A review of John Richardson’s Mediumship Oracle Cards ~ Part One
When reading a reviewer’s thoughts on any subject, it seems important for the review to reveal his qualifications to cast a critical eye over the subject. As many readers of this publication will know I read Tarot professionally for nearly twenty years. And my interest in the Tarot goes back many decades. I also have an interest in oracle cards and have studied Oracle Belline for two decades. My feeling is Oracle Belline has the most intense symbolism of any deck of this nature. Therefore I feel able to cast a fair eye over John Richardson’s Oracle, both from a professional reader and student of the oracle. Let’s see where the cards take us:
In this first part of the review, I will look at the whole deck. Tomorrow a few of the cars will be considered so the reader can get a feel for individual cards. Of course, I cannot assess every card: and I will not make suggestions as to definitive interpretation. A good student of any oracle or Tarot system will eventually resolve each card as relevant to each unique meditation or reading. It is fair to say; the majority of good readers will in the early days study many books and listen to the ideas of others. And somewhere along the path, they will form their own interpretation, which will be light-years away from the suggestions of others. Working with one card at a time is easy. My preference has always been the three-card reading and not large spreads. A good reader knows how to piece together the jigsaw of a spread. And this can take some years to master. So it is the test of a deck of any style to see if this can be accomplished.
However, John offered the suggestion his cards can be used for a different purpose: I am unsure if this will mean the cards have appeal in an isolated area. More about this in a moment.
The deck is presented in a simple black box. The title of the deck and John’s name is prominent. There is no guidebook. On the back of the box, there are four statements. Which are the reason for my final comment in the introduction.
- Cards are used in mediumship to first and foremost to allow Spirit to influence the senses and stimulate the imagination of the medium.
- They also have secondary affect of helping the medium hold focus and concentration.
- The cards have been channelled and created to serve that purpose!
- John Richardson’s Mediumship Oracle Cards have no specific meanings as this only distort and distracts away from what spirit is trying to communicate. Spirit communicate thought to thought, mind to mind, so these cards will allow your messages to be pure and unadulterated direct from the spirit world.
The statements will appeal to many users. Although, some may steer away from the deck after reading the messages! I would invite anyone interested to consider the deck in many differing ways.
Weight and Feel
The 78 cards have a good feel and are easily shuffled. There is no reason to believe they will fare no worse or better than any other card of this type. The size of the card is traditionally large 118mm x 70mm and they have a nice silk finish. No doubt they would be an excellent addition to the professional reader’s table.
The back of the deck has two pairs of golden doves and between the doves is the name of the deck ‘John Richardson’s Mediumship Oracle Cards’. And at this stage of the review, I’ll come to my three observations, I feel the repetition of the name of the deck is unnecessary. And could limit the appeal for some readers who would prefer not to have this displayed.
The second aspect which must be mentioned is the numbering of the cards on the front face from 1-78. I can imagine clients asking why the numbers are there and do they have significance? As there are no ‘specific meanings’ given to the individual cards the sequential numbers cannot be an index. The Major Arcana of the Tarot are numbered, and the advanced student of that system understands why this is so: I cannot find a sequential interpretation of the 1-78 numbers on this deck.
The final aspect of note is each card has a written meaning! And this possibly negates the idea of not having a ‘instruction book’!
No way will the rear title, front title or sequential numbers take anything away from the use of the deck. Although, the three aspects must be mentioned. Maybe an update in later editions or two editions to provide a choice? With or without annotation…
Imagery – Symbolsim
Consideration of the most important aspect of the deck: The symbolic imagery:
Readers have been looking for a contemporary deck of cards for some time. Many young readers and students of the Tarot find the symbolism dated, although the accomplished student will understand about ‘collective consciousness’ and why the images can become revealing on many psychological levels. This deck of cards is right on the button. The images quickly evoke interpretation and the all-important ability to resolve two or three cards together is fulfilled. I could not find an instance where two or three cards could not be resolved into an excellent basis for a robust and useful reading or meditation.
Let’s Look At The Deck
As you can see the imagery is bright and easy to resolve. While it is easy to find a few associations with the traditional Tarot, it would be best if one did not attempt to discover certain associations. If possible, stay with the imagery and see what it evokes within the imagination.
It should be fairly easy to see cards that immediately appeal. Indeed, by spreading out the deck in this way, one will find symbolism that resonates. Many advanced students use this method during the initial examination of a new deck to great advantage.
For example: The cards that appeal to me in the above group are: Adapt – Infinity – Gratitude. Maybe you could experiment with my choice of cards and see if you can work out my thoughts! I offer this as a way of reading this deck. As the design works very well for associative reading.
The final six cards are not of a greater magnification for a specific reason: However, this enlarged view provides an excellent insight into the graphics. It is no easy take to design 78 differing images and even more difficult to make the symbolism resonate. It is easy to see John has accomplished this difficult task.
Conclusion Part One:
Except for the already mentioned reservations: John Richardson’s Mediumship Oracle Cards will be a welcome addition to any collectors library and no doubt professional readers would find this a useful addition to their reading table. I do not think one should be concerned about the suggestions written on the box. Certainly, the ‘mediumistic’ aspect will be the main reason to buy the 78 cards. Another (reason) could be for using the imagery for mediumistic meditation. And no doubt many people will love to use the deck in this way.
My thoughts conclude the first part of my review of this unique and very appealing deck.