Customer Review

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect deck for the Fairy Aficionado, 31 Dec 2003
This review is from: The Fairy Ring: An Oracle of the Fairy Folk (Cards)
This is a set of Tarot like cards and a book on how to use them.  The deck is divided into four 'seasons' and there is a  grouping of eight (8) cards listed as 'Fairy Festival' representing the eight (8) Sabats of the Wheel of the Year'.
The deck is lovely.  The artwork of Paul Mason is almost photographic in nature and the graphics are super.  Each card is loaded with symbolism and the fairies, either truly beautiful or really ugly are a joy to behold either way.   The artwork here is what captures the attention, which is what the cards are supposed to do.
The 'seasons' - spring, summer, fall and winter - are each very close to the four suits of a regular deck of cards, ace through nine, and then there is a 'Lady' card, a 'knave' card (in place of a jack), a 'queen' and a 'king' card.  While just a tad different from the other 'Rider-Waite' style of decks, the familiarity with a standard style of deck will allow you to pick up and use these cards with only a small amount of modification to the way you read.  Being familiar with the 'Wheel of the Year' will also allow you to easily substitute this for the usual Major Arcane. 
The book is also very well done.  Ms. Franklin has put in much research and time to making this an excellent reference book to go along with the cards.  Discussions about the seasonal nature of the fairy folk, the meaning of the names of the fairy folk, which are taken directly out of folklore and myth from the British Islands.  To read this book is to take a trip through fairy tales (not Mother Goose here but the old fairy tales).  Anyone with any interest in fairies would want to own this book just because of all the reference material collected in one place about the various fairy names.  Here we find King Finvarra, The Blue Hag, Jack Frost, and explanations for the various types of fairies such as garconer, phooka, kelpie and will o' the wisp. Some of these you may recognize, some of these will wet your appetite for more information.
The meaning of drawing these cards is very well explained by Ms. Franklin and working a bit with the deck will allow you to very easily identify the cards with the meanings.  Ms. Franklin gives the upright/reverse meanings so they are there if you draw your cards this way.
Ms. Franklin has also included several suggested ways to draw the cards and with a little practice this too can become easy for one who is familiar with card reading.  The meanings will come as the cards are rich in imagery that does associate very clearly to the explanations given in the book.
Each section has a reference list for notations in the chapter, giving sources for the information provided and there is a very thorough bibliography for those who want to go off and do some research on their own.  But the information that Ms. Franklin has provided here is rich in lore and myth and appears to be very accurate for her research.
A lovely deck and a well written and researched book make for an overall excellent presentation here.  I find this to be a perfect gift idea for someone you know would be interested in decks or fairy lore or just a special treat for yourself.
Boudica
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4.0 out of 5 stars (5 customer reviews)
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£31.63 £23.80
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Location: Quakertown, PA

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