Review by Asher
On first glance, The Transparent Oracle is lovely! The box is a vast improvement over that of the Transparent Tarot. The Oracle's box is a narrow box with magnetic closure & a ribbon loop to pull it open. It has ribbon hinges on the inside. The box is 11.75 x 6 x 1.5 inches. The cards sit in a well on the right side of the box; on the left is the book with the white spread cloth packed underneath.
The cards have a plastic band holding them together, and they fit very well in the box, with no slipping or sliding. I was fortunate enough to see a prototype of the deck at last year's Readers Studio, and now to have the completed deck is a joy! The cards are large, 5 inches in diameter, and there are 70 of them, so it's quite a handful. My cards did not stick together at all as I quickly counted them to make sure none were missing (they're all there and accounted for!). There was also none of the filmy residue on them like the TT had last year (although the companion book mentions there might be some).
Emily has grouped the cards around the seven directions: East, South, West, North, Above, Below, and Within (10 cards for each direction). Each group of the N, S, E & W cards includes a card representing a gateway, weather, element, time of day, landscape, 4 animal guides, and an elemental. The group representing Above includes a gateway, guide, a card for each of the 7 classical planets, and a polarity. Below includes a gateway, 4 guide cards, the Grail hallows and a polarity card. (The polarity cards are different colored dragons). The Within cards include a gateway, dream, touch/taste, hearing, voice, telepathy, empathy, vision, DNA/labyrinth and the web.
The book (nearly 5.75 inches square) is 128 pages in length. There are four chapters: What is the Transparent Oracle?, Card Meanings, Using the Cards, and Spreads (authored by David Rankine). It is illustrated with b&w images of all the cards, and each card has some keywords and a full page description of the card's meaning, as well as some card combinations. The spreads are Here and Now, Axis Mundi, and a Chakras spread.
Schiffer has done an outstanding job with the production of this set. The quality is excellent, and they are to be congratulated. They have represented Emily's hard work and vision beautifully. I love it and I can't decide what to do first: read the book or shuffle the cards and start to play!