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Monday, July 14, 2014

A Reading with The Sacred World Oracle

I was gazing thoughtfully at my oracle card shelves recently, and The Sacred World Oracle by Kris Waldherr (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) jumped out at me. Well, it didn’t actually jump, but I sort of jumped when I saw it – because realized that I have neglected it. It is a fairly new deck for me, so I guess that’s my excuse.

Allow me to introduce this gorgeous deck to you by way of a five-card spread that is included with the deck. It’s called Black Swan, White Swan. Kris Waldherr tells us that the spread was created by Thalassa of the Daughters of Divination’s San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium (BATS). Inspired by the ballet Swan Lake, its purpose is to help us “explore our blind spots – those pesky obstacles we can’t, or don’t want to see.”

In addition to animals, The Sacred World Oracle includes a card to represent each section or quadrant based on the four elements. The animals are linked with the appropriate element by the color of the card border.

Step One -- Lay out four cards to represent:
(1) The Black Swan (what you need to see that can get in your way)
(2) The Magic Feather (what to do about it)
(3) The White Swan (what you need to see that can help you)
(4) The Magic Feather (how to use the solution presented in the second card)

Step Two – Lay a fifth card across the top of the previous cards to symbolize the Swan in Flight. This offers an overview of the situation for additional perspective.

The Sacred World Oracle by Kris Waldherr (U.S. Games)

(1)  The Black Swan (what you need to see that can get in your way)
BEAR (VI): Brute strength. Power. Ferocity.
Kris Waldherr tells us that “The Bear card symbolizes brute strength lurking beneath the surface.” This suggests that I need to see the “beast” or “bear” within, beneath the surface, because it could get in my way if I am not aware of it and able to accept and work with its brute strength, power, and ferocity. Kind of a scary image!

(2) The Magic Feather (what to do about it)
CENTAUR (XLIII): Using judgment. Wild force. Purposefulness.
Waldherr writes: “The appearance of the Centaur card suggests that you now possess the brains and brawn necessary to navigate a change in your life.” The fact that my Sun Sign is Sagittarius (the centaur) adds to the significance of this card in this position. Whereas The Bear is all animal (force), the intellect side of The Centaur can direct force purposefully toward a goal.

(3) The White Swan (what you need to see that can help you)
OWL (XXIV): Education and skills. Considering things from all sides. Detachment.
Waldherr: “The appearance of the Owl card suggests you need to examine a situation from all sides to better understand it – a more detached view is needed.” The quotation pretty much answers what I need to see that can help me.

(4) The Magic Feather (how to use the solution presented in the second card)
AIR (XXIII): Ideas. Communications. Making connections. Perspective.
The element Air directs me to the intellect side of the Centaur in position 2, emphasizing the importance of using that intellectual or mental energy to direct the raw power represented by The Bear.

The Sacred World Oracle by Kris Waldherr (U.S. Games)
(5) Overview
SEAL (XXI): Transformation. Shapeshifting. Temptation.
Waldherr: “The Seal card invites you to look for instances of transformation in your life. How can you shift your shape to better your circumstances?” The Seal really does elevate my point of view from a focus on intellectual management of hidden power to the higher, broader concept of transformation. The word “Temptation” is also applied to this card, which tells me to think carefully about what I choose to do and why I choose to do it.


  1. Those cards look amazingly lavish - beautiful images and fantastical borders. The spread also really appeals to me, and I love the way the overview card took it to a whole different level!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Chloë. Yes, the Seal really did make me sit up and tilt my head to one side and say, "Oh!"


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~ Zanna