Deck Review: Seasons of the Witch Beltane Oracle
Seasons of the Witch is an oracle with a twist, as the creators, Juliet Diaz & Lorriane Anderson, are putting together a series of these decks, each based on a sabbat of the Wheel of the Year. The Samhain and Yule decks have already been released, and this is their latest, celebrating the May festival of Beltane.
Seasons of the Witch Oracle is a clever concept, because the idea of working with a deck throughout the different seasons appeals to many tarot and oracle readers, and with each deck of this oracle series focused on the energies of its associated season, it’s definitely a more immersive experience for the user. I plan to buy the Samhain and Yule decks as those seasons approach, and although we expected Imbolc and Ostara to be the next decks, the creators admitted they were more in the zone of Beltane’s creative energy, so jumped ahead to that deck instead.
The Beltane oracle is a 44-card deck, gilt edged in gold, with decent card stock. The card size is 90mm x 128mm, so easy enough to shuffle. The lidded box is sturdy with a matt finish and a full moon illustration on the inside, while the cards have a semi-gloss finish.
The blurb reads:
‘Unlock your potential for growth, creativity, and abundance with the energy of Beltane.
Also known as May Day, Beltane honours life and is a celebration of passion and putting your plans into action. The earth’s energies are at the strongest and most active, and all of life is bursting with potent fertility. At this point in the Wheel of the Year your potential can be released.
These cards align with your energy, helping you to unlock your inner wisdom with the help of powerful spiritual forces. Along with thoughtful meanings are invocations, or powerful word spells, to invoke the energy of each card and to send your intentions of spiritual well-being out into the universe.’
The guide book, although compact, is in full colour illustration, and holds a lot of information, including Beltane themes and areas of focus, how to use the cards, Beltane spreads, and a ‘get to know your deck’ spread which when I tried it, proved really interesting and certainly made it clear that this deck will give me lots to chew over.
The 44 cards also have a full description, and some include extra content such as a visualisation exercise, more Beltane correspondences, and a self-worship ritual. At the rear, there’s a profile of the creators and artists, and there’s also a QR code for a generous collection of free bonus content, including a selection of full colour illustrated printable journals with a choice of the oracle cards as covers, oracle spreads, one of which is the Celtic Cross but with a Beltane theme, recipes for a room spray, a bath ritual, and body oil. So, all in all, a bounty of genuinely useful content.
The deck is illustrated by Giada Rose, and has a soft, warm, feminine feel. She uses watercolour, so the tones are pleasant and dreamy. A few of my favourite cards are Bee, Indulgence, Green man, Inner power, Phoenix, Sacred Waters, and Morning Dew. Every card has a bumble bee or twenty within the illustration, which is very cute. The backs of the cards feature a full moon and four bees.
Each oracle card has a title and invocation. For example, card 1 is Bee. Summarised as ‘Possibilities’ it’s accompanied by the invocation (or word spell): ‘Don’t drink all of life from one flower, for there are many to taste and many to explore.’ The description then expands by explaining we must be willing to put ourselves out there, that the Universe will provide for our needs, but we must brace moving out of our comfort zones.
I’ve been working with the deck for a couple of weeks now, and find the cards and their messages thought provoking. They’ve guided me into simple daily ritual I wouldn’t have used before, and have also prompted lots of journaling. Some of the invocations don’t resonate with me, they feel a bit like word salad, but I do find the descriptions within the guidebook serve me better, and from there, I can craft my own invocation if necessary. With Beltane centred on themes of creativity, growth, fertility, pleasure, passion, and abundance, I’m really enjoying having a deck dedicated to the season, and find I’m already benefiting from working with the energies. While I don’t honour the start of each sabbat with ritual, I do like to acknowledge the change of seasons, and a deck dedicated to each one appeals to me a lot. I also really like that it’s not a huge deck. 44 cards is a workable amount, and if there were more, I think I’d feel obliged to ensure I worked through each one within the sabbat’s period, which would probably end up stealing my enjoyment.
For me, this is the kind of deck that inspires ritual, change, self-care, and development, where the focus is on bringing more abundance, growth, and pleasure into life. I don’t draw a card every day, but prefer to leave it sitting on my altar until I feel I’ve worked through the message and am ready for the next. I’ve pulled tarot cards to accompany the oracle cards, and found they work well together, adding extra layers and meanings. My personal experience with this deck so far is that it’s easy to work with. I find it motivating and encouraging, with quite a light and airy vibe, yet a nice feisty undertone. Obviously, this is my personal experience, so others may not find the same.
I can’t say I have any dislikes. Yes, some of the invocations don’t resonate with me, and one card, Sun God, kind of jars me, but overall, I’ve connected with the deck and find the vibe very inspiring, yet soothing. What draws me in the most is the fact I can move onto a new deck as the wheel turns, and be guided into working with the energies of that season as prompted by the cards. Overall, I find this is what’s most appealing about this oracle series, and in terms of my spiritual practice, know it will add new depth to my workings.
Rating: A solid 8 out of 10 black cats for this deck from me!
At the time of posting (June 2nd) 2022), there’s no word yet on which sabbat the next deck will represent, or when it's due for release. The series is published by Rockpool (Australia) so signing up to their newsletter is most likely the simplest way to hear of the next release. On a side note, they have a deck on pre-order at the moment called Oracle of the Witch which is due for release on October 13th 2022, and it looks stunning. Because I have zero self-control, I’ve already pre-ordered it (via Amazon UK), so be warned if you wander onto Rockpool’s site, as they publish decks that’ll have you drooling.
About the creators:
Juliet Diaz is a bruja, seer and spiritual activist, is an Indigenous Taino Cubana from a long line of curanderos (healers) and brujas on both sides of her parents’ lineages. She believes magic lives within us all, and feels passionately about inspiring others to step into their truth and wake up to their remembrance. You can find Juliet Diaz at https://www.iamjulietdiaz.com/
Lorriane Anderson is a tarot reader, astrologer, spiritual teacher, writer, and soul-based entrepreneur. Her work focuses heavily on sacred and intentional living, as well as using spiritual practices as a pathway for profound healing, growth, and transformation. She owns and operates Spirit Element, a soul-based apothecary. You can learn more about Lorriane Anderson at https://shopspiritelement.com/
Giada Rose is a Kentucky-based watercolour illustrator interested in the threads that stretch between nature, femininity, magic and art. Her painting are infused with a longing for the old ways and a love of folklore and mythology. You can find her at https://giada-rose.com/
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