by Stacey Demarco and Jimmy Manton
This is what I would call a great “starter oracle”, hence 4 stars as opposed to 5. There are 36 cards in the deck, and like many decks produced by Blue Angel, they’re a bit bigger than average, with a glossy finish. This makes shuffling a bit difficult if you have smaller hands. The approach to Halloween images and themes is on the general side, which makes the deck accessible — hence, my description as a “starter oracle”. The cards contain a keyword phrase on them, so you don’t need the guide to perform a reading, and at a page or less per card, the guide doesn’t offer much depth or added context — which is fine in a starter deck.
The images and their descriptions are general, yet accessible. In the introduction, the author states that they are Australian, where Halloween, a distinctly North American holiday tradition, is only beginning to gain popularity. So, for an audience that isn’t North American, this is again, a very approachable introduction to Halloween imagery and symbols. However, for an American steeped in Halloween lore, this deck might fall short for some users.
There’s a bit of multi cultural representation with a few Dia de Los Muertos cards, which again — are very general (and approachable) but are only the beginning of Dia de Los Muertos rich history and traditions, not the end. However, it is nice to see that represented, since in America these two holidays are closely associated and for many, celebrated concurrently.
There were only a few cards that didn’t make sense, like Nightsong having a red bird that one wouldn’t see at night, and the fact that bats weren’t represented anywhere in the deck.
The art is digital, somewhere between digital collage and painting for most cards. They are attractive cards, but I wouldn’t call the art stunning. They could have certainly been rendered on a smaller sized card that’s easier to shuffle without losing any quality. Most of the images for the symbols chosen in the deck are straightforward, without too much hidden meaning. The cards have a very “Halloween” look to them.
Overall, it’s a solid addition to a tarot/oracle collection, one that’s fun to have access to in October, and would make a fantastic gift for the resident teenage creepy kid in your family.