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How to Use These Sacred Journey Medicine Cards

Mel Hoffman Medicine Cards

This oracle deck can be used...

  • By drawing a card in private
  • With a partner
  • With a group of people

Each card can provide many forms of guidance, with multiple layers of meaning. Be open to seeing a variety of possibilities.

Often the layers of interpretation unfold after a series of further reflections.
Usually the divination works best when you receive information from the card that bypasses your conscious mind. With this in mind, it helps not to be highly methodical and conscious about which card you choose. Just let the spirit within you move you.
When looking at the card you choose, be sure to tune into the the many layers of visual elements – and let yourself feel whatever you feel.
Some cards might intuitively appeal to you more than others. Not just aesthetically but in terms of how deeply they capture your attention.
If you have a particularly strong feeling about a card, then you should definitely consider keeping the card out in your home in a significant way.

One-Card Reading

Back of Card
Boundaries Medicine Card

Boundaries Medicine Card

You are walking along the bank of a swampy marsh where you encounter hundreds of tiny Land Crabs. You can hear the sound of their movement as they crawl over a large shell mound created by the tribe that once lived in this
place. The tribe believed that each person had three souls: one existed in the pupil of the eye, another in the reflection of themselves in the water, and the third in their shadow. The energy of Crab’s shell can help you to maintain boundaries, protecting you from discoveries that leave you vulnerable, and personal difficulties when you are not ready to open up. But just as the crab must shed its outgrown shell as it matures, you may need to let go of something that is not working. Observe, reflect, and be aware of your shadow, drawing upon the Medicine of the scurrying Land Crab to assist you.

Land Crab photograph, J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida, USA.

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Feeling depressed? Stressed?
Cloudy in thought?
Blocked? Disengaged?

You might want to select a single card for your
own personal daily meditation – or for daily inspiration.

You can ask the card a question like:

“What should I focus on today?”
Touch, shuffle and connect to the cards.
You can even hold the cards to your heart or speak to them.
Then place them face down in a fanned configuration.

Choose a card or group of cards.

Look at the images and consider how they make you feel.

Consider all of the elements:

photographic image, mixed media art, number, title, colors

Do they have meaning for you?

Allow your intuition to guide you.
Medicine Cards
Make sure you take the time to fully feel the energy of the card(s), so you can receive your own personal messages – before turning to the booklet for guidance.
When you look up the card in the booklet, try to be open to receiving other perspectives and possibilities for new interpretations.

Three-Card Readings

Back of Card
Chaos Medicine Card

Chaos Medicine Card

You are on a mission to gather the soul parts that have become separated from you. These fragments detached during times of great stress and trauma. Iguana is a wise teacher, helping you to understand that the
instinctive reptilian brain protected you during that intensity. This small and ancient region of the brain responds quickly to stress in order to keep us safe. Iguana is not driven by language or thinking. Its actions are automatic and immediate which can cause a feeling of being out of control. In order for your soul to be restored to wholeness, a constellation of forces will come together, dismantling the old paradigm. Right now, as the chaos arises, know that it needed to happen, and it will quickly pass.

Iguana photograph, Florida, USA.

Back of Card
The Screaming Child Medicine Card

The Screaming Child Medicine Card

The screams of the Child suddenly pierce your awareness, demanding to understand why you have had to endure such heartbreak. If you have suffered this pain and loss quite recently, you may be asking yourself,
where is the Divine Creator in this picture? If it occurred at a tender age, where were the human caretakers who were charged with protecting you? Pegasus comes to you as a messenger to make use
of your highflying imagination. This mythical winged divine stallion, with his ability to overcome his own trauma, embodies the light and rises above the suffering to embrace freedom. Fly with him. From above, observe the experiences that have shaped you. From here you can safely formulate a plan of healing. Call upon your Spirit Guides, Angels, and others in the realm of the divine to help you do the work that will comfort and restore the little ones within you who are demanding to be heard.

Pegasus Float photograph, La Paz, Baja California Sur.

Back of Card
Resilience Medicine Card

Resilience Medicine Card

In this moment, you embody Bighorn Sheep Medicine. As small rocks fall beneath your hooves, you manage to run on the steep embankment without losing your footing. Your breath is fast, but it provides you the
power you need to keep moving. With a strong heart and keen ears, you quickly adapt to your environment. Below you a road stretches out alongside a lake where there was once a large earthquake that created these spectacular rock formations. Your legacy is to connect to the energy of the earth to fuel your dreams. Bighorn Sheep do not walk alone; allow the herd to surround and protect you. Allow the rocks beneath your hooves to speak to you and send you messages about the next step on your journey.

