Deck Review: The One Oracle

APRIL FOOLS, Y’ALL! For at least 3 years, I have wanted to do an April Fool’s Day joke by reviewing an UNO deck as an oracle deck, but this year I finally got off my duff and did it.

I hope you enjoyed the joke as much as I enjoyed making it. ⁣As for the somewhat more serious question of whether you can use an UNO deck for divination: of course you can. Doing this post was a fun thought exercise in doing that. Whether or not a tool can be used for divination really depends on our intention toward it. I, personally, don’t think I’ll go out of my way to use UNO for divination, maybe someone else would like to try! I do think that we’ll get more bang for our buck by using a tool that was intended for divination or has a long tradition of divination behind it, but really, divination is about how we approach the world, not the tools we use.⁣


A few weeks ago, I came across a Spanish-Language oracle deck called the One Oracle. I’ve never seen anything like it, and although is a challenging deck to use for divination, I can tell that it will be worth it in the long run to work with this deck and really get to know it.

The interesting thing about the One Oracle is that it relies almost entirely on numerology and the elements. (That means that, even though I don’t speak Spanish, I can still use it!) There are a few cards with symbols, but in general I would not recommend this deck to someone who is really into visuals for divination. Reading with this deck requires the ability to take abstract principles and make them concrete. While I wouldn’t recommend this deck to beginners in either tarot or oracle reading, I think this is a fantastic deck for an intermediate student.

So, let’s talk about the deck. The cards are small (bridge sized) and that’s good because there are a LOT of them—108 to be precise. The cards are printed on regular playing card stock—nothing to write home about, but will stand up to some pretty heavy use. Even with the fairly thin card stock, the stack of cards in the deck is thicker than almost any other of my decks.

The Four Suits

The One Oracle is a system of numbers and colors, which I interpret to be representative of the four elements. There is the Red suit, the Blue suit, the Yellow Suit, and the Green Suit. These correspond to Fire (Passion, Will), Water (Emotions, Intuition), Air (Reason, Intellect), and Earth (the Material World). What’s interesting about these suits is that they contain cards numbered from 1-10 (no court cards) and a few symbolic cards: Reversal, Void, and Plus Two (here’s where we really get into numerology.)

The most interesting thing is that there are multiple of the same number within each suit. I’m not sure why this is, but I believe that the cards drawn in a spread are meant to be added together and reduced. For instance, if I draw a 7 and two 3’s in a reading, those numbers add up and reduce to 1. (7 + 3 + 3 = 10. 1 + 0 = 1.) So each card carries its own number symbolism, but the final meaning of the spread is also influenced by the reduction. That means that each card has its own meaning, but not every card needs to be unique. I believe that the Plus Two cards mean that the overarching meaning of the spread should also be influenced by adding 2 to the number of the reduction. So, for instance, if the numbers in our spread reduced to 1, then the presence of a Plus Two would mean that the final reduction for the spread is really 3. This is just a guess, as the Plus Two cards haven’t shown up in my readings much and I don’t have a lot of experience working with them.

There’s also a fifth suit of Black cards, which stand for Space. In each of the Black cards, the four other colors are featured, showing that Space encompasses each of them. Since the Black cards are so rare in comparison to the four other suits, they carry an incredible amount of significance when they appear in a reading.


The other two types of cards I haven’t covered are the symbol cards: Reversal and the Void. The presence of Reversal works much like reversals in tarot—it represents a dimension of the upright cards that is latent. The presence of Reversal in a reading means that we don’t want to take the reading at face value. That doesn’t necessarily mean we should say the reading means the opposite, but we take Reversal as an invitation to explore the latent or shadowy tendencies of the other cards.

The Void card is much harder to interpret. I honestly think that the element indicated on the Void card is much more important than the symbol. For instance, a Void of Blue adds considerations of emotion, intuition, or relationships to the reading. If there’s a lot of Blue there, the Void is amplifying that aspect of the reading. If there isn’t any other Blue present, then the Void of Blue suggests that this reading has some bearing on emotions. Anyone else have suggestions for how to read the Voids in this deck? I would love to hear them.


Alright, before I go any further, let’s do a reading! Take a bread to center yourself and then choose which card calls to you.

I personally have found readings from the One Oracle to be hyper-focused and on point. I feel more like I am receiving information, rather than suggestion. If you prefer to use tarot in a more straightforwardly psychological way, I think you will really appreciate this deck. But as I said before, if you need a lot of symbolic imagery to get your divinatory juices flowing, this may not be the deck for you.

OK, let’s look at which card you picked:


You may want to take a moment to assess your health or finances. Be grateful for what you have and cultivate an abundance mindset.


There may be options and temptations for new projects coming at you from all sides. Take advantage of this energy, not by doing every single thing that suggests itself to you, but choosing wisely where to spend your energy.


Wow, good for you. You’ve reached a great place of emotional stability! You don’t let other people throw you off your game or get you down. Just remember to not get stuck in your ways.

I hope you enjoyed this review of the One Oracle. Perhaps now it will have a little more exposure in the divination community and I’ll see it starting to pop up in other people’s feeds!

The Wooden Tarot: Introduction to the Suit of Bones

Recently, I broke down and bought The Wooden Tarot and the Earthbound Oracle by A. L. Swartz. The Wooden Tarot in particular has been on my list for a long time. In the spring, when I was deciding which new tarot deck to buy for myself, I had it narrowed down between the Wild Unknown and the Wooden Tarot. In retrospect, I still think that was the right decision. While I wouldn’t call the Wild Unknown an easy deck for beginners, I think it’s ultimately easier to read. That being said, the Wooden Tarot has been tempting me for a long time and now that it’s in my hands, I feel like it’s already a good friend.

