I was SO spoiled with decks for my birthday this year. Ok, so maybe the fact that my Amazon wish list was awash with decks of various kinds left friends and family with little option, but they could have just said "Stuff that, she's getting socks" (which would have been cool - I like socks).
So, among loads of other equally thoughtful and appreciated goodies, including Camelia Elias' book Marseille Tarot: Towards the Art of Reading
woot!woot!, were the Wild Kuan Yin Oracle
by Alana Fairchild, The Oracle of Shadow & Light
by Lucy Cavendish and the deck I'm going to talk about today, the Spirit of the Wheel Meditation Deck
by Linda Ewashina.
This deck was particularly attractive to me because, having lived in the Pacific Northwest for a number of years, I couldn't help but be familiar with the work of Jody Bergsma
. I am the proud possessor of two (admittedly small) Bergsma prints from 1981. If you're a fan, the card images will not disappoint*.
What might disappoint, however, is the little white book (LWB). Yes, there is the all-important information about each card, with three keywords (which also appear on the card), a "prophecy" which gives details about the symbolism and why you may have drawn that particular card, and a "prayer" or affirmation related to the energy of the card.
There is also some information about the concept of the Medicine Wheel or Sacred Hoop. It's a bit sketchy, and sometimes references are made to ideas that aren't then elaborated upon. For instance, when referring to the Moons, or in this case the moonstones, as each card is intended to represent one of the stones that make up a physical medicine wheel, Linda says "Each of the moonstones has a mineral, plant, animal and element associated with it..." But when you turn to the section on the Moon cards none of that information is actually provided. This is not an insurmountable problem because Google. I've come up with a few sources for the minerals, plants and animals, all differing slightly, of course. And I'm pretty sure they take their element from the quarter in which they fall, so for instance Budding Trees Moon falls in the eastern quarter of the wheel which, according to this system, is represented by air.
Those kinds of associations are nice to have from a divinatory perspective, but they're not essential. I've read/heard a few people say that they don't use the Spirit of the Wheel Meditation Deck for divination but rather, as the name suggests, for meditation and personal guidance.
Me, though (like in my Lotería post
), I want to read with them. So what most disappointed me were the spreads. I was expecting some use to be made of the Medicine Wheel structure, especially as you're given a poster depicting the layout of the "stones". There is an Inner Circle Spread which assigns influences to the positions of the 8 inner stones of the wheel. But it strikes me that there's so much more that could be done with the energies of the Wheel as a whole. So I'm going to play with the idea for a while and see what I can work up.
For now, I've been locating the Medicine Wheel card (numbered 0) in the deck, pulling the two cards before and after it, laying them out in order - east, south, west and north - and reading them from the "perspective" of each direction as described in the LWB. Actually, an idea is forming as I type. This is precisely why I type
, here and in cartomancy groups on Facebook - it blocks out the 'ooo shiny' distractions and makes me focus on the realities of card reading for a while.
*The image and card description mismatches have not escaped me, such as my birth moon card, Freeze Up Moon, sporting a lovely picture of two white buffalos despite the fact that the animal associated with it is the snake. But in fairness, the images were not created for the deck but selected from existing works "to reflect each card's unique meaning, symbolism, prophecy and prayer". Bottom line, it's pretty and I like it.
Labels: decks, ideas, method, review, Spirit of the Wheel Meditation Deck, spreads