(For the review and the flip through, please check out my video here, or scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the embedded video!)
The overall themes of Wisdom of the Oracle is imagination, possibility and navigation. From what I gather, its core values and philosophies are that we should not hesitate to embark on new journeys that will lead us to opportunities and change, we should always tune in to our inner compass as well as pay attention to the synchronicities all around us, and we should believe that our futures are as limitless and so is our creativity. (The reason why I resonate with this deck so much is precisely because we share similar worldviews. I feel like giving Colette Baron-Reid a high-five!)
Alright, down to the good stuff. If you are considering working with this deck and/or you need some help unpacking the symbolism, this blog post will address the recurring motifs and images that are present throughout this deck. Here are a list of considerations that will help you unpack the cards you pull:
Consider the Landscape of the Card
If you go through the cards, you will find that there are several key landscapes and terrains that are portrayed in this deck. Each landscape tends to represent a unique circumstance or energetic vibe, and sometimes you can see combined landscapes to provide contrast and enhance meaning.
Sky. Cards like Imagine(20), Unfinished Symphony(10), Blessed(22), Yang(1), Round and Round (25), are Breathe(29) all feature a clear, vast blue sky. Symbolic Associations include: possibilities, limitless potential, expansion, inspiration and future.
Desert. Cards like Go the Distance(47), The Tribe(8), Chaos and Conflict(33), By the Book(11), and Tick-Tock(30) all feature the harsh barren landscapes of the desert. Symbolic Associations include: adversity, conflict, resilience, long-term goals, and strength in community and in self-belief.
Mountain/Rock. Cards like Clean It Up(21), Regeneration(46), Orphaned(5), New Life(39), Why?(31), Poised(48), and Come to the Edge(36) all feature mountainous terrains or depictions of a rock or boulders (can sometimes just be a floating chunk of land or rock). Symbolic Associations include: solitude, retreat, withdrawal, cultivation of the innerscapes, and distance. Think the Hermit card from tarot!
Ocean/Waters. Cards like Message in a Bottle(15), To the Sea(7), and Treasure Island(9) all feature oceanscapes and scenes of water. Symbolic associations include: drifting, transitioning, movement, processing/processes, patience, and waiting.
Combined Landscapes. There are many cards that combine landscape and scenes. When this is the case, consider the symbolic associations of each landscape and how they interact or contrast one another. For example, Here and Now(32) features both the skyscape and desertscape. The desert connotes the long, arduous journey that you embark on if you choose to dwell in the past and the future, as shown by the road signs. However, if you enter the floating egg in the sky realm, if you enter the land of possibilities and potential.
Consider the Recurring Images and Items
Eggs. Cards like Here and Now(32), Co-Create(40), To Be Fair(38), Unfinished Symphony(10), Happy, Happy(26), Observer(49), Loyal Heart(35), Flexible(19), and Peace(23) all depict eggs of various colours and sizes. Symbolic Associations: birth, gestation, creation, creativity, opportunity, and intention.
Stars. Cards like Time to Go(45), Breathe(29), Time for a Nap(24), Poised(48), The Fates(17), Round and Round (25), Thinker(44), Yang(1), Blessed(22), Deep Knowing (43), Peace(23), and Observer (49) all feature stars, sprinkled across the card or strung into an object. Symbolic Associations: divine guidance, inspiration, Muse, faith, belief, hope, spiritual energy, and celestial connection.
Birds. Cards like The Tribe(8), Fork in the Road(13), Between Worlds(3), Co-Create(40), To be Fair(38), Unfinished Symphony(10), Happy, Happy(26), Loyal Heart(35), Truth Be Told(14), Peace(23), Deep Knowing(43) all feature birds (and if you pay attention, a lot of them are owls. Birds, especially owls, serve as symbols of important messengers and guardians that are present in our lives. I believe this is true across many Colette Baron-Reid decks. Symbolic Associations: guardian angels, spirit guides, spiritual connection, intuition, listening to the divine, synchronicity-messages, unexpected news and opportunities, vision, and active listening.
Journey/Wayfinding. Cards like Observer(49), Time to Go(45), Here and Now(32), A Change in the Wind(12), Tick-Tock(30), Message in a Bottle(15), To the Sea(7), Fork in the Road(13) all feature aspects of journeying and wayfinding. This is a broader category for all things related to wayfinding: depictions of roads, road signs, compass, telescopes, and movement. Symbolic Associations: the journey of life, finding your way, staying true to your purpose, vision, decision-making, transition, and answering your calling.
