Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Annotated Oracles – Find Yours Here!

© 2013 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

Oracles help put Divine Direction in the palms of your hands.

While your choice of an oracle is very personal, just like choosing a practitioner for an oracle “reading” (see Oracular Spectacular), recommendations are great starting points. If you like what I write, you might like what I “read” when it comes to oracles. With that idea in mind, I’m sharing my faves—and others you might want to explore. Some of the others are those I don’t know as well or use often, but that doesn’t mean they won’t appeal to you. Consider this an annotated bibli-oracle, the oracular analogy to a book bibliography with introductory blurbs. Let me know in the Comments if you find any keepers!

Enjoy exploring,

Some of My Faves


All of these tools have been covered in more depth on The Radical Virgo. Their titles are linked to those previous articles.

  • AstroDice There are three multi-sided dice, one each for the planets, signs and houses. Each die has a distinct color: planets in dark blue, signs are purple, and houses are teal green. Ask a question and get an answer in astrological shorthand. For instance, I just asked: What should be next month’s theme on The Radical Virgo? My answer was Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 6th House. I’ll have to ponder what that means, but it definitely sounds like the spirituality, learning and wisdom we find in everyday work and service.

  •  AstroDeck - Flash cards for learning the planets, signs, houses and aspects in astrology. While this deck is out of print, you can score one on eBay every few months. I placed a permanent search for it and am notified whenever a deck becomes available. I own two, have gifted two to others and have never paid more than $20 per deck.

  •  AstroTheatreImagine a system for playing “grown-up paper dolls” on screen or with printed cards. The people/dolls are the planets, they are dressed according to the signs, and the stages on which they play are the houses. This groundbreaking tool is one way astrology is becoming more experiential.

Sabian Symbols

The Sabian Symbols are a nifty blend of astrology and tarot-like word images. Café Astrology provides this pithy definition and a list of the 360 symbols:

The Sabian symbols were produced in 1925 by clairvoyant Elsie Wheeler, and they are the most popularly used set of degree symbols today. They are symbolic of the meaning of each degree of the zodiac.

The Sabians can be drawn like an oracle. There are two excellent ways of doing this, thanks to astrology Lynda Hill:

1.   Visit Lynda’s and click on Ask the Oracle.
2.   Purchase Lynda’s Sabian book and cards on the same site.

Lynda Hill’s Sabian Symbols is her blog, one you’ll really enjoy.

Another make-shift way you can do this is to keep a jar with numbers from 1-30 Aries, 1-30 Taurus, 1-30 Gemini—around the zodiac. When you want a response to a specific question, draw a Sabian number and consult any book or website that lists the Sabian symbols.

The two most “classic” books on the subject are The Sabian Symbols in Astrology by Marc Edmund Jones and An Astrological Mandala: The Cycles of Transformations and Its 360 Symbolic Phases. Beware, however, of the esoteric, flowery and convoluted language of the Sabian classics. You might have a much better understanding by consulting the more modern writers on the subject. If I had it to do over again, I’d have started with the moderns and gone to the classics, once I had a better handle on the symbol system. I was almost overwhelmed by the complex language of the early books and nearly gave up on the system. It’s a treasure trove of deeper understanding of your astrology chart on top of how well it serves as an oracle.

Another Sabian author I admire is Blain Bovee. His book is The Sabian Symbols and Astrological Analysis. His blog is Blain Bovee—Sabian Symbol Specialist.


The month of July 2013 was devoted to dreamwork on The Radical Virgo. Dreams are often oracular. Here are some links to those and other dreamwork articles that will round out this bibli-oracle and puts all the oracular references in one place.

Tarot - Sample hundreds of decks at Aecletic Tarot. This is a playground where you can explore for hours and find a deck whose images speak to you. Here are some that speak to me:

  • Archangel Raphael Healing Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue – These are a find, a deck I use specifically for healing questions and issues. Even though my spiritual roots are Catholic, it is only recently that I’ve overcome a bit of an aversion to angel imagery. This might have come from an early overdose. I’m glad I’m over it. As an illustration, I pulled a card just now to ask about my chronic backache. I was informed it has to do with inner authority-- taking back my power and listening to my intuition, desires and feelings.

  •  A Poet's Tarot – This deck is out of print and hard to come by, but if you love both poetry and tarot, as I do, it’s worth keeping on the lookout for a rare opportunity to purchase this highly unusual deck. Here’s a capsule description.

  •  Any deck by Isha Lerner including her Inner Child Cards and Triple Goddess Tarot.

  •  Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer – I received this deck as a gift and just love the rich, colorful cards that, like many decks that I resonate to, help me feel closer to the Earth and feeling the vibes of divine direction in a physical way. Each card has a title and subtitle, such as Dreamtime: Creation; Full Moon: Completion; and Island: Solitude. The art is scrumptious.

