Les Vampires Oracle is designed to deal with the difficult questions and situations in life. It has 44 cards with sleek illustrations of vampiric, doll-like characters, with guidance to help with the dark nights of the soul.
This intriguing oracle features lady vampires as guides to both the light and dark places we encounter in our life. The wide-eyed femmes appear young, and throughout the varying images of the 44 cards, also wistful, plaintive, rebellious, saintly, angry, innocent, alluring, erudite, seductive…and more! The vampire element is not overplayed, as only a small portion of the young females display two biting incisors. Other pictorial images that repeat in the background include: nighttime ambiance, skulls, wolves, cats, indoor gothic architecture, sumptuous attire and gilded card borders and furniture.
There is a subtle eroticism which is hinted, shyly coy and at other times bold—the latter displayed in the more modern looking scene in the card titled “Anti-Hero”. Here we have a gothic, tattooed vampire angel in front of a graffiti painted gray wall. The originally painted art of Jasmine Becket-Griffith illustrates each card and the card backs are in sepia tone with an oval framed selection from “The Past a Prison” card. Both illustrator and author are very accomplished in their fields, and have collaborated previously, in the Oracle of Shadows and Light (2012) and the Oracle of the Shapeshifters (2013). Les Vampires Oracle appears to carry the similar artistic style found in the previous two works.
Les Vampires Oracle comes in an appealing box which measures approximately 4 7/8 x 6 ¾ x 1 ½ inches. The cards, with rounded corners, are 3 ¾ x 5 ½ inches, sturdy and glossy. The companion Guidebook, which fits neatly with the cards into the box, is 4 ½ x 6 ¼ x ¼ inch. The handy Contents in the beginning of the book conveniently list each card, with card number and page. In addition, helpful basics are addressed, such as blessing the deck, how to shuffle the cards, and reading for others. The 17 page introduction is comprehensive, including the discussion as to why vampires can function as effective guides, and three sample layouts are delineated: The Trinity, The Path Through the Night, and The Byzantine Cross. I will need to practice the 13 card Path Through the Night, but the Trinity with three cards and the Byzantine Cross, with six cards, were simpler for me to immediately grasp. The book is very well organized and offers much wisdom gleaned from the author’s metaphysical life experience and practice in presenting workshops. The book is 135 pages and each page of interpretation includes a small black and white image of the card, key words, card meaning (Les Vampires Speak), and further brief notes titled, “Blessing”, “Curse” and “Working with This Card”. The author notes that the short mentioning for each card under the “Curse” can refer to the reverse card position as well as pointing to remedial areas for right action, to rebalance that area of one’s life.
Jasmine Becket-Griffith’s artwork is evocative of a host of artists from the 1960s and 1970s, (one artist in particular that I recall, having traveled to the American Southwest is Ted de Grazia), who painted wide-eyed young ones—this Oracle goes beyond innocents gazing at us and becomes a compelling journey into the layered world of fantasy, attraction, and the fated journey that we walk in responding to our own impulses and the world around us.
In other words, I found an increasing notion that the Les Vampires Oracle carries a well-constructed and carefully considered set of layered archetypes and metaphors; surely there is sufficient mystery and wisdom here to both study and to play with for some time.