I’ve done neither an oracle nor a tarot deck review in two years, mainly because I’d gotten to the point where I had too many decks I didn’t use and I felt I needed to slow my roll when it came to collecting (if you’re a collector of tarot or oracle decks, you know how it is)!
Two weeks ago, however, I received an email asking if I’d like to review Soulflower Plant Spirit Oracle by Lisa Estabrook. I usually respond to these emails with a “thank you so much for offering, but I’m not currently reviewing decks” boilerplate response, but this time, I hesitated. I’d just begun offering tarot readings after a long hiatus, and I’d been deeply considering what I wanted to create and how I wanted to show up for my people moving forward. Soulfower Plant Spirit Oracle appearing in my inbox felt like a magical, synchronistic invitation, and I was preternaturally compelled to say, “Yes, I’ll review this deck! I think it’s time to get back in the game.”
So here I am with you and this beautiful deck. Let’s spend some time exploring it together!
When I opened the deck (which is housed in a sturdy, lightly glossy box with a magnetic seal), the first thing I noticed was that the card backs differ in color. When I fanned them out, it created an ombre effect in green, yellow, and blue tones. I thought this was beautiful and unique, and really added to the visual impact of the deck.
The second thing I noticed was the illustrations of the plants themselves–they’re drawn in pencil, then painted in vibrant watercolor tones. The backgrounds are washes with subtle swirl details, and the style is fairly realistic, revealing an artist with moderate skill. There’s something jovial and approachable in the rendering of the flowers that draws you in, and their vibrancy has a childlike jocularity that immediately softened my mood.
Because of the bright, childlike quality of the images of the Soulflower Plant Spirit Oracle, I expected their guidance to be whimsical and flowery–kind of like bright little poems? However, the messages of this oracle are written in a style that’s informative and direct, and uses terminology that’s associated with psychology and self-help. I must admit that I was a little disappointed, mainly because I didn’t feel a connection to the meaning.
Once I looked up my card in the guidebook, however, I found exactly what I was looking for. The page and a half dedicated to each plant (all of which are listed in alphabetical order, which is exceedingly helpful) speaks to the reader directly, and in a tone that’s conversational and approachable. There’s also a little affirmation at the end of each description which is short, honest, and powerful, like all good affirmations should be.
When I used the deck in sacred space this morning, I picked Calendula, an herb known for its calming, healing properties. The message on the card reads as follows:
“Our thoughts and words have great creative power, both positive and negative, for ourselves and others. Calendula helps sooth your thoughts and words with warmth and compassion and understanding, so that there is a balance between assertiveness and receptiveness in communication with others.”
The message is clear, direct, and to the point, but it doesn’t make me feel anything. When I opened the guidebook, however, I was delightfully greeted by this little chestnut:
“Many of us were raised to be ‘nice’ girls. You know–to be seen, but not heard…the challenge from Calendula, then, is to connect with your heart and find the words that express your truth…and to speak them every single day, particularly with those you love.”
YES. That is a glorious magical truth that I can get behind!
I tried this approach with a few more cards, and I found the same result: the message on the card itself was clear but flat, but the message in the guidebook was beautiful, honest, and deeply moving.
Even though the card illustrations are pleasant and vibrant, the guidebook is what makes Soulflower Plant Spirit Oracle a wonderful resource for spiritual growth and for developing a keen awareness of what’s important in life. If you choose to invest in the deck, I recommend using it as part of your daily practice: choose one card in sacred space at the start of your day and read the messages in the guidebook. It will make you feel seen and understood, and will help you to connect with universal truths that call you back to who you are.
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