An oracle deck inspired by Native American Shamanism, the Shaman Wisdom deck has 65 cards divided into trees, moons, stones, plants, animals and directions.
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. I am 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.
I am 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 dependable.
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 accompanying booklet:
28 - Sweetgrass Feminine-North-Sun-Air
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 accompanying booklet:
48 - Willow Feminine-South-Moon-Water
I 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 protection.
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:
61 - West Feminine-Fall-Adult-Earth
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 movement.
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 transformation.
© Bonnie Cehovet
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!