A Guide to the Nomadic Oracle
A Guide to the Nomadic Oracle is the fully illustrated companion book to the 56 card Nomadic Oracle deck, a deck independent of any religious or traditional beliefs.
By Jon Mallek
- Published by Ambient Studio
Review by Bonnie Cehovet
This strange book begins with a
disclaimer and ends with a blessing
~ the Nomadic Oracle ~
a view from the edge of truth in search of a new reality
and an open connection to the Universe at play
(from the book)
“A Guide To The Nomadic Oracle” is the fully illustrated companion book to the 56 card “Nomadic Oracle” deck. Both deck and book transport the reader into intriguing new realities. The book is divided into three parts:
Part 1 The Nomadic Oracle
Part 2 The Cards ~ Descriptions & Commentaries
1. Family of the Emotions
2. Realm of the Active Path
3. Realm of Time
4. Realm of Guidance
5. Family of Protection
6. Realm of Territories
7. Realm of Abundance
8. Family of Transition
9. The Senses
10. The Elements & Spirits
11. The Infinite Self
Part 3 – Quick Stuff
Colour Mapping or Mapping Colour
Cosmology of the Nomadic Oracle
A 5-page Guide to the Cards
The first point that Mallek makes is that the oracle is independent of any traditional or religious beliefs, something that he feels is essential to its nomadic quality. The oracle does, however, draw on examples of ancient knowledge: the Tantras, I-Ching, Mayan-Toltec, Pagan and Amerindian traditions. Mallek views this oracle as an energy body, tuned through an understanding of our relationship with the universe. The oracle has an awareness of our five senses, as five different frequencies with which we maintain contact with our outer world. Each sense has a name: Fire (Smell), Water (Taste), Earth (Touch), Air (Sound) and Consciousness (Sight).
Planet Earth is also described as an energy body, with five separate zones: a superheated inner core, the oceans, the terrestrial surface, the atmosphere, and the subtle boundary with the edge of Space. Mallek places three cards together – Shakti, Grace and Shiva – to represent a cosmology. This map explains the cosmic alignment that we share with our planet, and how it binds us to it. Shakti represents female energy (anima), Shiva represents male energy (animus), while Grace represents a balance between order and chaos, and between all lesser dualities. Together, this represents the energy of one person, and that person’s connection to this planet.
From the book:
“Fifty-one of the fifty-six cards are arranged in a matrix, in groups of Families and Realms, which include both the senses and the elements. Each card represents one of five elements within it’s group. Together with the Elements and Spirits - Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Consciousness - and the Senses, there are eight other groups. This arrangement can help the oracle to show whether certain parts of a situation are ‘of your making’ or are being created by other people.”
The two Jesters are used to extend the language of a reading. Mallek refers to them as “not cards”, and they carry the thought of prefixes such as “un” (i.e. unclear), or “im” (i.e. immaterial). When a Jester is drawn, a second card is always placed next to it. This card is read as the “not” – i.e. Nourishment next to the Jester would read “not nourishment”, or a situation that is not nourishing.
When it comes to reading spreads, Mallek notes that spreads used with other oracles (such as the Tarot or Angel cards) may be used, but that they will only work to some extent. Using other strategies will allow the oracle to deliver higher levels of guidance in a range of frequencies, show direction and changes over time, and link itself temporarily to the user’s ongoing future life experience.
The basic spread is called a terrestrial reading. The first card shows the context within the question that the oracle will focus on. The second card represents the “here and now”, the present situation. The third car represents terrestrial, practical guidance. It may also represent the possible consequences of an action that the user has in mind. The fourth card represents the energies inherent in a problem or issue. The fifth card represents an overview of the situation. The sixth card represents what you have been receiving, or may wish to receive about an issue. The seventh card represents creative opportunities – those the user may wish to create, or to create the conditions for. With the exception of the Jesters, each card has a relationship with one of the frequency zones, giving it either a natural or neutral place within the spread.
There is a very good section on interpreting spreads, as well as adding additional cards, if needed. The chakra system, Reiki energy, the shamanic wisdom of the Toltecs, Colour mapping – drawing the reading on a piece of paper, in colour, is also encouraged as a way to understand a reading.
