Hello, soul friends!
I wanted to continue sharing my personal reviews of various decks, both indie and mass produced - as I love finding new tools and also giving others a peek into these creations. I have owned over 170 various decks (currently own about 100), and thought I would write some of my notes, experiences, personal opinions, and information on the decks for anyone out there looking for suggestions. Diving into the world of decks can be a bit scary, fun, and also at times overwhelming with the sheer amount of choices.
There are various differences to the types of card decks people use, but the most common ones are Tarot, Oracle, and Lenormand. Over the years, I have come to collect various and eclectic decks ranging in artistic style and type. I always purchase what grabs my attention, and have learned that my aesthetic is not for everyone. So, as always, purchase what you feel guided to use for yourself.
I am just expressing my opinions and my own personal experiences with these decks and I hope that you can appreciate the candor. As always, use your own intuition and find tools that suit your tastes.
The Spirit Animal Oracle
This is one of my newer additions to my deck collection, and I found that it is for anyone who is starting off and would like a slightly different type of deck that is completely Oracle and a large deviation from Tarot. If you like animals and are looking for something that explores spiritual themes involving animal spirits, then this may be a good inclusion. I added it to my collection as I do enjoy other decks by Colette.
The Spirit Animal Oracle deck is published by Hay House. I purchased my deck directly from their website, but I have also seen it available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other bookstores.
From Amazon's Product Description:
Internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher and best-selling author Colette Baron-Reid delivers a 68-card deck of interactive conversations with Spirit based on the archetypal energies of living beings that share our planet--helping us connect with them as sacred teachers, healers, and allies.
The spirits residing in the natural world have much to share, and the secrets of their forgotten language are now available to you through The Spirit Animal Oracle. They urge us to reclaim our essential Truth--that we are one in Spirit, connected to every living thing on this earth in a unified consciousness. With the draw of a card, you can share in this wisdom and better navigate your life, move beyond the obstacles of your perceived limitations, and tune in to your infinite potential.
Represented in the 68 cards of this beautifully illustrated oracle card deck are the Higher Spirits of different animals, insects, fish, and birds. Every animal has a transcendent archetypal symbolism, a universal meaning holding a message of deep, enduring truth. With guidance from intuitive master and oracle expert Colette Baron-Reid, you can now awaken to your partnership with Spirit to co-create your reality in service to the world!
About the Author
Colette Baron-Reid is the author of Remembering the Future, Messages from Spirit, and The Map, published in 27 languages, as well as The Wisdom of Avalon, Wisdom of the Hidden Realms, and The Enchanted Map oracle card decks. She’s an internationally acclaimed intuition expert and psychic medium, known affectionately by her clients as “The Oracle”; a keynote speaker; and an artist, entrepreneur, and visionary. Originally from Toronto, Colette lives in Connecticut with her husband and two Pomeranians.
My Personal Review
This is a 68 card deck includes a lot of various animal spirit elements, but in a much more whimsical and light-hearted imagery. The images are realistic with a collage twist to it. There are some beautiful aspects and details added, as well as fun little details on the cards that make it stand out from her previous work. Jenna DellaGrottaglia is the artist and this has the same energy and style as the Mystical Shaman Oracle deck. So I find that these two decks do look very good together as they have a similar feel and vibe.
Product dimensions are 4 x 2.2 x 5.2 inches. The cards are larger than a traditional Tarot deck, but similar to most Hay House decks.
The reason I have enjoyed this deck so much is the versatility and the ease of use. It is a very gentle, positive, and an amazingly fun deck to use. From beginner to the experienced card reader, I think there is something unexpectedly beautiful about this deck. The artwork is different from other Colette decks and seems to have followed through on the whimsical, yet realistic theme. My only issue is that I don't reach for it often. This deck and the Mystical Shaman Oracle just don't resonate well for me. I love her Wisdom of the Oracle deck so much, and call it one of my everything decks - I connect with it so deeply and the messages are just universally workable.
