Faeries' Oracle

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  • Edition: Cards
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2000-10-31
  • Publisher: Touchstone

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BRING THE INSIGHT, WISDOM, AND JOY OF THE FAERIES INTO YOUR LIFEUsing the enchanted art of Brian Froud as your guide, enter into the wise and wonderful world of the faeries.The Faeries' Oraclecalls on sylphs, pans, gnomes -- and, of course, faeries -- to lead you on a delightful journey of adventure, discovery, and enlightenment that will illuminate the future and heal the heart and soul. This beautifully designed divination set contains everything you will need to explore this mysterious realm, including:A complete deck of 66 radiant cards by Brian Froud featuring goblins, moon dancers, pixies, boggarts, and other faery folk we first met in Good Faeries/Bad Faeries208-page illustrated book with text by Jessica Macbeth, which will show you how to read the cards ofThe Faeries' Oracle,with particular instruction on personally connecting to and communicating with the faeries

Author Biography

Brian Froud is an artist and author who has created such bestselling books as Good Faeries/Bad Faeries, Lady Cottington's Pressed Faery Book, and Faeries. The conceptual designer for Jim Henson's films, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, he lives in Devon, England.

Table of Contents


Foreword Introduction

PART ONE: Faeries and Oracles

First Steps into the Otherworld
Touching Faery
Reading the Cards
Basic Card Spreads

PART TWO: Reading the Faery Cards

Introducing Certain Faeries
The Zero Card
The Singers of the Realms
The Sidhe
Faery Guides and Guardians
The Help-Line Troupe
The Faery Challengers

PART THREE: Going Deeper

Preparing for a Reading
Reading the Oracle for Others
Faery-Style Readings

Recommended Sources Steps to a Good Reading


from Part One: Faeries and Oracles

How to make friends, influence angels, and read oracles

First Steps into the Otherworld

The first thing I always tell my students about oracles and tarot decks is:Don't read the book.

This book, of course, is different...

This book is about the living oracle of the faeries -- a set of cards and a way of seeing that is different from standard human tarot and oracle cards. Brian once began to paint a human tarot with faery in it, but that wasn't what the faeries wanted him to do. They wanted him to make their own oracle cards, as nearly as he could without being able to paint in light instead of pigments.

This book is also about a different, intuitive way of reading the cards. It starts by helping you to discover your own meanings and insights in the cards instead of telling you mine. Later on, in Part Two, I'll give you the "starter" interpretations as I (and a few others) see them, but right now you need to be aware that any oracle has many possible valid interpretations. These "meanings" change from moment to moment and person to person. Like the faeries, the definitions are changeable and mutable, depending on how you see the world just now and on what the faeries would like to communicate to you. Here we will focus on discovering you?re own individual interpretations and your special pathways and connections with the Faeries' Oracle.

So, what I really meant when I told my classes not to read their books was:Don't read someone else's definition of the cards until you already have some idea of what they mean to you.

Discovering what the cards mean to you, actually looking closely enough at them to begin to find sonic of the faery secrets they hold, will give you a completely different and far more magical and intuitive approach to reading the oracle than memorizing a bunch of definitions. To help you to find your own insights, let's start here with some of the things that you will find useful to do and to understand before you read the second part of this book.

First, take a good look at your attitude. Are you really serious about this? Do you believe you will need to work hard with the cards?

If so, please, don't be like that. As much as you can, let yourself approach the cards and the faeries with a light and playful heart. Consider lightheartedness. We usually think of it as the opposite of having a heavy, sad heart, but the faeries also see it in terms of illumination. A light heart is not onlynotheavy -- it is glowing with joyful light. It allows us to see things in a different light. Be prepared to have fun with this. Be ready to enjoy the inevitable faery jokes and games. This lightheartedness will illuminate the Oracle for you, making your insights brighter, the concepts embodied in the cards more luminous, and your heart capable of holding even more light.

Now, with a healthy, playful mind-set, take the deck of cards and randomly spread them out, faces up, on a table -- or on the floor if, like me, you prefer a lot of space for working. The first thing you will notice, if you have any experience with tarot or oracle cards at all, is that this is not like any other deck. Well, it wouldn't be, would it? This is afaeryoracle, and as unique, unpredictable, humorous, profound, and beautiful as you would expect something of Faery to be.

you will also notice that there are different types of pictures, and I'd like you to begin by dividing the cards into groups that seem to go together. Set your own criteria for selecting them and begin to notice how the different images and beings shown on the cards might relate to each other.

