How the
Faeries' Oracle
Came to Be

Jessica Macbeth

Cards by Brian Froud, book by Jessica Macbeth
Oengus Journeyman, portrait by Brian Froud, © Painting copyright 2000 by Brian Froud.
All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the artist.


. Many years ago, Brian Froud was inspired with the idea of making a faery-based tarot deck. But then, when he begin trying to paint a conventional tarot-type deck with faeries, it just didn't feel right and he got bogged down. He knew that what was wanted by faery was something unusual, something very different, but they didn't explain clearly (they rarely do) exactly what they did want. So he put the notion to one side and went on drawing faeries, filling his paintings with wonders and delights. This, of course, was exactly what the faeries really wanted him to do.

Many years ago I was inspired with the idea of making an unorthodox (not quite tarot) deck. There was one big problem. I couldn't paint the beings who wanted to be in the deck in a way that would even begin to do them justice. But meanwhile, I continued to think about such a deck - who would need to be be represented in it, how it would work, and how it would differ from the standard tarot. I studied the principles underlying the tarot when it is used as an oracle, and I learned about how oracles in general worked. I developed techniques for teaching an unorthodox, Otherworld-style of reading oracles, including the tarot. I also spent a lot of time playing with the folk of the Otherworld and teaching other people how to connect with them. This, of course, was exactly what the faeries wanted me to do.

Back in those days, Brian and I didn't yet know each other. Eventually, though, the faeries (quite literally) brought us together, and we developed a happy friendship. Then one day (quite a few years after we became friends), Brian handed me a stack of small, card-like photocopies of some his paintings - about 120 of them. He asked me if I thought a tarot deck could be made from these paintings.

I sat up in my bed most of the night looking at the pictures and playing with ideas of how they might fit together in an oracle. In the morning, I told Brian that, yes, I thought they would make a wonderful oracular deck and made some suggestions about how he might do this and who else he might need to include. He thought about this for a while, and then asked if I'd like to choose the cards for the deck and write the book. Of course I said YES! The rest is, so to speak, history.

Several of the graphics on these Oracle pages are Brian's cards, and you can read some of the text (and my subsequent comments on it) on the pages about the Faeries' Oracle. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it—which was a very great deal, indeed.

© Copyright 2001 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.
This article may not be reproduced anywhere,
electronically or in print or by any other means,
without the written consent of the author.

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