The Seeds of Shakti Oracle is a self-published deck by Canadian mystic and artist Sharron Basanti, The School of Gypsy Arts. The deck is a reflection of Indian culture and Hindu traditions, which will appeal immensely to those with a love for Maa India. The deck's intention is to bring into balance sacred feminine and masculine energies. The watercolour paintings are saturated with colour reminding me of the colours and vibrations of the spring festival of Holi.
The 52 cards are playing card size (2.5" x 3.5"), which makes this a portable deck. The card stock is excellent and easy to shuffle - no sticky cards. The cards come in a standard playing card flip top box. Twenty five cards have a white back representing the divine masculine and 27 cards have a black back for the divine feminine. I wondered if the deck was equally balanced with feminine and masculine energies and if the backs matched the energy on the front of the cards. After some contemplation, I realized how challenging it must have been to decide which cards were going to receive a white back. This was an interesting process for me and brought me to a place of finding the sacred feminine AND masculine in each object, deity, chakra or celestial body.
The Seeds of Shakti Oracle comes with a full version of the guidebook in pdf form - with colour images of the cards. The printed version of the book has black and white images and is an extra $15. It is not just a LWB though at approximately 4.25" x 7" with a solid binding - well worth the additional cost if you prefer a real book. The intro tells Sharron's story of the creation of the cards, describes their unique features and includes a few spreads. The full page card descriptions include cultural information, card interpretations and an affirmation. At the back of the book is what looks like a glossary, but is in fact a list of keywords for each card - a convenient, quick reference.
The deck includes 7 cards for the primary chakras with their Sanskrit names as well as an 8th card that includes all 7 chakras. Each of the chakra lotus symbols include a waxing moon except for sahasrara (crown chakra). Traditionally, within the petals of the lotus for each chakra, a variety of symbols may be included. The moon however is usually only included with the sacral and throat chakras. As the moon is associated with the divine feminine and this is a deck dedicated to that, perhaps this is the artist's inspiration. The petals for four of the chakra cards are quite freeform as well.
Moon | Sun |Star Cards:
Included are 5 moon cards (new, waxing, full, waning, four phases) all beautifully illustrated in blues and purples except for the waning moon, which is the least saturated and has some soft pinks. I really like the intention and degree of thought put into these cards. Less saturation equals less energy - a time for rest. The eclipse card is a favourite, as well as the accompanying legend in the guidebook. You'll also find a star, earth star, soul star, universe and sun card.
My Five Favourite Cards:
CHAI: Well, first of all, there is nothing like a good cup of Indian chai - even in a paper cup or better yet, in a disposable clay cup (ah - India). My mother lived the essence of this card. I can hear her still, "[Sadhana], sit down. Let's have a cup of tea." For my mother the time for tea or coffee was about sacred communion as well as a chance to slow down and breathe. I anticipate this card appearing often in readings. Thanks for this card, Sharron!
MARIGOLD: Another cherished memory from India! Standing in a seemingly endless queue at Kalighat in Kolkata, young boys climbed around the patient devotees hanging long garlands of marigolds to create a wall of fragrant offerings. The sweet scent was calming and much appreciated distraction from the heat. This card is a call to creating sacred space and bringing intention and awareness to your own rituals.
HANUMAN: One of my on-going sadhanas (practices) is the Hanuman Chalisa. It began as a personal challenge in July 2016 and has become a joyful part of my daily practice. The vibration of the Chalisa resonates deeply in my DNA and you may hear me chanting it aloud anywhere. I have found that walking with the drum beat (I hear it in the ether) is mesmerizing. For me, this is bhakti not to Hanuman but to spirit - the shift in frequency from a few rounds is transformative. This card is about finding devotion to your own practice.
SHELL (CONCH): Sacred sound from Mother Earth can help to transform stagnant, dull or dark energy. Whether the conch is blown or you listen to the sea by holding it close to your ear, you will experience momentary, if not deep, healing. The sound of OM reverberates in the ether unceasingly. Once you learn to listen for the OM, you will hear it everywhere: in the whistle of the train, the song of a bird, the gentle snore of a baby.
KALI: If you are intrigued by the energy of Kali, make a journey, a sacred pilgrimage to West Bengal, India. There you will meet her energy everywhere you go. Of all the aspects of Shakti, she is perhaps the most misunderstood. Eventually, by facing and embracing your own darkness, you will be free to dance in the light. Kali teaches us about that challenging part of self-study (svadhyaya). She invites us to explore the sticky bits so that we can see the stories for what they really are - illusion.
A Final Word:
I am enjoying working with this deck. It's meanings are highly accessible. The key words included on the cards will help readers unfamiliar with Indian or Hindu concepts. The cards work well in a spread as not all the card images face front making a natural dialogue between or among cards. These cards would make a great supplement to an advanced yoga teacher training too!
Up next: A reading with The Seeds of Shakti Oracle : Find Your Inner Shakti Spread
Integrative Healing with Sadhana offers instruction and guidance as a full healing package or you can choose individual practices such as Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Space Clearing or Intuitive Readings in Gibsons BC. Either way, you will be met exactly where you are at and together, we will adapt practices to fit your individual needs improving your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.