Review of Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action by Benebell Wen

I am delighted by this interview by Benebell Wen:


Invoking the Goddess: Oracle and Action by Lisa de St. Croix


Goddess oracle decks have been enjoying a resurgence in popularity as of late, coinciding with what feels like a global, collective acknowledgement of the divine feminine. Some of them have missed the mark, with cries from the community about cultural appropriation [also watch here and another here] but Invoking the Goddess is one done right, and as powerful as it is beautiful, a model to be followed.
Lisa de St. Croix, metaphysical artist and creator of the Tarot de St. Croix, which I’ve reviewed before here, has given us the Invoking the Goddess: Oracle and Action, which she self-published this year and are now available for purchase here on the shop page of her website. 
Invoking the Goddess is a circle oracle deck consisting of 33 cards. The watercolor paintings were done by Lisa through a special layered wash technique, which is what gives these works of art their vibrancy. You can check out the original 8″ x 8″ watercolor paintings here on her website. 
The oracle cards are double-sided, so the way I work with them is by closing my eyes while I shuffle, and pulling a card without looking.
This isn’t one of those decks where you set a spread of 20 cards or sling it out into a Celtic Cross, no. The energy of the deck is palpable, and all you need is to draw one.
Hold the deck in both palms, close your eyes, shuffle, and as you shuffle, visualize your question converting to energy and push that energy out your hands and into the cards.
When you feel ready, pull a card, open your eyes, and connect to the imagery of the goddess.
The diverse representation of multiple pantheons and traditions is beautifully and reverently done. On the text side of each card, one key symbol associated with the goddess is pictured, along with a call to action, addressed to you, straight from that goddess.
There’s a raw spirit to the art on this deck, and I love how natural it feels. A lot of the goddess oracle decks on the market right now rely heavily on digital photo editing, high production, and digital manipulation. So I’m deeply appreciative of the natural beauty here.
Although the deck does not come with a guidebook, you don’t need one. Everything you need is printed right there on the text side of the cards.
The bold coloring and the circular card shape that reminds me of chakra wheels does something to my consciousness when I work with this deck.
Combining artistry and metaphysical knowledge, Lisa de St. Croix has really calibrated this deck for goddess invocation. It’s quite impressive.
Among cartomancers, circle decks can be contentious. Some love them and others turn their noses up at the thought of them. For me, it depends. They can feel more novelty than practical if it’s a tarot deck, but here for the Invoking the Goddess, once I’ve seen it as a circle deck, I can’t imagine it any other way. This deck had to be made this way. It’s perfect for the concept.
The circle cards come to life in your hand. It’s got its own unique energetic imprint, and you almost can’t deny that it’s there. Whereas some of the more commercialized and high-production-value goddess oracle decks that I’ve handled don’t come to life in your hands with that kind of energy.
If you’ve been wondering how you can integrate your spirituality into your everyday life, get Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action.
The divine call to action on each card gives you a starting point that guides your state of mind and spiritual practice.
You can hear the voice of Spirit through the poetic verses on the cards, which also help to introduce you to the energies and powers associated with that particular goddess.
For professional tarot readers, pulling a single card from Invoking the Goddess to round out a reading session gives your client a sense of divine protection, and also a direction of spiritual practice to go in.
So much guidance is offered in these cards. They add that deepened layer of meaning and divine connection to a divinatory reading.
The cardstock is very thin. I’m guessing around 300 to 330 gsm. I would have preferred a much heavier cardstock for a goddess oracle guidance deck, even going up to 400 gsm, but that’s a personal preference. Some may prefer the thinner cardstock for easier shuffling.
Oh, and the cards come in a circle-shaped box! That’s so cool! They’re just the most beautiful deck of cards to keep out on a coffee table or to the side of your work space.
I’ve been pulling cards for friends and family from the Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action by Lisa de St. Croix and everyone has remarked about how resonant readings with the deck is. There’s a nurturing energy to Invoking the Goddess, a soft yet powerful presence, and it feels maternal. Absolutely beautiful. Highly recommend that you take a closer look at this deck and consider it for your collection.

Buy Invoking the Goddess Oracle and Action.

NEW DECK: INVOKING THE GODDESS - ORACLE AND ACTION



Imbolc, the cross quarter day midway between the winter solstice and spring equinox seems like the perfect time to announce my new deck Invoking the Goddess - Oracle and Action. This is the time of birthing in the animal world, sap is rising and the potential of seeds lies beneath the wakening earth. There is much talk about the feminine rising, and indeed the divine feminine is here guiding us.

