In Dreams Oracle by Boris Indrikov (U.S. Games)

Renaissance inspired fine art meets art nouveau and Russian surrealism in what is one of the most beautiful decks I’ve seen this year and heck, in a while. In Dreams is an oracle deck that you read prophetically in the manner you would interpret dreams. This is a deck for free association psychological– and psychic– exercises.

40 exquisite cards rich with texture and micro-detailing are subdivided into four suits, which are color-coded along the borders. That floral-geometric fractal design for the card backs– absolute perfection.

Then there is a bonus 41st card–the joker card. It’s the mirroring masked side profiles and the only card that has a message printed on it: “Do what you must and come what may.”

Border Color Element Sphere of Human Life
Blue Air External Events
Red Fire Action
Green Water Feelings and Emotions
Yellow Earth Material World

Blue bordered cards are from the suit of air, indicating an external event. Red bordered cards, fire, indicate action. Green, for water, indicates internal feelings and emotions. And yellow for the suit of earth represents the material world around you.

I love the introductory method of divination instructed in the book: ask the cards, “Which way shall I move?” Then pull a single card. With this deck, one card readings is the recommended approach. Rather than expecting a yes or no response from the cards, conceptualize the response as one of nudging you in the right direction.

The companion guide book offers these beautiful and poetic little nuggets of wisdom that corresponds with each card draw. That first card you saw above, Card 31: “Make a Change, Transform” is accompanied by a quote from Stephen Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People): “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

The quotes that Indrikov has chosen to supplement each card’s oracle message reveal an author with a strong personal interest in psychotherapy and analytic psychology. Like earlier for Card 15, there was a quote from Confucius that feels quite Jungian: “When we see men of worth, we should think of being like them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.” Very shadow-work-y, isn’t it? =)

Indrikov was inspired by the I Ching Book of Changes, tarot, and the metaphorical maps he learned about during psychotherapy sessions, and all those inspirations shine through in these images.

There’s almost a Byzantine-esque religious icon illustration style, with the serene facial expressions and use of intricate ornamental designs to convey texture, hybridized with surrealism, like the violin (viola?) conjoined with the womanly figure. And then, of course, all the flourishing curly cues is very art nouveau.

I really appreciate it when an oracle deck is systematically organized by the creator. The In Dreams Oracle system is subdivided into 12 categories of oracle messages. 9 of those categories consist of 4 cards, one for each of the four elements, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, indicative of how that oracle message plays out in the four spheres of human life.

The four butterflies you see above, for instance, are all from the message category “Renew.” The blue bordered “Renew” butterfly card corresponds with the element Air, so it’s about personal renewal in an area related to external life events. The red bordered “Renew” butterfly corresponds with the element Fire, so this card is about personal renewal in an area related to action; green is Water for the world of feelings and emotions; and that last butterfly card corresponds with Earth, indicative of the material world.

By the way, loving the message that comes with that material world butterfly– “You want change; renew your wardrobe.”

One of those oracle message categories only has 3 cards, though– Conceive, Create, Implement, though it is grouped with that other solitary card (other than the joker)– Grow and Learn. In the guidebook, the “Grow and Learn” single card is sandwiched in between the 3 “Conceive, Create, Implement” cards, so that’s interesting.

  • 4 – Play
  • 4 – Look for Harmony and Balance
  • 4 – Renew (the 4 butterflies)
  • 4 – Stop and Get to Know Yourself
  • 4 – Love to Interact
  • 3 – Conceive, Create, Implement
  • 1 – Grow and Learn
  • 4 – Perceive, Learn, Be Aware
  • 4 – Make a Change, Transform
  • 4 – Dream
  • 4 – Grow and Learn
  • 1 (joker card) – Do What You Must and Come What May

Boris Indrikov is a Moscow-based fantastic realist painter, sculptor, and fabric designer, and one whose works I hope to see a lot more of in the future. What a magnificent 2021 deck release from the world of U.S. Games.

In Dreams Oracle is absolutely a stunner.

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 oracle deck and guidebook set from the publisher for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck and book set.

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