The Flower Therapy Oracle is a 44-card deck from Doreen Virtue, with simple and beautiful photographic images of different types of flowers. Each card is accompanied by a divinatory meaning and uplifting spiritual guidance.
The language of flowers has its roots in the mists of history. It has appeared in diverse literary sources from the Bible to Shakespeare; and experienced it’s heyday during the Victorian era. Floriography, as it is properly known, utilises flowers as powerful symbols, a covert language, and a secret code which can nonetheless be carried and communicated in public, without causing opprobrium or scandal. In Western culture a body of common meanings has gradually emerged.
The Flower Therapy Oracle utilises many of these common meanings, but otherwise assigns new and far more complex meanings to the symbolic flora. The creators of this deck, Doreen Virtue and Robert Reeves, view flowers as manifestations of God's love, with vibrant energy that works in concert with angels, fairies, and nature (similar to Findhorn’s Devas). The flowers depicted in this deck resonate strongly with particular archangels, and have powerful radiant energy. Each flower has been assigned both a divinatory meaning, and uplifting spiritual guidance.
This 44 card Oracle measures 127 x 88 mm – which makes it a little broader than many standard tarot decks, but a little smaller than some oracle decks. Being an Oracle deck it does not have an Arcana or suits; the cards are not numbered, and have no set order. Each card has a box at the top of the image which gives the title, and name of the flower. At the bottom of the image is a larger box which has an affirmation, which also serves as a summary of the cards divinatory meaning.
The card stock is excellent – thin without being flimsy; flexible and finished with a smooth high-gloss. The cards fit nicely into the hands and shuffle easily. The edges of the cards are gilt with bright gold, which it is high-quality – it does not tarnish or flake off when the deck is used. However, as with all gilt-edged decks, the cards may arrive stuck together and need to be separated. This can be done easily by flexing the deck end to end and side to side.
The images on the cards are photographs of flowers, often in extreme close-up. The colours, though not Photo-shopped, are bright and vivid, sometimes to the point of being lurid, which only serves to highlight the magic of Mother Nature's bounty. Many of the flowers are common to Europe and the US, but there is also a fair representation of Australia's unique flora too.
The print quality is excellent – clean, crisp images (many of which are reminiscent of a plant nursery catalogue) – with no misprints, blurring, or colour bleeds. There are no borders on these cards. The image on the back of the cards – a sculpture of a fairy leaning on a mushroom, surrounded by flowers – is not reversible, nor is it intended to be.
The cards and guidebook come packaged in a solid cardboard box, with lift off lid. The box is printed with images from the Flower Therapy deck, as well as a small summary of the purpose of the Oracle. This is a compact set that slips easily into a handbag or backpack, and is sturdy enough to withstand the rigours of travel.
The guidebook is 101 pages. The brief introduction outlines the purpose of the Flower Therapy Oracle, as well as information on how to activate and use the cards. There are two invocations included – to centre and focus oneself; and to ask for guidance from the appropriate higher forces. No layouts are given; however this particular oracle deck can be used in concert with other decks to gain greater insight into a situation or question. Each card has its own mini chapter, which includes a tiny black-and-white reproduction of the card illustration and an explanation of the card’s divinatory meaning. Additional meanings are given for each card – this is generally a suggestion of a positive action the user can take to improve their spiritual well-being.
If you are a nature lover or keen gardener this deck will be of interest to you. If you are interested in working with the powers of nature or are intrigued by the language of flowers then the Flower Therapy Oracle is definitely worthwhile investigating. If you own other Doreen Virtue Oracles and wish to expand or add layers of intensity to a reading then consider adding this deck to your oracular repertoire.