Welcome. Come on in and sit for a spell while we talk about the arcane design on the back of The Deck of Shadows. The decoration was not a creative whim. Rather, it was developed both as a muse for your readings and as a focal point for personal meditation. For those who don’t have this oracle deck, yet, here is what the back of the cards looks like:
I created this based on iconic and mythic images from the past. Among other inspirations for me were The Tower of the Winds (in Athens), The Compass Rose in St. Peter’s Square (at the Basilica), and the various depictions of The Eye of Providence (or Eye of the World). Clearly, you can easily see a stylized Compass Rose or Windrose set the middle of the secret design.
First and foremost, the symbol is meant to be a reminder that the cards are a positive guide through lifetimes – a magnificent tool to reliably aid you as you navigate the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Deck of Shadows‘ Compass Rose dares and provokes you to journey through what others think of as the uncharted, undiscovered, and unfamiliar Waters of Time. Like a traditional Compass Rose, you are now deftly armed with your master intuition and the oracle deck so that you can help yourself and others find your way in the world.
Take note of the small white line – a ray of light, if you will – that, at first glance, appears to emanate from the base of the Compass Rose. Is the ray of light grounding our device to the earth? Or, is the ray of light actually coming up from a material foundation and enshrining – capturing – the Compass Rose so that it does not escape us?
The mystery of The Deck of Shadows‘ back design is deepened as you now realize that our cryptic Compass Rose appears as a combination of multiple rings and arcs. The inside, thicker ring marks the cardinal directions – North, East, South, and West. It gives us a sure footing, a confident heart, and unyielding stability. Here we meet Earth, Air, Fire, and Water and the Tarot suits of Pentacles, Swords, Wands, and Cups.
Within the outer, graduated rings rest the the quarter marks of Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest. These are the four remaining major winds and represent the intermediate or middle paths that may also be traveled as you give your readings.
In the middle of the design is the fabled pyramid outline. The pyramid or triangle is a masculine energy. You will notice that, in the design, the triangle is surrounded by the feminine energy of the circle. Our pyramid symbol represents the Triad that reminds us that all things are possible. This Triad is very personal and you might want to take time to consider what Triads exist for you. Here are some suggestions to get your own creativity started:
- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- Mother, Maiden, and Crone
- Body, Mind, and Spirit
- Desire, Expectation, and Belief
The Greeks, by the way, considered the triangle as a private doorway. You might want to think of the back design of The Deck of Shadows, then, as an entrance to higher wisdom.
You will notice that I have placed a Fleur-de-lis at each of the cardinal positions. The Fleur-de-lis (or Flower of Light if you use the variant fleur-de-luce) represents dynasty, succession, perfection, light, and life. How appropriate that it stand duty at each of the major directions of Life.
Finally, the concepts of day and night are built into the Deck of Shadows by the very nature of the decision to only use black and white colors.
At the very least, know that The Deck of Shadows‘ back design is there to remind you to set your intentions, focus on outcomes, and let the past stay untroubled where it is. Keep moving forward!
Just some thoughts. Enjoy.