Review of The Ocean Oracle
Name of Deck: The Ocean Oracle
Year Published: 2023
Author/Creator: Hattie Thorn
Artist (if different from Author):
Reviewed by: Havana @sparkledivinetarot
Type of Deck: Oracle
Number of Cards: 45
Is this a themed/character deck: Yes
Aesthetics: The Ocean Oracle arrives in a sturdy two-part box with designs from the deck decorating it. The cards are not glossy or matte, they are somewhere in between. The cardstock is fairly basic without any gilding or foiling and not quite as flexible. The cards shuffle well but you may want to be a little more gentle as this type of cardstock has a tendency to bow and crease. The cards measure at 80 x 120 cm, a very manageable size for an oracle deck, IMO. The card backs are not reversible but that isn't something I usually need from an oracle deck.
Guidebook: The guidebook cuts straight to the chase with only a couple pages reserved for acknowledgments and an explanation of how The Ocean Oracle came to be. Each card is reproduced in a smaller black and white version with the title of the card, keyword, and a two page description of the imagery and divination interpretation. Although there isn't a table of contents, the unnumbered cards are listed alphabetically in the guidebook, so finding them is easy enough.
Is this deck eco-friendly: Although there was no mention of eco-friendly choices, the deck arrived in recyclable packaging without shrink wrap.
Is this a non-human deck: Yes
Real World Tarot: N/A for this deck
Review: One of my favorite places in the World is the jellyfish exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Last time I was there I spent nearly an hour staring at the different species as they floated along. It's mesmerizing. This is one of the few places in my life where I am able to experience complete relaxation, but that's the effect the ocean has on most people, isn't it? I get the same sense of serenity from the images in the Ocean Oracle by Hattie Thorn. Hattie's artwork is so vibrant that the images feel nearly 3-D. The colors glow like neon, they're electric, and feel alive. I feel like a mermaid bobbing around the waters, discovering ruins, playing with sea creatures, and collecting little curiosities that peak my interest.
Hattie made sure to choose symbols and keywords that cover a variety of ocean life, ecosystems, and coastal atmospheres. Where some oracle decks might pick random ocean themed icons and slap random words as titles, The Ocean Oracle makes an effort to ensure keywords and titles are relevant. Some of the items and keywords gave me pause and forced me to consider a different perspective.
Nets - New Ideas. A much more positive spin on an object that could represent captivity.
Lobster -.It's okay to be vulnerable. Lobsters must molt their exoskeletons in order to grow. Growth requires vulnerability.
Rope - Healthy Boundaries. Ropes are used to tie and bind but they also create boundaries.
Shark - Strength. Sharks get such a bad name but they are some of the oldest animals around because they are resilient.
Jellyfish - Stay Calm. Jellyfish often wash up during a storm or when the ocean is turbulent but jellyfish simply exist and go with the flow. A reminder to stay calm in times of chaos.
Oftentimes when I'm at my lowest point, I'll turn to an oracle deck for a message but if that message feels condescending at that moment, I may end up feeling worse. I appreciate the messages of this deck are not overwhelmingly positive. They offer realistic advice with achievable goals. I think The Ocean Oracle deck is a very balanced deck that I would be happy to turn to when I'm looking for an uplifting message.
There are a couple of things I might reconsider if a second edition of this deck were to be published. There is a Divine Feminine card but not a Divine Masculine card. I wish there was but I understand that this deck is supposed to capture the essence of Mother Nature. I also think the font size and color make it hard to read for some of the cards. I might add a drop shadow or outline to the font to help contrast against the vivid colors.
Since before history people have had a connection with the ocean, with its wildlife, with its plant life, and with its ability to rejuvenate the soul and remind one that they are a small part of this large planet. At least that's what I feel when I stand on the beach to stare out at the horizon. The Ocean Oracle feels like a condensed version of that spirit which is something I think a lot of people can enjoy. If you are a child of the ocean, you might want to give The Ocean Oracle deck a chance. You can also look at the many other decks Hattie Thorn has created.
Where to find a copy: The Ocean Oracle deck can be purchased at hattiethorn.com
Use code IDR10 for 10% off your purchase