Deck Review: Sacred Hags Oracle by Danielle Dulsky + Janine Houseman

The Sacred Hags Oracle is one of my most highly-anticipated decks for 2021! Already being a fan of Danielle Dulsky’s word witchery, I have been eagerly awaiting the day that I could get my hands on a copy and truly explore the wild magick of the Sacred Hag archetype. Visually brought to life by the stunning artwork of Janine Houseman, this deck asks those who encounter it to handle it with respect, intention, and full presence. As Dulsky so beautifully writes in the opening chapter of the included guidebook, “While this deck is essentially a tool of divination, our connection to the cards will be stronger if we make small deposits into the Ancestral Trust Fund of the Holy Hag.” The Sacred Hags Oracle is a powerful tool, and your willingness to step fully into sacred time and space with it may very well determine how much of that power is revealed to you.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I was one of the lucky few to actually win a copy from the giveaway hosted on the Sacred Hags Oracle Instagram page, which was such an honor! I do want to highlight, though, that this review is entirely separate, and is not being written in exchange for any type of compensation – decks included!

The Cards

One glance at the Sacred Hags Oracle cards instantly beckons you to pick them up and explore. The artwork is bold, exquisitely detailed, and brings an undeniable sense of life and vitality to the deck. Feel the Hag of Wildfire’s gaze burn right through you; hear the snap of the fire in the Season of Spice and Hearth; sense your pulse quicken at The Witch’s Initiation; smell the sacred aroma of Juniper Smoke; find yourself fully immersed in the realm of the Sacred Hag.

The deck consists of 56 cards, though interestingly, it is divided into four “suits” of 14 cards each:

  • The Sacred Hags: Arcane guidance and wisdom shared by the hags, and reflected in your own insight
  • The Seasons: Beyond the literal seasons of the year, an invitation to reflect upon the seasons of your own life
  • The Stories: An opportunity to view your unique story through a different lens in order to gain clarity and perspective
  • The Spells: Magickal actions that may help you achieve the answers or outcomes you seek

Each suit, in addition to sharing a common color scheme, features a prominently-placed unique sigil; those with a keen eye will also immediately notice that the large sigil displayed on the card backs contains all four of the individual suit sigils.

At 3in x 5in (7.6cm x 12.7cm), the cards certainly lean toward the larger side, but the size feels rather necessary to appropriately express the intricacy and fine detail captured in Houseman’s artwork. The card stock is sturdy, yet flexible, and it was a pleasant surprise to find that the glossy finish does not cause the cards to slide all over the place, resulting in a comfortable shuffle straight out of the box. One item to note is that if you plan to store your cards in the box, the layout requires that the cards be split into almost two almost perfectly-even stacks before placing them in the sleeve with the guidebook. It can take a moment or two to divide the cards evenly enough to store easily, but again – this is not a deck that is best worked with in a hurry!

Make a conscious choice to nourish your connection to the hag archetype, and the power of this tool will be yours. Tend to the hag, and she will tend to you.

Sacred Hags Oracle

The Guidebook

The large, softcover guidebook takes the magick of this deck to an entirely new level. While many tarot and oracle guidebooks offer little more than a brief introduction before diving headfirst into the meanings of each card, great care is taken here to thoroughly set the scene, highlighting both the ritualistic nature of an oracle practice, and the need for there to be an energetic exchange in order to truly work with the cards. There are six different opening rituals offered, in addition to ten different card layout options – from a simple, single-card pull all the way to a full-deck Wheel of the Year (Seasons of Moon and Flame) spread. For readers who are already familiar with Danielle Dulsky’s work, the early chapters of the guidebook will feel beautifully familiar, her words weaving a spell all their own.

Following the introductory chapters are the card meanings, with about 1.5 pages dedicated to each. In addition to a full-color reproduction of the card itself, you’ll find an associated keyword or phrase, a suggested morning ritual, a suggested moonlight ritual, and a section called “Grandmother Speaks.” The last of these is my personal favorite, as it is spoken directly to the reader – it is wisdom and guidance being passed from the Sacred Hag herself.

The Witch's Initiation card from the Sacred Hags Oracle deck
The Witch’s Initiation card from the Sacred Hags Oracle deck

My Pick For…

The Sacred Hags Oracle is an absolutely beautiful deck for anyone looking to forge a deeper connection with a divinatory tool, or to dive deeply into the energy of the Sacred Hag in their practice. The Sacred Hags Oracle may also be a wonderful deck to explore for those who already work with divinatory decks on a regular basis, and are looking for a “next step” that will transform the experience from a simple practice to a sacred ritual.

About the Creators

Danielle Dulsky is a heathen visionary, Aquarian mischief maker, and word-witch. Author of Woman Most Wild, Seasons of Moon and Flame, and The Holy Wild, Danielle teaches internationally and has facilitated embodiment trainings, wild circles, communal spellwork, and seasonal rituals since 2007.

Janine Houseman is the Sigil Witch. She offers rituals, story consultations, tarot-based shadow work, and personalized skin-cantations and sigils. Founder of Creatrix Collective, Janine has been a tattoo artist since 2006.

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