Writing a blog about the creation of my Business Astrology Oracle Deck feels a little overwhelming. Where did it really start? How did the concept land? What order did I do things in?
To be honest, I don’t have the answers to all these things, my memory of the process is a little like a creative haze spanning over 2 years.
I know that in June 2021 I purchased a course to help support me through the process (more on that later) but I also know that I had been working on the concept prior to that.
In this blog, I’m going to talk about the creation phase of the project, and then in my next blog, I’ll guide you through the process to launch the deck.
The Business Astrology Oracle Deck Concept
I have wanted to create my own Oracle deck for years and years. I’ve had that feeling of envy watching others do it in their business – the good type of envy that tells you that you want to do this too.
In 2017, whilst on retreat in Tulum, I got quite close to creating one. I downloaded a framework for a Soulful Launching Deck with 31 cards but ultimately it never progressed.
At some point I know that I realized that it wasn’t an Astrology Deck – it was a Business Astrology Deck – meaning it was a deck to help people decode their business’s astrology chart as well as to get insightful and intuitive support in the day to day of running a business.
It really is my approach to business astrology in a beautiful soulful oracle deck.
I struggled in the beginning with the “feel” of the deck – some cards look really grounded and based in “reality” and others look mythical and fantasy-like.
But I finally realized that this was exactly what it needed to be and I had to stop fighting it.
There is duality in my approach to astrology and so my deck needed to align with this.
Because we are human earthly beings undertaking a spiritual journey and we are spiritual beings undertaking an earthly journey. There is no either or – there is only both.
The Inspiration behind the Deck
There are so many gorgeous oracle decks out there and there are a number of Astrology ones. But I wanted to create the first Business Astrology Oracle Deck.
I wanted it to be premium and luxe – think velvet stock, gold foiling, and full-color book.
I was inspired by decks such as The Yogic Path and the Threads of Fate decks which have gorgeous gold foiling, quality stock, and beautiful packaging.
I also wanted to create my own version of the beautiful collage style using photos and bringing in some graphic elements to tie them together.
Early on I knew this deck would not be a $20 or $30 deck you buy in a bookstore – it is a premium, limited edition deck for Entrepreneurial Astrophiles (astrology lovers!).
Self-publishing versus getting a publisher
I considered submitting a proposal to a deck publisher, I have all the information and even someone who can help me do this.
But I came to a decision.
This was a really good way to procrastinate and stop me from releasing this product.
You see I’ve had two other book projects that I’ve never released plus that first oracle deck concept.
I know I have a lot of fear and resistance about publishing a book or a deck.
The fact that I get panic attacks when I walk into a bookstore and see all these other published entrepreneurs that I know staring back at me makes this pretty obvious!
So perhaps I’ll seek a publisher in the future – perhaps I won’t – but I will launch and sell my deck in 2022.
FYI self-publishing is expensive, especially when you want to create a premium deck like mine, so you need to invest in all the extras to showcase how special the deck is and charge appropriately (more on this in the next blog).
The Card Design
You might be wondering how I designed the cards. Firstly I made a decision to design them myself. This was a hard one because there are amazing artists and designers out there that you can engage to bring your ideas to life.
But I really wanted the creative challenge of designing AND writing the deck – I wanted it to be fully channeled from my own creative energy.
It was honestly a really intuitive process but also an iterative process. Many of the cards have had multiple versions before settling on the final one.
I started designing in Canva in early 2022 – this worked really well because of just how easy Canva is as a design tool – but in the long run it meant a lot of repetition of work because I finally decided I needed the advanced functionality of In-Design, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and so I had to transfer all the designs across.
In June and July of 2022, I was heavily in design mode, sourcing all the images and elements, and went into a creative cave.
The e-Course I had purchased the year before was also super helpful providing design templates and tips for photo collage.
I had one of my team members review every single card design when I was done for little errors that I may have missed.
I went to Byron Bay in July 2022 to attend a retreat with a biz bestie Denise Duffield Thomas with the aim of finishing off the designs.
