The Celtic Wisdom Oracle is something truly unique and genuinely powerful. Matthews is a revered spiritual teacher and force of nature who has devoted her life to exploring these mysteries, and here - freed from the constraints of Tarot based divination and drawing on the lore and societal structure of the Celtic races - she has sunk an oracular taproot deep into the cultural DNA of Europe. It is an oracular toolbox consisting of 40 cards, a small but meaty book, and a map for laying out the cards.
Matthews rightly points out that unlike our ancestors, we do not afford cultural respect to deity and divination. Using this system, it is difficult not to be sucked into the awe-struck, deeply reverent mindset of our ancestors. This is not an oracular system to be taken up lightly, but rather when you wish to stand with those who have come before you and their gods to attain deep insights to use in the troubled now.
The cards are beautifully rendered by Wil Kinghan. The deck is divided into two components, The Divine Ancestors and The Clan Ancestors. The eight Divine Ancestor cards are depicted through images from Gundestrup Cauldron and are arranged in a seasonal round. They represent the deities and energies that form a sort of Matrix in which the answers are explored. The Clan Ancestors are not so much archetypes as they are representations drawn from the life of the Clan and deal with real life issues. Love, passion, anger, making, power, struggle - the panoply of a larger life is spread out through these cards. The varied ages, stages of experience and societal roles of the Celtic clans are represented.
The spreads are devised to address the inner and the outer contexts, the big picture and how that plays in realtime. One must work with consciousness and intent to frame the question and employ the oracle.
This is a remarkable system, the fruit of long years of intense study and life among spirits of the ancestors. Picking it up may very well cause a wind of timeless, ageless inspiration to blow through your soul.