The Ostinato Oracle: A Music-Inspired Deck

The Ostinato Oracle by Mellie Parkway is a lot more profound than it first appears. It combines cartomancy with musical terms, on the premise that these symbols we use in the music world connect to the collective unconscious. Archetypes in the music we create, like archetypes found in mythology, can reveal insightful aspects of our inner selves.

In its own words, the Ostinato Oracle guides you through the harmonious and cacophonous elements of existence so that you might live a gorgeous masterpiece. Come to think of it, there’s a lenormand vibe here!

This is a beautiful 43-card deck that comes in a matte finish box. The cards are gilded and there’s a bi-fold Quick Reference Guide that tucks inside the box. You can also get the full-size companion guidebook, as you see above, that gets into the musical indication of each glyph and its divinatory meaning when these musical instruction symbols are used in this way, via cartomancy.

For anyone classically trained in music, this deck and book set will bring a smile to your face. First, the explanation for each musical symbol is so thrillingly music-nerdy. And second, the oracular message Parkway has conceived of for these musical symbols are on point! As someone with a classically trained music background (violin, piano, etc.), I think she did an amazing job!

The tiny bifold Quick Reference Guide is really useful, and the full companion book that it comes with was a joy to read, especially for someone who comes from a classically trained music background.

Some of these oracle message to musical symbol associations are whimsical and ever so true, aren’t they? Like Staccato – Favor Brevity. Trill – Calm Down. Coda – Accept Endings. (Ha, ha ha ha… a lot of these are really cute nerdy musical jokes.)

The oracle messages are remarkably psychic by the way. I loved trying out all the card spreads signature to this deck, like the Moonlight Sonata three-card reading.

I’m debating whether I think the oracle key phrases should have been included along the bottom of each card. The way the card layout is designed, there is certainly the space for it.

The argument for keeping it as-is the way the deck creator has intended is to keep it free for you to ascribe your own meanings to each musical symbol, in the instances where you might not agree with the deck creator’s attributions.

The argument for including the key phrases from that bi-fold reference pamphlet is (1) as someone from the world of music, I would say the messages are quite on point, but that’s still just opinion, so (2) because it will make this deck more user-friendly for people who might not know a whole ton about music but still want to enjoy working with this deck. It can get a little cumbersome to have to look up the oracle phrase in the bi-fold pamphlet every time you do a quick 3-card reading.

Right now as I type this up, I’m thinking I lean toward wishing the key phrases had been printed directly onto the cards, but I mean, I can be persuaded to agree with either side. =)

Everything about this little oracle deck is right up my alley, and for me, it brings up so much nostalgia, because once upon a time, my everyday life was governed by music rehearsals, concerts, auditions, symphony or orchestra friends, and instruments. To have stumbled upon the discovery of such an unique premise for a deck has been a total delight.

Learn more about The Ostinato Oracle at Mellie’s Terrace, here:


FTC Disclosure: In accordance with Title 16 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Part 255, “Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” I received the deck and book set from the creator for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck.

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