SIMILARITIES & DIFFERENCES:
While some of the concepts have changed, many of the underlying messages remain the same. They have just been expressed in a new way. I have already reviewed the Playing Card Oracles Vintage and Alchemy editions, and now all that is left to review is to compare them and draw some conclusions.
♡ The Aces: True to their spirit, when both decks are placed in order and divided by suit, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that they are permutations of the same concept. While one sports the jewel colors and the beauty of oil paints, the other brings those concepts to life in what seems to be pen and ink sketches.
Quite fascinating really!
♡ Twos: Two of Clubs for The Friends and Moon Fire seems different. If we were to apply the meaning based off number and suit, I’d attribute Moon Fire to long distance contact or thinking about someone from far away when I see this illustration. It really isn’t that different in its concept; here we have a woman looking out to a land beyond the sea, and in the other someone looking over their land from the comfort of their palace.
Two of Hearts has been replaced by what the study group deemed to be a marriage goblet with both male and female attributes of things coming together.
Two of Spades has just one entity in the Alchemy Edition: Medusa. The Vintage Edition has The Rivals. One of the entities went away, and now the conflict is much more personal because it is directed at us. Watch out!
♡ Threes: Three of Clubs now has The Wand, but used to be The Wish. I see an aspect of magic and wishful thinking in both of them. A wand requires a thought and an intention to spring things into action. The crystal ball alludes to the power of envisioning thoughts to manifest them into reality. I love that both of them have to do with magic.
Three of Hearts takes on a more controversial look. We have a “Fortress of Desire”, which can allude to the body. Three holes with what looks like a snake half inside the first one. Don’t get greedy now! Having three to choose from means having abundance of love, but perhaps it is best to focus on one partner rather than three.
The same concept is more or less presented in the Vintage Edition Three of Hearts, but not as explicit.
♡ Fives: Five of Clubs. Perhaps one of my favorite changes, the Impotent King was discussed as what lies under the branches of the trees the Circle of Crows is happening at. It forms a bigger picture and allows two views of the same feeling of being trapped and preyed on. Magic!
♡ Eights: The Guardian vs The House of Good Fortune. I feel like The Guardian could be guarding the treasures outside of the House of Good Fortune. He is determined not to let anybody steal or harm on his watch! No sir.
The Faun and The Garden: The Faun is more playful and more mischievous. I feel that The Garden is the place where he likes to play the most because it camouflages him. At the same time, he can find tempting delights that are readily offered to him.
Eight of Spades. The Curse vs Field of Stone. It took me a while to notice The Curse, but when I finally saw it, it struck like lightning. The message is inescapable: You’ll go through the worst of times to find liberation. Fire is an element that transforms, and here we have a life being taken. It is extremely controversial, and very powerful. The Field of Stone is a much more tame way to tell you that you will be facing bad luck.
♡ Dracula: From Throne of Spiders to Vlad the Impaler. Well, no longer exactly the same, but here we have predatory influences that drain energy sources and otherwise deplete us. The message is still more or less the same.
♡ Court: Court cards have sprung to life and cannot simply be ignored. Some of the characters have changed identity, but still stand for their archetypes. Some of the characters we have grown to love reappear i full color for us to continue our relationship with.
I did note while going through the decks that some of the characters in the Playing Card Oracles Vintage Edition make cameos in the new Alchemy Edition, just under a different name. Knowledge of what they previously stood for may add another layer of interpretation for those who own both decks.
Speaking of owning both decks, I must have gone through one of those phases in which you throw all common sense out the window and dive into an experiment. I joined both packs together because for this exercise they will not be used as a calendar. The result is a gargantuan hybrid oracle. I mixed them together for as long as it felt right to, and finally drew some cards to conduct a new interview spread that was dreamed up for this review. Just to see how the cards ‘feel’ about one another. Here is the result.
