Review by Deidrui
These cards are just amazing. This deck of fortune telling cards offers insightful advice
concerning matters of love, money, health, and general prosperity. The artwork on these cards are based on Old World myth and lores, and blends Egyptian, Celtic, and Fantasy themes in an elegant style.
Each card has what it is called at the top and at the bottom of the cards has the meaning. The deck comes with 48 cards and a booklet included. Each card as a black background and each image that is used is done with vibrant colors. According to the booklet itself all cards are read right side up, however I and other psychics who read cards have found that you can read them reverse also giving them a different meaning. For example:
The King : (Done in Egyptian style done in a brownish to gold tone on a black background. The king sits on his throne and pops out at you.) The Royal Court card, the king represents a dominate rule figure. A distinguished and wise man, the king is a natural leader who can access and take charge of any situation. He is, at times a lawmaker and judge, and must balance power with diplomacy. The king also represents great riches and inheritance. Reversed this card could mean that the king is now losing his powers. His leadership, judgment are no longer in balance. Riches are being lost and over spending of inheritance soon shall be gone. Your emotions are getting of the way of making judgments.
The Queen: (Also done in Egyptian style. This card is done with brown tones with blue, yellow and red tones.) This is also a Royal Court card, the queen represents a dominated female figure, she is a respected and refined woman who is sympathetic and nurturing, yet emotionally confident. The queen also represents love, prosperity and fertility. Reversed: Could mean trouble in the love department. Could also mean that you are no longer as confident as you once where.
I bought a few decks as we will be doing a festival soon, and wanted to see how well they sell along with The Gothic Tarot by Joseph Vargo. I received them today and sold 5 of them as fast as I could get them out of the box. Of course all of them where psychics who purchased them and we all sat down and did a reading for each other. And found that you don't have to read them right side up after all but inverted as well.
I also found that they are accurate and to the point of the matter. So needless to say the five of us who have the cards have agreed that we will all start reading with them. They are for professional readings as well as self readings, as these cards don't mince words. (I have also found that there is one card in the deck called The Hand of Fate, and it is here that some palmistry reading comes into to play. If you don't already know palmistry you may want to get some basics down on this if you are reading for others.)
This deck is a must have deck for anyone who loves The Gothic Tarot by Joseph Vargo, you will find you will love Madam Endora's Fortune Cards just as much.
Deidrui has been a practicing Witch and psychic for over 20 years, and is a Healer and Reader at 7 Rays Book Store, in Upstate NY.
Review by Morrigann
The deck comes in a cardboard box, with a little white book. Since this item is published by a small company in the United States, the little white book does not include any translations into other languages than English.
There are 48 cards, divided into five groups:
The Royal Court (8 cards) has characters embodying the people who have a strong or direct impact on the Querent’s life. They can also be incarnations of the main forces that influence the reading.
The Realm of Fable (10 cards) shows creatures belonging to several mythologies, folklores and ancient traditions. They represent forces that are independent from the Querent, things on which they have no grasp and that have a strong impact on their fate.
The Bestiary (10 cards). It holds (or releases!) creatures about which many popular stories, legends and superstitions have spread throughout the years. They embody the “primary” instincts of the human being, its qualities and faults/flaws, of which the Querent will need to learn in order to improve their condition.
The Treasury (12 cards). Each one of them pictures a wondrous object. Those “mystical treasures” either help the Querent or get into their way to prevent them from reaching their goal.
The Elements (8 Cards) give precisions about the energies that prevail in the spread. They are the celestial bodies and forces of nature influencing and guiding the Querent and everything they undertake.
Roots and Aesthetics
As can be seen through its structure, this oracle deck is deeply rooted in mythologies, folklores and esoteric concepts that belong to various traditions. Indeed, elements from Ancient Egypt, Celtic, medieval, classical, pagan traditions, as well as Qabalah, fairies and universal symbols can be found side by side here. All these items from different horizons could lead to a sort of inconsistency in the deck, considering the great difficulty implied by the gathering of so many cultures which (apparently) do not have much to do with each other. However, everything works fine as a whole and the various references to cultures that seem so different the ones from the others speak for themselves during the readings.
Indeed, taking into account the origin of the symbols depicted on the cards enables the reader to avoid a certain number of misunderstandings. For instance, in oracle decks like the Belline (very popular in France), the cat is considered as a trickster and a figure of evil. It embodies treason, lies, a deceiver, a hypocrite, etc. This concept comes directly from the Middle Ages, a time when the cat – especially black ones – was associated with the Devil and thought to be the perfect familiar for “witches”. Being able to move slyly, it was an ideal spy for the witch who wanted to know what was brewing here and there. Due to this bad reputation, many black cats were thrown from the top of belfries and towers because people thought they were the Devil. Even nowadays, some people still have such prejudices about them. As a matter of fact, the cat had quite another reputation in Ancient Egypt where it was sacred and considered as an embodiment of the gods on earth. This particular aspect was chosen by the artist in the “Madame Endora’s Fortune Cards”, for the black cat sits upright, facing the reader, just like Bastet in common representations. It does not hold any good or bad news, but rather announces that the Querent’s luck is going to change.
