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🔮 Tarot & Oracles

Tarot and Oracle Decks are a huge part of my spiritual practices. Having them in my daily life makes the inspiration sparkle and gets the creativity going.

Tarot & Oracle collection #2

Tarot & Oracle collection #2

Hi everyone!

Since the last article where I showed you my collection of Tarot and Oracles, a bunch of decks has been added to it. I guess it’s time for me to do a little update while talking a bit about my new sweeties!

🌿 Wild Unknown Tarot, Kim Krans

Ahhhh this one… It’s a long story, but let’s keep it short! The Wild Unknown is one of those decks that I kept putting on my wishlist one day, but then I pulled it out, and next thing I know, it’s on it again, and so on. This Tarot has always attracted me in a way, but with some kind of bittersweet taste, like “meh, you know it won’t work with this one”, or “nope, won’t be a match anyway”. Plus I had mixed feelings with a great number of its cards after seeing them online, which always made me hesitate about purchasing it, despite the great hype and success this Tarot had since its release.

In the end, my husband gave it to me as a birthday gift, totally ignoring what I thought about it. And ohhh, such a great idea he had! Once I had this Tarot in hands, it just clicked with me immediately. No more dilemma today: have it, keep it 😛

Wild Unknown Tarot, Kim Krans

🌿 The Golden Tarot: the Visconti-Sforza deck, Mary Packard

This is a pip deck, non scenic minors, and more of a collection deck if you ask me, considering the gigantic size of the cards. I love huge cards, they really magnify the illustrations and allow to dive deep into the details. But with these ones, well, you have to prepare a really substantial space if you expect to draw more than four or five cards at the same time. Aside from this little (haha) detail, this reconstruction of an old Tarot is magnificent, and the companion book is pretty nice too.

On a personal level, it’s also a sentimental deck, just because it reminds me of some summer holidays spent in Italy, where I was able to visit the Sforza castle in the city of Milan.

🌿 Deviant Moon Tarot, Patrick Valenza

Unlike the Wild Unknown, there wasn’t any hesitation at all for this Tarot. I knew it more or less, seen it here and there, but I didn’t pay attention to it until a particular moment. When I randomly found the borderless edition, I really saw it (seriously, most of the decks should be borderless). It’s hard to explain but this deck came to me just at the right moment, even if I didn’t know precisely why at the moment I purchased it. I only realized how much I needed it when I received it.

As you probably know, it’s an excellent Tarot for shadow work. It already helped me to confront my own fears, anxiety, and doubts, to work on past wounds and traumas, to get myself familiar and aware of my own darkness. Despite its tendency to dive deep into your feelings and to take you on a path that will without any doubt hurt you and make yourself uncomfortable, he does this with a strong sense of humor (black obviously).

🌿 Trionfi della Luna, Patrick Valenza

Different Tarot, same author. This one is a pip deck that I adore, with gorgeous vintage-ish watercolor illustrations, surely as disturbing and sarcastic as its cousin just above. Considering how much the Deviant Moon suited me, no need to tell you that I felt an obligation to purchase this one too. And I don’t regret it, it’s such an amazing Tarot deck!

I’ll just quickly add some info on this deck before I can make a full review: the first edition was a 22 major arcana only, which I think would have made me hesitate a bit, but Patrick Valenza completed it since. Only available in Italian for now (a French version was released, limited to 100 decks, but I didn’t get a chance to have one before it went sold out, unfortunately), this Tarot exists in several other versions: one in negative colors and two others, named paradoxical blue and purple, made to reveal themselves under a black light. Pretty cool, right?

Trionfi della Luna, Patrick Valenza

🌿 Rumi Oracle, Alana Fairchild & Rassouli

Let’s continue this list with the Oracles now, beginning with an adorable-surprise-birthday-gift from a lovely friend who knows my wishlist even better than I do ♥

Of all the decks currently in my possession, this is probably the most complex to use and interpret. On the one hand, because it is entirely related to the concept of the great loving divine – which is really not the easiest to apprehend for me – and on the other hand, because the poems of Rumi on which this Oracle is based are themselves so rich, that in the end, each card has a multitude of facets and interpretation possibilities.