There are what Mallek terms “special cards” in the deck. Portal and Drum act as threshold cards. The compass card, Perspective, literally speaks of looking at things with a fresh perspective.
Instructions are given for what Mallek terms a “vectored” spread – a spread with both speed and direction. The interesting thing about this spread is that you do it at one point in time, go about your daily life, leaving the spread in place, then go back to it at the end of the day, adding extra cards to whatever areas of the reading seemed to have been active during the day.
Mallek indicates that there are many ways that the cards can be used , including a single card for guidance, or multiple readings for the same question, focusing on the context of each spread.
Part 2 presents descriptions and commentaries on the cards. Each Family is listed, with the cards within the Family (i.e. The Family of the Emotions - Debt & Domination* Snowbird*Judgement*PrivateParty*InnerChild. This is followed by commentary on the Family in general, then the individual cards within the Family. Each card description includes a very large, full color image of the card in question. The imagery is very well done, and very thought provoking.
From the card Judgement: “Those of us who need to explore our own freedom certainly have a toughtime dealing with the projections of others. However, it is also obvious that living without forming some sort of estimation of the people we are in contact with would be naive, unrealistic and potentially hazardous. This need not be a matter of judgement but of awareness, the province of different card in the oracle - Discernment, the Sense of Taste.”
From Kundalini: “The Kundalini is a fire card representing your essence, your undiluted lifeforce. It may be highly reactive. Wherever it is placed in a spread, it suggests the need to focus all of one’s energies at that point and carries the additional meaning of trusting implicitly one’s ability to act instinctively and even ruthlessly.”
From Realm of Time: “…Time is relative, interrelated with gravity and therefore with matter, also with speed but not with acceleration. As with life, nobody knows exactly what it is. All we can do is describe what it does. In ordinary ways of thinking, cause always comes before effect in a logical progression. For those people who have become aware of the play of synchronicity or have received premonitions of future events, even this may no longer be stated with any certainty. This is also true of any idea of the present. An infinitesimally small non-moment in time between the past and the future? No one really knows. Some of us have experienced the here and now seemingly stretch but why this may be the case is beyond speculation.”
From Intruder: “Related to our emotional and intellectual energy body, the water card in the Family of Protection is called Intruder. It is a card which may make a range of different suggestions depending on the situation and will often point to a duality which may be read equally in the positive or in the other. In one sense, Intrusion may be about mental interference or static, the source of which may come from inside the self or from other people in your life, but which is the work of the ego, that thin shell of self-image-defence we all have and all share. The ego can make any of us shy or extrovert.”
Part 3 is a guide to colour mapping, along with a section on the cards, in alphabetical order. From the book:
“Abundance (p. 93) - consciousness card in the Realm of Abundance Great good fortune. Sufficiency without unwanted surplus. May refer to wealth, friendship,clarity or love depending on the situation or the question. Receiving the generosity, love orcommitment of others. Self-sufficiency, freedom - the bountiful assistance of the universe.
Air (p. 125) - the Elements and Spirits of Air - companion to Ethereal Voices Incoming communication. The power of speech and words. Psychic whispers and silent knowledge which cannot be immediately brought into the mind.
Cauldron (p. 87) - earth card in the Realm of Abundance - twinned with the Forest The workings of nature and mother earth whether human-friendly or dangerously toxic. The process of the evolution of the self. May suggest strategies of inaccessibility or unpredictability.
Circle of Silence (p. 79) - air card in the Realm of Territories Head space. Secrecy, privacy, a closed or private territory. By implication this card may on occasion refer to a ‘conspiracy of silence’.
Consciousness (p. 83) - the Elements and Spirits”
I found the companion book to be interesting and easy to follow. The system presented with these cards is outside the realm of any existing decks that I know of, so there is really nothing to compare it to. If we suspend our belief for a moment, and work with the cards, new worlds of wisdom will open up for us. One note: There is full nudity, so one would have to be mindful of which clients to use this system with.
© Bonnie Cehovet
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.