March / April 2014 Issue
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Review of Gypsy Oracle Cards
This article was written by Barbara Moore on November 30, -0001
Evoking another time and place, this reproduction of a nineteenth-century deck creates the atmosphere of a bygone era, while offering old-fashioned guidance and wisdom.
Every day people use different tools to predict the future. Every night, for example, I rely on forecaster Sven Sundgaard on channel 11 to use data he has collected and equations he has learned to tell me what the weather is likely to be like the next day. Other people use newspapers or collections of data such as sales receipts. Still others read omens in nature; for them, birds, clouds, or the unexpected appearance of a wild animal give clues about the future. And some of us use pieces of paper printed with pictures. At present, Tarot decks are, by far, the most for such use popular. However it was not always so. Before the Tarot was widely used for fortune telling, people used Sibilla decks, gypsy cards, and Lenormand cards to divine their future.
There are many different versions of these oracle decks. This particular deck, the Gypsy Oracle Cards, has fifty-two cards, but they are not at all structured like a deck of playing cards. Each card shows a picture that illustrates the card title. For example, the "Doctor" cards shows a young woman sitting in an armchair in a parlor. Before her stands an older man putting a reassuring hand on her arm. They are simple images and names meant to convey common aspects of every day life. Other decks, such as Lenormand cards, have more symbolism, but the Gypsy Oracle Cards are more realistic in nature.
The included Little White Booklet tells a charming story about a Gypsy woman and her cards, and about how this deck came to be widely available. It also explains the precise and complex method of shuffling to be used with this deck. The method is meant to result in reversed cards, although the booklet then provides no instructions for reversed meanings. I would advise not using reversed cards in these readings or decide for yourself what a reversed card means before proceeding.
The last part of the booklet text tells the reader how to perform a reading and presents a spread to be used with the cards. The instructions are very brief, mainly saying that the interpretation is based on the feelings evoked by the images and the guidance suggested by the card’s title. This may, at first, feel inadequate, but really, these are simple cards and not much explanation is needed.
The art on these cards is the sort that really does invite one to a "bygone era" and has a Kate Greenaway feel to it, although the colors are more primary than usually associated with that artist.
Many people use their Tarot cards for deeper readings. Also, some find the Tarot to be too ambiguous for predictive readings. This deck can be used for down-to-earth, practical, and predictive readings. It presents fairly clear pictures of what was, what is, and what is to come. In addition, it provides advice that is clear and easy to apply.
In my test readings, I found it to be delightfully refreshing and clear. Almost scary clear, really. And bossy. But good. It was all stuff that I needed to hear and heed.
Name of deck: Gypsy Oracle Cards
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Name of accompanying booklet: Gypsy Oracle Cards
Number of pages of booklet:
Author(s) of book/booklet: 31 (7 in English)
Brief biography of author(s):
Available in a boxed kit?: No
Reading Uses: General Readings
Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: Divination Deck
If Divination Deck, what is the structure? Consists of 52 cards with no apparent structure. The cards represent various elements of human experience such as "house," "surprise," "melancholy," and "doctor."
Optional comments on cards’ symbolism: The images focus on realistic portrayals and do not contain esoteric symbolism.
Alternative decks you might like:
Art Nouveau Oracle
Every Day Oracle
French Cartomancy Mini-Kit
Marseille Oracle Cards
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