My name is Courtney Sahl and I am a Pisces Sun, Aquarius Moon and Aries Rising. I currently work as a consulting astrologer and artist, and I enjoy sharing my gifts with the world through these mediums.
I have created the Astro Essentia Oracle Deck to bring the magic of astrological archetypes through collaged imagery. It features 36 digitally collaged cards which include the 12 signs of the zodiac, 10 major planets, the north and south nodes of the moon and the 12 astrological houses.
Typically astrology is taught from an intellectual place through words, books, very heady classes, etc. These cards offer another way to learn and/or be present with astrological information outside the mind space and in a more visual way. So for all you visual learners out there -- this is for you!
The cards can also be used as a way to gather information through divination, similar to tarot or other oracle decks. So, you could, for example, do a traditional 3 card pull with these cards and use astrological concepts to get more information about your inquiry. This is my favorite way to use them!
I have always been an artist interested in exploring new ideas and concepts through the creation of imagery. As I process information best through visual exploration, collage as a medium has been a powerful tool for me to gain insight and understanding in my life. The Astro Essentia Astrology Oracle deck was born out of this creative process.
I began studying astrology at the Portland School of Astrology in 2015. During my first year, I learned so many new things about astrology but I couldn’t quite grasp the pure essence of these archetypes (meaning, I couldn't quite grasp what Mars was about, or what Aries was all about, or the 1st house). I sensed something deeper in these energies that was still missing for me when trying to use only words and intellectual concepts to describe them.
As part of the curriculum for that first year in school, we were tasked with presenting a case study on any topic in astrology we wanted to explore more extensively. I decided to dive deeper into the astrological concepts and translate them into a language of imagery. So in the creative mania of what can only be described as a super-charged cosmic download (Mars/Neptune transit to my Sun/Mars conjunction), the celestial energies came through my hands and onto paper. The original set of cards was created as 36 paper collages.
The process was a magical experience. The cards were made primarily from a collection of National Geographic magazines from the ‘80s that I had inherited from my grandfather’s estate. When I took the magazines months before I couldn’t explain why I felt so compelled to lug them all the way back from Iowa when I already had stacks of magazines at home. I hadn’t even started astrology school, let alone had the idea for the project. The magic had already begun.
It took about 2 months for this first version to be completed. The response was overwhelmingly positive when I presented the cards to my class. Both students and teachers loved the cards and wanted their own copies. This interest motivated me to explore transforming the cards into a printed deck.
After an exhaustive amount of research and ultimately many dead ends, I decided to recreate the cards in a digital format using license-free images. This would enable me to create a deck I could publish without fear of copyright issues.
And so, this second version became a reality after a whole new magical process and many more months of time and creative energy. I created the deck you see here in a similar manner to the first, but this time with digital images on a computer, something I had never done before.
My intention for this project now is for it to provide a way beyond words to experience the essence of Astrological energies. The process of creating these cards deepened my experience of astrology in a more embodied way. I now see my own chart differently, and have found more acceptance of myself in all my parts. My hope is that more people can have this experience with the cards, as well.
Astro Essentia is a visual oracle of the archetypal energies in astrology. It was designed to help one receive insight from the twelve signs of the zodiac, ten major planets, the north and south nodes of the moon and the twelve houses of the chart. Each deck includes 36 full color cards created with digital collage, a 114 page guidebook and custom 2 part rigid box to hold the cards and book. The cards will be printed digitally on a high quality card stock. They will have rounded corners and an aqueous gloss coating for more vivid colors. We are waiting on a sample deck so all the pictures are either digital renders, original files, or photos of very low budget prints of the cards. We will send an update when we receive the sample!
The accompanying 114 page guidebook is written with both beginners and those already comfortable with astrology in mind. It contains astrological information on all 36 cards in the deck and ideas on how to use the cards to explore natal placements, transits, aspects, and more. There is also a whole section on how to use the deck as a divination tool, similar to other oracle decks. It is 3"x5" with a color cover and black and white pages inside. It will fit inside the rigid box with the cards.
Supporting local businesses aligns with my Aquarian moon ideals. So, in addition to just figuring out how to get the decks printed in general, it felt really important to me to work with a local printer even though it’s quite a bit more expensive to print in the US. I decided to have the entire printing process (cards, book and box) done with Brown Printing in Portland, Oregon based on great reviews and recommendations.
