Beautiful Cards With Mystical Messages…
This is a review of one of the newest decks to join my collection: the “Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards” deck by Denise Linn, as well as an explanation of how I evaluate potential additions to my reader collection. I’ve been using the “Traveler” deck for almost a month now and even brought it with me to a recent two-day event. I like it so much that I’ve decided to include it in my “regular line-up” of tarot and oracle decks.
I’ve collected tarot decks for many years now and, like most professional readers, I have an extensive collection. (So many, in fact, that I recently added them all to a private Amazon list so I wouldn’t order any duplicates. That list has more than 60 entries!) The reality is, however, that most of those cards are stored in wooden boxes, pushed to the back of a shelf, and I really only use about a dozen decks regularly. It’s a lot like having a closet stuffed with clothing and shoes but only ever wearing your favorite two or three outfits—know what I mean?
These days I try to restrain myself from adding any decks that I’m not going to love and use regularly. (I just don’t have the room!) So what does it take for a new deck to join my favorites? First, I look for artwork I like, in a style that fits me and my clients. I tend to use different decks for different types of readings—for instance, “The Romance Angels” or “Whispers Of Love” for questions about relationships—so when I’m evaluating a new deck, I consider what kinds of readings it would be good for. Also, I think about what type of client it might resonate with and whether or not I already have enough decks in that category. An example of this is having several modern or goth decks that appeal to teenagers at a ren fair, as well as several angel decks that older, more religious clients, especially women, might feel comfortable with. Clients tend to look at the cards during a reading and it’s helpful if they see images they like and can relate to. So if I have room in that category, the prospective deck is more likely to get used.
The next, most important consideration for me, is do the images work well with the printed messages and do I find the artwork to be evocative. I am an intuitive reader. I don’t memorize guidebooks for every new deck I buy. (In fact, I rarely even look at the guidebooks! More on that later.) Instead, I rely on the card images to evoke feelings and messages. This means that the artwork has to convey something and, if there are also words on the card, the artwork must fit with the written message. A happy, sunny picture of a family playing, for instance, would not fit with a written message about feeling alone and isolated, right? That’s an extreme example, but you get the idea. Likewise, a picture of just a flower—even one painted beautifully—does not convey much of a message. (If the deck is supposed to be a variation of a tarot deck, I’m also looking to see if the images fit the traditional tarot story. More on that in another article.)
With this criteria in mind, I was pleased on all points with the “Sacred Traveler” deck. I had previewed it as much as possible on Amazon before ordering it, but there’s a lot you can’t tell from a few written reviews and a couple of pictures. I like the images on all 52 cards. The artwork is consistent and the cards all seem to “match”. The style and subject matter have a fairy tale quality, including a knight in armor, a dragon, a genie lamp, a Phoenix, a viking ship, and even a card that says “Believe in magic”. However, it’s not as fantastical as some of my other cards (such as the fairy or mermaid decks) and is realistic enough to appeal to (whimsically-minded) adults. Also, I find the theme of a quest or journey works with a lot of the questions I’m asked in readings.
The cards are a nice size: large enough to see easily but not difficult to handle. (I can’t really shuffle them, but that’s true of most of my tarot decks.) The card stock is just thick enough, not flimsy, and I like the matte finish on both sides. Speaking of both sides, I love the purple backs with the elaborate mandala design. (I have several decks with beautiful fronts but disappointingly ugly backs. That is not the case at all with this deck!) The edges are not gilded (gold or silver) and that might have been pretty, but at least the cards don’t stick together.
Another thing I like about this deck is that even with the little guidebook inside, the outer box is still small enough to use it for storing the cards. That’s how I keep most of my decks: I store them in the box they came in. The exception to this is a couple of favorite decks that were packaged in fancy boxes that are far too large to carry around. The cloth bags I store them in don’t provide as much protection and make it difficult to identify which deck I’m grabbing, so not an ideal solution.
I mentioned previously that I rarely read the guide books that come with the cards. Since I know most of you do, I looked it over before writing this review. The cards themselves each have a title and short phrase written on them, but if you’re not an intuitive reader, you may want more definitions. The book (and it is a book, not just a pamphlet) seems substantial to me. It lists every card along with its wording and an expanded definition and meaning. (No reverse meanings.) There is a (very) small image of each card along with its definition, but the images are black and white (and small), so you won’t learn anything extra from those. You could easily match up the definitions with the cards themselves and read the expanded meanings while you’re learning the deck. (Just put the book away before giving a professional reading!)
I purchased the deck on Amazon and paid just over $16 for it. (That’s another qualifier I try to stick to: most of the decks I recommend are at or under $20.) All in all, I’m quite pleased with this purchase and would recommend the deck if you find the images and theme speak to you.
That’s my review of the “Sacred Traveler Oracle Cards”. If you found it helpful, follow me on Instagram to see more of my articles, posts and pins. ♥
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