Transcendence Directory

Transcendence Directory is a project offering curated listings across a wide range of Western esotericism, practices, traditions, modalities, and research.

Directory Index | Listing Guidelines

Burning Serpent Oracle

The Burning Serpent Oracle is a book by Rachel Pollack and Robert M. Place. This is a book about meanings of a particular set of cards used for cartomancy—a term which means divination done by cards.

The name of the deck described is The Burning Serpent Oracle.

The book is about a tradition, and a particular set of cards that go back some 160 years, named for a woman who died before the cards ever appeared. It looks at where those cards came from, their origin in a game, and how the game itself may have come out of fortune-telling.

It is a book about the whole tradition of readings, and why they are called readings. It looks at images, what they mean, and why—why a mountain means obstacles, a jumping fish means money, or a book of life means secrets. It looks at how these images, these cards, speak to each other, how they come together to form stories, and how these stories can reveal things about a person’s life.