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Customer Review

HALL OF FAMEon November 16, 2004
"The Toltec Oracle...will show you the lights and shadows of your soul. In relation to your luminous side, you will discover the power, gifts, and unknown resources that you possess to help you through this magical journey that is your life. As for your shadows, the Toltec Oracle will be the mirror wherein you will be able to see the disowned parts of yourself that you need to acknowledge and reintegrate. This will enable you to grow into a more whole human being--able to accomplish what is meant for you to accomplish in your life." --Victor Sanchez

The Toltec were the highest culture developed in Mesoamerica who developed a body of shamanic practices to enhance states of awareness, connect with the sacred, and see the deeper sense of existence. The tradition of the Toltec still endures today, and author Victor Sanchez has encapsulated this ancient wisdom in The Toltec Oracle, a 33-card deck featuring colorful artwork from original 16th-century Toltec codices.

In Toltec spirituality, there is only one God that manifests itself through multiple natural forces which are also called Poderios; The Creator is known as Senteotl. So while many deities are mentioned within this tradition, they are symbols that reflect how things work in the Universe--guides to understanding the sacred arrangement that the Great Spirit made of the world so we can live in harmony with this arrangement. The Toltec had a strong orientation to pragmatism, and thus were not drawn to abstract speculations about God. In fact, the Toltec were proponents of movement and action, creating spiritual practices that woould being sense, joy, and efficiency to their actions in the world.

The Toltec Oracle reflects the concept of sacred duality, and shows us that embracing the vision of complementary opposites could provide a means for us to evolve into a superior way of coexisting in human society. This approach was called kinam, which means the power that arises from harmonizing opposites. The two sides of duality is the "Tonal" and the "Nagual". The Tonal represents the reality we can see with ordinary perception and that we can rationalize. The Nagual, or Nahualli, represents the mystery, magic, and silent knowledge.

According to Sanchez, the realization of our dual nature with a Tonal and Nagual side is key for our individual process of evolution. Most of the imbalance we suffer in life is mismanagement of one of these two sides. He likens the imbalance of having one without the other to having two legs but walking with one.

Sanchez maintains that the primary function for an oracle is not to serve as a divination tool, but as a window to the governing principles of life and as a mirror for the soul. Indeed, the The Toltec Oracle is not a simple question and answer device, but an authentic path for self-development. Thus, consulting this particular oracle may require an investment of time, especially for the Mirror of Life Spread, as well as taking appropriate action based on the information you receive.

There are two sets of cards in The Toltec Oracle: the Tonalpohualli Cards and the Ruler Cards. The Tonalpohualli Cards coincide with the twenty day signs of the Toltec Calendar, and reflect the archetypal life situations we experience. The Ruler Cards, however, represent the thirteen most important deities of Toltec spiritual lore. These deities represent the highest governing spiritual principles of life.

This box set comes with a glossy, color-coded layout of the Cross of Ketsalkoatl, a Toltec model used by the Toltec for mathematical calculations, oracle readings, and healing procedures, among other uses. Instructions are given on how to do one and two card readings, as well as the more comprehensive Mirror of Life Spread. For the latter spread, four cards are chosen from the Tonalpohualli Cards to go into the four quadrants, and one card is chosen from the Ruler Cards to go in the center. Sancehz gives you the background and general meaning of each card. In addition, there is a comprehensive explanation of the card position for each of the four quadrants--for example, if 19 Kiawitl-Rain were to fall in the Body Quadrant--as well as the meaning of the Ruler Card in the center which influences the entire reading. Each placement features suggested questions and activities which are designed for you to examine and probe the deeper meaning of the situation you're asking about in light of the card placements and their accompanying wisdom. In fact, there are more than 200 exercises and practices with practical applications for the readings accompany the cards.

Also included is a 274 page book that provides the foundation of Toltec spirituality, and how this way of life applies to the oracle itself. You're encouraged to take your time with this oracle--to sit with the selected cards, meditating on the placements as you would a mandala--and to take notes of your impressions, as well as your answers to the questions Sanchez poses.

I thought this oracle would be difficult to use, especially with all the words in the Nauatl language. However, Sanchez is a very lucid writer who is obviously used to "breaking it down" in order to teach others. I did a comprehensive Mirror of Life Spread and journaled the results. I still need to sit with some of the information that The Toltec Oracle provided (or rather, I probably need to take action!), but I found the results to be amazingly accurate and quite challenging. This oracle is certainly not a "feel good" oracle, because both "the light" and "the dark" will be exposed for your consideration. Sometimes, we don't want to "own" those disowned parts of ourselves, and since the crux of Toltec spirituality is movement and change, challenge, as well as encouragement to reach higher, is a side effect of this powerful oracle.

(To see 6 images from this deck, visit the Reviews section at [...])
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