But this is also one of the most beautiful decks I currently possess: Rassouli’s artwork on the illustrations is really stunning, and the intensity of its colors leaves me speechless every time I look at a card. It’s the kind of Oracle that speaks directly to the heart, without the need for words. He’s elusive, deep, and at the same time incredibly sweet and kind.

🌿 Pythia Botanica, Leila + Olive

As you could tell by its name, this is a botanical-based deck, totally different from my Druid Plant Oracle though. The illustrations are less detailed, with a vintage scent that I like so, so much. I found it on Instagram and I immediately fell in love with the author’s floral universe, a mix of elegance, enchantment, and magic.

Some plants you can expect to find in this beautiful Oracle: mugwort, hawthorn, periwinkle, comfrey, rose, celandine, bindweed, valerian, hyssop, hyacinth, Dahlia… A few well-known witchy plants too, such as henbane, foxglove, aconite, Mandrake or belladonna.

Note that a Tarot with similar style has been created too, named Ophidia Rosa, one that is already on my wishlist and that I definitely will purchase some day.

Pythia Botanica, by Leila + Olive

🌿 Spirit Cats Oracle, Nicole Piar

Warning: cute cats coming here! I got to tell you, I just fell in love with this awesome deck the first time I saw it on Instagram too. I love the art, the watercolor use, the squared format, the feeling of the cardstock… I loved it even more the day I received it, accompanied by a bunch of little treasures like postcards, a wooden coin, a lovely chevron amethyst, and I probably forgot some other things.

I know, it’s an Oracle that can seem a bit fluffy when you look at it, or maybe over-positive, but make no mistake, not only is it cute, but it’s also extremely accurate. The messages written on the back of each card are pretty well thought and written, very encouraging without being simplistic. I personally see it as a hug-deck, one that makes you feel good simply by giving you a huge dose of sweetness and benevolence while helping you to go back on track. Purrs come as a bonus ♥

🌿 Shamanic Healing Oracle, Michelle A. Motuzas

Again, an Oracle that wishes you well! With some kind of primitive accents in the imagery that allows the intuition to flow freely, perhaps guided by the different keywords on the bottom of each card. It’s been a while since I wanted a deck like this, an Oracle evoking something primal, ancestral, rooting, calling the instinct instead of rational thinking.

I’ve kept my eyes on John Matthew’s Shaman’s Oracle for a while, but I don’t know, there’s something in the imagery that didn’t resonate with me. Not to mention the way it works which looks very complicated. In the end, I was right to wait a little bit longer, for the Shamanic Healing Oracle happened to came into my life, perfectly filling my wishes and expectations.

🌿 Celtic Lenormand, Chloe McCraken, Will Worthington

I already talked about this one last time, while presenting the Middia Lenormand, the very first deck of this type I bought. Well, it has not been long before I finally got the Celtic Lenormand too. Illustrated by Will Worthington, this oh so talented artist that I admire (just in case you didn’t know already), this deck is a bit different from the traditional Lenormand, with a nice Celtic twist, and a few alternatives cards.

Since I was just beginning to explore the Lenormand system when I purchased it, I was a little bit afraid that I wouldn’t be able to use it right away. Because, you know, the differences and modifications made are quite significant. But in the end, it wasn’t the case, and today I’m pleased to look at this enhanced Lenormand as a great companion for my Wilwood Tarot and my Carr-Gomm’s Druidic Oracles.

Celtic Lenormand, by Chloe McCracken and Will Worthington

🌿 Harvest Moon Oracle, Kelly Isara

I can honestly say that till this day, this is the only deck that disappointed me a little when it arrived, but I’ll probably talk about it later, in a review or else. With that being said, it’s a cute little deck, with a sweet Halloween flavor. Skeletons, bats, spiders and witches, all those traditional characters made their way to the party here, along with a few tombstones, coffins and an absolutely adorable scarecrow (the very one that makes me buy the deck if you want to know).