The majority of the costs will be getting the cards, guidebook and box printed. The rest will be allocated for Kickstarter fees and shipping (and reward costs if we raise more than the stretch goal).
Here is a (moon)pie chart showing the breakdown:
If we are able to raise $3,000 over the $14,500 goal, I will have a 22"x22" cotton altar/reading cloths made for every backer who pledges $35 or more. I will come up with 2 possible designs and then send out a survey to backers so you all can cast your vote for which one we get printed. I'll print the one with the most votes. So magical!
I am definitely interested in taking wholesale orders. If you are interested in selling the Astro Essentia deck in your shop, please make a wholesale pledge or contact us at email@example.com to discuss pricing and order amounts. We can arrange a custom Kickstarter pledge amount, or if you prefer you can wait until after the Kickstarter to make your purchase, assuming it gets funded and printed.
Along with the pre-order of the deck and guidebook I am also very excited to offer some custom limited edition rewards!
Vinyl Stickers of the Zodiac Cards
Every pledge $5 and up will receive a 3.3"x2.2" matte vinyl sticker(s) that feature the Zodiac cards. Some pledge tiers include a randomly chosen sticker and some include the whole set of 12.
Limited Edition Astro Essentia Enamel Pins
I created the Astro Essentia logo from a sigil I made for "As above, So below". The magic of this symbol is to help us maintain an awareness that we are always connected to the Stars above as they are to us, as reflections of each other.
This enamel pin is 1"x1" and includes glitter for that extra sparkly touch and will be included in all pledges $100 and over, and the Scorpio/Aries $65 tier.
Astro Essentia Gift Package
All pledge tiers $100 and over (excluding wholesale) will receive this gift package. It includes a set of 12 Zodiac stickers, a logo enamel pin, and a limited edition zip pouch to store your cards and guidebook in. The pouch is a fully lined 5"x7" black canvas zip pouch with a silver Astro Essentia logo printed on one side.
Hand Drawn Natal Art Chart by Courtney
For pledges of $150 and $300, I will draw your natal chart in an artistic way using pen and colored pencils. All charts will be drawn on thick multimedia art paper.
1 Hour Natal Chart Reading with Courtney
For all $300 pledges, I will include a 1 hour reading of your natal chart. All readings will be scheduled between April and August of 2019. These can take place in person if you are local to Portland, OR or over the phone if you are far away. These are limited to folks in the US only.
8.5"x11" Holographic Prints
In honor of Aquarius and Pisces season and this campaign which runs through both (which also happens to be my Sun and Moon) I had these card images printed on 8.5"x11" holographic paper. These limited edition prints will be OFFERED IN THE $50 EARLY BIRD TEIRS ONLY. They are rainbow-y and sparkly and make the Aquarius and Pisces artwork even more surreal. I'm in love.
Thank you so much for your support and taking the time to check out this campaign. This project has been a transformative journey, to say the least. I have learned many new things, pushed beyond some big limitations and created something I am proud of. I am very excited about getting this campaign funded. Thank you for joining in to make this dream a reality!
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Risks and challenges
Well, this is my first Kickstarter campaign so it’s hard to know what all the potential hang-ups could be, but I am well researched, organized and ready to deal with what’s to come.
The biggest concern of course that this is not funded as it is an all or nothing campaign, so if the goal is not reached, none of the funding will be received. This is a very real potential risk, in fact, the biggest risk. As such, sharing this campaign with your people to spread the word is super important (and appreciated!)! If a lack of funding situation should happen, however, I do intend to explore other options, and backers will be updated accordingly.
Outside of lack of funding, I have very little concerns. The entire deck, book, and box designs are completed, edited, finalized and already in the printer’s hands waiting for the green light to go (for this Kickstarter to get funded). All the rewards are also ready to go or are figured out and will be ordered by the end of the campaign. So, I don’t see any obstacles with that portion of things. Unless something happens that is unforeseeable, I feel confident that I can get all your goodies to you in the listed timeframes. That said, in the case that something unexpected does indeed happen, I will be sure to update all backers and keep you up-to-date about any possible changes or delays. I am fully committed to this project and getting everything shipped out to you on time. We are in this together and your understanding, patience, and support are very much appreciated. Thank-you again!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)