For example, you may sort into one group the cards that look rather abstract, while the other cards form a group showing scenes and beings that appear more detailed and realistic. As you try to divide the cards into these two subsets, you will find that there are a few that don't quite fit neatly into either but have qualities of both. They form a third set of their own.

Another way of sorting the cards is to divide them into a set that only shows one individual on the card, and a set that shows two, and another set that shows three or more. Or you can divide them into the faeries who look beautiful, the ones who look funny or amusing, and the ones who may appear menacing or threatening to you.

you might sort them by the what is on the heads of the principle faery in each card. Some wear wreaths of flowers or leaves. Some wear floating crowns of stars. There are woodland-style acorn caps, salmon hats, and many others. There are even the bareheaded faeries. What, if anything, do the members of each of these groups have in common? Can you find a kinship between them?

Use your imagination and intelligence and find a variety of ways to compare and relate and differentiate between the cards. There is no right way or wrong way to do this. It is just practice in looking at the cards and seeing the similarities and differences between them. Be inventive and creative and playful about it. The more you do this, the better you will begin to understand this Oracle and Faery itself.

I hope that you are already doing this and not just reading my words. Very shortly we are going to be discussing things that won't make nearly as much sense if you have not done these preliminary steps.

Please practice this for a while, before you go on.

Copyright © 2000 by Brian Froud and Jessica Macbeth

from Part One: Faeries and Oracles

Touching Faery

If you can't communicate directly with the faeries -- or think you can't -- this may be more helpful to you than anything else I can tell you about using this Oracle. I'm going to suggest several things in this chapter that may not seem to have anything directly to do with reading the cards, but in fact they are very helpful for developing your communication with the faeries. Developing that communication and learning to interact and share with the faeries is essential to reading the cards well.

For as long as I can remember, I have talked to, played with, worked with, and learned from the faeries. Imagine my surprise then when I began to write this book and realized how very few people know this about me: some of my friends, a few (but very few) of my family, and some, but by no means all, of my students. I was forced to realize that I was a "closet faery friend." This was a part of my life, a very important part, that was hidden from the general view.

Now, this might be understandable if I worked in a profession where keeping this a secret mattered, but I'm a healer and heaters are expected to be weird. So, why...?

Faeries keep their own secrets-and so do their friends. There have been good reasons why they have been so quiet for the past few centuries. Our world and the world of Faery have drawn apart in the natural tidal swings of the universe. While they were farthest apart, only a very few people had the sensitivity needed to sense across the gap. So Faery fell into disrepute with orthodox thinkers, resulting in disbelief in and denial of the otherworld realms for most of us.

A climate of doubt is difficult enough to deal with, but if we try to push people who are not ready into acknowledging Faery, we evoke hostility. Faeries are, of course, very energy sensitive. An atmosphere of hostility is extremely unpleasant for them, and they avoid it whenever possible. For this reason, true friends of Faery do not try to force belief or even awareness on those humans who are unready and unwilling.

Yet, now there are reasons why more and more people (human people, that is) are feeling moved to reconnect with the otherworld. The two worlds, ours and Faery, are drawing closer together again. The contact is easier, the doors open more easily. But, if we wish harmony between the worlds, it is important to meet Faery on its own terms and avoid projecting our own ideas and false beliefs onto it.

Many things about faery society are different from ours. Culture and manners differ. The things that are important and are considered to be common courtesy by humans and faeries are similar in some ways but vary widely in others. If we want a friendly response, we need to learn some things about faeries and what is important to them, just as we would of the inhabitants of a foreign human country we were visiting.

Where do we start if we want to become personal friends with the denizens of Faery? Or to enhance and expand the relationship we already have? I'm going to give you some suggestions to help you along your way, but you must understand that these are only suggestions. It is as if I am pointing to an invisible path that leads to a hidden gate. You are the one who has to actually find your way through. No human person can take you by the hand into Faery -- and people who think they can are just kidding themselves and you. The suggestions I'm about to make worked for me and for many others, and I hope they will work for you. Even if they don't, you may well happen upon what does work for you while you're trying them. You have to discover your own way, but in doing so you will quickly find that you have the enthusiastic aid of the faeries themselves.

