Review by Eva Yaa Asantewaa
While traveling in Belize last fall, I bought a small handcrafted change purse studded with shiny, fiery-red, orange, yellow, black and silver beads. I confess I didn’t need a purse at the time but I craved this gorgeous one. Now I finally have the perfect use for it. My newest deck–the oval-shaped, palm-sized cards of the 2013 Oracle--nestles comfortably inside. There’s even room for the deck’s unique, kerchief-sized cenote cloth–where the reader lays out the cards–with its print of four jaguars guarding a black reflecting pool. The purse neatly tucks into my handbag: Good to go
Inspired by ancient American/Mesoamerican prophetic themes and symbols, authors David Carson and Nina Sammons and artist Gigi Borri have produced an oracle deck of uncommon depth. Each card bears a stunning iconic design saturated in color, invoking energies that can guide us as the world passes through enormous changes predicted by the ancient peoples of the Americas. Mayan elders taught that this world, at least as we know it, would end in 2012--hence the deck’s hopeful, one-year-later name.
Some examples of the deck’s symbolic entities include the vibrant Waterdog (Metamorphosis), a salamander bridging the realms of water, air and fire; the solemn, wise and forbidding Snake Skirted Woman (Healer) who remembers your fate and cleanses you of poison; and the richly-carved obsidian Smoking Mirror (Divination), Lord of Deepest Night.
The 195-page guide book, 2013 Oracle: Ancient Keys to the 2012 Awakening, provides a wealth of information and full-color illustrations of each card. Immersing myself in its heady poetry, I frequently surfaced with great quotes, images, stories and unexpected ideas. Some people will prefer to read the text straight through, studying each card with care and getting a proper overview of its philosophical message. But taking a serendipitous dip--opening this book to any page–provides in itself a valid and fascinating oracular method.
Doing a reading with 2013 Oracle is a world apart from the ordinary. Why bother with the old Celtic Cross layout? What do the Celts have to do with this anyway? Carson and Sammons offer appropriate alternatives with an opening ritual and several layouts designed for their deck: the Cenote, Black Cosmic Cross, Pathway of the Flower, the Light Serpent Going to the Sky and The Diving Serpent.
Carson also co-created (with Jamie Sams) the widely-praised Medicine Cards, published by Bear & Co. in 1988. Based on Native American animal spirit lore and beautifully illustrated by Angela C. Werneke, it is one of my oldest and best-loved decks. Similar in quality and appeal, 2013 Oracle is nevertheless a far more intense and urgent implement. Introducing their first card, Alligator (Regeneration of World), Carsons and Sammons tell us how the old sages taught about the coming changes:
“When the next world comes, it will be like an Alligator. Alligator lies buried in the water and mud near the bank, never stirring. So it seems. Yet without warning, alligator will leap out of the water and seize you.” (1)
Clearly 2013 Oracle is not for people who prefer their decks gentle and sweet. Read advice like “Kick your puny ego down the street like a rusty old tin can because you won’t need it anymore”–from the Black Sun (Initiation) entry–and know you are not in Kansas anymore.
Kansas is a perfectly wonderful state, but the states of mind and soul heralded by 2013 Oracle are nothing short of electrifying.
1. Carson and Sammons, 2013 Oracle: Ancient Keys to the 2012 Awakening, p. 13.
© January 2007, Eva Yaa Asantewaa
Eva Yaa Asantewaa lives in New York City and maintains a private practice in psychic counseling, working with Tarot and other transformative modalities. She is an editor and blogger for The Tarot Channel. From January 2001 through January 2005, she published the popular DancingWorld Tarot e-Newsletter. Eva is also a critic and journalist specializing in dance, theater and performance art, and her creative writing has appeared in various journals and anthologies.