The Empath’s Oracle is the third piece in Raven Digitalis’ Empath’s Trilogy, the first two pieces of which are his books Esoteric Empathy and The Everyday Empath. While the first book in the triptych is designed for Witchy and occult readers, the second book and this Oracle deck have been designed to be accessible to anyone who identifies both as an empath and a spiritual person regardless of spiritual path (or lack thereof).
“Empathy,” writes Digitalis, “is a force that transcends human divisions, boundaries, and culturally imposed limitations.” Artist Konstantin Bax renders this concept exceptionally throughout each of the 40 cards of this deck. Mostly self-taught, Bax was an assistant to Ernst Fuchs, one of the founders of The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism.
Born into a family of artists (Bax’s father counted Salvador Dali as a friend), Bax is “at the forefront of the modern visionary and psychedelic art movement.” Every piece featured in this deck was originally hand-painted with acrylics. Digitalis writes, “These pieces are raw spiritual transmissions channeled through the lens of a single painter. They are channeled for you, channeled for me, and channeled for anyone who wishes to gain a piece of empathetic and spiritual knowledge from the pieces of art.”
The author recommends that no more than three cards be drawn at each sitting, as pulling more than three cards will dilute the message of each piece. He encourages those who are reading for clients to invite them to co-interpret the messages of each card, and also advises professional readers not to use this deck exclusively; the deck has been designed to use in tandem with Tarot readings and as an addition to other spiritual or psychological services. Digitalis also advises against reading reversals with the Empath’s Oracle.
This is a luscious, deeply nuanced deck. The artwork of each card engages the viewer and invites them into the visual world presented. In some paintings a particular gender or ethnicity might be hinted at, but many of the cards are genuinely gender-fluid or nongendered.
Digitalis encourages readers to immerse themselves into each fantastical painting as they interpret the empathic messages, and suggests that the accompanying booklet can be used to practice bibliomancy. Each card’s concept is explored and expanded upon in the booklet through a listing of essential themes, an exploration of the imagery on the card, an expansion of the deeper meanings of the concept, and suggested actions to address the essential themes presented in the card’s imagery.
This is a terrific deck that comes alive in new ways each time the reader picks it up. It’s one of the few decks in which you can almost hear the artwork inviting you to become a co-creator of the imagery through your interpretation of it, to immerse yourself in a surreal landscape that will free you to discover your own hidden depths and truths. An absolute gem of a deck.