Review By Terri Clement
Green World Oracle by Kathleen Jenks, art by Sandra Stanton
Published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., www.schifferbooks.com
Retail U.S.: $39.95
Have you been looking for an nature based oracle, where plants and trees are combined with feminine deities or devas but blend gender and represent many different cultures? If so, then the 33-card Green World Oracle may be just the ticket.
The Green World Oracle is a deck/book set where plants, trees are looked at as ancient symbols of life and nature spirits, dryads, goddesses and gods are enlightened beings coming forward to share in abundance, their myth and folklore. The companion paperback book contains 256 informative pages.
The box art features a Green Man surrounded by lush green plants and bright red berries. The box is constructed out of hard cardboard and has a magnetic closure, white ribbon pull tabs and stays. The cards are seated in a recess inside the box and are held together with a clear plastic band. There are two cards that have a green, flourishing, leafy background, but are otherwise blank. The companion book sits on top of the cards.
The cards measure 4” wide x 5” tall, which does make a bit of a challenge to riffle-bridge shuffle for those with smaller hands. The cards are printed on a very flexible cardstock with shiny lamination that almost feels sticky, but the cards fan well. They have dark green borders with gold frame and gold filigree in the corners. The title is written in gold on the bottom of each card. The card backs feature the earth in the center with a green and yellow variegated, swirling leaf pattern with a narrow border with a gold frame. They are reversible friendly.
The Ancient Giants are the great old growth evergreen’s from the Pacific Northwest. The card features a Native American woman dressed in a ceremonial cape with white hair in the foreground with evergreen’s growing out of the tips of her fingers. There is a Kwakiutl mask from 19th century British Columbia, on a stump to her right and a Spotted Owl is perched on a branch behind her to her left. In the background you can see another owl in flight, a totem pole, and many other people looking on from a distance. The companion books says: “When you draw this card the focus is on your ability to find your own harmonious place in the larger pattern…”
Lotus - In the foreground we see goddess Lakshmi. She has red flowers in two hands, the lower right hand is raised in front of her, giving a gesture of blessing and protection while one of her left hands is lowered and coins are falling to the ground. In the background there is an elephant with its trunk raised and many lotus flowers growing nearby. The companion book says: “Lotus reminds you to not judge by appearances: roots may be in slime, but from them glorious flowers come…”
Rain Forests shows a woman, Erzulie, goddess of love, dance and music, dressed in pink, wearing pearls, a pink floral headband, holding a pink mirror, standing in front of a waterfall. There is a white dove perched on her left hand while others fly behind her. The companion book says: “Do playful, happy things with one another, but explore dimensions of the sacred that you can celebrate together. Be generous and great hearted with one another…”
With regards to working with the Green World Oracle Ms. Jenks states “working with symbols, archetypes and metaphors are keys to regions in the heart where genuine transformation begins.” She also prefers to work with 1 card at a time but recommends using no more than 3 or for at a time. Instead of shuffling and dealing off the top, you fan the cards out, and using your non-dominant hand, lead with the little finger to pick the card(s) to work with because that is the finger that we have the least amount of conscious control over.
The companion book discusses using a one-card draw as well as a 4-card layout which is used to discover Karmic blocks. There is also an activity to try called “Adopt a Human” in which you shuffle and draw a card, then you allow the plant tree or deity to parent you for the time selected. There is also a ritual for groups. The bulk of the companion book covers the cards. For each card, there is a small black and white image, quotes that apply, a large Mythic World section, Botany/History, “The Reading” or interpretation, how to read the card in reverse and artist notes.
While this is not a deck that you would necessarily read right out of the box, it would make a good set for those who are interested in the myths and stories of nature spirits and goddesses, as well as botany. Those interested in learning about other cultures may also find a deep interest in this deck.