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One of a kind Oracle Art Cards (not tarot) for divination/ fascination/ meditation.

Thank you for checking out this project! 

The "Book of Knowing" is a deck of regular playing cards (52 cards plus jokers) that aren't regular at all! The one-of-a-kind images for these cards were brought to life by my Dad (CJ Freeman, 1941 - 2010) in large scale oils 35 years ago. With your support through Kickstarter, we will get 54 canvases converted into one unbelievable stack of cards. Dare I say, your card game will never be the same. 

The images for this deck are so archetypal, so powerful, and so lucidly rendered, there is really nothing like them. They all came from my Dad's very fertile imagination, his strong connection to the spirit world and his own intuitive sense as an artist. They are otherworldly, which to me is how good oracle art should be!

Here is a sample.

"Déja," Queen of Hearts. 30" x 42.5" oil on canvas
"Déja," Queen of Hearts. 30" x 42.5" oil on canvas

Wow! Right? To stand in front of this gigantic painting is really quite an experience. It is like meeting someone face to face in a very vivid dream - someone from another time.  Most of the originals for this project are on this same size 42-1/2' tall canvas, and have been sitting in storage for 35 years!! With the help of your pledges, we will get these out into the light of day! 

"By their numbers, suits, and pictures, the cards communicate,

And begin to tell their story, each time we shuffle fate."

                                                                              --C.J. Freeman

Who this deck is for: 

Because this is a regular deck, finished cards will be numbered Ace through King and have the ♦, ♣, ♥, and ♠'s we all know and love. Playing cards are a universal language, a familiar part of cultures around the globe. This deck is perfect for meditation, inspiration, divination, card playing, story telling, or simply to appreciate as art pieces. 

 Would you like to see some more images for "The Book of Knowing?" 

The 5 of Spades, "The Impotent King."  30" x 42.5" oil on canvas
The 5 of Spades, "The Impotent King." 30" x 42.5" oil on canvas

The images for all the cards are so very detailed, not just the Court cards. My dad wanted to bring every card to life, and he did that. He even wrote stacks of original stories for the cards, but that is another project! Truth is, playing cards have A LOT to say, and a lot of stories to tell. 

What this completed project will look like:

  • This will be a 54-card deck based on the construction of the playing deck: 4 suits (diamonds, clubs, hearts, and spades), 13 cards in each suit (Ace thru King), and 4 court cards in each suit (10's are illustrated as "Lady" cards, so you will find a balance between male and female within the court). Plus 2 jokers.
  • EVERY CARD WILL BE ILLUSTRATED with an image from one of these original oils.  
  • Cards will be oversized. The plan is to make them 3 inches wide x 4.5 inches tall. This is so you can see and appreciate all the awesome detail in the images.  
  • Minimal embellishment. Card number, suit sign, and name will be added, but where possible, image borders will go all the way to the edges of the card. Unusual in modern illustrated decks! 
  • Printed on heavy weight playing card stock (right now, the plan is 350 gsm), with durable linen finish to emulate the look and feel of the original canvas. I am still gathering quotes/ samples from around the globe and will choose the highest quality card manufacturer. 
  • They will arrive in a sturdy lidded box, beautiful to keep your cards in or other keepsakes. 
  • Color guide booklet included in the box, giving meanings of each card plus ideas on some simple ways to start using and enjoying these cards and instructions for original layouts based on the lunar calendar! *  

My dad did a lot of research on the regular deck and came to believe it was originally created for divination and prediction. It is a book of secrets, a book of knowledge, only the pages are unbound. Thus the name, "The Book of Knowing."  This project will help people to see the deck of 52 from an esoteric perspective. 

4 of Hearts, the "West Wind,"  18" x 24" oil on canvas.  Go to www.bookofknowing.com to see ALL the images.

"Where does my pledge money go?"

All costs figured into our pledge goal are brass tacks expenses: the printing specifics outlined above, plus shipping costs.

All the work to get this project to print is being done by myself and my son, who is a graphic designer and computer whiz. So all thus far has been a labor of love, which has helped keep costs reasonable for start up. 

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing proposition. The project must reach the funding goal of 6,260.00 in 30 DAYS or no money changes hands. Please help us get this deck to print! 

Please spread this url far and wide. Thank you!

The Ace of Hearts, "Agana," 18" x 24" oil on canvas.
The Ace of Hearts, "Agana," 18" x 24" oil on canvas.

