Throughout the history of mankind birds of all kinds have played an important role as the carriers of spiritual wisdom and knowledge to mankind. They have often been credited with bringing advice, comfort and guidance from within the inner planes but also of acting as harbingers of impending death and imminent doom.
In her oracle deck ‘The Winged Enchantment” Lesley Morrison has fused her deep insights into the spiritual nature of birds along with the mystical ideas and concepts of visionary artist Lisa Hunt. Together they have created a deck that allows “…humans and birds to form a visual fusion, with the intent of creating a seamless transition between the two realms.“.
The Winged Enchantment Oracle is comprised of a deck of 39 large, color cards with an accompanying explanatory booklet. The following is our impressions of this deck.
The concise manual that accompanies the deck is some 48 pages long and is intended as an initial guide to using and understanding the oracle cards.
Comprised of an introduction to the cards – along with an accompanying illustration of each one, an explanation of their meanings and details of five card spreads to get you started the book acts as a framework for using the oracle deck which is fairly loose in its format. This is, after all. an oracle deck – one in which the archetypal images on the cards are allowed to speak for themselves.
The result is that the authors explain each card not so much within set divinational parameters but rather as a process in which the spirit of each bird/human is allowed to reveal its core nature in a short narrative and concluding couplet.
Each card in this deck is named after one of 39 different types of birds. These range from exotic, extrovert-type of birds; such as the parrot and the peacock, through to more elusive- appearing woodland birds such as the woodpecker and the blue jay.
The deck also includes more common species of our garden birds; such as the finch and the magpie.
Each card is numbered in sequence and have not been divided into any particular grouping such as is the case with suits in Tarot for example. Each one is 9cm x 15cm in size.
The illustrations on the cards have no particular gender bias – featuring as they do both male and female forms. They are, though, fairly light in their composition with only the owl, crow and condor suggestive of the fact that the oracle resonates to darker spiritual themes.
What We Liked About This Deck
- Strong card stock
- Exquisitely drawn Illustrations
- Diversity and range of bird types
What We Did Not Like About This Deck
- Overly large Cards
- Lack of guidance on card usage
Although the deck does not drawn upon a particular spiritual, magickal or shamanic tradition, it does offer something fresh and exciting to anyone who is slightly weary of the more ‘fixed’ methods of divination or inner guidance.
Whilst this is a brave and largely successful attempt at creating a connection through to the spirits of our feathered friends it does, sadly, suffer from a few minor details that cause us to to question the practical usefullness of this deck as a divination system.
The first of these is the lack of any clear guidance on the divinatory meanings behind any of the cards. One might argue that as oracular voices the cards do not qualify for such an analytucal approach as they will, given the opportunity, speak through, and for, themselves.
The issue here is that the accompanying spreads suggest that the cards should indeed be used in a multi-card, divinatory setting which is a long way from the tradition of oracles as single points of reference.
It is perhaps a mute point really but we felt that the contradiction was a strong one and should be pointed out to potential purchasers..
Secondly, we found the cards are much too large to shuffle in any conventional way and so users might find that when performing a spread every card needs to be cut out from the deck one at a time.
However, overall this is definitely a deck that is worth considering as an oracular tool.
The cards are beautiful in themselves and the spiritual guidance on offer from each bird in the booklet matches both the style of their illustration as well as the overall characteristics of birds as we understand them.
Our slight reservations apart regarding this decks format and card size we are sure that given time and some extended practice working with this deck that it will come to offer some very powerful and insightful guidance into the worlds of birds and humans.
The Winged Enchantment Oracle is a deck that allows the world of bird-spirits to carry the wisdom of the gods to mankind in visually exciting and potentially transformative ways.