Perhaps it is only right and fitting that a faery deck be inconsistent. After all, there are a great many different fae described in just the folklore of Europe, never mind the tales that come from further afield.
So, it may come as no surprise to find a great many beauties (the fae were sometimes called the fair folk), rubbing shoulders with their darker cousins (sometimes pale skinned, but with dark vestments or sly expressions, or only part human, sometimes with different skin tones, sometimes strangely mottled and otherworldly) in the Faery Forest (Blue Angel, 2016).
Many people like their decks consistent (for example, all artwork by the same person, which is the case here). Nevertheless, there are somewhat bemusing medium changes in this deck.
While the majority of the images are painted or drawn, there is a large minority (12 out of 45) that are photo-manipulated. This difference is highlighted in the only two “seasonal” cards – the Yule Singer and the Mabon – one painted, one photographic. Which is another oddity – why not have all the sabats represented?
The borders are another aspect that may annoy some card enthusiasts. Not only are there three borders – a black outer border, a wood-finish middle border, and a colourful inner border – but the third of these is different in every single image. No two have exactly the same shade, though there are several similar tan/brown shades, a couple of different bright greens, and so on. These coloured borders have, at least, been quite well chosen, echoing some element within the card.
The companion book also deserves a mention. While there is not as much meat to the descriptions as is found in previous decks authored by Lucy Cavendish, the style is still very similar. She is clearly someone in tune with the natural world, compassionate and empathetic. There are a few spreads suggested, including the Celtic Cross, but also a Moon Phase Spread and a Faery Forest Tree spread, which are interesting.
As is rather often the case with such decks, the vast majority of the cards focus on a single female figure (39 of the 45). There are four individual male figures, one unicorn (shown in Monday’s post), and one family grouping: the Soul Kin. There are only two “old” figures – the Wyzard to the left, and the Ancient (who you can see peeking out in the photo of the kit above).
In fact, all of the male figures are “paired” in this way: the Wyzard with the Ancient (linked by age); the Queen and King of the Darkwood Elves; the Green Man with the Life Bringer (the images link them, though the names are different); and Freyr with Frigga (the images are different, but the names link them). No single men here!
Of course, the fae are a playful lot, so perhaps they like these inconsistencies, these sticking points to our expectations! And at least there are some men, a couple of older folk, an animal that dominates a card, and many other animals that join the women on the cards (owls, foxes, and ravens, to name just a few).
All told, it is a very attractive deck, with interesting elements of faery lore, natural cycles, and mythology from various traditions (to whit Ragnarok, Isa, Freyr and Frigga from norse mythology, alongside Awen and Atheling, from the British Isles). If you want to connect with elemental energy, this may be the deck for you…