Deck Review: Flower Reading Cards

It’s supposed to be getting pretty hot around here for the time being, and since spring is well underway I understandably have flowers on the brain. There’s a patch of tenacious violas growing at the corner of the house, and the lilies are starting to bud. I’ve also bought some pretty basic culinary herbs which I hope will survive long enough for me to enjoy them.

One of my issues with many plant and animal-themed decks is that they rely more on New Age beliefs and practices like flower essences and vibrations than their botanical profile or behaviour in the wild. One example is the Magic of Flowers Oracle, which I just reviewed. I feel like a lot of decks talk about lessons we can learn from nature, but often don’t take into account observations scientists have made about these plants or animals when those observations could enhance readings with the cards. In fact, I’ve noticed many decks assign meanings to plants or animals that either don’t make any sense, or don’t make any sense at first glance.

The Flower Reading Cards are not perfect in this regard, but it’s still a great deck that deserves a spot on your shelf if you’re into nature decks.

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The deck is published by Rockpool Publishing and comes in a sturdy yellow box. The author and illustrator is Cheralyn Darcey, who also created the Australian Wildflower Reading Cards. The cards are large, measuring about 3.5″ x 5.25″ and glossy. The cards have a thin white border, the name of the flower, and a single keyword in addition to the image. The guidebook has four original spreads and the entry on each flower has a meaning, challenges associated with this card, botanical profile, and information about the place depicted in the card from this flower’s country of origin.

The artwork was created on linocut with gouache paint. I’m not sure what that means but those of you who are familiar with art terminology can appreciate it. The end result is stunning. The bright flowers stand out against the black and white background.  While the Magic of Flowers deck has a more mystical, almost fantastical feel to it, this deck feels a bit more naturalistic. Even the box is a cheerful yellow. There’s something about these cards that make me smile whenever I pick them up.

I did my usual thing and recruited some willing test subjects and the results were pretty accurate. Although, this is one deck where I often needed to consult the book, especially if I wasn’t familiar with a particular flower. Unlike with the Magic of Flowers cards. I didn’t have a whole lot of trouble finding a relevant message for the querent. This would be a good “pick-me-up” deck, as a one card pull each day, or even to decorate an altar or shrine space if real flowers aren’t available.

If I had one criticism of this deck, it’s that sometimes it’s difficult to see how the keyword relates to the flower. I personally associate jasmine with sensuality and pleasure, but in this deck, jasmine means “success”. I like that the author included some botanical information on each flower, but I would have liked to have a bit more information in that section. In general I think there should have been more of an explanation for associating keywords with certain flowers, more about how the properties or folklore supports the messages each flower has to give.

As much as I love the bright colours of the Magic of Flowers deck, the Flower Reading Cards are definitely one of my favourites. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who loves flowers.

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