I like Halloween time, I like Halloween stuff 😛 Actually, it makes me think about another Oracle on my wishlist based on this theme, and hey, look at the date! Halloween’s coming soon…

🌿 Mildred Payne’s Secret Pocket Oracle, Patrick Valenza

Did I already mentioned that I like Patrick Valenza’s artistic work? 😀 I kept this deck for the end of this post, just because it’s kind of an alien, a Lenormand-like divinatory system wrapped in a thick aura of mystery and madness. Picture an old asylum burned to its ashes, a creepy doll found in the remainings, and an old blouse hidden in a wall with a bunch of mysterious hand-drawn cards in its pocket… Is this a real story, you ask? It doesn’t really matter, the tone is set and it’s spooky as hell, with a pinch of Burtonian spice that makes it perfect for Halloween too!

Actually, the author tells this narrative way better than me so I can only encourage you to go see for yourself here and read the strange story of poor Mildred Payne. As for the Oracle itself, I’ll talk more about it as soon as I get the time to become familiar with it since I only have it for a very short period of time.

Mildred Payne's Secret Pocket Oracle, by Patrick Valenza
Ishsaar Oracle – Review

Ishsaar Oracle – Review

Hi, everyone!

I’d like to start a new category today, in which I’ll regroup my reviews of oracles, books or online shops I’ve tested. Those with an esoteric-spiritual-pagan interest at least, and the first I want to begin with is the Ishsaar Oracle, the latest deck I’ve added to my collection of oracles.

So I begin this review with a little change in the original name of this deck: the Ishsaar Tarot. Well, I don’t want to distort anything really, but this is about making things right from the beginning: this is not a Rider-Waite or Marseille style deck. This deck possesses its own structure, and it has nothing to do with tarot.

One quick word about its structure. The Ishsaar Oracle is made of 60 cards, divided into several groups: the main 44 cards are designed to work in pairs, there is also 4 elemental cards (Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water), 3 Totems (The Sight, The Hearing, and The Word), 6 Pillars (which are archetypes like The Wanderer, The Witch or The Shaman), a Shadow card and its counterpart, The Light. One blank card is finally added to the deck, to be used as it is or to be illustrated by yourself. The whole deck is numbered in Roman numerals, from I to LX.

I leave you with an overview of this oracle. Note that I edged the cards in black shortly after I received the deck. I find that it sticks better with its character, plus it gives a little extra finish to the whole design.

The Ishsaar Oracle, by Yuna Minhaï

I usually dedicate myself to a maximum of one or two games over a given period (often between two Sabbats, or on a complete lunar cycle) before changing for a newcomer or going back to an older one. It allows me to regularly run the tarot and oracles of my collection without completely forget about a deck or another (a particular tarot can also be perfectly suited to a season, but much less inspiring for the one that follows… ).

The Ishsaar is an oracle that I have in my possession for about a month, and with which I already had the opportunity to work quite well. Actually, it was almost the only deck I’ve used since the day I received it. I essentially used it as a “one card for the day” inspiration, but I also had a few more complex spreads when I needed it.

Well, clearly, spring is not the atmosphere that suits him best, but this oracle has been a very good companion nevertheless. The Ishsaar generally tends to answer you very honestly, almost harshly. I mean, do not expect him to be kind and sweet at all. Anyway, when I draw some cards, it’s usually not to have the message wrapped in excessive kindness, so I guess I’m cool with that. I prefer getting new possibilities that I wouldn’t have noticed so far, or a clear message about a situation and its possible evolution just to prepare myself for the best and make the changes that need to be done. On this point, no worry, the Ishsaar does the job.

If you appreciate oracles of this kind – the kind who doesn’t make any detour – if you are drawn to the illustrations and are a bit familiar with the author’s universe, just go for it, you won’t regret the purchase! Anyway, for now, let me talk about a few more details about this deck 🙂

• What I like about this deck

🌿 A really great packaging

The whole pack is pleasant to discover. The companion book is well made (maybe a few typo here and there, but honestly, who cares? ), and also very good to look at (I just adore the garnet red Oblivion symbol on the cover, which can be found on the back of the cards too). I really enjoyed reading and diving into it.

The second thing I want to talk about is the box. I love it! I don’t usually keep my decks in their original boxes, either because it’s not practical at all (too big, too fragile, whatever) or just because I don’t like it. This one is great, beautifully done, and seems sturdy. As for the size, it’s small enough to fit in a bag if needed, but the cards don’t stay stuck in though.

The only thing I kind of regret in the whole package is the quality of the cards, a bit too thin and flexible for my taste. The soft matte finish, however, is pleasant to look at and touch, and they shuffle nicely.

