Oracle – Mystifying Playing Cards

Oracle – Mystifying Playing Cards is a crowdfunding effort for a deck of playing cards with a design inspired by the spiritualist movement and talking boards.

Oracle playing cards Queen of Hearts

“Talking boards, spirit photography, seances, ectoplasm, and levitating tables—the spiritualist movement has a rich history. I want to capture some of that history in a deck of USPCC playing cards.

The spiritualist movement grew out of mesmerism—which is what hypnosis used to be called. But with so much loss of life with the civil war, the spanish flu, and WWI, spiritualism became the hope for many across generations to contact more than the subconscious mind. It was a chance to reach their loved ones who had passed on. Many spiritualists believed they were able to reach “through the veil” and contact the spirit world.

Considered by some to be at best an interesting parlor distraction, by others as outright fraud, still many more viewed it as a chance to find solace, comfort, and closure to those whose lives meant the most and who’s absence was unbearable. In disguise, Mary Todd Lincoln went to a spirit photographer and captured an image of her with her late husband. It’s also rumored that she held as many as eight seances in the White House. Arthur Conan Doyle was a devout spiritualist (despite the analytical and deductive reasoning of his most famous protagonist). Houdini’s wife held seances for years after her husband promised before his death to find a way to contact her if a way was there to be found.

All this history has for me added a lot of meaning and depth to this project. I hope you find it as interesting as I do ;)” [via]

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