The Dreams of Gaia Tarot deck will lead you down a path away from traditional tarot towards a “new era” of tarot reading. As the cumulation of 10 years of work by author and artist Ravynne Phelan, this deck features a strong spiritual connection with Gaia(Mother Earth), bold and vivid artwork, and guidance toward intimate self-reflection and guidance.
It’s an interesting deck with a bit of a twist and it could be used by a tarot reader at any level though I personally would suggest perhaps avoiding it for complete beginners just to make the learning process easier.
The Deck: In the Box
As for the product details, the physical product is fairly standard. It’s a lovely deck artistically, and you’re getting the usual:
- 81 full-color cards as opposed to the 78 found in a traditional deck.
- A 308-page companion book that will teach the beginner everything that they need to know about using the deck, and also will help experienced users understand some of the unique things that this deck has that traditional tarot decks will not.
Details of the Tarot Deck
The Dreams of Gaia Tarot Deck is somewhat of a twist on the traditional tarot card deck.
While maintaining some of the structure of a traditional deck by using the major and minor arcana, the Dreams of Gaia deck combines this with new archetypes and meanings.
The Major Arcana
The major arcana of this deck contains 25 cards, unlike the major arcana of a traditional deck which has 22.
The major arcana is divided into four sub-sections: The choice card, eight cards representing the stages of life, eight cards representing the reasons for being(what we are here to achieve and why we are here), and eight cards representing influence(things that affect and impact the way that we make choices.)
The Minor Arcana
Like a traditional tarot deck, the minor arcana in the Dreams of Gaia Tarot has 56 cards.
Unlike a traditional tarot, the suits are named after the four elements: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. You will find that the four knights found in a traditional tarot deck are replaced with an advisor representing each of the four elements: The Hero(Fire), The Counsellor(Water), The Scribe(Air), and The Seneschal(water). These four act as advisors to the king and queen. A card representing balancing and realignment has replaced the traditional card representing the Pages.
- This deck has incredible artwork that feels as if it will jump out of the card. The colors, depth, and designs are truly first-class.
- The guidebook that accompanies the deck is very in-depth and thorough, providing guidance and answers for both beginners and those with experience reading tarot.
- This deck breaks away from the traditional vein of tarot cards and provides an experience that is more personal and intimate while offering a more modern spin on tarot readings.
- This is not a traditional tarot deck. Purists or those looking for a traditional experience will need to adjust and learn some of the unique factors and changes that this deck has from the traditional format.
- The cards in this deck are somewhat larger than most tarot decks, this may make them harder to shuffle and handle for those with small hands.
- The guidebook can seem a little bit drawn out and repetitive for readers who prefer brief and easier to read explanations.
Alternative to Dreams of Gaia Tarot Deck
A simpler to use oracle deck, I’ve reviewed the Moonlogy deck in more detail here.
It’s a different style of oracle cards and also brings its own twist into the mix with astrological symbology and lunar phases but it’s a deck I think is more flexible and also better suited to beginners.
Sacred Earth Oracle Cards
This deck of oracle cards is described as a “Tool for guidance, insight, awareness, and support.” This is a similar theme to what the Dreams of Gaia Tarot deck focuses on, though since this is an oracle deck, it is even further from the traditional tarot structure than the Dreams of Gaia.
This deck has 46 cards and a 120-page guidebook that provides brief explanations of each card.
Like the Dreams of Gaia, the Sacred Earth Oracle deck has a very strong spiritual connection to the Earth and nature.
The Shamans Oracle
The Shamans Oracle is very unique for a variety of reasons. It will not have the structure of a traditional tarot deck and it is in many ways different than most oracle decks.
The Shamans Oracle deck is based on pearls of wisdom and teachings from shamans from all around the world.
Each of the 52 cards in this deck features artwork that was redrawn from photographs of original cave paintings that have been found in different parts of the world. This deck draws on very primal energy that will help with spiritual healing and meditation.
The Star Tarot
For those who are interested in more of a traditional tarot deck, The Star Tarot is an excellent option. This deck uses cosmic symbolism to move the user toward self-discovery of your soul’s purpose, personality, spirituality, and emotions.
This deck comes with an in-depth guidebook that gives detailed descriptions of the meaning of each card as well as explaining what the artwork on each card represents and why it was chosen. The cosmic connection of this deck could be a good companion to the Dreams of Gaia which focuses more on a connection with the energy of the Earth.
When to Use Dreams of Gaia Oracle Cards
- When you want to strengthen the connection with your divine self
- When you want to identify and heal experiences from your past which may have caused trauma and are holding you back from living to your full potential in life
- When you want to learn about yourself in a more intimate and self-fulfilling way
- When you want to channel the energy from the Earth in your meditation and self-reflection
Dreams of Gaia Oracle Card Meanings
Meanings Of The Major Arcana
- The Stages Of Life – These cards represent the different stages that we move through as we live our lives. Every stage of life from birth to death is represented here and they relate to things we have lived or things that have influenced how we live.
- Reasons For Living – This section of the deck represents why we are here. These cards will help us discover what our soul’s purpose is to achieve in life.
- Influence – The cards here are used to explain why we make the decisions that we do. These represent the major impacts that may influence your decision-making and may help clarify why you do certain things.
Meanings Of The Minor Arcana
The minor arcana represents the temporary things that you may be experiencing in your life at any given time.
By explaining the things that may be happening in your life, the minor arcana allows you to find the guidance to embrace or correct the things that are affecting your day-to-day life.
This non-traditional deck is somewhat of a hybrid between a tarot deck and an oracle deck and will bring readers into a “new era” of tarot.
I like the twist and, as always, I think if the deck speaks to you then it’s worth it and if you wish to add a new deck to an existing set of tarot cards this is a solid choice. It wouldn’t be my first suggestion for a beginner, however.