It had been postponed twice due to covid but it finally happened. I had just broken my ankle but I persisted and flew with a moon boot and suffered through constant throbbing and pain.
The retreat facilitator’s mother was also on the retreat, she was a gorgeous soulful hippie mother goddess and she heard about my deck, and she was like a dog with a bone asking me to see my deck.
I kept putting her off, saying tomorrow, then the next day, then at the end of the retreat. I was trying to do everything to avoid showing her.
On the last day, she cornered me as we packed up and so I agreed to pull out my laptop and she, her daughter (the retreat facilitator), her other daughter, and Denise gathered around the laptop.
And then Denise said: Kathryn this is ready. it needs to be released into the world. it is done!
The other ladies echoed her thoughts and gave me beautiful feedback and I was finally able to accept this praise and this affirmation and stop endlessly perfecting the designs and instead move forward into the real work of launching the deck.
Writing the Guidebook
I honestly found writing the guidebook to go along with the cards the hardest bit. Every card felt like an epic journey to translate into words.
I worked on it initially whilst in Lord Howe Island in February 2022 and then continued to write a couple of card interpretations at a time whenever I had the time and inspiration.
It was challenging to keep each to a similar length so that I had room in the book for a full-page picture of each card and a full page of interpretation.
I found that having a structure to my interpretations really helped, including :
- a theme word,
- additional keywords,
- journaling questions; and
- an affirmation
Illness, Injury, and getting help
I totally upper limited during this process and my body created situations to keep me “safe”. But luckily I’m totally aware of this pattern and I wasn’t going to let it win.
I got Covid in February and I was then really sick for months on and off, it was like covid groundhog day.
Then in July I fractured my ankle and ended up having to have ankle surgery with 6 weeks on crutches and who knows how many months of recovery ahead of me.
I could have let this stop me. But instead, I got help.
I outsourced parts of this project that technically I *could* have done myself. I did it to ensure that the project progressed despite my health challenges.
Designing the logo and overall brand look and feel
I wanted the brand look and feel to be consistent with my overall brand but also have an energy of its own. I wanted it to have a passionate, dark, Scorpionic edge.
Designing the packaging
I engaged the gorgeous Zoe at Gorjo Designs to take the logo and brand feel that I had designed and to design the beautiful box that the deck will sit in.
Zoe came up with three concepts and whilst I loved all of them – I felt like the ethereal pink designs I’d seen before whereas the design I selected to refine with her felt unique and perfect for the deck.
I even liked it so much that this design became the back for all the cards.
I also asked Zoe to design a guidebook template that I could then populate with the guidebook text.
I really wanted to go bigger than a standard tarot-size book and well as print it in full color.
This has had larger packaging and pricing ramifications – requiring an additional box to house the items which I also asked Zoe to design but I think it’s worth it!
It is super important to order demo versions of a physical product like this as I realized I wanted thumbholes on the boxes which we didn’t initially design for and the book front and back cover had issues that I didn’t foresee whilst in the digital format.
It was also important to get demo stock early so that we could get gorgeous photos taken of the deck.
Selecting the deck printer
I have spent hours of time researching potential printers for the card deck, rigid boxes, and guidebooks along with other packaging items.
The Oracle Creator course was helpful and provided some potential suppliers.
One of the big decisions you have to make is whether to print locally or internationally.
Printing internationally (i.e. in China) can work out a lot cheaper but it comes with other issues – longer production times, longer delivery and time spent in customs, and more implications when the end product is right not to mention all the covid/post-covid materials issues that we have seen impact global supply and production.
Printing locally is also more environmentally friendly and supports my local economy.
I decided that for my first release I would go with a local supplier, ePrint Online, that offered an all-in-one service for Tarot Decks – and pay a premium for it. I am able to print the cards, boxes, and guidebooks all through one company.
I ordered demo stock from them and I was satisfied with the quality, and their turnaround times are quite quick.
I *may* choose to print internationally so as to make more profit next time.
Stay Tuned for the next installment!
I hope you have enjoyed getting a glimpse into my deck creation process, in the next blog I’ll talk about all of the things that go into launching an oracle deck out into the world!