Card Deck Review: The Sibyls Oraculum – Oracle of the Black Doves of Africa
Tayannah Lee McQuillar, with artwork by Katelan V Foisy
Published by Destiny Books (UK £16.99; 44 cards and comprehensive information book)
Reviewed by Wendy Stokes

“There will be a coming of the day when that which is hidden shall be revealed”—The Libyan Sibyl

The author, Tayannah Lee McQuillar is a cultural anthropologist, scholar of religion, esoterica and mysticism. She hails from New York but conducted her research in Brazil and New Orleans and has shown great expertise in her knowledge of divination from earliest antiquity in this North African study and uniquely developed card system. She is the author of  ‘Rootwork’.

The cards’ artist, Katelan Foisy, works with multimedia and has produced cards which have an authentic look coupled with the beauty of ancient Mediterranean mosaics. Images of flowers, animals, fruit, gardens, objects, but no people! She is known as the female ‘Jack Kerouac’ and a modern day ‘Francesca Woodman’. You are invited to experience the card images as closely as you can to form a close connection to them.

Greek and Roman mythology imbibed a great deal from the North African Sibylline spiritual tradition, which had a highly developed culture, especially amongst wise women who were knowledgeable about mathematics, astronomy, dreams and the art of divination. Herodotus describes how the black doves flew from Thebes to the Siwa Oasis in Libya and to Dodona in Greece where they inspired the divination of the prophetesses in the first century. Information is provided for each cards of the deck, how to read the cards, how the oracle works, the spiritual structure of the cards, the use of epigrams (inscriptions) in a reading, and information on what to avoid, and where and when to conduct the reading. There are 3 examples of readings provided, along with the questions asked. Advice is supplied about creating a Mission Statement, and creating a Personal Motto. It is suggested a journal be kept. I very much liked the ethical explanation that underpins the readings. There are 6 steps to a reading which are well explained, with 3 sets of cards: the Core Issue Cards, the Projection Cards, and the Action Cards.

If you’d really like to be able to provide a reading with a difference – one that marks you out from other oracle deck readers – this deck has definitely something special to offer. I found it powerful, deep, and offering a healthy direction, erring on what is best and for ‘the highest good’! Due to the card images having an antique finish, a magnifying glass is needed to fully enjoy the images.

Review by Wendy Stokes