“The fairy hills are calling, and the gateway to the Otherworld stands open. Its denizens are ready to take you by the hand and lead you into the Fairy Ring…”
Pixies, brownies, mermaids, leprechauns, and unicorns…not so long ago, belief in the fairy world crossed every strata of society. People believed that fairies could see into the future and were capable of bestowing the gift of prophecy on favored mortals. At present, more and more people are re-discovering the enchanted world of the fairies, seeking to connect and consult with the Wee Folk.
The Fairy Ring oracle is a 60 card divination deck that allows you to tap into the wisdom of the fairies for insight and direction. Featuring the surreal art of Paul Mason, the card images combine photography, computer imaging and illustration, serving as a visual portal to the mystical Otherworld. At 248 pages, the companion Guide to the Fairy Ring—written by Anna Franklin—weaves a rich tapestry of history and folklore. While fairy legends exist all over the world, The Fairy Ring features fairies from Britain and Ireland. Franklin has collected fairy legends for years, recording over 3,000 Little People. While acknowledging that she’s uncovered the mere tip of the iceberg, she reveals the magical profile of 52 different fairies. Since fairies are often seasonal creatures, the Fairy Ring deck is divided into four suits corresponding to the four elements—with related flora and fauna featured in the card borders:
Spring Suit (Air) – bright green ferns
Summer Suit (Fire) – colorful wildflowers
Autumn Suit (Water) – autumn leaves
Winter Suit (Earth) – glossy holly leaves, red berries, pine branches and cones
The thirteen cards in each suit are numbered ace to nine, with four court cards: Lady, Knave, Queen, and King. In addition to the four suits, there are eight festival cards marking the chief fairy feasts of Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnasa, Herfest, Samhain, and Yule. The card backing is fully reversible, with two interlocking golden rings of Celtic design centered on a green marbled background.
Franklin recounts the lively history and myth of each fairy depicted, as well as the divinatory and reversed meaning of each card. Instructions on working with the Wee Folk—if advisable—are also provided in the Fairy Ring Guide. While many fairy oracles portray only helpful sprites and beautiful winged creatures, the Fairy Ring includes misshapen ogres and mischievous tricksters such as the Blue Hag, Changeling, Boggart, Jenny Greenteeth, Banshee, and Will o’ the Wisp. Those looking for a “feel good” deck may find some of the creepy images off-putting.
The Fairy Ring Guide also includes nine spreads, four of which are printed on cards: The Fairy Ring, The Fairy Mound, The Fairy Oak, and the Fairy Market. The layouts are for anywhere from five to twelve cards, providing a comprehensive snapshot of both temporary and pervasive energies. I performed a personal reading with this deck, using the eight-card Fairy Ring spread. While a consistent (repetitive?) theme arose from the cards, I didn’t feel like they spoke clearly or directly. This could be due to my lack of familiarity with the deck, but more likely because I lack resonance with the fairy world.
Those interested in elementals and the Wee Folk—and aren’t disconcerted by some of the darker expressions of the fae—will be delighted with the Fairy Ring. It’s an imaginative deck with pagan overtones, and the companion Guide offers great information on Irish and British fairy folklore.
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