Review by Bonnie Cehovet
I have wanted to work with the Shaman Wisdom Cards
for a long time now. They kept appearing as "Card A
Day" draws on various Tarot and non-Tarot lists that I
am on so, as with all things, their time finally came
and I am now happily ensconced in playing with them! I
knew that the cards were based on Native American
wisdom - what I was surprised to see is that the deck was
printed in Italy.
The cards are 2 3/4" by 4 3/4" - a very
nice size for smaller hands to work with. They are
printed on high quality, glossy card stock - which is a
good thing, becasue they will see much use in this
house! The backs have a 1/4" white border, with a 1/4"
darker, reddish-brown border surrounding a lighter
reddish-brown background, in the middle of which is a medicine
shield. The face of the card has the same template, with
the exception that the outer colored border has
sumbols draw on it. The card number is on the top, a
picture or symbol in the middle, and the name and
keywords along the bottom.
Cards 1 - 12 represent the twelve
moons, or twelve astrological months of the year. The
dates of the moon period are given, along with the
astrological sign and a short description of the cards intent.
From the accompanying booklet:
5 Heat Moon July 23-August 22 Leo-Shields-Adolescent
I am Heat Moon. I am
the fire of creativity. I am the Warrior moon of the
Summer - of doing, of activity. I spark all kinds of new
ideas. I am art and beauty. In my intense light you will
find yourself honoring your creativity. Take time right
now to express yourself through art of craft. Paint a
painting, knit a shawl, create a prayer stick. Fill your
creation with the power and strength of your intentions.
Let the sparks flow. Make it count. Your children, be
they human sons or daughters or the reflection of your
creativity, artwork or career, need your attention at this
time. Give it happily and freely. Find new ways to bring
a little romance into your life. You'll enjoy it.
Cards 13-24 represent the twelve animal sisters, and
refer to the mental self. Each animal is listed, along
with an associated direction, nature (masculine or
feminine) and element, as well as a short discription. From
the accompanying booklet:
14 - Buffalo Buffalo-North-Masculine-Earth
I am Buffalo. I am give-away. I am the blending of
Mother Earth nurturing and Father Sky wisdom.
patient, determined, consistent and constant. Step by step,
I can always be depended on. I am strength of
purpose and practicality itself. My brothers, the "human
beings," use every part of my body , with no waste. I
embody utility, abundance and limitless provision.
give-away. If I have plodded into your cards today, I am here
to help you blend the grounding of Mother Earth and
the animation and vigor of Father Sky. I may be
telling you to look at the movement in your life at this
time, to examine your ambition and energy. Ask yourself,
what drives me? I may also remind you of the sacrifices
it takes to "make it". Utilize all of the resources
at hand - waste nothing. As I give-away to you today,
I hand over new understanding of your source and
supply given to us by the Great Spirit. I am
Cards 25-36 represent the twelve plant clans, and speak
of our intellectual nature. They are presented with
the associated nature (masculine or feminine),
direction, astrological sign and element. Fromt he
I am Sweetgrass. I travel to t he Great Spirit,
Father Sky. I call in all that is Good. I am your
guardian. Use me to expand your abilities to communicate
your intentions to others. My sweet smoke elevates you
from the physical to the spiritual, from the profane to
the sacred, from the ordinary to the exceptional. My
pleasant aroma relieves stress and reduces anxiety. I am
aromas. I am dreams.
Cards number 37-48 are the twelve
tree brothers, representing our physical nature. They
are presented with associated nature )masculine or
feminine), direction, astrological sign and element. From the
48 - Willow Feminine-South-Moon-Water
am Willow. I stand for truth and justice. My
flexability allows me to adapt to any situation. If you are
feeling a little sorry for yourself today, I am the
powerful medicine you need. Be more receptive of my
qualities and be more bending. I am smoking mixture and
incense that captures dreams and enhances journies. I am t
he smooth flow of emotions. I am love. I am
Card numbers 49-58 are the Sacred Stone Societies, and
represent our practical nature. They are presented by
association (masculine or feminine), chakra, color and
element. Fromthe accompanying booklet:
58 - Hematite
Masculine - Foot Chakra-Black-Earth
I am Hematite. I am the
magnetic stone that grounds, balances, stabilizes, and
reconnects you to Mother Earth. I am courage and the
protection stone of warriors. Your abilities to concentrate
are enhanced by my very presence. I amplify t he
positive aspects of your personality, encouraging optimism
and trust. I am the rock of invention and creativity.
I bring advantage to legal situations, I am powerful
and usefull. I am survuval.
Card numbers 59-65 are
the Seven Great Directions, and represent our
spiritual nature. They are presented with association
(masculine or feminine), time of year, cycle of life, and
element. From the accompanying booklet:
I am the West. I am sunset. I am dusk. I am the most
powerful time of day. I am the crack in the universe. I am
the space between worlds. I am the color black; I am
where the Sun dies. It is here where things start, and
also where things end. It is death, it is rebirth.
Listen to your intuitions, listen to the woman within us
all, feel your emotions. This is the place of sacred
dreams, a place of psychic powers. You journey within
yourself seeking inner vision and introspection which can
provide great self healing. Do not be afraid of
transformations: there is security in change. I have come of age. I
am an adult. I am moving, I am dance, I am
There are several spreads listed in the introduction to
the pamplet that show how these cards might be used.
The one thing that I would have added to the booklet
that is not there would be diagrams to go with the text
explanation for the spreads. I feel that these cards have
great power. Used with humblness and respect, they can
be a true tool of empowerment and
© 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.
Review by Moonstone
The Shaman Wisdom cards, by Leita Richesson are, by far, the best divination deck I have ever used (and
I've used about seven).
The cards are uncannily accurate and address the question/concern in a
healing way, not just matter-of-factly. The cards also help the querant to
grow through personal transformation.
The deck is not based on the Tarot. Instead, it is numbered and divided into trees, moons (astrological signs), stones, plants, animals and directions. It's based on the Native American Shaman construct. There are 65 cards and an optional prayer to recite before starting. The enclosed pamphlet includes innovative spreads including the two card Pole Spread, the three card War Path Spread, and my favorite, the three card Sacred Path spread. I find the deck very adaptable to innovation and I have successfully used spontaneous spreads.
I was amazed to find that the number correlation of the cards had an easily discernable significance. At least for me, it was easier with this deck, as opposed to the Cartouche or Daughters of the Moon (two of my favorite decks).
The deck itself is very soothing. The cards are a light Earth color with a Native American motif border and a picture of the object done in muted colors. You can easily slip into a light meditation just by shuffling the deck!
The message of each card is multi-dimensional. The layered meanings relate to your "medicine" or blessing/lesson of the card, the element's traditional usage, and advice or warning. The reader is discouraged from engaging an "ill-dignified" approach to an upside down card. (I personally only use the horizontal shuffle, never the "flapping" method where the cards are splattered between each other. Therefore I never get upside down cards.) From what I gleamed from the pamphlet, the lessons of the cards are layered so there really is no "opposite" so to speak.
Each card is feminine or masculine, has a direction, an element and a planet. But some also have a chakra, some have two directions, and some are both masculine and feminine.
The other wonderful thing about this deck is that it can be used as a learning tool for those unfamiliar with Native American cosmology. I have been using the card a day method and learned a lot about myself, Native American cosmology, and shamanism.
This deck has an amazing vibration. It's as though there's a luscious mellow aura surrounding the cards. In summary, this is a very spiritual deck that is truly special!