In the same way, the elements, symbols and archetypes that illustrate the different notions depicted in the cards were picked by the authors in the cultural system that seemed the most appropriate to them. This gives the deck a very particular depth, for choosing the best elements in several traditions requires a thorough knowledge of the ideas and concepts they imply. The Greenman thus embodies the forces of nature while the Golem refers to someone who acts on the Querent’s behalf.
At this point, one thing has to be admitted: if one could have expected some inconsistency due to the many influences that can be found in this deck, the impact of all these traditions is in fact quite the opposite. Indeed, the messages delivered during the readings are all the more precise and deep.
The many cultures represented in this deck also reflect the many faces of the world. Just like a tarot deck, an oracle deck is designed to show the structure of the world and the forces that rule it. This is exactly what can be found here, through the objects/characters/concepts/forces that are depicted, as well as through their origins. This universality thus appears on several levels: that of the immutable forces that the world is made of, and the cultures and periods that influenced what it is today, which is an aspect usually rarely dealt with. This reflects the humane level with everything it holds. This means that in this deck are shown both the sacred/divine plane, which is untouched by time, and the earthly/human plane, where changes are possible in accordance with the will or the qualities of the human being.
Visually, the cards are simply magnificent! The black background enhances the element depicted on the card, adding a touch of mystery to this deck. The general rather dark tone gives the reader the impression of getting in touch with realms unknown and sacred. Each illustration was carefully made, and contains no unnecessary detail, which makes the reading more intuitive, for each symbol has a definite purpose.
Despite the involvement of many different cultures alluded to earlier, the style adopted by the artists shows a general unity and consistency. During a reading, the eye thus remains undisturbed when cards with Egyptian and medieval motifs come up in a same spread. This is a very good point, for there is nothing worse than attempting to read cards with a deck that has no visual consistency whatsoever!
Last but not least, human qualities (“good” or “bad”) are depicted as coats of arms, as if they were representations of ourselves that we carry as flags as we walk the path of life. This makes readings even easier.
The Little White Book
A thirty-page booklet comes in with the cards. It is divided into two main parts. In the first one explanations about the general structure of the deck and about the meaning of the cards can be found. The second part displays six different spreads, all very interesting.
Though they are presented in very few words, the meanings of the cards allow the reader to go deeper into the analysis and to be more specific about the interpretation of the captions situated at the foot of each card. Needless to say, explaining all the meanings of the cards in a five-line paragraph is simply impossible, but the explanations given in the booklet are very fine starting-points. Enlarging this fan by conducting complementary research about each card is then up to the reader.
The spreads presented in the little white book are in tune with the general atmosphere of the deck. They are quite original compared to what can usually be found in booklets, not giving cross or Celtic cross models but spreads created specifically for those cards. Very interestingly, the spreads exposed here rather concern self-exploration than the classical “answering a question”. Answering a question or exploring a situation with “Madame Endora’s Fortune Cards” is indeed possible, but the main concern of this deck remains – in my opinion – self- and spiritual exploration.
Though certain spreads – such as “the Seer’s Fan” – allow health and material issues more space, the readings are rather oriented towards emotions, the forces surrounding the Querent and spirituality. Asking the cards about health and material issues remains among the many possibilities, but the main meanings of the cards will then need to be transposed and adapted from what can be seen in the card, read in the booklet and learnt from personal research and knowledge.
I just love the spreads included in the booklet, for they are in direct line with the mythical, mystical, esoteric, poetical and dreamlike tone of the cards. However, if they are set in poetical terms, the messages delivered by this deck remain strong and very honest. This oracle deck is as beautiful and honest as Fairies are beautiful and terrible.
Uses of the Deck
Just like any other tarot or oracle deck, the “Madame Endora’s Fortune Cards” can be used in many different ways: answering specific questions, exploring a particular area in the Querent’s life, looking at the forces that influence their situation, etc. However, I think that this deck is especially appropriate for inner and emotional issues. To my mind, this deck is a very good mirror of what makes the World and the human being. As a way of consequence, it is the perfect tool for exploring the relationships between the one and the other.
One must also take into account that even if the booklet contains very interesting suggestions to help the reader using this deck, its limited length does not allow it to show all the possibilities. It is thus up to each reader to build their own ways and relationship with the deck!
Because of the “dark” tone of the illustrations, this deck is very likely to trigger some reluctance from some people. However, the messages delivered by the cards are quite luminous.
I love reading with this deck, for I find it appealing and pleasant, as if I were in good company with a friend. Indeed, just like with any other deck, there are some cards which I do not like to see in my readings, but those too are necessary! With some practice, I realized that those “bad” cards were not so bad after all, because even though they look “negative” at first sight, they always contain something “positive” to restore the balance. In fact, seeing beyond their “frightening” aspect enables one to seize the deep meaning of the messages they have to deliver.
Morrigann is a medievalist specialising in mythologies,
civilizations and literature as well as in folklore and fantasy
literature. After reading the cards for more than 18 years as
an amateur, she became a professional tarot and oracle