This Kickstarter campaign funded the second printing of the Divine Muses Oracle. The first printing with the oracle cards, matching pouch and comprehensive companion guidebook was released in March 2019 with a short run of 125 copies.
If you are interested in purchasing the Divine Muses Oracle set, visit the Divine Muses site.
Please note that the stretch goal for the matching reading mat was a bonus for the backers of this campaign.
"This deck is perfectly fine-tuned for mediumship work and will really help you exercise and strengthen those psychic muscles." —Benebell Wen, author of Holistic Tarot: An Integrative approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth.
Campaign Funded! Stretch Goal Reached!
The campaign reached its goal on day 8 (of 24) thanks to the amazing and kind supporters of this oracle!! The stretch goal unlocked a matching reading mat to go with the set.
Archetypes, Magic and Creativity
The Divine Muses Oracle has archetypal messages from alchemy, magic, psychology and Greek mythology. I bring in alchemical animals, the four mystical creatures of magic (and tarot), Jungian archetypes, divinatory prompts and beings, as well as the Greek Muses of the Arts—creative figures who channel inspiration.
I created this deck as a tool to support insight, self-realization and personal transformation. It is made for the mystic witch, or any magician, wishing to work with animals, magic and creativity.
Though I weave my experience with tarot into this project, I wanted to explore the archetypal energies in my life that also existed beyond the tarot.
This oracle observes both the positive and negative aspects (the Essence and Shadow) that are found in each card. For example, each time you pull a card in the reversed position, the focus is on the Shadow of the archetype. Upright is the Essence of the archetype. Each card is examined at length in the illustrated guidebook.
Who am I? What is this project about?
I’m Maree Bento of DivineMuses.net. I’m a card reader and bodyworker, and a perpetual student of the mystical and healing arts. I’m also an artist and indie publisher of two other divination decks; the Antiquarian Tarot and Antiquarian Lenormand, as well as author of the Antiquarian Tarot Companion Guidebook.
I’m trained in various modalities and have been a licensed massage therapist and reiki master for fifteen years. My training in the healing arts inspires my present approach to tarot, divination and deck creation.
Depth Psychology has piqued my interest most recently, specifically from Dr. Carl Jung’s analytical perspective. It describes how archetypal forces affect us on deeper levels and the importance of identifying, working with and accepting our unconscious and shadow selves. This was the foundation for the inspiration of the Divine Muses Oracle. The oracle explores both the positive and negative archetypal energies in the cards.
The story behind the Divine Muses Oracle
When I created the Antiquarian Tarot deck, I tuned into the archetypal influences affecting my life that are everywhere—beyond the tarot. I researched archetypes, especially the ones found in tarot, but also learned that everything is archetypal.
There are major archetypes, of course, as we see in the Major Arcana that transcend millennia, cultures, and generations. Then there are minor archetypes, everyday archetypes that are more mundane, like we see in the Minor Arcana. And, some cards can have archetypes that live within them.
An example is seen in the Waite-Smith Tarot's 10 of Pentacles. There is an older man seated in the bottom corner of the card that has the attention of a child and two dogs—the adults seem to be oblivious to him. He is the Unknown Visitor, a term coined by Carl Jung, which describes an age-old archetype that is found in many stories across time.
We see him in Greek Mythology and in the Bible as a disguised god or angel holding potential gifts for merciful and generous people.
I use the Unknown Visitor as the central subject in the Antiquarian Tarot's 10 of Pentacles.
I took this archetype, this older magical man, from the 10 of Pentacles and created a card just for him in the Divine Muses Oracle to explore his archetypal influence more specifically. I call him the Perfect Stranger.
With this oracle, I wanted to further explore various archetypal influences that I was experiencing in my life and create a deck that I could use for my own practice; a deck to support intuition, creative potential, spiritual empowerment and personal transformation.
As I developed and worked with the oracle I saw its potential to be a magical tool for anyone to explore creativity, mysticism and healing using the archetypal forces found herein.
Animals in Alchemy
Part of this project examines the alchemical process as I have learned it from the spiritual perspective, based in large part on Jung’s work. Actually, it was the rich symbols in alchemy that led him to see the power of archetypal forces found in the collective unconscious.
Jung believed that the alchemical process of the ancients wasn’t an actual transformation of lead to gold, but was an inner and spiritual work. A metaphor for what he termed the individuation process—steps to becoming aware of oneself for personal growth.
I use animals from alchemy as totemic representations for each phase in the alchemical process. I chose six cards to represent the stages (and those in-between). These are based on my understanding of the research, as well as my personal experience of the Work.
As you may have noticed, the cards are not numbered, so you can adjust the order of the alchemical procedure to fit your understanding. If you have ever studied alchemy, you know that there are various alchemical texts and interpretations of what this process entails.
In this deck, I use the Greek Muses for creative inspiration. I wanted to honor them since they are a part of my brand's name, Divine Muses. Their archetypal value as creative and divine beings are as significant today as they were for the ancient Greeks.
Being someone who dabbles in various art forms, I find them to be beneficial and inspirational influences of creativity. Even if you don't see yourself as an artist, the messages that these archetypal figures bring into our lives can still be impactful.
The ancient Greek poet, Hesiod, cites nine Greek Muses in his circa 700 BC epic,Theogony, which became a source reference for painters and sculptors using the Muses in Neo-classical and Renaissance artwork. In the above photo, you can see my representations of them.
