Skip to Main Content

The Sibyls Oraculum

Oracle of the Black Doves of Africa

By (artist) Katelan V. Foisy
Published by Destiny Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



Buy from Other Retailers

About The Book

A system of divination inspired by the Libyan Sibyls, the African prophetesses of the classical world

• Includes 44 full-color cards in Latin and English with a comprehensive guidebook

• Details how to consult the oracle, providing in-depth write-ups about the meaning of each card and the symbolic language represented by their imagery

• Designed to directly address the spiritual lessons underlying the seeker’s query and facilitate self-examination and decision-making

• The cards feature full-color paintings in the style of the Libyan mosaics popular with the Roman elite in the 1st century B.C.E.

The Oracle of the Black Doves is a system of divination inspired by the Libyan Sibyls, the African prophetesses of the classical world. According to the Greek Historian Herodotus, two black doves flew away from the city of Waset (Thebes) and established the Siwa Oasis oracle in Libya and the first oracle in Greece at Dodona. These powerful Sibyls were consulted by all levels of Greek and, later, Roman society.

Created by tarot reader Tayannah Lee McQuillar, this contemporary oracle pays homage to the oft forgotten African founding mothers of the sibylline traditions. Drawing on both the African and the Classical traditions, it features full-color paintings by artist Katelan V. Foisy, who created the card art in a style reminiscent of the Libyan mosaics popular in the 1st century B.C.E. In the accompanying guidebook, McQuillar details how to consult the oracle, providing in-depth write-ups about the meaning of each of the 44 cards and the symbolic language represented by each card’s imagery. She demonstrates how there is only one correct way to phrase a question to the oracle, making it nearly impossible to receive a vague or biased response.

Designed to directly address the spiritual lessons underlying the seeker’s query, the oracle facilitates self-examination and decision-making, helping the seeker improve the likelihood of success in all undertakings and choose their best possible future by broadening their perspective of the situation. The author also includes a history of the Sibyls of the ancient world and explores the continuing Sibyl tradition in North Africa today.


How to Use the Oracle

The Sibyls Oraculum is not a fortune-telling tool. It is a cartomantic method of divination designed to facilitate self-examination and decision making to improve the likelihood of success in all undertakings.

How the Oracle Works

Using The Sibyls Oraculum to facilitate self-examination and decision-making is accomplished in a three-step process:

1. Focus: on the core spiritual issue underlying the inquiry

2. Reveal and Analyze: what your mind is projecting onto the core issue that may be a help or a hindrance to achieving your long-term goals

3. Comprehend and Manifest: the ideal state of mind and how to immediately move forward for best results

The Sibyls Oraculum was NOT designed to address any of the following:

• the minutia of details surrounding the seeker’s question

• what anyone else “thinks,” “might think,” “might do,” or “will do”

• predicting the outcomes of situations

The Structure of the Oracle

The Sibyls Oraculum is colorcoded on the back according to the three distinct parts:

11 Black Core Issue Cards

11 Copper Projection Cards

11 Blue “Cool” Action Cards and

11 Red “Hot” Action Cards 6

Total: 44 Cards

About the Core Issue Cards

Every challenge has a source and that source is always in the mind of the querent. The core issue card identifies where there is a fracture or a miscalculation in logic related to the question. It is advised to set aside any defensive emotions that may arise upon receiving the message such as anger, denial, or self-deprecation because those emotions are contrary to the purpose of clarification. Receive, reflect, realize, accept, and move on.
About the Projection Cards

The projection cards reflect the rationalizations or justifications in the querent’s mind that are preventing them from seeing the core issue. It is the comfortable mask of excuse that is placed on the truth that if not worked out will eventually cause the querent internal suffering and possibly, external hardships.

About the Action Cards

The Action Cards are the oracle’s advice to the querent about what to immediately do next in relation to the query. The blue action card relate to the suggested internal state of mind the querent should take in relation to their question. The red cards relate to the suggested external response to the situation. The logic behind these divisions is that thoughts always precede an action and therefore are causal agents of which everything that happens afterwards is an effect. Thus, what one thinks is just as much an action as picking up a glass. The Sibyls Oraculum acknowledges this natural two-part process of action and advises the querent accordingly.

Consulting the Oracle

Step 1. The seeker poses a question phrased in a neutral way using a simple “Comment on . . .” method. For example:

• “Comment on getting back together with . . .”

• “Comment on loaning money to . . .”

• “Comment on what lesson I need to master in this lifetime.”

Step 2. The seeker shuffles the entire deck while thinking of their question, selects one black Core Issue card, and sets it aside.

Step 3. The seeker shuffles the deck (excluding the Core Issue card that has been set aside) while thinking of their question, selects one copper Projection card, and sets it aside.

Step 4. The seeker shuffles the remaining deck while thinking of their question, selects one blue “cool” Action card, and sets it aside.

Step 5. The seeker shuffles the remaining deck while thinking of their question, selects one red “hot” Action card, and sets it aside.

