Saturday, 26 December 2015

The Faeries' Oracle Review

Reviewing Divination Decks Part 1

I wanted to review this divination deck I picked up recently. I found it in a church-run thrift store of all places! It was a whopping $2.50. In it's day (originally published in 2000) it fetched as much as $37 CAD. I obviously saved a bunch and the kit is in immaculate condition.

Now, it may seem odd that I'm reviewing a divination deck. I'm someone who approaches anything in an empirical manner. I'll give it to you straight, I'm not spiritualistic. I don't believe much in divination or faeries, witchcraft, or any thing supernatural (unlike preternatural, which I feel differently about). I'm very scientific and I love a good chunk of proof to base my beliefs off of. So why the hell do I own two tarot decks and an old school oujia board?! Because I find them mildly interesting. I don't believe I'll contact the great beyond, but I enjoy the symbolic imagery in tarot cards, and I find them about as amusing as reading my horoscope.

I tend to use my tarot cards for self reflection, to ask questions about how I approach things. For instance, if a card proposes I might be acting childish, I take a good long look at my recent behaviors. I don't believe the cards are providing any supernatural insight, I'm the one doing the reflecting. I think "reading" tarot cards is a lot like being interviewed by someone; you pick a card, remember what is represents, then meditate on it for awhile. Maybe by the end of a session you'll have learned something about yourself that you didn't know before, simply because you had never asked yourself the right questions.

I received my first tarot deck when I was fourteen years of age. My deck came from a starter kit and it was kind of ugly. It was the Jonathon Dee Rider-Waite tarot kit, and the art style was some kind of weird abstract wood cut art. It looks like clipart from the 1990's. You remember that don't you? Hideous! I just found it somewhat repulsive to look at, although some cards bothered me more than others. The Sun card being my only true favorite. After learning what the Rider-Waite cards actually looked like, I felt that my deck was a watered down version of it. It was an alright departure point, but in time I came to donate the kit to my friend to give to her daughter. I craved something with better, more stimulating imagery.

Jonathon Dee Tarot Deck as Illustrated by Shirley Baker

I eventually came to own the Vampire Tarot deck, which I have a love/hate relationship with, but I'm going to leave that for a separate review. In summary, the deck does have some symbolic imagery that I can pull meaning from. One of the main things we're encouraged to do when looking over a deck is to develop our own associations with cards. I had a little trouble doing that with some of the cards in the Vampire Tarot deck. It makes me want to buy other decks, mostly out of curiosity. I have always wanted the Halloween deck because it looks adorable, or the Gothic deck, which my ex had but the art was sadly inconsistent. In a way, I look at these things as trading cards, or collectibles, I enjoy them mostly for their artistic merit. This is what lead me to purchase The Faeries' Oracle.

The Faeries' Oracle Deck Review

I picked this deck up because it looked pretty. My mom is really into faeries. I thought it would be nice to share the artwork with her for inspiration, because she paints watercolor. She and my father found the cards very interesting to look at. Sadly, that's kind of where it ends with this deck. They're neat looking cards, but for a divination deck I found it lacking in quite a few areas.

First, this isn't even a tarot deck. Apparently this was originally commissioned to be a tarot deck but the artist changed his mind and made it only 66 cards (the Rider-Waite containing 78). He then calls it an "oracle". There are cards in the deck that were clearly designed with the tarot in mind. For example the Death card is the same, Solus (Sun Card), The Journeymen (Fool Card), The Bright Mother (Empress Card), The Dark Lady (High Priestess), The Sage (Hermit); so on and so forth. There are only a handful of cards that have an apparent connection to the tarot. The rest of the cards are more like afterthoughts, and some are downright confusing. To add to that, the book isn't any better and the author seems entirely aware of that fact. It starts off suggesting to ditch the book entirely and meditate on the cards yourself. "Don't read the book" is repeatedly thrown at you, as if to say, you'll only be disappointed if you do. And truth be told, it is entirely disappointing.

It seems to me that after the artist changed the deck into an oracle, there was this disconnection between him and the author. The author was forced to come up with meanings for cards that had never existed before. Cards that lacked detailed imagery and might as well have been ink blots out of a Rorschach test, only you'd probably get more meaning out of ink blots... While there are a handful of cards in the book that have meanings that are distinctly unique to them, well over half of the deck features definitions that are repetitious and generalized. Perhaps the author warns you not to read the book, not for the sake of developing your own intuitive interpretations, but to avoid the embarrassing truth that she is completely unaware of the definitions, herself.

