Unicorns are synonymous with magick, creativity, spirituality, harmony and beauty which is evident in the fantasy artwork of Paolo Barbieri. However, that is not all, as the Italian illustrator seeks to stretch a person’s perception of unicorns by channelling the horned creature’s shapeshifting abilities for his Unicorns Oracle.
Paolo Barbieri Unicorns Oracle is a 34-card deck that captures the depth and playfulness of this magickal being, encouraging the reader to open up their imagination and to see beyond the well-known imagery of unicorns. Instead we are shown artwork of these horned creatures depicted as a cat, a butterfly, a snail, a fairy, and a funky hairstyle even. Although the stunning paintings display a cat, for instance, with a unicorn’s horn, the words of the card however points the reader to delve deeper into the imagination and intuitive guidance – “not a cat” but “hunting”, it states.
Lifelike Elven and Fae beings feature alongside their unicorn companions in this oracle deck. And while many of the cards are filled with vibrant colours – such as the fire elemental hues of orange, red and yellow on the Creativity card and a centaur against a rich red background on the Fighting card, there are also a handful of cards with a sepia-like colour-palette which takes the reader through time and space.
Paolo Barbieri Unicorns Oracle deck is naturally immersed in magick, mysticism and symbolism. The Divinity, Choice and Clarity cards are some of the few that show us the beautiful creatures in a form that most people are familiar with when it comes to unicorns. Then we get these shapeshifting, hybrid-like unicorns such as Majesty with its tiger markings, and Purity with its dragon’s head and scales.
The card interpretations by Rachel Paul offer simple, positive and uplifting affirmations, short meditations, and messages. I often find with oracle decks and tarot decks that the artwork is almost always the major draw. With Paolo Barbieri’s Unicorns, the short interpretations did resonate with me and I found they added to the fun and playful energy of the cards.
Unicorns represent boundless creativity and wisdom, and Paolo Barbieri has done an excellent job in capturing this energy and essence, which makes this oracle deck such a pleasure to work with if this too is strong within you. If you are looking for a deck with traditional imagery of unicorns, this deck may not call out to you but that said, you may also be pleasantly surprised.