I’m mad at you, Internet.
I’m mad at you because everywhere I looked, reviews for this deck always chose the creepiest or the most colourless cards to show off, and because of that, I deemed the art “too creepy” for my tastes and avoided this deck.
And I’m mad at you, because this deck is easily the most responsive oracle I own.
Ask a bunch of ATers (even those who aren’t into non-tarot oracle decks) what their favourite, most reliable oracle deck is, and I guarantee you a good chunk of that sample will mention Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Oracle. The Heart of Faerie Oracle, a joint effort between Brian and Wendy Froud, is in the same vein as the earlier deck (it even has some of the same cards), but focuses more on relationships.
Now, I know what you’re thinking “So is this basically The Faeries’ Oracle: Love and Romance Edition? Is this like Doreen Virtue and her Legion of Angel Decks to Inject Fluff into Every Facet of Human Existence?”
And the answer is no, no no no, not even close.
You see, the Heart of Faerie Oracle is more about relationships in general, not just romantic relationships (although there are cards that address that sort of thing), how we relate to others, and, of course, to Faerie itself (interpret ‘Faerie’ however you like, whether as a general sense of “enchantment” or in the sense of this deck being a gateway to the faery realm–just don’t eat the food).
So, before I get really gushy, some more technical details. The deck has 68 cards (sized 3″ x 5″), 65 cards are “named” cards, and 3 have images but no titles. Don’t worry, your deck isn’t defective. The set also includes a sturdy hardcover book, which is probably why the deck was so expensive initially (I bought mine for $10, though). The backs have a winged heart design and are fully reversible (even though the authors recommend not using reversed cards with this deck). Besides one card draws, suggestions for three card draws and one unique spread (which uses four or seven cards, depending on your need) are included. The colour scheme, to my eyes, seems strangely subdued, looks of browns, whites, and dark blues, it’s definitely not a deck that I would consider eye-popping (unlike, say, my Mythical Goddess, which has really bright, vibrant colours). There is a lot of colour in the deck if you give it a look through, but it’s not colour that particularly jumps out at me, or maybe I’m just used to looking at images that are saturated by pretty colours.
The cards are divided into seven categories: The Faerie Queens, The Queens’ Consorts, The Archetypes, The Sprites, The Ladies, The Tricksters, and The Journey. The Queens represent powerful forces and “feminine” energy, the Consorts being their “masculine” counterparts, whereas the Ladies deal with more personal issues and the Tricksters are….tricky, Sprites are generally positive, playful, joyful energies, Archetypes are “ancient energies of Faery” and the Journey cards take us not only on a journey through Faerie, but through life stages.
For some reason, I keep finding myself drawing the cards in pairs. I have no idea why this is, but it seems like each card I’ve drawn so far seems to overlap with its “partner” nicely.
I’ll give you an example. Two weeks ago I was just like “So, what should I do now?” Knowing full well that I had a week “off” (A.K.A. when my mom’s not in the house to write). The cards I drew were the Smith (Creation/Bond/Promises) and the Queen of Hearth and Home (Courtesy/Hospitality/Welcome) which I interpreted quite literally to mean “You’re going to have a nice quiet home for a week, stop saying you’re going to write and WRITE!”
From this I have determined that this oracle does not fuck around.
Okay, I do have one quibble, and that’s that the descriptions can get a little fluffy at times, but there are definitely cards that are a bit more cautionary (the super creepy Prince of Shadows might as well be named the “don’t get into a relationship with this person, ever” card, as well as one that basically means that everything is going wrong). The cards certainly aren’t as fluffy as, say The Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle or anything Doreen Virtue puts out, but the deck does seem to focus on the positive overall.
And now, some pictures (I can’t promise they will be better than the ones on the rest of the Internet, but keep in mind they are a bit darker in person):