A guest post shared by Jeanna.
I’m an ex-academic, so I’m going to give you a road map to this blog post – I can’t help it.
A little background – what drew me to this deck
Deck fundamentals – or, what you need to know before you buy
The Deck Interview (using this spread of Beth’s)
I’ve had a lot of Life changes in the last three months. My partner and I moved to New York City from Boston. I moved my business from one state to another. Even though I run my own business, it doesn’t pay me, so I’ve been full-time job hunting. Oh, and my partner and I adopted an incredibly adorable, anxious pitbull rescue.
All of those were anticipated stresses (even the dog adoption), so prior to moving to New York, I did a lot of emotional pre-work. One tool I used was Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map. The goal is to replace constant goal-setting with a group of core feelings: the feelings that you want to feel when you’re at your best, the feelings that are at the core of what you’re seeking in your life and accomplishments.
I hit upon “tree” as a core feeling, and it resonated completely. Though at the time I wrote down four core feelings, “tree” is the one that sticks with me on a daily basis. I want to be grounded and growing, rooted and reaching in all I do. I want to pursue things that help me feel both simultaneously.
Tarot is one of my life practices that makes me feel most tree-like, both when reading for myself and when reading for others. When I was Desire Mapping, I hadn’t branched out into oracle decks, mostly because no deck had really struck a chord with me. (I’m suuuuuper picky.) But when I discovered the Soul Trees Oracle one random day on Instagram, I fell in love. After much mulling over, I ordered it.
Here are the deck fundamentals:
Packaging. The shipping package was a discreet bubble mailer, which I always appreciate. The deck itself comes in a shrink-wrapped box which is placed within a suede pouch and gift-wrapped with silver wrapping paper. Unfortunately, I didn’t start taking pictures until after I tore the wrapping paper off!
Surprisingly included with the deck? A purple, velvet pouch for the cards. The pouch isn’t as luxurious as some that I’ve individually purchased for my cards, but you just can’t beat having one included with the deck.
Card Quality. The cards are standard size (2.75” by 4.75”) and are printed on 300gsm smooth card stock. In terms of weight, they aren’t particularly weighted but rather feel the same as decks like Shadowscapes. I like this weight, but it’s worth mentioning as I know some folks want a more substantial feeling.
The Cards. This is a 74-card oracle deck. Included are 56 “soul tree” cards (which have very short descriptions in the small booklet), 11 interpretation cards, and 7 chakra cards.
The beauty of oracle decks is that, unlike with tarot, you can use or not use any sections of the deck. Personally, I don’t do chakra work, so I’m still debating about whether or not to use those cards. I’ve kept them in the deck when shuffling and, perhaps unsurprisingly, none have come up in any of my readings.
Also. There is also a very small, stapled paper booklet included that gives short, one sentence descriptions of the 56 “soul tree” cards and also offers a few ideas for deck spreads (text description, no visuals). The 11 interpretation cards deliberately have no description, so as to allow for your own imagination.
You’ll note that some of these cards are not like the others: the first card is one of the 56 “soul tree” cards. The rest are 5 of the 11 “interpretation cards,” which have no description in the booklet and are deliberately left to your own imagination.
What is your most important characteristic? Possibilities
Well, that says it all, doesn’t it? This is a deck full of possibility, a deck in which to explore possibility and to embrace opportunity.
What are your strengths as a deck? Patience
Oof. This is one of the core tenants of my upbringing in the Christian faith that has really stayed with me: ask for patience, and ye shall receive! (Or, be careful what you wish for.)
The more I learn about business ownership, and tarot, and hell, let’s just throw it all in there and say life – the older I get, the more I journey, I realize that shit does not just happen. It takes time. Realizations take time. Good work takes time. Mastery is a constant journey.
So, this deck is here to help me out with my impatience, and my impulses. It’s here to help me have a little patience. Also relevant: it’s a super nuanced deck. I can see how it could potentially be frustrating, if answers aren’t imminently clear. It’s here to help me learn how to be patient with my own understanding.
What are your limits as a deck? Resistance
Which is to say, my own resistance to it, as a reader – which showed up immediately, by the way, when I looked at this spread and said “This can’t be right! Five interpretation cards? I mustn’t have shuffled properly.” (I shuffled this deck like I shuffle all of my decks.)
My own resistance, the core of which is my own fear and self-doubt, sets the limit for what this deck can allow me to unlock.
What are you here to teach me? Guidance
Guidance seems like a synonym for “teach,” so this seems deliciously vague. But let’s turn to a dictionary definition: guidance is more akin to advice than a lesson, and it’s also more directed towards problem-solving than general subject-based learning, which may or may not be problem-solving.
I’ve been mulling some major pursuits over, like rebranding my (still brand new) consulting services as intuitive brand strategy with tarot. This kind of directional card says, go all in. Trust yourself. I’m here to guide you on guiding others – and most importantly, learn how to trust guiding yourself.
How can I best learn from and collaborate with you? Initiative
Another “welp, there it is.” I firmly believe that card reading is self-driven, and that the goal is learning about ourselves and, most importantly, learning how to trust ourselves.
But it doesn’t happen without Initiative. And Initiative is this deck’s ride or die.
What is the potential outcome of our working relationship? Inner Voice
I love this card. I mean, okay, most of my wardrobe is black and white, and I strongly prefer sharp contrast to hazy colors, so obvi.
But this card. It’s all about trusting myself. Trusting my inner voice. Learning more about what it sounds like. Learning to follow it.
The beauty of Soul Trees is that this is an oracle deck around one central concept: the tree. As such, the reader becomes attuned to shifts in movement, in color, in concept as you move from one card to the next. As a recent New York transplant, I’m a bit starved for nature, so seeing the moon on one card, the stars on another, the grass on another is like being fed bits of nature I’m starved for.
Since getting the deck I’ve used it for all manner of readings: daily one-card draws and full-on spreads, as well as incorporating it into readings for other people. The deck is particularly resonant for addressing feelings of creative blockage – and life blockage, generally. I developed a Garden Tarot Spread for the Spring Equinox, and the trees were perfect to use in the final card position of “The New Garden”: what tree is growing in your new patch of creativity? Where are you planting your emotional and spiritual seeds?
This is a deck for folks who delight in nuance and who connect to nature-based imagery in decks – you won’t find any animals or people here (to that end: it’s inadvertently LGBTQIA+ friendly). If you’re an ex-humanities major who delights in the difference a small detail makes, check out Soul Trees.
About the author
Jeanna Kadlec is the founder of Bluestockings Boutique, the first ever lingerie store geared to the LGBTQIA+ community. Her new venture is Girlboss Woo: intuitive brand strategies for the soulful creative. She lives in New York City with her partner and Henry the pitbull.
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