Well, fairies like to talk, so they like people who can be quiet and listen when that is appropriate. They speak in subtle voices, in hidden ways. If we aren't good at listening -- and listening with more than just our ears -- we won't be able to hear them. We need to listen with our hearts as well, and open ourselves to the subtle senses of emotion and empathy. They like us to be open enough so we can see or sense what is really there, more than just the obvious world of the physical eyes.

They like to play jokes, so we need a good sense of humor -- good enough to laugh even when the joke is on us, as it frequently will be. I hope you won't mind their metaphorical custard pies, or taking the occasional mental pratfall while they giggle. If we can laugh at ourselves when we are laughed at by the faeries, the experience becomes a delightful one for all of us. Laughter creates a loving energy bond between those who laugh together, and it lightens our hearts.

To interact with Faery, it helps to realize that the otherworld is everywhere. It overlays our mundane world, enhancing it with magic and faery glamour when we open our eyes to see. The Faery counterpart of your own living room might be a garden, a meadow, a forest, a swamp, a rocky barren, a faery court, a dancing circle, or anything else -- and the energy of that influences you, whether you are conscious of it or not. So wherever you are, the faeries are there too -- or can be in the blink of an eye. You don't have to go anywhere special; where you already are is special. Be aware of that.

Copyright © 2000 by Brian Froud and Jessica Macbeth

from Part Two: Reading the Faery Cards

Getting to know a faery is easy. Justlistenwith your whole self

Introducing Certain Faeries

In the beginning of my part of creating this oracle deck, I sat on the floor with copies of about 120 of Brian's paintings spread around me, and I invited all of the faeries depicted (and anyone else who wanted to join in) to help in making the decisions about who would be part of the Oracle. (Of course,allfaeries are part of the Faeries' Oracle, even if they are not on the cards, but that's another book.) I also asked them to tell me how they wanted me to describe the working of their Oracle to you. They were excited and very enthused about this project, and discussed at length whose pictures should be in the deck, changing their minds at frequent intervals and then changing them back again.

At their direction, I arranged and rearranged the paintings in stacks and rows and circles. This went on all afternoon. And evening. And late into the night. It seemed to amuse them a great deal. My cats, who had been excited by the presence of all those faeries at once, began to murmur complaints. About two in the morning, I suggested (yet again) that we do this in some sort of logical manner. I asked if they could define groups that I might put them in to make the selection process easier.

They shook their heads and looked doubtful, saying,"You people will get it all wrong. People have hierarchies, and we don't. Some of us are bigger and some smaller, but we each do our own tasks, and we arc each as important as any other. Humans get that wrong when they think about us."

I sighed and picked up the paintings, thanking the faeries for their help. Then the cats and I went to sleep.

A week or so later, I again asked who was going to be in the deck and got much the same runaround. We had a good time playing with the paintings while they admired themselves and each other, but we didn't get anywhere with the selection process. However, they had obviously been thinking things over because they nodded when I asked if they could help me to put the different faeries into groups or categories, just to help people learn who they are and remember them.

"Yes," a Topsie-Turvet said firmly."You may divide us into three groups -- the Aliu and Alyshu."

I waited expectantly for a moment, and then asked, "And the third?"

They all burst out laughing at me. I had to laugh, too; I'd been caught by another daft faery joke.

We left the whole subject for quite a while as I wrote bits of the first part of this book. Then Constance, our editor, asked me for a list of the cards. Eeep! I started looking through the paintings again. Almost miraculously, they seemed to divide themselves into two sets: the ones in the deck and the ones not. Then the ones in the deck grouped themselves into five sets of thirteen each. I counted again, and yes, there were thirteen each, sixty-five total. By this time, there were exhausted faeries sprawled everywhere in the room, and I felt elated but ready to collapse."Don't forget,"someone muttered from behind a cushion,"there is another card -- a blank one for people's own faery guide."

I worked out what five thirteens add up to (hard to do on fingers) and added in the special blank card, and there were sixty-six altogether -- a nice round number. I thought about the numerological meaning of 66 -- the Master Caregiver, the generous spirit, who seeks beauty, harmony, and balance. It is also the number of responsibility and ethics. How appropriate this is to the Oracle, which is about the faeries helping us and us helping each other and the faeries to live more wisely and more happily and more beautifully. Then, when you do the numerological process of reducing the number to one digit (6+6=12, 1+2=3), you get Three -- the number of creativity and joy and communication. Very apt forthisoracle.

