I have a bunch of oracle decks to review and have received a few requests to review this one first, so here’s the review of the Earthbound Oracle by Andy Swartz (creator of the Wooden Tarot).
The Earthbound Oracle is a 50 card oracle deck which is a “practical, down-to-earth” deck. The imagery is simple, earthly, and a little surreal. Each card has a single keyword and the image. The cards are 2.5″ x 3.5″ and borderless and the backs are a black background with two crescent moons. There is no LWB. The cards are the perfect size for my small hands to shuffle. They come packaged in a tuck box and my purchase included a sticker and a wooden Yes/No coin.
I love the imagery of this oracle. The “labour” card shows bees busily working at a honeycomb, while “growth” shows a couple mushrooms in a terrarium, “toxic”, predictably, shows a bunch of poisonous plants, “guide” is a compass, while “abundance” is a pomegranate. The imagery is simple and easily recognizable but clever, although, as the artist says, a couple of the images use very Western symbolism (such as “deceit” being a two-headed serpent). It’s a very earthy deck, and reminds me of playing in the park, digging through the dirt looking for bugs. Even the colour scheme (a pale pinkish-tan) reminds me of pale clay I used to dig up and shape with my hands. Some of the images are a bit surreal, but nothing I would characterize as grotesque.
I have found the deck is best with single-card draws, although I’ve seen people use spreads on tumblr, because there is no accompanying booklet, you’re left to interpret the cards however you want. This deck would be an obvious companion to the Wooden Tarot, but handles well on its own. If you’re looking for a deck with simple, surreal, earthy energy and you don’t mind a lack of instruction, this oracle deck could be just up your alley. The lack of instructions was a turn-off for me at first, but this isn’t a deck that relies on highly detailed imagery or any specialized knowledge.