I’ve never felt anything like this before when I hold cards.
What is true is that they are POWERFUL, oracular and evocative illustrations. I would love to have you guys in person to talk to and study with, because you GET IT. Not many people have been drawn to this system because it is not tarot or lenormand, but it doesn't need to be. It is a robust oracle that stands on its own. It is a calendar and it makes me aware of why I felt playing cards were talking to me when I was a little girl. Even though I could not understand what they were saying, I still felt there was something more there.
I keep a journal while I work with Playing Card Oracles, but I'm not comfortable enough with card meanings to memorize that as well as geomancy. One day at a time!
When I first received this deck, I wasn’t ready for the reaction it caused in me. It felt like love at first sight; an electric feeling came over me and I knew then that I couldn’t live without having this deck accessible to me anymore. I felt a rush of adrenaline as I thumbed through the cards for the very first time. It felt like getting reacquainted with old friends, looking into photographs of memories I had long forgotten. Instant love!
I have both the large and pocket versions, plus backups. The large version is nice because you can see and interact with the beautiful artwork. I love looking over all of the little details, they mean something. It makes it very easy to project into and meditate on; you can have conversations with your favorite cards! Take for example Séraphine on the 10♦, she is holding a wand with the Egyptian jackal on it. A treasure! It makes me feel she is a lady that has experienced the world and all of its wonders first hand. Either that, or she had the fortune of gaining large sums of wealth at an early age that made her mature a little too quickly. She stands for the connection between the spirit world an ours because she is a seer, and the staff she holds makes me feel she has a connection to the great beyond.
This quick example resulted in an exercise of my intuition, and now I have a new meaning to add to my Playing Card Oracles diary!
My favorites are Impotent King, Dracula, Bluebeard, The Faun, Wicca, Mardoc, and the ravenous Bethany. Honestly, I love them all; even the ones that fill you with shock. Having these characters come alive in full color is really great! Even though I have gotten used to the red, white and black combination already, there is something extra special about playing cards with jewel colors.
The card stock shuffles very well, and the backs are full bleed purple, black and white. The back design is gorgeous, and I would love to read the story behind it someday. The design of it helped me fall in love with the Playing Card Oracles when I first saw it. The pocket version is truly very handy; I’ve got one to keep with me in my purse on the go. It is also very easy to shuffle. However, at my work station I prefer to use the standard version. It really brings the artwork to life, and given the scale the deck was originally painted in, I believe it was meant to be admired at a standard scale. It goes without saying my preferred version is the standard. I want to have meaningful meditations conversing with these amazing characters!
What has really surprised me is the reaction that people have to this deck. I was showing it to some of my clients, who looked at it and told me it was creepy and felt dark and medieval to them. I looked through the illustrations and was surprised because they’re not at all creepy to me. To me, they’re just powerful. It makes me wonder if that’s what people are afraid of. Power? Are the images really dark? Well, perhaps in a spread full of ♠s, THEN things could get very dark. But as with everything, there is a harmonious balance here of good and evil, balanced by a color binary of black and red.
From what I have come to understand, this second edition is actually the first edition that C.J. Freeman envisioned. He painted large portraits of which there are 52 total, with one of the queens having been revised into a new one. Some of the paintings are no longer in the possession of the Cortez family, which makes the publishing of this edition somewhat of a miracle. Ana Cortez, C.J. Freeman’s daughter and the author of the Playing Card Oracles book photoshopped pictures back to life along with her son. Magic! Very much worth the monumental efforts, though. This deck sings, and I’m really looking forward to getting better acquainted with it.
INTERVIEW WITH THE PLAYING CARD ORACLES:
♡ What is your most important characteristic?
3♦ Severed Head. The need to succeed, even if it means destroying what you love the most. I see the card as ultimate desire, and that which really burns. It’s pretty terrifying to see the lengths love can reach. Diamonds are the suit of fire, so this card is definitely highly charged with passion.
I looked at the PDF and smiled at the first line: “A woman who went to every length to achieve her desire,” which definitely fits the story of how the deck came to being. What was destroyed along the way may not apply to those of us who do not know the whole story, but I intuit it has something to do with the paintings that somebody else gave away and were not recovered.
♡ What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Joker. Yes, this deck is beautiful, but it can also pack humor for those that are willing to tune into it. You need to understand what you’re interacting with in order to better understand how to work with it, otherwise you will sit there with the facts blowing raspberries in your face.
Given that there are no meanings attributed to the Jokers, I’m just going to let the card tell me what it needs to communicate. It reminded me that even the most serious tools can develop humor of their own.
♡ What are your limits?
K♥ Nichomiah. Overindulgence of good things could become toxic. Remember that if you ask for something, you will get it without restraints or holding back. Being concerned with the present to the point of losing perspective of the past and the future won’t service you, but sometimes you won’t be able to help it if you are emotionally compromised by something and in search of answers.
♡ What are you here to teach me?
K♦ Leo. I am here to teach you to own your craft, while still keeping a private space for your life. You can go all out with the bells and whistles if you like, but have a personal space to go to at the end of the day. Not everything needs to be shared. Some things you will have to bear with quiet pride.
♡ How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
5♦ Peddler’s Ace. I will teach you to resist your impulses. Buckle down and read what is in front of you, take it in and let your intuition speak. Slow down! Take your time. You’re in no rush to get the hang of it, and remember that playing cards are a whole other game from the way you approach the tarot.
♡ What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
6♥ The Castle. A steady foundation can provide strength for the future, or can just as easily be the place you come back to when you need to find solace.
Building a foundation of love, the fortress of the heart. You are building a place of healing, where you come to for rejuvenation or recuperation. This is the place our souls come to in dreaming or after death. [Taken from the accompanying PDF booklet written by Ana Cortez.]
♡ Which card do you want to show off?
6♦ The Tower. This can be a landing place for entities and energy that comes from beyond any world we can fathom. If you are open, you could be heavily in tune with the spirit world and with a network of information that is readily available to you once you know how to tune into it. Can be a source of knowledge much in the same way the Akashic records are.
A fortress or vault, according to the PDF booklet.
♡ How do you see me?
A♦ Ignita. A passionate and driven person that will take the knowledge given and thrive on it.
♡ How do you see yourself?
2♦ The Rivals. Engaged in a mutual partnership of give and take, which establishes a balance. The coming together of two very different energy sources to establish a powerful bond that comes from hard work and dedication.
I’m really stunned with the result from the interview. This is the deck I have been using to work with the Playing Card Oracles, and much to my surprise I got many duplicates. Two 6s, two Kings. I got all red cards save for the Joker. Amazing!
It's love... I have reviewed the first published edition just last week. Read my entry here. Soon I will be publishing a comparison between the 1st and 2nd edition. Stay tuned!
Follow Ana Cortez through her Instagram, Facebook and blog. She regales the Internet with her personal experiences in the enchanted world of her father's visions. Thank you for letting me be a part of it. I looooove my decks!