Madame Endora's Fortune Cards by Christine Filipak
Review by Diane Wilkes

I fortuitously discovered this deck at the same time I found the Gothic Tarot -- they are published by the same company.  I saw a lovely image of a long-tressed woman standing against the backdrop of the astrological wheel.  This card is not only the title card of Madame Endora's Fortune Cards, but serves as "The Seer," one of the fortune-telling cards in this 38-card deck, which is divided into five sub-divisions.  They are: The Royal Court, The Realm of Fable, The Bestiary, The Treasury, and The Elements.

Madame Endora asserts that this deck "incorporates mythological lore and old world concepts of the tarot with New Age mysticism," and you can particularly see this in The Royal Court and The Elements, which contain cards entitled The King, The Queen, The Knight, The Sun, and The Moon. The Royal Court also includes a wizard, the aforementioned Seer, the Harlequin and others.  The Elements contains The Stars, The Winds of Change, and the four elements.  The Realm of Fable is perhaps the most interesting and diverse-- it includes a golem, Medusa, Serendipity, and the Greenman, among others. I don't think these four have ever hung out together before, and it makes for a unique mix.  Animal lovers will be drawn to the Bestiary, where the Dragon plays with The Serpent, and the Gryphon lies down with the Unicorn.  The Treasury includes The Chalice and The Dagger, which relate to the Cup and Sword, but it also contains non-tarot symbols such as The Key, The Mystic Circle, and The Hand of Fate.

The cards themselves are beautiful, but rather simple.  They don't contain a lot of symbolism so it's difficult to go into any real depth with them.  Even so, you can go further than the short phrase that appears at the bottom of the card suggests.  For example, I recently received The Sun card in relation to a question I asked regarding my health. This card's phrase is: Your Perseverance Is Rewarded.  This was accurate enough, as I interpreted it as a positive validation of my recuperative period in which I rested my hands so my tendonitis would heal more quickly.  However, the two symbols on the card added to my interpretation.  One, a many-rayed sun seemed to have numerous healthy digits, and two, a winged scarab that brought to mind the dung beetle's daily efforts to bring the sun -- increased health -- in order to ascend.  Another time I pulled the Stars card, which features a star-centered circle with multiple stars shooting from it against a dark sky.  The message of the card: a long journey brings rewards.  But the imagery seemed even more of a message. I recently decided to teach a beginners class on astrology and, during my recuperation, I listened to a nine cassette set by Caroline Casey on that subject. Not only are the stars featured on the card, the circle is divided in a fashion similar to a natal chart.

I really like the art, which is elegant and dramatic, made more so by the black background of the cards and the black and gold borders. The colors are deep and rich and the images are evocative.  The nature of the deck is predictive, yet offers some room to navigate other arenas.  The card backs are reversible. The cards are approximately three by five inches and cost $15 plus shipping. They are printed on sturdy matte cardstock and come with a 29-page booklet that includes a slightly longer interpretation for each card than the phrase that appears on the bottom of each card, and also has several spreads.  The card-a-day approach is dubbed "The Oracle Of the Dawning Day," but there are others that are more unique, such as the "Oracle Of the Four Winds."

I recommend this deck for those who are interested in a primarily predictive oracle that is both attractive and incorporates some tarot symbology. You can order this deck directly from the publisher's website.

Review and Page copyright 2003 Diane Wilkes