Art Journaling with Oracle Cards by Michelle Mann

My journey with cards started with Tarot and I don’t remember if there were many oracle cards on the market at that time until Doreen Virtue bought out with her first Angel oracle. I have a love for cards and I find they can be likened to a doorway opening when you use them. I created the Gold Lotus oracle deck because I had a lot of students who wanted to learn how to read cards but didn’t want to go into depth with the Tarot.

As an artist I also love to use the process of journaling with oracle cards to help me to express on a deeper level. Gold Lotus Oracle can be a tool that you can use in the practice of journaling as it can bring your attention to the subconscious level that in our busy lives we can get disconnected from. This process can be used for journaling and can go on to be expressed on a larger substrate or canvas. I find that if I’m going through an issue that I need more information about this is my go to technique.

You will need:

  • Oracle deck
  • Journal or paper and a pen

I like to use coloured pens and pencils as I can’t do this without colour. You don’t need any fancy supplies. (Unless you’re like me and need extra fancy stuff)

Start with the Breathing Technique

Close your eyes. Bring your attention to your heart and on your first breath think about what you have been doing before you got here and let it go. On the second breath think about the things you have to do after this and let that go. On your third breath think about this minute right where you are and be present in this moment right here, right now. The benefits of breath work are many and it should be the first thing we need to give ourselves if we are in the negative mindset-mindful breathing.

Shuffle your Cards

Shuffle your cards, clear them back to neutral, think of your question or what you are needing right now and pull out a card. Feel into the card and ask yourself each question and start to write descriptively about what you get:

  • What am I feeling about this card?
  • Where am I feeling it in my body?
  • If it had a colour what colour would it be?
  • If it had a shape what shape is it?
  • It may also have a texture?

This can be the start of a writing practice that can lead you to express parts of yourself and can be, if you continue, a conduit for change. This can be combined with the practice of being mindful - gratitude journaling for what we have each day. The other expansion on this is automatic writing, or “stream of consciousness” writing.    Where you let go enough to write without editing or changing your flow of subconscious writing. This practice can be very freeing and connect with your creativity flow.

At this stage you might feel like you want to doodle or draw on the paper and see where it leads. I sometimes find a symbol or shape that I draw a few times to describe what I’m feeling. I use this in my art if I want to go further and express on watercolour paper or canvas. The symbol that you draw can be used in the foreground, which can be larger if you wish or you can recede it into the background and duplicate it over and over. Anyone looking at the finished piece may not see the symbol or understand what it means to you. It is a personal expression.  

In my classes with this process, I find that sometimes a student will start off with an idea of what they purposely want to achieve and the finished piece will go into a completely different direction. I love to get them to express in the end of the class what happened in the journey, and what the card was they chose and what the others see in the piece. This exploration is often a highlight of the class and the love that is shared between all attendees. 

If you like to journal you can build your confidence with journaling about a positive experience as it allows your brain to relive it. And reaffirms your abilities when the ugly head of self-doubt appears. The release of endorphins and dopamine will boost your self-esteem and mood. These reflections can become a catalogue of personal achievements that you continue to go back to.

I also use this process to set my long and short term goals. It can help you to get clear what you want to do passionately. I use different types of journals, some are just for writing and some are more colourful with drawing and painting. I also make my own journals and love this process-stitching the signature’s together and then decorating the covers and internal pages. I love the tactile part of the textures, paper, card and colours of the mediums and inks I use.

I hope you have fun with this process, let go and play with your inner child.

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