Quite a while ago I also wrote about these Art Oracle cards, and using them as journaling prompts. Each of the cards features an artist and three pieces of life advice, quirky, ironic, surprising. During the pandemic, we’re also using the Art Oracles cards with Caleb! We have a few books about artists, and we’re using the books and the cards to introduce artists to him, a sort of artists and their lives unit in our homeschooling.
In this time when we are maybe journaling, either to record the weirdness of our days in this time—interactions in grocery stores, government responses and announcements, what you’re doing to stay busy at home—or just to process, stream of consciousness or morning pages, I thought I would share two other card sets that might help to provide some inspiration. Sometimes when we are just writing about our daily lives, things can get monotonous or we can spiral into the same holes, and we could use a bit of inspiration to help us see things from a different perspective.
Even if you’re not journaling or writing with them, they can be fun to send in the mail to friends, to use as bookmarks, to attach with a gift, or to use as inspiration in your creative life.
The first is the Cat Gurus set, which is fun for any cat person.
If you’re journaling with these, one easy place to start is to look at the three pieces of advice. Pick one, and start writing. You could use the sentence starter Let me tell you:, write out the advice you’ve chosen, and go on from there. Perhaps you could try The other day a cat told me…
The cats are mostly tongue in cheek, from Schrodinger’s cat to a pussycat, with life advice that can be taken lightly or taken to heart. The cats are funny or silly or whimsical, but the advice can also be taken anywhere you want. Only two things in life are infinite —the universe and the superiority of cats. What are you wishing you had more of these days? What is there too much of for you in this wild time but that you know is not forever? Isolation? News? Cabin fever? Your kids’ shrieking?
Other sage advice:
– Face the rising sun and it will shine on you.
– Everyone’s your neighbour in the global village.
– If you look hard enough, there’s a mouse around every corner.
The second set are the Runes for Modern Life set. The text in the accompanying book is by Theresa Cheung, and the illustrations on the cards are by Camilla Perkins. Each card features an illustration with a letter of the runic alphabet.
There is a guidebook with information on each of the cards, how to interpret them, and what the objects or themes could represent in your life. They’re based on ancient runes and divination, but even if you don’t want to take this sort of divination too much to heart, you can look at the guidebook for the words that pop out, and consider how they apply to your life. They can be fun and surprising, and mostly just a starting point for your writing and reflection.
Stuck in a traffic jam of life? Consider the five bolded words on the accompanying page and what they might mean in your life right now. They’re broad enough to be interpreted in your life with whatever it is you see.
The illustration on the cards are also gorgeous, and you could do any number of things with them in your journaling or writing practice. You could spend a minute looking at the illustration on a card and see what it evokes, either looking at the guidebook or not.
In this image I am...
In this image I see…
In this image I am surrounded by…
With any of these card sets, you could flip through them until one catches your eye, or pick one or two at random. Even if at first it doesn’t seem like much is relevant, you can still go for it, stirring things up to see what comes up. Taking a moment to just pause and write.
In any case, I hope you’re writing and finding whatever inspiration you need, whether it’s a sunny spot, a new journal or a fresh way of looking at something.