I began painting the Goddesses on the fall equinox a year and a half ago, it was a labor of love and devotion. Using many layers of watercolor, I painted thirty-three Goddesses from around the world - some iconic, some a bit more obscure. During my creative process I felt the presence of the Goddess I was working with and opened myself in service to let the Goddess come through me. It was a divine experience and I was both humbled and grateful. 



This is a two-sided deck with thirty-three cards. The image of the Goddess is on the one side and an oracle in the voice of the Goddess on the other, along with a symbol and an inspired action. The decks are being printed now with delivery at the end of March. I decided on a small first edition and am offering pre-sales in my shop. I hope you will join me in welcoming the Goddesses on this auspicious day. 

2019 YEAR CARDS

2019 has two year cards:  XII HANGED MAN  and III EMPRESS. The cards are determined by adding the digits 2+0+1+9=12, 1+2=3. So what does that mean for us collectively as a human race?


The Hanged Man is a card of seeing the world through a different lens. How entrenched we have become in our ideas of right and wrong. There has been a great separation of humanity because of this mindset. Self-righteousness has become the wall that separates us. But a great shift is about to happen and we may all see things from a different viewpoint. This Hanged Man, is in an upside down yogic tree position. A pose of grace and balance. It is almost as if the Hanged Man is empty space or a window into the vastness of the cosmos. There is a new moon on the forehead indicating a new way of thinking and a starburst over the heart that indicates an opening. The full moon behind the Hanged Man's head creates a halo. This is a card of transcendence. If we open ourselves and surrender we may be able to shift the world.




The Empress is the card of abundance, creativity and beauty. The Empress is loving and nurturing. Here you see a Japanese Goddess leading her child around a garden filled with flowers, blossoms and the bluebird of happiness. This gentle and esthetic card points the way toward celebrating the feminine in the next year. How we need that in this time of hurt and healing between the sexes.

Many of the stories of how I was inspired to paint Tarot de St. Croix, my history with Tarot and my beliefs around Tarot are explored in this hour long interview with Beth Wright on Spirit Works.
 Access to the free program available at this link: Divining through Art with Lisa de St. Croix


QUEEN OF PENTACLES

Lammas marks the cross quarter day midway between the solstice and equinox. Here in the northern hemisphere it is a time of fecundity. Summer rains here in northern New Mexico have brought life back to the desert: wildflowers carpet the the sandy soil, trees are laden with fruit, seeds explode in the breeze and best of all our rivers are running again. 

At this time of first harvest, the Queen of Pentacles comes as a messenger to tell you that there is plenty for all. The Queen of Pentacles is the sensuous embodiment of abundance. This card indicates a time of sharing the gifts of the land. Generosity nurtures both the giver and receiver.

In this card we see Queen Sheba carried on a golden palanquin by two virile men. She is surrounded by the riches of the earth: ripe fruit, fragrant flowers and abundant herbs. 

THE EMPRESS

The Empress represents the great mother - she nurtures and provides. She rules through love and embraces all of life. The Empress's sensuous nature loves beauty and art. She creates harmony between spirit and matter. She is the Queen of creation.

This gentle and elegant Japanese Empress walks hand in hand with her child in a flowering garden. On the Empress’s kimono are cranes which symbolize abundance through good fortune and longevity. The child has sunbursts on her kimono; she thrives under her mother’s care. The blossoms symbolize fertility and growth.

Meaning: If we open ourselves to what we need and give and receive love, abundance will flow.

THREE OF SWORDS

The Three of Swords is a difficult card - the usual meaning is betrayal - a heartbreak of some sort. But in this card there is also forgiveness and healing. See the middle sword is actually a needle that is mending the broken heart with gold thread. In Japan there is a beautiful tradition of Wabi Sabi where broken pottery is mended with gold leaf - the renewed vessel is exquisite and far more interesting than before. As Lenord Cohen says "There is a crack in everything- that is how the light gets in".

When this card appears - do not despair - it may well be telling you that it is time to see beauty in the healing of a broken heart. Time to move on and forgive and let the light shine again.

YULE - TEN OF CUPS

Yule is the celebration of the winter Solstice. So many holidays are celebrated at this time, but the simple acknowledgment of the return of lengthening daylight is a reason to gather with family and loved ones on this longest night. 

The Ten of Cups is a card of appreciation, gratitude and emotional contentment. Savor the moments of connection with others with lightheartedness. Cheers!

TEMPERANCE - The alchemical card.

