Donnaleigh's Lessons



 On March 6, 2011, Melissa Weiss Steele joined Tarot Tribe: Beyond Worlds to discuss her deck, The Oracle of Initiation.

That episode can be heard HERE.


Mary K. Greer says of this deck in her review:

"While the tarot is often described as the soul’s journey, the Oracle of Initiation, on the other hand, offers a journey of the Spirit. The images are haunting, spellbinding, intoxicating, instinctual. When working with them, you enter the immediacy of a timeless Now. Although solitary musings, they resonate with all our relations. Although seemingly personal, they touch both the ancient and universal in each of us. They are an eloquent reminder that the earth is Spirit-embodied and we are one with it. Highly recommended as a spiritual companion and tool for your own journey."

—Mary K. Greer, author of 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card.

Mary's full review of The Oracle of Initiation is HERE.




Pathway through 8 sections within the deck


The quest begins in the purity of Innocence. You are naive and inexperienced, and yet filled with wonder and possibility.


Destiny draws you into a great journey of Exploration; crossing the threshold of the unknown to discover yourself through courage and adventure.


Challenged by the complexities and trials within Initiation, you are called to sacrifice anything that limits your true knowing.   


Embracing the instinctual wisdom gained through your initiatory transformation, you develop deeper levels of perception, insight and Discernment


Opening to a broader, more refined view of Universal connection, you awaken to your vast network of Alliances; Spirit Guardians and human Soul Family collaborating on your path of evolution.


Expanding your trust in these powerful allies, you integrate your unique rhythms and cycles, emanating the inner-harmony available through Balance.


Living your grounded centeredness, your unique talents and gifts become a sacred Offering to humanity and the Universe.


Reaching the illumination of Unity, you embody your visionary essence, in resonance with everything; returning to the eternal grace of Innocence. 



2 Cards From the Deck




5 Card Reading

One in the center, and 4 in each of the corners surrounding the center Gateway card. 


  • The upper left card is what awakens or inspires you.
  • The upper right card is what initiates or challenges you. 
  • The lower left card is what you can expand into, your new gifts & potentials.
  • The lower right card is what you must sacrifice or release.
  • And the center card is the Gateway that is open, if you choose to step through.

Inspired by Rachel Pollack's Doorway Reading




Stage 3. Initiation-Surrender

Inanna Underworld Reading


In stage three of the deck we are confronted with the breakdowns and breakthroughs within Initiation. It is the place of the darkness, the void, deep-core transformation.

You may ask what needs to be sacrificed to go deeper into yourself. This is the crux of the deck to me, coming through the initiatory processes and then reemerging on the other side tempered and wiser to expand into your gifts and destinies.


Inanna, The Sumerian Goddess of Heaven chooses to descend to the Underworld and visit her sister, Ereshkigal, The Queen of these Netherworlds and death. Inanna goes through seven gateways during her descent, at each level releasing a representation of her earthly power and status. After placing herself on her sister’s Underworld throne,  claiming her own access to the regenerative power of the death and resurrection cycle, she is hung “dead” on a hook by her sister. Inanna’s quest is similar to the Persephone myth of integrating their fullness by traveling between the worlds, decline and expansion, death and rebirth. Through integrating your shadow and your light, we are all both Innana and Ereshkigal. The reading is a way to look at how your own descent can help you to become more fully yourself.


Pull one or two cards for each question


  1. What initiatory crossroads are you at presently at? 
  2. Who is the Guardian you must meet at the Gateway into Underworld?
  3. What must you sacrifice to meet the transformation available in this quest?
  4. How are you to navigate in the shape-shifting Underworld?
  5. What is your greatest challenge or fear that you are meeting in this journey?
  6. What specific tools are available to help you maintain your faith & resilience?
  7. What hidden treasures and gifts in your Rainbows in the Dark are gestating during this fertile time?
  8. Who might you become if you meet these Underworld challenges and tests?
 crossroads                                                           guardian 
 sacrifice                                                                navigate
 challenges                                                 tools    (REVERSED CARD)


gifts gestating                                                             become 
Gateway Card Sample:


To learn more about Melissa Weiss Steel

and The Oracle of initiation, visit: