Deck Review: Everyday Witch’s Familiars Oracle

  • Everyday Witch’s Familiars Oracle Deck and Guidebook box set.
  • By Deborah Blake, Author, and Elisabeth Alba, Illustrator
  • Published by Llewellyn 2024
  • RRP Oracle Deck and Guidebook Box Set: UK £26.00/ US$24.99
  • Reviewed by Jason C Dean

When I opened the box and saw the Everyday Witch’s Familiar Oracle, I was immediately fixated on the black cat holding a quill and about to write in their book of shadows! I thought, Queen of Swords! I examined all the ephemera and symbols in the art and then looked at the black cat looking directly at me as if to say, ‘You’re late, let’s practice!’ My initial sense was that this was going to be a lot of fun!

On opening the sturdy cardboard presentation box, I was greeted by an amazing-looking Raven under starlight adorning the cover of the 106-page guidebook, Wisdom of the Familiars. The guidebook itself is stunning. All 40 of the Witch’s Familiar Oracle cards are beautifully presented on full-page borderless plates showcasing the amazing talent of the artist Elizabeth Alba. Inside the guidebook, Deborah Blake, the author, has done an amazing job of collating the wisdom of her lifelong experiences. Simply explaining the ‘how to’ of this oracle deck. Although there are references to world mythology and folklore regarding animals in our spiritual lives, Deborah keeps it all light and accessible, giving hints of depth while making the exploration lots of fun!

The cards are divided into the four classical elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water, with a fifth group being Spirit. The elements each have nine cards and Spirit four cards only, and each has colour-coded page descriptions in the guidebook. If you have a background in Tarot, you will see the element groupings are Tarot adjacent, and the cards are numbered 1 through 9, and spirit 1 through 4. But this is where the Tarot associations finish. So, you can use the elemental correspondences or the number sequences or not. As Deborah explains in the guidebook, it is really up to you how you use this deck, there is no right or wrong way. Deborah gives some guidance and suggestions on how you might want to incorporate the deck into a daily practice of one or two cards. She also goes further in describing several spreads and explains their positions as examples. Personally, I could see how these cards could be used in conjunction with Tarot readings, pulling one or two as amplifying cards.

The images on the cards are wonderful and a real joy to explore. The animal familiars illustrated have representatives from all over the world and realms. Mammals, reptiles, insects, arachnids, aquatics, birds, cephalopods, and mythological creatures are represented. Some we have in our homes like ‘Dog’ the 1st card of the Earth element group, shown curled up in front of the fireplace looking at you, communicating … something. The cat on the cover of the box is ‘Cat’ the 1st card in the Fire element group. However, there are many animals in this oracle deck. As Deborah explains, not all our pets are Familiars and not all those in the world either. Familiars assist us in raising our power, they are special animals that you have a spiritual connection with, some for a lifetime, whereas others intersect with our lives briefly, bringing a message, as guides and protectors.

Some of the other cards in the deck are Snake, Dragonfly, Octopus, Raven, and Heron. The four spirit cards include Sphinx and Dragon. All the continents and hemispheres are represented with cards like Penguin and Lion. I feel it would be impossible to represent all possible animal familiars, but Deborah and Elisabeth have done a great job in condensing it down to 40 cards. If your Familiar is not specifically mentioned, you could easily use Beaver or Racoon for another aquatic or forest animal for example. Similarly, if you are looking for Puffins, the Penguin card is a close southern hemisphere approximation. Indeed, hoofed animals are represented by Horse and Wild Boar for instance, and there are a few carnivores too, such as Wolf.

This is a wonderful Oracle deck to include in your practice. I have looked at many over the years and have only liked some of the cards, but with this deck I find value in all the imagery. From the naughty Monkey in the kitchen to the Hummingbird in the garden, all are great images with beautiful descriptions that you can apply to your life as you encounter Familiars in your world. My personal favourite amongst favourites is the Octopus, with their lantern holding a wand. I am sure you will find your favourite too and change the next day! The Everyday Witch’s Familiars Oracle is a visually stunning deck with a thoughtfully written guidebook, it is a wonderful concept brought to life for us to enjoy and explore.

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