  •  Medicine Woman Tarot – Another deck with beautiful, soft Native American imagery. It’s oriented toward feminine energy, the side of ourselves where our intuition lives, regardless of whether we’re in a male or female body.

  •  Vision Quest Tarot – One of my favorite, newer decks, subtitled The Native American Wisdom Tarot. Maybe it’s my Triple Earth and their love of the land, but I resonate to all things Native American. The imagery of this deck is delicious and soothing.

Tarot Like 

  •  Angel Cards – Amazing in their single word simplicity, The Original Angel Cards by Kathy Tyler and Joy Drake are a perennial favorite as a Word for the Day or a bit of direction when guidance is needed. To give a few examples, my last few draws have been Synthesis, Contentment and Strength. My Angel Cards were given to me by a dear friend, which reminds me to say what an excellent gift they make to any oracular-inclined friend who does not yet own them.
  • Medicine CardsThis deck has been a classic since 1988 in using Native American animal associations to elicit what’s going on inside you. A great thing about using these cards is how they alert you to “real life sitings” of animals and their possible symbolic meaning.
  • Power Thought Cards by Louise Hay – With an affirmation on one side and some wisdom to help get you to that positive statement on the other, these colorful cards are another great oracle to draw to set the tone for the day. Sample tpics: Change, Balance and Success. Bright colors, 64 cards.

More to Explore

  • I Ching or Book of Changes – This is the classical book translated by Richard Wilhelm, the one many dyed-in-the-wool I Ching aficionados swear by. You can use pennies or any other kind of coin to throw the hexagrams or purchase Chinese coins that fit the mood and orientation of the oracle. This book helps you translate each throw of the coins in context of life’s dynamic changes. The I Ching confirms that change is the only constant.
  • Runes  There are many beautiful sets of Runes available on Amazon and through other sources. This is just one of them. You might enjoy looking through the various books, too, that cover this oracle in depth. Used by village shamans for meditation and as oracles, the word Runes refers to the Old Norse alphabet that appears on the stones. If your ancestry is Norwegian, you might particularly resonate to this oracle and enjoy a two-fer experience of also exploring your roots with the Runes.
  • Zen Cards by Daniel Levin – These visually lovely cards have a single word or phrase on one side with more advice or wisdom on the back. Some examples include Problem-Solving, Meditation and Wellness. Fifty colorful cards in a subdued autumn palette. Apparently out of print and expensive even used, you might find a deal on eBay.
  • Inner Peace Cards by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer – Very similar in format to the Power Thought Cards, the 50-card pack is very colorful with affirmations on one side and related wisdom on the back. Sample topics: Peace, Loving Myself, Living Life My Own Way.

Your Reccs?

What are your favorite oracles not mentioned here? Please share in the Comments!


Photo Credit: Hände - Himmlische Energie (Hands - Heavenly Energy) © yvart –


LB said...

Hi Joyce - Interesting and *very* informative post. As if my 8th house South Node needed any encouragement.:)

Having recently discovered the IChing once again (this time around in the form of an online version), its answers always amaze and occasionally confound me, sometimes alerting me to circumstances or issues I'm not *consciously* aware of. It's funny though how my take on things is much different now than when I used this oracle many years ago, probably because I was at a different (more self-indulgent) stage in my life. Now, I realize a lot of the answers I receive have to do less with external circumstances and more to do with my own inner terrain. I've never forgotten some of the wisdom contained there; if we're willing to go deeper, it combines the spiritual and practical in profound ways - not that there should ever be a separation of the two.

Sometimes I kinda wish I'd learned Tarot. Guess I'll leave that to you.:)


LB said...

Adding, right now my favorite resource for IChing interpretation is the online website: "The Gnostic Book of Changes".

Joyce Mason said...

Hi, LB!

Great to hear from you, as always. I was thinking about you yesterday, so I guess my premonition meter is still working. :)

Fascinating about IChing. I can remember conversations with my BFF about how it drove us nuts, only because of the same reason you're citing, I'm sure. We wanted some more mundane answers--now! But it kept sending us to inner truth. You've encouraged me to try it again from my more mature perspective. (Getting maturer--older--by the day.)

Thanks for sharing the IChing site. Heading there next.

Thanks for this terrific contribution,

Maureen said...

Wow! What a great list. Thanks for sharing. Very thorough and very helpful.

joyfully, Maureen

Joyce Mason said...

Maureen, delighted to know you found this post useful. It was fun to recap all I've learned and the excitement these tools have inspired. They can be both sacred and playful and often surprising.

Thanks for letting me know!

Every blessing,