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Author Topic: Which animal oracle deck should I get?  (Read 5604 times)

Eevee

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Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« on: October 31, 2016, 08:29:20 am »
I'm after an animal or a plant/tree oracle deck.
Instead of things like "change" "mother" "soul mate" written on them, I want the actual name of the animal/plant on the cards.
I looked at some today, but none reeaally grabbed my attention. One looked ok, but it had things like dragons in them, and as awesome as it looked, I'd rather work with the animals of Earth. I might get a fancy fantasy oracle deck later coz I just love the pictures, but I'm really trying to find my place on our Earth right now, and not elsewhere.
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Dusk

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2016, 12:08:22 pm »
Quote from: Eevee;198363
I'm after an animal or a plant/tree oracle deck.
Instead of things like "change" "mother" "soul mate" written on them, I want the actual name of the animal/plant on the cards.
I looked at some today, but none reeaally grabbed my attention. One looked ok, but it had things like dragons in them, and as awesome as it looked, I'd rather work with the animals of Earth. I might get a fancy fantasy oracle deck later coz I just love the pictures, but I'm really trying to find my place on our Earth right now, and not elsewhere.

 
I haven't tried it myself yet, but the Animal Spirit Deck is on my wishlist. There are some that are more conceptual (like "cosmic egg"), but most of them are just the animals, with the animal name titling the cards. There's a poster featuring all of the images from the deck here so you can get an idea of what all is included.
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Eevee

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2016, 12:57:48 pm »
Quote from: Dusk;198386
I haven't tried it myself yet, but the Animal Spirit Deck is on my wishlist. There are some that are more conceptual (like "cosmic egg"), but most of them are just the animals, with the animal name titling the cards. There's a poster featuring all of the images from the deck here so you can get an idea of what all is included.

Nifty!
I just discovered The Green Man Tree Oracle, but they're going for over $100 because they stopped printing them but ohmygod.
They're on my list, for sure.
http://www.priestesstarot.co.uk/category/green-man-tree-oracle/

I also discovered Earth Magic by Steven D Farmer. They're quite nice too, for more reasonably priced cards...
https://www.amazon.com/Earth-Magic-Oracle-Cards-Guidebook/dp/1401925359

But now I'm also considering the ones you showed me! UGH! Decisions!
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 01:00:02 pm by Eevee »
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Kylara

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2016, 08:13:15 am »
Quote from: Eevee;198393
Nifty!
I just discovered The Green Man Tree Oracle, but they're going for over $100 because they stopped printing them but ohmygod.
They're on my list, for sure.
http://www.priestesstarot.co.uk/category/green-man-tree-oracle/

I also discovered Earth Magic by Steven D Farmer. They're quite nice too, for more reasonably priced cards...
https://www.amazon.com/Earth-Magic-Oracle-Cards-Guidebook/dp/1401925359

But now I'm also considering the ones you showed me! UGH! Decisions!

 
Earth Magic is on my wishlist!  I have also looked at the animal spirit deck...but ended up ordering the Wild Unknown deck instead (by the same people).

I own the Celtic Tree Oracle and Medicine Cards, both of which I have used and enjoyed.

I have a friend who loves the Druid Animal Oracle and Druid Plant Oracle  she had wanted to mix them together and have a full plant and animal deck, but the backs are different, so if you were interested in something like that you would need some kind of card sleeve to hide the backs (or ignore the back when reading)
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Eevee

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2016, 01:49:14 am »
Quote from: Kylara;198453
and Medicine Cards, both of which I have used and enjoyed.

I have briefly looked at these! I'm unsure what the word "medicine" means in this context though. Is it something Native American?

As much as I like Native American things, I'm more inclined to use something central/northern Europe influenced, as it's closer to my roots. Or anything that uses animals/nature on a broader spectrum.
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Vince Noir: I thought it was good for you.
Naboo: What?
Vince Noir: Well, you know, good for your digestive system.
Naboo: That\'s Yakult!

Kylara

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2016, 09:54:19 am »
Quote from: Eevee;198497
I have briefly looked at these! I'm unsure what the word "medicine" means in this context though. Is it something Native American?

As much as I like Native American things, I'm more inclined to use something central/northern Europe influenced, as it's closer to my roots. Or anything that uses animals/nature on a broader spectrum.

 
Excerpt from the book that came with my Medicine Cards:

"To understand the concept of medicine in the Native American way, one must redefine "medicine."  The medicine referred to in this book is anything that improves one's connection to the Great Mystery and to all life.  This would include the healing of the body, mind, and of spirit.  This medicine is also anything which brings personal power, strength, and understanding.  It is the constant living of life in a way that brings healing to the Earth Mother and to all of our associates, family, friends, and fellow creatures.  Native American medicine is an all encompassing "way of life," for it involves walking on the Earth Mother in perfect harmony with the Universe."