Winged Beings. Cards like Happy, Happy(26), Exchange Gifts(27), Serendipity (18), Never-Ending Story(37), Blessed(22), Thinker(44), Poised(48), Breathe(29), Mending(52), New Life(39), Why?(31), Time to Go(45), Here and Now(32). Other than being decorative, angellic, butterfly or pixie wings serve as reminders of our inner divinity and our connection with the Universe. Symbolic Associations: divinity, grace, innocence, child-like wonder, wisdom, Nowness and freedom.
Moon. Cards like Deep Knowing(43), Time for a Nap(24), Imagine(20), and Observer(49) all features the crescent moon or full moon. Symbolic Associations include: imagination, dreaming, intuition, feminine aspect, femininity, resting, introspection, playful rest.
Doors/Windows. Cards like Chop Wood(42), Not for You(6), Truth be Told(14) and There and Now(32) all features doors and windows. Symbolic Associations: opportunities, alternative perspectives, opinions or attitudes, flexibility, threshold, transitions, and decision-making.
How to Utilize Symbolic Associations: Sample Reading
Learning how to read symbols is crucial to conducting intuitive readings, and it’s actually very easy once you get into the zone!
- First, start by looking at the definitions or general associations of a symbol,
- Second, match and apply it to your own life and experiences.
- Third, look for images and symbolic suggestions that offer you a solution to your problems
For example, you ask about your career and you receive the card: Here and Now. You look at the images depicted on the card and you see the desert landscape, the sky landscape, road signs, a floating egg with a winged child sitting on top of a banner that says, “You are Free”. In addition, there is a gate wide open in the centre of that floating egg.
Like mentioned before in the above example (in the landscape section), the desert depicts the long and laborious journey towards both Past and Future, the two words written on the road signs. You can start to reflect by asking yourself, “Have you been struggling with dwelling in the Past or wanting to go back to the Past?” The answer is yes, because presently you find that you are in fact regretting how soon you have quit your previous job, and that you should have waited until you’ve saved up more before you quit. You then can ask yourself, “Have you been struggling with dwelling in the Future or projecting your thoughts forward in the future?” The answer is also yes, because you have been incessantly worrying about if you’re going to have enough money to last the next couple of months, and you’re worried that you just might end up on the streets if you don’t find a steady source of income in the days to come.
Now you look at the floating egg in the skyscape. From both the sky and the egg, you combine the two symbols and you interpret them as the new idea or new opportunity that will lead you to your financial freedom and endless potential. But what exactly is this? It’s floating on top of you, so that means it’s above your usual periphery of vision. If you “look up” (figuratively), what is something you have been missing? You start to reflect and you come to the conclusion that quite literally, the 68-year-old retired mother who lives above your apartment floor has been asking you to if you teach guitar lessons, because her musically curious granddaughter visits every weekend, and she would love to help nurture the talent in her grandchild.
You also remember that a couple of neighbours have been asking you for guitar lessons as well, and they say that you’re such a cheery personality and their kids love you. Now this is something you’ve been shoving under the carpet because in your mind, teaching guitar and being self-employed doesn’t seem like a “stable” job, or it doesn’t seem like a “traditional” job that pays regularly. But hey, someone is literally asking if they could pay you money for a service, so why not?
You look down at the card and you notice (again) the child sitting on top of the egg. Quite literally, a chlid! Wasn’t that the opportunity you have just realized!? Teaching children, and working with children? Before you know it, you have managed to tapped into your intuition through symbolic associations, identified the ares in your life that aren’t working, and come up with a new direction to work towards.
This is how you can utilize symbolic associations. You engage with the symbolism and ask yourself meaningful questions to find the insights already present in your psyche and solutions to your problems. You allow your intuitive insights to flow uninterrupted, staying in the Moment, focusing on the Now.
You may ask, well didn’t the card just tell me what I already knew? This was nothing I couldn’t deduce on my own! But that’s the thing with reading cards intuitively. Your intuition leads you to your inner wisdom and your inner knowing. It needn’t to be a moment of multi-dimensional transcendence with divine trumpets playing each time you channel an intuitive reading. Intuitive readings are very subtle, but insightful, and powerfully transformative if you allow the energies and the stars to realign, and make the right choices to hasten that process.
By the way, I just wanted to let you know that the list of symbols here are not exhaustive–there are many more that I haven’t addressed, but I have made an effort to address the most common ones. I did my best to include the examples and actual cards that include these symbols, but I may have missed some. If I did, feel free to comment below and I will add it to the blog post to complete the list. And if there is any symbolism that you’re wondering about, feel free to comment below as well!
Anyhoo. I hope you find this guide useful. xo