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Author Topic: Creating an oracle deck  (Read 4495 times)

Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Creating an oracle deck
« on: August 10, 2011, 04:02:47 am »
After being followed around by the idea for years and years now, I'm finally biting the bullet and making an oracle deck based on the songs by a musician that is very, very important to me. It's going to be a private deck (I'm going to go through a print-on-demand company and make three decks, two of those just being for backup), so I'm less concerned with it being coherent to other people than I am with it being internally consistent. For artwork, I plan to used photos in the Creative Commons.

Has anyone else done something similar? What challenges did you face, and what are some things you'd do differently in retrospect? If you haven't done anything like this before but have used oracle decks, what do you look for in a deck? What aspects do you think are important?

Since I'm not basing it on tarot at all, I feel a bit lost in the wind. The forums at http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/ have been helpful, but I feel a little intimidated about jumping into them, so I thought I'd ask here.
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Juni

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Re: Creating an oracle deck
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 10:45:22 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);11925


 
I have two oracle decks in the works at the moment, though one is on hold as I do some rethinking. Honestly, I'm sort of flying by the seat of my pants, as I've never even used an oracle deck before, only tarot.

The main thing I'm aiming for is balance; I don't want too many strictly positive or negative cards, or neutral, either. It's the primary reason my first oracle deck is on hold, because almost every card is fairly neutral, and I'm not sure how to fix it. The second, current deck is avoiding this problem with 'reversals' being built in to each card. They're not proper reversals, really; each card has two opposite meanings, and neither one is the "proper" meaning- which meaning is used just depends on which way the card is placed.

I have been avoiding thinking about the artwork too much at the moment. I have zero artistic ability, but as I imagine I'll add cards down the road, I am hesitant to commission an artist. I haven't quite figured out a solution yet.
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Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Re: Creating an oracle deck
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 01:05:38 am »
Quote from: Juni;11977
The main thing I'm aiming for is balance; I don't want too many strictly positive or negative cards, or neutral, either. It's the primary reason my first oracle deck is on hold, because almost every card is fairly neutral, and I'm not sure how to fix it. The second, current deck is avoiding this problem with 'reversals' being built in to each card. They're not proper reversals, really; each card has two opposite meanings, and neither one is the "proper" meaning- which meaning is used just depends on which way the card is placed.


I'm having the same issue here - because I'm basing the cards on specific songs, it's been difficult to balance the deck. I'm leaning towards the same solution as you, actually, and so far it seems to be doing the trick. I'm still prodding at it, and I'll let you know if I figure out any other ways to balance things out.

Quote from: Juni;11977
I have been avoiding thinking about the artwork too much at the moment. I have zero artistic ability, but as I imagine I'll add cards down the road, I am hesitant to commission an artist. I haven't quite figured out a solution yet.


Like I said, I'm using photographs from the Creative Commons (there are thousands available on Flickr, and some of them are really fabulous). Even if you want to market your deck/don't want to use photos/want more control over the images, they might work as placeholders while you design the deck?
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Waldhexe

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Re: Creating an oracle deck
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 09:23:39 am »
Quote from: Juni;11977
Honestly, I'm sort of flying by the seat of my pants, as I've never even used an oracle deck before, only tarot.

I've used 2 tarot decks and 4 oracle decks before, I thought a lot about how I would structure my deck with different suits which would show different stations on a spiritual journey, but I've never created the cards I lined out.

This was 1-2 years ago. I've started from scratch a few days ago and have decided not to plan a structure, but to fly by the seat of my pants instead. I'm not trying to create structured rows like the major arcana or the different suits in the tarot with a journey from first card to last. I'm simply drawing inner images, like places of power, symbols and imaginery I deeply connect with...that kind of stuff.

I try not to worry if the cards are in the 'right order' (they don't have numbers, at least not yet). I also don't know if and how the deck will balance out or what kind of cards belong there and which don't. (Like I'm not sure at the moment I'll include the 4 elements in any way.)

At the end it might be an eclectic collection which wouldn't make sense to anyone else than me, I don't know. I figure I could always add cards when I feel something is missing or something needs to be balanced. I also think it might be interesting to view my deck as the collected representations of my own spiritual experiences so it already has some kind of structure even if I don't consciously know it.

At the moment I'm not attempting to make anything which could be printed and sold because it would put too much pressure on me and I have never sold anything I've made or written, so I have no idea if a deck created by me would have any chances on the market anyway.

I'm making it from simple materials. I use thick paper, sciccors, artist crayons and protective plastic film.

If it works for me I can still make a more artistically 'perfect' deck later by painting every card in a bigger format, scan it and send it to a card printing company. I'd love to use acryl paint for that, but I think it's good to first make my experiences with easy-to-make cards before I paint several hours on one and need plenty of financial ressources to get it professionally printed.

***

I know the thread is a couple of months old. Are you both still working on your projects? What experiences did you make since August?

Has anyone else started creating his/her own deck?

Juni

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Re: Creating an oracle deck
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 10:24:48 am »
Quote from: Waldhexe;39563
I know the thread is a couple of months old. Are you both still working on your projects? What experiences did you make since August?

Has anyone else started creating his/her own deck?

