The word “oracle” originates from the Latin verb meaning ‘to speak’ but also refers to those who offer oracular utterances.
Traditionally, these were the priests or priestesses of the temple who would impart words of divine insight said to be sent directly from their gods and goddesses.
Art Through the Starstream Oracle is a divination tool that centers features the artistic work of Cheryl Yambrach Rose.
The deck reproduces includes 52 of her paintings which she has created over many years and which feature or are based around inner plane archetypes, mythical concepts and esoteric insights.
Drawn from several different esoteric sources, the cards are designed to act as doorways into the influence and magick that is to be found within a world that parallels our own but which also interpenetrates with ours from time to time.
Thus, this is not so much a deck of fortune-telling cards like the Tarot but a collection of oracles which offer insight and revelation into a variety of spiritual dynamics.
Art Through the Starstream Oracle comes in a strong presentation box and includes a booklet that describes and explains the various cards and their meanings as well as the cards themselves.
Let us look at them in closer detail.
The booklet (cover left) that accompanies this deck is 114 pages long. Each page describes the relevant card with a reproduction of the its image and an accompanying, concise explanatory meaning.
The author also includes a short background story to illustrate the myth, legend or story that lies behind each card.
The booklet includes some background to the artwork by the author, a short explanation on using the oracle cards as well as a few card spreads that are unique to this deck.
The cards each measure 6” x 3.5” (9cm x15m) and have been printed with a high-gloss finish.
Each card includes a narrow (1cm border) around the main illustrations—images that have been reproduced in full-color throughout the deck.
The card faces also includes the card number, the brief descriptive meaning and the card’s title.
The 52 cards exemplify a number of different occult themes, some of which are drawn from traditional Celtic/Pagan sources and others which are reflective of more econtemporary occult ideas.
Within this deck, characters such as King Arthur, the Grail King. the Green Man and Mary Magdalene are infused with legends surrounding the White Horse, Gilgamesh, Hopi Prophecy, Silbury Hill, Avalon and even the Talos.
Outside of the Western Mystery Tradition, the author has dedicated cards to the Egyptian Goddess Isis, Arianni (Inner Earth), Huichol Tribe who originated from the star Sirius and Lenticular Dancing from Mount Shasta.
The rear of each card depicts a red-headed, bare-chested, woman (possibly a self-portrait of the artist herself?) set against the backdrop of a countryside scene.
The themes within the cards vary greatly but there is a strong emphasis upon the Celtic, Grail and Western Mystery Traditions.
The 52 cards of the Art Through the Starstream Oracle deck have been produced to a very high quality indeed.
The card stock is excellent and its heavy duty feel gives the impression that these cards will tolerate a great deal of use and abuse, over time.
The gold edging to the cards gives them a certain sense of class not found with many other decks and in a pristine state this is a beautifully created deck.
How long the gilt-edge remains before it starts wearing off is not known but as a stacked deck they do look very expensive as well as exude a sense that they are a product that any owner will be proud to own.
The cards themselves, it should be noted, are very large indeed. While this does mean that the details of the original artwork is clear to see, the result is a deck that is far too large and cumbersome to shuffle in the traditional way.
This is a pity as the glossy sheen to the cards results in them moving between and through each other with great ease.
Because of the limitations of the card-size and the nature of the deck itself, I do question whether this is a deck that can in fact be successfully used as a traditional divination device.
I appreciate that the author has included a couple of spreads in her book I am not sure whether this deck will really operate in the way that say, the Tarot does so successfully.
However, as a deck to be consulted as an oracle (a single card pulled from a stacked deck and meditated upon), I believe this could be a powerful magickal tool in the hands of a psychic.
It is nice to see that the handbook that accompanies these cards has been produced with as much focus on quality as the deck. The included stories and myths make for great reading and the result is a book that reads as a completed commentary of myth and occultism.
I will not comment on the actual artwork that is reproduced on these cards… you will either take to its rather Western stylized imagery or not according to your own personal tastes.
To sum up:
What I liked:
- The overall concept
- Quality of the cards
- Quality of the booklet
What I did NOT like:
- Size of the cards
- Lack of shadow archetypes
- Card titles too small
- Card descriptions too large
So, this is a deck that I feel can offer a great opportunity for students to approach a variety of mythic themes in a rather loose (i.e. non-structured) and non-challenging way. I am so pleased that the author kept these cards as an oracle rather than try and shoe-horn her artwork into a traditional Tarot format.
In this sense, this is a fun and engaging psychic tool that pitches itself somewhat higher than many other lesser products on the market today.
An impressive, high-quality deck that will inspire and educate devout students of the western mystery tradition.