Ishsaar Oracle - Cards and companion book

🌿 Cards that speak directly

This is a deck that offers clear concepts, the kind that are easy to understand. Plus it comes with a companion book which is quite complete, offering some good ideas to get a first understanding of the signification of the cards, meanwhile encouraging you to develop them as you work with the Oracle. I particularly like the “mirror cards”, either negative or positive, but thought as two different sides of one concept, two different ways to see and understand a situation, revealing more nuances when interpreting the cards.

This notion of duality is quite present in the Ishsaar Oracle, in the illustrations themselves: a lot of them are picturing two characters in a close relationship or in conflict. But it doesn’t mean that it’s all black and white, which is a thing I appreciate when using a deck for some guidance and personal development.

🌿 Original spreads

Another thing I like about the companion book is that it offers two different spreads created by Yuna for this particular Oracle. First, the Pyramid Spread: 16 cards to get insights about a situation from its roots to its possible outcome. The second one is the Destiny Spread, designed for situations when a hard choice is required and different paths need to be explored in detail.

🌿 A magical use

It’s something I already do with most of my tarots and oracles, but it’s usually never mentioned or discussed in the booklets: the use of the cards in spiritual practices, rituals, and witchcraft stuff. Putting a card on your altar to get its energy, keeping another one with you, working with a particular archetype to get some balance in your daily life, to develop a quality that you’re missing at some point or, on the contrary, to ensure that you’re in control of those that seem overwhelming.

An oracle deck can be a great support to integrate into a ritual, and the Ishsaar was created with this possibility in mind. For each card (well almost, some concepts are less appropriate for this kind of use), you’ll find in the companion book some tips and ideas to use the cards in your own practices, in association with gemstones for example.

The Witch - Ishsaar Oracle

🌿 It’s affordable

Most of self-published tarots or oracles are usually quite expensive. For this deck, a few different packs have been proposed during the pre-order in January. I personally purchased the “standard” one (since I don’t accumulate goodies and this kind of extra stuff, I didn’t have any interest in the superior packs) and paid €25. At the time I’m writing this review, the Ishsaar Oracle is available at €26.50 excluding shipping costs (for French customers at least, I didn’t check for other countries on the website).

• What I least appreciated

🌿 Repetition of images

That’s my biggest disappointment with this oracle: several cards are picturing the same illustration. And when I say several, I mean a lot. I usually prefer when you can clearly distinguish a card from others, which is the case when a card really has its own personality and symbols. Having really distinct cards is kind of essential for me, so I don’t have to refer myself to its title or keyword to be sure it’s the one I thought I get (it may sound silly, but it actually tends to break the flow of images and thoughts I can get while interpreting the cards). So yeah, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when I walked through the cards of this Oracle (but hey, it’s my fault too: if only I’d have look each card individually before purchasing this deck… :p )

Let me give you a few examples. The Creation / Destruction cards are quite identical, only the framing differs. Some cards present the same illustration too, but in a mirror, like the Past and Future cards, or Speech and Earth (if you forget about the band-aid on the character’s mouth). Some images are just cut in half, separated on two different cards (Balance and Justice, Sight and Captivity). There is another one, the Shadow, that only presents a remastered drawing taken directly from the Mirror card. The Union card is also just a fragment of the Imagination, and the Crowd and Group cards are a sort of composite made from different other illustrations already seen in the deck.

There are approximately 20 cards concerned out of the 60 that formed the Oracle. I can understand some of the choices made by the author, but in the end, a third of the deck is still a lot.

🌿 Different styles of drawings

Another small – and totally subjective – issue I have with this deck is that I find the illustrations uneven. Let me explain it to you. When I receive a new deck, I usually take the time to look at the illustrations one by one, and I finally put them back in three piles. First, the ones I adore and I’m drawn to, then those more neutral, and finally, the (hopefully few) cards that I like the least.

This is just a small ritual that allows me to familiarize myself with the pictures, and especially to quickly realize the “I like / or not” ratio, so to speak. So I did this thing with my just out of his blister Ishsaar, except that it ended with more piles, which I wasn’t being able to explain at first. Then I realized that the deck actually has two different styles of drawings: some cards are depicted with subtility and fineness, while the others present a much stronger, thick trait.