Now onto the deck. The majority of this oracle deck looks like the artist's portfolio. It honestly looks as though he ran out of ideas and pooled together as many sketches and collages as he could to make up for the unfinished project. That's a good word to use, unfinished really describes how this deck feels. I broke down the cards into groups so you could see that parts of the deck look entirely different and all their own. Other than faeries, there appears to be no unifying element that brings the deck together as a whole. One section looks as though it has come out of a sketch book, all the images are sketched in charcoal. Another grouping shows abstract auras, which happen to be my least favorite cards in the deck because they lack substantial symbolism and almost all look the same. Yet another grouping of cards is all collages in sepia tones, which appear to me to have the most symbolic meaning and are my favorite cards to look at. Another grouping, which I refer to as the creature or character cards, are cards that feature faeries or creatures that are paired with a partner or are completely alone. The creature cards may do nothing for me because I have the personal bias of not believing in the supernatural. Whereas, if you do in fact believe in fae, you may choose to create certain associations with each character. I just find it difficult to get my head around them and lament seeing them whenever they show up in a reading, but not nearly as much as I hate the aura cards. I hates them so much!!

I feel that this deck could appeal to fae enthusiasts, but I think it kind of fails as a divination deck. Since so much of the character art looks identical, it's likely you'll end up mesmerizing the cards by name only, and to me that makes this deck a failure. Decks, whether they be oracle or tarot, should be visually rich; they should have a cohesive and meaningful colour palette; have multiple elements in each card to read from; and be distinctly unique in their own right, yet unified as part of a whole deck.

Overall the deck gets only ★★☆☆☆; ★★★ for the art and ★ for the book and its interpretations and information.


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Merry Yule, Merry Christmas!

December 2015

Hello darlings, forgive me for my prolonged absence. I thought that after moving things would be back to normal and I'd be blogging my little heart out. It's not gone as planned at all. I was released from my work contract and am now awaiting EI. It's earlier than I was told it would be, but I think my boss was a little too hopeful and thought we would get more orders for the end of December and beginning of January. We didn't, so I got axed shortly after my birthday. It's been a tremendous relief on me physically. I'm able to nap during the day so I can recover, which is good, because apparently for the last couple of weeks I've had a kidney infection. I noticed an unexplained stabbing pain in my back and front left side. I finally went to a walk in clinic (my doc was unavailable - as usual) and I had a urine sample taken yesterday. The doctor confirmed that white blood cells were present. So I'm sick. I feel nauseated and feverish most of the time. Bed rest is my main priority, and drinking plenty of fluids.

My birthday was alright. I had some family over and decorated the place with colourful balloons and streamers, and floral elements that were reminiscent of the Day of the Dead. I had a skull cake (photo above) and it was good. It was more like a giant muffin than a cake lol. My fiance spoiled me, and I really appreciate that. My birthday can sometimes feel sad and lonely. People don't really come to see me often. They usually use the weather as an excuse. For reasons beyond me, my Nana didn't attend and gave me a card the day before. My grandmother was home with a broken finger, and my parents almost didn't come (I had to ask them). I'm glad they did, because I was really worried no one would show. I'd still have my fiance, but it's really depressing when people decide not to come, especially when I decorated and made a cake and got hors d'oeuvres. Is it just me, or do people not treat birthdays the same any more? Even holidays. We're approaching Christmas and my parents still don't know what's happening. I mean ffs, it takes five seconds to call people and ask. I think my parents are becoming more lazy and anti-social as they get older... And they used to criticize me for that shit. 0.0

***Please forgive me for these blah pictures, I had to edit them in GIMP instead of my usual Photoshop, so some of them are a little lack luster, not properly coloured or titled. I plan on fixing them eventually.

Christmas 2015

The first thing I did after moving was put up my tree. I think it's beautiful. I really wanted to go with fun jewel tones this year. Most of our decorations actually came from the dollar store, and they're better quality than a lot of the shit I've been seeing elsewhere lol. The tree has both multi colour and white lights, the reason for this is that I tried multi on their own and it made my tree look orange. The coloured lights have yellow and red, but the yellow is actually orange when lit, and there are far more of them than the blue and green lights. Adding white lights helped to tone it down, and it looked good with my snowflake topper. My mom and dad bought me a set of blue and pink ombre bulbs, and I love them. 

