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Playing Card Oracles Book & Deck Set [With 2 Deck or Oracle Cards] [Paperback]

Ana Cortez , C. J. Freeman
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: U.S. Games Systems; Gmc Tcr Cr edition (31 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572815248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572815247
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 15.6 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,272,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I was introduced to this deck and book through an online popular divination forum just a short while ago, and after going to the artist's website I was instantly captivated. Some decks and ideas just jump out at you and demand you have them. This is one of them (rare for me!).

The place I work had gone suddenly out of business and money is/was tight. So I was sad I wouldn't be able to purchase it for quite some time. Lo and behold 2 days later for christmas I get a gift certificate for Amazon : ). So it seems I was very much meant to possess this oracle!

I recieved it very shortly after and was completely blown away. The artwork on the cards is stunning, just completely evocative and very powerful. The mix of muted colour with deep red and black is the best feature. Simple yet gorgeously perfect. I have tried other methods of playing card reading and nothing has clicked. Most seemed to complicated.

Which brings me to the book. I can't say enough for the ease of use and step by step study the author provides for you. All clearly explained. Her use of words and the emotions, ideas, intuitions and images she invokes are magical....otherworldy. Besides being a great teacher she is a wonderful writer. The cards are starting to come alive for me, something I thought was not going to happen with playing cards.

The book is just packed with information not available anywhere else. Info on the lunar calendar and how it's built right into the deck (and it's practical use, I've never seen that mentioned or explained before!), history of the cards, the hidden revelations of geomancy (which is simple!) along with the cards for deeper meaning and direction, many spreads....I could go on and on.
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This order took two days longer than expected. Meanwhile I find the description in the title - with 2 Deck or Oracle Cards - rather deceiving as only one deck is included. Otherwise the quality of the product is excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This eloquent sets awakens the mystical magic sleeping within the cards..... 2 Jan 2007
By Rashchupkina - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I was introduced to this deck and book through an online popular divination forum just a short while ago, and after going to the artist's website I was instantly captivated. Some decks and ideas just jump out at you and demand you have them. This is one of them (rare for me!).

The place I work had gone suddenly out of business and money is/was tight. So I was sad I wouldn't be able to purchase it for quite some time. Lo and behold 2 days later for christmas I get a gift certificate for Amazon : ). So it seems I was very much meant to possess this oracle!

I recieved it very shortly after and was completely blown away. The artwork on the cards is stunning, just completely evocative and very powerful. The mix of muted colour with deep red and black is the best feature. Simple yet gorgeously perfect. I have tried other methods of playing card reading and nothing has clicked. Most seemed to complicated.

Which brings me to the book. I can't say enough for the ease of use and step by step study the author provides for you. All clearly explained. Her use of words and the emotions, ideas, intuitions and images she invokes are magical....otherworldy. Besides being a great teacher she is a wonderful writer. The cards are starting to come alive for me, something I thought was not going to happen with playing cards.

The book is just packed with information not available anywhere else. Info on the lunar calendar and how it's built right into the deck (and it's practical use, I've never seen that mentioned or explained before!), history of the cards, the hidden revelations of geomancy (which is simple!) along with the cards for deeper meaning and direction, many spreads....I could go on and on. This book is wonderfully researched from obvious years of actual experience and connection.

Each card (and suit and number) get it's own description, accompanied with an illustration of the card. And some of them have short stories to further evoke and connect you to them as very distinct personalities.

As far as book quality goes, it's top notch. I love the play of black and red ink, it's a striking combination for a text which I haven't seen before. The cards are high quality as well, very good cardstock. Not too large (these aren't the normal size playing cards, I love them bigger so I can see those beautiful images)and not too slickly laminated. These cards feel really good in your hands, at home. At least they do in mine!

If you are at all interested in divination with playing cards, than this book and cards will be invaluable. Ana Cortez and her father have created something very orignal and brimming with magic, wonder, joy.....profound transformation awaits you!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A whole different oracle 14 Sep 2009
By Marina - Published on Amazon.com
First of all: this is *not* tarot. Also, this is not your "usual" playing cards system with "traditional" divinatory meanings, because this doesn't even exist. So if you expect a book on traditional cartomancy or a tarot-like system, this will greatly disappoint you. Don't waste your time.

That said, if you want a system that is innovative, unique and different from everything you ever saw before, this is the book to get. Really. The Playing Card Oracles is one of the rare divinatory books that actually think outside the box. It teaches you things you didn't know. It doesn't half-assedly recycle knowledge. It gives you something new.

The book is amazing - an interesting mix between images, poetry, fairytales (all original), divination... and it all fits in perfectly. Ana Cortez' writing style makes you feel as if you were talking to her. I must have read this book more than three times already and i never got tired of it. It always gives me food for thought. Also, the way it teaches you to read common playing card decks, usually used for games, is amazing. Forget those shallow, parlor game divinatory meanings that are only applicable to one single situation. The meanings taught by Ana Cortez are intuitive and rich. They mix numbers, colurs, images. And they even include Geomancy, that is a fantastic addition to the system.

