on 4 October 2014
This is a gorgeous 47 card deck painted by Selina Fenech, with a companion book by the white witch, Lucy Cavendish. The artwork is really beautiful, and quite feminine. That being said, the deck has a surprisingly good ratio of male characters, with 18 of the 47 cards containing males. I say males rather than men as I count greenmen, a gargoyle and gnomes, as well as the more handsome faery lads, and an old Merlin character.
As for the basics, the cards are fairly large (about 9.5 by 13.8cms, or 3¾ inches by 5½), and have a non-reversible back showing a seven-pointed star. There is a number at the top of each card for easy reference, and then the card name and some keywords at the bottom. They are nicely laminated, and a good thickness - not flimsy, but also not bulky. The borders are fairly subtle - a brown, wood-whorl pattern all the way around, with a golden “hinge” type pattern to left and right outside edges, and a narrow gold border within that before the image itself.
The kit comes in a quite large, soft cardboard box. The companion book states it’s 188 pages, though some of those are the copyright page etc, and ads at the back. Still, this is far more than a LWB, with a lot of useful information about faeries in general, as well as how to use the deck. There are three specifically designed faery spreads of seven, five and three cards, and indepth looks at each card, including a general introduction, divinatory and reversed meanings.
The artwork is quite pretty, with some dark overtones in places. Two of the cards, for example, are done in black and white, which is impactful in contrast to the gentle but bright colours of the rest of the cards. There are also a couple of nods to Brian Froud’s artwork, in particular several cards that echo images from his Faeries Oracle. Overall, though, the backgrounds are less detailed, less busy, than Froud’s, which I find makes for clearer, though perhaps simpler, readings and meditations.
The author, Lucy Cavendish, emphasises in this deck environmental themes, as well as more personal healing, self-respect and self-empowerment. She also spends some time on the Wiccan sabbats, dividing them into Galactic portals (the solstices and equinoxes, which are universal/astrological and may focus more on the sun) and the Gaia portals (the crossquarter days, which are more earth-centred).
I love the fact that there are a number of “doorway” cards, portals to the faery realm. These help me focus on the idea of how to cross to the Otherworld, and what doing so entails. I also really like the greenmen, who add a more mature and masculine energy to the deck, balancing out the many, pretty faery girls. And these ideas combine, for example, in the Greenman’s Door card, which shows a faery lounging within the “knocker” that hangs from the Greenman’s mouth, sparkles trailing about them both.
Another card which I find beautiful and tender is “Mother and Daughter”, which shows a pale green-winged faery lying in a flower-filled meadow, with her little child wrapped within the folds of her cream dress. I also like the gentle charm of Acorn’s Invitation, where a green butterfly-winged faery lad squats to touch the ground, his longish brown hair decorated with feathers and autumn leaves, and an acorn pendant at his throat. The Gossamer Princess invites us to work on our relationships and communication, sitting on a gossamer thread in a purple sky, contemplating what has gone before and how best to move forward.
All the cards of this deck have been beautifully executed by Selina Fenech, with vivid colours and interesting characters. They invite us into the land of faery, and into exploring ourselves and the natural world. There is plenty of symbolism here for intuitive readings, as well as the keywords, and the insightful interpretations of Lucy Cavendish.
It’s a deck which could easily take the place of an angel oracle, offering an uplifting message and a spiritual connection either as part of a wider reading, on it’s own, or for meditation purposes. I’ve grown to love this deck, which always has some insight to share, in a gentle yet forthright manner.