Emily the Strange Lands in Oracle Card Land

Welcome to the Oracle of Shadows and Light by Lucy Cavendish and Jasmine Becket-Griffith.

Here is one of those decks where the art work has been regarded as amazing, but you’ve seen the scans online and it doesn’t turn you on. Faltering to peer group you buy this deck on sale and LOVE it. While the cards don’t actually feature Emily the Strange, she would fit right in. The vibe of the cards also reminds me of Beetle Juice. Bulk of the images are filled with sorrow, the rest looks like the character would run at you with a knife (I’m sure most men can relate to this look). Interestingly, even “positive cards” have a depressive feel to them, this is Doreen Virtue’s sugary decks in reverse. Not too sure where the “light” part of the title comes. The images are beautifully gothic and surprisingly cute (originally this put of me off until I viewed the cards in person). There doesn’t appear to be any male characters in the deck, which is a shame because I would enjoy seeing how the artist would pull it off, however, there is a diverse ethnic range with a lot of different “token’s” (hey its an improvement from 100% generic white).

Let the cards speak
I had some pretty amusing reactions to some of the cards, aka sparking creativity. Pop culture also entered the mix (not sure if this is going to screw with my creativity or not).

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These three cards are right out of pop culture.

  • The most subtle, like a brick through glass, is the “Three Witchy Sisters: The power of three” – a direct Charmed rip off. It’s ok, I have a guilty pleasure for Charmed.
  • Out Trick-o-Treating card has the by line “we’re heee-eeere”, sooo 80’s horror flick The Poltergeist. Ah the 80’s great time for catch phrases.
  • Violet Angel: Breaking Dawn – how the hell is anyone meant to pull that card and not think of Twilight (unless they have been living with their head in the oven, in which case I have sheer envy).

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  • Two Little Witches, ah what Sweet Valley could have been. Now if only they were blonde…
  • Fairy of the Highlands has been taken from Shrek’s Puss in Boots. Love those films.
  • I am Smurfette… Kali. I can’t help but think of the Smurfs, the village has a new bike and this one loves magic mushrooms.

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These cards I found to speak via their facial expressions. Let me translate;

  • Snow Angel: “About friggin time”
  • Angel of Time: “You are dead to me” (There was on episode about this on How I Met Your Mother)
  • Lantern Fairy: “This is my lantern, get your f-ing own”

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  • Ghosts of the Past reminds me of the ball scene from `Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth, now if only David Bowie was in the card, my world would be rocked as fast as you could sing Dance Magic Dance – yep that is definitely a ghost from my past.
  • The Three Fates look like hookers, doesn’t help that Pretty Woman was on tellie recently, “Work it, work it baby, work it”. My Mind is warped and these cards do bring it out, it’s freaking fantastic.
  • Fairy of the Devine Hand: this card is bloody creepy, its my favourite. First time I have ever come across a card for intoxication – now this card is my kind of card (she types swallowing a mouth full of New Zealand white).

Oz v’s Us
Be aware, Oracle of Shadows and Light has two versions; The Australian version published by Blue Angel and the US version by Beyond World. There are a handful of differences with the cards and while the US version is half the price, the card quality has slightly suffered. I do like the US box better, it has a card slot, therefore cards don’t rattle like cards do in a standard Blue Angel box.

Book
The book is pretty thick. The US version is marketed for teens, so some of the meanings seem a tad “immature” in places (nothing major from what I have heard). All and all I don’t think the book is needed to work with the cards. I rather have my creativity sparked by what I see rather than the author’s interpretation.

Create Writing Idea
Emily Rides a Pony

In my previous post The My Little Pony of the Oracle Card World I suggested that Doreen Virtue decks could be used to layer your character’s personality and give your character a virtue (any feel good deck will work). With a card from Oracle of Shadows and Light the character can also be layered with a dark side.

Example
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From Shadows and Light I drew Ghosts of the Pumpkin Patch and from Healing with Angels, New Love.

Emmy has it all; friends, family, great job, looks and perfect health. She is the “It” girl but doesn’t see it. Loving everyone but herself comes naturally to her and she is the first to welcome new comers. Every now and then Emmy suffers from bouts of depression.

Perhaps Emmy is the property developer with an environmental conscience from my last post. After all it is all about layering a character, personalities are complex and at times contradictory.

Final Thoughts
This deck was completely unexpected and will give me an endless amount of joy. I love things that bring my stupid out, the warp stuff I produce with my stupid is amusing, unique and special. These writing pieces I would have never come up with on my own, they are a result of prompts stretching my mind. I’m talking Monthy Python stupid, South Park stupid and Ren and Stimpy kind of stupid.

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