I’ve been studying Ogham for my divination spiral, but I’m becoming more and more interested in oracle card decks. I avoid tarot because my husband’s the tarot guy – while I enjoy it and am not too bad at doing tarot readings, if I have an issue that I want to work with that way, I go to my resident live-in tarot expert. I started getting interested in non-tarot oracle decks a few years ago with this one:
It’s based on the story of the voyage of Maelduin and has some really wonderful images. Each card is based on one of the islands Maelduin’s crew encounter. As an oracle, it leads to extended dreamlike readings that don’t make a whole lot of sense right away but which over time and with thought become clear. I found this frustrating at first because I felt like I was getting nonsense readings, but with use I got to know how to work with it. I use it for questions having to do with initiations or transitions but not for anything with hard practical edges, because for me that’s how it works best. The art is odd and dreamlike, which is fitting, but not particularly pretty. I don’t use it very often because sadly it’s printed on very flimsy card stock and I fear that once it wears out I won’t be able to get another one.
This deck is fast becoming my everyday workhorse of an oracle. I can ask it anything and get a clear, sensible answer. It’s very down-to-earth and practical. The illustrations are rich and gorgeous. I’m looking forward to the companion Druid Plant Oracle, coming out soon. I’m very happy to hear that it will be on the same size card stock as the Animal deck, so the two can be shuffled together. These two together might very well become my divination technique of choice for a long time to come. I also use the cards as altar pieces – each new moon I pick a new card at random to go on my altar to think about over the coming cycle. Right now there are three of them out – the Owl because I’m working with Blodeuwedd at this time, the Seal because Blodeuwedd led me to the Selkie story and I’m working with that as well, and the Hawk because I drew that one at random. They are beautiful enough to stand as little art pieces on their own.
The Froud Faeries’ Oracle is easily the most beautiful oracle deck I’ve ever seen. I find the book that goes with it not to be very useful but that doesn’t seem to matter at all. The images speak for themselves. I only just got this last month and have not done any very in-depth work with it, but I have been doing some extremely in-depth Faerie work lately and I will probably get to know it much better soon. I don’t see it being as practical for me as Philip Carr-Gomm’s deck, but I suspect that what it lacks in practicality it will make up for in intensity. It seems to be an intense kind of oracle.
The Celtic Tree Oracle is a deck of ogham cards. The artwork is pretty but not particularly interesting, and I’ve been using it as a stand-in for a wood ogham set. I haven’t been able to find or make a wooden set yet (I am sorely tempted by some of these, though) so the Tree Oracle cards have been serving as a sort of study aid. They are wearing out very quickly, but then, I’m using them almost every day as part of my studies.