If you’re a fan of the Faeries’ Oracle deck, get ready to download Faerie 2.0. It’s another wonderful setting for Brian’s astonishing artwork, this time accompanied by a book written by his wife Wendy. Good news—this deck features names and numbers in a font that’s clearly legible, even in candlelight and moonlight (yes, I tried this and could read them even without my spectacles).
Where the Faeries’ Oracle is general in nature, this deck is focused intently on relationships and the reader’s journey through life. The characters in the deck are ones that may be met within or without, possibly strangers or friends one might encounter on the road. There are no guarantees of perfect endings, but the characters found in this deck will make you think.
The deck is organized into different groups of faeries and related ideas that faeries are better at handling than humans. The deck opens with nine gorgeous and powerful Faerie Queens, and moves on to their awesome Consorts. As is typical with the Fae, not all of these characters are nice, and some of are on the scary side. The Queens and Consorts are followed by Archetypes, everlasting inhabitants of the Faerie realm who are never-changing: the Lord and Lady of the Forest, the Child, the Boy, the Hero, the Crone, etc.
There are eight sprites who are young and sometimes mischievous. These creatures just don’t have to take life seriously, and if it gets too dull, they’re likely to break something just to get things moving again. There are six Ladies, a bit less powerful than the queens, more accessible and sometimes more temperamental, followed by seven Tricksters. Wendy claims they are sources of “unexpected wisdom.” The Big Behind reminds the traveler that when things get sticky, it might be a good idea to look behind for an escape route. This little faerie giggles as she moons the viewer. Delightful!
The deck rounds off with sixteen Journey cards that represent stages of life everyone eventually encounters. These cards encompass the typical features of a faerie tale: the blessing given as one leaves, escaping the shadow of the past, the all-important Question (who are you and what do you seek?), temptations, gifts, and finally the return journey home. The book offers a couple of different spreads and an interview with Brian and Wendy.
Consumers should be warned: the Faeries’ Oracle cards giggle. I can hear them giggling in the tarot basket when they want to come out and play. I suspect the Heart of Faerie Oracle deck might giggle, too. Store these decks where they won’t keep you awake at night.
Over the years of working with the Faeries’ Oracle and even in the short time with the Heart of Faerie deck, if the reader has the ability to connect with faeries, these decks will express your thoughts, worries and situation quite clearly. I shuffled and pulled a few cards from the Heart of Faerie a few days ago and was amazed at how precisely the cards reflected the current situation. This is going to be a new favorite deck and another coveted Yule gift. Brian’s artwork never fails to transport the viewer into this rarified realm. Hitch a ride with the Elven Knight and visit this shimmering world of magic and wonder.
~review by Elizabeth Hazel
Authors: deck by Brian Froud, book by Wendy Froud
Imaginosis/Abrams Books, 2010
137 pg hardback book, 69 card deck, $25
Originally published in the American Tarot Association Quarterly Journal, Summer 2011 issue