Deck Process and Places

Well, while I am on a roll, here is the 2nd blog post on the new deck… the process and some places.

I am a whiteboard person, basically, and when I can’t have a white board, I revert to large pieces of paper, the bigger the better. I am one of those people who has to externalise my thoughts and process, so that I can see them in patterns and pictures, not just thoughts and words.

So when I started the deck, one of the first things I had to do was list what powers/places/people would be in the deck, what their relationships and connects with each other were, and how they related directly to a magician or magical person.

I realised very quickly that it would change, and that happened many times through the 2 year process – cards would argue, sulk, make friends, and some left muttering swear words as they flounced out… new ones pushed through the door unexpectedly, and some transformed themselves into something else. With each shift, the ‘family’ connections shifted so I had to look and adapt the overall pattern each time to accommodate everyone in a balanced way.

A divination deck is a holism – it is not a series of individual powers or isolated symbolism, it is a tightly connected family of beings and powers, of life dynamics and key places… and they all need to rub along well together, make sense, and plug into each other. That process creates a pattern – a magical ‘skeleton structure’ or interconnected web that power and consciousness can flow through, and that our imaginations can plug into in order to work through. That is why the mapping of a deck is far more important than simply putting a load of symbolic images together.

At one point we had stacks of the paintings in the bedroom, with some under the bed and the rest propped in various corners – most of the paintings are 20inches by 30inches (some are a bit larger) canvas on wood stretchers…. That adds up to a lot of space. It is a small bedroom, and with so many contacted paintings all crammed together, it started to get loud and very very busy. After a week of sleepless nights, we sucked up the cost and hired a local small storage room to put them all in…. finally we got some sleep.

So here are some more peeks, this time some of the ‘places’ – some are inner places and some are outer places, and some are in presentations that are not how magicians usually think of a place. One example is the Inner Library, which is most often depicted as literally a vast library.

However, when working in this place in vision, it is important to remember that the ‘books’ are not actually books that we read, rather they are the stored remnants of knowledge and memory.

And that knowledge and memory is not just of humans across time, but also of nature. Trees are wonderful at storing information and also passing it on…. In the painting for the Inner Library, the trees send their roots down into the void….

And all of the images I post in this block are just rough snapshot photos that I took when I finished each one, so some have shadow or glare, and some are cropped…. Obviously for printing, Stuart re photographed them properly…. I am not allowed to play with the ‘grown up’ camera……

I will keep adding dribbles of blog posts with preview peeks of the images while we are busy working away in the background preparing for printing, fundraising, and finishing the book. Thanks for stopping by!

About Josephine McCarthy

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12 Responses to Deck Process and Places

  1. Jo Ziggy says:

    Wow! Josephine these paintings are beautiful. I can’t wait to see the deck and your book. Just the few peaks at the paintings above lead my mind into laminar spaces..openings and reflections. Congratulations. Xx


  2. Clair Bridgeford says:

    This gives me something special to look forward to. Thank you bringing all these places to us, the pictures are beautiful! I can’t wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Josephine, how can we support you right now for this project? I know you said in the previous post that you plan to sell some of the actual paintings, but I was wondering if you have considered Kickstarter, or if doing a one-time donation to Quareia would help for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is very kind of you! I am in the process of putting together a webpage about the deck, with a fundraising button, and also the paintings up for sale with their paypal buttons. As soon as it is ready, I will introduce it and link it in a blog post. Any monies sent to Quareia, goes to Quareia – I don’t have access to it as it doesn’t come to me… so it would not go towards the deck… it goes to the school.
      I am a bit behind in getting the webpage ready but hopefully by the end of the week it will be up… I just need to grow more arms!
      Thank you so much – Josephine

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Holly Bigwood says:

    I listened to you on Glich bottle and immediately needed to see these for myself! I’m so excited to get this deck! Looking forward to backing the project.
    Many blessings! Thank you for all you do. I have all your books. You are magical and have helped me without ever knowing me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I will get the webpage finished for it this week, and will do a blog post with a link to it. You will be able to see them all on the page. And thank you so much for your kind words!


  5. yamamushi says:

    Hi Josephine,

    I’m sorry to reach out here, as there are not many published ways to contact you 🙂

    I’m a moderator on /r/Occult on Reddit, and we’d be so grateful if you would be open to having an AMA event there about Quareia and all of the work you’ve done (including this amazing-looking new deck!).

    We’ve been running a series of these Q&A events with many authors and others involved in this type of work (Foolish Fish is doing one this Friday, for example), and we’d all be elated for you to take part in one if you have the time (an hour or two) to spare.

    Again, apologies for reaching out here, I would have done so through other means if I could find one.


  6. Elizabeth says:

    I am incredibly excited about your new creations! You are an incredible inspiration in so many ways and I am indebted to your modeling of inclusiveness in servitude to the greater realms. Thank you for all you do — I am grateful to have heard your voice and have an immediate visceral reaction. You remind me of the Goddess muse for PL Travers M.Poppins, haha. You are fucking fantastic and I send a cheer to the Universe every time I hear your voice and truths. May your work find continued success, international positive resonance, and a steady stream of healthy financial gains. You truly rock!


  7. ECHO says:

    Wow truly fantastic. I first heard of you on the glitch bottle pod and have been following you ever since. I find you to be such a huge inspiration and play a big role in my practice, thank you. Seeing some pictures of you’re work, some give me chills other spark memories that where previously forgotten practices I used to do. Truly amazing work, I hope I can be a proud worker with this deck one day. Congratulations on everything! Can’t wait to read the next post!


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