Inspirations for Survivors is a 44-card deck designed for those who have survived difficult challenges in life. It's a tool of positive growth and support, of encouragement to face life and heal.
“Inspirations For Survivors” is a 44 card deck and 96 page companion book that is meant to act as encouragement to those that are in survivor mode, those that have worked their way through some of the difficulties that life has thrown at them, and come out the other side. We all face crisis in our lives – whether it be relationship (familial, career, friendships), career, financial, health, death, spiritual … each crisis is a turning point for us, and a chance to get to know ourselves better.
The title says it all – these cards, with their images and positive messages, encourage us to face life, to grow, to heal, and to create new, positive thought patterns. This deck can be used as a meditation tool, or as a clarifier for a particular issue. In its own way, it can be used as an oracle to help someone in survivor mode move forward.
Kahn, herself a survivor of childhood abuse, is also the creator of the “Silver Era Tarot”, and the “Lowbrow Tarot Project”. Her work challenges preconceived notions, and moves the viewer to change their thought patterns. Her art combines photography, painting, and collage to express her visions.
The message on the back of the box sets the tone for this deck – “In this life, we are all survivors on some level.” In order to survive, in order to grow, we have to face the challenges that life throws at us. Survivors are those who have made it to the other side of a challenge. Life is a journey, one that we undertake with the purpose of manifesting our destiny.
The cards and companion book come in the very recognizable Schiffer box – sturdy, with a magnetic lock for the lid. (I love this feature – no more cards all over the floor!) The top of the box features the image of the black roses from the card that carries the message “We Are Delicate Creatures. In Love We Are Strong.” The back of the box carries information on the intent of the deck, and the ways in which it is intended to be used.
The 96 page companion book carries a thumbnail image of the card that carries the message “Be The King Or Queen Of The World You Want”. The book begins with bios for Kahn and Russell, which is followed by a short introduction and explanation of the deck. The cards are presented with a full color scan on the right hand page, and text discussing the card on the left hand page. (There are two exceptions to this – cards with the messages “Inside We Can Reach The Inner Spirit Of Peace”, and “Let Warmth Of The Sun Hold You In Its Embrace” have the image and text on the same page.)
One of my favorite cards is the Mask. From the book:
We Must Let Go Of Hiding Behind A Mask
We are all beautiful beings; we are perfect as we are and nothing can make us happier or more confident, than a positive and healthy perception of who and what we are. When we let go fg false masks that make us feel we can hide our insecurity, we will find the true beauty and perfection that will amaze us. We are who we are for a reason, for a possibility, and for a promise of something great. Be confident in our uniqueness and embrace ourselves in our security.
The cards are 2 ¾” by 4 ¾”, on glossy card stock. The backs are light gray, with a white lace-like circle in the center, surrounding a darker gray background. Centered on the background is a white image that curls around and looks somewhat snake-like (think ouroboros here, except that the head is not biting the tail). The card faces show a solid color background (different for each card), with the card message in white lettering at the bottom of the card. The card images vary from realistic to fantasy,
Although the messages are positive and supportive, I found some of the cards to be a bit dark in nature – not the imagery, but the literal coloring on the cards. Amongst these cards are “Be The King Or Queen Of Your World”, “Follow The Path To Joy, It Is Right Before You”, “Time Heals Past Wounds”, and “When One Door Closes, Another Will Open”. Several of the cards also have a 40’s/50’s feel to them, including “Even If We Feel Stuck, There Is Always A Way Out”, “Hope And Love Are Always Within Your Reach”, and “You Can Go Anywhere, And Do Anything”.
Some of my favorite cards are “We Are Delicate Creatures, In Love We Are Strong”, “We Must Let Go Of Hiding Behind A Mask”, “Even If We Feel Stuck, There Is Always A Way Out”, Each Puzzle Piece Exposes New Opportunities”, and “Hope And Love Are Always Within Your Reach”.
This deck could easily be used by individuals of all ages and cultural backgrounds. It fills a need – the need that we all have to be supported on our journey. At the conclusion of the companion book, the authors say:
It is our most sincere desire that the “Inspirations For Survivors” deck will be a doorway for your initial or continued enlightenment and will be able, even in its most subtle revelations, to bring you a sense of peace, hope, and realization. We are all survivors; we are people of many situations and feelings which we all experience and endure in our lifetime. With this, we encourage you all, and us as well, to continue to strive and excel as we become all that we desire to be.
© Bonnie Cehovet