The first time I saw this deck was in a video thumbnail on YouTube – the bold lines resonated with something primal within, and just like that, I knew I had to have it. I looked up the deck and managed to find it. Now, one note: it is called the Messenger Cards and sometimes Animal Spirits; I found that the best way to find the deck is to search for “Sandra Kunz messenger cards” – Messenger oracle comes up with results for Ravynne Phelan’s Messenger Oracle and Animal Spirits is the Wild Unknown companion oracle. It was a little confusing to me at first.

Ordering & Shipping Process

I ordered the cards straight from the Messenger Cards website for 45 Canadian dollars, which is about 30 euros, plus shipping – a very reasonable price. There was no tracking included, but I didn’t really miss it either. I got a lovely e-mail when my package was shipped. It actually arrived a week early, the shipping e-mail said it would take 3 weeks, but they arrived in less than two, making me very happy. As far as I understand, you can also order via Etsy, if that works better for you.

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First Impressions 

The cards are packaged with care. You receive the deck in a see-through deep purple/brown organza bag with a small booklet, which is larger than the cards. It is not fully paper, like many LWB-s, but has colour-printed cardboard cover.

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Cards in the organza bag that the deck comes in, with the guidebook visible on the side

The card stock is indescribable, you have to feel it to understand. By far my most favourite card stock of all the decks I own (and I own around 80). Very smooth, very flexible, insanely good printing quality, I think “thermo printing” has been used so that the text on the cards is a little bit textured. I absolutely adore the lettering as well – the font has been chosen immaculately. I am serious, this deck is worth buying even if only for the tactile experience of handling the cards. Very rich, quality feeling. Shuffling the cards has kind of a leathery feel to it. I never riffle, I usually either do overhand or wash (with oracles, I mainly wash). With these cards, I just fan them out and pick random cards, but I wish I could handle them more. I can really just sit and go through the deck and look at the images – beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

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Deck Basics – size, quality, artwork

This deck is square-shaped, with rounded corners. It’s not too high or wide and is quite comfortable to handle (and a pleasure due to the quality of the print and card stock). They are a little less tall (and wide) than Archeon. I’ve already stated that the quality is good, and I cannot overstate it. Taking the price into account, the production quality is superb.

The artwork triggers something primal. There are bold lines, abstract lines, detailed and beautiful animal images, stand-out colours, different mediums seem to be used. The cards are not too busy, and they are very easy to read intuitively. All of the images can be seen on Sandra’s website here, with a short description of the card. Some of my favourite images include (my apologies for linking from the website, I tried to photograph the images but really did them no justice. Should there be an issue with this, I will remove them instantly. Once again, all credit goes to the artist Sandra Kunz) :

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Image taken from http://www.youranimalspirits.com, artist Sandra Kunz
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Image taken from http://www.youranimalspirits.com, artist Sandra Kunz
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Image taken from http://www.youranimalspirits.com, artist Sandra Kunz 

Reading with the Cards 

This is not a traditional reading deck, not in either the Tarot or oracle sense. I would never see myself do a Celtic Cross or past-present future spread with it, or try to gain answers to mundane questions. I never journal with my decks, and I journal with this one. Owl Moon had a workshop available on her YouTube channel, that included journalling prompts and exercises together with a weekly reading that I actually started, but unfortunately it became unavailable during my second week through. I stopped with the exercises then and instead scanned the images in and made tiny copies of them which I pasted in the journal, one image per two pages, and I just write about what these images trigger within me.

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This is the Across the Sky page from my Messenger Cards journal. I have also pasted a velada from Maria Sabina, which connects to this card for me

When I was doing the workshop, the weekly reading was about Self-Love, what is the main aspect of healing and what supports it. The main aspect was Across the Sky. Now, a horse is my Chinese asttological sign. Seeing this card urged me to write: “I am the horse. I am the storm. I am the stars and the stars guide me.”. When I later read the guidebook, it said that this card represents the power of “I AM”. There’s intuitive for you.

 

Pros: 

  • extremely beautiful, primal artwork
  • very good printing and card stock quality, truly a pleasure to handle
  • intuitive artwork

Cons: 

  • can’t really think of any. I guess for some people, the little guidebook could have contained some information on the symbolism of the creatures and animals as well, but it is not that hard to track down by yourself.

Recommendation: Definitely “To Buy”. Incredible for any kind of card work and exploring your inner landscapes.

 

Disclaimer: I purchased this deck on my own, after seeing it online. I am not affiliated with Sandra Kunz or Your Animal Spirits in any way, this review honestly reflects my personal opinion of this deck. 

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