As I considered the number of the cards, I also wondered if the faeries would agree to putting numbers on the individual cards to make it easier for you to look them up. A pixie peered down from the top of a bookshelf and said,"You can use numbers, if you like, as long as you remember to tell them thatthe numbers don't mean anything at all --except when they do."

I hope you will bear that in mind. However, I feel compelled to mention that they have been very picky about who got which numbers, and certain faeries kept changing places within their sets until the last possible moment.

From this, you can perhaps begin to imagine the fun we had in writing the "definitions" of the cards. Some were quite certain what they wanted to say and others were not. I can sympathize with this because I feet the same way when a publisher or someone else asks me for a biographical sketch. What one says depends on who one is talking to, and it's very hard to say something brief that is suitable for everyone. So I wasn't too Surprised when I asked Fairy Nuff what he'd like me to write about him, and he said,"Nothing."

"Come on," I said, patiently coaxing. "People need to know something about you."

"Then I shall tell them myself. I don't want you to pin me down with words like a poor dead butterfly on a collectors board. I don't want to be all word wrapped and trapped. I want them to ask me and then to listen to me. I want to be friends with them, and we can't be friends if they won't listen."

I had to admit the justice of his point of view. So, the group of faeries and I finally reached an agreement. I would report Fairy Nuff's words here so that you would know how he felt, and then the other faeries would help me write something about themselves to help you get started on understanding them. However, I must also ask you, please, to ask them for information and advice when you are using their oracle, because what is said here is just the veriest beginning of the things they would like to tell you. They have far more to say than we can say here -- even if I were allowed to write a book so big that you'd need a wheelbarrow to carry it.

I might just sneakily mention here that Fairy Nuff's attitude tells you a lot about him. If you ask, I'm sure he will explain -- and that's fair enough. He is on Card 46.

Lastly, the faeries want me to re-remind you that no denizen of Faery is better or more important than another. It doesn't matter who is oldest or who is biggest; each has its own responsibility and is as important as any other, from the most ancient sidhe to the tiny faeries who encourage the Sunflower seeds to grow in my garden -- and yours. Each is a part of the great tapestry, the fabric of the universe (which is probably denim, to judge from its hard-wearing qualities), and all threads are equally important, including ours -- yours and mine. If anyone were suddenly to cease to exist, the whole thing might unravel -- or so they tell me. You can believe what you like, but I rather believe them.

Now, let's go play with faeries!

Copyright © 2000 by Brian Froud and Jessica Macbeth

from Part Two: Reading the Faery Cards

Card 14-- The Maiden

Auspicious beginnings. Birth. Growth. Joy. Hope.

From her crown of light to her star-jeweled toes, the Maiden is pure joy. She is the face of the force that generates growth throughout all the worlds.

When she smiles, troubles melt. Where she dances, flowers spring from the ground and burst into bloom. It is from the Maiden that the pixies learned the dance that keeps the otherworld turning -- and probably Our world, too, for that matter. She is newly born every morn, and she carols her plangent song of growth for all beings in all the worlds. She sees the magic and the light in everything and takes endless delight in it.

Yet even though the Maiden is so wonderful and powerful, she is a child and she needs to be cared for, nurtured, and cherished. When she takes the form of a flower, someone must see that she gets enough water and sun. Whenever we look after something new or young, we are caring for the Maiden, whether she is in the form of a blossom, a sapling, a baby, or a new idea. She, in turn, is likely to switch between joyfully and gratefully receiving such nurturing and insisting on an independence that she really isn't ready for yet. She knows, deep within herself, what she needs to do and become, and she moves toward this with the directness of a child.

The Maiden also has the simplicity and curiosity of a child, seeing with unclouded eyes. She has an openness to life, love, new things, and new experiences. Every moment with her is an adventure, filled with playfulness and hope. Innocent, she is awakening to and learning about the world. Much of her learning comes with laughter and silly jokes, and she trusts what life gives her.

Every time we allow ourselves to be filled with joy, we become more like the Maiden.

