The Winged Enchantment Oracle Deck | Lesley Morrison and Lisa Hunt | US Games Systems | ISBN: 978-1572816732
Birds and their magic are rooted in the collective unconscious, from pop culture’s Maleficent and the Mockingjay of The Hunger Games to the Pagan resurgence of the Morrigan. So it’s fitting that the language and wisdom of birds has been shaped into an oracle deck, with the teachings of each bird an opportunity for journeying, growth and ascension.
In Lesley Morrison’s introduction to the deck she describes the soul taking its first steps toward self knowledge as being like a baby bird: “awkward, stumbling, and rather more partial to the safety of the nest”, with the potentially arduous adventure of flight ahead – self development – often being described in myth as guided by a bird of some kind.
The 39 oracle cards feature eagles and starlings, condors and robins; there is a breadth of garden birds represented as well as birds of prey and ducks, geese, peacocks and parrots. Each bird is described in terms of its spiritual significance, with keywords at the bottom of the page, and the 48-page accompanying booklet features a few suggested spreads for the cards, albeit fairly generic apart from the Bird of Flight spread at the end which I thought was original and appropriate for the oracle as a whole.
Lisa Hunt’s Native American-inspired illustrations are utterly beautiful and have a depth of detail and a mastery of colour that makes these cards beautiful things in their own right, and I’m pleased that the cards themselves are large format enough to let the artwork shine. I was surprised how insightful the cards actually were, in use – coming to them cold and looking at the booklet I thought they might be insubstantial, but I found they supplemented tarot well and worked especially well for overall year readings, meditations or insight into deep motivations and approaches.
My only criticism is that I would have liked the booklet to have included some reference to the existing facts and myths about each bird that could illuminate the insights. Some birds’ mythology and/or qualities and habits I knew, but I would have liked a bit more background or information about the more unusual birds in the pack. Overall, though, a really stunning deck with a welcome focus on our feathered friends, messengers of spirit.