Hello, soul friends!
Today's review is covering a deck that I found at Ritual Craft when I went to Denver last year, so I purchased it without researching too much about it. Just was drawn to the artwork and thought it would be a fun addition to my current collection, as I didn't have any botanical decks.
I hope you enjoy my review and generous pictures!
Botanical Inspirations Deck
I was lucky enough to go to Ritual Craft's actual brick and mortar shop in Denver last year, and after swindling my spouse to let me go gorge myself in the magical witchy loveliness of this space, I felt drawn to purchase a few items. Some crystals, some protection stuff, and this deck. I hadn't really seen it before or knew much about it but I really thought the artwork was beautiful. I also didn't (and haven't added any) have any botanical inspired decks in my current collection. This is more of an oracle/affirmation deck. I couldn't find much information on it. I thought it was a nice addition to what I already had and just really love the beautiful flowers. It stood out with the heavily detailed artwork that really captivated me. There wasn't any information that I could find on the creator but I did find information on the illustrator, so I have not included a section on who created it, but the illustrator information is included. The size is really what makes this deck stand out. It is so tiny and cute!
Here is the description from the Amazon:
In Victorian England, and in other cultures, flowers were used to convey specific meanings and messages, especially in the coy rituals of courtship. Botanical Inspirations Deck & Book Set brings together the Secret Language of Flowers with the treasured artwork of Pierre-Joseph Redouté. Each Botanical Inspirations card features a thoughtful quotation that alludes to the symbolism of the flower. The accompanying guidebook presents inspirational affirmations and narrative vignettes culled from history, mythology, lore and legend. From the demure violet to the noble magnolia, all flowers have stories to tell and lessons to share.
This charming gift set includes:
44 cards with quotations and flower meanings
100-page illustrated guidebook with messages of insight and inspiration
Fold-out guide to the Secret Language of Flowers
Drawstring organza pouch
About the Illustrator
About the Illustrator Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840) Pierre-Joseph Redouté was born to a Flemish family of decorative painters. As a young man he went to Paris, where he began painting the flowers of the royal gardens. His detailed etchings caught the attention of botanists who taught him more about the anatomy of plants and artists who introduced him to a new watercolor technique for illustrating flowers. Marie Antoinette hired Redouté to decorate the walls of her château. By the late 1790s Redouté had become the most famous and sought after flower painter in Europe. Empress Josephine invited him to come to Château de Malmaison to paint the flowers in her magnificent garden, which held over 200 varieties of roses. Between 1817 and 1824 Redouté published a three-volume collection of his rose paintings called Les Rose, his most famous publication. Since roses were Redouté s trademark, we have included four of his rose paintings in this Botanical Inspirations deck.
My Personal Review
This deck is meant to be used as a daily inspirational conversation to have with yourself, when you feel you can't really look past your own personal blocks. It is a simple affirmation deck that is pocket sized. This can in no way be confused for a Tarot deck. I wasn't really aware of what to expect with this deck, but kept an open mind, as always. It is a gorgeous addition to my current collection, and I have enjoyed the portability and simplicity of this deck. This is a botanical deck that includes stunning artwork, but as far as practicality - I am not sure how to use it in my day-to-day work. I am not too well versed in botanical magic, or even flower magic - so I found this deck to be one that I don't reach for often. There are small "Inspirational Messages" included with each flower meaning, but I just had a hard time connecting to these cards. They have just been in my dresser, unused except for quick Weekly Drawings or more simpler work. As far as how to connect them to my client work - I just didn't find that I could use them in my work. This does not detract from the stunning visual artwork, the carefully constructed quality of the deck, box, and book. These cards would be more practical to use as more of an afterthought or addendum to another spread or reading deck. I would look at this deck as a good daily draw type of card to work through, or a nice addition after a reading to reaffirm what is going on or what to focus on. The cards are detailed but also simple enough to use. I think this would be an excellent fit for someone who is well-versed in Flower magic or even botanical aspects.
The artwork is such a show stopper. The details, the colors, the depth. It literally is so beautiful and well-done. The background looks like a tea-stained cloth on which the flowers and details really stand out. It also gives the deck a beautiful and elegant touch. The depth, colors, and details really bring a new dimension to the cards. I love the simple fonts used, and how the flowers are really the main focus of each of the cards. Your eye is drawn to the realistic depictions of each of the flowers. The colors stand out, but are not overpowering. There is almost an antiqued feel to the cards. No borders are added to the cards, and I enjoy that it has a timeless feel to it. There is no modern aspect here, this art is realistic and reminds me of beautiful botanical study books.
The size of the cards is actually what makes this deck stand out. They are a smaller size than other oracle decks, which I think makes it lovely for portability. I have been adding more tiny card decks to my collection and am loving the option of putting it in my bag on the go. There are 44 cards in this deck. It also includes a 100 page illustrated guidebook (although not in color), but the quality is wonderful. The publisher is U.S. Games and they are known for having lovely and affordable decks that bring a beautiful quality, as well. I love the card stock used. The semi-matte finish really allows the details to shine in this deck. They also pair very well with other decks that I have and add a nice little finishing touch to readings. The inspirational messages are helpful to finish a reading on a high note.
The backs are simple and just have the name of the deck in a beautiful teal color with flowers subtly filling the card backs, but that is not reversible, although these cards do not have reverse meanings in the included guidebook and I am not sure how one would use these with a reverse meaning. The meanings are also quite simplistic, so they do encourage you to use your intuition more and also to devise your own meanings. They bring some information about the history of the flowers, as well as the mentioned Inspirational Messages that really help you to connect to the messages. I like that the cards include a small quote and also some keywords. If you want to use these cards as a stand alone oracle, I think these little details can really help one to use these without the guidebook.
The card stock is not very thick, smooth to shuffle, slightly matte finish, and allows you get a nice bend without cracking the card stock. Shuffling these cards is nice and smooth, and the size is also fun to hold in the hand. The finish allows for great pictures without any glare. This also makes the deck very slick with shuffling and smooth. No catching, scratching, or flaking edges.
There are no dark or garish images - as it is a botanical deck, so I think this deck would be lovely to use with any client without the worry of upsetting them. Gentle and inspirational, I think this is a wonderful affirmation style deck that can help those who are learning how to read for others, are curious about plant magic, or looking for universal decks to use with anyone.
The deck included a small lift top box that can keep the 44 cards in it, a small cheat sheet, an organza bag (I think I lost mine in the move), and the 100 page guidebook. It is a high quality box that has a lovely addition of the flowers all over the box. I also love when they include a little ribbon for lifting the cards out of the box or to keep certain elements separate.
Here are some more pictures of this vibrant creation:
Overall, I found this to be a detailed and beautiful deck, but not very practical in my day-to-day work. I don't want to just hang on to decks in my collection that aren't being used and well-loved so I think I will pass this one along to someone who will use it and also really enjoy it. I think it is an absolute piece of art, but in my work, it isn't one that I bring out and utilize.
My overall opinion is that this deck is a 3.5 star choice.
Artwork - 5 stars
Card stock - 5 stars
Ease - 2 stars
Guidebook - 2 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.