Starter ReadingThe Maiden signifies new beginnings and growth. You couldn't ask for a more auspicious card than this if you are beginning something new. Spontaneity, joy, growth, exhilaration, and promise for the future are signified here. We must note also that, in the early stages of any process, there is vulnerability and a need for protection, shelter, and guidance, but there is also a magical impetus toward burgeoning growth. Trust the process -- but take care of the details as well.

The Maiden is also the inner child who needs to be under the supervision of a competent inner adult in order for her to feel secure and loved. She is not happy when we spoil her.

Consider what is growing in your life. Make a list of your hopes, dreams, and plans. Look for the growth within you, and think about how you can cherish and nurture that. Bless the growth you see around you.

ReverseIn the Maiden reversed, we find her virtues turned into flaws. When her energy is blocked, we don't allow ourselves to dream, to hope, even to plan a future that is anything but minimal and mundane. We live a cold, sterile, joyless life.

When we twist her energy we become impulsive, unthinking, gullible, lost in dreams that never get translated into reality. There is a tendency to live in fantasy and deny reality, and there is definitely a lack of grounding. Life in a floating soap bubble is perilous -- and that is where she is. When living in a dream world has become habitual, the addiction to fantasy is hard to break. It cannot be changed from the outside by others, and even from the inside, there is usually no desire to break through into an Unhappy reality until the fantasy world itself becomes too painful to live in any longer.

When the Maiden's energy is seriously reversed, this card can indicate crippling pessimism -- an attitude that when possessed means the possessor sees the worst in everything, expects the worst from life, and gets it. Such an attitude creates its own misery and denies one the possibility of joy

When such a powerful energy as the thrust toward joyful growth is inverted or twisted this way, it is still a powerful energy -- and usually requires an equally powerful experience to break free of it. But there is always hope, and those outside the fantasy need to remember that, even while being realistic about the difficulties of changing this state.Someoneneeds to be an adult here.

Copyright © 2000 by Brian Froud and Jessica Macbeth

from Part Two: Reading the Faery Cards

Card 42-- Myk the Myomancer

Small clues. Details. The messages everywhere. Patience.

A myomancer reads the past, present, and potential of all beings in the movements of mice. Myk is particularly fond of reading the movements of field mice, as they are livelier and better fed than church mice. Myk could learn the same things by reading berries or the patterns made by fallen leaves or any one of a billion other things, but his specialty is mice. He can learn endless things from the way they twitch their whiskers and hold their tails. He sees hidden information in the patterns of growth and coloration in their fur, the way the wind rumples it, and how they preen themselves.

Little things can tell us a lot. Everything bears messages about the universe around us. Studying the details sometimes enables us to deduce the whole.

The entire universe is one piece, and each fragment of that one Unity (Card 1) reflects and is connected to all the others. That famous philosopher Anonymous once said, "The lifting of a finger disturbs the farthest star." Myk says it works the other way around, too. He advises us to make a slow and observant study of the little things and their even smaller details in the world around us. He says that such study not only helps us enhance our understanding of life, Unity, and everything, but it also helps to develop a joyful patience and a deeper philosophy.

StarterReading Attention to details is important at this time. Little things are not only important in themselves, but they also give you important information about larger things. Look for the inner, hidden meaning in ordinary objects, happenings, and experiences. Life is trying to teach you

something by speaking to you gently. With luck and application you will get the message before it has to speak to you more loudly.

Body language in humans as well as mice may give You very useful information at this present time, especially if you learn to read it properly.

The clues to the answers you seek and the things you need to know are all around you. You are surrounded by omens, portents, and signs, but the signs are not written on billboards in large letters. They are in the small happenings of your life. Be awake and aware.

Hint: If you work out what the question really is, it is much easier to recognize the answer when it comes.

ReversedPossibly we are ignoring information readily available to us because we think the source is not important enough to pay attention to. Or perhaps we are seeing the messages and denying their validity because we don't like them. These are very human (read "not very wise") things to do.

On the other hand, we might need to realize that, while everything has meanings, not all meanings are worth worrying about. Sometimes it is important to keep the broad Picture in mind and avoid getting lost in the detail. If we feel confused by too many details and can't see the storm for the raindrops, we can try backing up and looking at Our overall goals and situation.

Copyright © 2000 by Brian Froud and Jessica Macbeth

Excerpted from The Faeries' Oracle: Working with the Fairies to Find Insight, Wisdom, and Joy by Brian Froud
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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