As ever, Schiffer’s production standards with the Gaia’s Vision Oracle are second to none. While I’m not a huge fan of their card stock for tarot decks, as it’s durable but rather thick for ease of shuffling, with an oracle like this of 40 cards that isn’t an issue. A lovely, magnetic clasp box holds the companion booklet and cards. However, I will say I’m surprised they didn’t go for a smaller book and box (like the Tarot of the Sidhe), given the book is only 24 pages!
While short, what the booklet contains is good. There’s a grey scale scan, interpretative paragraph and keyword for each card. These paragraphs are brief, but often enticing. For example, for Mists of Tears we have: “You stand in a shimmering waterfall, ready for relief. Warm drops fall…tears flow…pain pours out. Let it go, let it all go…gently releasing, creating space within. Breathe…the veil lifts…treasures of the universe wait for you. Peace washes over you.”
Better yet, there are 9 nature-based spreads. These are really lovely, including a River Spread and a Mud Spread ? With questions such as “What has been keeping me stuck? What function has that served? How can I move on? What inner strength will help me?” (Mud Spread) these are both deep and empowering. I would say, though, that these spreads might be better used with tarot cards than with this deck.
The reason I say that is because the card descriptions are a bit on the love-and-light side of the spectrum, with no suggestions for darker meanings. So, it poses a bit of a challenge when you have more ‘negative’ positions to interpret. Why would you want to release Reverence (the keyword for the Sacred Belonging card), or how could Spirit Signals (keyword Noticing) be keeping you stuck? As I say, though, the spreads themselves are great.
As for the cards, all the images are photo melanges of at least two nature photos. And while some images are stunningly beautiful, such as Joyful Body or Mists of Tears, mostly I find them a bit hard to connect with. They seem a little blurry and confusing, and the use of colouring is sometimes a little extreme and unnatural.
Perhaps that is part of the point, to have an image you need to dive deeper into, in meditation maybe. Still, I also don’t find much of a connection between some of the images and their titles – why should tulips be more about Coming Alive than any other flower (of which there are many)? And why can’t I actually see a spiral in Dancing the Spiral?
I’m sure there will be some people to whom these cards speak in poetic terms, but I’m afraid I have struggled to like them, never mind connect with them. A shame, as the idea is good, the writing inspiring, and the spreads are excellent.