Just as we in the Northern Hemisphere move into the season of root work, the Southern Hemisphere is blossoming on this Equinox day. At the fulcrum is balanced light everywhere! Temperance in the Tarot is an alchemical card that describes how we might harness the energies of opposing forces to bring balance back into our own lives and into the world around us. As we do our inner work, so is the outer world changed, bringing about a stable environment. Use this day wisely, collectively we can make gold. 

THREE OF WANDS


People often ask me how tarot works for me. It is a mysterious thing that I really cannot explain except to say that it is synchroncity that is the proof. Here is an example. I just received a bundle of letters written by my late mother to my step father before she left South Africa to marry and live with him in Spain. I was fourteen at the time and remained behind in boarding school with weekends spent at my fathers house. For decades I have carried a deep wound of abandonment. As I began reading the letters I had a full on panic attack; heart thumping thinking I was dying. When I recovered, I decided to pull a tarot card. As I shuffled my deck, a card literally flew out of the pile - it was the Three of Wands. The woman in the card is my mother watching over me from the spiritual plane. Reading through the entire bundle it became obvious that my mother and step father were deeply in love, that they were meant to be together. I read that I had told her I wanted her happiness. In a way I had given her permission something I had forgotten. Reading her words my mother came alive for me again, and I saw her love and concern for me. A great healing happened and there watching it all was this card... her.

Eclipsed Moon


On this full moon eclipse day, there is extra strong energy from the moon. This a good day to contemplate what is an illusion in your life and what is worth aiming for? Harness the power of this time by letting go of what no longer serves you, and pulling in energy to move forward.

I find unedited journal writing and art making, can really sort through the mysterious workings of our minds. For a creative way of "Calling Down The Moon"  - check out my eWorkshop at this link:  http://lisadestcroix.com/tarot-journaling-workshop/

Fish - de St. Croix Lenormand

Fish in Lenormand stands for abundance, flow, sensitivity and income.

A week before leaving for The Readers Studio in New York, the worlds largest conference of Tarot readers, where I was to present my recently published Lenormand deck for the first time, I discovered the Fish card was mistitled Book. I was bereft, but thought I might just try reprinting the Fish card. In four days, to my astonishment and delight, Printers Studio delivered the corrected Fish card. 

I left for New York with my suitcase filled with decks and I was thrilled to sell out. What was surprising is that everyone wanted both Fish cards (the correct one and the Fish with the Book title) - apparently it is considered a collectors item. Now, some of the leading tarot/lenormand readers are now using my little deck. Being a Pisces I have always considered fish as good luck.

THE WORLD

The World card in tarot is the culmination of the archetypal journey of the soul. We come into wholeness when we are self-realized, when we understand our divine origin and are at one with the world.

Plato says: This world is indeed a loving being, endowed with a soul and intelligence... a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related.

The 15th century alchemists also believed the world was a living soul and named it Anima Mundi. In alchemy the miracle of self-realization is the harmonious union of earthly and heavenly truth. This was called squaring the circle.

In my World card Anima Mundi has one foot on the earth, one on the water, with the sun shining from her womb and the new and full moon at her breasts. Four creatures, elements, constellations form a square around Anima Mundi. The eagle - water - Aquila represents emotional mastery and resurrection from death. The lion - fire - Leo is spirit and creation. The bull - earth -  Taurus gives substance, stability and perseverance and the angel is truth, knowledge and ideal relationship.

Today on Earth day, we need to identify ourselves with the World, to see how we are linked. Our own well being is dependent on the well being of this World we are part of.

 

de St. Croix Lenormand

I have been hard at work the past nine months creating the de St. Croix Lenormand deck. I have just self published a small first edition of 100 decks - April 2017. The cards are bridge size 2.25" x 3.5" on glossy card stock. They come with an instructional sheet in a tuck box.

The Lenormand is a two hundred year old divination system that comes from Europe. The original deck came from the German Game of Hope, created by Johann Kaspar Hechtel in 1799. The deck became associated and named after Madam Lenormand who was famous diviner in France in the the early 1800's reading for Empress Josephine (Napoleon's wife) as well as other important people. Lenormand decks are gaining popularity with Tarot readers and deck creators.

The thirty six symbols are easy to understand and can answer questions.  I used Carrie Paris' The Lenormand Revolution deck and later her Sirens' Song Lenormand to divine which card to paint. I used a watercolor technique I learn in India at a Sacred Painting course at the Johari House in 2015. As I worked on the cards I once again experienced numinous synchronicity. The image I was painting aligning with events in my life. I will be sharing these stories in later blog posts.