I also made a small Christmas tree for my fireplace upstairs. I bought this tree back in November and had planned on giving it to my mom. She made mention that gold wasn't her thing, so I decided to keep it for myself. The tree was from Home Sense, an overpriced home decor chain in Canada. They never mark their shit down for sale, unless it's damaged. I got this tree for a whopping $4 off the original price ($19.99). It was just a plain champagne coloured tinsel tree that was missing a base. The base must have shattered. Everyone overlooked it, it was just lying there on its side in the clearance section. I scooped it up, I knew it would be an easy fix. I visited the thrift store across the street and bought a replacement planter for a $1. I spray painted it in gold, stuffed the tree and the foam insert inside, added some glitter and jewels (it had been white styrofoam, which I felt was a little garish on its own). I glued the tree in place and then I started to decorate it. I picked up some pearl, gold and silver coloured mini bulbs from the Superstore for $4. The only thing I was missing was the tree topper, which I fashioned out of galvanized wire, cardstock, paint, glitter and a star shaped jewel. I love my tree. Aside from the supplies that I already owned, this thing pretty much cost me $25 to make. I think I did well with this project. :)

I also put up the stockings and my usual Hello Kitty tree in my sewing room. Although I haven't spent much time out of bed to enjoy any of it. :/

The House

You may have noticed I've neglected to talk about the new townhouse... There's a good reason for that. We might not be living here, soon. I'm not going to lie, the house is lovely. It's very beautiful, but I think new places are a tad overrated. This four year old building was poorly built. I can hear the pipes running through the walls, the master bedroom is drafty, walls and windows were built on weird, unlevel angles. It's total bullshit. If you've ever felt like you were missing out on something by not living in a new house or apartment, you can rest assured that it's not the case. The major problem here is our asshole neighbors. The guy next door is one of those self-centered showboat pricks. Can you believe he has a Dodge Charger and acts like it's all that? When there's an AUDI across the street? It makes me laugh, except for when he blares his surround sound system, which is almost ALL the time. 

When we first experienced it we were certain a train was rushing past the house that we weren't aware of, or a moving truck stalled in the parking lot. But no, it's these pricks. We asked them about it and they just lied and pretended like it was someone else, even though we could see them watching movies and hear it blaring all through their unit. I've asked property management about this repeatedly, they've talked to the couple twice, we've talked to the couple twice, there hasn't been a shred of improvement. The noise is so loud it shakes the china in my cupboards and makes me feel physically ill. The stress alone is killing us and seems to be driving us apart. There's no where in the house we can hide, it penetrates all walls, in every room. I tried to hide in the bathroom with a relaxing bath, but I could feel it in there too. We're prisoners in our house. It's devastating. We've spent so much money to live and move here. 

I'm awaiting further information from property management, but if I don't hear from them this afternoon I'm calling their asses up and giving them an ultimatum. Either they fucking fix this problem, or we seek legal compensation. It says outright in our lease that we have the right to enjoy our unit in peace and quiet, and that no tenant should be allowed to create noise that will effect the enjoyment of the premises. What should happen is that the team should either tear down the wall and install more soundproofing in the next door unit, or the condo lawyer should go after them for violating the condo laws. The problem is, though, is that most property management teams don't like the idea of spending money on the lawyer, and since we're tenants and not owners (like these dickbag neighbors) we'll probably be kicked out. I have legal grounds to break the lease without penalty, but what a fucking nightmare. If the property developer honestly believes the next tenants will put up with this shit, he's out of his damn mind. I'm happy that asshole will lose money on this.


So yeah. I haven't sewn, I don't have the heart to. I'm so depressed and stressed I hide in my room all the time, which is probably for the best given my health issues. I cry a lot and wish that I were "home", only I don't actually have a home. This is just an overpriced hotel suite. There is no home to run away to. 

I hope in the New Year I can have better luck, but right now I just don't know what to think. I miss blogging, I miss reading your blogs, and I will read them more often now that I'm off work. But until I can unpack my stuff and have a reliable living situation, you might not hear much from me. :( 

I wish you a Merry Yule, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...​​