Watkins Publishing, publishers of the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Cards, asked if I was willing to review their new oracle deck, which is scheduled to be released June 17.
The Chakra Wisdom Oracle Cards deck is comprised of 49 cards and a guidebook. The 49 cards are divided into seven sets of seven cards each. The seven sets of cards are based on the chakras. If you’re not familiar with chakras, according to yoga philosophy, they are any of several points (usually seven) of physical or spiritual energy in the human body. You can learn more about chakras here.
In order to learn more about the cards I contacted the deck’s creator, Tori Harman.
Me: What are the chakra and why do you think people need to know about them?
Tori Hartman: The chakra as we know them are depicted by the colors of the rainbow. They are the seven energy centers that reside in our body. There are actually many more chakra than just the seven that we commonly refer to, but I believe that the basic seven will give us all the information we need to intuitively know about ourselves and others.
Me: “The door you enter through will not be the door from which you exit”. I like this quote. What exactly does it mean?
Tori Hartman: I think this quote came to me from the Emerald Stone Fable. It is the card of Perception. The idea is that if we go into any situation with one perspective, and by going in I mean intuitively, then we will come out from a different door that magically appears. In essence our intuition has grown and we travel to a new level of understanding.
Me: How can the cards be used to hone one’s intuition? As a creative writer, intuition is a trait I believe is very important for writer or any creative person.
Tori Hartman: I couldn’t agree with you more. When a writer works on the character, in a sense they become that character’s energy. When the energy joins at this level, a professional fiction writer will let the character tell the story, and follow what the character does; especially at this intuitive level. The tools (I consider each fable part of a Spiritual Toolkit) that are presented here offer different ways in which one character, or person, may respond in a given situation.
I like to call this Darkness, Dawn, and Light. Therefore there are actually no bad cards. In the Darkness is what is hidden in our psyche, in the Dawn it is what is coming into our awareness, or if you will “dawning on us”, and finally in the Light it is the heroes conclusion. It is the highest calling or the best choice possible.
So if we look at each card as a journey we can see Darkness, Dawn and Light as a beginning middle end and of the characters’ journey.
But your question was actually about intuition, which ultimately is all about following where we are led energetically. I have never met a published author who does not already trust this process. Any successful artist is already working with their intuition, even if they don’t know what to call it. So when we become conscious of using our intuition and following it, that’s when we become the artist.
Me: I love the imagery on the back of the cards of the woman setting out on a journey. Can you explain the imagery in more detail?
Tori Hartman: The back of the card depicts the true journey that these cards represent through our chakra. From where we source our energy in the red cards, to how we work with our emotions in orange to planning and our thought process in the yellow cards.
In green we discover for heart is in “it” and these cards represent the matters of the heart; the blue cards represent how you communicate, and express yourself . And in the 6th Chakra of purple/indigo our intuition resides and of ten represents family issues. In the Neutrals we learn our gifts. This journey is an internal one\ that will transform someone’s life as they work with it.
Most card decks have a neutral back so that you can’t tell if a card is upside down. Because reversals in the Chakra Wisdom Oracle represent breakthroughs – reversals are very important. In terms of the story arc, it could show a dip or challenge or even a victory f or the character.
Thanks to Ms. Hartman for taking the time to answer my questions!
The cards come with a 95 page guide book, fully illustrated in color. The box was very sturdy and can be used for storing the cards after you’ve opened them. I did have some problem removing the cards from the box. Some of them got stuck at the bottom, and I was fearful of bending the cards as I tried to take them out. But, fortunately, I was able to do so without any damage.
The cards themselves are of very durable stock and large enough that the images are clear on the card, but not too large which makes the cards easy to shuffle.
The back of each card has the image of a sojourner, traveling along a path towards the horizon. She holds a lantern and carries a staff, which indicates that she has a long journey ahead. Seven crystals, each representing one of the chakras, float in the air around her. The back of the cards are indicative of the journey each of us, reader, querent, searcher, questioner, must take in our search for answers.
