If you’re on Facebook, you know Rumi. If you don’t, you’ve probably never seen a meme with an inspirational quote. The 13th century philosopher and poet is a very useful subject to quote the cr*p out if you want to make a point of love, mutual respect and personal growth. Perhaps, seeing his popularity amongst many ethnicities, it is a wonder no-one made a tarot or oracle deck inspired by his work sooner. Alana Fairfield, the creator of many interesting oracles like Sacred Rebels and Kuan Yin, decided to take the plunge and create the Rumi Oracle an invitation into the heart of the divine.
The author had been a long time fan of Rumi’s writings, even feeling a spiritual connection, when she ‘accidentally’ saw fusion artist Rassouli’s new paintings. One thing led to another…another oracle. Especially since Rassouli had started to translate Rumi’s poems already and a lot of his work was inspired by the 13th century Persian poet. So Fairchild started: she combined art piece and poem and wrote the rest of the stories and messages based on both. That resulted in 44-cards and a guidebook – a mini paperback – of about 200 pages.
Look & feel
But how it actually looks and works is of course much more important. The deck & book come in a purple and gold sturdy lid box with brown and turquoise embellishments. The cards inside are a little smaller than the box (the LWB is that large), but it is still very good for storage and I don’t see it fall apart any time soon (unless you do really weird stuff with your decks).
The cards are good quality stock and have a highly glossy laminated finish. They initially stuck together and during shuffling – no mean feat for small hands because like all oracles these cards are also big – that can be a problem. I guess a little powder is in order to be able to use them properly or maybe some longterm use. Unfortunately the Rumi Oracle also comes with a set of ghastly beige borders. Really people: why??? It is rarely a good addition and this is no exception. And for those that make a practice out of borderectomies…alas, it will ruin the lovely back.
Having said that: the art is *absolutely gorgeous*. I really can’t say anything else. Artist Rassouli has made 44 divine pieces. I want most of them on my wall – not that I can afford them by the way – so I quickly forgot about those borders. I can easily understand why Alana Fairchild immediately became inspired. It is not only beautifully painted, but the art just sucks you in.
Which is necessary, because the Rumi oracle is ‘one of those’. Meaning that most titles are on the poetic side (examples: Layla, Whirling Goddess, Celestial Rose of Ma, Blessing of Al-Hakim, Cosmic Heart or Sacred Convergence) and using it for concrete advice will turn out to be disappointing. I did several test readings with it. All of the cards resonated, but there was one that had me raise an eyebrow. It is about a devastating situation, but the message was “this had to happen because an even better situation is on the way”. Honestly, I sincerely doubt that, but I am going to follow the advice by the author and trust that the card and its message ‘will become clear later on’. Apparently that’s a thing with this deck.
While there is no true way to read the Rumi Oracle, it is advised (by both Alana Fairchild and myself) to shuffle/fan and pick one card. And then read the message. Of course you will be able to pull more, for deeper insight, but with the words on the cards you can’t make a sentence, nor do you get a very clear answer if you apply positions. The question “What can I expect from xyz” was mostly a bust.
I love to use my oracles as an extra next to tarot or as a stand-alone. Of course that is possible with this oracle, only not in the way that you would use many others. The Rumi Orace is the wise mentor, your guide, advising you about the ‘undercurrents’ in your life. And that advice is usually one for the heart or the mind. Internal work one could say. Not: go out and buy that lottery ticket, but be happy with what you have and trust in the universe to give you what you need. Okay, of course way deeper than I just described, but you get the gist…hopefully. No action, behavior or development, but meditation and support.
The best question to ask the Rumi Oracle is “What do I need to know about situation xyz”. And that will get you a spiritual answer. One to think about. One about personal growth most of the time. Both art and guidebook focus on emotions. Fairchild calls Rumi’s words ‘teachings of the heart’, text to ‘sooth concerns’. And that is exactly what this decks gives you too. So it goes a lot deeper than the advice on ‘what to do now?’. I think that is also clear by the fact that after reading each message you are offered a sacred honoring ritual, where you can say some sort of prayer to emphasize the advice, the good that is supposed to come to you or whatever was necessary according to the cards.
If you are open to all this, I think the Rumi Oracle makes for an excellent meditation deck. You can take those rituals into it. I am not sure if it is the handiest deck for clients. Unless you do e-mail readings and type really fast or don’t mind looking up a meaning and read to them.
Why? Well, every card has a Rumi poem, a two page story – including message – by Alana Fairchild and a sacred honouring. It will take a very long time to know what each card means, so I guess the cards and book are truly a package deal in this case. My guess is, you best use the deck for personal use. When you are in a difficult situation and need a little mindfulness coming your way or when you are trying to manifest something: use the cards. And, in my humble opinion the deck is so pretty I would just buy it anyway ;-).
All in all: if you want your decks to be mainly ‘diviners’ or give you advice on the next steps with an oracular sentence or so, this is not one for you. If you are all about mindfulness, meditation and personal growth and don’t mind to buy a deck ‘just for you’ this could be a big hit. Same as if you’re fan of Rumi. Like I said: the art is truly and simply stunning. The answers might be given in a particular way, but they do hit home. This deck will end up in my longterm top 10 most likely. If you’re a collector and/or like art this is one you shouldn’t miss.
|Author or artist
|Alana Fairchild & Rassouli
|Blue Angel Publishing