I’ve been meaning to do this review for a while and simply haven’t gotten to it.
Kate Winter has created an Oracle deck based on an archetype she identified decades ago which she calls the Girls Underground. In her own words: “ [these themes] are often from novels and films, but the idea is so old it can be found in ancient mythology, and later in popular fairy tales. They involve initiatory journeys – often literally underground – in which a girl or woman explores a perilous Otherworld with several companions, confronts an Adversary, and learns the lessons necessary to reach her goal, ending up transformed.
The original inspiration for the idea was the classic 80’s fantasy movie Labyrinth (and to a lesser degree, Alice in Wonderland) and fans will recognize many of the elements of Sarah’s journey in these cards.” (from the Etsy shop, here)
The earliest mythological version of the Girl Underground archetype could be considered to be Persephone, but with Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland a whole new type of story came into being. As a teenager I was obsessed with Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. I’ve watched Sarah defeat David Bowie’s Goblin King more times than I care to count. Mirrormask, written by Neil Gaiman and produced by Dave McKenna and the Jim Hensen Company, was another Girl Underground movie that played at my house practically on repeat.
Kate Winter has been researching this archetype for years, and I have ardently followed her other works and writings. So when she announced last year on Kickstarter her intention to make a divination deck based on her experiences with the archetype, I was happy to contribute. I am proud to have been part of bringing this Oracle into the world, even if only by a small part.
If you’re wondering how it works as divination tool, it’s excellent. I received it around the winter solstice, and I have already used it so much I have begun to wear out the book. But that may also be because I spilled red Gatorade on it at one point …. Oh well, let’s pretend it’s blood, it fits the Otherworld theme much more.
I’ve found the advice to be practical and applicable to both real-world situations and my spiritual Journey. This is an incredible tool and, to my knowledge, completely unique. I think that it would be useful for anyone, but if, like me, you’ve ever identified with Sarah in the Labyrinth, Alice in Wonderland, or any of the other numerous Girls Underground, then it will probably be especially so for you.
Picture: This deck uses storytelling and plot points instead of art and imagery, so its a bit unusual, but that’s one of the things that makes it so interesting. As a writer I appreciate the power of the naked word and just the storyline itself. It works extremely well, more than you might imagine.