Project image
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$5,876
pledged of $4,444pledged of $4,444 goal
99
backers
11days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, May 31 2019 3:12 AM UTC +00:00.

Maree BentoBy Maree Bento
First created
Maree BentoBy Maree Bento
First created
$5,876
pledged of $4,444pledged of $4,444 goal
99
backers
11days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, May 31 2019 3:12 AM UTC +00:00.

About

This Kickstarter campaign is to fund the second printing of the Divine Muses Oracle. The card deck with pouch and comprehensive companion guidebook was self-released two months ago with a short run of 125 copies. 

One of the reasons I’m turning to Kickstarter is to get an idea of how many copies I need to reprint. With your support, I can better gauge what the demand is from a wider audience. 

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 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 healing 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, astrology, divination and deck creation.

Depth Psychology has peaked 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 foundational idea for the Divine Muses Oracle

The oracle seeks to explore the archetypal forces (both positive and negative attributes) found in alchemy, magic, Greek mythology and more. The guidebook reflects my study of "the Essence" or light aspect of each card's archetype (which refers to the upright position of the card), as well as "the Shadow," which looks at the reversed card's meaning.


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.       

Waite-Smith's 10 of Pentacles, Antiquarian Tarot's 10 of Pentacles, Divine Muses Oracle's Perfect Stranger
Waite-Smith's 10 of Pentacles, Antiquarian Tarot's 10 of Pentacles, Divine Muses Oracle's Perfect Stranger

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 that supported intuition, creative potential, spiritual empowerment and personal transformation.

As I developed and worked with the oracle I realized that it would be a potent tool, not just for myself, but for anyone to explore creativity, mysticism and healing using the archetypal forces found herein. 


The Muses

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 to explore one's creative resources. Even if one thinks they are "not an artist" these archetypal figures can still bring important messages into our lives.        

Muse of Hymns, Muse of Music, Muse of Astrology, Muse of Dance, Muse of Comedy, Muse of Tragedy, Muse of Art, Muse of History, Muse of Poetry, Muse of Eloquence (aka Muse of Epic Poetry)
Muse of Hymns, Muse of Music, Muse of Astrology, Muse of Dance, Muse of Comedy, Muse of Tragedy, Muse of Art, Muse of History, Muse of Poetry, Muse of Eloquence (aka Muse of Epic Poetry)

The ancient Greek poet, Hesiod, cites nine Greek Muses in his circa 700 BC epic,Theogony, which became a standard source of the Muses for Neo-classical and Renaissance artwork. In the above photo, you can see my representations of them. The Muses of epic poetry, music, dance, drama (comedy & tragedy), etc. were guardians of the arts that were performed in front of the audiences of the day. You may notice that the Divine Muses Oracle has a tenth Muse. 

Though they are the Muses of the Arts, technically, there is no one patron Muse of visual art forms. I added the Muse of Art, represented by Frida Kahlo, to stand for all the visual arts.


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 in-between stages). 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 experience and work. If you have ever studied alchemy, you know that there are various alchemical texts and interpretations of what this process entails. 


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

There are other animal representatives, magical influences and divine prompts for reflection and growth, as well as "standard" Jungian archetypes.      

Clockwise from 12:00: Ancestors, Perfect Stranger, Mystic Rapture, Magical Child, Lunar Masculine, Lion Heart, Kindred Spirits, Keeper of Time, Group Mind, Green Goddess, Divine Messenger, Great Mother, Eternal Student, Boundaries, Astral Ascent
Clockwise from 12:00: Ancestors, Perfect Stranger, Mystic Rapture, Magical Child, Lunar Masculine, Lion Heart, Kindred Spirits, Keeper of Time, Group Mind, Green Goddess, Divine Messenger, Great Mother, Eternal Student, Boundaries, Astral Ascent

If you work with archetypes, some cards in the Divine Muses Oracle may be familiar, however there are a few that merge 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 set, 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 Edwardian & Victorian-era photography and illustrations. There’s something nostalgic and wistful about these antique images that inspire me. By reusing images taken long ago by mostly anonymous photographers, the subjects are given new life and meaning in each card. An enigmatic yet familiar energy allows the viewer to look deeper, to become what’s being viewed, for every image is an archetypal reflection.     

In college, I studied art, design and photography. Mixed media collage has been the primary art form that I've been working with over the past 12 to 13 years. I have an obsession with antique black-and-white photography, particularly cabinet cards, but I also adore antiquarian books with beautiful illustration plates. 

There is so much that can be explored in these antique images. So much can be felt in them. They reflect our human heritage. Sometimes it's alluring. Sometimes it's dismal. 

My intention while 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

​​THE DECK

  • 54 cards total: 53 cards & a signed title card.
  • Reversible backs with a Victorian wallpaper design.
  •  Matching padded pouch with zipper
  • Standard tarot size: 2.75'' × 4.75'' (70mm × 120mm). 
  • French linen card stock.
     

