Monday, October 25, 2010

REVIEW: Earth Magic Oracle Cards

REVIEW

Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D.
48 cards; 170-page guidebook
Hay House, Inc.
Copyright 2010 by Steven D. Farmer
ISBN 978-1-4019-2535-2



Product Description from the publisher:
"The Earth speaks to us in many ways through the spirits of her various elements. In this deck of 48 oracle cards created by Steven D. Farmer, you’ll find descriptions and images of several of these Earth elements along with clear and concise messages from the spirits of each.

Through the use of these cards, you’ll uncover sensible advice that will provide guidance for questions you may have about any aspect of your life. The enclosed guidebook includes easy-to-follow instructions as well as expanded descriptions and messages for each card, allowing you to give yourself and others accurate, meaningful readings."
I might as well confess up front that I'm a huge fan of Steven D. Farmer's oracle decks, specifically his Power Animal Oracle Cards and Messages from Your Animal Spirit Guides Oracle Cards. Those two decks attracted me because of their focus on animals. Earth Magic attracted me because I was pretty sure I couldn't go wrong with a Steven D. Farmer deck.

Now that I have revealed my bias, let me do my best to offer an objective, useful review to those of you who might not already be Farmer Fans.

The Earth Magic Oracle deck comes with a 3-1/2" by 5" soft-cover guidebook. The cover illustration -- a beautiful rendition of Mother Earth -- is by Helena Nelson-Reed. To see more of Nelson-Reed's incredible, gorgeous art, visit her web site: www.helenanelsonreed.com/.  

For the images on the cards, I am told that Dr. Farmer spent months searching for just the right artwork . He incorporated the work of approximately 35-40 different artists, all of whom are listed in the back of the guidebook.

On the backs of the cards is a circle with its sides cut off by the edges of the card. Within the circle is a tree in a field, reflected in a pool of water. The tree's branches are filled with jewels such as diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds.

Trees typically symbolize life and growth. They reach down into the ground and up to the sky at the same time. Trees are also a common symbol for Earth. I think perhaps the jewels in the branches of the tree in this illustration are there to remind us that trees -- and the Earth -- are treasures, as valuable as the most precious gems.

I want to express my appreciation for the packaging used on this set. The Earth Magic Oracle deck and book are contained in a very nice, glossy, sturdy box with a separate lid. So many times, Tarot and Oracle decks are contained in flimsy boxes that don't stand up to being opened and closed multiple times.

Inside the guidebook we are told that the information on the Earth Magic cards is based on the book Earth Magic (copyright 2009 by Steven D. Farmer, published by Hay House). The dedication reads: "For the love of Mother Earth and all of her Children."

Following the Table of Contents there is a section containing Instructions for Working with the Earth Magic Oracle Cards. This section includes the expected general information about the deck as well as sections titled Preparing a New Deck of Cards, Storing Your Cards, and Oracle Card Readings. We are then given several spreads that can be used with the cards: Contemplation, Landscape, Timeline, Relationship, and The Cross. Farmer tells us:

"The Earth Magic Oracle Cards are meant to be used intuitively, so as you conduct a reading (for yourself or someone else), be aware of your thoughts, mental visions, physical sensations, and feelings as you look at the cards."

The next major section of the guidebook is called General Meanings of the Cards. This is where we find a description and interpretation of each of the 48 cards. For each card, Farmer provides a general description as well as a message for the reader.

Let's look at the cards themselves. At the top of each card we see the name of a particular Earth element and directly below that, its "theme." For example, the card titled CAVE has the subtitle Sanctuary; the card titled FULL MOON has the subtitle Completion; and the card titled SUMMER SOLSTICE has the subtitle Radiance.

Like the other Farmer decks I own, the cards in this set are made of high-quality stock with a glossy finish. The colors are vibrant and rich, and the art is simple yet evocative and inspiring.

I can see myself using these cards for a daily draw, perhaps asking for advice on where I should direct my focus for the day or asking which Earth element I should seek as my companion for the day.

I can also see using these cards as I often use other Oracle cards -- to augment or embellish Tarot readings. I have found that certain Tarot decks work extremely well with certain Oracle decks in my collection. The interchange can be truly startling and revealing. And of course there are times when an Oracle deck is the perfect thing to answer a certain question or explore a certain issue.

To see a sample reading I did with this deck, click HERE.
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Illustrator for "CAVE" : Garret Moore
Illustrator for "FULL MOON" : Ted Berkey

For more information about the deck creator, Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D., visit his web site at www.DrStevenFarmer.com. His Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Steven-Farmer/93018852583.

14 comments:

  1. I'm not a big one for Oracle decks but this does look an interesting one.

    I found your review helpful and I can see how these cards would be use intuitively. I like the idea of the full moon card being called completion, it makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. LOL, I sometimes wonder who buys all the oracle decks, Helen. I don't come across many people who seem to like them. Maybe one of the thousands of people who visit this blog will chime in. Thanks for commenting, in any case!

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  3. Oooh! I want them! Thanks for bringing them to my attention!

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  4. You're welcome, Corrine. (Yay, another Oracle deck fan! LOL.)

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  5. I am not usually a tarot or oracle user but when I saw this deck in the store I had to know more. After what I have read in other places, I am planning on purchasing them in the very near future. I was truly drawn to them.

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  6. Hello Anon, I think these cards would be useful simply to contemplate or meditate on, even if you don't do "readings." I hope you enjoy them!

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  7. I recently got this Oracle Card set with a Christmas Amazon Giftcard. I love them. They are beautifully done.
    Wonderful illustration and definitely very "earthy". I know I'll be enjoying them for many years to come.
    They're perfect for choosing a daily card for inspiration.

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  8. Hello Evi! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I agree -- they're wonderful as daily inspiration cards.

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  9. I LOVE Stephen Farmer's Oracle decks so look forward to this one with great trepidation!

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  10. Hi Moonkestrel! Thanks for stopping by the blog. I love Farmer's decks also, and this one is lovely and powerful.

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  11. Zanna, I have been using Divination/Oracle Card Decks for several years, and often use them in conjunction with Tarot Decks. I have Steven D. Farmer's first two, but do not yet have "Earth Magic Oracle Cards." I must confess that the artwork of his first two Oracle Card Decks did not draw me as I expected (he was married to Doreen Virtue, and I love and have ALL of her Oracle Card Decks). Nonetheless, I LOVE the images on the Cards that you supplied here, and look forward to placing this Deck on my "wish list." Thanks, again, for another great review.

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  12. Hello Robert! I'm happy to help your Wish List grow. :D

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  13. I own this deck, whenever I use it I feel peace, relieved of humanity's burdon and a connection that only something you recognize as a part of your own (spirt and body), such as Mother Gaia -being us part of her- can awake in you. It's a lovely deck :)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, Neiro!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I love hearing from my readers!
~ Zanna