I have been silent on this blog for a long long time…. Because I have been busily beavering away on my next project – the next magical baby….. When the pandemic hit, I was put to work on a new project which filled me with a sense of ‘oh shit’ – as it demanded skills that I didn’t have… namely painting.
It is something that had been building up for a while, and it was also something that started itself before I realised what it was and what I was doing. While the Quareia course sets out a solid path for magical self-learning, it can be a fairly tough going path, and is of a style that is quite contained. But what about people who do not fit onto any path but are best wandering through the magical forest alone, and following their instincts?
It is a question that has rolled around in my head for a long time and really came into focus with the pandemic – so many people felt cut off, not only from other people, but from themselves and their magic. Personally, I loved the isolation but many didn’t thrive at all in it. It really brought it home for me how some people would benefit from signposts, thumbs up, occasional advice, introductions to various spirits, the odd slap, and sometimes cheerleading while walking their own unique magical path. While the Quareia deck can provide some of that, it is also overlaid by magical complexity and detail that not all magicians need, which can complicate a reading – it was designed as a deck specifically for Quareia Initiates and adepts.
Divination is a major thread through just about all paths in magic, and yet it is often treated as a stand-alone discipline or is given very little attention. Divination can become the ‘elder advisor’ to a lone magician, especially one trying to navigate an increasingly hostile and difficult world. But to be such an advisor, a deck needs clarity, ease of understanding, and to not be locked into any single culture or system – it should be able to function across many cultures.
It needs clear basic building blocks of power structures, the different types of beings a magician bumps into, and a vocabulary of power causes and effects. That way when a magician is struggling, a clear message and overview can be provided without the message getting drowned under archaic symbolism or clashing traditions. When you strip the flesh and muscle off any magical system, there are some core ‘bones’ that are common across most if not all magical paths, depending on the intention of the magician.
So I set about designing and painting a deck myself, using contacted magical methods to bring specific energies and powers through into the images, and using imagery that could be understood across a wide cross section of magical types. Over the last two years of the pandemic, I painted regularly, using stretched canvas and acrylic paint.. and I tell you, it was terrifying…. I live with a professional artist, and he was good enough to just leave me to figure it out for myself, and to only offer minimum advice when asked.
I can’t draw…. Unlike a lot of people who can sketch at least adequately, I am still on stick men when it comes to drawing…. But painting is something I have dabbled with (and I really mean just dabbling) for the last few years… but that is very different to painting something that others are going to see. When I set about painting this deck I had failures, I had ‘inner smirks’ from spirits, I had rolled eyes from contacts, and the occasional pat on the head. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be, and sometimes the level of power that came through a painting totally floored me, so it was a major learning experience. And then of course were the practical learning curves of what paint can and cannot do, and what my hands can and cannot do.
I also learned a great deal about fate, divination, timing, and imagery – some of the paintings timed themselves in to being painted just before a major event happened…. The build up of that power went into the painting and yet I was not aware of what was happening until the painting was finished, and then the event happened.
When I first started the paintings, I had a list and a schedule, which quickly went out of the window as the deck took over…. I was blocked from doing some images until I would be suddenly dragged out of bed very early to ‘get this done now!!!’… and sometimes a particular painting would seem to go nowhere for ages before suddenly and quickly coming together… just in time for an event happening that was mirrored in the painting itself.
When this happened, I put a note on the back of the painting, on the wood frame. Once it happened a couple of times, I finally realised what was going on, and I started to observe magically what was happening… and that taught me so much about the energetic building of fate patterns for events, and as a consequence from an inner perspective how elements of prediction/divination can work.. how they tie into multiple fate patterns, and how such energy can embed itself into an image and stay there… like storage…
It was fascinating as I was learning it all from a totally different angle to what I am used to.
Some paintings didn’t make the cut, some had to be repainted over to layer the power in various ways, which was a new experience for me.. lots of learning how visual power works.. …and now I have finished that side of it all.. the images are done and I am currently beavering away on the book.
With the images and the book, it should work not only for divination, but also as an advisor – when the magician or person hits a wall in their life and wants to step forward in a way that evolves/grows their magical path, working with the deck can help flag up the various fate options, and the beings and powers that flow through the deck can be worked with magically to transition from one short cycle of fate to the next.
I hope it will also function as view into the experiential underbelly of magic – each of the cards are core magical principles and beings, and as such can give greater insight into what is going on ‘behind the scenes’ in a situation or working. Whenever possible in the book, I have pointed this out, and also given advice or insight into workings, exorcism, cleansings etc – I am trying to make the book like a personal guide as well as a ‘deck meanings’ book. And where some cards can have complex layers, I have offered a non-magical ‘it is like this’ extra – I have come to realise with working with students from around the world that some concepts do not always translate well.
The deck/book will be ready by spring next year, and the worst case scenario in the current economic climate, is that it will be available just through thegamecrafter.com which is a US print on demand service.
Because it is just me and no other artists to pay, the deck should be cheaper than Quareia deck, unless their print prices have gone through the roof.. and the book will be available on amazon as a hardback, paperback and ebook. There will also be a free ebook on the Quareia website and a link to the free ebook when it is purchased.
The images from the deck will also be available as prints and posters through redbubble, should people want to work with the images magically, or simply stick them on the wall.
A best-case scenario is all of the above, plus a limited edition higher quality print run of the cards.
A lot of that depends upon whether we can fundraise enough for the printing costs, and whether the UK still has an affordable and functioning international postal service – sadly here in the UK anything is possible right now.. we could be in the stone age by this time next year!
I will post a few more updates here as I go along, and put up some more images, plus insights into the journey of creating them.
The name of the deck etc will be kept under wraps for now…. Keeping in line with tradition, a new baby is never called by its name, but simply called ‘baby’…
I have also recently recoded a podcast with Glitch bottle where I talk about the creation of the deck, and that should be airing within the next week before the end of October.
The paintings themselves will be for sale in the not too distant future probably on the TaDehent Books website https://www.tadehent.com and there will be links on the Quareia website. The money from the sale of the paintings will go towards raising funds for a limited edition print run.
The most pre-eminent kind of human is he who has realised perfection in the intuition of the theoretical intellect, such that he/she is completely free of need of a human teacher, and has attained skill in his practical divinatory ability such that he witnesses ‘the realm of the soul’ and that which therein relates to the states of the lower world, establishing them whilst awake so that the imagination completely performs its actions for him to witness them in a specific way, as we have already explained, and the power of his soul exerts its effect throughout the natural world. – Avicenna (980-1037EC)
All images and text copyright (c) Josephine McCarthy 2022