Over here in the UK, we have a magazine called Soul & Spirit. This monthly lifestyle magazine encourages readers to tap into and enhance their spiritual gifts and interests. It’s regular contributors include the astrologer Russel Grant and angel author, Diana Cooper.
I don’t buy the magazine every month, but sometimes, it does make a nice Friday evening read and each copy usually comes with some kind of gift. In the past, they have given away CDs, colouring books, and spiritually themed bookmarks and jewellery. Amongst these free gifts, they often give away oracle decks.
I have owned a few of these decks over time. They are usually a little smaller than a set of playing cards and feature the artwork of one artist. While many are attractive, I’ve not used many of the sets in my own practice.
In this months issue (for February 2016), Soul & Spirit are giving away Your Spiritual Journey, a set of oracle cards, in association with Jenny Smedley. Jenny is a Hay House author (‘Soul Angels’) and angel expert. In the bio on her website, it says she paints personalised angels on request, but I am not 100% sure if the artwork in this set is her own.
What you’ll notice from the get-go is the size of this oracle deck. It’s over twice the size of the usual free oracle sets, measuring in at 13.5cm x 9.5cm. This actually does make a nice difference. It aids better connection with the images. The cards are also borderless, which is a big bonus.
The illustrations are all scenic water colours. They do not have people in, but there is occasional wildlife shown, such as birds either in a tree or flying overhead. The absence of people is actually quite refreshing, since the scenes [capturing seasons and different habitats] unlock our intuition through colour and mood. Cards show the crashing waves of the sea, the gentle moonlight, or a meadow alive with flowers. Most are situated around the countryside, but there are some which lightly focus on town or suburban living. The latter are few and far between though.
Within each of the 60 cards, you will find a title and message in black text. Personally, I’d have preferred just the title, but the affirmations are nice and thought provoking throughout. For Stamina, it reads ‘Your inner strength will keep you moving forward today’. For Unity, ‘We are all family. Be nice to yours today’. While the image for Unity is lovely, it doesn’t have much to do with its title (it shows a fir tree in the snow) but in all honesty, this doesn’t really matter and does not detract from the message.
So, how does the deck read? If you are going at this from a fortune telling angle, then it is most likely the titles which will provide springboards for your intuition – Fidelity, Dare, Mystery, Communicate, Escape, Fortitude, and Clarity are all words which any oracle card reader will be able to use with ease. As a single daily draw, the affirmations provide food for thought and light direction. I performed a few three-card readings and found that there was enough in these cards to provide a meaningful reading. In some, there are objects to stimulate the intuition further – such as a bench in ‘Comfort’, a ship in ‘Inspired’ (If you are not inspired, change your direction) and a rowing boat in Play. If I was to criticise this deck in any way, I’d advise that a few of the paintings have been duplicated but cropped in a different way and used in more than one of the cards. The backs, showing a butterfly, contain the magazine’s name and web address. Is that a big deal? No, not really.
Even though Soul & Spirit gives away these kinds of gifts, the price of the magazine often reflects them. This month it retails at £5.99, which is pretty reasonable when you consider that you’re getting a magazine that usually sells at two thirds of the price and a decent oracle set to boot.
I asked the set to tell me what it is all about and I drew Smile. The card shows a beautiful and sunny image. Beside a river, we can see two different trees and a mass of yellow and red flowers. Beneath the title, it says ‘Happiness knows no language barriers’. This is a wonderfully uplifting message and I think it does describe the deck well. This is a deck which would suit readers of all levels and for all purposes – for spell work, meditation, positive thought, or oracle readings. The images, showing an array of natural subjects and times of the year, communicate with the soul, rather than the mind. It certainly makes you smile on the inside after you have spent a few hours with it.
All in all, I’d recommend this oracle deck. It has a warm feel to it and the artwork is very beautiful. Even though comforting, it is more than a set of feel-good affirmations and I think that most readers would be able to get something from it. It has a gentle and meditative voice, which brings answers and comfort to anyone willing to quiet their mind and listen.
If you’d like to get hold of a copy, the February issue of Soul & Spirit magazine is in the shops now and can be ordered from their website. Give it a go! You might be pleasantly surprised.
All illustrations from Your Spiritual Journey by Soul & Spirit, in association with Jenny Smedley
You can find Jenny Smedley’s website here.
You can find Soul & Spirit’s website here.