At some point during the 30 years that my dad spent drawing, painting, and writing about the mysteries of playing cards, I got the bug as well. Together he and I collaborated, over about a 7 year period, on what was eventually published by U.S. Games Systems under the name of The Playing Card Oracles

It tells in detail how to use the regular 52-card deck for card reading - all from a very original, expansive, but common sense perspective. It explains how to use the lunar calendar built into playing cards,* how to interpret the 4 elements (as represented by the 4 card suits) in combination with numerology, and geomancy. It is very complete!  

For those of you that would like to go in-depth with "The Book of Knowing" to discover the secret symbology of playing cards (beyond what you find in the included guide book), it is all contained in The Playing Card Oracles. This is why this ebook is included in the rewards :-)

The book my dad and I completed together, "The Playing Card Oracles," 244 pages. Published by U.S. Games Systems.
The book my dad and I completed together, "The Playing Card Oracles," 244 pages. Published by U.S. Games Systems.

*The deck itself provides a clue that whoever created it may have had something very different in mind than ordinary card games.  

52 cards  = 52 weeks in a natural year

4 suits = 4 seasons

13 cards in a suit = 13 weeks in a season/ 13 lunar cycles each of 4 weeks

total of numbers in a suit = 91, the exact number of days in a season

total of numbers in a deck = 364, number of days in a lunar year.

How to actually MAKE USE of this highly curious feature of the "playing deck" to actually give you dates in time is something my dad originated and is included in both the guidebook that comes with your new shiny deck and also to a greater extent in The Playing Card Oracles. 

PLEASE FORWARD TO ANYONE YOU FEEL MAY BE INTERESTED IN THIS PROJECT. GREAT THANKS!! :-)

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  • Pledge $6 or more
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    Receive one of three digital "Book of Knowing" art wallpapers for your computer AND and an awesome iphone wallpaper.

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    1 backer

    Receive a limited edition original concept art sketch printed on a post card, numbered and signed by Ana Cortez on the reverse. Also the digital "Book of Knowing" wallpaper and iphone wallpaper from the previous level.

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    13 is a key number in traditions of magic and also in this Oracle deck with 13 cards in each suit. For choosing this spooky number you will receive a Playing Card Oracle PDF ebook ($8.99 value, see description this page), as well as one computer wallpaper and one iphone wallpaper.

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    27 backers

    Play with a full deck! Get the complete "Book of Knowing." Comes shrink wrapped in a nice lidded box along with the small guide book. This pledge level includes shipping to any location within the U.S. only. International and Canada please pledge at next level.

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    10 backers

    Get one complete "Book of Knowing," shrink wrapped in high quality lidded box with small guide book, shipped to any international location.

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    13 backers

    52 is a super cosmic number, with 52 cards in a playing deck as well as 52 weeks in a year. For pledging at this level you get two complete decks sent to absolutely anywhere. Thank you so much!!

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    1 backer

    The "I want stuff" pledge. Receive everything offered from previous levels: two "Book of Knowing" decks sent anywhere, one "Playing Card Oracle" ebook, one limited edition signed concept art postcard, one computer wallpaper, and one iphone wallpaper.

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    1 backer

    The "Just give me some decks" pledge. Receive SIX "Book of Knowing" decks and get a good chunk of your holiday shopping done RIGHT NOW! Please add $35 to your pledge if this needs to be shipped to an international location. Thank you :-)

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    Consult the Oracle: Receive one "Book of Knowing" deck and a one hour personal Oracle reading with Ana Cortez using the Book of Knowing, either by telephone or Skype.

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    1 backer

    Build a little brick wall. Stack 'em up with 12 "Book of Knowing" decks. For a bigger stack see below. Orders outside the U.S. add $50 for shipping.

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    "The Opulence of Royalty" pledge. Receive three "Book of Knowing" Oracle decks, a one hour personal reading with Ana Cortez (telephone or Skype), one "Playing Card Oracle" ebook, one limited edition signed concept art postcard, one computer wallpaper, and one iphone wallpaper.

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    24 decks to start a small but mighty empire. Mailed anywhere in the U.S. Please add $60 for international shipping.

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    0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)

    Your choice of one ORIGINAL CONCEPT ART SKETCH from the "Book of Knowing" plus everything in "The Opulence of Royalty" pledge. These concept art sketches are 18" x 24" and they are BEAUTIFUL. Sold "as is." Choose between six different image offerings. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    Deck the Castle Walls: ONE ORIGINAL ORACLE PAINTING OF YOUR CHOICE from "The Book of Knowing," everything from the "Opulence of Royalty" pledge level, and our undying GRATITUDE!! Go to www.bookofknowing.com to see available originals. All paintings sold in AS IS condition, which VARIES. Shipping, packing, and insurance for the painting is separate and will be billed directly by shipper. If you are within a hundred miles of Santa Fe, NM, I will deliver it personally!

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