I am really excited to share this post because it has been a long time coming and because when I start something that I am particularly excited about, I usually run fast with it and do not hold back on talking about it. This time around, I have been easing into things. Really feeling them out and spending time with the whole process. Working at this pace and keeping things a secret is new to me and you know what? It feels really good. Everything feels right.
So the news is: I am creating my own Oracle Deck!
Tarot and oracle cards have been a part of my life since I was a teenager. Back in high school I took a tarot course (an outside course, not a part of the school’s curriculum!) and was immediately IN. I remember buying my first deck and feeling magical energy as I held them in my hand. These precious cards were mine, solely mine, and I loved them. I still have that deck twenty years later. Ever since, cards have been a part of my daily life including my morning ritual.
I first conceived of the idea of creating this deck back in April while driving around Uluru with my dear friend Katie. Yes, we were literally in a car, driving around the largest rock in the world, the heart of Australia, and perhaps, even the heart of the world. Katie is one to give gentle nudges. She sees something in others and nudges them towards doing their very best. She knows what they are capable of and will accept only an affirmative when a suggestion is made. On that day, as we drove around the heart of the world, she gently told me that I should create my own Oracle Deck. One filled with the things that I love, was what she said. She was telling me this, it was not an ask. I was quiet for a moment, trying to think of all of the reasons that I should say no and then I realised that she was right, I should create a deck. In fact, I needed to.
Within moments I saw in my mind the finished cards in my hands. They would be of birds and I knew who would draw them. A couple of weeks prior I had met an illustrator at the Rose Street Market in Melbourne, Mia Freeman. Something about her work drew me in and left a mark on me that I couldn’t stop thinking about. Three weeks after returning to Toronto from my trip to Australia, I emailed Mia with my proposal and the rest, has fallen into place.
Working together has been an intuitive process. We tested the waters at the beginning to see what process was best for both of us. Whether we work separately – me with the words, her with the drawing – or whether we work together with me sending her my draft and then her creating from my words. In the end we did the latter. Mia is able to draw the feelings that my words are trying to convey in a way that I know no one else could. I am forever grateful for this collaboration. This alignment of the stars.
Birds are something that have always been a part of my life. As a kid, we had Canaries and then Zebra Finches as pets. My grandparents were serious birders. The ones that would travel far out of the way just to see a rare species. I learned a lot from my Poppy Smith about birds. And this learning came easy to me – just as photography has seemed to be my second language. Perhaps birds are my third. I have been known to be out in the woods on the opposite side of the world and to see a bird and know exactly its name, even though I had never seen one in real life previously. I have this knowing when it comes to birds. I think that with this knowing comes an understanding as well. I watch them go about their lives and I feel them. I do not know if I can remember a time in my life when there hasn’t been birds in it. They are a part of me and it has taken me 37 years to realise this.
So here I am, eight months from this deck’s conception, typing this as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean on the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico. Our home for a month. I can now tell you that my primary goal for this getaway is for me to finish this Oracle Deck of mine. The plan was to create the space and time for this and I knew that the perfect location was needed for it. Everyday I wake up early to do a meditation and some exercise before settling in with a cup of black coffee and my laptop. I sit for hours on our verandah, listening to the birds, to the roaring ocean and I write. I cannot tell you how excited I am to hold the final deck in my hands and I am even more excited to share it with all of you when it’s ready. Stay tuned.