creating your own oracle deck

I am a self-proclaimed oracle card junkie. I can spot a new deck in a heartbeat – and when we get something I’m unfamiliar with in the store, I can’t wait to check it out. I’ve collected many decks throughout the years, and I have many “favorites.” The thing I’ve discovered, though, is that I am never completely satisfied – I always want more. You could say that this is because I’m “addicted” to cards, or maybe just that I’m bored with what I already have. The truth is, though, that I’ve never resonated so much with a deck that I felt like it was “the one.” Perhaps I didn’t connect with all of the images in a particular deck. After all, there are always a couple of cards in each deck that I don’t particularly love. Or maybe the accompanying guidebook didn’t seem all that interesting. Whatever the reason was that kept me from truly connecting with each of my decks, it always felt like a let-down. This inspired me to start creating my own oracle cards, and this is something I’ve become very passionate about.

Why take the time to create your own oracle or tarot deck? I mean, it sounds kind of arduous if you really stop to think about it. Well first of all, when you make your own cards, you know that it is a one-of-a-kind deal. There is not another one like it out there, and that alone makes it pretty special. In addition, creating your own cards allows you to tailor it specifically to meet your own needs and desires. If you don’t like something you’ve created, you have the power to eliminate it! Another reason to make your own cards is because creativity can be very therapeutic. The process itself is often healing in some way, whether you realize it at the time or not. When you decide to create a personal deck, the possibilities are endless. Nothing is too weird, and if you can dream it – there’s always a way to bring it life in a deck! Last but certainly not least, creating oracle cards can lead to business opportunities. If you create something amazing, chances are someone else might want in on it as well. It’s something that can be marketed and sold if that’s something you choose to explore at some point.

As I mentioned before, I have a long history of collecting and working with many different oracle and tarot card decks. It wasn’t until I started drawing some whimsical drawings in in the pages of my journal that I realized an oracle deck was coming to life right before my very eyes. I am by no means a Picasso. Far from it actually. Much of my artwork is asymmetrical and goofy, but mine is that way by accident – not on purpose – and hey, I’m okay with that. Art is therapeutic for me. It’s an outlet in which my emotions inspire and fuel my creative side, and I enjoy it. My first oracle deck didn’t happen overnight. While working on my first set of cards, my mom was diagnosed with cancer and became quite ill very quickly. I put my deck aside during that time, and didn’t pick it up until years later. After my mom died, I honestly kind of forgot about my cards. I was very busy caring for my small children, and I was very depressed because I was so lonely for my mom. One day I found the journal of cards I had started, and I was instantly inspired to get back to work on them. I worked on them as often as I could because I was determined to get them done and start using them. I decided to call my first oracle deck The Watchful Eye Oracle.  I was so proud and excited when I finished it. I wrote a companion booklet to go with my cards, self-published my deck, and had them professionally printed with boxes and all.

Not long after completing The Watchful Eye Oracle, I got to work on my second set of oracle cards entitled Bright In-sight. This particular deck of hand-painted cards was quite different than my first deck. Not only was the style of artwork different, but the intended use was different as well. These cards were designed to be used more as a meditation tool or a pick-me-up. I created them especially for those that struggle with depression, mood disorders, or anyone experiencing negativity or hardships (so just about everyone on the planet). Again the process was very healing for me. I enjoyed working on the cards and couldn’t wait to get them out there for other people to work with, too.

I’m currently working on two more oracle decks: Mood Mani-acts and a Day of the Dead Angels deck. My artwork is vastly differently from deck to deck, and I feel this makes each one even more unique. I don’t want to be a one-trick pony, if you know what I mean.

Anyone can create their own oracle cards. Whatever your artistic skill level is it really doesn’t matter. You can do this if you want to. Need some suggestions to get you started? Here are some ideas:

  • Sketch your ideas on index cards and fill them in with some high-quality colored pencils (you’ll want to use some decent pencils if you go this route).
  • Paint your oracle using acrylic or watercolor paints. You can do this on any paper you like. If the images are painted on larger paper or in a journal, you can always scan them in later and print them out to get the size you’d prefer.
  • Use gel pens to “Zendoodle” or “Zentangle” card designs.
  • Make collaged cards using photographs and interesting papers.
  • Laminate your cards to make them more durable.
  • Purchase a blank set of cards that already have “backs” to them (we sell these at Mimosa).

If you’re unable to find that perfect deck as I was, I strongly encourage you to try and make your own. Enjoy the process and be kind to yourself while you do it. You’ll find that many of the imperfections you initially struggle with were intended to be there all along. A handcrafted deck is very meaningful and that will make for some pretty insightful readings, if you ask me!

Some resources:
~ Kelly’s Bright In-sight deck on our website: Bright In-sight
~ Here’s the blank card deck we carry: Blank Cards
~ If you’re new to Zentangle, find out more here: Zentangle website
~ And here are some Zentangle books we carry at Mimosa: Zentangle books
(We don’t currently have the Watchful Eye deck up on the website, because it’s been out of stock for a while, but we just got more decks in the store. We’ll add it to the website sometime in the next few days.)

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