Sunday, November 10, 2013

Deck Review- Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards is a 50 card deck and book set brought to us from the imagination of P.C. Cast and Colette Baron-Reid.  In small print on the back of the booklet I see that the design is credited to Danielle Deschenes and the illustration to Jenna DellaGrottaglia of Duirwaigh, Inc.

The deck is based on the young adult novel series, House of Night by P.C. Cast.  I have not read the books and I am not likely to, which speaks more to my time constraints and my preferred reading material than it does to the worthiness of the series.  So many books, both for fun and learning, and so little time.

Despite not having read the books this oracle is based on, I used it to great effect, paired with Mystic Dreamer Tarot.  I find there are two kinds of oracle cards.  The first has a system and you learn the system and use the imagery of the cards to intuit meaning.  Tarot falls into this category of oracle cards, as well as lenormands, playing cards, Sabian Symbols, and many other decks.  Obviously tarot is my preferred method of divination.  The second type of oracle deck is prominent in New Age stores and even regular bookstores, and those are the type with artwork on the cards, usually with a number as well, and you look up the card in the book to garner meaning, as well as using the particular imagery on the card.  These types of oracles usually have beautiful artwork and apt messages, but no formal system that can be defined and worked with.  Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards fall into the second category, as do most of the ubiquitous Doreen Virtue oracle decks.

 The cards are large, measuring just shy of 3.5 inches by 5 inches.  They are slick and flippy, shuffling easily, and showing fingerprints on the glossy finish, especially the mostly black backs, which is a shame because the artwork is lovely.  The cards are gilded on the edges with shiny silver, which adds to the special feel of the deck, and they come in a sturdy two part box, with a small but full accompanying guidebook.  The book includes a description of each card with a small black and white inset of the card, and suggestions for how they can be read when they occur in a reading, as well as spread ideas.

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards
The images are computed generated, and populated by characters of the novels as well as some still life vignettes and a few animals, mostly domestic cats.  As could be expected from the name, the colors are dusky.  There seem to be far more females than males in the deck, and the males, for a change, are the less clothed of the two.  They certainly are eye candy, and the females are young, nubile and lithe.  It is a bit incongruous to me to see a kitten next to a hard bodied, shirtless male torso, and I certainly would not feel comfortable exposing my 12 year old daughter to the images, at least not together because the mixed message of the sweet kitten next to the undeniably sexed up six pack abs would confuse her, I feel, but it certainly appropriate for older teenagers and adults.  There is no violence or nudity, but the deck is probably edgy for some audiences.  There are five High Priestesses in the deck, one for each element, and Spirit.

The images did not intuitively speak to me, but this is not my preferred type of oracle, and upon reading the entries for each card I could easily find the thread of meaning in the readings.  It is not this decks' fault that I am so closely aligned with the system of tarot, and there are many people who greatly enjoy this kind of oracle.  What I read in the guidebook did pique my interest in the novels the oracle is based on, but ultimately not enough to drive me to read the books.  Even so, the guidebook as written in such a way I believe anyone could use the cards for divination or personal development.  A friend who has read the House of Night series also bough the deck and raves over the way they interact with the books, so if you like the story, you may find the deck a worthwhile visual to add to your enjoyment.  This is not a deck that is likely to enter my rotation, but few oracle decks would make it there, anyway.  It is a deck I enjoyed using and found value in.  As always, your mileage may vary.

There is also an app available from the iTunes store for iOS devices.  I have not used it, but I do have several different card apps on my phone, iPad, and Kindle Fire and I find them fun and useful when I do not have the deck I want handy.

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards








These images are from Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards by P.C. Cast and Colette Baron-Reid, published by Potter Style.

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