The Soul's Journey Lesson Cards are designed to help the seeker access divine wisdom and assist with spiritual trials and life choices. Each of the 44 cards features a vibrant, brightly coloured mandala above the title of the card, and a gentle and positive affirmation.
James Van Praagh has become famous as an intermediary between the living and the dead. As well as television shows, he is also a prolific author. The central theme of his books (and career) is that death of the physical body is not death of the soul or spirit – those who have passed away continue to exist in some non-corporeal form, and he has the ability to communicate with them.
However Van Praagh has steered away from this motif with his new deck of Lesson Cards and has chosen to focus on the living and their soul’s journey. The deck is created with the belief that prior to our birth our soul has chosen a challenging path that will help it "learn to manifest the energy of love". To this end he has created a 44 card lesson deck that will help the Seeker access Divine Wisdom, and assist with choices, and spiritual trials.
The cards are illustrated with a series of detailed and precise mandalas. A mandala, for those not in the know, is a symbol or pattern that represents the cosmos, and is frequently used to induce trance states or as a meditation device. The mandalas on the Souls Journey cards veer between simple and somewhat complex, a few are asymmetrical but most are perfectly balanced. Each card has a title such as Change, Pride, Honesty, Fear, Grief, and beneath that a brief sentence which summarises the card’s essential meaning. These take the form of an affirmation – "I accept that challenges are the best way to learn”, (from the Adversity card) typifies the general tone of all the cards,without exception.
The cards measure 89 x 127 mm – which is a fairly standard size for an Oracle deck. They fit into the hands nicely and shuffle smoothly, without sticking together or clumping. The cards are made from good card-stock which is light and flexible without being fragile or flimsy. The finish is smooth and high-gloss, with gleaming gold gilt on the edges.
The print quality is good – nice clear images with crisp, clean lines and bright colours. The artwork has been rendered in acrylic paint on canvas – some of the texture shows through in the pictures. The mandalas are painted in both bright (yellows, reds, ochres etc.) and more spiritual colours (blues, purples, greens). These are set on backgrounds of complementary colours which help to emphasise the mood or essence of the card. There are no borders to the images. The print on the back – a collection of flower-like mandalas – is not reversible.
The cards come packaged in a solid cardboard box, with lift off lid. It is printed with mandalas from the Soul’s Journey deck, and information about the cards and their creator.
The cards are accompanied by a small 105 page guidebook by James Van Praagh. After a short introduction which details the purpose of the cards, instructions are given for how to use them: Clearing, Consecrating, familiarising oneself with the cards, Shuffling, and Dealing Your “Soul Spread” is all covered. Layouts include the daily draw, a 3 card draw, and a multi-card layout.
The divinatory meanings for the deck are fairly short – they are however sympathetic and wise. They tend to advise the seeker to be kind, accepting, and patient with oneself, and prescribe mindfulness-typed activities.
If you are looking for a deck which eschews complexity in favour of clarity, and has a gentle and unfailingly positive outlook then the Soul’s Journey Lesson Cards may be just what you are looking for.