Saints and Mystics Reading Cards, by Andres Engracia
Rockpool Publishing, 9781925429282, 36 cards, 120 pp., 2018
The Saints and Mystic Reading Cards by Andres Engracia prompted the most uncanny experiences I’ve ever had with a deck thus far. When I first received the reading cards, I opened the box quite excitedly. I have to say, I absolutely love the deck’s box because it is easy to open and close, with the cards fitting snug and secure within it. Right away, I began to shuffle the deck. Within a few seconds, a card leapt out of the deck and landed right on my lap. It was the card of mystic William Blake.
Amazed at how the card seemed to jump out as though it had a life of its own, I turned to the page in the guidebook to read about the meaning of the William Blake card. The description was spot on for my life circumstances! That’s not all though. I have now had the deck for a little less than a week. On three different days I have shuffled thoroughly and pulled a card, and every single pull has been William Blake! The deck’s consistency is quite astounding. I have taken it upon myself to do some research on William Blake and I have been reading his work to see why this card is continually showing up.
This experience demonstrates what I feel is special about the Saints and Mystic Reading Cards. Andres describes how these cards can be used for more than just standard readings. He suggests using them as devotions, invoking energy on a metaphysical level, or as a focus for meditation. Additionally, Andres suggests using the cards to connect with each saint or mystic, and contemplate how their journey may reflect your own. I really enjoy this aspect of the deck, because it opened up a channel for me to create an intuitive connection with William Blake that goes beyond a traditional oracle reading.
I love reading biographies of people admire, because I like to know their life story; it helps me to understand them better. Working with these cards provides a similar experience. By coming to know each person in the deck — well, I mean, once I stop pulling only William Blake! — I feel I will gain insight that goes beyond a mere oracle forecast.
The connection established through the cards seems to allow the reader to immerse themselves with the sagacious energy of those who have walked a spiritual path in prior time. Andres notes that his aim is to help reveal aspects of the human psyche with this deck to provide examples of “men and women who once walked the Earth and helped shape our awareness of the spiritual world, expanded our consciousness, and opened up our minds to discovering enlightenment and love.”1
Andres states, “the card’s messages will not read like a typical oracle set which is designed to spell out direct divinations.”2 The focus is on opening up one’s intuitive perception and exploring the cards in a manner that suits oneself. To cleanse the deck, he offers the suggestions of holding the deck close to one’s mouth and humming a mantra or chanting. This was not a method I had ever heard described before in a guidebook; I will definitely be trying it.
He offers four different types of readings. The first is a standard single card reading. Then he offers a saint reading spread and a mystic reading spread. In both cases, these spreads serve to bring awareness to the saints or mystics working with the reader at the time. The final spread offered is a saint and mystic cross spread. In this spread, three mystic cards are pulled and three saint cards are pulled. The saint cards go around the mystic cards to form the shape of a cross. Andres provides a guide for interpreting each card position in the draw. The mystic cards represent the reader in the Earth realm, Astral Realm, and Conscious Mental Realm; the saint cards represent the reader in the Emotional Realm, Spiritual Realm, and Angelic Realm.
The guidebook itself is wonderfully coloured and has a very smooth texture. The information differs between the saint and mystic cards. For the saint cards, an invocation is provided at the end at the end; for the mystic cards, a quote by the mystic is provided. On both the saints and mystics pages there is a brief description of the person on the card’s legacy, followed by an oracle interpretation of the card on a emotional, spiritual, and conscious level.
For the deck, the saint cards and mystic cards also have their own style. All the cards have a similar image on the back, but they differs slight in design and colour. The saint cards feature of a dove emerging through a sunlight glass window in golden hues, and the mystic cards feature the same window, but with an astral energy swirling and shining through in blue.
Each card has a picture of a person representing the saint or mystic, and the depictions are extremely lifelike. The digital imagery makes it seem as though you are staring directly into the figure’s eyes. There is an intense, erotic charge to the imagery that I found rather arousing. Vibrant colours add a powerful charge to each card. The backgrounds are stylized to contextualize the saint or mystic.
My favourite was Isaac Newton, who features as a young and handsome fellow,holding a prism with rainbow light streaking through under the moonlight, surrounded by his books and telescope. The oracle messages for this card are suggest working on the sacral and solar plexus chakras, becoming more social and trusting life’s synchronicities, and using your intelligence and further your education.
The only disheartening thing about the Saints and Mystics Reading Cards is the lack of diversity. Of the 36 featured mystics or saints, there are only three figures featured who are not white. However, there is a wide range of saints and mystics of both genders. Some of the saints include Saint Anthony, Santa Muerte, Saint Jude, and Saint Barbara. A few of the mystics are Dion Fortune, Carl Jung, Emanuel Swedenborg, and Confucius.
One thing I really liked about the deck is that it introduced me to a new saints and mystics. For instance, I had never heard of Saint Expedite or Saint Mary Mackillop. It was fascinating to read their biographies in the guidebook and to later do my own research. I also had not previously known the mystic Florence Scovel Shinn, who, it turns out, was born in a town right next to where I grew up! I decided to purchase a few of her books after discovering her in this deck.
These cards have been quite successful in helping me open to and connect with new saints and mystics. I feel there is something special about connecting to people, as oppose to a vague energy, when gaining spiritual insight. Rather than ask a god, goddess or other deity, I like the human connection made in working with these cards. I do find that establishing a relationship with people who have previously incarnated can be a very fulfilling spiritual relationship to cultivate.
Aside from the spiritual aspect, the cards also provide a tangible method to learn about the lives of those who have made history and shaped our reality with their spiritual enlightenment. There is value in learning their stories and applying the lessons to our own lives.
Using the Saints and Mystics Reading Cards is the perfect way to get to know some well known figures in a more intimate way and establish your own relationship with their energy. I highly recommend this deck to someone looking to create a relationship to saints or mystics in a way that differs from a traditional oracle reading.