I’m so enthralled by Madame Endora’s Fortune Cards that I’ll be ordering a second copy to keep in its packaging and save as a back-up. The art is beautiful, digitally rendered, highly detailed, and awe-inspiring. I get a subdued Ciro Marchetti vibe from these cards.
Let’s start with the deck structure. I love the thought that has clearly gone into this oracle system. There’s the Royal Court, consisting of eight cards, that represent influential personalities or actual people and dispositions that might be at play in the matter you’re querying about.
While an accompanying little white booklet goes into some detail about how to interpret each card, I didn’t find it particularly helpful, and for this deck, felt it was more productive for me to simply set the LWB aside and just go with what came to me when I saw each of these archetypal persona titles.
Next there’s the Realm of Fable, consisting of ten cards. Here you can mythical creatures such as the Golem, Satyr, the Siren, and Sphinx. There are also circumstances in life that are personified here as mythical creatures, like Seduction, Serendipity, Hindrance. When one of the cards from the Realm of Fable shows up, you’re seeing the spirit influences over your destiny.
The Bestiary is a collection of ten more cards and here you can get a bit into reading animal spirits, animal totems, or shamanic animal medicine into any of these cards that might show up in a spread. Bestiary cards impart important life lessons and truths. It reveals at the fundamental level what primal instinct is most needed for the matter at hand and how to activate that power within you.
Next is the Treasury, which consists of twelve cards that don’t perfectly but do sort of resonate with the twelve signs of a zodiac. The Treasury kind of feels like its own zodiac system of sorts. Here, we see energies representative of the tools or assets needed to facilitate achievement and success. In conception, the whole of the Treasury is at your disposal to access and draw from. Which resource from your spiritual inner Treasury is needed for achieving a particular goal is going to be represented by the Treasury card that comes up in your reading.
One fun way to work with the Fortune Cards is to pull aside these twelve Treasury cards only, as the twelve cards represent a zodiac of your assets, a portfolio that is within you. Shuffle just these twelve cards with a specific intention programmed into your shuffling–pulling the asset or resource you most need to tap into and manifest to get what you want. Then draw one Treasury card and then follow through– focus on tapping in to that inner resource.
Finally, you’ve got the Elements, eight cards that are beautifully curated by the deck creators. You’ve got the Sun, Moon, and Stars, then the Winds of Change. You’ve also got the four alchemical elements in the Western tradition, Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. These I think are great for helping you determine how to spell-craft for a particular situation. If you pull a sun, tailor a spell for drawing upon solar powers to be channeled in to your goal; if you pull the moon, then lunar powers, etc. Winds of Change I kind of read as similar to, say, pulling the Wheel of Fortune card in the tarot deck.
Then, of course, the four elementals are easy to read. If you pull the Air card, then activate stronger metaphysical Air from your environment to channel into your goal. The Elements cards represent the environmental influences at play.
Above I’m test-driving one of the card spreads instructed in the little white book. For some reason I kept pulling The Chimera card when I worked with this deck. I also found the card spreads taught in the book to be practical, insightful, and good ones to add to your personal portfolio of spreads.
Madame Endora’s Fortune Cards are whimsical yet packed to give powerful readings. They are eerily accurate if you know how to work within the oracle system. I think it does take some tinkering. You can’t transplant your approach to tarot reading into working with the Fortune Cards. If you’re a tarot reader, take a step back, pretend you don’t know tarot, and then think of the deck as having its own categorization systems (noted above) and think about the implications of the categorization systems triggered in your reading. For example, were they mostly Bestiary cards? Mostly from the Realm of Fable? Elements? Or don’t work with the whole deck altogether and instead, separate out the categorization systems and work with just one set of cards to zero in on something very specific.
By the way, quick note on packaging– nice, simple keepsake box, nothing over-the-top, but still sturdy.
I understand that it would have increased the overhead cost of goods for the cards if gilding was applied, but oh man– look at the difference a little black edging makes! The cards when they come as-is can be a bit over-manufactured looking, especially given the fact the art style is digital already. I think as a deck designer, if you’re going to go with a digital art style, then you do need to balance that out with the presentation of the cardstock, border design details, etc. Otherwise, the digital art style in a tarot or oracle deck runs the risk of the cards looking too pop culture. Nothing wrong with that, but personally, as a reader, I do prefer a more timeless looking deck. Digital art is an extremely difficult medium for achieving that timeless aesthetic.
After a simple exercise of edging the cards with a black permanent marker, this deck is just a sight to behold. The card back design, by the way, is just exquisite. I love the black and gold ornamental detailing.
This deck is worth getting for your arsenal of decks. I haven’t folded it into my regular go-to decks, but I’ve definitely had instances where I wanted to reach specifically for this deck and it worked like a dream.