Reading with the Livre du Destin (or Book of Fate)

A while back I shared zip file downloads of the above deck here. I called it the Petit Etteilla, because that’s what it was called on the British Museum page that I got the images from. And then much smarter cartomancy community members pointed out that it’s actually a deck called the Livre du Destin, or Book of Fate.

Edit: Changed Card 30 to “Gossip” in the downloadable zip file. Made more sense than “To Admonish.”

My physical copy of the Book of Fate printed via arrived and I thought it’d be fun to update you on how I read with this 33-card deck (supposed to be 32-card but I added that 33rd “Etteilla querent” card back when I thought it was a Petit Etteilla deck…oops).

I made my own English version of the deck but I didn’t share it publicly because I took some sweeping liberties with the “translations,” if one can even call it that. =)

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Infinite Wisdom of the Chakras by Alison DeNicola and Dhira Lawrence

Infinite Wisdom of the Chakras, a deck with art by Dhira Lawrence and a guidebook authored by Alison DeNicola, is a multi-faceted toolkit for your personal spirituality. You might recognize DeNicola’s name– she’s also the creator of the Divine Feather Messenger Oracle Cards and Mudras: For Awakening the Energy Body. She also created the Yoga Cats Deck, which I have, but huh– interesting– I don’t have a review posted for it.

Infinite Wisdom focuses on cultivation of your seven main chakra centers along your center meridian, but then also guide you through yoga asana or yoga poses that will help you realign your energy centers.

There are animal spirits and divinities to work with, guides for focused meditation, working with essential oils, healing sounds, and, of course, oracle card divination. There’s workings with Ganesh to help you remove obstacles that have been keeping you from achieving abundance, or the Bear spirit for harnessing the powers of protection.

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Spirit of Cats Oracle by Jaymi Elford and A. Bujiang

The Spirit of Cats Oracle deck is a Chinese-published deck, but the guidebook is written by my dear friend and Llewellyn author Jaymi Elford. It’s a simple, intuitive 24-card deck for cat lovers. “Cats are mirrors of humanity,” writes Elford. The Spirit of Cats Oracle will tap in to your connection to cat spirits to guide you to a deeper understanding of yourself and the undercurrent of your life.

Each cat depicted is larger than life, in scale to the humans pictured on the cards. I love that! These cards are 24 archetypes of the human soul, manifested as cat spirits. Aw, look at the Cat of Rest– I’m amused by the role reversal between the human and the cat here.

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Wisdom of the Tao Oracle Cards by Mei Jin Lu (Vol. I and Vol. II)

I’m really excited about Mei Jin Lu’s The Wisdom of the Tao oracle cards published by U.S. Games. I’ll be covering both Volume I: Awakenings and Volume II: Strategy.

These oracle cards pictorialize Taoist philosophy in what is presented as “for the first time, a visionary system, incorporating teachings from Taoist masters, the power of nature’s elements, the revelations of zodiac animals, and the dynamic interactions among them.”

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The Citadel Deck by Fez Inkwright

The Citadel is a 33-card oracle deck in a unique hexagonal cut. I’ve been describing the deck as cube of space meets archetypes from a medieval fantasy live action role play. It’s certainly got that vibe.

The creator of Seed and Sickle Oracle is also the author and illustrator behind The Citadel, having built an incredible Dungeons-and-Dragons-esque world, or more specifically, a city– The Citadel– atop a cliff, with white stone walls that “gleam in the sun, and banners snapping lazily in the breeze.” I feel like I’m reading YA high fantasy now.

“The sea below curls lazily at the rocks, warm and placid, with farms and orchards and livestock.” Oh now it’s definitely reading like YA fantasy.

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I Ching Oracle Cards with AI Generated Art (Free Download)

I’ve been maybe a little bit obsessed with AI generated art apps, though not just because of the pretty art. Rather, my fascination comes from the way such AI generated art shifts my former paradigm on the mind-soul relation. Does an AI really lack soul? That’s the question I’ve been kicking around in my head.

After my blog post on How Do We Value Art? What AI art means for tarot and oracle deck publishing, one recurring sentiment expressed in the comments section on Instagram and Facebook was that the art created by an AI lacks soul, whereas art created by humans reflect the artist’s soul, and that is why human-created art is superior.

Really? Because I’m not convinced.

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How Do We Value Art? What AI art means for tarot and oracle deck publishing

If you haven’t played around with the app yet, then check out this link and have fun. You type in some keywords– any instruction you’d like to give the AI, be that themes, subjects, nouns, adjectives, colors– then choose an art style, like ukiyo-e, pastel, high fantasy, dark fantasy, medieval, etc., and the AI will generate a work of art based on your commission.

And the results are rather stunning. Human artists, in particular those who work primarily with digital art techniques, are now wondering what this means for the future of their vocation. No, not necessarily because of this app specifically, but just in general, this inevitable supplanting of human artists with AI.

More notably, I think, this is going to have an irreversible impact on tarot and oracle deck artists.

Take, for instance, these I Ching oracle card illustrations generated by the AI in a ukiyo-e art style. I typed in keywords for each corresponding hexagram, plus keywords for the two trigrams, selected Ukiyoe for art style, and hit the Create button. Then I did the design layout, added the hexagram image, number, and key phrase. Voila.

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Butterfly Lenormand by Mendy Dunn

There’s something about the Butterfly Lenormand by Mendy Dunn of The Artistry of Tarot that tug at my heartstrings. How I even came to hear about it was a bit of chance and serendipity. At the time, I really wasn’t on Tarot-Tube that often, but on that day, I happened to surf onto my YouTube homepage to look for something to play in the background while I did some house chores.

There was a tarot livestream going on, so of course I clicked onto it, and didn’t even think it through or look to see whose channel it was. And it just so happened to be a debut of Mendy Dunn’s newest creation– images from her Butterfly Lenormand.

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The Ostinato Oracle: A Music-Inspired Deck

The Ostinato Oracle by Mellie Parkway is a lot more profound than it first appears. It combines cartomancy with musical terms, on the premise that these symbols we use in the music world connect to the collective unconscious. Archetypes in the music we create, like archetypes found in mythology, can reveal insightful aspects of our inner selves.

In its own words, the Ostinato Oracle guides you through the harmonious and cacophonous elements of existence so that you might live a gorgeous masterpiece. Come to think of it, there’s a lenormand vibe here!

This is a beautiful 43-card deck that comes in a matte finish box. The cards are gilded and there’s a bi-fold Quick Reference Guide that tucks inside the box. You can also get the full-size companion guidebook, as you see above, that gets into the musical indication of each glyph and its divinatory meaning when these musical instruction symbols are used in this way, via cartomancy.

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Seed and Sickle Oracle by Fez Inkwright

Seed & Sickle Oracle by Fez Inkwright is a botanical lover’s dream deck. There are 49 cards, where each card reads a little differently depending on whether you’re reading it as a Dawn card or Dusk card.

And thus you’ll get two guidebooks, the Dawn Guidebook and the Dusk Guidebook. Dawn is for reading about growth, investment, and nurturing something to manifestation, while Dusk is about self-reflection, self-care, or even connecting to the unseen spirit realms.

I worked with the planetary hours when reading with these cards. So for readings at the hour of sunrise, about taking action or initiative, I’ll work with the Dawn aspect, and thus look up my card readings in the Dawn Guidebook. At the hour of sunset, for meditative divination, I’ll work with the Dusk Guidebook.

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