Male Bighorn Sheep photograph, Earthquake Lake, Montana, USA.

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Flip All Cards

This method of using the cards allows you to
illuminate multiple aspects of a situation.

You can draw 3 cards – which can represent:
the past, present, and future
the beginning, middle, end of a sacred journey
any specific three-part process of your choosing.
Shuffle the cards. Place them face down. Spread them. Select 3 cards.
Lay them out side by side to view the entire reading.
Take time to feel the energy and guidance of the card(s) before referring
to the booklet. When you do look up a card, be open to receiving new
perspectives and interpretations.

As a couple

Back of Card
The Screaming Child Medicine Card

The Screaming Child Medicine Card

The screams of the Child suddenly pierce your awareness, demanding to understand why you have had to endure such heartbreak. If you have suffered this pain and loss quite recently, you may be asking yourself,
where is the Divine Creator in this picture? If it occurred at a tender age, where were the human caretakers who were charged with protecting you? Pegasus comes to you as a messenger to make use
of your highflying imagination. This mythical winged divine stallion, with his ability to overcome his own trauma, embodies the light and rises above the suffering to embrace freedom. Fly with him. From above, observe the experiences that have shaped you. From here you can safely formulate a plan of healing. Call upon your Spirit Guides, Angels, and others in the realm of the divine to help you do the work that will comfort and restore the little ones within you who are demanding to be heard.

Pegasus Float photograph, La Paz, Baja California Sur.

Back of Card
Agility Medicine Card

Agility Medicine Card

Fear flashes through your body, and in this moment you are quite alone. You may long for the presence of a being that cares for you. Your heart is calling for healing and abundance, but at this time you must simply travel
the path of transformation. The Hare leaps into your life full of ingenuity and vitality. Hare people are sensitive, artistic, and expert at avoiding threats. This card calls upon you to review what is most important to you and act quickly to protect it. Pay close attention, remain aware of your spiritual reserves: which will help you most in this moment? What you require will appear as it is needed. Your mind may question this as fear arises, but your heart knows the truth, and your quick feet will carry you in the direction of new life.

Hare photograph, Wallpack Center, New Jersey, USA.

Back of Card
Ancient Wisdom Medicine Card

Ancient Wisdom Medicine Card

Faded words appear as if written long ago on the walls of a
cave. A dancing figure and animal spirits from this bygone lifetime are now calling your name, inviting you to tap into their perceptions. They want you
to see and feel the power that you once held when you cultivated wisdom without the distractions of modern life. You might feel the top of your head tingle as you open now to receive this information through your Crown Chakra. This is a message to connect with your ancestral roots. Water Lily, with its feminine spirit of love and beginning, serves as a symbol of rebirth, enlightenment, and the cycle of Life. Use it to establish a strong connection to the spirits who can guide you to your divine purpose.

Water Lily photograph, University of California Berkeley Botanical Garden, USA.

Back of Card
Contrast & Equilibrium Medicine Card

Contrast & Equilibrium Medicine Card

Two wild Zebras appear before you. The mother grazes to nourish herself, and her foal follows her, waiting to nurse. The patterns formed by the Zebra’s stripes are unique like fingerprints, reminding you to
honor the singular set of qualities that only you have to offer. The sharp contrasts of light and dark symbolize the possibility that opposing characteristics can coexist in one being. You do not have to choose one extreme or the other; you can hold both, and it is plain for anyone to see how beautiful you are as you achieve this equilibrium. And still you can be wild and refuse to be tamed. Draw upon this quality to sustain you now as you glory in the blaze of your apparent contradictions.

Zebra photograph, California Coast Highway near San Simeon, USA.

Shuffle
Flip All Cards

If you’re in a relationship, and
struggling with your connection, you
might want to do a reading as a couple.

The cards can become a profound interactive process,
calling needed Medicine into your relationship.
Each person in the couple should take turns
holding the cards and shuffling them.
Feel free to ask the cards a question or
set an intention for the cards to offer needed guidance.
Select the cards together – then fan them out in front of you.

Discuss how each of the cards make each of you feel.

Look for messages about how you might bring more closeness
and better communication into your bond.
Be sure to take enough time to feel the energy and guidance of the card(s)
as a couple, before referring to the booklet. When you do look up a card,
stay open to receiving alternative perspectives and interpretations.

Working with a Group

Back of Card
Patience Medicine Card

Patience Medicine Card

A friendly Calf stops mid-frolic to stare at you with piercing eyes that look directly into your soul. It is here to deliver the patient and holy Medicine of its Ancestors. You can look up at the night sky and tap into this same
power in the Milky Way. The force of the moon is also with you, providing feminine nurturing energy. The Calf’s appearance also brings you equanimity. You may be experiencing a strong desire to get moving, but you needn’t push; now is not the time to rush into anything. Take all the time and preparation you need; know your strength, choose a direction, and take the first step. This Medicine is a source of sustenance for you, and it can induce a calm, meditative, and peaceful state if you let it. You will be carried where you need to go. Relax and enjoy the tranquil, tender ride.

