Wow, I wasn't expecting this, but today I opened an Etsy shop! I attribute this whole manifestation to the concept of flow. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (looks like a mouthful but is pronounced chick-sent-me-high) discovered that people find genuine satisfaction during a state of consciousness called Flow. In this state they are completely absorbed in an activity, especially an activity which involves their creative abilities. During this “optimal experience” they feel “strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities.” And well, that's sort of how my offering an oracle card deck for sale on one of my all-time favorite sites happened. I have been an avid collector of oracle or divination decks for at least 15 years, and for the past decade I've been wanting to create my own deck for my own personal use. Each time I purchase a new deck or when I pull my daily card or spread from a favorite deck, I've always had that thought in the back of my mind that it'd be so meaningful if the cards I pulled were my own creation. When I saw the extraordinary artist, Tara Leaver, offering a 2-week ecourse to create your own oracle deck, I was sold. Two weeks seemed doable, and like just the spark I needed to light this fire under me. So I dove in, and one day I set up a bunch of little bits of watercolor paper, not knowing where I was headed with the art... just trusting and listening to the materials and playing. No audience in mind, no product in mind.
And it was FUN! I got truly absorbed in the flow of the liquid watercolors oozing on the page. And just like that, 30 images were created. Next, I sat down with each little painting and listened to the art. This is something we art therapists do (and teach our clients to do) quite a bit. I listened (with a sort of ear turned inward while my eyes were fixed on the image) until a word came for each image. I had an intention that the flavor of the words might give a 'how I want to feel' sort of vibe that I had found last summer while reading Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map. A few images had other ideas in mind, and produced more shadowy elements, which I completely welcomed in, as they offer balance and wholeness. I used little alphabet stamps to spell the words on the bottoms of the cards.
I went on a trip to L.A. that weekend, and I brought the cards with me because I felt like they may not quite be finished. While I was in the hotel room one day, I drew a little bit on each card using both black and white inks. They suddenly felt complete -- in an easy, flowing sort of way. And they were already so satisfying to pull a card-of-the-day, and know it was my very own creation.
I began to post photos of the cards on my professional Instagram page, and to my surprise, I received inquiries about where they could be purchased. As a healing arts practitioner who provides a service, I hadn't thought of myself as one who offers products or sells my art, but it got me excited to think of doing so, so I followed that whim with humble curiosity. A quick google search provided many options for self-publishing my deck, and a chance conversation with my neighbor afforded me a scanner to borrow one afternoon to digitize the images.
Scanned. Uploaded. Ordered. Shipped. Poof! This was happening... and with oddly less effort and more serendipity than I've felt in a while. This is what happens when flow is underway... we can ride the wave and take a stance of allowing, just watching it unfold. I watched this oracle deck come into being almost all on its own, and I love it when that sort of magic aligns.
And now my little 30-card deck is for sale on my new Etsy shop, Art and Soul Space. The SoulSpace Oracle, aptly named after The SoulSpace Series, an ecourse I'm teaching in self-care for healers, where we use oracle cards and art as a part of everyday micro-self-care rituals. My first printing of this deck is a small run, as an experiment, just for fun. If I get a great response, I'll reprint, and perhaps even create a 'part 2' adding cards to this deck. I'm thrilled that it's out in the world, and the biggest thing I had to do to manifest it was to get out of its way and allow it to happen.