The Transparent Oracle by Emily Cardingsam
Review by Diane Saarinen
“A symbol by its nature contains many layers, which will be interpreted through the filters of experience and perception,” says the foreword to the guidebook that comes with Emily Carding’s Transparent Oracle (Schiffer Books, 2010) set. The set consists of 70 transparent cards, a 127-page guide, and a white reading cloth (as the black symbols on the clear cards are most clearly seen on a white background.) The cards are designed to be used for “divination, visualization, storytelling, brainstorming or what you will.” The seven directions of North, South, East, West, Above, Below and Within are used and symbols include the planets, animals, and mythical creatures.
I decided to perform a reading for myself to try out the oracle deck. I am comfortable with the tarot, so using this system was a bit of a change for me. Sample overlays, or spreads, were suggested in the guidebook and I chose the “past, present and future.” The New Year is a great time to have a reading but, procrastinator that I am, it was almost the end of January. But never fear. I knew that the Chinese New Year was coming (February 2nd) and this was another chance at pushing the reset button.
My question was simply: What did I need to know for the New Year ahead? For the past, I drew card #5, Mountains. The keywords for this card included persistence, dreams, work, focus, goals. The guidebook advised “this card encourages us to reach for our dreams, no matter how hard it may seem.” Interesting. Then I looked at the second card, the present. I drew #52, Ancestors. This spoke of the guiding energy of the ancestors, and foretold of an important life choice to make. Finally, the third card – the future – was #18, or Horse. This predicted travel, speed and progress. To form my own intuition of what I felt this spread suggested, I layered all three cards as instructed in the guidebook. The movement of the horses surrounded the shape of the mountains, the energy of the ancestors firmly in the center. The words “move mountains” came to me. We’ll see how this year unfolds!
Assessment: Emily Carding’s Transparent Oracle is a fresh and innovative alternative to tarot. These clear, circular cards and their symbols placed over each other form surprising new symbols in a multi-layered approach to card reading. As this system is simple and complex at the same time, it is appropriate for newbies and the experienced alike as one can master the techniques at his or her own pace. Give it a try!
Diane Saarinen is a New York City based writer who has contributed to numerous spiritual and feminist publications including Quiet Mountain: New Feminist Essays and HerCircleEzine. She also explores her Finnish heritage by writing for such publications as New World Finn.