We first featured Tasya van Ree when I was included in a photography project the artist was spearheading called Women with Superpowers featuring figures from conservationist, Jane Goodall to actress, Bonnie Wright. Following along with her multidisciplinary work over the years, we were thrilled to see Tasya funnel her talent into a new deck of stunning cards, The Untamed Elemental Oracle Deck.
After using the deck for just a few days, not only do I find the deck surprisingly insightful, but so beautifully designed and written that I’m ready to frame my favorite cards from the set. Far from being prescriptive, the messages in each of the deck’s cards will support reflection — an incredibly uplifting ritual to add to your work day.
So, what is an oracle deck and how was the vision for this unique set born? We wanted to know and asked Tasya to tell us everything about her process — and where the deep insights written into the deck came from…
Name: Tasya van Ree
Project: The Untamed Elemental Oracle Deck
What is an ‘oracle deck’ for the uninitiated? An oracle deck is an instrument for self-reflection that can help you navigate life with intricate insight. It is a divination tool composed of cards with specific messages meant to be used individually as a daily emotional and spiritual guide.
The amount of cards in an oracle deck can vary, and have no set number. They are free-flowing and can feature any type of content. It can also be used in union with Tarot. Unlike the oracle deck, tarot is traditionally structured and has common meanings, and detailed interpretations.
How did the idea for the cards come to life? I wanted to create an art piece that really captured the essence of what our connection to the unknown is. What purpose art has and how it is a vehicle to connect its viewer with the deeper sense of existence.
I’ve created 52 pieces of art for the deck, each of which engages the soul in a very definitive way. We are at a very specific time in history where a deeper understanding of life is necessary. This oracle deck is filled with direction, order, and beauty.
With this deck, I wanted to create something that was interactive and playful and something that would reciprocate the energy and knowledge of what the deck user was projecting.
How do you hope people use the cards? There are many different ways and techniques to use the cards and I’ve outlined a few in the guidebook. But in essence, it is all based on individual preference and what direction each person is energetically called to go with it.
Each card is infused with each person’s energy so the approach is up to them. All you have to do is attune to your intuition and be clear about what counsel you are seeking and how you’d like to be guided inward or outward.
Give us an example of an ideal ritual around the cards? Everyone I’ve spoken to about this deck tells me how engaging the cards are. That they answer their questions with such eloquence and exactness. They always tell me that they love it so much that they have gifted it to many friends and family members. That makes me happy to know that my art is expanding into homes across the world, and that they are helping people on so many levels.
I think this in itself is the ritual, learning about oneself and also sharing this richness with those you love.
Each card is so wise and inspiring unto itself. what influenced you? This deck really merged all of my creative outlets into one place, from fine art to poetry. I drew deep imagery from my meditational practice and connected those lines to the physical form of my drawings. So each card really represents the alliance and bond of what each element represents to me.
It was about a two year process from start to finish. I wanted to take my time and really encode the artwork with a story and a descriptive meaning that would reverberate with everyone who came into contact with this deck. I dove deep into my stillness, and by doing that, I uncovered another language which I was able to translate here. It was so interesting to me how a shift occurred within me as well, as an artist, after completing the process. The ever-evolving form of creativity, fascinating!
The art in the deck is so beautiful. How do you describe your work? My artwork is infused with otherworldly elements of eros, alchemy, and the infinite mystery of the natural world. Cosmic, abstract, architectural and bold, with undertones of distinct and delicate details.
What other influences inspired your work? I love traveling to intriguing places, listening to lectures by great teachers and masters, diving deep into self-exploration, engaging with magical souls, demystifying everyday interactions, studying science; these things really inspire my creativity.
Anything else you want to share about intention behind the deck? Through this offering, we all have an opportunity to align with a higher power that is inherent within each of us. We are guided by the elements to travel back to the primordial still point, to our own heart space, which is always resonating with the devotional sincerity of universal love. I hope you find as much meaning and guidance when working with this deck as I did in creating it.