From hearing it used by quite a lot of people (both those with Native American practice and the general New Age/NeoWicca group) my understanding of medicine is the gifts that something has to offer:  it may be healing or other types of energy, it may be knowledge or understanding.
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Beryl

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2016, 12:01:41 pm »
Quote from: Eevee;198497
I have briefly looked at these! I'm unsure what the word "medicine" means in this context though. Is it something Native American?

As much as I like Native American things, I'm more inclined to use something central/northern Europe influenced, as it's closer to my roots. Or anything that uses animals/nature on a broader spectrum.

You might want to check out the Druid Animal Oracle linked above, then, it's based in British/Celtic stuff, I believe, but obviously our wildlife (at least before we killed off half of it - for example, I think the deck includes bears and wolves) is fairly similar to that of mainland northern Europe, and the Celts used to be far more widely spread than the surviving Celtic nations (Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and... the Isle of Man?)

I don't have it yet, so can't really comment on how good it is, but I've got other decks by the same artist which I love, and Phillip Carr-Gomm is a pretty well respected Druid, I believe, and co-wrote another book that I'm very fond of, The Book of English Magic. Do shop around for it - some sites seem to have decided it's rare and expensive, others have it for £12 or so - though I think there are two different editions so I'm not entirely sure what the differences are between the two.

(I did get reminded to order it last night by this thread, though, so I'm happy to report back when I get my copy, if I remember, and if you have any questions to ask!)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 12:07:46 pm by Beryl »

Dusk

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2016, 04:24:41 pm »
Quote from: Eevee;198497
I have briefly looked at these! I'm unsure what the word "medicine" means in this context though. Is it something Native American?

As much as I like Native American things, I'm more inclined to use something central/northern Europe influenced, as it's closer to my roots. Or anything that uses animals/nature on a broader spectrum.

 
I have the Medicine Cards as well. Although I find the cards themselves useful, I cannot recommend the accompanying book. Very sweeping generalizations about "the Native Americans believe" without citing specific tribes, very questionable scholarship, little cultural context given. Does things like tell you you can discover your spirit animals through a card spread (and not as in, the cards will help you begin discovering them, but rather, pick 6 random cards and tada! you've found your totems). Basically a New Age bastardization of Native concepts and an excellent example of cultural appropriation. Furthermore, I find their assessments of the meanings of the animals questionable.
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Beryl

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2016, 04:46:59 pm »
Quote from: Dusk;198528
I have the Medicine Cards as well. Although I find the cards themselves useful, I cannot recommend the accompanying book. Very sweeping generalizations about "the Native Americans believe" without citing specific tribes, very questionable scholarship, little cultural context given. Does things like tell you you can discover your spirit animals through a card spread (and not as in, the cards will help you begin discovering them, but rather, pick 6 random cards and tada! you've found your totems). Basically a New Age bastardization of Native concepts and an excellent example of cultural appropriation. Furthermore, I find their assessments of the meanings of the animals questionable.

 
Yeah, I don't have the Earth Magic deck mentioned above, but I kind of got a similar vibe from it, e.g. the Shaman card which has what looks to be a digitally art-ified version of a photograph of an actual individual person (who may or may not have such a role IRL, I'd be amazed if the photo was even taken specifically for the deck and wasn't just found on a stock photo site) and the text is quoted on this link - it's extremely generic "this Native American shaman" - (which tribe, for a start?) That's like saying "this European priest" on a picture of a random but serious looking Frenchman in dark clothes. It's not a specifically Native American deck, and some of the cards are very pretty, but I personally wouldn't be comfortable with it because of that (I think there's a few other cards that nab ideas and imagery from other cultures which aren't necessarily open, though, fwiw.)

Eevee

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2016, 09:59:11 pm »
Quote from: Dusk;198528
I have the Medicine Cards as well. Although I find the cards themselves useful, I cannot recommend the accompanying book. Very sweeping generalizations about "the Native Americans believe" without citing specific tribes, very questionable scholarship, little cultural context given. Does things like tell you you can discover your spirit animals through a card spread (and not as in, the cards will help you begin discovering them, but rather, pick 6 random cards and tada! you've found your totems). Basically a New Age bastardization of Native concepts and an excellent example of cultural appropriation. Furthermore, I find their assessments of the meanings of the animals questionable.

