Druid Animal Oracle

I’ve had this for some time now, but haven’t gotten around to doing a post on it. I was lucky enough to find a pristine used copy (Ebay, where else?). It was originally published in 1994, so it’s not new, but it was new to me. This deck is by the same authors who brought us the Druid Plant Oracle: Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, and illustrated by Will Worthington (Wildwood Tarot, et al). In a way the Druid Plant Oracle (which came out in 2007) was designed to be a companion to this one, in that the cards are exactly the same size (roughly 3”x5”) and style allowing the decks to be combined for a reading, but in this deck the backs are done in a dark blue where the Druid Plant Oracle is done in green. This set includes a hardback book (in contrast to the DPO’s softcover), as well as a spread cloth decorated with Celtic design and what I think are the four dragons (water, earth, fire, air) depicted on four of the cards in the corners, done in a somewhat sparkly silver metallic paint.

package cloth2

There are 33 cards, and 3 blank cards that you can either illustrate yourself or leave out. I’m no artist, guess which I’ll be doing. The book devotes four pages to each card, and in the tradition of the Druids is heavily focused on restoring the natural balance. The Introduction of the book begins with a quote from Chief Seattle from 1855: “when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men” it will signal “the end of living and the beginning of survival.” We forget our ancient native traditions and lose our connection to nature at our own peril, essentially. The authors make no bones about calling out the Book of Genesis mandate to ‘subdue every living thing’ (Gen. 1:26) as the signal of the beginning of the end. As with all of the decks Worthington is involved in, it is primarily concerned with reconnecting to and re-embracing our pagan past. Accordingly, this deck will not be for everyone. For me, it fits like a glove, especially these days when I am (ok, I’ll say it) obsessed with my heritage and the ancient, pre-Christian Celts.

The artwork is gorgeous, and once again I had a hard time deciding which cards to show.

Crane Frog
Raven Water Dragon

The authors make a note in Chapter Two, “The Sacred Animals of the Druid Tradition” that “The interpretations should not be read as predictions, but should be used to provide words of advice, insights into the inner dynamics behind events.” I think that’s a good thing to keep in mind with any deck, and any reading. Ultimately the choice of how to act is up to us.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. How do you like working with this deck? Do you have any preference between this deck and their plant one, or are they too differant to compare?

  2. D. D. Syrdal says:

    I haven’t really worked with it yet, but in a lot of ways they seem similar and complementary from what I’ve read in the respective books. When I really need to do a reading on something I fall back on the tried and true, the familiar 78-card Tarot structure, with a couple of exceptions. I think these may end up being more like the Faerie Oracle, good for daily card draws and meditations, rather than in-depth readings. But, I could be wrong 😉

  3. Yeah, I also prefer my Faerie Oracle for meditation/emotional matters rather than divination. 🙂

  4. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Yes! The Faerie Oracle is a great deck for that.

  5. clove says:

    This is one of the top 5 oracles I have. I read anything with DAO in spreds and what ever i feel drawn to do. I l tend to mix what the cards show me with the intuitive hits i feel as well, thus giving &get real detailed readings. Tarot is nice in its way but i find lenormand betterif i am not going to read DAO or another oracle..

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