The Magical Menagerie (Book and Deck) by Mike Leslie & Eric Hotz © 2005

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    The Magical Menagerie  (Book and Deck)  by   Mike Leslie & Eric Hotz  © 2005  Llewellyn    ISBN  0-7387-0505-5    168 pages   paperback (book) and 42 card deck  $24,95  (U.S.)  $33.95  (Canada)

    Almost everyone is familiar with the concept, at least, of power animals and familiars.  And, again, most of us have some knowledge of elemental associations.  This book and deck combine both of these concepts to provide a unique form of divination and personal development.  It may not be for everyone, but I suggest that you give it a try, and see how you about its usefulness.

    The Magical Menagerie is a modern day attempt at one of the standards of the medieval world – a bestiary.  It has been melded with an understanding of psychology and magical thinking.  If those seem contradictory to you, this deck and book will be a real eye-opener.

    Each card is given between one and one and a half pages of explanation.  They are each associated with a time (both clock and monthly), and a direction, as well as an indication of how quickly change occurs.  The cards consist of 24 mundane animals, one indicator that things are exactly right, one that things are going inexplicably wrong, four elemental cards, and twelve “fabulous” beasts, only two of which were initially unfamiliar to me.

    The system developed for the use of this deck is unique.  Therefore, it will definitely take some time to get used to it.  More than most “divinatory” systems, you need to keep the accompanying book close at hand.

    The colors used in this deck are soft pastels; the images are soft; the overall effect is one of gentleness.

    The deck includes a couple of layout cards, but would have benefited, in my opinion, from the inclusion of a couple more.  It might also have benefited from the inclusion of a “cheat card” with elemental characteristics.


    I’m not sure how I will feel about this deck down the road.  I’m not sure if it will be particularly useful, although I can see how it could be.  If it serves no other purpose, it certainly can help to open up expected possibilities.  That can be valuable in learning to explore one’s inner landscape.

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