+
Identity

This gorgeous oracle card deck offers valuable wisdom based on African culture

From ancient deities to well-known icons.

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.

Mom absolutely slays when bar band hands her a fiddle.

The devil may have gone down to Georgia, but it appears he took a detour to a bar in Nashville and possessed a middle-aged mom on his way down there.

In a TikTok video that's been viewed 5.5 million times, Olivia Reeth's daughter shared that her family had gone to the Whiskey Bent Saloon in Nashville and was watching the Moonshine Outlaw Band perform. Her mom told the band she played the fiddle, and mid-song, the fiddle player decided to hand his instrument over to her.

You kind of have to wonder what the guy was thinking. Did he imagine she'd be able to keep up with the band? Did he figure she'd play a few bars and then hand it back?

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo via -ted/Flickr

The health insurance reform bus tour, 2009.

At a time when it can feel like America's most pressing problems aren’t being addressed, there’s some very good news on the healthcare front that everyone should know. The percentage of Americans who are uninsured has hit the lowest point in American history.

A report from the Office of Health Policy earlier this year announced that the uninsured rate hit an all-time low of 8% in the first quarter of 2022. To give some perspective, in 2010, before the Affordable Care Act (ACAalso known as Obamacare) had been fully implemented, the uninsured rate was twice as high at 16%.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Buffalo woman uses social media to save an elderly man's life after he's trapped in the snow

They don't call Buffalo the city of good neighbors for no reason.

Photo by Patino Jhon on Unsplash
vehicles covered in snow

The city of Buffalo, New York is called the "city of good neighbors." And with a blizzard that has dumped more than 50 inches of snow on them, the world is getting to learn how they earned that name.

A woman named Sha'Kyra Aughtry went viral on Facebook after she reluctantly put out an emotional plea. Aughtry went live on the platform explaining that she heard someone calling for help outside, so she sent her boyfriend out to see who needed assistance. Turns out, it was a 64-year-old developmentally disabled man by the name of Joey White, who was stuck in the cold snow. Aughtry's boyfriend helped the man out of the snow and physically carried him into the house.

White was so frozen that they had to use a hair dryer to melt the ice off of his pants that were frozen to him. The couple also had to cut his socks off along with the bags he was carrying, which were stuck to his hands. White was in a dire position and Aughtry, a mom of three preparing for Christmas, was desperate.

Keep ReadingShow less

Jordan Wilson started taking a daily selfie when he was 13.

On Christmas Day in 2007, when he was just 13-years-old, Jordan Wilson hung up a purple sheet of fabric and took a photo of himself in front of it with his digital camera.

He's done the exact same thing every day since.

When he goes on vacation, he takes the purple curtain with him so he doesn't miss a day. He used the same digital camera from 2007 to 2020, when light flares started showing at the bottom of his photos indicating that the camera was on its last legs. He tracked down the exact same model of camera from 2007 to replace it and kept going.

Keep ReadingShow less

This library is where it's at.

Libraries are a vast treasure trove of information, ideas and inspiration. And yet, they often simultaneously seem like the product of a bygone era. Let’s face it, the convenience of the Internet has made it our go-to source of knowledge, causing us to sacrifice analog magic for expediency.

To be sure, libraries have adapted for the modern age by offering digital resources including basic online access that often provide a lifeline for underserved communities. But still, the general consensus seems to be that libraries are stuffy and archaic. This lack of interest, combined with continued budget cuts, pose a real challenge to physical libraries everywhere.

However, one library is actually harnessing the power of the internet to prove just how cool, and yes, hip, these public spaces can be…one hilarious and viral TikTok at a time.
Keep ReadingShow less

Florida teacher Yolanda Turner engaged 8th grade students in a dance-off.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Teachers deserve all the kudos, high fives, raises, accolades, prizes and thanks for everything they do. Even if they just stuck to academics alone, they'd be worth far more than they get, but so many teachers go above and beyond to teach the whole child, from balancing equations to building character qualities.

One way dedicated educators do that is by developing relationships and building rapport with their students. And one surefire way to build rapport is to dance with them.

A viral video shared by an assistant principal at Sumner High School & Academy in Riverview, Florida shows a group of students gathered around one student as he challenges a teacher to a dance-off.

Keep ReadingShow less