I tend to use oracles for meditative rather than divinatory purposes. I used to do a lot of divination, but I’m good at it, and obsessive, and frankly this is not a winning combination. I often end my day with an oracle card – I default to Philip Carr Gomm’s animal and plant oracles, but have recently been working with Sheena Cundy and Tania Copsey’s Magic of Nature Oracle.
It’s a charming set, which came to me in a really nice hessian bag, it immediately felt personal and accessible. There’s a folk art quality to the illustrations, which I liked, and the supporting book is pleasingly minimal and unobtrusive while giving you plenty enough to work with. It’s a fine balance to strike, because you don’t really want a thwacking great tome to deal with when divining or seeking the raw material for meditation, but you need enough. I think this set has that balance. The 39 cards offer a broad array of nature and concepts, the tone is overall positive and is more about taking you forward than telling you where you might be getting it wrong. It’s affirming to work with.
The nature represented in this oracle set is very British, and contemporary. Either you want to be British to use it, or have a desire to connect with the British landscape – if the UK is part of your blood ancestry, or the ancestry of your tradition, you could find this helpful.
As a tool I think it also has value for teaching/study purposes. Someone new to their Paganism and trying to work out how to connect to nature might well find this set very useful. It would easily open the way to deeper working and wider study, and being an affirming experience, is a good place to start. It would help a student see relationships between themselves and the natural world and start a journey towards a greater feeling of connectedness.
I also think it would be a great thing to give to younger Pagans. It’s as safe to use as anything ever gets, and again that building of relationships with the natural world is a great grounding for the interested young proto-pagan. The gentle, natural imagery is unlikely to frighten nervous parents, and it gives a young seeker something good to be working on. I know that not teaching younger Pagans is often considered the best solution, but they will (I know, I have been around this) run off and explore anyway, unsupported. I’m constantly on the lookout for good things to put in young people’s hands to help them progress without making them vulnerable, and this will be going on my recommendation list.