The Oracle of the Dragonfae was the first oracle deck that I ever put into my deck collection. I remember it so well. I was in the store Goddess Isis, a well-known metaphysical shop right in the heart of Denver on iconic Broadway. I was in the store with Grizzly, and the minute that I saw this deck I knew that I wanted it in my collection. My collection only had a few tarot decks, so more decks, including oracle, were a needed addition.
Because this was my first oracle deck, it feels right to do my first oracle deck review on these cards. Starting off with the history of the deck, including what is mentioned on the box, publisher info, and more, this deck was created by Lucy Cavendish, a well-known writer and witch hailing from Australia. The deck was first published in 2008 with Blue Angel publishing, and has been a best-seller as noted on the Lucy Cavendish website, which you can find here.
On the back of the box, it states:
Within these pages, and on each of these magickal cards, you will be introduced to and given messages and wisdom from the boundless world of the Dragonfae, a world which is now ready to be seen by your eyes and experienced through your heart. When we connect with the Dragonfae, we reconnect with the lost parts of ourselves, allowing us to fully explore the gift of life on this beautiful planent. They help us access knowledge from deep within and reconnect us with the knowingness that we are all one.
Working with the Dragonfae
This deck has forty-three cards, each one referencing a Dragonfae being with a core message beneath the name. The Dragonfae in this deck span across different mythologies, cultures, time, and story. This makes sense given that one of the key themes behind the creation and narration of this deck is a return to ancestral ways and beings, where we were wholly connected to the magickal allies of the world, and the world herself. In bringing in Dragonfae from different cultures, myths, and places, it is merging these beings from all places with you in the here and now, which I really like.
Like the Ostara Tarot deck, this deck is a collaboration of artists, each contributing pieces of art to make the whole of the deck. Also like the Ostara Tarot deck, I really enjoy the varying artwork. There is a symmetry in the differing cards that makes each one stand alone, but also connective to the whole of the deck.
Speaking of variances within the deck, one thing I love about this deck is the Dragonfae chosen. Melusine (Card 1, pictured above), is found in the lore of Europe with an attachment to mermaids and serpents. Famous stories were written about her in the 14th century, and her myths have crossed the boundaries of culture and time. She is the well-known icon on Starbucks cups, and is said to be an inspiration for The Little Mermaid. To read more about Melusine, click here.
The Lady Grian is sister to the Moon Goddess Aine (who is also in this deck), and is her counterpart as a solar / Sun goddess who rules over the sun, fire, herbs, and knowledge. To read more about Grian or Grianna, read here. Then we have the supernatural entity of Apalala, found in Buddhist and Indian mythology. Apalala is a Naga, a half-serpent, semi-divine race of beings. Once a man, and reborn as Apalala, he ravaged fields and crops, bringing hailstorms and floods so that he may feast. After meeting the Buddha, Apalala found a spiritual rebirth and followed the Buddha’s teachings, only feasting once every 12 years. To read more about Apalala, read here.
This is where I feel that the deck shines. It highlights figures, deities, and beings rich in history and folklore. Coming from multiple cultures and times, it shows a connective thread of dragons, the fae, and the needs and trials of mortals. I like that this deck encourages me to research and read about these beings from other sources, which has helped me in reading these cards for myself, and others. When I read about Melusine, Tiamat (also in this deck), or Apalala from other places my readings on these beings become layered, enriched with symbolism and story.
More Workings with the Dragonfae + the Guidebook
Normally when working with new decks (tarot or oracle), I encourage more of an intuitive approach. This looks like drawing a card, or multiple, and sitting with the cards, their images, and their energies for a few moments or minutes before going to the guidebook. The reason for this is because is I come from a mindset that if you pull a card and immediately grab the guidebook, you may be dampening some intuitive insights or connections into the card that seem more subtle or out there from the guidebook. I believe in this so much that I have built a workshop around intuitive explorations.
Another reason why I feel this way is because I often find guidebooks to be out of sync of my own intuitive voice, so I don’t find a ton of need to gravitate to the guidebook. However, I will say that here I find the guidebook helpful in many ways, other ways not so much (which I will get into in just a moment).
One of the first ways I find the guidebook helpful is because it gives insight and back stories to those beings that I just mentioned above. Pulling a card like Lady Titania (above left), I may not immediately know the myths and history that surround her, and I am not someone who stops a reading to go to Google, so having the backstory is nice.
I also really like the beginning of each card’s description, which starts with the Dragonfae being speaking to you. See below.
Working with card 7: The Time Guardian as an example (this is also one of my favorite cards), the guidebook immediately starts with a narrative of the voice of the card. Here the Time Guardian, and all the other cards in their sections within the guidebook, take on a voice that is speaking directly to you. I personally find this to be my favorite part about the guidebook. Having a narrative, a voice of the card, helps me connect into working with the entity itself.
Another reason why I find this so helpful is because it isn’t specifically giving messages or meanings to the card, but instead playing out like a conversation. From this “conversation”, you can find some of the intuitive guidance that I mentioned before by simply engaging with this card, and this section of the guidebook like you would a conversation with anyone else. The artwork in this deck is beautiful, but like many oracle decks the artwork may not have as much of a story or symbolism to provide an intuitive, symbolic interpretation. Some cards do like The Lovers (pictured above). There is enough of a story to provide me an intuitive approach to the card, and the meaning.
