The Astrological Oracle is stunning oracle illustrated in a romantic, lush Art Nouveau style. There are 22 personified cards in the deck: 12 zodiac cards and 10 planet cards. As well as being a basic introduction to elemental astrology, it's also a beautiful oracle deck.
Oracle Deck - 22 Cards - Lo Scarabeo 2012
Astrology is a complex occult science that requires quite a commitment in order to master it. However, if you are curious about some of the simpler applications of astrology then the Astrological Oracle Cards are a great starting point. Undoubtedly these cards have the potential for complex readings, however their charm lies in making the complicated simple and accessible, and available for everyday use.
This deck has been created by the artist Antonella Castelli and tarot author Lunea Weatherstone – the pair who created the Art Nouveau Lenormand deck. This is a small deck of only 22 cards - 12 Zodiac cards, and 10 Planet cards. These are basically two sets of cards which are a complementary pair. For most readings they will be shuffled separately then placed in appropriate positions.
Two divinatory layouts included with this deck demonstrate how the cards may be used: the Divine Dialogue Reading involves drawing a pair of planetary cards and reading them as a complementary pair. The Circle of Houses Reading involves placing Zodiac sign cards in a circle representing the 12 Astrological Houses, the starting point being the House that best represents the Seeker’s current enquiry.
A divinatory meaning is given for each star sign which is basically a short personality portrait. The planets are described in terms of the attributes of their ruling gods, and the qualities they embody. This is followed by all possible permutations of planetary pairs. The names of the planets are listed both ways for ease of reference, so for example, you can look up Venus and Mars or Mars and Venus and get an identical divinatory meaning. Additionally, a divinatory meaning for each Planet in each House is given - listed by planet rather than house. These are generally a line or two of concise advice.
The presentation of this deck is quite dazzling. The box and guidebook are both printed with glittering silver hologram foil. The cards are highlighted with a more subdued metallic pewter print, and the edges have gleaming silver gilt.
The cards of measure 88 x 126 mm – a fairly standard size for oracle decks. The card stock is light but strong, quite flexible without being flimsy, and with a low gloss finish. The cards are smooth and easy to shuffle, although initially the silver gilt sticks the edges of the cards together. This can easily be rectified by flexing the cards and separating them.
The artwork is strongly influenced by Alphonse Mucha, and features exquisite art nouveau stylings and detail. All cards feature personifications of the Zodiac symbols, and Planets. For the Zodiac signs that are animal or abstract in imagery, a small frame containing a portrait of its traditional representation is part of the overall picture. The card’s title is placed in the upper left corner, and Zodiac or Planetary symbol in the upper right corner. The central images have an ornate pale green border interwoven with darker green and silver circular and trianglular designs. A narrow white border edges the cards. The back of the cards have a fully reversible symmetrical pattern of squares and circles interspersed with opium poppies and stars.
The print quality is excellent – the images are crisp and clean, and the delicate colour schemes are exquisitely rendered with out misprints or colour bleeds. The artist's palette is elegant and restrained without being dull or boring – pale greens, apricot, peach, rose, golden yellows, mauve, tan, watery blues, dusky greys, cream, and washed-out aqua dominates the colour scheme.
The cards and guidebook come in a sturdy cardboard box, with a liftoff lid. A deep green satin ribbon laid across the interior of the box helps lift the cards out. The box has a smooth texture and is printed with a blinged up version of the Luna card, and finished with green and blue detail. A small description of the deck is included in six languages on the back of the box.
The guidebook has instruction in six languages – English, Italian, German, Spanish, French, and Russian. There are 55 pages of instruction, layouts, and divinatory meanings given, which will enable even those relatively unfamiliar with astrology to conduct a simple reading for themselves. The divinatory information given for both the astrological pairs, and the planetary houses is limited to a line or two of information. Which is not to suggest that it is unworthy or unreliable – indeed, shorn of any extraneous waffle it is blunt and direct.
This is a gorgeous deck, dare I say it almost luxurious. It is a wonderful guide to elementary astrology, although it has wider applications and may be used in conjunction with other oracle decks. If you have an interest in astrology and would like to know more this is a great introduction. If you would like to expand your astrological oracular practice this is a wonderful place to start. A beautiful deck worthy of any collection.