Originally, published on The Bohemianess blog, March 30th, 2017
Oracle Deck Review: Chinese Fortune Reading Cards
Chinese Fortune Reading Cards is a new deck from Rockpool Publishing, written by Sydney-based psychic and Feng Shui Master Sharina Star. Amazon's release date for these is June 2017. They are available now at the publisher's Australia-based website.
The 36-card deck and book are housed in a lovely sturdy box that closes magnetically. Inside the box is a plastic insert with a recess in it to hold the cards nicely, laying the book on top. The cards are large, measuring 3 3/4" x 5 1/2". They have a highly glossy finish and are incredibly flexible and easy to shuffle. Since the cards are so big, I riffle-shuffle mine vertically and have no problem, since the cards are so pliable. The backs are not reversible, but the deck isn't meant to be used with reversals.
The cards are numbered at the top. The main images are held within circles in the cards. Above each circle is what I assume to be the card's title in Chinese and below the circle is the title in English.
Normally I am a not a fan of borders. And these cards are half border. But it works, and I am never distracted by the borders in these cards because the focus is on the circle in the center. And the circles themselves are made with painted lines, so they are not complete perfect circles, which makes it so much nicer to look at. I love the way some of the images in the circle bleed out of the circle a little. The Sun's rays reach out of the circle a bit. The fish in the Love card are totally ignoring the boundaries of their circle. The water in the Travel card emerges past the bottom of the circle. I love these little touches. It gives the cards a wonderful sense of flow rather than feeling static.
The deck images are comprised of a combination of photos and artwork. I don't mind this, as I feel they blend together beautifully, but I did find the incongruity within the drawings themselves a bit strange. There are some lovely vintage looking drawings mixed in with a couple of cartoonish ones which seem out of place in this deck that feels more refined than that.
Some of these cards are so stunningly beautiful I could just stare and stare at them. The flames in the Renewal card look alive and appear to be coming up out of the card. The Sun card, though very simple, is very effective in its design and coloring. The Karma card is gorgeous, with just a hint of the face of a blue-shaded goddess statue adorned with flowers. The Wisdom card has a very zen beauty to it. (All of these cards are shown in the image above.)
There are three money-related cards in the deck (Abundance, Money and Prosperity), not counting the Work card. And there are three cards that seem solely romance-related at first glance (Love, Proposal and Marriage) but Proposal and Marriage are also applicable to business relationships. There are also two cards similarly titled Soul Symbol and Spirit Symbol, but each have a different meaning.
How it Reads
When I first got this deck, my 13-year old daughter was drawn to them and asked me every day to pull a card for her. She always enjoyed her message for the day and could relate to the messages. She continues to ask for readings with this deck.
For myself, I found that the cards weren't so much divinatory as they were ideas for focus. When I would draw a card, it wouldn't play out in my daily life like some oracles do, but rather it gave me something to focus on. An idea to contemplate. An intention to hold, rather than something I should expect to happen out of the blue. This is where the Feng Shui tips in the book come in handy (more on that further down in the review). Pull a card, set the intention (if it's something you want) and help it along with the author's tips. I can also see placing a card on your altar as a beautiful symbol of something you would like to manifest or embody in your life.
I love the simplicity of the symbols in this deck. It allows your mind to focus on a simple image and keyword and although there is a book, the cards are self-explanatory. There isn't a whole system to have to learn. It's simple and easy for anyone to read with these cards.
When looking through the cards, they feel very spiritual. There is a definite mystical vibe to them.
The accompanying book is 92 pages. It begins with a Table of Contents, followed by a one-page Introduction to the deck. This is followed by a 4-page section on How to Use the Cards which gives you two layouts (a 1-card and a 3-card Past-Present-Future) with sample readings. The remainder of the book is dedicated to the card meanings. I appreciate that there isn't a huge portion of the book to sift through before getting to the meanings. It jumps in very quickly.
There is a full color image of each card in the book, approximately playing card size. Each passage begins with a "General" meaning section. Next is the "Career/Finances" meaning and then the "Relationships" meaning.
Each card includes a Feng Shui tip, which I thought was a really neat idea. Some of the tips are generally accessible (de-clutter, put your phone in a red cover, place a Quan Yin statue in the home) while others are more obscure or difficult to obtain on a normal day (a pair of rose quartz mandarin ducks, I-Ching coins, a "beautiful bejeweled wish fulfilling carp". That's a thing?). The rose quartz mandarin ducks are mentioned in a few of the tips, so they must be more popular than I'm aware of. Most of the tips, however, are something you can arrange or improvise on.
The final page in the book features the "About the Author" information.
These cards are really beautiful and unique. I don't have another deck like it in my collection. I feel like these cards will serve a variety of purposes depending on who is using it. For some, the fortune-telling aspect might come alive. For others, mixing the cards with intention and Feng Shui will create real magic and change in their lives. And still others might utilize the cards as pieces of art to adorn their altars or corners of their homes to bring some of the positive messages and ideas within sight on a daily basis. Whatever their use, they definitely have a strong, positive spiritual vibe.
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The Bohemianess – 31 March, 2017