The Fool's Wisdom Oracle is a light-hearted 52-card set from Sonia Choquette, loosely modelled on the tarot. There are two suits with 12 Major Fools and 40 Minor Fools. It's designed for daily wisdom and personal growth.
Sonia Choquette is a prolific author and creator of Oracle decks, whose works focus on the soul’s journey, and spiritual gifts. The Fool’s Wisdom Oracle Deck is her latest offering, and it too has been created with the advancement of the Seeker’s spiritual path in mind.
The 52 card deck is loosely modelled on the tarot in that it has both major and minor divisions amongst the cards. There are 40 Minor Fools and they are easily discerned by their pun-like titles – Thank Fool, Meaning Fool, Soul Fool, Wish Fool and so on. Like the Minor Arcana in the tarot, Minor Fools focus on the challenges of daily life. There are only 12 Major Fools and their titles are more straightforward – Drunken, Lazy, Crazy, Romantic, Petty, and is so forth. These cards look deeply at the Seeker’s greater challenges. While the Minor Fools have reversed meanings, the Major Fools do not - the issues they deal with are large enough without being diversified.
Traditionally the Fool was the only member of the Lord’s or King’s court who, as well as being an entertainer, could speak the absolute, unadulterated truth without fear of reprisal. The Fools in this deck function in a similar way – while they are not cruel or harsh, they are not oblique either. The Fool addresses the Seeker directly and does not water down his message.
The cards measure 89 x 127 mm, which makes them a little broader than most tarot decks, but fairly average for an oracle deck. The card stock is of high quality – it is light, sturdy, and a little flexible. The finish is smooth and glossy, and the cards slide when shuffled, rather than stick or clump together. The print quality is very good – the images are clear and the delicate colours and details are beautifully replicated.
The artwork is quite charming – a mixture of pencil and watercolour for the most part. Artist Silas Toball has created an unusual character with his Fool – a strange being, both naïvely childlike and peculiarly elderly at once. The Fool is always dressed in a traditional Fool’s costume, and like the RWS Fool, he is accompanied at all times by a little white dog.
The Fool occupies the foreground of each card image, while the background is subtle pastel-coloured Paisley type print. The border on each card is defined by a lightened strip of the background print. The card’s title and number is placed in a coloured box above the main illustration, while a summary of the card’s essence is printed below it. The print on the back of the cards, a moss-coloured sunburst is fully reversible.
The cards come packaged in a solid cardboard box with a lift off lid. The box has a glossy finish, and is printed with images from the deck, as well as information about it.
The guidebook is quite large – 175 pages – written by Sonia Choquette and Shamrock Holtz. The lengthy introduction covers: How the Cards Were Designed, How to Use the Oracle Cards, as well as several layouts – Daily Message, One Card, Two Card, Past-Present-Future, Stubborn or Chronic Problem, and The Seasonal Layout. The Seeker is instructed to relax and clear their mind before using the cards, and meditate on the question that they wish to ask. In the same fashion as tarot, the cards are shuffled and cut into 3 piles, using the left-hand. The Seeker then reverses 10 random cards and continues to shuffle, before laying out the cards. Each layout has specific, and differing instructions for how to deal the cards.
The divinatory meanings for each card focus on spiritual awareness and personal growth. They address a broad selection of issues including joy, grief, creativity, doubt, anger, gratitude; and focuses on mindful solutions. The reversed meanings for the Minor Fools are not negative per se, rather they address how the particular qualities of the upright card may be lacking, or manifesting negatively. Again, the advice is gentle, kind, but also quite direct. The Major Fools, as mentioned before, do not have reversed meanings. These cards already address profound personal issues, and when the Seeker attracts one of these cards it is felt that they are ready to address and let go of the qualities a Major Fool embodies.
This is an unusual oracle deck being both light-hearted, and profound. It offers sincere and helpful advice that addresses many issues which trouble or puzzle us, as well as needs we have for our soul’s development. With light and summery illustrations and constructive advice this is an oracle deck that both novice and advanced oracle readers will find pleasure in using.