The Path of the Illuminated Soul
Our latest interview is with Christine Carr, creator of The Path of the Illuminated Soul. an oracle deck that helps us to explore our shadow path. The cards are a guide and aid to self development as we progress along your soul path, helping us to explore the light and the darker sides of ourselves so we reach a state of heightened awareness and Illumination.
Kickstarter - Path of the Illuminated Soul
Where in the world do you call home?
I currently live in Ely, Cambridgeshire in the heart of the Fens. It’s definitely home to me. Just the sight of the Cathedral makes my heart sing. I love the huge skies here and wide open spaces - it’s a very peaceful and (sometimes) barren landscape at times but, once you get used to it, you definitely fall in love with the place.
What was your first experience with oracles and / or tarot and when did you fall in love with it?
My first deck was the Cosmic Tarot which I bought in Covent Garden (from the Astrology Shop - Neal Street) on a trip with my sister - she was into tarot and spirituality before me and so introduced me to decks and crystals when I was in my teens. I veered away from it for a while whilst I was at university studying design and photography, but about ten years ago I started collecting crystals and cards again and it grew from there. I started my Facebook page Turtle Moon in 2014 and initially it was a way of connecting with the spiritual community and sharing my thoughts.
What made you want to create your own tarot deck? What was your inspiration?
I actually felt very guided to do it. It was a bit of a spiritual nudge. It’s not actually my first deck. I produced a deck based on the moon cycles called The Moon Energy Deck two years ago which I self published as a limited edition which was a great success. However I took a break from creating and posting on my page for about two years as I needed a break away from social media and instead turned to one of my first loves - photography. I felt a need to be more out in nature with camera in hand and that’s really where this deck all began - down by the riverside. It all started as a very personal journey for me and happened at a time of a huge spiritual awakening that started in 2019. It was a very transformative time for me. One by one the cards were being ‘birthed’ - I think I was constantly writing them in my head on my travels and eventually they turned into a deck that was such a huge guide for me personally that I realised it was so applicable to other people’s spiritual development and therefore I needed to put out there.
Aside from your own deck, do you have a favourite deck? If so, which one?
I absolutely adore the El Goliath Tarot Deck. I love independent decks and Goliath is an incredible artist. I love the dark nature of his cards and the way he is not afraid to delve into the shadow. I admire anyone that self publishes their work - it is not easy and what comes across is the tremendous hard work and effort that is put into it as well as the energy and soul of the creator - you really get to feel the depth of the work.
Do you have a favourite card (either from your deck or just the card in general). If so, why is it your favourite?
There’s actually two and I can’t choose between! - The first is CLARITY – THE RIVER. It sums up the whole journey for me - the beginning and end is always walking down by the river - cleansing the soul and finding that inner peace by being out in nature. It has been my inspiration and continues to be as I often leave my busy desk and wander off for a while to bring myself back to me. I suppose in a way it’s very much like the Temperance card in the tarot - also being an Aquarius (the water bearer) and air sign - the combination of air and water has always appealed to my soul. The second is CHANGE - THE ORANGE MOON CAT as it actually represents an event that happened to me when I took in a ginger cat on the night of the harvest moon – that card is kept close to my heart.
We are living in such crazy times. How has the pandemic affected your creativity?
I think for me the pandemic actually was an incredible time for me creatively. Initially it was all a big shock to the system. Also as I live on my own it gave me a chance to really go inward and explore myself. I’m a self employed graphic designer but found that due to the initial lockdown my workload had decreased giving me unexpected time to dedicate to myself and the cards. My cup overflowed with creativity and I also completely redesigned my garden space to create a sanctuary away from everything. Once I had my head space back and started to look through my daily photographs I was able to come back to the deck that I had already started and begin to fill in the blanks to tell the story.
What have been your challenges in creating this deck?
I have to say writing the guidebook was a huge challenge for me. I am a very visual person and trying to get the words out of my head and onto paper was difficult. I realised as I went along that I was actually channeling the meanings and it was very exhausting work. The kickstarter process has also been a huge learning curve as I’ve never done one before and I’m still learning how to use it. Also I’ve had to seriously brush up up on my social media skills and use it in ways I’ve never tried before. All good fun though!
Your deck is designed to illuminate our shadow paths. How important do you think it is to work with our shadow selves, even if it is a difficult path?
I could probably write you an essay on this but I won’t! I think that shadow is something that we think of as our dark side or bad in a way, but it is totally misunderstood. What we mean by shadow is delving into aspects of our personalities that maybe we don’t actually want to face. Who wants to know that they have a selfish streak or that they are insecure or have deep wounds from past relationships. The soul path asks you to look at these aspects of self and to find balance within so we are comfortable with who we are as a whole inside and out. In a way it’s similar to what is called the twin flame journey where we need to find balance with the inner masculine and feminine and realise when our ego is speaking rather than our soul. It’s just a question of finding balance and alignment. By being introspective we really do get to understand ourselves on a deeper level. Also the themes that run through this are of self love, alignment, balance and inner happiness being the ultimate goal. Also recognising repeating patterns and learning to break the cycle. That’s when we start to shine!
How will you celebrate when the deck is finally published?
I’ll probably go for a long walk down by the river and breathe again! It has been challenging but I think totally worth it. The real pleasure for me will be seeing other people use the deck and I hope it helps them answer questions in their own lives as it has helped me.
What is on offer for people who pledge?
Well the main point of the kickstarter is to get the cards themselves printed - I’m initially releasing a limited edition run of 200 sets. It’s quite a hefty deck at 67 cards so I designed a lovely hard case box for them to go in. There is a comprehensive guidebook but in order to keep costs down I’m sending this as a pdf either by email or there will be a website link. I’d love to print this and it may be that it becomes a stretch goal. We will see how it goes!
I’m also offering personal readings of either 3 or 6 cards as individual pledges or as part of a bundle with the card deck - I am an intuitive reader but I don’t offer these very often so get them while you can! I do pop up daily collective readings on my facebook and Instagram pages though which gives an idea of my reading style. There’s also my really cool portable pendulum boards - I redesigned these to fit with the new deck design. They are A6 card and slip easily into a notebook. I find them really handy for quick answers on the go! And last, but not least, I am making some fabulous hand stitched felt pouches to keep the cards in. I love crafting and who doesn’t like a tarot pouch!
Lastly there’s also the option of some screensavers as an add-on of my best riverside photography. I use them myself so thought it would be nice to share as I’m quite an abstract photographer and they make lovely ambient backgrounds.
I’m including with every deck pledge a free soul path game which is great fun and will take you back to your inner child and also some pin badges as added extras!
To be one of the first to get your hands on this deck and start your journey ,exploring your shadow path, pledge here:
Kickstarter - Path of the Illuminated Soul