Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 5: Wonder

I got a bit behind in posting this. Some days I feel like scanning, sometimes I don’t, so I have separate bundles of cards here and there waiting for the magic tour de force of image importing in Photoshop.

I thought when I pulled this “Oh no, not another brown card” with a sinking feeling. There ARE brown and gold shades, some green and reddish maple and wine barrels painted a red-violet turning to grey, and a vibrantly white skull, so plenty of scope outside earthy browns. Browns with panache, and a dash of fermenting wine and oak gold.

WONDER – Okanagan Oracle
TEN OF WANDS – TOURMALINE, RED/PINK (RUBELLITE) – Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals
STRENGTH – Graven Images Oracle
FOREBODING – Dreaming in Color Luman Deck
CROW – Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards
GOOSE: QUEST, TRAVEL – Spirit Animals Card Deck


The Wonder here is in all the colours of the earth, the process of fermentation, the chemical magic of nature. That looks like it might be a bear skull, but the spouse thought it might be an elk. Alas, no information is given on the subjects in these cards. I would appreciate a downloadable PDF file with citations for the location and contents of the photos; I always love things like that.

Skull and foreboding, the aged wine of death and Crow transforms like skull. The Goose travels from winter to spring, wine-ready for a new season of raising young and feeling the sun and wind, imagining summer. The masons rebuild, strength needed for the work, the transformation.

The rubellite colour of this tourmaline is very appealing. Another heart stone but also used for healing and blood circulation and blood vessels, a problem of mine. The suggestion is there of struggle, burden and responsibility with the Ten of Wands, but the wonder lies in doing it. Humans are amazing in what they can bear.

Wonder is an Old English, Dutch, German, Old Norse word. One of those earthy tricky things, it could be a noun, a verb, or an adjective. Do I wonder in amazement or do I wonder with feeling, why or what or how? Perhaps I wonder in amazement at this juxtaposition among the trees of bones and wine-dark rhythms of transformation?

“What a world of wonder” breathe goose and crow as they fly past marvelling at the scene.


Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 4: Grateful

Oh, that blue in the upper left corner! I’m not sure what this object is on the card. It looks like a drying rack, maybe for fish, I don’t know. UPDATE: It’s apparently from the Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm and according to Suzy is a “wishing tree” where people write their wishes on a ribbon and tie it to the tree/rack. Very neat!

GRATEFUL – Okanagan Oracle
WISTERIA LAMP – Curtis Freshel, leaded glass on bronze base, designed for Tiffany Studios c.1900
SERENITY – Graven Images Oracle
21. THE DESTINY OF ONE – Messenger Cards by Sandra Kunz
QUEEN OF SWORDS – HAWK’S EYE – Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals
ELECTRICAL DISTURBANCES – Deep Sleep Deck by Chronicle Books


The subtlety of colour in this deck is pretty good to work with. There are a lot of earthy colours, browns and taupes in many of the photographs, but small details of other colours seem to leap out at me, providing lively interest.

So, be grateful for ice and snow and blue sky peeking out from clouds. Serenity, light, lots of reflected light in ice, and The Destiny of One looks like the world spider from mythology. As an introvert, I’ve always found the concept of global oneness with all people difficult to embrace, but there it sits with circular cascades of ice: heal one and you heal all, the web binds us all.

Nityananda Prabhu is the embodiment of compassion and empathy and love for mankind, distributing the holy names of God to all. The electrical disturbances refer to electronics and not having TVs, radios, or computers in your bedroom, as they can contain radiation, and more importantly to me, way too much light, disturbing sleep cycles. Also a suggestion of being boxed in, bombarded by disturbances.

The Queen of Swords is most definitely my personal card. Yeah, she’s not embracing tonglen today, more’s the pity for her rock hard heart. The Hawk’s Eye is a blue-grey Tiger Eye in its original unoxidized form, which has quartz crystals running through it. Lustrous bands of light and sheen much like ice crystals, Hawk’s Eye is for spiritual challenges, accepting change and death, perhaps a factor for me after my Father’s death recently.

A focus today on the light of others and how pleasant it makes the world if you are open to it: gold serenity among blue skies and light.




Skelita Mori Remembers Graven Images

Not exactly a Death card, the Memento Mori card from the Graven Images Oracle carries a similar message. Skelita was excited to learn that there is now an app at iTunes for this card deck. I have updated my review of the deck to advise of this delight.


Remember you must die, but before you go, buy and download this little app. I wish I had an iPad and I would, but alas I am without devices to run this or any app.

Kat says in the book for this oracle:

“Skulls are one of the earliest tombstone symbols in America and in puritan England.”

There you go. This deck is still available for purchase if you missed it. It is one of my favourites and still holds up for me almost five years later.


Graven Thoughts on Christmas Meetings

Daily Draw November 17th, 2012

One of my sisters invited me to a Christmas get-together at her house involving relatives from her husband’s side of the family and her son’s fiancée. I haven’t seen my sister for four years, my nephew for about 10, and I’ve never met his future wife or her parents and sister, and I would like to meet them all before the wedding next year. My brother-in-law’s family I haven’t seen in decades, nor the children since they grew up and married and had children of their own.

My husband went into a big sulk about it. He does not like parties. Okay, I’m not party central either but my nephew has lymphoma and who knows how many opportunities I might get to see him in the coming years. I can’t talk to my husband when he gets like this: sighing and carrying on and putting his hand up to his eye so he didn’t have to look at me. That makes me feel really good. Thanks honey for finding me so distasteful that you can’t even look at me. That really makes a person feel great about themselves.

Let’s have a nice postcard! I grab a card at random from the big box….Ha, see, the cards always know. Time is slipping away, who knows when we may meet again? One must take these opportunities when they arise.

is the centerpiece for the
Graven Images Oracle “Wall” card.



