How I absolutely love the stories of King Arthur, his knights of the round table, & the gods, goddesses, & magical beings associated with those stories. I have been to England & climbed to the top of Glastonbury Tor, which I still consider to be one of the highlights of my life. I was understandably excited when I heard news of The Avalonian Oracle being published by Schiffer Books. The complete title of this deck is, The Avalonian Oracle: Spiritual Wisdom From the Holy Isle. The 128-page paperback guidebook is written by Jhenah Telyndru with artwork by Emily Brunner. The deck comes housed in the 6 x 9 x 1 1/2″ hinge-lidded magnetic closure box that is pretty much standard now for Schiffer decks. The deck can be stored on its end so the footprint in a bookshelf is very small.
The Avalonian Oracle is a 46-card oracle deck with a twist. There are seven “suits,” which are referred to as “Cycles.” The guidebook is organized so that the cards belonging to each cycle are discussed in each chapter, which results in the guidebook containing seven chapters of card meanings and interpretations. The other two chapters consist of an introduction and the guidebook concludes with a chapter devoted to eight card spreads and a few concluding paragraphs with suggestions as to how to use the cards as a magical tool.
The introduction in most guidebooks is basically a “how to use this deck” chapter, but that is not the case for The Avalonian Oracle. The chapter is important and should not be glossed over in order to get to the meat of the book. The introduction lists the names of the cards in each “cycle” and by their titles and brief explanation of the “cycle” this gives you a good overview of the overall feel and vibration for each cycle of the deck. The introduction is also an excellent reference point to use as you do readings with the deck. The cycles are not indicated on the cards, but you can easily discover to which cycle they belong if you refer to the introductory pages. That will then tell you in which chapter you can find each card’s meaning.
The cards themselves build upon the concept of the spiritual journey and include such beings one would expect to encounter when taking a spiritual journey that is of a Celtic nature. Cycle One (5 cards, referred to as Seeds) focuses on your journey to Avalon and the various stages that comprise that part of your journey. Cycle Two (5 cards, referred to as Stations) is about the stages of healing we encounter. Cycle Three (5 cards) depict the goddesses you may encounter on your journey (Rhiannon, Ceridwen, Blodeuwedd, Arianrhod, & Branwen). Cycle Four includes a card for each moon of the year (13 cards for 13 lunar cycles) . Cycle Five (9 cards) is entitled the Nine Morgens who are important ancestresses. Cycle Six (3 cards) represent the 3 realms of the universe as the Celts saw them. Cycle Seven (6 cards) represent the forces that make up the Avalonian cosmology. When doing a reading it is important to note from which cycle your cards originate because knowing that will add a deeper meaning to your readings.
The information included for each card varies from Cycle to Cycle. For example, the cards of Cycles 1 – 3 include with their card interpretations a card description, keywords, quest, divinatory meaning, and affirmation. This same information is included for the cards of Cycle 4 (the 13 Moons of Avalon), but a brief explanation of the particular herb associated with each of these cards opens the card interpretations. The final card of the deck, The Silver Wheel, includes an herbal association as well as a brief discussion of the mythology of the Silver Wheel. Otherwise, all other cards follow the descriptive outline of card description, keywords, quest, divinatory meaning, and affirmation.
The cards measure 3 3/8″ x 5 1/4″. They are well laminated with a glossy finish. Card backs are completely reversible although the guidebook does not provide reversed card meanings. The cards are are of sturdy, yet flexible card stock that makes them easy to shuffle. They have a blue border with silver detailing. The herb, plant, animal totem, symbol, or spirit associated with each card is depicted within the card image itself and also in isolation as an additional feature of the card in the lower left or right-hand corner of each card.
The Avalonian Oracle provides very deep readings. I recommend that when using this deck you leave your reading out for a while so you can ponder it. I have gained many fresh insights into various situations simply by leaving the reading out so I can look it over as I walk past it throughout the day. If you have an affinity to the Celtic pantheon, culture, or the Goddess in general, you will really enjoy this deck.
~ Nefer Khepri, PhD., R. M-T.
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Full Disclosure: I received this deck from the publisher in order to consider it for review. I only review those decks that are of interest to me & which I feel would also be of interest to my followers.