Sometimes I do not move forward with something I intend to do, and I don’t know why. Usually something is revealed later that makes sense of the delay, and this just happened. A few weeks ago I had a wonderful conversation with Andrew Kyle McGregor on his Hermit’s Lamp Podcast. I would usually blog about the interview immediately, and for some reason I did not.
My inclusion on the show came out of a dream I had in early June 2014 with Andrew, Carrie Paris, and Erik C. Dunne, all Tarot/Oracle deck creators. The dream was about a cloistered, vintage 1940s lounge where there were many boxes of left-over, unique, and end-of-run Oracle and Tarot decks. I wanted to search through all of them for one of Erik’s Tarot Illuminati decks and other wonderful Oracles I may have missed. Andrew was there, and I introduced myself to him, forgetting the name of my own deck briefly as we shook hands.
I spoke to Carrie about the dream, and she said why not connect with Andrew, he is lovely and maybe I was to be on his show. Between the time I actually came on the show and when Andrew and I first scheduled the interview I had three dreams about he and I looking at and creating an African Orisha deck together. The Orishas are the ancient gods and goddesses of many names depending on the region, all with their base in the big continent. Andrew is a traditional follower of Lecumi, one of the pathways connected to the Orishas. The Orisha’s have come to me unbidden, and I have not yet been drawn to practice with other earth-plane folks or have the more traditional trainings.
The African Spirits have been heavy on me in this lifetime, long before I had any context for some of my impulses and interests. I see it now as past life bleed-throughs, and also sometimes when projects are to come through, they land on the person who is willing, available, and skilled in that area. Recognizing that there remains a tremendous amount of wounding around the decimation of many indigenous traditions across the globe, sometimes a person of another culture or race is called to share some piece of history/spirituality that is not obviously in their own background in this lifetime. This remains a very tricky, heated, and complex landscape to navigate, and we also do not always know the wisdom of the Spirits. And all of us have indigenous traditions if we go back far enough. In my journeys I have also seen that the era of the rainbow tribe is upon us, where with great respect, each of us may be called to traditions beyond what we incarnated into culturally. This is what has happened with the Orishas being syncretized with the Catholic Saints. Spirit travels, always has, merging and morphing, and we are all part of the ongoing metamorphosis between the worlds.
So back to Andrew and the dreams. I surprised him on the show with the information about seeing us working on an Orisha deck, and we had a discussion about some of the other Orisha/Lecumi/Vodoun decks out there. The conversation was delicious, and you may want to listen to the entire fifty minutes. A few days ago I got an email from Andrew, and he said he spoke to his teacher, and he has decided to create an Orisha deck. I am so excited to see where he goes with it, I have not found an African deck that speaks to me yet. Jera Babylon Rootweaver is working on one that I am excited about, but I would love to see more decks from African traditions. So Oracles really do come from the dreamtime. I know Robert Place’s entire Tarot career emerged from a dream, and they also come out of travels between the realms like Lisa de St. Croix’s journey where the Egyptian goddess Isis told her to create her own Tarot de St. Croix deck.
When I was creating the Oracle of Initiation deck, the majority of the dreams about the deck had glowing black African ancestors with ash covered bodies. Other people even dreamed about the deck, months before it was begun. I have always wanted to share some of the dreams that inspired my deck, and this is just a few of them. There were also many elusive ones of animals and humans shape-shifting throughout the creation of the project.
I officially began the deck April 6th, 2006, and as you can see I was having interesting dreams about decks years before my Oracle revealed itself. I did order Amy Swartz’s Wooden Tarot deck from Kickstarter, and have always loved decks on different materials like the rawhide cards of the Apache Indians. This range of dreams is two from me, and two from other strong dreamers in my life. Both of the dreams from the others prophesized the deck’s pathway before it emerged.
The dreamtime is one of my greatest joys. It is the most interesting, beautiful, and informative movies I could ever imagine happening in my psyche every night. Profound blessing to the Dream Spirits, you are one of the greatest gifts in my life.
