Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why make a cover for Oracle cards?

When I found this slightly mold-stained, broken-spine I Ching in a used book store, my first response was to buy silk and cotton and spend days making a covers and wraps, and then more covers to put around the covers. I do this for two reasons: the first because an Oracle so old and venerable needs to be honored with beautiful clothes and have a house to rest in when not working. The second reason is because beauty is always vulnerable to jealousy and grasping, and the ornate wrapping deflects attention from the deeper beauty which is the wisdom of the Oracle.

I made traditional I Ching “yarrow sticks” out of an old palm frond found drying on the lava covered shoreline of our holiday rental, and for the same reasons—to honor and disguise—I stitched a separate bag for these.

I do something similar for my Journey Oracle card decks. Every once in a while, a color combination of felt will not work well—this green pouch with red insert is a bit too “Christmassy” for me. When this happens, rather than discard it, I embellish it into my momentarily personal Oracle card deck cover—adding more detail as time allows. It doesn’t matter to me to finish the work before letting anyone see it. I use the deck with its cover “in progress” and sure enough, someone will comment on what I am doing, and I will tell them that everything Holy likes to be honored with beautiful clothes and have a house to rest in when not working…and just like that what was unloved becomes valuable.

Everything made by hand is made first to honor the Holy in nature which reside in the physical materials used, because the Holy delight in what we do with our thumbs, since I understand they do not have any. So I guess this is my third reason to make a cover for Oracle cards. I love to feed the Holy of the moldy paper and the palm spines with my art.