The story and process of my oracle card deck

I just posted a listing for pre-orders for my oracle card deck on Etsy. It’s been a process, stretched across three years.

This is the story of the cards, how they came into being, and my process with them.

2013:
I receive a class assignment to create several oracle cards based on specific healing archetypes. I use pencil, pen, and watercolors to create my cards.

With about six cards finished, I decide to make a complete deck as a graduation project for the healing and empowerment program that I’m in.

At graduation, I look at the cards in my display, amazed I’ve created mini-masterpieces. They are personal to me, although not explicitly so to the outside viewer. I’ve created a book of insights and descriptions to go with them. Several people comment to me that they didn’t know I was an artist.

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Original deck with the top of a box I created for them as part of my graduation project.

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Cards from the original deck; I put them in plastic recipe sleeves to protect them from damage.


I talk about the cards in a speech, about my healing journey, and how I’ve become my own oracle, how I’ve learned to source my own intuition.

I get recipe sleeves so that I can protect the originals.

I ask my love, who at the time I am separated from, to scan the cards into the computer. It’s a favor, and I also give him some money for his efforts. He also teaches me Photoshop basics so I can start brightening and editing the images to make them more ready for print.

I have surgery for a borderline ovarian tumor. As I recover, I begin my process of editing the images on Photoshop.  While I don’t have much energy for long-term projects, sitting at a computer and working in short spurts helps me feel productive.

2014:

I do get further on my editing, but it’s in fits and spurts as I try to manage my volunteer leadership position at home and my part-time job while also recovering from major surgery. Although I do not know it at the time, I’m overloaded – way too much on my plate, and not enough support or space to heal. I sink into a deep depression.

June: When I say goodbye to the women I have been supporting, I have them each pull a card from my deck. I tell them about what it may mean.

I return to my hometown, cards in hand. I show them to people, tell them how I want to get them printed someday. I don’t have much energy to do much more with them: I’m focused on getting myself more stable again. When I show them to my therapist, she takes out the forgiveness card and says something to me about the importance of self-forgiveness.

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2015:

I’m ready to take a step further in bringing my cards into print. I look for a website that will print the cards on demand. I find Make Playing Cards, and I get the cards ready and order one deck as a proof.

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I get my proof deck just before I go to my Nia White Belt training in July, and I take them with me. When my teacher trainer asks us to put something in the front of the room as we try our hand at cueing, I get my oracle cards out and set them there.

I decide on a font that I want to use for the titles of the cards, which I had left handwritten in the proof version.

With the help my life coach and several friends, I continue editing and revising the oracle card descriptions. While I keep the spirit of the original insights for the cards, I discover that in the original versions, I did a lot of recapitulating what I’d learned. I wanted to put more of my own voice into them. I also didn’t think it would make much sense to anyone outside that program – I wanted to create a tool that anyone desiring insight could use.

2016:

I know that finishing my oracle cards is part of creating more closure for myself to the events of 2014 and before. I find myself feeling sad about leaving that community, appreciative that I created something so meaningful to me out of that experience, and angry for the misunderstandings and invalidation that occurred. I start to make more concrete goals so I can finish this project and continue to create more space for myself to heal. I’m ready to be done; I don’t have as much energy for the project as I did before. And yet, I find the motivation to finish them.

I bring the proof deck to a holistic healing and craft fair and talk about them. Someone asks me if I’m a psychic. Another person says, “I haven’t seen this deck before.” I say, “That’s because I made them.”

I continue to edit and revise the descriptions, and make final edits on the cards. I find a template for the oracle card book, and then later get feedback on the formatting.

I order several sets of cards. I get a proof of the book…and fret about formatting and various things. It takes a lot of work to create and self-publish a book – I’d never really thought about factors like how many blank pages to have in the beginning or end, or what the best font to use would be (I discovered my usual go-to  – Times New Roman – is outdated and highly discouraged in book publishing).

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Now, I’ve put up the pre-order listing, and will order copies of the books to complete the first sets, which will look something like this:


If you’re interested in pre-ordering a set, go here. I have a discount code – 10SPIRAL – that can be used at checkout for 10% off. They should be ready to ship within approximately three weeks.

In the end, it was a bit of a nerve-wrecking thrill to list them. While I haven’t written my full story in the cards or the accompanying book, they’re definitely an important part of my story of the past few years. I’m excited and nervous to put them out there and share them.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Wow! Oracle cards!! You too! Makes sense 😀 (and beautiful ones, at that).

    Reply

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