Shamanka by T.E. MacArthur

Shamanka: Oracle of the Shamaness
T.E. MacArthur
Tarot Media Company, 2009
55 pages plus 44 cards

Reviewed by innowen

Shamanka is a unique oracle deck based off the principles of Shamanism. T.E MacArthur created and painted the deck herself and says, “The images are deeply personal to me. I was guided by dreams, visions, and experience to design and complete each one. My influences and training come from Siberia, the Himalayas, Mongolia, Tibetan Buddhism, and the Pacific Northwest. I do not represent any of the cultures either as an expert or claim that they are my own culture. I am at best an amateur anthropologist. It has been a spiritual journey for me and a privilege to share them with you.” The deck’s 44 images focus around a type of shaman, going about their work. The paintings are brightly colored and have a multicultural appeal. The backs of each card show hands set upon a tribal-style background. The cards do not contain any numbers.

The Shamanka companion guide, which can be purchased separately or with the deck, contains 55 pages of good info. There’s an introduction to shamanism, three spreads based off global shamanism topics, and information on each card. MacArthur really delivers with the background info and divinatory meanings (positive and shadow sides). In the first chapter of the Shamanka companion guide, MacArthur believes that her deck can help anyone “reconnect with the Universe and gather knowledge.”

1. What can you teach users?
I drew The Traveler, which shows a female shaman drumming in a tunnel. The companion book says that this card represents “a physical journey.” In this position, this card tells us that using Shamanka can actually be a force of nature in our lives to tell us where we need to go and what paths to take.

2. What are your strengths?
The Shapeshifter. The shaman on this card wears a bearskin and appears ready to dance. The companion book says that this card is about our ability to shape shift, where we can change our behaviors and become something new. As a strength card, the Shapeshifter, tells us that using the Shamanka oracle can help us shift our perspectives and get out of our skins and grow as individuals.

3. What are your weaknesses?
The Spirit Warrior. The shaman on this card, is from the Pacific Northwest. She wears traditional garb and wields a staff out in front of her. The companion book says that The Spirit Warrior on this card is about acting courageously, and becoming a leader. It’s about breaking traditions and standing out… as long as you’re fighting for something you believe in. In this Weakness position, this tells me that the deck will fight for your right to transformation and change, but the images on the cards may not resonate with the images to understand the deep power that can help push you out of your habits and make the change that needs to stick.

One thing I noticed after drawing these cards is their colors. The Traveler shows a shaman in a cave, there’s a lot of dark blues and blacks. The Shapeshifter shows the fiery colors of reds and oranges and The Spirit Warrior displays light colors of green and yellows. It’s almost as if the cards’ colors are telling a story of going from the darkness and into the light by trial by fire.

Bottom Line
If you are interested in a new shamanic approach to divination and want to connect to the universe, then give Shamanka a try. This multicultural deck guides you to seeing new perspectives through connecting with shamanic cultures around the world.

Three and a half pawprints out of five.

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