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Book & Oracle Deck Review -The Illustrated Bestiary: Guidance and Rituals from 36 Inspiring Animals by Maia Toll, Illustrated by Kate O’Hara

Book & Oracle Deck Review

The Illustrated Bestiary

Guidance and Rituals from

36 Inspiring Animals

The Illustrated Bestiary

by Maia Toll

Illustrated by Kate O’Hara

Storey Publishing

167 Pages




The Illustrated Bestiary is a true gem to add to your collection. Maia Toll presents a gorgeously Illustrated guide to the world of animism, complete with a 36 card accompanying oracle deck invites you to walk the path of your ancestors as you discover the animals spirits who have guided mankind for millennia. This book radiates majesty with beautifully rendered art in the deepest richest hues imaginable. The images instantaneously transport you to the spirit of this animal.



The deck itself are pages of cardstock held together with a perforated edge, so it’s not ideal for deck collectors, however, as soon as you open the book, you realize this takes nothing away from the purpose of this piece. Each card is Illustrated on a page in the book, so the cards themselves act only as an accompanying element. This book/deck is meant to be used, not simply read.



Each card offers a “power” (such as Grow Your Truth as seen above) or purpose as seen in many oracles, and the animal that represents that power. The page on the card then brings you to know that animal’s very essence in a ritual that puts you in the animal’s skin, allowing you to know their lifestyles, and their spiritual relevance from the inside out. You are then invited to reflect on the greater meaning of this animal’s teaching, and how it directly relates to your own experience as an animal on Earth.

Many moons ago, in a garden far away, Snake slid up to Eve and said, You have a choice. While Free Will isn’t evil, it’s complex. It requires each of us to define our own moral center and know what we stand for…”

Maia Toll speaks with the voice of a true Shaman, a sword that cuts through whatever your religious and spiritual beliefs are; straight through your mind, heart and ego, and speaks directly to the soul. Each of these pages reminds us, the animals are not only our friends, they’re our brothers and sisters. Our teachers. Our masters. This book in a single stroke delivers an ecological message, and a spiritual one, calling us back to the source. Asking us to remember our ancestors aren’t just humans, everything that lives exists to support each other.

Each ritual offers a unique and creative way to get inside the animals skin, and offers a reflection on the ritual, to really let the lesson sink in. I’d recommend this to any human, not just spiritual people, as our generation is in desperate need of an ecological awakening. However, for any person looking to connect with their shamanic roots, this piece is invaluable. I can’t wait to be a few years into these rituals, as the idea is over time, you’ll get closer and closer to understanding your connection with all of life and the greater cosmos.


The Illustrated Bestiary: Guidance and Rituals from 36 Inspiring Animals (Wild Wisdom) on Amazon


About the Author:

Alexiel Raynes is a shaman, philosopher, and musician from Louisville, Ky. He has studied religion and science for over 20 years. His spiritual path focuses on self realization, the liberation of the constraints of the mind on consciousness. He also studies plant medicines and their use in indigenous cultures world wide. He is fascinated with exploring the world beyond the veil of mainstream western science, and postulates at what lies beyond general consensus reality. He, together with his wife Hallie Walker are the owners of Saol Bandia, a holistic herbal apothecary based in their hometown. They are also very active in raising pagan awareness in their community, and helping give witches the courage to stand up to a world that has forgotten our ways.


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