Explore this curated list of Tarot decks, Oracle decks and guidebooks to help keep your sense of possibilities flowing with strength and beauty. There are also a couple of books with a mix of magical and queer themes, as well as titles on topics such as Self-Care, how to shop up fully and avoid burn-out, and how to harness the power of anxiety, the most misunderstood emotion. Find all these and more on our Bookshop.org page!
"When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.”
There’s something about being so close to Spring that brings up deliriously delicious feelings of possibilities. Our attention turns effortlessly toward visions of budding trees and wildflowers as we step out to see what Mother Nature is putting on display. For me, this is also the time of year when I feel called to explore new oracle and tarot decks.
Here are a few beauties I’d love to share with you…may they serve to keep your own sense of possibilities flowing with strength and beauty.
Cristy C. Road’s Next World Tarot: Deck and Guidebook comes in a deluxe matte black box with a holographic logo and expanded booklet - as well as in a pocket edition. This deck features body outlaws, endangered cultures, and anti-colonial belief systems in both its artwork and text. If you’re looking for something especially distinctive, give this one a try.
The Cosmic Slumber Tarot comes to us from multi-award winning artist and graphic novelist Tillie Walden. Her art is influenced by Manga and the art of Studio Ghibili and feels modern and youthful.
California-based artist Yoshi Yoshitani’s Tarot of the Divine: A Deck and Guidebook Inspired by Deities, Folklore and Fairy Tales from Around the World. Along with the companion guidebook, this deck brings fables, ancient mythologies, and brings spiritual legends to life.
The Shaman's Dream Oracle Deck & Guidebook by Alberto Villoldo and Colette Baron-Reid is a lushly illustrated deck that taps into the dream world of archetypes and symbolic consciousness.
I’m a big fan of inspirational artist Catrin Welz-Stein and her deck Tarot of Mystical Moments is a delight. This unique 83-card deck brings a distinctly feminine point of view to the traditional tarot experience and has five bonus cards - extra female versions of the four Kings and the Emperor. Don’t you love that?
The Dreamkeepers Tarot represents its creator Liz Huston’s years of personal growth and healing. I adore this deck and it comes with a very cool 180-page illustrated guidebook.
Lastly, here’s a wonderful book on tarot by Michelle Tea called Modern Tarot: Connecting with Your Higher Self Through the Wisdom of the Cards. Based on over twenty-five years of experience and an abiding love of the cards, Michelle’s insights bring a contemporary sensibility and delightful sense of humor to the traditional tarot. This book is for beginners and seasoned readers alike.
A friend of mine recently brought to my attention a few noteworthy titles exploring a mix of magical and queer themes. I thought they might be of interest to you or someone you know as well.
The first is Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries edited by Lee Harirngton and Tai Fenix Kulystin. This is a rich collection of work by authors and artists who represent the power of diversity with an eye to challenging us all to reexamine our growth edges.
Next comes Becoming Dangerous: Witchy Femmes, Queer Conjurers, and Magical Rebels edited by Katie West and Jasmine Elliott, with a foreword by Kristen J. Sollee. Included are twenty-one essays from a wide variety of writers who share their personal rituals and practices they use to resist self-doubt, grief, and shame in the face of all manner of patriarchal oppression. Library Journal has this to say, “While bound by a thread of magic, these are inspiring feminist writings for readers of feminist literature, however identified.”
And, then, there’s Queer Magic: LGBT+ Spirituality and Culture from Around the World by Tomás Prower which takes us on a journey that spans both time and continents to examine the myths, magic, and the spiritual lives of those who exist outside the culturally sanctioned heterosexual binary.
“If we think our job here on earth is to fix ourselves, we will keep looking for the broken places. If we believe our job is to be kind, we will keep lavishing love on ourselves.”
If you’re feeling a bit thin of spirit lately and are longing to be inspired and informed, this next batch of books is just for you:
In Hard Pivot: Embrace Change. Find Purpose. Show Up Fully, Olympic gold-medalist speed skater Apolo Ohno shares his most valuable lessons for overcoming challenges with resilience, creativity, and purpose. He somehow manages to condense years of training and insight into Five Golden Principles: Gratitude, Giving, Grit, Gearing Up, and Go. “You can trust yourself,” he writes. “You can lean into the curve, pick up momentum, and speed down the track to success. In that pivotal moment, you might even find that you’re having the most fun you’ve ever had. You’re in flow. You’re enjoying your precious life. And you’re winning.”
The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care by Anna Borges offers loads of practical support for helping us live in the world with greater ease and peace of mind. “For most of us,” she writes, “self-care is a wide spectrum of decisions and actions that soothe and fortify us against all the shit we deal with.” Amen to that!
In a similar spirit The Awesome Human Project: Break Free from Daily Burnout, Struggle Less, and Thrive More in Work and Life by Nataly Kogan presents a compelling case that while challenge in life is constant, struggle is optional. With Nataly by your side, you can feel seen, heard, and encouraged in the best of ways.
Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion - when I first noticed this title I did a double take…what?!!...and then I got into it. Author Dr. Wendy Suzuki draws on her own intimate struggles and advanced research to present an inspiring guidebook for managing the free-floating anxiety beastie and turning it into a powerful ally.
Empathipedia: Healing for Empaths and Highly Sensitive Persons by medical intuitive Dave Markowitz uses specific tools and techniques crafted over many years of personal and professional experience. Here we learn about self-empowerment, how to avoid energetic and emotional overwhelm, and maintain healthy boundaries.
And then there’s this…Don't Just Sit There, Do Nothing: Healing, Chilling, and Living With the Tao Te Ching by Jessie Asya Kanzer which offers 47 inspirational pieces, each of which begins with a verse from the Tao, followed by observations and anecdotes that give the teachings of Lao Tzu applicability to contemporary life.
A History of Me by Andrea Theodore, illustrated by Erin Robinson, tells the story of how hard it can be for the only child of color in school, surrounded by white students.
I Am Golden by Eva Chen with illustrations by Sophie Diao is a lyrical and moving ode to the immigrant experience from a Chinese-American perspective.
Emotional Intelligence Flashcard Book by Tchiki S. Davis is a set of 350 spelling flashcards intended to help strengthen children’s positive neural networks. In the long run, building these positive networks helps children more easily develop emotional literacy, resilience, and well-being. I will also say that this deck could be of use to us grown-ups as well.
Every Dog’s Story
by Mary Oliver
I have a bed, my very own.
It’s just my size.
And sometimes I like to sleep alone
with dreams inside my eyes.
But sometimes dreams are dark and wild and creepy
and I wake and am afraid, though I don’t know why.
But I’m no longer sleepy
and too slowly the hours go by.
So I climb on the bed where the light of the moon
is shining on your face
and I know it will be morning soon.
Everybody needs a safe place.