Enchanted Oracle Review
Artwork: Jessica Galbreth
Author: Barbara Moore
Published by Llewellyn
This 36 card oracle deck features beautiful fantasy art from Jessica Galbreth. Here we find mermaids and fairies, goddesses and sorceresses, gypsies and witches, as well as two gods, a merman, and a male fairy (the latter two with female counterparts). The pictures are all very “pretty”, with young, fair-skinned, slim, sometimes buxom characters in rather gothic dress. This is the first indication of the deck’s target audience – young women with an interest in magic*.
From the accompanying book “Destiny’s Portal”, by Barbara Moore: “Seek your destiny through trailing vines and gnarled trees to a secret realm rich with myth and magic…Here you will find knowledge, skills, and tools that will help you craft the magical life of your dreams.”
It should be said that the kit succeeds very well in this intent. For one thing, it contains all you need: in the pretty, predominantly black and purple box, you get the deck, a book, a silver double-thick organza bag (much stronger than the black organza bags that come with quite a few decks, and with a nice cord, too), and a charm necklace with a sparkly-purple-winged silver fairy. The necklace is on a black ribbon of good length, with a silver catch, which is also the holding spot for using it as a pendulum, for which the balance is nice.
The book describes how to use the cards, how to use the necklace both as a pendulum and as a charm, and gives a few simple spreads – one, three and four cards. The bulk of the book is given over to the actual cards, with a black and white scan of each, a description of the card and its symbolism, and an oracle message. Then, for most cards, there are one or more suggestions for magical working. This is a great strength of the deck – the spells are simple, but also nicely varied and empowering. There are visualizations, rituals, enchantments, pendulum workings, and lots of journaling exercises. Barbara Moore also suggests different candles and essential oils to use, while leaving it open to the person to vary any aspect of the spell to what works best for them.
One slight quibble I have is that there isn’t much emphasis on reinforcement through repetition. Another is that there isn’t very much explanation of effective techniques to create the slight trance state that helps with visualizations. Finally, there is once again the bias towards the target market. For example, to “Cast a Spell on Yourself” you are encouraged to choose some simple affirmations to repeat daily in front of a mirror. The suggestions for these are: “Look at those eyes! They’re freakin’ gorgeous!”, “Ohmygawd! Check out that hair: fabulous.”, and “On me, this outfit totally rocks.” However, overall these spells are well thought out and would certainly be effective.
As for the cards, they are fairly small – 7cms by 11.7cms, or 2 3/4″ by 4 5/8″- so, easy for even small hands to shuffle. The laminated card is of good quality, and each image has a small black border at the bottom, with the title of the card in white. There is also a slight loop pattern in black just above the border, almost like a wire to hold the image to the border. There is quite a lot of symbolism in the cards, though some of it is a little repetitive – the moon in its various phases, for example, appears in some form on 26 of the 36 cards! However, given that the deck is meant to be a tool for magical learning, this is perhaps understandable. The other symbolism is eclectic – from kanji writing to celtic knots, from dragons to keys, from spinning wheels to a variety of plants and animals. Despite the prettiness, there is a depth to this deck, including some quite dark images. The colour range is also broad, and there is a strong elemental aspect, from airy fairies to mermaids, with a few clearly earthy images, and the fire of dragons.
When I started using the deck I felt it was a little superficial, and I certainly needed the book to point out the symbolism and give variety to the interpretations (yet another pretty girl, hmm, what does that mean?). I also felt that the interpretations were a little too specific and limiting in some instances, and found the “accuracy” poor. However, I then drew two of the cards I’d been getting quite frequently together, and suddenly they both made a lot more sense.
Overall, I enjoy using this deck, and have had some quite insightful readings from it. I think the kit is very good value for money, and I quite like the charm necklace, though I haven’t worn it often. I found it very effective as a pendulum, though. I have used a couple of the spells, and would like to do some more of the journaling exercises when I have the time. I can’t imagine using the cards to read for others, except perhaps at something like witchfest. While guys might find the images attractive, they would probably feel quite excluded from the book, and not many would want to wear a fairy necklace! Where I would recommend it is as a deck for a young aspiring witch, or for anyone who likes this kind of fantasy art and is open to trying some simple magic.
*I use this spelling throughout, as it’s the one used in the book, though some of the card keywords use the “magick” spelling.