Hello, soul friends!
Today's review is covering a deck that caught my attention for it's beautiful Jimmy Manton's artwork, which I have grown to love since I first saw the Goddesses and Sirens deck. Plus, I love Halloween, so getting this deck seemed like an obvious choice. I loved the details, color, and overall theme of the cards. I couldn't wait to get my own and work with this beauty.
I hope you enjoy my review and generous pictures!
I purchased this deck last year online from Blue Angel Publishing, which has a lot of interesting and unique decks. After seeing the gorgeous artwork online, I had to have it. Even if it was not available in the US, yet.
Amazon's description of the Halloween Oracle:
Unleash your inner monster and trick-or-treat your way into a connection with the most magical and scary night of the year: Halloween! Festivals of the Dead like Halloween have been celebrated for thousands of years across many different world cultures. They serve to honor those who have passed and to celebrate death as a natural part of life and an opportunity to welcome in a new beginning. During Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival from which Halloween originates, the veil between this world and the next was believed to be at its thinnest and so since the very beginning, Halloween has been an occasion for effective and potent divination - a chance to connect with "the other side" or get a glimpse into your future.
Now you can harness the eerie power of Halloween every night of year, encountering black cats, vampires, zombies, witches, werewolves, jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, mummies and characters from the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition (including Lady de los Muertos), exquisite candy skulls, and more! Each of the 36 richly illustrated cards has an accompanying meaning in the guidebook featuring rhyming couplets like those used in ancient storytelling as well as a message of divination for you based on an aspect of Halloween tradition.
About the Author
Stacey Demarco is an internationally respected spiritual Pagan practitioner, Witch, author, and activist who hails from Sydney, Australia. Her passion is to make practical magic accessible to everyone and to reconnect people with the power of nature.
Her down-to-earth yet scholastic spiritual style and her skill at weaving ancient techniques to solve modern problems make her popular amongst clients and a regular contributor upon all things spiritual across television, radio, and other media.
A former successful corporate animal, she has worked for multinational companies in senior marketing and PR roles until she decided to transition into her purpose - that of being a "catalyst for change."
A long-time lover and scholar of the mythos of the feminine and masculine divine, her first set of Oracle cards, Gods & Titans, illustrated by award-winning artist Jimmy Manton, was released early 2011 and her second set, Goddesses & Sirens, was released in October 2011 in Australia with a US release in 2013. Reflecting her love of nature, her Earth Power: An Atlas for the Soul was released worldwide in 2014, and the stunning Halloween Oracle is her latest work. Her next book, The Disconnect will be released early 2015.
About the Illustrator
Jimmy Manton is an award-winning illustrator who has provided artwork for numerous Blue Angel publications. While he has been drawing since his little opposable thumbs allowed him to grasp a pen, he has been obsessed with all things sci-fi and fantasy. It runs in the family, too. Jimmy was named after James T Kirk, Star Trek’s indomitable captain of the USS Enterprise. For the last few years Jimmy concentrated on studying architecture and also the art of architectural model building. Jimmy’s work is featured in magazines including international architectural and gaming titles. He is based in Melbourne, Australia.
My Personal Review
This 36-card deck is meant to be used as an Oracle deck, which is just meant to be a little less restrictive than tarot, while allowing you to devise your own meanings of the cards, as well. The dimensions of the deck are 5 x 1.4 x 6.7 inches and published by Blue Angel Publishing and Llewellyn, as well.
The lift top box is beautiful. I love the gilded etchings and the thickness of the box. The image is a gorgeous skull with flowers and soft colors. The artwork throughout the deck is just breathtaking. They are bright without being overpowering, delicately balancing the darkness of an autumn palette without appearing murky. I am always impressed with Jimmy Manton's artwork, and this deck holds quite a few of my favorite pieces from him.
The card backs are cute little Halloween items such as pumpkins, bats, ghosts and brooms. Reversals are up to the reader but are really not needed with this deck. The cards are a larger size, which I have become familiar with Blue Angel's decks. They are a decent quality with a smooth feel that makes shuffling easy. A keyword is printed on the front of each card which corresponds to the keyword descriptions in the guidebook. Some of the images are a bit darker, but nothing too scary for those faint of heart. The card stock is not overly thick, semi-matte finish, slick to shuffle, and allows you get a nice bend without cracking the card stock. The finish really helps make the cards shuffle easily without sticking or scratching. This card stock has been one of my favorites that I have run into. I love the smooth and easy way this deck shuffles.
The size of the cards was an average oracle deck size. Not too large, and not too small. The guidebook is simple, but gives enough to encourage you to develop your own special meanings of the cards. If anything, I really didn't use the guidebook to devise my own meaning, except for a few cards that had various Autumnal traditional items that I was unfamiliar with. It really does lead one to using their intuition and also diving into all of the details in the cards. This may not be the easiest to just pick up for those who are not used to having to rely too heavily on intuition, but with practice and an open mind, it can quickly become a fun and seasonal favorite.
The images are clear yet, they convey mystery. It's an interesting effect, that I have not seen in other decks. This deck is perfect for those who love Halloween and would like to learn more about some of the traditions celebrated by various cultures.
There is a beautiful mysterious vibe to a lot of the images, but they may not be the most user friendly for those that are not comfortable with darker, spookier images. I find that I need to know my clients pretty well before I pull this one out on them, in case they are uncomfortable with some of the images.
Here are some extra pictures of this spooky creation:
Overall, I think this was a well-executed themed deck. Colorful and fun, but straight to the point. I highly recommend it!
My overall opinion is that this deck is a 4.5 star choice.
Artwork - 5 stars
Card stock - 4 stars
Ease - 4 stars
Guidebook - 4 stars
I hope that you enjoyed my deck review, and also enjoy other deck reviews that I add to this site. I have a passion for exploring new decks and also finding various ways of connecting to my intuition. I appreciate you checking out my site and taking the time to read my review.