Magic making: Creating my first oracle card deck

Last year, I had a dream: to create my very own oracle card deck.

I did some research and tried brainstorming a few ideas, but I was getting nowhere. There were too many ideas knocking around in my head…too many elements I was trying to put into one deck. I couldn’t narrow down on a theme or a structure and I would change my mind almost every day! So, I put it on the back burner and forgot all about it.

making magic creating oracle card deck

The first four cards for my first oracle card deck!

Then, at the start of March, I stumbled upon the Create this oracle deck Instagram challenge run by otmoraclecards. At first I dismissed it – the prompts looked deceptively simple and I didn’t think I would end up with anything remotely original. But as I looked at the varying responses to the prompts, I decided to give it a go. At worst, I would end up with 30 {hopefully pretty looking} cards that I could figure out some use for. At best, they could well become my very first oracle card deck!

Creating an oracle card deck

So over the weekend, I immersed myself in some creating. After measuring and cutting up some watercolor paper, I decided that I wanted the look of watercolors for these cards -pastel-ish tones, and quick and easy to do. I decided to use Derwent Intense pencils, Derwent Colorsoft color pencils, gesso, flesh colored acrylic, a black pen and some paint markers as my tools of choice.

how to create oracle card deck

Blank cards, ready to be turned into little pieces of magic!

On the very first day, I had four cards done. It was so exciting, that I devoted the next day to catching up with the challenge. As of this writing, I have 10 cards completed! I’ve also got the draft guide book for these 10 cards ready. And in the evening, I’m going to create a few more oracle cards. I hope to have a 30-card Oracle deck created by the end of the month.

I’m really loving how these have turned out – not just the cards themselves, but even the guide book. The symbols and colors of each card worked as prompts for the creation of the guide book – and it’s wonderfully deep and insightful. Not only do I have a set of keywords and description for what each card means, I also have some wonderfully deep journaling questions associated with each of the cards. I’ve got tentative, working names for each card too – but I will put them on to the cards once I have all of them ready.

how to create your own oracle cards

Testing the cards: Your chance to get a free beta reading!

Now that I have 10 cards, I can’t wait to test them out and see how they work. And to make this more fun, I’d like to invite you on the ride! The first three people to ask for a reading will get a one-card reading delivered to their inbox. {And I may just randomly send a reading to anyone else who comments afterwards, so don’t be shy to ask!}

In return, please tell me how the card resonated for you, what you liked and disliked about the interpretation, any other thoughts or suggestions you have to help me improve the meanings of the card, and any other impressions or questions that you have when looking at the image/colors of the cards.

I will be refining the guidebook later, so your inputs will be really helpful to me!

You can ask me any one of the following questions only, please.

(1) What’s next?
(2) What have you been avoiding?
(3) What are you ready to receive?

I can’t wait to see these cards in action {and create some more soon}!

The Daily Pause Oracle Deck

I designed this beautiful, 40-card oracle deck to bring in some stillness, to give us a word or an idea to reflect on as we go about our day.

Supported by the four elements – earth, air, fire, water – and a carefully thought-out structure that connects the cards, The Daily Pause oracle will help you to listen to and trust your own inner knowing.

There’s no learning curve involved with using this deck. Just get quiet, shuffle the cards, pull one out, and reflect on the word you’re presented with.

Posted in On My Art Table, Tarot and tagged , , , .

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. Gorgeous! I’ve only ever worked with RWS decks, but love the idea of oracle cards. Looks like you’re well on your way to an amazing deck!

    I’d be happy to have a beta reading, and I’ll go for question #1, please and thank you. 🙂

    Also, I’m starting a hash tag party on Wednesdays, for pagan-related blog posts. I think you’d fit right in – here’s the post explaining it, if you’re interested.

    • Thank you Traci! I’ve emailed the reading to you – hope it resonates. I’d love to hear what you think! And I’ll check out the hashtag party – sounds like it should be right up my alley!

  2. I have heard of DIY and I’ve heard of art projects but Shijini you just never take the regular route to spending weekends at your paint table huh?

    I am yet to see someone put their dream to such a magical use .. Please count me In for for trying these out . I’d love to know their working names .. Can suggest some too .. 🙂

    • Lol, no. Why be regular when you can be crazily magical I say! ?

      Though honestly, it was a completely unexpected outcome at the painty table. My only intention was to create a lot of art over the long weekend. It unfolded in such an unexpected way that it blew me away!

      I’ll share the cards and working names with you later for more brainstorming…perhaps over a cup of chai! 😉

  3. Oh I didn’t know that you can make your own cards like this. Well..I have zero idea about that explains it all. The cards look lovely. All the best to you for new project. 🙂

  4. The cards are beautiful and make me want to break out my art supplies and spend an afternoon at the river. If you are still doing readings, I’d love to know “What’s Next?”

    • Thank you so much! I hope you get to spend some time creating art. It’s the most relaxing activity for me – except when I get stuck and don’t know how to proceed with a piece, that is. 😉

      I’ll be happy to send a reading across. 🙂

  5. Wow these cards are so beautiful… It reminds me of the art postcards that different artists worldwide share with each other… Your water coloring is so mystical… This is tempting me to dabble with water colors ?
    Looks like I missed my spot to get a reading ? next time maybe ?

    • Thanks Raj! Artist trading cards – it’s been a long time since I’ve swapped any! And I don’t mind sending you a reading – tell me which question you’d like answered 😉

  6. These cards looked lovely… I never knew these could be made on your own. Lovely use of colors.
    Well definitely am not in the first three but would be curious to get some reply to question#3
    Looking forward to read more, all the best to you

  7. wow I am in awe of their beauty, you are so talented. I would love to know what I am avoiding? #mg

  8. Yay! So happy to see you joined my challenge and what beautiful cards you’re creating! I decided to create a free course as a result of all the interest in this challenge as a way for people to continue making their decks after the challenge is over on Instagram. I’m collecting photos, videos and blog posts from people doing the challenge for the inspiration and ideas section. Would love to include a link to this blog post if you don’t mind. Please let me know if that’s okay.

    • Aww….thank you Shalini! So happy you liked them! As for how I do it – by ignoring all the housework, lol! 😉

  9. These cards are truly beautiful and I love the idea of continuing to test and see what resonates with others. If you’re still giving readings, I’d be glad to be a beta. I’d go with #3. What an artist you are!

    • Thank you! I really liked seeing how they worked for others, so I’m going to be doing a few more test runs.

  10. wow I am so curious, how did the testing of this deck go? and the insights you received to make deck 2 and 3.
    I love the art on these cards.somehow I feel drawn to oracle cards more than tarot.looking into over the moon and her courses.

    • Oh, this deck is one of my favorites! I wrote a guide book and journaling prompts for each of these cards too. Maybe I should release this one too – it’s such a brilliant little deck!

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