Tarot and Oracle Decks have exploded into the common experience since the 1990s. Today there are literally thousands of decks to choose from, including out-of-print decks and published ones. Reviewing a deck involves subjective judgment based on various critical criteria.
The critical review of a deck involves looking at the quality and size of the cards, visual accessibility of the art, quality of the companion text of the deck, and potential usefulness in professional practice. This month I have chosen to review The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards by Colette Baron-Reid.
The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards
The Enchanted Map oracle deck was published in 2011 by Hay House. It comes with a compact book, not a booklet, that has helpful descriptions and useful interpretations of the cards.
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From the Barnes and Noble listing on their website:
Imagine … between the visible and the unseen is a guiding force that some call Spirit, the Holy Will, the Divine, the Field, or Consciousness. Using this card deck by Colette Baron-Reid will connect you to that larger Consciousness and guide you as you travel on the journey of your life. The themes of these 54 cards represent some of the places you’ll visit, the conditions you may encounter, and the allies and challengers you’ll meet as you navigate a metaphoric map of your life’s journey.
The enclosed guidebook will help you ask the right questions and interpret the messages in your readings. The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards were created in order to empower you to understand the story of your fate, destiny, and free will; and allow you to chart a course to live a life of deep purpose, true prosperity, and vibrant love. Step into the Enchanted Map … and watch the magic come alive!
The card stock for the publication of the deck in the first print run is outstanding. A recent Amazon review, from a verified purchase, indicated that the quality of the card production was very poor for a purchase made on May 6, 2019. I would recommend searching for an original print run on eBay. I purchased my copy in 2011 and the card stock quality is the highest available. In fact, it took quite a few shuffles to begin to get the cards to flex better.
The cards are not too large, but larger than a regular deck of playing cards, so they are not difficult to shuffle once you have them broken in a bit. Since there are only 54 cards, instead of the 78 you would find in a tarot deck, the deck is much easier to handle if you have small hands.
Visual Accessibility of the Deck
The visual accessibility of the deck is extremely high; Colette Baron-Reid produces visually stunning and easily understood images for her card decks, and she has done numerous decks. This deck is no exception; the images are beautiful and eye-catching. It is very easy to understand the visual message associated with the keyword or phrase on the card.
Take, for example, the Movement card, which shows a small town on the back of an ostrich walking across the world. Far in the distance a hot air balloon also flies through the sky. People living in the village may or may not know they are riding the back of the giant bird, but the balloon riders certainly know, since they, too, are in motion.
Explanation of the Cards
The companion book does provide nice summaries of the cards and their meanings. Here is what the book says about card number 8, Come Together:
Love needs to be expressed. Drawing the Come Together card is a sign that you’re on the right path to discover the nature of this emotion in all its forms of expression – romantic, familial, unconditional, spiritual.
In each instance, there is another being involved. Love involves a give-and-take between you and a significant other, a relative, a friend, an animal, and/or Spirit.
This card assures you that love has come calling and seeks a partner in its dance! Know that you are cherished. Like a magnet, you’re attracting love into your life! This is the time for harmonious, caring partnerships.
As a professional reader who started reading cards for pay in 1992, I can say that this deck does work well in public because the images are … well, just that good at conveying the meaning of the keyword or phrase. The visual strength of the art leaves a lasting impression on the client with each reading.
It is one of my top 25 “go-to” decks for public readings. I rotate two decks at a time in my public practice, while I have the other 23 on display in my office for clients to pick from when they come to me for an in-person reading. The deck is a good choice if I am reading somewhere for the first time, especially at a venue where card reading may really be stretching people’s comfort level.
The deck is an “open-ready-go!” kind of deck, which makes it a great deck for a new reader. You will not have to put an intense study in if you are considering this deck to be your first deck.
I will give this deck the highest rating. I consider it one of my top 20 decks, often occupying the top 10 when I read cards in public. I keep the cards in a beautiful hand-crafted box that has a simple and beautiful design. The name of the deck also quickly captures the client’s attention, and the idea of the deck as an enchanted map gives clients a promise that the deck will help them get to where they want to go.
As a professional, I do enjoy reading with the deck and can recommend it as an essential deck for someone with reading experience, and for a novice. If you are a tarot and oracle card collector, then this is certainly a deck you need to have in your collection.