The cards are very colorful and the images have a fairy-tale aspect to them I found very inviting. The guidebook that accompanies the cards gives insight to the concept of each chakra, then a brief summary of the seven cards within that chakra along with a detailed explanation of each of the cards. A legend or story is associated with each card, in addition to key words and key ideas. The guidebook is very helpful, as it also contains layouts specific to the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Cards.
Because my blog mainly talks about tarot and oracle cards and how they can be used for creative writing, I decided to lay out the cards in a spread I use for my writing.
The spread is The Character Circle Card spread and you can download a pdf here for your own personal use.
This is a layout I use when I want to get a snapshot of a character. As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I like to have a genre in mind when I lay out cards for a story. I’m going with a fantasy dystopian as my genre.
I start with the center card, which represents the character. This card is titled Confusion. I usually like to look at the card first before using the guidebook. What I like about this deck is that the images are very evocative.
My character, who is female, is confused about something. She’s not sure what to do or how to do it or whether or not she should. I don’t know what she’s confused about yet, but I’m sure the other cards will help me narrow that down.
The two cards above the Confusion card are Joy and Discovery and they represent in the spread the character’s goal and the basis of that goal respectively. The Joy cards shows a woman dancing wearing a sunflower dress. Her hands are uplifted. My character wants happiness in her life. Perhaps she’s suffering and wants to be happier or she’s recalling a time when she was happy and she wants to be so again.
The basis of her goal is the card called Discovery. Discovery shows a pink figure, standing in front of what could be an angel or some kind of deity. Since this card is the basis of my character’s goal, which is Joy, it could be that she must go on a journey in order to find this joy and happiness she wants so badly.
Let’s look at the other cards. To the right and just above the center card is Self-Worth. That represents in the spread the Outer Obstacles to the characters goal. A figure stands in a snowy landscape facing a throne-like chair bathed in red light. Maybe the reason my character doesn’t have the joy or happiness she seeks is because she has no sense of self-worth due to the way others have treated her. Since this is a fantasy dystopian, perhaps she or the people she comes from are looked down upon by some other class or race or group. This lack of self-worth, which is most likely brought about by the opinions of others, is something she’s going to have to overcome in order to achieve her goal.
Below that card is Wisdom. This position in the layout represents what the character will have to do to overcome her outer obstacles, In this case my character will have to achieve the knowledge she needs in order to see her own self-worth, despite what others may say or think of her and that, perhaps, it will be a woman who will help her with this. Perhaps a mentor or a female member of her family.
To the upper left is the card Mysticism. This represents the inner obstacles the character must overcome. My character is confused so, perhaps, she’s confused about whether or not she should take a certain path. Perhaps this path involves her becoming an initiate or an acolyte or embracing a certain belief or religion. Since it’s an inner obstacle, she will have to deal with this confusion before she can achieve her goal.
The card below it is Isolation and in the layout it represents the action she must take to overcome her inner obstacle. It tells me she might have to delve deep within herself to find the answers she needs. That she can’t let herself be swayed by the opinions of others. If you look at the Confusion card, you’ll see a ghostly figure who seems to be trying to whisper admonitions or suggestions in her ear.
The final two cards in the layout, which lie below the central character card, are Instinct and Service and they represent, respectively, the character’s fear and the basis for that fear. If my character fears Instinct, she could be fearing her ability to make her own choices or make those choices based purely on instinct as opposed to logic or the opinions of others.
The basis of her fear, Service, suggests that perhaps she was taking care of someone or making a decision for someone and she based that decision on instinct and it went horribly wrong. She’ll have to overcome her fear, however, if she hopes to achieve her goal of happiness.
I shared that character creation layout with you to give you a sense of how useful I found the cards for my creative endeavors. I would imagine that you will find the cards just as useful for self-development and self-empowerment.
The Wisdom Oracle Cards will be released June 17, 2014. You can learn more at the cards and their creator, Tori Hartman, at the Chakra Wisdom Oracle website