Friday, January 13, 2012

REVIEW: The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards

R E V I E W


The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards
Author: Colette Baron-Reid
Artist: Jena DellaGrottaglia
Publisher: Hay House
ISBN-10: 1401927491
ISBN-13: 978-1401927493

FROM THE PUBLISHER'S PRODUCT SUMMARY

"Imagine . . . between the visible and the unseen is a guiding force that some call Spirit, the Holy Will, the Divine, the Field, or Consciousness. Using this card deck by Colette Baron-Reid will connect you to that larger Consciousness and guide you as you travel along on the journey of your life...

...The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards were created in order to empower you to understand the story of your fate, destiny, and free will; and allow you to chart a course to live a life of deep purpose, true prosperity, and vibrant love."

BASIC INFORMATION

This set contains 54 cards and a 153-page Guidebook packaged together in an attractive, very sturdy box.

The Guidebook contains an Introduction by the author and a section on How to Use the Cards, which includes The Purpose of the Cards, How to Do a Reading, Sample Readings, an Explanation of the Positions for 1-card, 3-card, and 6-card readings, and The Soul's Intention.

Soul's Intention: The author tells us that each card "depicts the soul's intention as well as the other positional meanings discussed in the previous section." The Soul's Intention aspect of this deck could be used with any deck of Tarot or Oracle cards. In the author's words: "The soul's intention is for you to grow, and it will show you the lessons you must learn in order to evolve into who you're meant to become." The Seeker can either pull a card to answer "What is my soul's intention regarding the present situation?" or can contemplate the last card drawn in a reading for this purpose.

Following the introductory material, each card is discussed in turn. Instead of key words, the author provides a statement or affirmation that conveys the basic message of the card. For example, for Card 9, Storm Fields, the message is "This, too, shall pass." For Card 29, Coming to Life, the message is "Something beautiful is being born in your life."

The author gives Upright and Reversed meanings for each card. She writes that upright cards "represent the purest and most positive energy." About reversals, she notes: "Reversed cards are powerful and should never be seen as negative; rather, they serve to shed the most light on your areas of inquiry."

The text in the Guidebook is written in a conversational tone with a touch of humor, and is easy to understand. There is a sense that the author is speaking directly to the reader, one-on-one, which I find quite engaging. For example, under reversed meanings for Card 27, Home, we have: "If you don't feel at home, it's time to do a thorough and fearless inventory. What are you hiding from? Are you afraid of being yourself? Do you feel that you don't belong where you are? What if you choose another path?"

An internationally acclaimed intuitive counselor, Colette Baron-Reid is a motivational speaker, performer, and storyteller. She is the author of several other books and decks, including Wisdom of the Hidden Realms Oracle Cards, The Wisdom of Avalon Oracle Cards, Messages From Spirit: The Extraordinary Power of Oracles, Omens, and Signs, Remembering the Future, and The Map (all published by Hay House). I can tell right now that I want to read The Map (subtitled "Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life"), which should complement The Enchanted Map Oracle nicely. Find out more about Colette Baron-Reid on her web site: http://colettebaronreid.com/

APPEARANCE, SIZE, QUALITY

The Enchanted Map Oracle cards measure 5" x 3.5", an easy size to handle and shuffle, and are printed on sturdy, glossy stock. The edges are trimmed in gold, giving the deck an elegant appearance.

Cards are numbered at the top in white. The title of each card appears in white at the bottom, printed on what looks like a piece of ancient parchment or scroll. Each card is framed in a textured pale gold pattern.

The backs of the cards are pale minty green. A mirrored image of the compass (from Card 50) is placed in the center. The backs look the same whether the card is upright or reversed.

ART

I was unfamiliar with Jena DellaGrottaglia's art before receiving this deck. After seeing what she did with The Enchanted Map Oracle, I spent quite a lot of time viewing her work at http://autumnsgoddess.deviantart.com/ and http://www.fantasyartfanatics.com/jena-dellagrottaglia.html . Do yourself a favor and go take a look. Her art is mesmerizing, captivating, and any other high-praise adjective you care to apply.