You may have noticed that the Divine Muses Oracle has a tenth Muse. Though they are considered the Muses of the Arts, technically, there is no one patron Muse for visual art forms. I added the Muse of Art, represented by Frida Kahlo, to stand for all visual art.
The Four Elements
There are mystical creatures in the deck that represent the four suits of the tarot and the four directions of magic. They are the elemental totems.
- Totem of Air - representing sylphs
- Totem of Fire - representing salamanders
- Totem of Water - representing undines
- Totem of Earth - representing gnomes
Archetypal Magic, Merging and Evolution
There are other cards showing animal representatives, magical influences and divine prompts for reflection and growth, as well some traditional Jungian archetypes.
If you work with archetypes, some cards in the Divine Muses Oracle will be familiar, however there are a few that merge classic archetypes into new ones. They are not new archetypes, really, as they already exist in the collective unconscious. They are merely being renamed here, since any archetype that can be named prevails on the spectrum of perennial spiritual truths.
An example of these "merged" archetypes can be seen in the following two cards:
- Solar Feminine
- Lunar Masculine
With this pair, I asked myself what happens to the archetypes when we merge the energies. And I found it so interesting how they can be interpreted! There is a spectrum with the masculine and feminine energies. It is fluid and it's not always black and white.
While Masculine and Feminine can be described as major archetypes, as we see in the Father and Mother archetypes, we also know that fathers can be nurturing and mothers can be providers.
And it is this merging that happens in the Solar Feminine and Lunar Masculine. In the Divine Muses Oracle, the Solar Feminine shows feminine leadership—ruling from a loving place. The Lunar Masculine reflects the sensitive warrior and active pacifism.
About the Artwork
I painstakingly created 53 handmade mixed-media collages for this oracle. I'm drawn to 19th and early 20th century photography and illustrations. There’s something nostalgic and wistful about antique photos that inspire me.
By using images taken so long ago by working photographers and artists, their subjects can be given new life and meaning within the creation of each card. What may have been an unknown person in a cabinet card transmutes in the artwork, which then permeates an enigmatic yet familiar energy; inviting the viewer to look deeper, to become what’s being viewed, for every image is an archetypal reflection.
Mixed media collage is my primary art form, which I've been exploring for the past 12 to 13 years. I really enjoy working with antique black-and-white photography, particularly cabinet cards, but I also deeply appreciate antiquarian books with beautiful illustration plates.
There is so much that can be felt and seen in these old photos of people we don't know. They reflect our human heritage—our ancestors. Sometimes a photo is alluring, but sometimes it's dismal.
My intention while I was working with each card was to consider the wholeness of the archetype explored—the light side, its essence and the dark side, its shadow.
Details About the Set
- 54 cards total: 53 cards & a signed title card.
- Reversible backs with a Victorian wallpaper design.
- Matching padded bag w/ zipper.
- Standard tarot size: 2.75'' × 4.75'' (70mm × 120mm).
- Linen card stock.
- The Divine Muses Oracle Companion Book has 263 pages with softcover or hardbound book depending on your pledge level.
- It contains 106 meanings—including the essence, or general meaning for the archetype of each card, and its shadow, or reversed definition.
- Includes a large grayscale image of each card.
- There's a section on how to use the cards with several spreads and layout ideas that can be used by the novice or adept reader.
- 4.25" × 7" × .5" (108mm×178mm×13mm)
About the Rewards
► For this Kickstarter, I am offering the Divine Muses Oracle set at a reduced price.
► Any pledge that includes an oracle deck will come with a padded zipper bag and book.
► There is a tier with the option to receive a signed hardbound copy of the companion guidebook instead of the softbound version! These are limited in quantity.
► All decks will be printed on linen card stock, which I love and know many other readers & collectors love too. You can always count on this stock to shuffle beautifully.
► There are a couple reward tiers for oracle sets that come with a magnet.
► Any pledge that has a magnet option will invite backers to vote on which image from the Divine Muses Oracle will be printed. A poll will be sent to backers once the project is funded.
► I am also offering a reward with a limited number of wholesale quantities for retailers.
Thank you so much for checking out my latest deck and for your support! I hope that the Divine Muses Oracle is one that you will resonate with and enjoy for many years to come.
May the cards show you your infinite nature and limitless creative potential.
Risks and challenges
1. Since the Divine Muses Oracle set has already gone through a first printing, this Kickstarter has less challenges and risks, since I have already cleared the hurdles before the first printing.
2. The $4444 pledge goal does not cover the entire cost of printing, shipping (decks, books and pouches sent separately to me...and then assembled, packed and sent to backers) and Kickstarter fees. I would still have to go out of pocket to do the second printing—if we only meet the goal.
3. I'm working with three printers to bring this whole set together. Printers are in the USA and in China—which could take longer than is ideal. However, I have direct communication with all printers and will know everything about each step of the process, i.e. where the decks are during production and shipment.
4. Kickstarter can take up to 21 days to transfer funds to my bank! Once I have the funds, I will place the order for production to begin printing the cards, books, cases and magnets. I estimate 4 to 6 weeks for the oracle sets to go out to backers. It could be less time, but it could take slightly longer. My plan is for late July 2019 for these sets to go out, but could be early August. I will work diligently and expeditiously to get these sets out to you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)