THE FOOL


From time to time I am surprised by seeing a coyote just around the corner from my urban home. At first I always think it is a dog, but then it's bushy tail and narrow snout identify it. I feel the delight of seeing something wild in the city, a reminder that all is not controlled. 

Coyote is the trickster teaching us about the veil of illusion. Here in my Fool card there are several levels of trickery. Playing the Fool is an opportunity to shift reality. The Fool does not follow rules, instead follows a different path. The Fool tells you to laugh at yourself and to trust the journey.
Benebell Wen wrote this fabulous review of my deck. She really understands my motivation and message. Here is an excerpt: "The card imagery feels like channeled visions. You get the sense that while the work is that of the artist, the idea was implanted into her from the great beyond. You feel as if you are catching glimpses into other worlds and multiverses, and given universal depictions for each of the 78 ideas revealed by the tarot."



The Tarot de St. Croix by Lisa de St. Croix


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The Tarot de St. Croix was first published in 2014, distributed by Devera Publishing, and a second edition has just come out this year, which you can now order direct from the artist and creator, here.
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The deck pictured in these photographs is the 2014 version produced by Devera Publishing. It comes in a beautiful full-lid lift top glossy box of high quality and the cardstock quality is great. Love that the accompanying guidebook fits inside the box and contains a wealth of tarot card meaning insights, many that would add to your compendium of tarot knowledge. The guidebook here is not just a rehash of the same old card meanings. There is a lot here specific to the symbolism on the deck and how that symbolism and manifestation exemplifies the traditional card meaning.
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When left to my own devices, I’m not a very colorful person. Orange is usually too bright for me. However, the color orange stimulates the sacral chakra, the source of your personal vitality. A strong sacral chakra means strong personal vitality, which can be used to heal yourself and to heal others. I also tend to associate the sacral chakra with shamanic journeying. These themes come together harmoniously in the Tarot de St. Croix, and enables the deck for powerful healing work. When using tarot for healing, both emotional and psychic healing, reach for the Tarot de St. Croix.
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The Hermit with its Virgo correspondence has always had a soft, feminine, wise-woman vibe to me, and I love that the imagery for Key IX in this deck captures that imagining perfectly. I love the mermaid and angel coming together in the Wheel of Fortune, or how the Death card is a skeleton floating toward the Light, through the spiritual tunnel.
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Earlier I remarked how the companion guidebook for this deck isn’t just a rehash of trite tarot card meanings. Here I’ll give you an example. The Sun card in the deck is dominant with sunflower symbolism. Per the companion guidebook, sunflower symbolism is about receiving light, growing, and then manifesting fruition, to in turn give life back and nourish future life. You take from the light to nourish yourself so that you can grow and later return the favor and nourish others, to continue that cycle of life. Thus, The Sun card is about radiating our self-confidence and talents out into the world at large. I love that meaning for The Sun.
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The card imagery feels like channeled visions. You get the sense that while the work is that of the artist, the idea was implanted into her from the great beyond. You feel as if you are catching glimpses into other worlds and multiverses, and given universal depictions for each of the 78 ideas revealed by the tarot.
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I love the inclusion of all cultures, the mysticism from many heritages, and how easily and effortlessly you can tell stories as divination to a seeker when using the Tarot de St. Croix. If you are visual-oriented or right-brained, creative or artsy, you are going to love reading with this deck.
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It also feels like an incredible deck for pathworking. You get the sense of astral travel here, where the deck creator has gone beyond, observed what is reality but not reality, and has come back to reveal to us those observations, through her incredible art.
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By the way, I love the tea leaf reading metaphor for the Seven of Cups. Or the mime juggling the swords under a waning crescent moon for the Seven of Swords. For those familiar with the 78 card meanings in the Rider-Waite-Smith system, take your time to go through each card imagery and study this artist’s interpretation of that card. It’s just incredible. Card after card, you accumulate this realization that you’re looking at brilliance. There is a deeply spiritual and mystical dimension to the Tarot de St. Croix that I, sadly, find lacking in so many contemporary decks.
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The card backs are reversible, again with the orange border, and here we see just this incredible glimpse into a different dimension or galaxy, slightly reminiscent of the dark and light pillars you find in the classic High Priestess card.
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The Tarot de St. Croix is a brilliant blend of old world and modern mythology, seamlessly weaving together the many cultures and heritages of our world, to present a united mosaic of spirituality that transcends both time and space. It’s an ideal deck for personal healing and for readers to use in psychic healing or energy clearings for their clients. If you’re working through shamanic journeying practices with the tarot from my Tarot as a Tool for Craft online course, I’d say the Tarot de St. Croix is one of those perfect decks to use for that particular practice.