The Vessel Oracle
Created and Published by Mary Elizabeth Evans
I am someone who would classify myself as a vessel that has been repaired. Repaired is not the same as brand new, or even whole. Where there are scars, cracks that have been sealed, and voids that have been filled, there is the possibility of ruin. There is the possibility that the repair will develop a weak point over time due to the stress placed upon it and fall into a state of irreversible disrepair. This is the constant fear of anyone who has faced mental illness, abuse, assault, or any trauma. Mary Elizabeth Evan’s art is a protective bandage or cast for a broken soul. If you are familiar with the work of Mary Elizabeth Evans and the family of Spirit Speak decks then you know just how emotionally healing Mary’s art can be. The Vessel Oracle is no different in its ability to offer hope, put things into perspective, and comfort during times of confusion, doubt, and lack of confidence. The Vessel Oracle contains the idea that the heart is a vessel that deserves to be loved, cherished, and cared for.
As with the other decks in the spirit speak series, The Vessel Oracle features simple drawings of an almost childish nature. Though they may be simple they are powerful and highlight Mary’s unique artistic style. The deck comes in a pastel pink box where the word vessel in a hand drawn script is framed by a white love heart. The back of the box features five reproductions of cards within the deck and a brief history of where the cards were created and when. This is a feature on most of the Spirit Speak decks I’ve seen and I love this personal touch. The vertical sides of the box feature six more white love hearts while the horizontal edges are covered in pink and black print of love hearts. The box opens and closes with a flap that is sealed by a magnetic stripe, which is something I love to see in a well-made deck box. The pink and black love heart print lines the entirety of the inside cover of the one-piece box. Inside this lovely little box, you’ll find thirty-five oracle cards with a single word or phrase and an illustration done in black in white with pops of green, pink, or blue. The backs of the cards feel very new-wave and retro to this child of the 80’s. They are designed with an all seeing, spiraling eye floating in a blue cloud which is suspended in a field of pink and green triangles. This is all anchored by a background of a darker pink color that show the artistic work in progress with the streaks and fading of the marker used to fill in the background.
The guidebook for the Vessel Oracle matches the images in its simplicity. There is no introduction, no discussion or explanation of the creative process, or even spread suggestions. The guidebook jumps right into card meanings with the very first page featuring the first card in the deck. The cards are listed alphabetically according to the keyword or phrase. The images from all thirty-five cards are reproduce in black and white along with an impactful and thought-provoking explanation for the image.
I really appreciate the intention of this deck because the intention is clear and unobstructed by complicated symbology. To me, the Vessel Oracle feels like a friend who you rely on in times of need, and distress. There are great orators who speak well with lots of educated words full of meaning and there are people who can say one or two words that make you rethink your perspective. The Vessel Oracle is the latter, the friend who can talk you off the edge by say a simple word or two. I’ve heard the term ‘hug deck’ used to describe a deck that is supportive and comforting. This is a hug deck that does not shy away from reality. While acknowledging the darker, less desirable parts of life, the vessel deck also manages to restore optimism and hope.
Childhood, Forgive, It gets better, Self care and Self doubt are five cards I’ve picked from the deck to show how therapeutic, comforting, and enlightening the Vessel Oracle really is.
Childhood-protect your inner child from the dangers that surround it
Forgive-allowing yourself to forgive frees you from the burden of anger and hate, let it go, let it its release cleanse you of hurt and pain
It gets better-you are not in this alone and with help and support from others it will get better, you can heal
Self care-don’t allow your light to fade, take care of yourself because as RuPaul says, “if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?”
Self doubt-you are the holy grail, you are the most desirable treasure you have been searching for, don’t let doubt tarnish your shine
For those of us held together by little more than a prayer, The Vessel Oracle offers reinforcement, enrichment and support to ease the stress we must endure each day. I’ve shed a few tears using this deck and others in the Spirit Speak series. The tears I shed were cathartic and once I was finished, I felt renew and inspired to try again. I carry the Vessel Deck around with me every day for when I need a pep talk and a reminder of how amazing I am. The Vessel Oracle can be purchased at https://www.spirit-speak.com/shop, along with the other decks in the spirit speak collection.