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The Shaman’s Oracle Deck Review (John Matthews & Wil Kinghan)

The Shaman’s Oracle is a deeply profound and unique oracle deck that is a great addition to any oracle collection, whether you read for yourself or for others. If you’re on a spiritual journey, I highly recommend this deck.

Along with the Wild Kuan Yin Deck and the Affirmations for Everyday Goddesses Wisdom Deck, I got first hand experience with this deck at the Shakti Spirit Santuary in Taos, New Mexico and loved it so much I knew I needed its guidance when I got home as well.

Here’s my Shaman’s Oracle deck review, where I will cover artwork, booklet, uses, and overall rating. Keep reading for more below!

The Shaman's Oracle Deck by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan

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Oracle Decks

Oracle cards are more versatile and varied than your typical tarot cards. They are all about helping to lead you on your spiritual journey and give you feedback that perhaps you aren’t getting from other places in your life.

A Powerful Deck for Connecting with Your Ancestors and Inner Child

-52 cards
-3 x 4″ card size
-88 page booklet

The Shaman’s Oracle is a powerful oracle deck for gaining insight from your ancestors. I have done a lot of ancestor work and have connected with many of my ancestors and spirit guides over the last couple of years.

The Shaman’s Oracle is so profound because of its connection to our instincts prior to patriarchy and colonialism spreading through the world. It focuses on deeply primal concepts like “Conflict,” “Nurture,” “Birth,” and more.

Take a look at the Shaman’s Oracle Deck on Amazon.

Shaman’s Oracle Deck Art

Let’s take a look at the artwork on the Shaman’s Oracle cards. These are pictures taken of cave drawings to represent the concepts.

When I’m reading from this deck, I don’t consider the artwork as much as in other decks. Because the art is simple, there aren’t as many visual cues to get ideas from.

However, there is definitely enough here to help assist you in your readings. The primary place I derive wisdom and insight from is the book (see below).

Wil Kinghan

The artwork was done by Wil Kinghan, who is a shamanic artist. He actually studied archeology at the University of Dublin and is an explorer of the Celtic traditions.

I believe that they are paintings based off cave art from primal humans, but it also seems possible that they are photographs of actual cave art? This is not clear to me and I have not been able to find an answer online.

However, you can follow Wil Kinghan on Facebook and maybe you can find more information there!

Card Quality

6 Sample cards from the Shaman's Oracle Deck: Shaman of Birth, Hunter of Conflict, The Companion, Ancestor of Hope, Spirit of Nurture, and Dancer of Promise.

While the cards are decent quality and won’t easily rip or tear, I do feel that they could be better quality. My entire deck is warped and slightly twisted. In the pictures below you can see the short edge and the long edge.

Thankfully, this does not detract at all from any readings that I do, but it is a little annoying.

Short edge Shaman's Oracle Deck card quality
Short edge, you can see the warping on the deck
Long edge Shaman's Oracle Deck card quality
Long edge, you can see the warping on the deck

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Shaman’s Oracle Deck Booklet

Shaman's Oracle Box with booklet

The booklet is where a lot of the wisdom from this deck comes from. The meanings of the cards themselves is deep and spiritual in a very primal way.

The cards come in 5 suits:

  • The Ancestors – The holders of primal wisdom
  • The Hunters – The focus of strategy and strength
  • The Dancers – Energy and Expression
  • The Shamans – Messengers of becoming
  • The Spirits – Transformative forces in daily life

Each card has a page of explanation as well as keywords.

John Matthews

From Britain, John Matthews has been writing since the 80s and has published books, tarot cards, and much more.

Doing a Reading with the Shaman’s Oracle Deck

Cards from the Shaman's Oracle

Here’s where things get really interesting. I typically use the Shaman’s Oracle deck to supplement other readings where I’ve used a full tarot deck and spread for a reading. I will typically use these cards to read overarching spiritual and primal themes running through the reading. In cases like this, I never use more than 2 cards.

However, there is a specific reading/spread that John Matthews (author of the booklet) recommends. He recommends the use of what he calls the Cave Oracle Glyph (see diagram below). Essentially, this is a series of 5 caves representing the elements earth, fire, water, air, and aether. The Journeyer and Companion cards represent the Midworld and Spiritworld respectively.

All the cards together makes this a 7-card spread.

Cave Oracle Glyph on page 11 of the Shaman's Oracle booklet
Cave Oracle Glyphs
Diagram for Shaman's Oracle reading on page 16 of the booklet
Shaman’s Oracle reading spread according to the Cave Oracle Glyphs

The spread is quite complex and will take some practice to get used to. I’ve only used it a handful of times myself because of the complexity. But the spread makes for very spiritual readings.

My recommendations for using this spread:

  • take your time with this reading
  • don’t leave out the Journeyer and Companion cards
  • utilize the booklet as your resource
  • draw connections between all the different caves and the path you are on

Uses for This Deck

Some overall uses for this deck include:

  • shadow work
  • spiritual readings
  • overarching life themes
  • what you’ve been placed in this lifetime to learn
  • overcoming patriarchal trauma
  • understanding our primal needs and instincts

Conclusion: Shaman’s Oracle Deck Review

Overall, I rate this deck a 4.5 out of 5 stars. The art and booklet are amazing, but the quality does leave something to be desired.

I love this deck. While it’s not one of the primary decks that I use, it is great for use as a supplemental deck and seeing overarching spiritual themes during readings.

I highly recommend this deck for anyone who focuses on spiritual teaching, personal development, and overcoming patriarchal trauma in their tarot readings for themselves or others.

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