Hmmm. I see where you're coming from. That alone is enough to deter me from buying it.
But the deck/book is by a Native. Can a Native appropriate his own culture?
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Redfaery

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2016, 10:04:00 pm »
Quote from: Eevee;198537
Hmmm. I see where you're coming from. That alone is enough to deter me from buying it.
But the deck/book is by a Native. Can a Native appropriate his own culture?
He's not appropriating his own culture, because there is no ONE "Native" culture.
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Eevee

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2016, 10:07:46 pm »
Quote from: Beryl;198531
Yeah, I don't have the Earth Magic deck mentioned above, but I kind of got a similar vibe from it, e.g. the Shaman card which has what looks to be a digitally art-ified version of a photograph of an actual individual person (who may or may not have such a role IRL, I'd be amazed if the photo was even taken specifically for the deck and wasn't just found on a stock photo site) and the text is quoted on this link - it's extremely generic "this Native American shaman" - (which tribe, for a start?) That's like saying "this European priest" on a picture of a random but serious looking Frenchman in dark clothes. It's not a specifically Native American deck, and some of the cards are very pretty, but I personally wouldn't be comfortable with it because of that (I think there's a few other cards that nab ideas and imagery from other cultures which aren't necessarily open, though, fwiw.)

I think Dusk was talking about Medicine Cards(by Jamie Sams/David Carson) and not Earth Magic.
The pictures on oracle cards will always be a bit vague. People instantly associate shamanism with Native Americans, so that's probably why they just slapped a random picture of a Native on there.
In terms of the other cards on the Earth Magic deck. It's the pictures that lured me towards it. I'm very fussy with art and one tiny, tiny flaw or disagreement with a picture is like a boulder to me. Hence why it's so hard to chose one.

I used to like "the wisdom of Avalon" cards by Colette Baron-Reid, and had a few of Doreen Virtue's fluffy white-light decks. But I gave those away looong ago.
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Vince Noir: Well, you know, good for your digestive system.
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Eevee

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2016, 10:11:04 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;198538
He's not appropriating his own culture, because there is no ONE "Native" culture.

 I get that, but I'm assuming the cards are coming from a general Native standpoint.

Dusk said "Basically a New Age bastardization of Native concepts and an excellent example of cultural appropriation."

I was just questioning that statement.
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Vince Noir: Well, you know, good for your digestive system.
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Redfaery

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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2016, 10:12:49 pm »
Quote from: Eevee;198540
I get that, but I'm assuming the cards are coming from a general Native standpoint.

Dusk said "Basically a New Age bastardization of Native concepts and an excellent example of cultural appropriation."

I was just questioning that statement.

But...there IS no "general" Native standpoint.
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Re: Which animal oracle deck should I get?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2016, 11:29:50 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;198541
But...there IS no "general" Native standpoint.

 
Actually one of the first things we learned in First Nations Studies was that there are differences between the epistemic systems in place with Natives and Europeans, and that across most tribes in N. America you're going to find the same epistemic system (or close variations on the same), if not the same *details* of culture. Whereas the epistemic system across European cultures is different from the one across First Nations cultures.

(An epistemic system is a fancy way of saying "worldview." We were taught to think of them like the skeletons or building blocks of cultures; many cultures could come from one epistemic system and still be vastly different in the details.)

So, no, there is no general Native culture, just as there is no general European culture, but it can be argued there is a general Native standpoint, because of the overarching epistemic system being mostly the same across tribes. (As with everything, there are exceptions, obviously.)

I would give more detailed examples, but unfortunately I don't have my notes from classes handy and my memory is pretty hazy these days. I just wanted to point out that bit about epistemic systems, because it's something that goes largely unremarked upon in these conversations but I think it's important to keep in mind.

As far as the Medicine Cards go in particular, I'm assuming the author is actually writing from a Choctaw point of view (as that is his nation), but not actually stating that because, well, marketing. What's going to sell better to people who want a taste of "Native American spirituality"? Something specific to a tribe, or pan-Indianism? The latter, unfortunately.

Personally, I use them and like them and don't really have any problems with them; any pan-Indianism going on seems to at least be true to the epistemic system at root, if not to the details of the cultures. I definitely would not call them a "New Age bastardization," as New Age says to me a refusal to look at harder or more uncomfortable truths, and the cards *do not* shy away from those things.

(I don't do readings for people any more, because the last time I did I got screamed at for an hour because she didn't like the card mentioning the historical fact of colonization or all the nasty, uncomfortable truths there. A New Age deck would, in my experience, not be willing to dive into that sort of thing. It would look to soothe white guilt, and this deck does not do that.)
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