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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Unboxing the Sacred Sites Oracle Cards

I went to Witchfest 2015 yesterday and even though I vowed to myself I wouldn't buy a deck, guess what I bought. BUT, in my defense, it was a deck that I had never seen or heard of, I looked through a sample deck on the table fully expecting to dislike it, and ended up liking it and buying it.

Sacred Sites Oracle Cards: Harness Our Earth's Spiritual Energy to Heal Your Past, Transform Your Present and Shape Your Future by Barbara Meiklejohn-Free, Illustrated by Yuri Leitch (Watkins, 2015)

Two reasons I decided to look at it: 1) it's an oracle and not a tarot (I bought the Sacred Sites Tarot and disliked it) and 2) the artwork appealed to my eye. (I fully expected to dislike it because I do tend to have that reaction things. Ha!)

I opened the deck on the train home - of course - and made some pleasant and some unpleasant discoveries.

Concept - pleasant
For each of the four cardinal directions, Meiklejohn-Free has selected 13 sacred sites. Some of them I've heard of, some not. Only two of them I've actually been to! I like the number 13 for each of the directions. There's also an extra 'Power card' - Mecca. Interesting choice. I like how there is a simple arrow in the border pointing east, south, west, or north, to avoid having to print the words on the card. The borders are also different pale shades, not too distracting.

Suggestion for reading - pleasant
Meiklejohn-Free suggests that the cards should be examined in three segments from bottom to top: the lower third is the 'Lower World' and represents your past, the middle is the 'Middle World' and represents both your present and the present energy of the sacred site, and the upper third is the 'Upper world, which is your potential. For each card, she provides interpretations for each of these three segments of the card, as well as a visualisation, invocation or ritual to perform in association with the card. All of this packed into a compact companion book of 120 pages (co-written with Flavia Kate Peters).

The box - pleasant 
A word about the box. It's a lovely sturdy and compact slip cover style box. I like it.

Now for the disappointing bits - unpleasant

The cards are not perfect. They are not all the same size! And the corners are not all the same size. I used a large corner rounder to tidy those up, but the difference in actual size of the cards is appalling. I've done better hand trimming with scissors than this! (I took the above photos after I rounded the corners!) AND, some of the images are offset -- too close to one side of the card. This is Watkins here. I would expect better. Really disappointing. If this sort of thing bothers you, just be warned. This is one of the dangers of buying from a vendor at an event. No seller to return it to -- I suppose I could try Watkins but meh. I hear they're a pain to try to deal with. So I'll just have to accept it.

Now let's look at some cards 

The two places I've actually been to

Some of the places I hadn't heard of

Some of the places that always excite my imagination

More places that excite my innards 
The Verdict
Overall, I like the deck. The art work really appeals to me, the concept of the deck makes sense to me, and the book is quite helpful. I look forward to using it!


  1. Yes, Rapa Nua has always appealed to me, too :) Will be interested to hear how it reads...

  2. Great to read! What's going on with all these faulty decks lately!! Cards stuck, unequal sizes, corners and colours!!