A Faerie Haven: Living in Myth, Being Magic

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Alphabet Oracle Deck

Note: Websites tend to reduce photographs to make webpages load quickly. This often blurs details in the photos.

 

If you know me well, you’ve seen me use anything at hand for divination. Everything around me has an opinion. (May not always be a good opinion, but a lot of the time it is.)

 

Divination is part of my every day, throughout the day. I’m constantly trying to communicate with my Gods, whether  divining for myself or for clients in classes and private sessions. This oracular thread woven throughout my hours is one reason I love making divination tools. Making a deck or other divinatory tool and then using it inspires me and opens me to the Divine in new ways. 

 

Given my use of anything nearby for fortune telling, and my interest in making oracular tools, it’s no surprise that, after I’d spent a couple of years making a pen and ink alphabet (with some watercolors thrown in), it occurred to me to make the letters into alphabet oracle cards for myself. Or if you prefer, “Alphabet divination cards.” Are you asking, “What is alphabet divination?” The answer is: I had no idea what it was until I made the idea up. I’ll explain:

 

I finished the alphabet recently. And then, as I said, it occurred to me to make a divination deck out of it.

 

I didn’t come up with set meanings for each card. Instead, I use the deck to prompt intuitive readings: I draw a card randomly, think of a word that starts with the letter on the card—I usually accept the first word that springs to mind—and then try to intuitively glean the guidance to which that word is pointing. Voilà, alphabet divination! 

(... OK, I just searched online for “Alphabet Oracle Deck.” No such thing in the first few pages. Cool!)

 

I shrank the letters a lot to make mini-cards. I like small decks because they’re easy to keep nearby. But I didn’t further shrink any letters to make all the letters—and hence all the cards—the exact same size. Ancient Druids divined using sticks. Instead of the sticks being all the exact same shape and size, as if manufactured in a factory, each twig was its own beautiful shape and size. I believe that adds to the divinatory process.

 

In that spirit, I allowed the letters—and hence the cards—to be slightly different sizes.

 

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After scanning all the pen and inks, I digitally arranged them in three pages so all of them could be printed on three sheets of card stock. I wanted three pages only because, otherwise, a lot of white space would waste my pricey quality card stock.

 

I decided to make the cards different shapes too. Since I didn’t standardize the letter sizes, the letters weren’t lined up on the page. So I couldn’t use a paper cutter. I’m not good at using scissors to cut absolutely straight lines that are absolutely perpendicular to each other, as is needed to make rectangular cards. 

 

I am good at cutting nice curves, so I went with the flow, and went with my strengths, cutting a different shape around each letter. 

 

My printer acts up a fair amount of the time. E.g., it might print a line twice here and there. I’m fine with that. This deck is homespun art made for myself. I try to enjoy those printing errors.

 

I understand if a buyer would mind a printer mishap, but I don’t sell anything printed from that printer anymore, so I’m happy with my current printer.

 

However, there was another problem I wanted to rectify. Prints of the three digital pages of the pen and inks weren’t crisp. I’d printed the deck from a PNG I’d made in Adobe Photoshop. For some reason, it didn’t look good. Then I printed directly from Adobe Photoshop. That was better but still not crisp enough.

 

After spending years making these letters, I really wanted them to print up crisply. 

 

Mind you, as is, I used the deck for weeks and was thrilled with it. I enjoy the roughness of homespun art. Roughness and printer mishaps are yet more ways my environment offers me opinions. But still ... 

 

Then I had an idea about how to improve a few letters: I’d digitally reduced the B and the J to be very small, in order to add ornamentation around them. Crispness was lost. I scanned those two pen and inks again, and left them as is. They were much nicer.

 

Then I had one of those duh moments, telling myself, “Wait a second, Francesca! You used some of these letters in Book of Shadows entries for yourself and your students, and the letters looked great. Those documents were PDFs.” So I made a PDF of the scanned letters. It printed beautifully! The deck is fine now. 

 

It took some time to put digital files of the letters into Adobe Photoshop, then size each letter down so they all fit on three pages, then fastidiously arrange these disparate shapes to fit on the three pages. Starting all over again in a new app in order to make a PDF wasn’t appealing. Plus, in this other app, digital files of the letters had to be added one at a time. Argh! And, I’m so glad I did it.

 

Everything turned out so well that I’m considering selling PDFs of the deck so that someone who likes it can print and hand cut it, to have their own Alphabet Oracle Deck.

 

In the meantime, if you like the deck, I offer exclusives for my newsletter subscribers. An upcoming newsletter will have instructions for entering a draw for the deck. The winner of the draw will receive a PDF, to print and hand cut, to make a deck for themself.

 

If you don’t already subscribe to my free Faerie Magic newsletter, go here: 

https://outlawbunny.com/newsletter/

 

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Francesca De Grandis aka Outlaw Bunny is the bestselling author of "Be a Goddess!" Founder of The Third Road, a Faerie Shamanism tradition that she teaches through both text and oral tradition, De Grandis says, "I'm a trickster working for benevolent chaos Gods, so I don't play mean tricks." Bard, painter, mystical innovator, and busy elf who works part-time for Santa Claus, she blogs here and on her own sites, www.stardrenched.com and www.outlawbunny.com

Comments

  • Molly
    Molly Thursday, 12 March 2020

    Neat! Thank you for sharing this!

  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer Saturday, 14 March 2020

    How creative!

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