Black Goddess Oracle Deck Premieres at Bar Bohemien – Washington Deals the Cards for Black Joy

It wasn’t about foretelling the future as much as it was about creating it. Dr. Giavanni Washington, long time local activist known for her work in the community and schools, launched her ‘Black Goddess Within’ Oracle Deck at a celebration event on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023. The Bar Bohemien at Citizens Public Market was crowded with drummers and dancers, honored elders, and many of the women who had modeled for the artwork. 

“I’m so excited to share this collaborative labor of love with the world,” said Dr. Washington. “The deck is designed to connect Black women and allies with lost history and combat our society-wide addiction to watching violence against Black bodies. The deck celebrates Black beauty, Black divinity and Black joy.” 

Dr.Washington is an intuitive healer, mother and spiritual guide who holds a doctorate from UCLA’s department of World Arts and Cultures and was recently selected for the California Creative Corps Artist and Culture Bearer Fellowship by the California Arts Council. She led a group of Black women through a transformative healing process while on retreat, culminating in a photo shoot of each participant meeting the Goddess. The deck’s 29 Goddess cards and 15 Ancestral Wisdom cards celebrate contemporary women of various sizes, shades, abilities and sexual orientations.  

After studying ancestral percussive healing traditions in countries across the globe, from Brazil to Burkina Faso,  Dr. Washington first discovered tarot and oracle decks at a spiritual community in Topanga Canyon. She found herself drawn to decks that did not feature people – and eventually realized why. Angels, goddesses and humans were typically depicted as white. She found an Afro-Cuban Orisha tarot deck, her excitement turned to dismay when the first card she picked featured the African Yoruba goddess Oshun looking “white as the driven snow.”  

“We gotta fix this,” Dr. Washington said. Gathering groups of Black women for healing circles, Dr. G was inspired to create an oracle deck featuring real Black women depicting African goddesses amid Africa’s most sacred sites.  By illustrating the divinity, power and beauty of real Black women, the deck reconnects readers to the wisdom found in the myths and stories of African goddesses, sacred sites and cultural practices. 

The deck will be on sale from Hay House Publishing beginning on Dec. 12, 2023, and available at local bookstores. 

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