UPDATE: 06.26.2018: Hello all new and returning visitors! I’ve given the page an update and added more information about this project and its current progress. The samples I have online right now will be the last of them for now. I will be crowdfunding the deck to give it a kick in the bum start, so I want to have cards that I can debut throughout that process. There is also a second series of cards (noted below) that I will start adding to the page to give potential deck adopters a better idea of the whole deck. More updates to come! 🙂
This is my second oracle deck. The first one was created to go along with an artist group I was apart of and competing in an event called ArtPrize in my hometown. That was many moons ago and while the deck was pretty (and featured many of my fellow artists in the group) it wasn’t well thought out. I liked a few of the elements I used for it though and wanted to better flesh them out at some point. So after the event was over I tucked that deck away and it was never heard from again. So dramatic, I know. 😉 But I keep hearing a whisper of its ghost nagging at me to revisit those ideas.
In the same spirit of my Tea Bats, Black Ibis, and Sepia Stains decks, this oracle is inspired by one of my stories. In my Snapdragon Tea fiction, the deck is created by the character Azure Amaranth. She uses it as a means of meditation and eventually the oracles start to whisper to her. In the story she brings it to one of the Orange Moon Tea Society gatherings that take place every Sunday afternoon. During their tea salons everyone brings their favorite means of divination and they share or teach their style to their fellow society gals. This is actually based on life. My dear friend Kate (The Wormwood Queen) hosted tea salons at her house on Sundays. It was at one of these events that I watched someone work with my Isidore tarot for the first time. It was a good time and lurked in my mind, only to pop back up in my writing. And speaking of Kate; she has her own kick bum oracle she created The Isis Oracle and it is quite beautiful and unique, especially if you’re a fan of Egyptian symbolism. You should take a moment to check it out. She can even teach you how to read tea leaves or introduce you to her Goddess Project.
As this is an oracle deck, I can say this is a very challenging type of project for me. In this instance I don’t have references to work with. This is a pretty beast of my own making. I tend to greatly lean towards oracle or inspirational decks that are meant to aid in meditation or just giving a reader something to focus on when needing to direct their thoughts. My thoughts tend to be hyper spastic and all over the place and it makes it hard for me to concentrate on one thing at a time. My card of the day writings give me that focus and I’m hoping to achieve a deck that exists for that purpose.
Like many of my decks it’s done in a collage style that reworks illustrator Alphonso Mucha’s (one of my absolute favorite artists) public domain works to represent different oracles. There are a lot of Mucha decks out there. Some are new artwork inspired by his style or decks making use of his work as is. These are all very beautiful decks. My take on his work is to focus on the woman in the painting and remove her from her background and place her in one of my own. Something beautiful and old mingling with something colorful and new. I also use airbrushing to make faces more rounded and blunt, as well as giving their outfits a little more detail. Each oracle is given a name and a series of meanings and symbols that relate to her and her place in the deck. This is one half of the deck.
The other half, created in the same style, makes use of my own original butterfly and moth paintings. My mother during her sermons (yup, I had a mom who was completing her studies to be an ordained United Methodist minister–though my grandmother was a Rosicrucian so there’s room for everything in my family) always used the butterfly as a symbol. Though it is a traditional symbol for change and rebirth, it was unique for her because in the U.M church there are a variety of symbols typically used to express this concept. Like the dove, for example. My mom left me quite a few butterflies when she passed on and I’ve been using them as reference for paintings. They also get their own unique backgrounds and symbols.
Each card is basically its own short story devoted to the oracle it represents. I’m creating quick references and descriptions for each card and then the short story with the full meaning and background of the card for deeper meaning. It’s proving to be quite the intense project, but then I’ve never turned away from a creative challenge. I will be first offering it through a proper crowdsourcing campaign. That will be an incredibly hefty task, but one in which I’ve learned through trial an error how to do it a little better each time. I’m also getting help from a few friends who know the process very well after running many successful campaigns.
So this is my official summer project. I’ve gone back and forth on whether to finish the oracle deck first or put my time into my Blood and Ink Lenormand deck. That deck’s very stark and limited color palate seems better suited for the months where the world starts getting cold again. Not to mention the whole process of creating the tattoos and symbolism takes a long time per card. I’m stuck on a few cards and need to better work a few others. The oracle is all about bright colors and soft edges though. It seems more suited towards spring and summer. And thanks to the main content of the cards they’re much easier to create and work with. As I am a gal with many projects always caught up in the air in a juggle, I need to weigh which project works out best at what time. As always I will be listing updates here as I go and you will find news and links in my blog here as they’re available. I’m hoping it will be a good project. When life gets hectic, as mine tends to do, having a central focus (outside of selling) to steer my creative attention towards is wonderful.