Step 6. Once all four cards have been selected the oracle’s response may be interpreted. Read the meaning of each card and jot down any “inner whisperings” that may be giving you more information. Keep in mind that the divinatory meanings provided with each card description are not fixed but are merely a guide to get you started.

Reading Examples

1. Kiara

Dear Tayannah, My boyfriend Sean and I broke up two years ago after I discovered he was cheating on me. He begged for my forgiveness and we got back together a few months later. Our relationship was better than ever but now we seem to be growing apart again and we fight over practically everything. Should I stick it out or break up with him once and for all? Thanks.

Core Issue Card: RHYTHM

Projection Card: PURPOSE

Blue Action Card: SUBMISSION

Red Action Card: STILLNESS

Summary: This reading tells me that your relationship was never accurately defined in terms of harmonious goals and until that is accomplished there will be problems. How do you both exist in the world? What’s your frequency as a couple? Some people can stay together happily for years without knowing this, theirs being a more “jazz improve” type of a situation. That may even work with you and someone else but it will never work with you and Sean, every couple is a unique alchemical experiment. […] My suggestion is to honestly assess if you ever were or remain on a complimentary path physically, mentally, and/or spiritually. If you discover that you are still in sync but just got seriously off track, then both of you need to do what you have to do (whatever that is) to get back on. If you discover that your needs, dreams, etc. are no longer compatible than submit to that knowledge. Once you’ve come to terms with the reality of the situation then consider the consequences of breaking up if there are any. They may be financial, parental, or emotional. Then figure out your next moves and put as many plans into action as possible before announcing it’s over. Just remember this, the time for talking, rehashing, debating, and arguing is over. No more ripples. Now is the time to move and act in silence.

About The Author

Tayannah Lee McQuillar is a tarot reader and researcher of religion, esoterica, and mysticism. The author of several books and divination decks, including The Hoodoo Tarot and The Sibyls Oraculum, she lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Destiny Books (May 15, 2018)
  • Length: 160 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781620556719

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

The Sibyls Oraculum is exciting--not only because it is beautifully rendered, which it is, but because it expands and decentralizes our history of magic and mysticism. Tayannah Lee McQuillar and Katelan Foisy have created a work of tremendous intelligence and beauty with thoughtfulness and care, opening up new worlds and ideas for us in the process. This is a project I’ll be returning to again and again in the years to come.”

– Jessa Crispin, author of The Dead Ladies Project

The Sibyls Oraculum: Oracle of the Black Doves of Africa is a beautiful exploration into a history that few people know about: the mythically shrouded women behind the founding of major centers of oracular divination in the ancient world. The artwork transports you back in time with its rich imagery that pays homage to classic mosaic and frescoes found throughout the Mediterranean. The system itself is timeless, providing a multifaceted tool for illuminating the inner psyche.”

– Laura Tempest Zakroff, artist and author of Sigil Witchery

The Sibyls Oraculum is a brilliant and unique work of research on the ancient traditions of the oracles of the Sibyls and their true African origins. As a native of Rome and having done extensive research on the black Sibyls from Libya and Ethiopia in connection to the traditions of the Black Madonna in the Mediterranean culture, I found the accurate research conducted by Tayannah Lee McQuillar very informative and enlightening, on a subject that is hardly ever spoken about today in Western society, except among people who are in the classical studies. In my field research I also found that the beautiful mosaic of the black Sibyl from Libya on the pavement of the Duomo of Siena is the only one covered completely today, with no explanation at all. Thus bringing to light that the true tradition of these powerful oracles is indeed African will help shift the common belief of the ‘white Sibyls.’ Creating a special deck of oracles with Katelan Foisy’s powerful images is very helpful in today’s society to connect to an ancient but also new form of divination to bring clarity in our hearts, minds, and souls.”

– Alessandra Belloni, singer, author, teacher, percussionist, and artistic director

The Sibyls Oraculum truly is unlike other divination systems I have worked with, not just in its images and symbolism, but in its clarity--there is no ambiguity or vagueness, no wiggle room to slant the interpretation to be what you want it to be, rather than what it is. I am intrigued by the Sibyl’s Oraculum, and look forward to working with it!”

– Anastasia Haysler, Walking in the Iron Wood blog and CEO of Tarot Media Company

This one needs to go up top. (John Dee and the Empire of Angels) "Written in breezy, informal prose, Louv’s overstuffed book will appeal to those interested in angels or the occult."

– Publishers Weekly

"On the surface, this deck appears to be a simple homage to the archaeologically-based history of ancient goddesses, but McQuillar quickly lets readers know that much more is going on here. Her deceptively concise history of the influence that Libya had on the ancient Greeks and Romans is an eye-opener. McQuillar, with the help of Foisy’s mosaic-styled artwork, reclaims the original symbolism and power of the Goddess tradition and its surviving inclusive, esoteric depositories of wisdom."

– Anna Jedrziewski,

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Tayannah Lee McQuillar