The Shaman’s Oracle


Review:  The Shaman’s Oracle by Nancy Hendrickson 


Shaman’s Oracle

by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan
ISBN-10: 190678759X
ISBN-13: 978-1906787592

Most of my vacations take me to historic sites in what I fondly call the “frontier west”.  Favorite among my adventures are those to ancient sites such as Mesa Verde (Colorado), Chaco Canyon and Bandelier (both in New Mexico).

There is something sacred about the ancient sites, a feeling that comes up out of the depths of the earth that merges stillness, peace, and oneness. 

shaman-b.jpgWith my love of the Ancients, I knew  I had to purchase The Shaman’s Oracle, a recently released 52-card deck illustrated with rock art – - cave paintings done by shamans of old to chronicle the heavens, the earth, the animals, and the people.


The deck comes in a hard shell case, along with a well- written guidebook and a fold-up “cave map” depicting a hand print much like those found on cave and canyon walls. The map is for a five-card layout, with each finger representing a cave:

·         cave of earth (earth) Trial and courage, initiation

·         cave of rivers (water) Emotion, journeys

·         cave of hearthfires (fire) Home, joy

·         cave of winds (air) Beginnings, change

·         cave of ice (spirit) Manifestation, blessings

Of the 52 cards, two are special - - The Journeyer (the querent) and The Companion (the spirit guide).   The remaining 50 are separated into five tribes of 10 cards each; in the lower left  corner of each card is a symbol appropriate to the tribe:

1.       Spirit (feathered fan)

2.       Ancestors (stag's horn)

3.       Shamans (pouch)

4.       Hunters (spearhead)

5.       Dancers (rattle)


I did a layout for a specific issue – - one I’ve been struggling with for a long time.  I was on the verge of changing direction and attacking this issue from a different angle, so I wanted to see what the Shaman’s Oracle said about it. 

shaman-a.jpgMy first card, in the cave of earth, was the Dancer of Frustration! How appropriate as this issue has been excruciatingly frustrating! However, as I continued the reading there was light at the end of the tunnel, as the Shamans of Stars, Purification and Reflection all showed up in the spread.  Lastly, the Hunter of Vision appeared. The underlying message woven through the five cards was that a change in path was needed, perhaps even critical.

Time has proven the accuracy of the Oracle.


I resonate with this deck, not only because I have a deep connection to ancient cultures, but because I believe we all have a mythic memory that encompasses our cave-dweller past.  I can even visualize myself in the cave, painting the outline of my hand in deep ochre.

Would you like it?  Even if you don’t feel that kind of connection, I think anyone would enjoy the stunning beauty of the oracle’s artwork.  The artist has added a luminescence to the cave art, which makes it look like spirit is streaming onto the painting.

Although I don’t use oracle decks often,  this one is a keeper, particularly when doing my own pathwork. 

Shaman’s, Oracle, John Matthews, Wil Kinghan, Tarot,
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