Calf photograph, California, USA.

Back of Card
Joining Together Medicine Card

Joining Together Medicine Card

Soon you will be joining with others to create something that will require a collaborative effort. Each person will bring their skills to the table. There may be some overlap, but each voice and vision offers a unique
contribution. You are connected with these individuals like the mycelial network of the Mushroom, embedded in the soil of this earth. Your leadership may be called on to build community; you will be guided by the unseen world in this process. Like the Mushrooms, this community may fluctuate in size but will have the potential to remain in one spot for years. Pay attention to the visions and insights that you receive from the sacred fungi; there is an unseen aspect of this process that may be challenging to discern. Detours might happen along the way, but in the end you are bringing something significant, valuable, and life-changing into being.

Psilocybe subaeruginosa photograph by Bob Ericos, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia Mushroom Observer.

Back of Card
Gathered Medicine Card

Gathered Medicine Card

Three bluebirds appear: a father, mother beside him, and their chick flying overhead. Like musical notes, there is a harmony to this arrangement. These colorful beings call upon you to give yourself up to the beauty
that surrounds you. In the pursuit of joy and happiness, spend time in the natural world that Spirit has given us. You may be at the beginning of a new chapter, evolving into a fresh existence, or you may be at a turning point that is more challenging. If you are in the darkness at this time, the gathering of Bluebirds is an indication that things will be brighter soon. They may be the messengers of an Angel or of loved ones who are communicating their support from another realm. Call upon those who have your back, both here and on the other side, through prayer, meditation, and the power of intention. They will answer.

Western Bluebird photographs, Berkeley, California, USA.

Back of Card
Chaos Medicine Card

Chaos Medicine Card

You are on a mission to gather the soul parts that have become separated from you. These fragments detached during times of great stress and trauma. Iguana is a wise teacher, helping you to understand that the
instinctive reptilian brain protected you during that intensity. This small and ancient region of the brain responds quickly to stress in order to keep us safe. Iguana is not driven by language or thinking. Its actions are automatic and immediate which can cause a feeling of being out of control. In order for your soul to be restored to wholeness, a constellation of forces will come together, dismantling the old paradigm. Right now, as the chaos arises, know that it needed to happen, and it will quickly pass.

Iguana photograph, Florida, USA.

Back of Card
Deep Dive Medicine Card

Deep Dive Medicine Card

You plunge deep into the ocean where you encounter a Whale. With it, you move with grace. Here you have the ability to navigate the depths of your emotional being. This is a power animal full of igniting wisdom,
spiritual awareness, and enduring love. It taps into ancestral DNA and helps you to hear the whisper of truth within you. With Whale energy your life unfolds in ways that can address your deepest emotional needs and allows you to communicate your authentic emotional experience. The world above the water remains to be explored with different senses, once you return to the surface. Grab ahold of the Whale’s tail with certainty and allow her to move you deep into your own profound intuition.

Humpback Whale Fluke photograph, Monterey Bay, California, USA.

Shuffle
Flip All Cards
Create an altar space in the middle of your group circle.
Shuffle and spread the cards on this altar.
Pass out slips of paper in a basket that are
numbered with the number of people present.
Have each person pick a slip of paper with a number.
Go around the circle in numerical order and
have each person intuitively choose a card.
Then have the person share the card that they received with all who are
present – along with any impressions that they receive from the card.
At this point, the message from the booklet can be read. Or the group can go on a
drumming or medicine journey together. Take time for each person in the group
to share their thoughts about each card.
After experiencing this journey, stay open to hearing the
messages from the booklet about the cards which were drawn.
Medicine Cards
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BUYERS SAY:

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“This is an exquisite medicine deck that is both evocative and provocative. We used it at our Women’s Journey Circle and everyone present received a huge gift of wisdom, insight and inspiration.”

Valerie Carpenter
The Vestibule Center for Sound Living

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“The Sacred Journey Medicine Cards open up a gently piercing world of insight and activate a necessary dialogue with kindred spirits including animals and plants that help bring healing and a deepened affinity with nature and ourselves. Mel has created compelling visual essence fields that allow the spiritual energies to radiate and communicate with the viewer in a variety of ways. The layered imagery opens the door for multiple reads and perspectives to emerge with each successive viewing. Very engaging and also potently wild."

Mark Bockley