Each style seems to correspond to one of the two universes that inspired the deck, and some of you might find this amazing (and after all, it can be seen as a mark of the author’s evolution throughout the years), but I personally found the contrast quite disturbing when came the time to read with the cards. I mean, forgetting about the frame surrounding each illustration, I sometimes feel almost like I have two different decks in hand.

Ishsaar Oracle - Different cards, different styles

🌿 The lack of identification for the characters

A small detail that looks like nothing, but this is an element that I quickly missed, although it could have been easily added to the Oracle companion book. Who are the characters depicted on each card? The Ishsaar is derived from two literary and iconographic universes created by Yuna: Pandora Project and Blinded. The thing is, at the moment of speaking, the first book is the only one available.

Of course, you can use this deck without any knowledge about the fictions and stories behind, but I think you’ll miss a part of the deck spirit. It’s like working with Nordic runes without having access to the entire mythology behind, you know? I will certainly read again Pandora Project while I’ll dive more deeply into this Oracle, but I’m already frustrated knowing that I’ll be missing a good half of the experience, just because the companion book is lacking a short summary of the main character traits and relationships. A small detail that could have given me more food for thoughts on the interpretation of the cards.

• My favorite cards

Let’s finish this review on a positive note, by showing you the cards I like the most in this Oracle: the Witch, that you’ve already seen in the middle of this article, the Guide, and the Shaman. Well, 3 Pillars, yeah! ^_^ (and I’d definitely add the Guardian to the list if I could)

My collection of oracles (tarot cards and decks)

My collection of oracles (tarot cards and decks)

Divination has been part of my practices since the very beginning. To tell you the truth, it was one of the main gateways that led me to spirituality and witchcraft. Tarot, oracles, runes, oghams… I have created and accumulated a pretty little collection of different tools, mainly card decks. I usually read them for myself and a few close friends, but once in a blue moon, I also read tarot to other people when they ask me.

A good reason that brought me to collect oracle cards is that they allow me to keep with me some works of artists that I particularly appreciate. I use them to decorate a seasonal altar or a corner of my studio, as a way to inspire me while I’m working on new creations to list in the shop. So today, I’d like to share my collection with you, hoping that maybe these tarot and oracle decks will inspire you too 🙂

🌿 The Celtic Tree Oracle, Liz & Collin Murray

My very first deck! Well, almost. Actually, my first deck was a classic Tarot de Marseille from Grimaud, but I’ve lost it a long time ago, and we weren’t having a great relationship anyway 😛 This deck, however, has remained with me from the beginning, and I still appreciate it after all these years. One reason is that it’s the deck that led me to the sacred universe of celtic Ogham.

‘Tis my good ol’ friend – even though it still looks brand new after all these years. The edition that I own is the first one; at the time, it was sold in a wooden box and was still called “Tarot”.

Read my review of the Celtic Tree Oracle here (only available in French for now, please be patient)

🌿 The Druid Animal Oracle & The Druid Plant Oracle, Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm

The Animal oracle is my second oldest deck, and surely the one I brought literally everywhere. It’s my companion, and I’ve used it almost everywhere: at college, in parks and woods, by the sea, in bars, and with many people… So many experiences have used it, so recently, I decided to trim its borders to refresh it a bit.

As for his vegetal companion, I bought it a few years later, but I love it just as much. They obviously work wonderfully together, and I tend to mix the two decks most of the time, without any distinction except the color of the back card (forest green for one, dark blue for the other).

Druid Animal & Druid Plant Oracles, Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm

🌿 The Wildwood Tarot, John Matthews & Mark Ryan

The deck that accompanies me everywhere, all the time. The Wildwood is kind of my essential tarot, the one I’d take to a desert island the day I find myself in exile (don’t ask me why). Like the previous two, it is illustrated by Will Worthington, and if we forget about the poor quality of the cards, I adore it.

I trimmed its borders a few months ago (39 grams less!), and the pictures look much better. Actually, it’s just after trimming this one that I’ve chosen to go through the same treatment for the two druidic oracles. The edition I own is the very first, featuring a solid green card back, without the interlaced trees that have been added to later versions.