3-3-2000* Wooden Divination Deck
I am in a train car with a Native American/ Mexican looking family. The children are possessed and need to be helped. The mother seems helpless and the father is angry and oppositional. I find some wooden cards with images and prayers on them. I knew they were powerful and would help the kids and family. I had the cards and then somehow they ended up in the father’s possession in his pocket. I try to take them and we have a scuffle. I get them out, and then hold (typed help at first by ‘accident’} onto him from the back. I was powerful enough to do it, and on some level he let me. He knew it would help. I read two prayers and the kids and family were released.
The pictures I drew of the cards in my journal had an infinity** shape, and two blocky diamond shapes attached, and then our father and our mother on a third card. It looks like a ring holding the deck together at the bottom.
*Six years before I began my deck
**My Oracle of Initiation deck has a rainbow infinity sign as card #66
3-14-05* Horse and Bee Divination Deck
A whole reading with a variety of spreads done. A longer group with six cards, a central question, Horses and Bees** are on the cards (like suits). Kris Steinnes from Women of Wisdom is there. The six horses and bees are very auspicious. They are about development, a series of levels being progressed.
*This is a little more than a year before I actually began the deck.
**Horses and bees were central allies to the deck and my own metamorphosis. And I am a bee.
August 18, 2005* Alive Black Divination Decks
Valerie Wolf Dreamed this while staying at my house for the Animal Spirit Medicine Class
The woman leaves the water to go into a row of seats and finds cards there. The woman sits with a young man, then they change seats but forget to bring the cards with them. A dark-skinned man brings them to her, admiring them. She has 8 decks and decides since he likes them so much perhaps she’ll give him one. She sorts through two of the decks he has given her because they are mixed together. She is not sure which one to keep. All the people in the cards are alive and
sometimes change positions or even get up and leave a card.** This makes it harder to sort them. She realizes she doesn’t know which cards to keep and which to let go and that she will need some help deciding.***
A black man walks by and covers the cards with pictures of black people, famous stars and singers. She is annoyed at first but then looks at their faces. Somehow she knows these people and greatly admires them. Another black man walks by working for a famous black man, handing things out to the black people who are now all sitting in rows nearby. The woman shakes his hand and tells him her name, saying she knows this famous man. She can’t actually remember his name****, but she insists there is a profound heart connection between them, that they are both doing the same work. The man speaks her name out loud and everyone looks up, they all seem to know her, as if she is someone important and well-known. They are glad the woman is there, grateful to her in some way. She wonders a moment if this is real or some kind of trick, for she doesn’t understand how all these people know who she is and why they are so happy to see her.
*Valerie Wolf, my shamanic teacher at the time who is a powerful dreamer. She reclaimed her own Nimimipu (Nez Perce) dreaming roots and dreamt this eight months before the deck emerged. And there are eight realms in the deck, which none of us knew at the time.
**The Painted Body artwork in the deck is so shape-shifting that it looks like the beings could get up off the cards and step onto another card.
***The Painted Body ritualistic photography series in the deck has over 40,000 pictures in it, and there are only 56 images used in the deck.
****Interesting the parallel with the dream with Andrew, forgetting information.
1-6-13* Sulis Sarasvati dreams of my Oracle
So you were in my dream last night. The large-scale/retail/general public version of The Oracle of Initiation deck had just been released along with the mini, cliff notes version of Rainbows in the Dark.
*This was about a year before I decided to crowdfund to print the new Tarot-sized version of the deck with an abbreviated version of the Oracle of Initiation: Rainbows in the Dark 400-page book. Sulis is one of the major deck devotees, and has had an amazing connection to the deck since its inception. She is one of twenty-two contributors to the big book offering beautiful descriptions of some of the cards. I got really excited about this when I first read her dream, and have always wanted the deck to be more financially accessible, yet it took a while for the action to land. Dreams can have a very precognitive aspect to them, showing us what may be coming years from now.