APRIL FOOLS, Y’ALL! For at least 3 years, I have wanted to do an April Fool’s Day joke by reviewing an UNO deck as an oracle deck, but this year I finally got off my duff and did it.
I hope you enjoyed the joke as much as I enjoyed making it. As for the somewhat more serious question of whether you can use an UNO deck for divination: of course you can. Doing this post was a fun thought exercise in doing that. Whether or not a tool can be used for divination really depends on our intention toward it. I, personally, don’t think I’ll go out of my way to use UNO for divination, maybe someone else would like to try! I do think that we’ll get more bang for our buck by using a tool that was intended for divination or has a long tradition of divination behind it, but really, divination is about how we approach the world, not the tools we use.
A few weeks ago, I came across a Spanish-Language oracle deck called the One Oracle. I’ve never seen anything like it, and although is a challenging deck to use for divination, I can tell that it will be worth it in the long run to work with this deck and really get to know it.
The interesting thing about the One Oracle is that it relies almost entirely on numerology and the elements. (That means that, even though I don’t speak Spanish, I can still use it!) There are a few cards with symbols, but in general I would not recommend this deck to someone who is really into visuals for divination. Reading with this deck requires the ability to take abstract principles and make them concrete. While I wouldn’t recommend this deck to beginners in either tarot or oracle reading, I think this is a fantastic deck for an intermediate student.
So, let’s talk about the deck. The cards are small (bridge sized) and that’s good because there are a LOT of them—108 to be precise. The cards are printed on regular playing card stock—nothing to write home about, but will stand up to some pretty heavy use. Even with the fairly thin card stock, the stack of cards in the deck is thicker than almost any other of my decks.
The Four Suits
The One Oracle is a system of numbers and colors, which I interpret to be representative of the four elements. There is the Red suit, the Blue suit, the Yellow Suit, and the Green Suit. These correspond to Fire (Passion, Will), Water (Emotions, Intuition), Air (Reason, Intellect), and Earth (the Material World). What’s interesting about these suits is that they contain cards numbered from 1-10 (no court cards) and a few symbolic cards: Reversal, Void, and Plus Two (here’s where we really get into numerology.)
The most interesting thing is that there are multiple of the same number within each suit. I’m not sure why this is, but I believe that the cards drawn in a spread are meant to be added together and reduced. For instance, if I draw a 7 and two 3’s in a reading, those numbers add up and reduce to 1. (7 + 3 + 3 = 10. 1 + 0 = 1.) So each card carries its own number symbolism, but the final meaning of the spread is also influenced by the reduction. That means that each card has its own meaning, but not every card needs to be unique. I believe that the Plus Two cards mean that the overarching meaning of the spread should also be influenced by adding 2 to the number of the reduction. So, for instance, if the numbers in our spread reduced to 1, then the presence of a Plus Two would mean that the final reduction for the spread is really 3. This is just a guess, as the Plus Two cards haven’t shown up in my readings much and I don’t have a lot of experience working with them.
There’s also a fifth suit of Black cards, which stand for Space. In each of the Black cards, the four other colors are featured, showing that Space encompasses each of them. Since the Black cards are so rare in comparison to the four other suits, they carry an incredible amount of significance when they appear in a reading.
The other two types of cards I haven’t covered are the symbol cards: Reversal and the Void. The presence of Reversal works much like reversals in tarot—it represents a dimension of the upright cards that is latent. The presence of Reversal in a reading means that we don’t want to take the reading at face value. That doesn’t necessarily mean we should say the reading means the opposite, but we take Reversal as an invitation to explore the latent or shadowy tendencies of the other cards.
The Void card is much harder to interpret. I honestly think that the element indicated on the Void card is much more important than the symbol. For instance, a Void of Blue adds considerations of emotion, intuition, or relationships to the reading. If there’s a lot of Blue there, the Void is amplifying that aspect of the reading. If there isn’t any other Blue present, then the Void of Blue suggests that this reading has some bearing on emotions. Anyone else have suggestions for how to read the Voids in this deck? I would love to hear them.
A READING FOR YOU
Alright, before I go any further, let’s do a reading! Take a bread to center yourself and then choose which card calls to you.
I personally have found readings from the One Oracle to be hyper-focused and on point. I feel more like I am receiving information, rather than suggestion. If you prefer to use tarot in a more straightforwardly psychological way, I think you will really appreciate this deck. But as I said before, if you need a lot of symbolic imagery to get your divinatory juices flowing, this may not be the deck for you.
OK, let’s look at which card you picked:
VOID OF GREEN
You may want to take a moment to assess your health or finances. Be grateful for what you have and cultivate an abundance mindset.
SEVEN OF RED
There may be options and temptations for new projects coming at you from all sides. Take advantage of this energy, not by doing every single thing that suggests itself to you, but choosing wisely where to spend your energy.
FOUR OF BLUE
Wow, good for you. You’ve reached a great place of emotional stability! You don’t let other people throw you off your game or get you down. Just remember to not get stuck in your ways.
I hope you enjoyed this review of the One Oracle. Perhaps now it will have a little more exposure in the divination community and I’ll see it starting to pop up in other people’s feeds!