Telesco, Patricia. The Victorian Flower Oracle: The Language of Nature. (St. Paul, Minn: Llewellyn, 1994).
236 p. Index. List of sources.

An excellent tool for anyone interested in divination, of whatever magickal orientation. Not only has Telesco applied her massive research into Victorian superstition to create a system of divination based on the "language of flowers" symbolisms, but she has explained it in such a way as to assist users in creating their own divination tools.

The section on "Creating the Oracle" gives advice on preserving and mounting flowers and plants for tools; "How to Use the Oracle" explains six divination spreads which would be useful for other tools as well as the oracle. Three sections give suggested interpretations for a variety of herbs, flowers, and trees. The final section suggests alternative symbols for oracles, including animals, astrology, colors, stones & metals, numbers, miscellaneous objects, and runes, with brief descriptions of the interpretations of a selection of each.

Users are encourage to create their own oracles, using the flower symbolism or another, and reminded that their personal interpretations are the guide for reading such an oracle. (Space for notes on each card page encourage this.) A great deal of information on the process of "divination" is given, making this a good resource.

While I don't always agree with Telesco's interpretations, I'm sure that evidence for them can be found in one of the volumes in the concise and complete three-page bibliography; and as usual, there is a VERY useful index. In her usual way, Telesco has blended historical research and modern interpretation for an excellent workbook and reference.

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© Jennifer A. Heise, September, 1996