Just amazing. I am a card reader by profession, and no other cards have ever impressed me or my clients like this deck here. It’s been my favorite for the last month and I don’t see that changing anytime soon! Love Them.
— Cowboy, Amazon customer
The “Playing Card Oracles” is a 52 card deck, with three additional cards: an information card that presents the companion book to this deck (“The Playing Card Oracles: A Source Book For Divination”), a card giving the background on author Ana Cortez and illustrator C.J. Freeman, and a card discussing the tie between playing cards and the mysteries of the ancient oracles. The deck is accompanied by a 26 page LWB (Little White Book). The introduction starts out with the thought that the construction of a playing card deck is not haphazard at all … that it contains a clearly thought out intention, and a purpose far greater than ordinary gaming. Connection is made between the 52 cards in the deck, and the structure of 52 weeks in a year. According to the introduction, playing cards are a perfect reflection of a Fixed Lunar Calendar. Within the structure of such a calendar, we can chart events that have not yet happened. The playing cards in this deck feature unique artwork that is meant to help the reader discover the secret wisdom of the ancient oracles. The suits are associated with the elements: Diamonds/Fire, Clubs/Air, Hearts/Water, Spades/Earth. Key concepts are also included for each suit: Diamonds – prosperity, creativity, self-confidence, transformation, spiritual growth; Clubs – ideas, thinking, dreams, communication, detachment; Hearts – emotions (love, passion, hate, fear, etc.), sympathy, healing, the subconscious; Spades – labor, career, housing, the physical body, discipline, responsibility. The basic template for spreads with this deck uses a four card foundation. Spreads presented include the Present Spread and the Cat Spread. The definitions for the card positions include associations with the elements and with parts of the body: Diamonds/Fire/the Head, Clubs/Air/the Throat, Hearts/Water/the Torso, Spades/Earth/The Feet. I find this an interesting system to work with, and the cards themselves fascinating.
— Bonnie Cehovet, Aeclectic Tarot
In addition to the 52 cards of the oracle, this deck includes a title card, an “About the Authors and Illustrator” card, and a card containing a description of the purpose and nature of the deck. As Ana Cortez states in the Introduction to the 27-page LWB (Little White Book) that accompanies this deck, The Playing Card Oracles deck is not a Tarot deck, or even derived from a Tarot deck.
Although similar in some ways to a standard playing card deck, these cards feature “exquisite artwork designed to help you discover the secret wisdom of the ancient oracles.” In the Introduction we are also encouraged to consider the construction of the standard deck of playing cards, 52 in number just as there are 52 weeks in a year. Cortez points out that the playing deck is “actually a perfect replica of a Fixed Lunar Calendar.” I was most intrigued by her comment that we use calendars to chart events that have not yet occurred (like we might use an oracle), something I confess I never thought of! The suits in the Playing Card Oracles – representing the four essential aspects of our lives -- are Diamonds (Fire), Clubs (Air), Hearts (Water), and Spades (Earth). Key Concepts are provided for each suit. As in a standard playing card deck, Spades and Clubs icons are rendered in black; Hearts and Diamonds are red. Cortez explains that she intends the explanations of each card to be “clues” or “abbreviations.” We are encouraged to allow the images, colors, and the total picture in a layout inspire our interpretations. At the end of the LWB we are given a 4-card spread called “The Present Spread.” This spread is intended to provide a snapshot of the time at hand as well as the four weeks to come. Next, we have another 4-card spread called The Cat Spread (deriving its name from the belief that cats are sensitive to subtle energies). We are also given a technique for interpreting the cards in a 4-card spread as representing the Head, Throat, Torso, and Feet of a human body. This can give us a picture of a person in time (the time specified by the cut of the cards). I find these cards to be engaging and intriguing. Freeman’s art is distinctive and compelling. The small size makes the cards easy to shuffle as well as easy to carry in purse or pocket. I do recommend that the cards be used with the larger source book mentioned above to get the most from them, but the LWB provides a basic understanding. If you enjoy oracle decks and inventive systems or methods for reading them, you’ll appreciate The Playing Card Oracles.
— Zanna Starr, Tarot Notes