 
My cards aren't numbered either, or in any kind of order. Right now I have them listed alphabetically by name, but that's just to keep track while I'm making them.

I am still working on my deck. It sat untouched for a while, but just a couple days ago I added five more cards. I haven't started working on the physical cards yet, but my plan is to create them in GIMP and then print them out on cardstock, and use a spray sealant or something. I want to have digital files so I can replace missing/ruined cards easily.
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PhantomQueen

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Re: Creating an oracle deck
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 10:25:37 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);11925
Has anyone else done something similar? What challenges did you face, and what are some things you'd do differently in retrospect? If you haven't done anything like this before but have used oracle decks, what do you look for in a deck? What aspects do you think are important?

Since I'm not basing it on tarot at all, I feel a bit lost in the wind. The forums at http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/ have been helpful, but I feel a little intimidated about jumping into them, so I thought I'd ask here.

 


I've only got the one oracle card deck (the 'Raven Cards' set) and they're not based on tarot...  I love this one and thought it may help give you some ideas.  Each crd is aobut 5" square and has a different picture of a raven  placed inside a triangle on each of the 47 cards.  There's also a different saying on each card.   (ie Transform your deep longing for security into a sense of belonging).  I like the fact that the message each card gives can have a different meaning for each person reading it as well as for the same person for each individual time it gets drawn.  (I use the pick a card a day advice method). It's almost like reading a book and getting so much information/enlightenment out of it then picking it up again a year or so later only to find another deeper level of meaning to that same work.

drekfletch

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Re: Creating an oracle deck
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 12:09:43 am »
Quote from: Waldhexe;39563

Has anyone else started creating his/her own deck?

 
I started working out an oracle/rune set.  I like the concept of runes, but the norse-und-variants don't really work for me.  I figured out what letters I'd want, then came up with concepts for that number.  I haven't gotten around to matching concept to letter except A and M, the beginning and end.  Who knows if I ever will.  I arranged the concepts in a quasi-ontological story, with the knowledge that they can be recombined to tell all sorts of things.

01 potential beginnings (A)
02 nature world instinct
03 perception
04 self
05 wisdom magic
06 other foreign

07 woman
08 man
09 family
10 home safety
11 time
12 society order

13 hidden secret darkness
14 connected whole
15 divine
16 entertainment
17 language communication
18 movement Journey

19 plenty exchange gift
20 technology
21 emotion
22 war conflict
23 choice&consequence
24 Stasis

25 authority
26 energy, resources, money
27 making
28 death, ending (M)
There is no inherent meaning to life.  Stop looking and give your life meaning.
------------------------------------------
Chapter 91 of The Order War by L.E.Modesitt jr.  If I could quote the entire thing I would.

Waldhexe

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Re: Creating an oracle deck
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 10:40:51 am »
Quote from: drekfletch;40061



This sounds really interesting! :)

***

Btw, just a general note to the thread:

I've just picked up the Robin Wood Tarot again and the author writes in her guidebook a lot how and why she has painted the cards like she did. I find it really interesting to read about the cards from the viewpoint of the artist explaining the choice of symbols and colors etc.

Another intesting point for me is that she often writes how she puts up many details so the reader can intuitivly focus on a specific one in a reading. She also sometimes shows only parts of a tool or something similar - like the 7 of pentacles is a gardener holding the stick of a tool - so the reader can intuitivly complete the tool as a hoe, shovel whatever...

I'm not working with many details because I don't want to make my first try too complicated as I'm only doing the little card-crayon-version at the moment. But details like Robin Wood uses them are something I'd consider when I would decide later to paint my cards in a bigger format and scan them to send to a printing service.

However I'm not sure I'll really use details. There are also some oracles which work without details like the runes. I think I'll find out when I work with my crayon-cards.
 

How do you guys go about details?

drekfletch

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Re: Creating an oracle deck
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2012, 03:52:18 pm »
Quote from: Waldhexe;40424
This sounds really interesting! :)

 
Unfortunately, that's all I've gotten, so I can't comment of their effectiveness.  I knew I wanted to get a range of meanings, which is why I did them first.  I work better with words than I do with images.

I wanted them able to be combined to pinpoint specific things, so they were somewhat vague.  So if nature and technology with plenty were cast, it might refer to agricultural tools.
There is no inherent meaning to life.  Stop looking and give your life meaning.
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Chapter 91 of The Order War by L.E.Modesitt jr.  If I could quote the entire thing I would.

heatherfeather

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Re: Creating an oracle deck
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2013, 12:30:24 am »
Quote from: drekfletch;40061


01 potential beginnings (A)
02 nature world instinct
03 perception
04 self
05 wisdom magic
06 other foreign

07 woman
08 man
09 family
10 home safety
11 time
12 society order

13 hidden secret darkness
14 connected whole
15 divine
16 entertainment
17 language communication
18 movement Journey

19 plenty exchange gift
20 technology
21 emotion
22 war conflict
23 choice&consequence
24 Stasis

25 authority
26 energy, resources, money
27 making
28 death, ending (M)

 
This is actually a pretty good list.

I was wondering if anyone ever finished and used their decks. I am thinking about making my own.

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