The Heart of Faerie Oracle by Brian & Wendy Froud
Reviewed by Dave Truesdale
Fans of Brian Froud will be pleased to see The Heart of Faerie Oracle, a 160 page hardcover book, and its 68 companion oracle card deck, each card featuring one of Froud's beautiful color illustrations. This is the companion volume to both his 2000 "The Faeries' Oracle" card deck and (in part) his 2007 book World of Faerie. Along with interior (two-tone) reproductions of each card, Wendy provides the accompanying text, explaining the meaning and import of each of the cards. The book is divided into nine chapters with titles such as: How to Use the Cards, About the Cards, The Faerie Queens, The Archetypes, Sprites, and The Ladies.
As Wendy explains in the first chapter: "If we learn to look and listen, if we learn to truly 'see' what Faerie is offering us, we will begin to understand the wisdom that faeries have to impart to us -- the wisdom of another world, yet a world so close to ours that it inhabits the same space. Brian and I invite you to take a journey into that realm by drawing cards, meditating on the words and images you find, and discovering how they apply to your own life and experiences. Welcome to the heart of Faerie."
The card pictured below, for example (from the chapter titled "The Journey"), represents Intention/Dialogue/Answers, and as Wendy relates in the opening paragraph: "In Faerie, questions are very important. Questions, answers, and wishes, all of those things that help or hinder us on our journey are very much a part of our relationship with Faerie. 'Who am I? What is your quest? Why have you come here, and what do you seek?' are questions often asked by the individuals you meet in Faerie. They don't as often ask who you are. It is more important for you to discover who they are."
Following Wendy's background story of each card, detailing how to use and interpret its meaning during a drawing (i.e. reading), she provides a section titled "The End of the Beginning" which outlines a special "third type of card layout and reading" for those now familiar with how the cards work. It continues the overall theme of the book on how to improve one's life through a thorough understanding of how the co-existing world of Faerie impacts our own, and how we may learn to profit emotionally and spiritually (as well as in relationships) from this knowledge.
The book concludes with an informative interview with Brian and Wendy (as always, interspersed with Brian's irresistible art), which answers several questions about the current book, its history, and how the world of Faerie and its inhabitants have impacted both of their lives. Lovers of Brian Froud's award-winning art in general, not to mention his international legion of fans deeply involved with fairies and his previous card decks and art books about them, will find this a most welcome addition to the ongoing lore of Faerie. Wendy Froud's illuminating text forms the heart and soul of the book and her prose radiates with the love and warmth she feels for her subject matter. The Heart of Faerie Oracle is a beautifully packaged boxed set aficionados of Faerie can ill afford to miss.
To promote the book, Brian will be making a rare visit from the UK to the United States for a book tour in April, so Brian Froud fans are in for an additional treat.
Text (c) 2010 Wendy Froud
Illustrations (c) 2010 Brian Froud
"The Question" Card No. 60
(Abrams, April 2010, $25)
"The Question" Card No. 60 is used with permission and cannot be reproduced or used in any fashion without express written permission from the publisher.
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