Contemplative Writing and the Essential Soul Care Oracle
Contemplative Writing is a variation of freewriting and can be used by lay, professionals and spirituals alike. I have recently co-authored and co-created with Madison Akridge and Spirit, 49 cards with 98 journal prompts that we describe as contemplative writing prompts.
In the deck's corresponding guidebook, we offer instructions for the writing prompts as follows:
"The Journal Prompt is your path toward expansion. Write whatever comes to mind using Contemplative Writing. Contemplative writing is a highly effective tool that opens communication between your conscious, cognitive mind (left-brain) and the unconscious, intuitive mind (right-brain), or, said differently, between your ego and your soul.
Set a specific period aside for your journal experience. This might be 2 mins, 5 mins or 10 mins, depending on how comfortable you are with the idea of writing, or how much you think you have to say. Once you have developed or enhanced this skill, you can increase the time that you choose to allocate to contemplative writing.
Settle into a comfortable environment, one that is well-lit, warm or cool (depending on what your body needs) and preferably one where you will not be interrupted mid-contemplation!"
I recently read, Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff. While the book did not focus on writing per se, McNiff writes beautifully about the creative process in general, particularly that the process is not linear, describing the creative spirit's labyrinthine ways as "...unpredictable, complex, perverse, subtle and intimately associated with...the personal imagination." This book became the backdrop to my creative process as the Oracle deck was created. Being reminded of the unpredictable magic, my attitude toward creating, what I am offering in my creation and creating with what I already have (in my case what I have is my mind, my soul, my co-author, my co-creator and Word, the virtual version of pen and paper.
Preparation for writing the Oracle deck led me to revisit a book I read several years ago, Scribing the Soul: Essays in Journal Therapy by Kathleen Adams. The book serves as a prompt and workbook for writing at soul level, keeping a journal and creating a spiritual story, which makes the book a perfect companion to Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of the Spiritual Memoir by Elizabeth J. Andrew.
Creating the Oracle Card Deck
What is the Oracle?
Oracles were thought to be portals through which the gods spoke directly to people. In this sense they were different from seers who interpreted signs sent by the gods through bird signs, animal entrails, and other various methods.
What is an Oracle deck?
The Oracle deck, given the above description, can be used as a divination tool, asking questions such as, "What does Spirit want me to know about (fill in the blank)?" Or, the Oracle deck can be used as a journaling tool, or a guide for trusting one's own intuition.
How did this Oracle Deck come to be?
The beginning conversation about creating an Oracle card deck began last fall as I had completed Oracle School facilitated by Colette Baron-Reid. Oracle School is a 7-month intensive process stretching over the course of a year with the ability to audit the course as many times afterward. I have completed and audited the course for a total of 14 months in study. During the course I became intimately familiar with Baron-Reid's deck, Wisdom of the Oracle as she uses this deck as her primary teaching deck with students. I have become quite proficient and conducting Oracle readings for others, but I was keenly aware of how much more powerful the process would be if I used my own card deck during readings and teachings. That was the impetus for creating the deck.
First, with my co-author, we decided on a 49-card deck that would reflect 7 cards in each of the 7 elements of soul expansion categories and the 7 primary chakras:
• Intuition/Third Eye
• Nourishment/Solar Plexus
We then created the name of each card. We sought out an artist to create the card art and once that was completed, we wrote the card's Oracle message. Our process for writing the Oracle message is a process like contemplative writing. The Oracle messages were written through a process known as channeled writing or automatic writing. This form of writing releases the writer from ego and allows Spirit or Source to flow through. Essentially, the writer becomes the conduit for the Oracle's message. This writing usually happens very spontaneously and quickly and often, when reading the document later, the author may not remember actually writing the words. In our case, we wrote some cards while in our separate locations and then spent a weekend in our own writing retreat. During the weekend we created nearly 40 Oracle messages and when proofing the writing over the next few weeks, we often could not remember who wrote which card. The writing style became fluid as if coming from one Source.
How to use the Deck
Additional information and instructions are offered in the Oracle deck companion guidebook. Instructions in preparing the deck for use and various card spreads that can be utilized are offered. Each Oracle card's message is printed in the booklet along with additional prompts for essential oil anointing, corresponding crystals, mantra sounds and the contemplative journal prompts. These are split into Soul Play and Soul Study. If the card shows up in reverse, this is a prompt toward shadow work. Additional terms called Defining Moments are offered for learning and contemplation.
If your interest is peaked, you will be able to order your copy soon!
Adams, K. (2004). Scribing the soul: essays in journal therapy. Denver, CO: Center for Journal Therapy.
Baron-Reid, C. (2015). Wisdom of the oracle divination cards: ask and know. Hay House USA.
Flower, Michael Attyah. The seer in ancient greece. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.
Griffin, M. L. (2016). Writing the sacred journey: the art and practice of spiritual memoir. EJ Andrew: Boston, MA, Skinner House Books.
McNiff, S. (1998). Trust the process: An artist's guide to letting go. Shambhala Publications.
Nagel, D. M.. & Akridge, M. L. (in-press). Essential soul care oracle cards. Flower of Life Press: CT, USA.
Author: DeeAnna Nagel