Other cards do not provide this. The image depictions in cards like Lady Titania, Apalala, and the Lady Grian do not tell me who they are other than the name itself. This is not always uncommon in oracle decks. In these decks the reliance is often on the name, title, or identity of the card to give the meaning, and the image depicts something beautiful, but not often a whole story. Tarot is different because a card like the 4 of Cups doesn’t tell much from the title unless you know the tarot, which is why tarot card images have a story in the card with a lot of symbolism to help show the meaning and identity of the card.
Because of this, the guidebook in this deck is going to help you build an understanding of each card, what the meaning is, what your connection to the card can be, and how to build it going forward. Also, I may be wrong in this and I have not found anything to confirm or deny, but as much as I love the image of the Time Guardian, I had a feeling that this image was not made specifically for this deck. While the dragon and the tree could include references to time, the title of this artwork is the Protector of the Magicks, which seems slightly different.
Another thing about the guidebook that is really helpful is the “About” section, which comes right after the “Speaks” section. Keeping with the Time Guardian again for continuity, the “About the Time Guardian” provides some back story, again helping you to build a connection with this Dragonfae. The next sections of the guidebook are the “Divinatory Meanings,” and “Working with the Card.” What I take from these sections is that the divinatory meanings is how to read the card when pulled, and the last section is about working with that card outside of the your reading.
This is nice, and I like this setup. We begin with a conversational narrative from the card, moving on to who that Dragonfae is, what their meanings and invitations are when pulled in a reading, and ending with how to work with the card going forward.
Here is my biggest complaint with the guidebook: the writing. The writing in this guidebook is really hit or miss for me. I like some parts, and really dislike others. I think the biggest reason for my dislike in some sections, even within the same card, is how completely esoteric and fluffy (sorry) the writing can be. I have had this deck for years now. I first purchased in late 2016 or early 2017, and there are still times where I read a section from the guidebook, and I’m just like, “What……….?” To put it another way, I feel in some sections that I read whole paragraphs and come away with a sentence, maybe two, in insight. It’s like there is a lot of wording, but not always a lot of sustenance.
So, going back to the Time Guardian, I love the “About” section with him. There is some really good information and writings in here that help me gain a sense of clarity with this card, which helps my connection deepen. “The Time Guardian Speaks” section is one of those places where I feel like it’s a lot of words, but not a lot of concrete connections.
Details about the Deck
This deck has 43 cards and a 164- page guidebook. The guidebook does have a small image of the card for each card’s section, but the image is in black and white. As you can see from the image to the left, Lady Titania is the backing of the card, the cover of the box, and the cover of the guidebook. The box is a simple, open box with maroon cardboard inside the glossy overlay of the outer box.
Both the box and the guidebook have held up beautifully over time for me, and personally, I do not mind a simple box. I have decks with crazy artwork and boxes within the box. This is a beautiful touch of flare, but it also means the deck is going to be more expensive. I am willing to pay up for decks like this that I know I will love, but a simple box like this deck doesn’t bother me at all.
My cads measure 3.5″ by 5.5″, but Amazon has different measurements. I don’t know if they changed the sizing or if it is a misprint, because these are big cards, some of the bigger ones I own. Shuffling can be a little tricky because of their size, but the glossy finish on the cards does help them move better while shuffling.
Speaking of the glossy finish, this deck is quite shiny. The gloss is turned all the way up on these cards. I don’t mind a glossy finish, but I personally prefer a semi-gloss or matte finish for the cards because they are easier to see and look better in pictures. The glossiness can also make the cards stick together at times. When shuffling it’s a boon, but when I am flipping through the cards to find one, or look at the images, they don’t want to move.
After doing some research, it does seem that this deck has changed significantly from its first publication. A review on Amazon showed some of the original artwork from the first publication, and in my personal opinion, I like the new artwork better. Not every card in this deck is my favorite, but I like that this edition has artwork with a more modern feel. Again, I don’t mind the varying artistic approaches from the different artists. They all seem to flow well in my personal opinion.
This is still a deck that I use and love, and I know that Lucy Cavendish is deeply committed to creating magickal connections through her books, decks, and offerings. Some of her other decks and books look really beautiful, and others look really cartoonish to me, which is why I again gravitate to decks like this that don’t have as much of that cartoonish imagery.
I don’t remember the price I purchased this for at my local metaphysical shop, but you can buy it on Amazon for $24 dollars and on the Blue Angels Publishing website for $35 and it ships from Australia. Click here to go to the Blue Angels Publishing website.
I feel like this deck is a great option for anyone who wants to bring in energies of the fae, dragons, and goddesses into their oracle practice. These are themes that I am always looking for, so this deck still speaks to me. I think this deck could be a good option as a gift or for someone who is just learning how to read oracle, but the guidebook gives me pause. The writing in here is either going to completely speak to you, or miss the mark with you. At times I feel the resonance; other times I am left scratching my head. I do recommend this deck though, and encourage you to work with the fae, dragons, and these beings any way you can. Thank you for reading. I hoped you liked it!!!