It's not "Cartomancy of Dummies". You need to read the book, play with the cards, study. See what works for your and what doesn't. Ana isn't inflexible or bossy: she gives you the basic meanings, but you are encouraged to come up with your own. This book really explores the world of the playing cards - it's legends, it's mysterious history and it's usage as an oracle. It's a complete system on it's own - what you cannot learn from the book, you'll learn from the cards themselves.

As for the cards, they are very beautiful. Some pictures are, indeed, disturbing, but that's what they are meant to be. It might take a while for you to get used to this images. They are evocative, rich and powerful. Many people have told me, while i read for them, how beautiful they found this deck - disturbing images and all. Don't get put off simply because it doesn't conform to the standard definition of beauty. Give it a change, and this deck will certainly grow on you.

It's sad to see that some people misunderstood the purpouse of this book, and rated it badly because of it's greatest feature: the fact that it's different from all other playing card books out there. The fact that it was not made to be a pale companion to the tarot. The Playing Card Oracles is a very interesting system, and unfortunately, a very underrated one.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last a Real System Revealed 25 Sep 2012
By Ben - Published on Amazon.com
At last! After 25 years of reading with Tarot decks I finally found the system that is logical and meaningful. If you're looking for a cookie cutter system created by some abstract person claiming a deep secret knowledge into the esoteric world then the Playing Card Oracles are not for you.

I've studied Tarot and Cartomancy, whilst these systems are interesting the amount of conflicted information all claiming to be "the real truth" about them has tarnished and constricted their use. Ana Cortez presents a divination system using ordinary playing cards that both makes complete sense and has logical, academic and esoteric meaning. The Playing Card Oracles themselves are embellished with artwork by her father CJ Freeman, but throughout her book and her online tutorials Ana constantly reminds us that any ordinary playing card deck can be used thus enlightening us to the idea of the playing cards being something more than simply a tool for hocus pocus.

I have to admit after using many different Tarot decks (and Tarot systems) when I first looked at each of the cards from the Playing Card Oracle I was underwhelmed, but upon further study under the guidance of Ana Cortez's book and online videos I began to understand their relevance and now appreciate them more. Ana encourages you to use the deck as a complete system not just rely on the images painted by her father and many times throughout her tutorials reference is made to the suits and numbers rather than relying simply on pictures on each card.

With this deck I have a three dimensional system with more layers to my readings than any other system I have studied. I can only assume the naysayers giving negative reviews of the Playing Card Oracles are likely more interested in the fantasy of esoterism rather than the reality of it. To learn is academic to understand what you learn is divine.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great tool 28 July 2012
By John Alan, Tarot Guild - Published on Amazon.com
This is a system all its own, and Playing Card Oracles should be on the required reading list for card readers of all levels. If you are a beginner, this book and deck could take you very far in your development. If you already have your own system of reading, this is still worth the time and effort. I am a professional reader with a style of my own, yet I simply couldn't put the book down. I found it a delight to read, and appreciated the way it opened up new ways of looking at the cards.
Most of the cards' meanings depart from traditional ones, and so that is why I mentioned earlier that this may be much more readily and completely applied by a beginning reader, but advanced readers may just find themselves adding some meanings to their card vocabulary.
The book is really two books in one, and there are so many golden nuggets within regarding various aspects of card reading, such as intent, shuffling, symbolism, elements, numbers, all of which come from her experience and her father's research. One such quote comes on page 109: "Surface questions get surface answers. Real questions invite the cards to speak."
The book presents six card spreads, all of them highly versatile, thorough and very practical for professional use, tailored to different situations. Ms. Cortez also has a delightful way of incorporating timing into her system.
The author also teaches you how to create a geomantic reading derived from a card reading, meant to complement and reinforce the message of the cards.
All techniques and principles are given ample attention in this book. I never found myself feeling like I had been shown *almost* how to perform a technique or apply an idea presented.
A few very interesting essays in the back of the book address the history of playing cards.

The cards themselves are simply fascinating. Each one bears a scene, much like tarot cards do. The reason for this is explained within the book - and is anchored in playing card history. The illustrations say a lot with little. For example, the four 4's of the deck are assigned each a Wind: the East Wind is the 4c, the South Wind is the 4d, the West Wind is the 4h, and the North Wind is the 4s. Each card bears only a male face with flowing long hair, and yet the quality of expression in the face lends many clues about the card's influence. Focusing on the 4s, the author writes, "this card represents an environment that is charged with strong dynamic force." The male face on this card is the only among the four facing the reader square on, as if blowing a gale wind directly at them. Other meanings of the card will relate to this strength, as well bear the influence of Ms. Cortez's spade designations.

This deck also evens out the gender in the court by attributing a female personality to the 10's. Of course, this is also clearly explained and supported.

Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Oracle deck with real depth* 20 Sep 2010
By lark - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Read the book, play with the cards, and check out Ana's YouTube videos.
You'll be rewarded many times over with this unique little decks depth and accuracy.
Out of the literally hundreds of oracle/tarot decks I own this one never leaves my tarot table, it is in constant use.
Truly a well researched and thought out system by a father/daughter team dedicated to bringing you a coherent usable card deck.
Actually a resurrection of the true meaning behind and history of the playing cards.
And I for one am very grateful for their efforts.
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