For The Enchanted Map Oracle, DellaGrottaglia created a set of rich, vibrant pieces of art. They evoke a complete range of emotions.  Some are whimsical, like the illustration on Card 38, Heal the "Ouch," which features a raccoon in a Red Cross cap tending to a fox with an ice pack on its head. The background on the card is rosy pink and dappled, suggesting health and happiness to come. The author's message on this card is "Forgiveness is the healer of the soul."

Other cards that feature animals include Card 54, Encouragement, which depicts a mother giraffe and baby. On Card 53, Listening, an elephant with bowed head appears to be listening to musical notes that dance in the air. Card 25, Metamorphosis, features flamingoes with butterfly wings. On Card 28, Movement, an ostrich journeys across an open landscape, carrying a patch of ground with a windmill on its back.

The background for Card 50 -- Compass -- is painted in bright shades of turquoise, teal, and blue. The compass is rich gold, burgundy, and brown. A tiny frog perches on the edge. Zodiac symbols parade in a circle. In the center we see flames and smoke. There is mystery and power here, a feeling of uncharted territory ahead.

Some images are light and airy; others are dark and moody, in keeping with the nature of the card. Card 17, Ghostlands; Card 19, Dragon's Lair; and Card 26, Deep Freeze, send a chill right up my spine.

Whether the card features human beings, animals, or inanimate objects, there is always a keen sense of place -- appropriate since we are dealing with an enchanted map.

BOTTOM LINE

This is my first Colette Baron-Reid product, but probably won't be my last. I have not yet read with this deck, but I will soon, and will post outcomes here with a link under this review. I really like the author's tone in the guidebook -- straightforward, frank, and realistic. Don't expect empty platitudes or pats on the head with this book or deck. You're going to be encouraged to think, feel, analyze, and explore.

Thanks to Jena DellaGrottaglia's amazing art, each of these cards can serve as a meditation tool, leading the seeker into wondrous inner and outer worlds. I know everybody borrows Dr. Seuss, but I'm going to do it anyway: "Oh, the places you'll go" with The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards!

To see a reading I did with these cards, click HERE.


In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I hereby disclose that this product was provided by the publisher for free. Other than the occasional review copy, I receive no monetary or in-kind compensation for my reviews.  The substance of my reviews is not influenced by whether I do or do not receive a review copy.


16 comments:

  1. such wonderful and kind words, I am honored and full of glee!!

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  2. Hello Jena, I am honored that you stopped by the blog! Thank you for sharing your magical art with us.

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  3. oh also my home page is autumnsgoddess.com please stop by and feel free to leave a comment!

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  4. Fantastic review, thank you! I was drawn to this deck as soon as I saw it & am even moreso now. Beautiful

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  5. Zanna, once again, another wonderful, descriptive and detailed review. I have had Ms. Baron-Reid's "The Wisdom of Avalon Oracle Cards" for a few years, and I love them. A regular participant has the book "The Map" and he raves about it. Definitely another one to add to the "MUST buy" list.

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  6. Thanks so much for stopping by, Robert, and for your kind comments.

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  7. Zanna, thank you so much for this review. I was really debating about this deck. It looked interesting, but I questioned what value it might actually have for me. After reading your thoroughly delightful review, I am going to get this deck -- and the Map book as well. Your review is the only one I found from which I actually felt I could connect to these oracle cards. Now, I'm excited to get them and see them in action!

    Sharon (Velvet Angel)

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  8. Sharon, I'm happy to be of assistance! :)

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  9. Thank you for a wonderful review, Zanna!

    I have this deck (and the book) myself and can honestly say it's the most beautiful oracle I have ever seen. And I've seen and own a lot.
    To add that it's actually also useful seals the deal for me.
    I'm definitely going to get a backup. ;)

    Nina

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  10. You're welcome, Nina. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

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  11. Hi, I am really looking forward to seeing a sample reading posted with this oracle and linked. Thank you for your review!

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    1. Hello Anonymous! Thank you for giving me a great idea for a future blog post. I'll start working on it!

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  12. Great review! Really love this deck and it seems that our customers do too (www.psychicbazaar.com)

    Would you be interested in doing a guest blog? We love the detail of your reviews :-)

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  13. I fully agree with your review. It is the most beautiful oracle deck I've ever seen and the readings are very accurate.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I love hearing from my readers!
~ Zanna