🌿 Clow Cards

Let’s go with a complete change of style with the next one! Let me present you the Clow Cards, from the universe of Card Captor Sakura, an anime that I used to watch as a kid with my younger sister while eating junk food and enjoying each other’s company. This particular deck possesses a big sentimental value because it reminds me of such good times!

This is a deck that I wanted in its Japanese version because I’ve heard of its excellent quality of cards, illustrated with the original work of CLAMP. Unfortunately, the edition I was looking for was sold out for a very long time, you could only find second-hand decks at very, very high prices. So I just gave up, until a re-edition came out a few years ago, to celebrate the anniversary of the anime. I literally jumped on the occasion, waiting impatiently to get it in my mailbox, and finally, the Book of Clow was in my hands … (I rejuvenated at least 12 years that day :D)

Clow Cards, Japanese edition

🌿 Les Cartes Divinatoires d’Algariel, Alcide Nathanaël

This one just called me, and I quickly bought it (trust me, this is unusual, as I’m not a compulsive buyer at all). I immediately fell in love with its deep atmosphere and its amazing illustrations, carrying a note of sweOracletalgia (ohh and I almost forgot the wonderful back of the cards ♥). The day I received the deck, I did a little modification, by edging the cards in black

It is an excellent oracle to work with your intuition (there’s no keyword to influence your interpretation of the cards, and the LWB won’t give you such clues about their signification), and it leaves plenty of room for imagination, dreams, contemplation, but also memory.

🌿 Le Tarot Noir, Justine Ternel & Matthieu Hackière

The deck that finally reconciled me with the Tarot de Marseille after hum… 15 years? It’s incredible to see the way I fought with my first Marseille deck when with this one, it was so easy. I mean, the symbols are more or less the same, right? Of course, the Tarot Noir is a reinterpretation of the classic Marseille, but in the end, it doesn’t get so far from the original, and the pips who have caused me so much trouble at the time aren’t more illustrated here. But I don’t know, there’s this particular and puzzling feeling that makes me love this one tremendously. Plus, it has these huge, beautiful golden edged cards ♥

The Tarot Noir really is my precious one. That’s why I don’t use it for anyone other than myself.

Le Tarot Noir - A French Tarot deck

🌿 The Vision Cards

If the name doesn’t speak to you, don’t worry, it’s totally normal. This deck isn’t really an oracle in the first place, but a part of a nice board game named Mysterium. A mix between Cluedo and Dixit, with a murder victim who became a ghost seeking justice. The game takes place during the night of Samhain, with medium players gathered for a session of spiritism, and the ghost needs to make them guess the identity of the murderer only by suggesting ideas with the Vision Cards.

Before I even play this game for the first time, I knew I could use those cards as a support for divination, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. The illustrations are rich in symbols and allow an immense freedom for the interpretation. Since then, I even bought the card extension to open even more possibilities!

Vision Cards, from the Mysterium boardgame

🌿 The Middia Lenormand, Klara Spalińska

The Petit Lenormand has been experiencing a renewed interest for some time, and I willingly admit that I’ve succumbed to the temptation. I’m still in the early stages of learning this system, and the Middia Lenormand is my first deck of this type.

I hesitated a long time with the Celtic Lenormand (Will Worthington, obviously) but considering the changes and additions of cards that this deck includes, I’d rather keep it aside for later. For now, I prefer to learn the Petit Lenormand with a deck whose symbols are clear at first glance, and not tinted with a particular culture. The Middia Lenormand is perfect for this, very nice to look at and manipulate. What more could you ask for?

🌿 L’Oracle d’Ishsaar, Yuna Minhaï Dekebat

The latest addition to my collection, a self-edited oracle that I’m still in the process of “testing” and studying right now since I received it at the very beginning of the month. So I’m not going to speak so much about it today, I’ll just show you what it looks like (note that I edged the cards in black).

Read my review of the Ishsaar Oracle here

The Ishsaar Oracle, by Yuna Minhaï

And with this one comes the end of this list of tarot and oracles deck currently in my possession, a relatively short one finally. If my wishlist seems to have no end, I remain pretty selective in my choices. I prefer to take my time before deciding to add a new companion to my collection. As I said earlier, I also use other divination materials such as runes or oghams, most of which I created from myself, but I’ll keep those for another article 😉