Lunaea Weatherstone (Portland, Oregon) is a priestess, writer, teacher, and tarot counselor who has been serving the Pagan community for more than twenty-five years, since her days as owner/editor of SageWoman magazine. As Grove Mother for the Sisterhood of the Silver Branch, she offers year-long programs in goddess spirituality. Lunaea has been working with the tarot for more than forty years. Antonella Castelli is a fine-artist based in Italy.
The Astrological Oracle shines with the brilliance of the stars, both literally, with its silver metallic ink and gilt edges, and metaphorically, with its cards representing the starry constellations and heavenly bodies. Since we all have a little cosmic stardust within us, this deck will resonate with anyone interested in astrology.
The Astrological Oracle is very nearly what I think of as a perfect package as far as oracle decks go. Although with tarot decks, I don't put much emphasis on packaging, since I like to keep them in bags. But oracle decks are different. They are like (or should be) little treasures unto themselves. And so, I want the packaging of oracles to be special. The packaging for The Astrological Oracle made me anticipate sparkly beauty and shining brilliance inside. The art nouveau style art that graces the small, sturdy box is highlighted with sparkly silver. The silver isn't just a flat metallic; it is textured and twinkly. The box includes an attached ribbon so that it is easy to remove the small book and cards.
The cards, which are, of course, also art nouveau in style, have shiny silver gilt edges and matte silver highlights. It is easy to be heavy-handed with metallic inks, but these are exquisitely done with just enough to add a touch of magic and elegance.
There are 22 cards: the 12 astrological signs, the sun and moon, and the nine planets.
The art is lovely, well executed and just so pleasing to look at. The images on the planets reflect the gods and goddesses, which they are named after. The signs are a bit inconsistent. Seven of them show a beautiful woman as the main picture with a small inset of the sign's associated symbol (such as a lion with Leo and a set of scales with Libra). While the inset image certainly reflects the sign, the images of the women (at least to me) do not. For example, the woman on Leo looks shy and demur. Although, I like that Leo is shown with a sunflower and poppies, flowers that seem to fit this sign's powerful and charismatic energy. Five of the cards (Virgo, Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces, and Aquarius) do not have inset images. However, the women on the cards do seem to better reflect the sign's meaning. Gemini shows twins, Sagittarius shows a centaur with a bow and arrow, Pisces is a mermaid, and Aquarius is holding a water pot. Virgo made me laugh, for she seems to be fussing with a button on her dress (which she isn't even wearing).
The booklet is 192 pages, with 54 of those pages in English. The last two pages list the glyphs for all the astrological signs and planetary bodies, which is very handy.
The text for the signs includes the name, the nickname (such as "The Ram" for Aries), the element, the planetary ruler, the motto (such as "I control" for Capricorn), and a short meaning. The planets just have a meaning.
Also included is a description of the Houses in a natal chart. This is not just useful information, but necessary, as one of the divinatory techniques is based on the Houses.
One thing, not mentioned in the booklet, that these cards can be used for is to learn astrology. Using the cards as flashcards, along with the little booklet, can aid in memorizing what the signs and planets mean. There are two fun (and useful, based on my experiences) methods for using the cards included in the booklet.
The first is the Divine Dialogue Reading wherein you select two of the planetary cards to answer a question. The book includes special meanings for all possible combinations. This is also helpful in learning astrology in general because in a chart, more than one planet can be present, so this helps you see how they can be combined.
The next method can be used as a general reading, since it is based on the Houses in an astrological chart. You select on of the signs at random. That card goes in the position of the first House. Then you place the cards in the rest of the Houses in order, so that it mimics a natal chart. After you read the chart/spread, you can pick an area that you are particularly interested in and add up to three of the planetary cards. The booklet also includes meanings for each of the planets in all of the signs.
All of the combinations of meanings makes this not only a very useful oracle but also a great way to start learning astrology.
If you like art nouveau, anything pretty and sparkly, or are interested in astrology, you will surely enjoy this deck.
Name of deck: Astrological Oracle Cards
Reviewer's Byline: Barbara Moore
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Creator(s) name(s): Antonella Castelli
Artist(s) name(s): Antonella Castelli
Name of accompanying book/booklet: Astrological Oracle Cards
Number of pages of book/booklet: 191, 54 in English
Author(s) of book/booklet: Lunaea Weatherstone
Available in a boxed kit?: Yes