SF BATS Report: Charming Oracles

A Curiously Charming Oracle.jpeg

Here is where I need to admit to being a snob. For a long time I have been a tarot-only reader. I have never said it out loud, but internally, I’ve turned up my nose at the idea of oracle decks or even the Lenormand. Tarot was more serious, somehow. More academic.

So how did I find myself in a session on not just a new oracle deck, but on using charms and oracle decks together? After all, that is the definition of a 180. 

Well, I blame Holly deFount. I’ve been a fan of hers since I first saw the Incidental Tarot a few years ago. Long story short? She’s an artist who challenged herself to an image a day. She posted them to her blog and after a while many, many people said “you have a tarot deck on your hands.” So she made one. (I am in awe of this step. I aspire.) In the vendor room of BATS I saw she had a new project – an oracle deck called A Curiously Charming Oracle. Even though I’m not a fan of oracle decks I was absolutely smitten. It’s no wonder, really. I learned in her session that she did make 365 images, and only 78 fit in the tarot deck so she had lots left over. She looked at those images, and felt a pull to make an oracle deck. So this deck is an extension of one I already love. Obviously, I snapped one up. I’ve got number 39 out of 60 copies and I feel like the cat that ate the canary.

When I saw that she was doing a session in conjunction with Karen Krebser of The Muses’s Darling I knew I had to go despite the fact that 24 hours earlier I would have been a total snob about it.

The session did not disappoint, and I think I have turned over a new leaf. Holly talked at first about her deck, and we explored a few of the more ‘difficult cards’ as a group. Then, Karen took over. Her sense of humor was a great compliment to Holly’s soft and serious tone. (Much like how decks and charms work together, hmmmm.) She has a pre-release copy of the oracle, and had been using it for a while. She’s been reading cards in combination with charms and runes for a while and posting it to her blog. Instead of lecturing about how this works, she had a bag of silly charms, and we all got a handful. Then, we took a moment to assign the charms we ended up with some meaning, and started casting!

Charming Oracle Session.jpeg

I have to admit it was fun. The readings were more potent than I would have thought, and the addition of charms makes things 3-D and more interactive. You can use the images, the placement of images and all the associations of color or number just as you would in a tarot reading, but then you get another whole system to play with – placement, color and association of charms. How do they relate? Where’s the tension? How does the story change?

It’s presented me with a new challenge. I will absolutely be trying this in the future. My only issue is that there don’t seem to be a lot of people writing about this. Many are doing it, but aside from a few books on bone-throwing I can’t seem to find a lot of resources. Anyone have any tips? Is there someone else blogging about this besides Karen? Do let me know.

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