The messages are all wonderful - with beautiful addition of "Protection Messages" which I would use as a reverse pull meaning. I loved the balance of soft and muted colors, paired with bold and deep colors. It creates a deck that is not washed out, or overly dark. The vibrant color scheme, the realistic artwork, and the fun mix of elements makes this a beautifully aesthetic deck to work with. Especially if you are looking for an animal deck that is very inclusive of various animals. There is a lot of animals added to this deck and I find that it helps us understand the background influence on many various "Spirit Animals."
This is an interesting deck that I think would be a good one for anyone starting off to use. I love animals and I have only a couple animal decks to work with. I have tried Animal influenced Tarot decks, and also have tried to find various oracles that feature animal spirits to work with. Regardless, it is so gentle to use, that I have even allowed my children to play with it. Much of the imagery is not dark, scary, or inappropriate for even a young audience.
I do use it for quick 3, 5, and 10 card spreads. It is versatile, honest without crushing your spirit, and it also does assist you in gaining clarity, no matter the inquiry. I think this is a fun deck for those who are not ready to work with Tarot, or who need a little guidance from a deck that isn't solely featuring imagery they don't relate to. As far as a themed deck, this can be a good one to work with for those who are looking to learn more about Animal Spirits, and also be able to find a deck that covers a lot of different themes and aspects.
I find that anyone could pick up this deck and use it without a lot of confusion, or meddled up jargon included in the guidebook. I do find that with so many cards included it is versatile and easy to use! And also that calming for any reading you may be faced with. Some readings may need a gentler hand, and I believe this deck provides that. The cards are noticeably bigger than a deck of standard playing cards and the card stock itself is solid; I recommend anyone with a new deck spend some time shuffling it and getting to know its feel, in addition to just "getting to know" any new deck. I've found that I can shuffle them quite easily, even with my small hands. Although there being 68 cards, it isn't the easiest to shuffle all at once.
The card stock is thick, has a beautiful semi-matte finish, and also allows you get a nice bend without cracking the card stock. This seems like the type of card stock that Hay House is moving towards. I wish these cards were gilded or had finished edges, as I have noticed this card stock flaking and peeling with other decks that are well-loved. It is an interesting finish that allows the artwork to really pop out. It does seem to have a slightly more matte finish, which makes it brilliant for taking photos of in natural light.
The Guidebook is just a little over 200 pages, more than usual because Colette went to great lengths to fully explain each card. Is it all-inclusive of animal spirit legends? Perhaps not, but what has been included does have wonderful spirit-led messages for the reader. I feel that more could have been included, while others excluded - but that is also my own opinion. But this is not my creation and I still found it to be a source of gentle wisdom, and brings peace to my clients.
I think it is a fascinating addition for those who follow her work, or would like to use Animal Spirit magic in a more tactile manner. I find the messages are endearing, gentle, compassionate, and also bring awareness. Even if you are experienced reader, but would like to explore a different type of Oracle deck, I would say that this deck is a fantastic one to use. I have enjoyed it for the last year, and always recommend this deck to anyone first starting off in the world of card reading or those looking to connect to Animals.
Here are extra pictures of this creation:
Overall, I found that while it is absolutely stunning visually, that the essence of the deck doesn't pull me in like other decks by Colette. While I love the aspect of Animals and their spirit influence, I didn't find that this deck is one I reach for often or use quite often in my work. It is more of an afterthought for me, so I think I will pass it along to someone who will use this deck - because it deserves to be used - it is gorgeous and has a luxe feel to it.
My overall opinion is that this deck is a 4.5 star choice.
Artwork - 5 stars
Card stock - 4 stars
Ease - 5 stars
Guidebook - 4 stars
I hope that you enjoyed my deck review, and also enjoy other deck reviews that I add to this site. I have a passion for exploring new decks and also finding various ways of connecting to my intuition. I appreciate you checking out my site and taking the time to read my review.