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african goddess rising deck, inclusive oracle cards

Each suit represents the "inner temples" one must face.

In all my friend groups, I am considered a bit of a woo ambassador. Whether it be from a crystal, intention-setting candle or meditative bath bomb, I love seeing the look of fascination and intrigue on a loved one’s face after receiving a bit of magic.

My favorite thing to do is gift someone their first oracle card deck. You’ve probably heard of tarot cards—oracle cards are like tarot’s laid-back younger sibling. Each card has a symbolic picture along with a simple, yet poignant message, usually of the empowering variety.

Sure, they’re a common staple of a modern-day spiritual practice, but the main reason I adore them, and why these little cards have become so mainstream over the years, is that they can be valuable self-reflection tools, helping us to make new connections, break old patterns and creatively work on personal development. Plus they’re endlessly fun and who doesn’t love pretty things?

There is, however, one issue. Oracle card decks can be given pretty much any theme you can think of—be it unicorns or angels or pop music icons—and yet, very few feature diverse images or delve into minority cultures. Understandably, when a person cannot even see themselves authentically reflected in the cards, it can leave them feeling missing from the equation. Assuming that it wasn’t created for them, some don’t explore the cards at all. Which is a shame, considering what a powerful tool they can be.


Being a seasoned cardslinger, I was egregiously aware of this during my recent search for an appropriate deck to give my friend as a birthday present.

Luckily, I found the perfect one.

inclusive tarot, black owned oracle cards

You'll find deities, queens and other powerful people to connect with in this deck.

Amazon

The African Goddess Rising Oracle deck contains 44 cards (works of art, really) that focus on prominent figures of African culture. From deities like Oshun—the Yoruba goddess of love—to real-world icons like Voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau, each character helps the reader connect to what deck creator Abiola Abrams describes as the “foundational beliefs” of African spirituality: ancestral veneration, reverence for elders and community, respecting natural phenomena, and the power to transmute obstacles.

Abrams’ bio will inform you that she is an award-winning author and first-generation American daughter of multigenerational healers, seers and farmers in Guyana, South America, who are descended from several West African nations. But truly, one glance through her gorgeous deck will just as easily reveal her impeccable knack for storytelling and personal connection to the myths passed down in her family.

Because of its rich historical context, this deck has a much more grounded quality than other more fantasy-based cards—it feels a bit more like receiving wisdom from a wise elder than a heady, esoteric concept. Because, well, that was all by design. As Abrams explains, her creation is “faithful to our sacred truths and secrets passed down through oral tradition.”

In case you were curious—my friend loved it. The very next day after receiving it, she told me how validating it felt to “see even my ancestors telling me I’m on the right track.” It’s that kind of insight and affirmation that oracle cards can help cultivate, which is why it’s so important to have diverse representation. Everyone needs that sort of thing now and again.

To be fair, there are other highly honorable mentions for more inclusive oracle card decks, but something about African Goddess Rising hits different. It helps that Abrams is also a recognized leader in the personal growth space—the empowering messages come from a sensible, well-founded place with simple, actionable steps.


Also—in case it wasn’t obvious, the African Goddess Rising deck can be for anyone. Each message is universal, rooted in humanity and able to speak to us all. I have since procured my own copy, and you can do the same here.

Upworthy may earn a share of proceeds from items purchased on this list.

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