Hello, Beautiful People.
I haven’t done a review on this blog yet, and there’s a good reason for that. It’s best explained through a restaurant analogy–I worked in the industry long enough to discover that a restaurant is a microcosm of the world, and many things that take place there can be applied to demonstrate personality types, interpersonal dynamics, traits, social phenomena, etc. But I digress.
I once worked in a restaurant where the food was okay. It wasn’t anything to write home about; it wouldn’t make you sick. Often, specials in such restaurants are concocted from ingredients that need to be recycled in some way (read: fish cake). The good restaurants do this incredibly well. The okay restaurants do it poor to middlin’. So, when I tasted a special and I thought it wasn’t all that delicious, I wouldn’t try to sell it. I’d get flack from management, but I stood my ground. In other words, if I don’t think something’s good, I’m not prepared to stand behind it.
When I worked at Amis (A Marc Vetri restaurant; he’s one of the few Food Gods of Philly), I upsold the hell out of my tables. I’d push the specials like it was my job because they were freakin’ delicious and I knew that my people would only have limited access to them. If it’s good, I will sing its praises to the high heavens, because I want everyone else to share in the goodness I’ve experienced.
And so it is with tarot, the occult, and witchcraft in general. I’m not going to put myself out on a limb if I’m not certain that my people will find it helpful and valuable. And I’m not very good at pretending to dig something I don’t, so there’s no use in me trying. Given these stipulations, it took me awhile to break my review cherry. And today, I break that cherry with The Moon Deck.
Ah, the glorious Moon Deck. It’s been on my wishlist for a minute, but given the rather conservative tarot collection I have going, tarot decks took precedence over oracle decks in terms of the list. When I found out that they were offering free shipping for the holidays, however, I pulled the trigger and shrieked with glee. When the deck arrived in the mail a few days later, I couldn’t hold out to do an unboxing video. I had to get my hands on it and begin working with it immediately.
The Moon Deck, Three Moon Sisters, 2015. Written by Aarona Ganesan, Illustrated by Andrea Keh, Edited by Ashley Bruni.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m this weird combo of witchy, new-agey, zen but dark-goddess worshipping, blue-grass loving yogi used-to-be academic come Bachannalian reveler come hermit. It’s pretty easy to find decks that resonate with one of those traits, but rare to find one that resonates with a few. This is the main reason why I was first attracted to The Moon Deck–it’s feminist but earthy, witchy but zen, nurturing but penetrating, Western but Eastern. It seems to breathe this gorgeous combination of Empress and High Priestess energy which, as a life-long metaphysical examiner and recent wife and mother, deeply speaks to me. Likewise, I believed that an oracle deck such as this would speak to my clients, as the sometimes saccharine tone of heart-centered decks seems to dismiss the gravity and depth of the obstacles that my people face. That’s initially why I invested in the Sacred Rebels Oracle, but I find that deck to emote more of a “you’re a badass who’s capable of anything” vibe than “you’re a strong, capable woman who will overcome this setback as you hold space for yourself and treat yourself with kindness.” And the latter is exactly the vibe I get from this deck.
The deck itself consists of forty-four cards, each of which expresses an affirmation/mantra and corresponding artwork. My version came in a muslin, drawstring bag. There’s also a purchase option where the deck comes in a beautifully hand-crafted wooden box. The card stock is flexible and strong–an apt description of the general tone of the deck. The backing illustrates a waxing moon with a smaller orb at both the top and the bottom of the card. Each card is numbered for easy guidebook reference. A moon is depicted on each card (it’s called the Moon Deck, after all), but some are subtle and none are distracting in terms of the imagery. The color palette is earth tones mixed with sunset tones, and the media are watercolor and pencil. It shuffles beautifully–both rifle and hand-over-hand.The edging isn’t particularly clean, but I don’t personally prioritize that when I’m considering decks. And it’s matte. Thank the goddess (I’m not a fan of glossy decks, folks. They shuffle like crap!)
One of the most unique and notable features of this deck is that each card is augmented by a corresponding ritual. I love, love, love this idea, because not only does the deck provide psycho-spiritual guidance, it provides actionable steps to incorporate that guidance. This is something that I consciously provide in my readings because clarity and direction alone won’t shift you onto the path you desire–you have to take an active role and put the to guidance to work. This philosophy lies at the center of my approach to the tarot, and it’s amazing to find a deck that mirrors that philosophy. And the rituals are as varied as the deck’s influences; some are meditative (pranic breathing), some are woo (aura cleansing), some are practical (drink water and commit to 30 mins screen-free AM time), some yogic (pose practice), and others are witchy as hell (intention candle). Many encapsulate elements of my practice and act as reminders in terms of what I need to do to remain spiritually balanced. I’ve taken to pulling a card each morning and performing the corresponding ritual at some point throughout the day (it’s kinda awesome because the deck saves you the time and energy needed to remain innovative in your practice).
I’ve been experimenting with deck pairings (you can check out the results on my Instagram page), and so far, it’s paired well with nearly every deck. I’m quite keen on how it vibes with the Osho Zen, however–the guidance is actionable, clear, and straightforward. Although the guidebook provides a series of spreads for the deck, I’m more inclined to do one-card draws when it comes to oracles–given the scope of the message of each card, I feel like things become a bit dense and inflexible in a multi-card reading. However, I find that this deck is a beautiful choice in terms of “advice” cards in a tarot spread. Likewise, I pull from it in order to complement my Self-Love Reading and my Shadow Work Reading because its warm, nurturing energy softens the intensity of the messages that those readings reveal. At the end of the day, I want my clients to feel both comforted and empowered, and a card from this deck certainly does that.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can visit the proprietor’s website. Their whole operation is enviro-conscious and friendly, so this is a good choice for the uber-ethical among you.
Review cherry=officially popped. Stay tuned for more awesomeness to come.