Swartz says he based the imagery of this deck on the Waite-Smith deck, and therefore does not include a booklet of card meanings with the deck. Many readers have noted, though, that the deck has sparse imagery in places and can invoke a lot of puzzlement. Since getting it, I’ve had the strong urge to study it systematically. Marianne over at Two Sides Tarot has a wonderful series where she is working through the Wooden Tarot and there’s a Wooden Tarot study group on Facebook as well. (You have to request to be added, but I was added no problem.) Despite the helpfulness of these sources, I can’t resist the temptation to dive in myself.

I would like to get through the whole deck, like Carrie at Happy Fish Tarot has done with the Wild Unknown (she’s almost done!). I won’t make a post for every card, and will do them in small batches instead. Nevertheless, it will take at least 19 posts and probably more to get through the deck, so yeah, it’s gonna be a while.

I decided to begin with the suit of Bones, which corresponds to Pentacles/Disks. This is where I wanted to begin because to me the suit of Bones is the most difficult to interpret. Also, since I order my tarot decks so that Pentacles/Disks comes at the end, it would take me FOREVER to get to the suit of Bones if I just started at the beginning and worked through the deck. So let’s jump in, shall we?

The Suit of Bones

The most immediate question:



for pentacles/disks?

It seems as if stones, which other nature-centered tarot decks like the Wildwood Tarot use, would make more sense. The suit, after all, corresponds with the element of earth and stones come directly from the earth. But bones are made out of minerals, nonetheless, and they are certainly the most earth-like solid part of our bodies.

Bones are limited to vertebrates–fish, reptiles, birds, mammals; beings who are pretty far up the evolutionary scale. Bones are the structures that support our bodies, giving us shape and definition and allowing us to move. But unlike exoskeletons, they are invisible from the outside (except for teeth.)

Bones, then, give structure and solidity to our existence. Their support is visible but they themselves are not. Without bones, it would be impossible for creativity, emotion, and intellect–the domains of the other three suits–to function since their seat is in the skull-protected brain and they ultimately move throughout the rest of the body.

Since the suit of disks/pentacles corresponds to what is solid and tangible in our lives, it often gets interpreted as being mostly about money and possessions. Illustrations for cards in this suit are often lavish–I think of Pamela Colman Smith’s 9 of Pentacles, for instance–but the suit of Bones in the Wooden Tarot is by far the most spare in an already sparsely illustrated deck. The cards are literally what they sound like–paintings of bones in various configurations. While this deck sees the element of earth and hence bones as being vital supports to our existence, it also suggest that the “bare bones” of material wealth don’t amount to much, and that creativity, emotion, and intellect are needed to flesh things out. It’s interesting to me that the Empress in this deck has the alchemical symbol for water behind her instead of her usual association with earth. The lushness and fertility symbolized in the card, then, may have less to do with material wealth and more to do with emotional fulfillment.

You could think of this deck, then, as taking more of an ascetic’s or renunciate’s view of the suit of earth, relegating it to a supporting role. Because of this, I have a feeling that the Wooden Tarot would be a deck better left for emotional and spiritual inquiries, rather than inquiries about work, wealth, and property. And with all this in mind, we encounter the…

God of Bones

God of Bones

The God of Bones wears brown and drab green robes, mountains peek out from behind their shoulders as a solitary eye peers out from the alchemical symbol for earth–a downward pointing triangle with a line drawn across it. The robes, drawn diagonally across the chest and over the shoulder, are reminiscent of many styles of Buddhist monks’ robes. The God holds one hand palm pointing outward to the viewer and one is held downward, echoing the “dispelling fear” and “generosity” mudras. Between their hands floats a single bone. The God of Bones’s eye, like the eye of the God of Blooms, is angled slightly downward, signaling the receptive energy of the suit.

The monk-like God of Bones, with a single, bare bone in their hands and the bare mountains on their shoulders is the root of the powers of earth, the creator of the physical world. The God of Bones is the source of all that gives structure and stability to our lives; our bodies, possessions, and the physical world are all under their care. This God, however, is more like a renunciate than a god of plenty. They say: “I offer what is necessary for support and no more.” They are our entry into the suit of bones and ask us to question wealth, its purpose, and its necessity.*

Keys: new home, possessions or financial opportunity; a benefactor; an epiphany about money, security, or wealth; encounter with a new standard of living or day to day routine.

Reversed: stuck in habits of spending and consumption; wasted opportunities; misuse of resources; lack of insight into the role of wealth or possessions in one’s life

A God of Bones Reading

The Eye: What insight is waiting for me regarding the role of money and material things in my life?

The Bone: What gift do I need to receive from this area of my life?


*When discussing the Gods in the Wooden Tarot, I will be giving them the pronoun “they/their.” No need to assign a gender to a floating eyeball!

Deck Review: The Linestrider Tarot

linestrider set
The guidebook, card backs, and deck box all share the same reversible purple floral pattern (not seen here on the box because it’s on the back.) I do not know if this will change when the deck is published next year. Ignore the tabby tail. My cat George wanted to “help” with this review.

The Linestrider Tarot by Siolo Thomson was funded through Indiegogo in the spring of 2015. I jumped on the funding campaign’s bandwagon at the last minute once I saw pictures of these beautiful cards. They were produced in a very limited edition, but fortunately they will be published Llewellyn in the spring or summer of 2016. Since this is a rare deck that’s soon to become widely available, I thought it would be helpful to people who might be interested in the Llewellyn release of this deck.Continue reading “Deck Review: The Linestrider Tarot”