By Mike Gleason
The Fairy Ring: An Oracle of the Fairy Folk, book by Anna Franklin, illustrated by Paul Mason
Llewellyn Publications, 0738702749
One thing needs to be very clear at the outset. This is NOT a Tarot deck. It has no Major Arcana, as such, instead it has eight Fairy Festival (Sabbat) cards, there are only 13 cards in each of the “suits” of the Minor Arcana (there is no “ten” and the Page has been replaced by the Lady). It also includes four cards illustrating layouts and the meanings for each position within the layouts. These cards will be an invaluable aid to becoming comfortable and familiar with these new layouts.
These cards are interesting on many levels, ranging from the expected ones of divining information and serving as a meditation tool to the unexpected use as a kind of mug shot book of the Celtic branch of the wee folk. Utilizing the book which explains the cards, one can gain more insight into the habits and behaviours of the most elusive inhabitants of our world.
Proper methods of behaviour towards these races are discussed, as are their expectations of the humans they choose to interact with.
Granted that there are a very limited number of fairy folk discussed, and this group is all derived from Celtic lands (specifically the British Isles), still there is a wide variety of types discussed. In all there are 56 spirits covered (each suit contains one double card). Of these, ways of contacting and working with are given for 40. The other 16 are “not recommended” to work with, for various reasons.
The cards are beautifully drawn, and the descriptions and divinatory meanings given in the book give a good starting point for your own encounters with the inhabitants of the land of Fairy.
Even in you don’t want to use them for divinatory purposes you could spend hours meditating upon them, Each card provides an easy entrance into the world of the particular spirit.
It will be a while before I have any solid, personal opinions regarding the layouts developed for these cards, but at this time I can say that they appear to offer some very interesting insights.