I totally missed the first release of the Moon Phase Oracle deck...by the time I started seeing it pop up on Instagram, social media feeds and fellow readers blogs, it was too late to snaffle a copy! And oh how I wanted and coveted this deck! It looked awesome, and my fellow readers really seemed to take to it, talking about how it provided a real intuitive bridge, a lovely connection to La Luna...
So I was blessed when a second printing came around, and I was able to jump onboard and get my order in! Hurrah!
I'll start with the usual basics about the deck - it's quite petite, at 8.9cm by 6.4cm (that's 3.5" by 2.5" in old money!), and the card stock is flexible, but robust enough for regular handling, with a light semi-shine coating. The card backs are not reversible (although you'd need a magnifying glass and a spotlight to tell the difference, to be frank), with a dark, fine swirly leaf and petal pattern on the back in blacks and greys.
The cards came plastic wrapped, but without a box...now, I was lucky to receive a little hand-stitched pouch with the deck (which was a pleasant bonus, and quite pretty to boot), as part of the early take-up of the second round printing, but without that, I think I would have been quite frustrated that the cards don't even have a tuck-fold box to keep them safe when they first arrive - I know that they're self-published, and that a box is no-doubt an extra expense on top of printing the cards, but I'd rather have an extra few £s on the price of a deck, if it means that I don't have to hunt around for a spare piece of material to wrap them in, or pop out and purchase a separate wooden box in which to store them.
All of the card imagery is set on a dark background, often with trees set in repose or silhouette against the Moon herself, with dark purples and the pinks, blues and golds of dusk and dawn included as the colour palette, making for quite an evocative experience.
The vast majority of the card imagery is of the moon with various flora and fauna, usually nocturnal animals where they are present, but there are also some cards, such as Rocks, the Mother, the Father and the Feather, which don't show the moon or have reference to something traditionally associated with the moon. I found this a little odd at first, but have come to accept it as part of the process of rounding-out an oracle so that it covers lots of the bases that you'd need to provide a comprehensive reading for a Querent.
The moon imagery is particularly poignant, showing Luna in her various guises and shades, from silver white to golden orange, and these are the cards that really resonate and appeal to me. Unfortunately, there's also some artwork that isn't to the same standard - the Waxing and Waning cards, and the Mother and Father cards too, seeming to suffer from a 'rushed brush' - it's clear from the other cards that the artist can illustrate and colour, however these cards appear to be of a lower quality in the artwork, and they can be quite jarring when they appear in a spread. Thankfully, cards like Perspective, Resources and The Wish redeem the deck, alongside the moon illustrations themselves.
There's a 21 page guidebook that comes with the oracle, softbound and black and white printed. It contains some information about the oracle itself, a paragraph on each card to explain what the author intended with their imagery, some example spreads (the 'Know Show Grow' 3-card spread is particularly good!), some info about the author and the illustrator, and then a couple of pages with room for notes at the back. The card descriptions and information provide the basics to let you get your feet under the table and start reading, but still leave room for personal interpretation, association and intuitive links, as it's not too prescriptive.
Overall, the few niggles that I have with the deck have nudged it into the 'grumble' end of the scale for me, and it's languished in my box of 'stuff to be sorted out' rather than in my active rotation of decks. I really wanted to like it, to love it, and to use it with the energy and enthusiasm that I've seen it embraced by fellow readers...but I just can't find that level of energy to 'get' the deck, but I hope that it's a slow burner - a deck that one day I'll fish out and think "oh, wow, I haven't used this for ages!" and it will appeal in a way that it doesn't currently.