INTERVIEW WITH BOTH PLAYING CARD ORACLES:
☆ Which deck do you think is the best representation of C.J. Freeman and Ana Cortez’s work and legacy to the world of playing card divination?
10♣ Lady Fortuna. Alchemy Edition.
A versatile character that will adapt to the situation it is in. Need a serious reading? Okay. A joyful time to celebrate? Pop the champagne. A powerful, visceral way to shake up your month? On it. This card is that of a dreamer and shapeshifter, one who will take on the roles that pertain to the tasks at hand. An enigma, a source of powerful inspiration and advice.
The Alchemy Edition PDF booklet describes Fortuna as “A woman of many personalities, but identifying with none. Ability to slip in and out of different realities. Adept at dreaming.” Yes!
☆ Which card best describes Playing Card Oracles Vintage Edition’s legacy?
10♥ Allegra. Vintage Edition.
A daring venture of the heart that resulted in vulnerability and opening up of the heart. It was a big risk to take in terms of it being a very emotional journey that was being shared. She carries a blindfold, a bow and a where she carries her bounty. It reminds me of something I often tell my clients: The heart is the compass of fate. We won’t always know if our ventures will end up taking us to the right places, but the journey in itself will serve as an experience, and however far we go from there is based off our own efforts. That speaks for itself.
☆ Which card best describes Playing Card Oracles Alchemy Edition?
8 ♠ The Curse. Alchemy Edition.
It’s casting fires in the community and getting people talking about it because of how controversial it is. It inspires an extreme reaction that can’t be ignored.
It also burns away all the old to start something new from its ashes. It took time to get to this point, but now it’s time to break down the comfort zone and bring out the serious changes. There will be no shelter, just open space to face the real facts.
☆ Which card best describes C.J. Freeman?
3♣ The Wish. Vintage Edition.
C.J. Freeman was a visionary, and his work is an act of manifesting dreams into reality we can now interact with. The medium through which the spirit world and all that is magic came through was the mind, and he was an open channel. He decoded something mystical through his spiritual ventures, and it all started in his mind. He drew meaningful connections.
☆ Which card best describes Ana Cortez?
9 ♥ Bluebeard. Alchemy Edition 4 ♥ West Wind. Alchemy Edition.
Two came out at the same time! So we have a challenge. Bluebeard stands for extreme passion and the kind that burns. Here we have real heartfelt love for the secrets encased in the Playing Card Oracles.
In West Wind, we have a caring influence. Bringing things into harmony, or otherwise a foundation of love.
Given that they are both hearts, we have someone sharing her passions with anyone who will listen and giving it as the greatest gift: Love.
☆ What have we still to learn from the Playing Card Oracles in general?
Q ♦ Livia. Vintage Edition.
Owning your craft of perception and sharing the wealth of it with the rest of the world. It is an honest method to work with and one that you can rely on when you need some form of comforting support. It also needs support in order to continue thriving.
☆ Should we include the Jokers in our Playing Card Oracle readings, as long as not during the calendar spread?
K ♦ Leo. Alchemy Edition.
The Jokers are the deck’s best kept secret. They are meant to keep private, for your enjoyment. Their meanings have yet to come manifest even though they are a flashy new addition. They can tip the system with their humor and are therefore best kept on the side. I felt a lot of pride from this draw in specific.
☆ Which card best symbolizes me?
8 ♥ The Faun. Alchemy Edition.
Fun-loving, mischievous and not afraid of adventure. Aligned with and freely following intuition through whatever journey I go. Tuned into the cycles of life, not caring, dancing to my own rhythm. This made me laugh, because I am often self-conscious of being the oddball “Fortune Teller” wherever I go. Sometimes you just need to own up to your weirdness with pride.
The booklet PDF reads, “Unrest or upheaval with previously set ways. Aligned with natural energies. Fantasy. Exploration of previously unexplored aspects of oneself."
Now I’ve got to go through and separate them, but the exercise was a delight! I hope you enjoy!