Review: Mildred Payne’s Oracle of Black Enchantment

Review: Mildred Payne’s Oracle of Black Enchantment February 1, 2019

While Patrick Valenza is best known for his Deviant Moon tarot, his best offerings tend to be his indie self-published decks. Mildred Payne’s Oracle of Black Enchantment is a prime example. The deck continues the fantastic story that Valenza has woven about the fictional witch Mildred Payne. The story he provides is that this oracle was found in her coffin and was created in 1933 against the wishes of the Fenwood Coven. This deck is perhaps the second deck I am asked about the most when reading for people, aside from Mildred Payne’s Secret Pocket Oracle.

 

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Whereas Mildred Payne’s Secret Pocket Oracle is tiny in size, Mildred Payne’s Oracle of Black Enchantment are very large at 3.75 x 6 Inches. The cards are all sepia colored and the card stock is quality and sturdy. The artwork of the cards are of a woodblock style and have the feel of early Tim Burton meets Medieval grimoire meets Traditional Witchcraft aesthetic. In other words, they’re fantastic. Instead of being symbols like Mildred Payne’s Secret Pocket Oracle, these cards are more like scenes in a story that tell a story – making them intuitive when it comes to what they’re trying to convey. Despite this, Valenza provides a link to download a pdf explaining each card’s meaning in case you’re struggling with your own interpretations or just want to see what the artist had in mind.

 

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Mildred Payne’s Oracle of Black Enchantment pair extremely well with Mildred Payne’s Secret Pocket Oracle as well as the Trionfi Della Luna tarot deck. The three of these decks have a similar aesthetic and each speaks in a different language. Whereas the Trionfi Della Luna deck reads like a traditional tarot deck, Mildred Payne’s Secret Pocket Oracle reads like lenormand with a much larger vocabulary of symbols than lenormand. Mildred Payne’s Oracle of Black Enchantment however, reads like a traditional oracle deck with an emphasis on scenes, imagery, and what you’re drawn to in the card imagery. When I read with one of these decks I usually read with all three, as they each provide different layers of meaning and insight into the reading. Valenza with has proven that oracle cards can be both badass looking and provide accurate in-depth readings, two things which I’m always skeptical of when it comes to oracle cards.

 

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Related Articles

Review: Mildred Payne’s Secret Pocket Oracle
Review: Trionfi Della Luna


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