After dragging my feet for a couple of years, I finally located a copy of the Psycards oracle deck, which was recommended to me by several forum mates. This is a beautifully illustrated deck of 40 cards structured around a series of iconic personal and social archetypes such as Birth, Death, Health, Libido, Home, Work, Skills, Money, Friendship, Fortune, Beauty, Peace and so forth. It contains four cards that can (and should) be used separately as simple yes-or-no indicators to determine the likelihood and imminence of success in any endeavor: Yes, No, Now and Never. I keep these cards separate from the pack that I shuffle for a reading, but I may factor them in at the end as an addendum to the outcome. It also has a card that can serve as a Significator (The Inquirer) or. alternatively, a topic card can be chosen from the deck for that purpose (for example, I have used the Work card and the Home card as the Significators for questions related to those areas).
The deck contains several stereotypical human archetypes, specifically the Father, the Mother, the Fool, the Sage and the Warrior, and a few that I consider “niche” characters (the Liar, the Stranger, the Beast, the Beauty). It has the obligatory “celestial” archetypes – the Stars, Sun and Moon – with the customary meanings found in many other decks. I have used the five conventional archetype cards as a sub-set to draw from as a way to pinpoint the stance or attitude the querent should adopt in the matter. After choosing one at random, I shuffle the others back into the deck, where they can then represent other people.
As the name suggests, the cards are intended primarily for psychological assessment, with the objective of promoting personal awareness and growth of the psyche. I seldom do psychological profiling for myself or others with cards, preferring a situational and developmental focus on upcoming actions and events. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Psycards perform in those areas.
I was struck immediately by how many similarities there are between these cards and both Lenormand and tarot cards. Many of them have identical titles or at least comparable themes; I took the time to create a cross-reference table comparing all three systems for equivalent card titles as well as common keywords and concepts. The table appears at the end of this review, and may be useful in getting a handle on interpretation.
All in all, I’m happy with the professionalism of the artwork, the thoughtfulness of the symbolic architecture and the excellent production values for this deck. I see it as a deck to grow with, always a good sign. Experienced users of other oracle decks will find many familiar ideas here, and will have no trouble with those that are unique to the Psycards. There is no LWB as such, just an accordion fold-out of six double-sided pages, several of which contain promotional text. What’s left is a couple of pages of key words and phrases, and one sample spread. Fortunately, many of the concepts are standard fare, and those that aren’t can be intuitively deciphered with a little thought. There is a 216-page companion book written by Nick Hobson (The Psycards Book: A Journey into the Psyche) that I’m told is well worth owning.