Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Review: Native Spirit Oracle Cards by Denise Linn
I’m going to be honest, Native Spirit is not a theme I would normally be attracted to when buying a set of oracle cards. I’m not a Native American, or a native anything really.
My father came from Eastern Europe as a refugee after the Second World War and my mother’s family came from Cornwall. I've lived in London most of my life and consider myself to be a modern eclectic witch. I’m also well aware of the cultural appropriation eggshells one has to walk on if one is tempted to practise forms of native spirituality one isn't entitled to.
But, for some reason, I was attracted to the new Native Spirit Oracle Card boxed set by Denise Linn. I liked the picture of a soaring eagle on the front cover – maybe because of a dream I had recently. I also liked the cards inside - vibrantly coloured photo art showing places in nature, wild creatures and iconic landscapes. Although some of the images were inspired by Native American spirituality, not all were. One card shows Stonehenge, for instance.
Okay, you could criticise this by saying Stonehenge is an over-used image. However, I think the reason for using scenes that everyone will recognise was probably because the cards are intended to have a universal appeal. The cards seem to be aimed at beginners just starting out on their spiritual path as well as oracle and tarot collectors like me.
The advice that comes in the book is great for beginners - ways to clear your space and your mind before using the cards and how to form questions to ask. There are a range of different spreads to try out, from standard single-card and three-card readings to a tree of life spread, a four directions spread and a medicine wheel spread for the year ahead.
And if you are still worried that using this deck is culturally inappropriate, the deck’s creator, Denise Linn, is of Cherokee heritage and a registered member of the Cherokee Nation. And Denise points out that each of us, far in our past, has ancestors who were indigenous to somewhere; who lived as tribal people and probably followed a traditional nature-based spirituality of some kind. This deck is intended to help us tune into the wisdom of those ancestors, even if we live in a modern city far away from the people far in our past.
Publisher Hay House says on its website: "The Native Spirit Oracle Cards profoundly deepen your connection to the mysterious, natural forces around you. Created by Denise Linn, an enrolled member of the Cherokee tribe,...this 44-card deck with companion guidebook holds the keys to unlocking a wondrous realm where you'll discover what destiny has in store for you. Each card opens a gateway so that you can powerfully and immediately discern your own unique, secret messages from the universe."
Denise Linn is also the author of the book Kindling the Native Spirit: Sacred Practices for Everyday Life.
You can order Native Spirit Oracle Cards: A 44-card deck and guidebookfrom Amazon.
Links and previous related posts
Native Spirit Oracle Cards: A 44-Card Deck and Guidebook
Kindling the Native Spirit: Sacred Practices for Everyday Life