I have completed the artwork for the Divine Muses Oracle cards! If you don't know know about it, it is a project that seeks to explore archetypes in alchemy, magic and mythology as a way to further self-realization of creativity and inner truths.
There are 53 cards and the guidebook has 106 meanings, including the “essence,” or general meaning for the archetype of the card, and its “shadow,” or reversed definition. If you work with archetypes, some will be familiar, however there are some cards that merge traditional archetypes into “new” ones.
They aren’t new archetypes, really, as they already exist in the collective unconscious. I’m just naming, or renaming them, since these archetypes prevail on the spectrum of perennial spiritual truths. If you're unfamiliar, archetypes and the collective unconscious are terms that were coined and explored by Swiss psychologist, Carl G. Jung.
To pay homage to the Muses, I incorporated into the deck the Nine Muses of Ancient Greek mythology. They, too, are archetypal! Specifically, creative archetypes for artists and writers to work with. I’ve added a tenth Muse to make up for the lack of a “Muse of Art.”
Even though the Nine Muses are considered the “Muses of the Arts,” connected to writing, the performing arts & even sciences, there is no Muse for the visual arts. I explain further in my book about the addition of the Tenth Muse.
There are also four mystical totem creatures, which connect to the tarot's suits: salamander, undine, sylph and gnome. They link to the magical elements of Fire, Water, Air and Earth, bringing the four elements as archetypes into this oracle.
The six alchemy cards feature animals that represent a stage in the the alchemical procedure, or individuation process, as described by Carl Jung. In fact it was the rich symbols in alchemy that led Jung to realize the collective unconscious. He saw a connection in the work of self-realization with the Great Work of alchemy.
The process of creating this deck has been an exploration and discovery of alchemical healing, magic and archetypal forces. It has been a sacred and private journey for me.
For this reason, I have yet to post any photos of the cards online. For one, I am not participating on social media at the moment, which I addressed in my previous post. I also like to keep what I’m creating close as I don’t want my artwork or magical practice to be influenced by outside forces.
During the past year, as I worked more intensely with the oracle cards (for those of you who are versed in astrology) Jupiter in Scorpio has been aspecting my chart in a particular way, which contributed to my period of solitude and inner contemplation. Saturn also crossed the bottom of my chart (IC) conjuncting Pallas Athena and my Moon, two times this year! It’s going to cross one final time in a couple weeks. In short, this year has definitely been one for inner work. Now that Jupiter is in Sagittarius, I'm ready and excited to share this project with you.
My plan is to officially release the deck in March at the NWTS 2019. The cards will have a companion book, which is almost complete. I will hopefully have the first draft done to send to my editor soon. This project will again be a self-published, independent release.
I will share photos of the cards with you...when I get the demo from the printer. Hopefully in January. Stay tuned!
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Maree Bento is a collage artist and practitioner of the mystical & healing arts.
She’s a professional tarot reader and veteran deck creator born under a Sagittarius Sun with a Libra Rising & Capricorn Moon conjunct Pallas Athena. She's been stepping up her astrology studies the last few years, after a years-long hobby interest in the subject.
Maree has been a licensed massage therapist for 17 years practicing various holistic modalities for body, mind, and spiritual well-being & connection.
Her background in the healing arts deepened her intuitive abilities and inspires her present approach to tarot, creativity, ritual, and divination.
She loves to travel and enjoys connecting with family, friends, & animals. She lives in Pacific NW U.S.A. with her beloved, David, and their huggable hound, Dante where they hike rain or shine.
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©2016 AT Companion Book
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