THE GUIDEBOOK

  • ​The Divine Muses Oracle Companion Book has 263 pages with softcover or hardbound book depending on your pledge tier. 
  • 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 the French 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 several 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.


Stretch Goal $6333

Did someone say stretch goal? It's not over yet!

I have designed a reading mat 11.5" x 13.5" to complete the oracle set if we meet the stretch goal of $6333. This will go to any backer who has already pledged or will make a pledge for a tier that has an oracle set. 

It will not have the text on it, of course. Just the design printed on a neoprene mat.

It's designed to be used horizontally—for 3 or 4 card spreads; or vertically—for 4 or 5 card spreads. 


Please Tell Your Friends!


Thank you!

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.

Many blessings, 

Maree  

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. Two of the printers are in the USA and I have a good relationship with them and they usually have a quick turnaround time. The other printer is in Hong Kong and could take longer because of customs.

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 weeks for the oracle sets to go out to backers. It could be less time, but it could take slightly longer. I plan for late July 2019 at the latest for these sets to go out.

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    Standard Oracle Set

    Oracle cards come with a padded zipper pouch and a comprehensive guidebook.

    Shipping costs are not included in this pledge. USA backers get their sets shipped USPS Priority Mail, $8.

    International backers get their sets shipped USPS First Class International Mail and cost varies from $16 to $23 USD depending on your location.

    Please note: The weight of the set is well over a pound and cannot be sent First Class to US backers. Apologies!

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    Oracle Set w/ Hardcover Book & Magnet

    Oracle cards come with a padded zipper pouch and a hardback signed copy of the companion guidebook.

    Also includes a 3.5" x 5" magnet. Image is chosen by backers via a poll.

    Shipping costs are not included in this pledge. USA backers get their sets shipped USPS Priority Mail, $8.

    International backers get their sets shipped USPS First Class International Mail and cost varies from $16 to $23 USD depending on your location.

    Please note: The weight of the set is well over a pound and cannot be sent First Class to US backers. Apologies!

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    Oracle Set & Intuitive Reading

    30 minute card reading from Maree, in person, on the phone or via Skype.

    ​Before your session, your birth info is necessary to get a snapshot of your personal astro-map. During your reading we will look at how this connects with your specific question and situation.

    You will also get the Oracle set.

    It could take an extra month to fulfill the reading, depending on my schedule. You would still get your deck sent out with everyone else.

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    2 x Oracle Sets w/ 2 Magnets

    Get a set for yourself and one for your friend.

    Oracle cards come with a padded zipper pouch and a comprehensive guidebook.

    Also includes a 3.5" x 5" magnet. Image is chosen by backers via a poll.

    Shipping costs are not included in this pledge. USA backers get their sets shipped USPS Priority Mail, $8.

    International backers get their sets shipped USPS First Class International Mail and cost varies from $16 to $23 USD depending on your location.

    Please note: The weight of the set is well over a pound and cannot be sent First Class to US backers. Apologies!

    Includes:
    • Signed Oracle Deck
    • Illustrated Softbound Book
    • Padded YKK Zipper Bag
    • Divine Muses Oracle Magnet
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    Wholesale Oracle Sets x 6

    6 sets. Oracle cards come in padded zipper pouch and is accompanied by a comprehensive guidebook.

    Shipping costs are not included in this pledge. USA Wholesale backers get their sets shipped USPS Priority Mail, $13.

    If you are an international backer interested in this tier, please contact me and I will create a shipping quote to make this option available for you.

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    Early Birds - Oracle Set & Magnet

    Oracle cards come with a padded zipper pouch and a comprehensive guidebook.

    Also includes a 3.5" x 5" magnet. Image is chosen by backers via a poll.

    Shipping costs are not included in this pledge. USA backers get their sets shipped USPS Priority Mail, $8.

    International backers get their sets shipped USPS First Class International Mail and cost varies from $16 to $23 USD depending on your location.

    Please note: The weight of the set is well over a pound and cannot be sent First Class to US backers. Apologies!

    Includes:
    • Signed Oracle Deck
    • Illustrated Softbound Book
    • Padded YKK Zipper Bag
    • Divine Muses Oracle Magnet
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    Oracle Set & Magnet

    Oracle cards come with a padded zipper pouch and a comprehensive guidebook.

    Also includes a 3.5" x 5" magnet. Image is chosen by backers via a poll.

    Shipping costs are not included in this pledge. USA backers get their sets shipped USPS Priority Mail, $8.

    International backers get their sets shipped USPS First Class International Mail and cost varies from $16 to $23 USD depending on your location.

    Please note: The weight of the set is well over a pound and cannot be sent First Class to US backers. Apologies!

    Includes:
    • Signed Oracle Deck
    • Illustrated Softbound Book
    • Padded YKK Zipper Bag
    • Divine Muses Oracle Magnet
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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