The Oracle of Initiation - Rainbows in the Dark is a multi-layered deck ideal for inner work and spiritual transformation. The imagery for the 66 cards is sourced from unaltered photographs taken by the artist herself while in the natural desert landscape of New Mexico.
It is quite interesting that "Oracle of Initiation - Rainbows in the Dark" came to me at this time. For Lucia, the five year journey reflected in this book began with the death of her husband. She chose to dance alone in the subterranean tunnels of New Mexico, reclaiming her personal freedom through discovering her "rainbows in the dark". A journey of spirit, as an artist she makes use of her own body imagery to share her message.
This is a 66 card deck, with a 398 page companion book. The cards are divided into eight different sections, with each section representing a different realm, which together encompass the basis of an archetypal journey of spiritual awakening. The structure of the deck is cyclical ... throughout each of the eight realms, eight stages are echoed.
Innocence - Gateway: Potential, Spread: The True Happiness Reading
Exploration - Gateway: Threshold, Spread: Gateway Reading
Initiation - Gateway: Surrender, Spread: Innana Underworld Reading
Discernment - Gateway: Tempering, Spread: Pearls of Grace Reading
Alliance - Gateway: Communion, Spread: Council Reading
Balance - Gateway: Empowerment, Spread: Chakra Balancing Reading
Offering - Gateway: Servant, Spread: See-King Reading
Unity - Gateway: Visionary, Spread: Hollow Bone Reading
Lucia suggests in her companion book that each individual get to know each card intuitively before reading what has been written about it. In this manner the written material acts as a "backup", or referral, for what each individual feels about a given card.
The book is divided into three sections: the introduction, which talks about the process of creating the cards and the story that they tell; the second part of the book describes the structure of the cards, and how to use it; the third part of the book contains the descriptions of the cards. I dearly love that this last section is tabbed, for easy access!
At the end of the book we find a listing of the Guardians referred to, the eight reading spreads, a section on inspirations and resources, along with a list of artists and contributors.
Lucia defines initiation as as an invitation to move into the deep knowing within us. There is a need for us to step outside of the mundane and meet the world through our mythical mind. Lucia claimed her freedom through union with the wilderness. Working with the cards, according to Lucia, is a form of vision quest.
She also talks about the gift connected with each gateway:
The Gift of Innocence - Love
The Gift of Exploration - Purpose
The Gift of Initiation - Surrender
The Gift of Discernment - Magic
The Gift of Alliance - Collaboration
The Gift of Balance - Gratitude
The Gift of Offering - Passion
The Gift of Unity - Beauty
Each card contains a full page black and white scan, along with the intent of the card, the deity referenced, and the oracle speaking through diverse figures, such as Morwenna Morasch, Pele, Hecate, and more.
The cards are 4 1/4" by 6", of glossy cardstock. The backs are black, with a green circle in the center surrounded by a black circle, which is surrounded by a red circle. These are all muted colors. Diagonally across the circle are back to back small "i's". The backs are reversible.
The card faces show a black background, with muted imagery. All of the images are of Lucia herself. In lower right hand corner of each card is the card number and name. The Gateway's each start out with a triangular form, representing the Norse Sami Lavo tee pee. They have their title in the lower right hand corner.
The Gateway of Initiation shows a burnt brown background, with two crossed swords at the top of the triangle. Unconscious, card 6, shows a blurred face in the upper left hand corner, against a black background. Unconscious is entitled The Alliance of Innocence (Shrouded Trance). The associated deity is Shiva.
Lumnescence, card 0, shows a multicolored letter "O" against a black background. Lumnescence is entitled Birth of Consciousness.
Awakening, card 7, shows a blurred face with a hand in front of it. Awakening is entitled The Balance of Innocence (Meet Your Muse). The associated deity is Kali.
Recognition, card 14, shows a covered face ... except for the eyes. Recognition is entitled the Alliance of Exploration (Marked by Spirits). The associated deity is Quetzalcoatl.
Subtlety, card 37, shows a white face with a translucent, blue-green veil over it. Subtlety is entitled Discernment of Alliance (Esoteric Enchantment). The associated deity is the corn maiden.
Alignment, card 55, shows Lucia, lying down, looking up. Alignment is entitled The Balance of Offering (Hollow Bone). The associated deity is Juksahkka.
This is a fantastic deck for inner work ... you will find many layers in each card ... and you may find things that you did not bargain for. There is movement, life, and force in the imagery of these cards. Be prepare to know yourself!
© Bonnie Cehovet