Deck Name: Oracle of Echoes
Creator(s): Ana Tourian
Publisher & Year: Self Published 2016
Availability: www.oracleofechoes.com
Reviewer: Havana James 

Overview:

The Oracle of Echoes is a 50-card oracle deck created by Ana Tourian. Ana has created several decks such as the Hidden Waters Tarot and The Clair de lune Lenormand. Currently Ana is working on the Tarot of the Abyss. The Oracle of Echoes features emotionally evocative imagery in a palate of toned down primary colors and muted neutrals. The standard 70x 120mm cards are borderless except for a black border across the bottom where the card title is printed in white ink. The cardstock is not too thin or thick and have enough flexibility to withstand many years of riffle shuffling. While the lamination isn’t glossy there is a satin like sheen to the smooth texture. I’d say that the ink might begin to wear along the edges after many, many years of daily use. The deck arrived in a standard tuck box decorated with reproductions of some card images and description of the deck. There is no physical guidebook with the deck but Ana has provided a link and passcode for a digital copy of the guidebook which is available in a couple of options.

Experience:

I remember hearing about the Oracle of Echoes in a live chat on one of my favorite cartomancy YouTube channels. A family member of the YouTuber was used as a model for one of the cards in the Oracle of Echoes and it peaked my interest. I am usually drawn to watercolor and ink illustrations but something about the dark colors of this deck seem personally off putting. So I waited a few years before I took advantage of the opportunity to possess this deck. Once I was able to see the Oracle of Echoes close up I realized the unease I felt came from the contrast of the light, wispy ink work and the heavily concentrated colors. The images reminded me of a dark rain cloud hovering above, threatening to release all of its contents. I was intimidated by this deck.

The Oracle of Echoes is not for light reading. This deck demands dedication and honesty when you use it. You have to be in the right headspace when you use this deck because it exposes vulnerabilities that you may have locked away deep inside or that you may be completely unaware of. Like with a foreboding stormcloud, I’ve found myself caught out in the open with Oracle of Echoes which resulted in my face being drenched in my own tears. As previously mentioned, the deck does come with a digital guidebook which offers clear descriptions of the card illustrations and interpretations. I however think that the cards are perfectly designed for intuitive interpretations as well. Each person’s experiences with factor into how they connect to the art in this amazing deck.

Likes and Dislikes:

I don’t have many dislikes with this deck at all. The cardstock is great, the cards aren’t too shiny, the guidebook is a downloadable pdf, which makes it more environmentally friendly. If I had to pick one thing I would improve about the Oracle of Echoes, I’d try to go with a brighter printing. The darker colors and muted tones can come off a little muddy in some images. I’m splitting hairs here but I’d also like to see a packaging option that would last as long as the deck. Most tuck boxes tend to wear out and fall apart so having either a tin or a two-piece box would support the longevity of this deck. I love the simple words and phrases across the lower border of each card. The single keyword is a direct path to my subconscious and therefore I can connect immediately to each card with my interpretations.

Real World Representation:

How do the images of this deck measure up in real world representation? Do these cards reflect what my world looks like? Well, because these images feature abstract images and aren’t from a real place and time I can’t judge “real world” representation to harshly. Where people are portrayed clearly there seems to be a conscious effort to let the negative space fill the void and create the skin tones. Some more up close images of a person’s face have features that might be interpreted as different ethnicities. The feminine form is heavily featured but there are masculine forms present as well. Once again human features that would give a clue to any type of age aren’t very obvious however  there are a couple of illustrations that highlight a variety of ages. Abilities for the most part would seem to be represented by mostly able-bodied figures but I know for a fact that the, “Imperfect Beauty”, card was modeled after an individual who lived with a disability. This person is shown in a seated position so their disability wouldn’t immediately be obvious to someone who didn’t know the back story. Queer representation is hard to gage because the abstract images don’t allow for details that might hint at this. There is one Lovers card and the bodies featured appear to be a male body and a female body. Finally, body diversity in this deck is once again difficult to perceive because of the abstract nature. I wouldn’t call the bodies shown thin but I would say most are similar and there doesn’t seem to be a wide variety.

Conclusion:

The Oracle of Echoes is a brilliant work created by an artist who truly understand how one would use this deck. It’s thought and deliberate with its illustrations which evoke a strong emotion response. I often see people recommend this as one of the best working oracles because it is such a heavy hitter. As I said before, this deck intimidates me in a good way. It’s challenging and when I use it I am prepared to learn some truths about who I am and who I think I am. I believe the Oracles of Echoes is an excellent deck for shadow work because while it means business, it is also gentle in it’s approach.