While browsing amazon for tarot cards, I saw a set of cards that was soon to release. They were the Chronicles of Destiny Fortune Cards. Created by Josephine and Emily Ellershaw and illustrated by Claudia McKinney. My curiosity was peaked. I then saw that Schiffer was the publisher. I contacted the folks at Schiffer and asked for a review copy.
Oracle cards are tricky for me. I am so ingrained into the world of tarot that any other cartomantic system (Lenormand, oracle, playing cards) never really appeals to me on the same level as Tarot does.
One of the reasons for this is because for me Tarot has a well built in story to the cards. The Major Arcana is often taught through the Fool’s adventure through each Arcana card, called the Fool’s Journey. Even in the Minor Arcana, a story can be seen as you start from Ace and progress to the Ten.
Lenormand, for example, does not have a story built into it; it is a collection of symbols, without any interdependence on a preceding card or successive card. I think that may be something that bothers me. The same can be said for many other oracle cards, there are no story, but rather random cards with titles.
The Chronicles of Destiny Fortune Cards represent something different and creatively unique in the family of oracles. These cards were inspired by the love of literature, folk tales, myths, fantasy and magic.
Tarot is often explained as a metaphorical unbounded book, shuffling the pages (cards) and laying them out to create a story. This “unbound book” idea is the core of the Chronicles of Destiny. Each card represents a chapter in the larger story that is told, which you can follow along with the book that comes in the set. Each card (chapter) is part of a continuous story. In the companion book, you will have a color image of the card with the “moral of the story” below in which provides a divinatory meaning. To the right is the chapter’s text, the segment of the story this card depicts. Below this is the “card definition”, a fuller account of the cards meaning beyond the moral of the story. The authors give you tips for when the cards appear next to other cards and how it would then impact the card (like in Lenormand and Tarot).
For example, card (chapter) 41, Conflict. Moral of the story. “Conflicts. Arguments, quarrels, strife and upheavals.” Card Definition (not a full citation), in order to see where the problem originates check preceding cards. For instance, family or property, it would be Castle (card). Friends would be the Fellowship, work would be Guardian of the Books. Looking at the cards that follow the Conflict can reveal the outcome of the events or provide you insight to dealing with the problem.
The companion book offers a small collection of spreads (six) to use, which play on the themes of novels and literature. There is a “story spread”. I just pull three cards and read them in a linear fashion.
The packaging of this set of cards is fantastic, kudos to Schiffer for presentation. The theme of these cards is novel and books. The box is created to look like a book and opens up like one revealing inside the companion book and deck. Watch my YouTube video to see the unboxing. The cards have gilt edges; they are glossy, black borders with classy thin gold lines around the images. The backs are not reversible.
Using the cards, I did some practice readings and was able to get direct answers and saw how the cards when weaved together present a story. The cards blend well with one another to provide guidance that is simple in the same fashion of Lenormand. If Tarot and Lenormand could have a child, it would be the Chronicles of Destiny Fortune Cards. They possess a progressive story telling structure like tarot and the simple fortune telling style of the Lenormand.
Overall, I am highly impressed by the production and presentation. The theme of this work is carried through out every detail consistently. The premise of which the cards are built on is creative and is executed perfectly. The system that was created for this set of cards shows thoughtfulness and detailed care. These cards present themselves as a fully developed cartomantic system.