Right from the start I will tell you that I know PM Minnell, and have known her for years, I know her as Polli with an I because I am Polly with a Y, I meet her at a pagan festival many many years ago and while we have not meet face to face very often we certainly hit it of and I consider her to be a friend. I was thrilled to learn that she had created these cards and book and was having them published all professional like.. how exciting is that. So as soon as they came out and I was able I ran of to my local metaphysical store and ordered a set. I was very curious as to what they would look like in person, so to speak, I had seen several of the image on Polli’s face book and was intrigued. And I have to say very attracted to the New Zealandness.
I was a little surprised that these cards and deck had been picked up by an overseas publisher, but also not surprised as New Zealand is in comparison to most other places a tiny county a very long way off from anywhere, and we have a considerably small population. But I know that these cards will sell well on an international market as they are and will be for many exotic seeming. To me they are not so exotic so much as homely.. If that makes sense? *ponders this* What makes these cards standout is that Polli has strong Māori heritage so is speaking from experience and the way these cards are presented in the book people weather they use them for divination purposes or not will be learning some very interesting things about Māori language, spirituality, mythology, culture and customs, all of which is difficult to extract out in any single thing because they are very tied into the Māori world view and cosmology. If you want to know more then you are just going to have to purchase the set and read the book for yourselves. My deck and book arrived just after the winter solstice, well into the season of Matariki, which is the Māori New Year and a very apt time of year to receive this particular deck.
There are 58 Cards with pictures of native bird, plants, trees and Māori objects, so even if you never use the cards for readings just looking at the various pictures and reading the corresponding page in the 80 page booklet they come with, you will be learning new and interesting things about Māori Culture and New Zealand.
I really like the box these cards come in, magnetic closure. The box is designed to keep the cards in rather than just being packaging, and I have to say that is most excellent.
The Cards themselves are a good size for shuffling and they feel nice in the hands, they are glossy so strike me as being quite hardy and will last a long time with regular use, which I think is important for any oracle type deck. The back ground of these cards is green with a lovely Māori carving motif also in green, which brings out the actual pictures of what the card is nicely. I like the drawings of these cards, it looks like they were hand drawn on parchment paper and then digitised and made into cards. This lends a very kiwi ingenuity feel to the deck while the artwork remains lovely and appealing to look at.
The book is written in a very accessible way, with an excellent pronunciation guide, and sections on spirituality, ancestors, [tipuna] and a very detailed section on how to treat these cards, which I found very interesting, things that I am accustom to mostly, *smiles*. Polli points out that you do not have to follow what she has written exactly, but instead points out that these cards and probably other decks of divination cards that you own are Tohunga, a sacred treasure and should be treated as such, whether you follow the Māori traditions as instructed in the booklet or you have your own way of honouring them, or use a tradition from you own ancestry, the important thing is to acknowledge that they are special, sacred, they are set apart from the everyday world.
I also enjoyed the various myths and mythology that is associated with each of the cards explanations and the brief but evocative bits of mythology found at the beginning of the book and through out it really.. it adds a nice mystical? Magical? And for me homey feel to it.
So reading these cards
“All Knowledge, in Maoirdom, is said to come from three baskets called Nga Putea Wananga” and it is a three card spread that is used with the Māori Oracle. The first Card/Basket representing Knowledge of the physical world, the second Card Basket represent customs laws and what is right, and the third card/basket about magical and spiritual knowledge. For me these will be a deck of cards that I use in situations when I need some very personal and gentle clarification, and or understanding, for when I needed some gentle but a deeper understanding of my own magical path, as a Witch in New Zealand.
From the booklet I get the impression that these cards are designed for personal work rather than being a deck that is pronominally used to read for other people. This is not to say that they can’t be used to read for others. It is also important to note that while the author has very strong suggestions about how to treat these cards, and work with them, Polli does go on to say that these are just suggestions what I understand about what is empathising is about treating these cards as special, sacred, and about how you can connect with your ancestors. About the only thing I can see wrong or wish about this book and deck is that I wish the book was longer.. I enjoyed reading it, there was much food for thought.
All in all I have enjoyed reading the book and having a little titu [play] with the cards. Like I said I will be using these when I am looking for some clarity on specific problem solving, they will not be an everyday kinda deck, they feel too special for that. These cards will live in their lovely study box, along with a reading cloth, because that feels right. These cards are also going to be most helpful as I begin research into something called Kiwiana, and its magical applications? But that is for another post.
Like the back of the box says these cards and booklet will be useful for anybody in any culture, and along the way you will lean some unique things about Māori Culture and spirituality and a little more about Aotearoa ♥
I give this oracle deck 5 cups of tea out of 5! A most excellent oracle deck!
This review was written during a swarm of very rattling earthquakes
here in Wellington.. just so you know.. O.O