Summary: Grounded in Celtic and Pagan tenets, the Messenger Oracle cards provide guidance and inspiration through dragons, fairies, elementals, and wild animals. The images are compelling and the text is direct and clear. This lovely deck will give easy to understand answers when you are feeling lost.
Actual Review: Artist and deck creator Ravynne Phelan was a fantasy book cover artist and a children's book illustrator. While that work was fulfilling, it left her wanting. She desired to more directly touch the hearts and souls of seekers. So she left her career to focus on oracle and tarot cards. The Messenger Oracle, a collection of 50 cards and a 75 page book, is one of her creations. Her goal with this work is to help people reconnect with Gaia/Great Spirit/nature through images of dragons, elementals, fairies, mystical trees, and wild animals. She includes three spreads designed specifically for these cards. The Gaia-Tree spread, incorporating twelve cards, is very interesting but too cumbersome for an oracle deck. The three-card Soul and Shadow Spread, however, is powerful in its simplicity.
The cards are lovely and have numbers (for easy reference in the book) and descriptive titles such as Time to Ground, Be Patient, and Focus, Then Act. The images with the card title make the cards a little easier to interpret than most oracle decks, especially if one is familiar with Celtic or Pagan philosophies. That is important to note: that the deck is more fantasy/Celtic/Pagan than anything else. The packaging, with its brilliant owl on the cover along with the back cover copy (these creatures are "the messengers who are here to guide us back to our true nature and power and to help us reconnect with and express our inner-most truth") lead me to believe the deck would be more shamanistic in nature. That doesn't mean it's a bad deck, just that I don't think the packaging represents it fairly. As long as you aren't expecting many animals (there are only seven) and are fine with most of the "elementals" being either human or fairy (there are twenty-four) or dragons (eight), then you will be perfectly happy with this deck. I find that most of the time disappointment comes from unrealized expectations, so this is merely an attempt to eliminate that possibility.
The advice found in the book is sound and will likely be helpful or inspirational to the reader. To better help you decide if the style is right for you, here are a few examples:
Card 16: Heed the Messenger It is easy to ignore the messengers and the sign they show you, especially when they bring a message you do not wish to hear. But now is not the time to ignore the messengers. Do not let your fear of change or discomfort silence their voices. It is time for you to stop procrastinating, to see and to hear the truth, and do what is necessary. Heed the messenger for the wisdom they offer is born of your own intuition and need.
Card 43: Stay Strong Life will present you with many trials. Life will bring you times of joy, but also times of suffering; like the weather, it can be unpredictable, harsh, and cruel. But you can endure all that comes. Know when to resist, and know when to let go. Know that sometimes you will lose, but that loss can make you stronger at the core. Stay strong. With hope and faith, you can endure all.
This deck is a lovely, easy oracle. If the artwork speaks to your soul, then you will really enjoy working with it. If you are looking for something more shamanistic or animal-centered, then you should probably pass.
Deck Attributes Name of deck:Messenger Oracle Reviewer's Byline: Barbara Moore Publisher: Blue Angel ISBN: 9780738739014 Creator name: Ravynne Phelan Brief biography of creator: Ravynne is a fantasy book-cover artist and children's book illustrator who gave up her career to create works that speak more directly to the human spirit via oracle and tarot cards. Artist name: Ravynne Phelan Number of pages of book/booklet: 75 pages Author of book/booklet: Ravynne Phelan Available in a boxed kit?: yes Are there extras in the kit?: no Reading Uses: general Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: oracle deck Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: no Why was deck created?: to help people reconnect with nature/Gaia/Great Spirit through dragons, elementals, mystical trees, fairies, and wild animals.
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