe, hieroglyphics behind her, scrolls around her, draped in a leopards fur. She looks extremely focused, disciplined and determined. Seshat speaks to enjoying the written word, sharing information, and creative expression. For me, the shadow side is over-intellectualizing, over-thinking, and being too left-brained in my work, a need to find balance with more art, music, and dance. Interestingly, my silky black cat chooses this moment to launch herself onto my lap, a sweet reminder to "embrace the shadow".

The last pair is Affirmation with Baubo/Laughter - 7. Now the cup is full, a sunny day, a card filled with hope and optimism. Baubo is an intense card, a jester's head springing from a jack-in-the-box, hearts in her eyes, smiley emoticons on her cheeks, tears being shed, an exclamation mark on her third eye. In the corners we see the classic comedy/tragedy masks, and indeed, when pulling this card I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. "Bawdy Greek goddess Baudo is a jester and dry nurse... able to console... as laughter is the best medicine!" An excellent affirmation on my own path to cultivate lightheartedness, I am reminded of a Jamaican saying, "The Ugly-Beautiful of Everything".

The moon is just beginning to rise, casting her light upon the cards, blessing this moment for sweet contemplation. I write and sketch in my journal next, using the tools and gifts brought by these goddesses, to continue to build a solid foundation for the temple of my soul.