The Heretic’s Oracle

The Heretic's Oracle
Heretic's Oracle from
Here’s a look at all 36 cards from the Heretic’s Oracle

Game development takes many strange detours. I was working on an update of my outrageous 16th century inspired collect babies for Satan mobile game of witches and demons called Affaire Des Poisons. I wanted to add Tarot Card readings as another option at the witch’s potion shop. First, I created a deck of oracle tarot cards using the same old witchy woodcut prints I used to make the game and wrote up their descriptions and meanings. I named the old forbidden deck, The Heretic’s Oracle.

Affaire Des Poisons, mobile game by J.E.Moores
Affaire Des Poisons for Android, iOS and Windows

Way back in the 1980’s during my Egyptology BFA thesis work at Maryland Institute College of Art I learned how the divination murals from the Egyptian Temple of Thoth were painted into a deck of Tarot so migrating Gypsies could travel with their oracle easily. The cards were used for games, gambling, and divination. Over time they became what we know as the playing cards and tarot cards of today.

The Heretic's Oracle cards

Although the cards I designed were meant for my video game, I liked the Heretic’s Oracle so much that I had a mini prototype deck of the cards printed so I could actually hold and play with them. It helped me write up the descriptions and get a feel for the deck before I coded them into the mobile game.

The Heretic’s Oracle is a powerful deck indeed. At first the simplistic woodcut designs feel cute and silly, yet these images are infused with the bizarre history of witchcraft and persecution. I think about the context and the people who were tortured and slain, and then I’m horrified. There’s a lot to take in from these simple woodcut printed images from the 1600s and 1700s. They are charged with life or death high stakes situations.

Here is a look of the artwork on the back of The Heretic’s Oracle deck.

Many of you are already asking how to get a deck of The Heretic’s Oracle. Be warned, this deck is not for everyone. First off, I like small size decks, so this is a smaller sized deck that will fit in your hands easy. The deck is covered in shrink wrap to keep ’em safe during shipping. The 36 cards in this mini deck are 1.75″ wide X 2.5″ tall. Printed on all-natural “Eco” paper to give the cards an old time block printed look and feel. The mini size is perfect for travel, and easily spreads out for readings.

To keep costs low, there is no expensive custom case or box. You could keep your deck in a red velvet cinch bag, or a mint tin. This deck seems ancient, not plastic and modern. The “Eco” card stock is earthy and has little bits of twigs and leaves right in the paper. Each deck is crafted to order and made just for you, and retails at $18.70 (US) + shipping. Please allow 2 – 4 weeks to receive your cards at any USA address. Expect a bit longer anywhere else on this earthly plane. The Heretic’s Oracle is soon to become a favorite deck in your collection. To see a sample of all the cards and to read all the card descriptions, download the PDF or ePub below.

The Heretic's Oracle as seen in the mobile game Affaire Des Poisons

You can see all the cards in the instruction manual that contains detailed card descriptions for the entire deck of 36 cards. Click ePub or PDF to check it out.

Historical Sources: