Table of Contents


Tarot Reflections

 April 15 , 2004

Review: Keys to the Akashic
Valerie Sim, CTGM

Valerie Sim serves as the VP of Communications for the ATA. She received her first deck of tarot cards 32 years ago and began studying astrology in 1973. Both have continued to be passions for her over the years and have led to the authorship of her own tarot and astrological teaching materials, with which she has been an online teacher for the past year and a half.

Valerie is the Listowner of a popular tarot email list, Comparative Tarot, a list which is populated by tarot students, readers, teachers, authors and artists. Her book about the Comparative Tarot method and ways to keep tarot fun and exciting, Tarot Outside the Box, is due out from Llewellyn in 2004. She also wrote the pamphlet, or "little white book," for the recently published Lo Scarabeo Comparative Tarot Deck, and is the Editor for both Tarot Reflections and The ATA Quarterly.

On the shamanic path and active in animal rescue, Valerie has many favorite decks including Animal-Wise, Vision Quest and Shining Tribe. She is currently writing her second book, Shamanic Tarot.


First off, let me tell you that this is not a Tarot deck. WAIT!!! You say: So what?? We Tarotists use a specific type of oracle, called Tarot, but does that invalidate other oracles? I think not.

The Keys to the Akashic is an oracle based on portals. For any of you that "journey" portals should be familiar to you. For those of you that don't journey, this deck just might be your first introduction to that process.

Though "not Tarot" this is an oracle that I find very valuable. Time permitting, I will some day write an article about those (non-Tarot) oracles I value most, but I am not holding my breath about actually having that time. And Tarotists, you will find many parallels between this oracle and the “true” Tarot.

Key 2, the Spirit Shield, has to do with protection, guidance and nurturing for the soul during and after death. As a shamanic deathwalker, I appreciate this portal immensely. The deck's artist, Dennis Cline, states "I find the Spirit Shield much less distressing than the traditional Death Card with its gloomy message of change beyond your control. Spirit gives you the tools and protection to change and tailor that portion of your immortal existence that is near and after. No grim reaper on this card but something a little more evolved and outside the karmic circle. Spirit has the power of GRACE which allows one to rise and transcend the tit for tat karma. GRACE is the gift that you can reach through this portal."

Wow... Not sure what that does for you, but the day on which I realized I could no longer deny the path that claims me now was when I helped to deliver my still-born grand-daughter. We knew 10 hours before her birth that she would never breathe and it was an emotionally charged and tearful delivery. My grand-daughter's name: GRACE... In the years after Grace's birth/death I have been blessed with her sisters Isabella (Bella) and Giavanna (Gia) yet Grace still hovers over us and lets us know that she will always "be" there in our hearts... I don't have two granddaughters, I have three...

Artist/author Cline goes on to introduce us to many successive shields. Though I find all of them valuable, some of my favorites include:

Healer's Shield - "There are no shields of a direct healing or named for healing in the usual New Age sense, but rather they work with alignments, balance, and prevention which are the underlying causes for much disease and discomfort."

Buffalo Medicine Shield – “This shield provides protection of a special kind of innocence. A gift that allows one to look with wonder, non-judgmentally, at new and old worlds. One person wrote this of the shield: ‘and the shied appeared before me, and as I watched, it became almost fluid and covered me as if it were a robe. What a wonderful feeling, I got the sense that the Buffalo Spirit was telling me that even though man tried to destroy the buffalo (which to me is symbolized by the crossed arrows) that the spirit and strength of Buffalo will live forever and will always walk with those of true spirit.'”

The Old Pattern Shield – “This card shields from old patterns in both present lifetime and past lifetimes. This shield is about growth and harmony, as well as, about faith in the future and about life force energy.”

I would like to go on, but I cannot do so in good conscience. This is a deck, self-published by the artist/author that can only be appreciated fully as a total package.

I heartily endorse this oracle, but only for those souls who are willing to do the work and reap the wisdom of this fantastic group of soul portals. This deck demands some work, and those who aren't willing to do the work need not apply.

If you are interested in purchasing this oracle, please contact Dennis Cline at



Subscribe to Tarot Reflections, and receive notification of each update!

Request to be added to the list by sending email to!



All articles remain the property of their respective authors.
Tarot Reflections is a publication of the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2004
Questions or Comments? Contact Us.