"Spirit Oracle" 54 Guidance Cards
by Toni Carmine Salerno
Blue Angel Art Gallery, Australia
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2005
Oracle decks are very popular and fill a niche in the spiritual self-guidance realm for people who love Tarot and other forms of divination, as well as for those people who want a daily affirmation or positive reinforcement without the complexities of learning a whole system of divination. I think everyone would enjoy the "Spirit Oracle" by Toni Carmine Salerno.
As a long term reader and Tarot practioner, I have learned the value of a daily card pull or a daily affirmation to help focus and inform me of what themes the day ahead might present to me. I have worked with this deck for a couple of months now and have pulled cards and done small Tarot spread readings with them for myself and friends. I found them to be very on target as to the situations that were being inquired upon. These cards have a wonderfully positive theme, honest insights, inspirational thoughts as well as predicitve aspects.
There are 54 cards in the deck. Each card features a beautiful piece of artwork on one side and a meaning, affirmation or insight written, in nice big print, on the other. Toni Carmine Salerno is an excellent artist. His work is deeply contemplative, brooding in a moody darkness in some ways, and full of bright, divine light in others. The colours are, for the most part, dark and subdued but with flashes of light and bright colour. He makes primary colour recede in his art - an amazing feat.
Some of his imagery reminds me of Picasso, others of Van Gogh. There is the strength and feeling of many spiritual paths contained in this artwork. He honours the female form and the feminine spirit as well as the strength and presence of the masculine. His evocations of people have a wonderful ageless, caught-in-a-moment-of-time quality. Some of the images are like a deep well, you can fall right in. Some are much more visually stunning and emotionally impacting. The card for "Innocence" has the face of a beautiful young woman with the sparkle of diamonds radiating from her big innocent eyes - it is like every tear she ever shed is precious. His work with light in his images is delicate and there is much gentleness around the eyes. One the back of this card the affirmation is "Innocence. Purity. Joy. You are being encouraged to just be you. You are a light of joy in this world. Expect positive outcomes to flow from your honesy and pure intentions."
The card "Tranquility" has a beautiful nude female with the grace and wings of an angel. The colours are soft - they flow and swirl in delicate curves all around her feet, like a sea of ice and fire. She stands looking directly at you, haloed, her gaze and aspect are straightforward, her arms held behind her back and her legs slightly crossed. She is poised like a ballet dancer moving into the fourth position. Her manner is quite at ease as she advises "Trust! All will turn out well. Everything will fall into place. Peace of mind and tranquility will result." The "Moon Goddess' is wonderful use of colour and both random curving and straight lines. She squats, naked and radiant as she tells us "A time of necessary upheaval, a blessing in disguise. As the dust settles, the gift reveals itself."
The card "Blessings" is both simple and complex. A brightly coloured rainbow crosses a dark background - it shapes the edge of the world and there is an ocean of dark swirling colour with light rising up through. It seems to be flowing both towards and away from you. His images are very subliminal - if you study them you can find all kinds of interesting images, faces and patterns. This cards shares "Blessings! You are being showered with light. You creativity is being stirred, activated, set alight! An endless stream of rainbow colour stems from your heart."
Toni Carmine Salerno was born in Melbourne, Australia. Besides being an excellent and gifted artist, he is also a writer and has a holistic healing practice. I think anyone with an appreciation of art and timeless beauty, would get hours of enjoyment from this deck. We can all use a little honest, good news and gently compassionate insights once in a while.