Reassurance from Figures, in Front and Beyond

November 29th, 2011

I was out of sorts yesterday so buried myself in Neal Stephenson’s new book Reamde which is a page-turner that I didn’t expect to like given its 1,000+ page size. After I couldn’t read any more I put the television on but there was nothing of substance to watch, so I got Simon Schama’s DVD set of A History of Britain out and watched two episodes of that.

After that I was happy to see that they were showing the documentary Village of Spirits: Lily Dale again. I first learned of Lily Dale through Mindy Sommers, creator of the Dreaming in Color Luman Deck. Mindy had an inspiring, life-changing experience at Lily Dale and shortly after she released the deck and told of this experience, this documentary came out and I have seen it three of four times.

I smiled delightedly when I drew my card today.


This is the card I saw on another blog that got me to buy this deck. Pansies always remind me of my Mom, who has been dead for 19 years. To this day, every Spring, my sisters and I plant pots or window boxes of pansies because they remind us of Mom.

The pansy is about reassurance that you are loved, and given that last night I viewed the Lily Dale documentary again, it makes me think my Mom is saying “It’s okay, carry on, we are here.” I have never believed in guardian angels or spirit guides or loved ones hanging around after death, but you never know. I always thought when my favourite Uncle died that he might still be watching over me. Perhaps he is, along with his daughter and first wife who are also dead?

I don’t usually contemplate such things but I am not going through a good period right now, it might be a more positive focus for me.

And here is cheery Creativity Central today, waiting for me to sit there and work. Notice that my new knight and dragon figurines are there too, and in the background my framed copy of Natalie Zaman’s Amity photograph with the clasped hands from the Graven Images Oracle.

You’ve got to have figures around you. 😉

Updating Deck Reviews

Instead of a daily draw, I spent hours and hours working on this update. I had been meaning to transfer my card deck reviews to this blog once my web site was gone and I finally did most of them yesterday, so you can now view them and they have separate pages listed on the sidebar.

I don’t often do reviews, I just really like the artists of these decks or something about the decks inspired me. That inspiration is an ongoing response, as these decks all have lasting value. I was going to forget about it and leave these reviews on my hard drive, but they are important to me.

Reviews also go out of fashion somewhat as decks become unavailable or tastes change. I am often staggered by how quickly the next great and latest thing comes along in card publishing. I persevere, excited about my odd decks and artists; they are as fresh today as they were when they caught my attention. My reviews are very long and my response to decks often involves creative exercises and projects. That’s what I do, that’s what I write about, that’s me.

I updated the Luman Deck review because it is still wonderful to work with. Mindy Sommers still makes beautiful things, as does Lily May who created the Mirrors of the Heart deck. Natalie Zaman has a young adult book coming out, and Kat Clark has also published books since their Graven Images Oracle was published. Michele Penco has gone on to create another deck with Lo Scarabeo and probably garnered much interest for the writing of H.P. Lovecraft with the Dark Grimoire deck. Ash Abdullah, having found a voice in art and creation of the Diary of a Broken Soul Tarot, continues to create and inspire others.

Dreaming in Color Luman Deck by Mindy Sommers
Mirrors of the Heart by Lily S. May
Tarot of Reincarnation by Lo Scarabeo
Graven Images Oracle by Natalie Zaman and Katharine Clark
Dark Grimoire Tarot by Michele Penco and Lo Scarabeo
Diary of a Broken Soul Tarot by Ash Abdullah (still working on my review)

The endless chain of people who inspire growth, grows itself. Influence is a funny thing, it has a quiet way of seeping into the mind, as does art, as do the inspiring lives of people I have known through my cards.

Frosty Haven

Daily Draw August 11th, 2010

Tender is the back…and legs, and hips, and knees, and neck and arms, and jaw. One of those weeks I guess. I am racing through my biography of Carl Sandburg, it’s very good and I’ve got lots of older poets to look up; I love early to mid-20th century history.

I’m going to use a Shadowscapes card with the Graven Images Oracle today.


I get this Knight quite frequently in draws, he is Mr. Harum-Scarum to me, the guy who dashes off in all directions, ready for action, but not too organized. An energetic, forceful, madly rampant fellow who can overwhelm. Taken the other way, his sword and energy can pierce the chaos, and override emotion to seek the prize.

The Haven card is categorized in the Shadow side of the Social division. It points to false hopes and self-delusion, and the idea that you may think you are over the worst, but more is to come, so you should be aware and try to offset the disaster.

The Knight is a bit self-delusional as well I think: is he a hero or a nuisance? He needs some of the humility of the barefoot girl; bare feet are a sign of humility before god.

I perhaps should swallow my pride and humbly make an appointment with a doctor. The trouble is though that doctors can’t really do much for knee and back injuries. The last time I went about my back I was sent for an x-ray and told my muscles were having spasms. No kidding. Since then I have further injured my back in a fall five years ago and that set this pain off, and it has been escalating slowly ever since. I won’t take pills for this as I consider them poisonous to the system. The last pills the doctor gave me made me twitch and hallucinate. No doctor can alleviate chronic pain, I know because I’ve had chronic pain in my right arm for 23 years. I am so introverted that going to a doctor is absolute torture. The last time they wouldn’t even let me in after calling and calling, I had to go to a walk-in clinic and he put me on a roster of pills that made me ill. It doesn’t inspire trust in health care.

Perhaps I am meant to trust in god? I don’t. I haven’t trusted god since my cousin died from cancer in her 40s with two young children, and that was 18 years ago.

The Knight of Swords thinks he can do it himself and override these emotions. I trust him. He offers no false haven of hope, only the reality of a piercing sword.

That little girl is going to get mighty frostbitten begging god to help her.