[EROFT week 4] Oracle landscapes

Meditation #2
Invent your own “oracle deck.” Your deck doesn’t have to be a physical object (though it can be). Keeping in mind the formal characteristics of cleromancy discussed in class, consider how digital media can complicate/diminish/augment the parts and processes of a reading. (Some questions to get you started: Who gets to participate? Can a computer program be a “reader”? A “querent”? What can a “card” be? What can a “deck” be?)

The book that came with my first tarot deck had an intro talking about the symbolic aspect of the images, and I remember thinking about how that made its interpretations personal and imprecise. I would meditate on the images – an exercise proposed by the book -, then read about them and usually the thoughts, feelings and impressions that passed through me during the meditation were not related to the card’s meaning. That made me want to create my own deck, based exclusively on the meaning of each card, and translating that visually.

In last week’s class we discussed the similarities between talk therapy and tarot readings, and after that we had a tarot reading exercise. During the exercise, I could relate a lot to many things that I have heard from my therapist and friends, but also from spirits, entities, or whatever mystical energies have been talking to me during the religious rituals that I participate. The similarity between the advice given by these two groups intrigues me a lot.

For this assignment, I want to explore impressions over different images and phrases, and how their dispositions affect the reader’s interpretation. The deck is composed of phrases or images that came to me as advice either from humans or non-humans, and I have assigned images to each phrase, and phrases to each image — sometimes by associating the elements that were already part of the deck, other times by writing my interpretation of the images or illustrating my interpretation of the phrases.

The program chooses five image-phrase combinations from the deck, randomly assigning positions and orientation to the images. That means that each image would be a single card in the deck, and the composition created is a spread in itself. I called each spread a landscape, and you navigate through it by using the slider, so you can interpret the process that results in your reading.

Link to oracle deck.

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