I have to admit that I just don’t “get” the current crop of oracle decks. I have several and a number of them are quite beautiful, but they don’t really speak to me in any useful or meaningful way. The main problem, at least for me, is that each deck has its own unique system of interpretation, and it is necessary to learn that if you don’t plan to approach the deck’s images in an entirely free-form manner by absorbing the visual cues. I have no problem with that for those who thrive on such fluidity, but I like some intellectual “connecting tissue” to bind my readings together, and bouncing all over the map from one isolated card meaning to another in hope of something jelling becomes an exercise in frustration. Chalk it up to my preferred reading style, which is more methodical and analytical than freely associative.
There are exceptions. The PsyCards I find both attractive and functional (although I really should buy the companion book to get the most value out of them). The Messenger Oracle I have used in combined readings with the Voyager Tarot to give a more colloquial perspective. The Chrysalis Tarot, which in many ways is more “oracle” than “tarot,” is a splendid deck that inspires appealing side-trips into unconventional territory if one sets standard meanings aside and gives free rein to the imagination. In many cases, though, the sticking point for me beyond the alien structure is that so many of these decks seem to be aimed solely at affirmation; the cards are decidedly positive in nature rather than balanced. I like a deck that effectively blends light and shadow since there isn’t much empowerment to be gained from simply saying “It’s all good.” In that sense, the concept behind the various “angel cards” does little for me.
In retrospect, I could have done without the Oracle of Visions, which I find entirely too mannered for my taste, and the Earth Wisdom oracle, while nicely executed, doesn’t move me either. It takes more than pretty pictures to make a worthwhile reading deck, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to deal with reinventing the wheel each time I tackle a new deck. At this point I’m not intending to seek out any more modern oracle decks for my collection, and will only consider established cartomantic systems that offer a particularly compelling vision. The Kipper cards and the playing cards are two that I intend to explore in greater depth, and Lenormand will continue to be a mainstay of my practice.