Earth Warriors Oracle: Rise of the Soul Tribe of Sacred Guardians and Inspired Visionaries, by Alana Fairchild, illustrated by Isabel Bryna
Blue Angel Publishing, 9781925538298, 44 cards, 216 pp., 2018
Alana Fairchild has released her latest deck, Earth Warriors Oracle: Rise of the Soul Tribe of Sacred Guardians and Inspired Visionaries. This vibrantly coloured deck captures the multi-fractal reality of shamanic vision quests perfectly, providing a glimpse into the fierce spirit of an earth warrior. The artwork of Isabel Bryna, merged with the intuitive wisdom of Alana Fairchild, has yielded a deck that is rich in imagination and truly one of a kind.
Fairchild describes earth warriors as “the new world leaders-in-the-making, the solution-creators,” who “know what is true in their own hearts” and “love our planet with a passionate devotion and fierce wisdom.”1 Fairchild neatly lays out the mission of earth warriors to bring together the divine masculine and divine feminine, creating healing of the relationship between science and spirituality. Put together, love and education can create a multi-disciplinary approach that allows for an integration of many diverse traditions through collaboration in order to work towards the common good of all. Much of the section is devoted to writing about re-emergence of the divine feminine and the need for everyone to claim their indigenous roots as inhabitants of earth. By taking the journey and making the choice for creative birth over destruction with regard to how we treat the planet, we step onto a divinely spiritual path.
Fairchild offers four card layouts that can be used as spreads. The first one, titled “Earth Mother Speaks,” is meant to provide insight into one’s relationship with Mother Earth. The other spreads are for divine guidance, inspiration, and healing. Fairchild also provides brief instructions on how to use the deck, making note that the reader do their best to use them in a sacred manner, as well as direction on how one may bless the cards prior to first use.
From here, the guidebook features detailed four-page interpretations of each of the 44 cards. There is an motivational passage at the top of each page, followed by interpretations either for a traditional reading, as spiritual guidance, or as part of healing process. Multiple choices for interpretation give a very thorough, multi-layered reading, and shows the versatility of the deck.
The images themselves are breathtaking. Each card is unique in design and filled with shimmering, brilliant colours coming together to make a kaleidoscope of collage-like images. The colour scheme reminds of a shamanic version of Lisa Frank designs. The cards feature images of power animals such as lions, tigers, pumas, jaguars, elk, hummingbirds, and owls. Many of the cards have a fractal design merging with the bright colours to invoke a sense of sacred geometry, making the indigenous wisdom seem like a tangible consciousness with the shape and designs. The landscapes in the cards are marvelous, and as the viewer, I feel the artwork invoked physical sensations, different for each card, bringing all my senses to life.
The cards themselves are of good stock quality. They are a bit larger than standard size, but fit comfortably in one’s palm and are quite easy to shuffle. The backs of the cards are a deep purple pattern, which complements the violently beautiful explosion of colour that is on the other side. Each framed image takes up the majority of the card, and underneath the image is the number of the card, its title, a few word descriptors. This is helpful, because many of the titles are indigenous names that may not be familiar before reading the guidebook.
There are quite a few things I really enjoy about this deck, the first being that some cards feature horizontal images and others vertical. This is unusual for oracle cards, and add interest and dimension. I also enjoy the powerful feminine spirit that radiates from the cards; while the intention of the deck is to help balance divine masculine and divine feminine energy, it is still filled with powerful feminine spirituality. This is not a goddess-centred feeling, or one that aligns woman directly with Mother Earth. Rather, the feminine spirit of the cards is powerful, bold, and intuitive — a true warrior spirit. Many of the cards use the pronoun “she,” which I found to be very inclusive, such as Nana Buluku: She Rests to Create (card 29), and Uluka Vahini: She Who Rides the Owl Brings Justice (card 8).
The only downfall I note about the deck is that there is no reference for the names on the cards as to their culture of origin. For example, the previously-mentioned Uluka Vahini, with whom I was not familiar. The guidebook gave no indication of Uluka Vahini’s heritage; upon research, I discovered that Uluka Vahini is the owl of the goddess Lakshmi. Another is Goddess of Teotihuacan (card 4), also unfamiliar to me, whom I learned was a goddess in the pre-Columbian Teotihuacan civilization.
Reading the guidebook, the information on these powerful cultural deities has been somewhat diluted into New Age speak of the Great Spirit moving us all to connect with the divine. In some ways, it is great to have a deck that pulls from a variety of traditions and weaves together a comprehensive deck of earth warriors from different cultures. At the same time, I wonder if it would be more beneficial to honour the cultural heritage of each card, celebrating the diversity, rather than presenting a homogenized, watered-down interpretation lacking in cultural context. An example of this can be seen with the spiritual guidance offered for Totemic Puma (card 3), which reads “When you ask for Great Spirit to guide you from within your heart, your movements in the world shall benefit more than only yourself. This right use of power — surrendered and in service to the great power of the Divine — will help you overcome your reluctance and lay claim to your will.”2
I did a personal reading with the deck that was immensely insightful. I made my own spread first and pulled three cards to answer my query. I perused all the optional meanings given in the guidebook, and each card seemed to have a piece of vital information. I also have been using the cards on my personal altar because they are gorgeous and radiate a sense of fierce, compassionate wisdom. Also, in all of the imagery the people or animals shown are looking straight into your eyes. Due to this aspect of the artwork, the meaning of the card is almost sent directly into your psyche when you lock eyes with these creatures. It is truly hard to look away at times, and I have had a few powerful meditative experiences while gazing at the cards.
Overall, Earth Warriors Oracle is truly creative. The guidebook may overuse New Age concepts and ideas, but there is power imbued in these cards that is hard to deny. The interpretations are diverse enough that one can find personal meaning working with these cards. I highly recommend this deck for people who are interested in gorgeous art, have the bravery to step outside the comfort zone, and explore the wild side of their soul. In the adventurous landscape of this deck, there is wisdom to be found that seems somewhat lost in contemporary “western” societies.