This month I have an awesome oracle deck to share with you guys. If you haven’t seen it around on Instagram you’ve been missing out. This deck is gorgeous, and if you’re a total cat lady like me, let’s just say you need this deck!

 

 

The Spirit Cats oracle by Nicole Piar is a beautiful set of 48 hand-painted images of cats, which she describes spirits who can bring peace, connection, and healing. The cats and their messages came through Nicole intuitively; what she felt and encountered on a spiritual level is what you see on the card.

The images are both playful and deeply moving and mystical. When you flip through the cards one of the first things that you notice about the images is that each card is unique. Unlike a lot of decks that have a theme like this, there is no singular style element that runs throughout, like a specific look or style to the paintings or a border around the cards that’s the same in each one. Every card in the Spirit Cats deck is truly individual with its own special energy.

On the back of each card is an inspiring message from the spirit of that feline guide. Each cat has a name along with their message. The messages are all delivered through the eyes of that cat, explaining their message through their experience. I love this because it makes the simple yet deep wisdom of these messages truly accessible to anyone regardless of their level of spiritual practice.

 

 

The cards themselves are beyond excellent quality! They have a lovely matte gloss finish {which is truly my favorite card finish} and the they are sturdy but not so thick that they are hard to shuffle. The size is great too, 3.75 x 3.75 inches {about the size of a drink coaster} and they have nice rounded edges. The box that the cards some in is also top quality with the same matte finish. The sturdiness of the box makes this one that you’ll want to keep and store your cards in.

Nicole’s artwork has a very soft, feminine feel to it, and the messages that accompany them have a similar gentle and nurturing tone. While telling these small stories to relate their messages, the cards also give bits of actionable wisdom in there as well. This makes the Spirit Cats deck ideal for someone who is new to cards and is looking for an easy introduction to reading for themselves or for others.

I found Nicole’s art and the cards themselves just so fun to work with that I was curious to know more about her and her process in bringing the Spirit Cats to life. Here are some questions she was kind enough to take time to answer to give you more of a feel for what she’s created and how it came to be.

 

 

 


 Your art is done with a very spiritual, intuitive nature. What got you started doing art in this way?

Painting and drawing has always been a pathway leading inward to a place I am always curious to explore. Watching the paint bleed into the water, feeling the brush and marks change shape as I my hand dances between firm, bold pressure and a feather-light touch, these tactile sensations root me in the present and everything else just fades into the background. I always loved the meditative aspect of art-making.

I can never predict how the painting will finally take shape no matter how clear my initial vision is. It always feels like a revelation, like magic that I am barely controlling – both exciting and nerve-wracking.

So the process has always been very intuitive. However, my art life and my spiritual life had been running parallel for quite some time as I was doing illustration commercially as my career while practicing modalities like intuitive channeling, co-creative magic with nature spirits, yoga, meditation, and ecstatic dance in my off hours.

About 3 years ago, I merged those two worlds together in my business and rely aligned my vision with my art and offerings. I now do things like make Soul Prints, which are intuitive portraits of the inner you where I actively use channeling and art-making in tandem.

 

 As someone who’s a total cat lady, I love that you used cats as a medium for bringing through these awesome and inspiring messages. What made you pick cats as a focus for this deck?

Well, I do LOVE cats too. In fact, my first best friend was a orange-striped cat who purred on my mother’s belly when I was still unborn. Oddly though, I had never really painted cats very much before.

Ultimately, the Spirit Cats chose me. A few years ago, I began a daily intuitive painting ritual after I finished my illustration work for the day. I would get out my paints, light a candle, clear my mind, and just let the paint do as it would. I never came to the paper with a plan. My intention was simply to be receptive to whatever would appear.

Gradually, these magical kitties began popping up in these paintings. I got curious about them and decided to do a project called Month of Cats where I painted a cat every day for 31 days which was how I really first became acquainted with the world of the Spirit Cats.

 

 On each of the cards in the messages that cats have names and a really clear personality. I love how you call them “fluffy philosophers.” How did you go about meeting these kitty characters as energies and how do you bring them out of the ethereal and onto the cards?

When I began my Month of Cats project, I was worried that it would be challenging to come up with a new cat every day. What if I ran out of cats?

Truly, the opposite happened. The deeper I went into this project, the more rich the world of the Spirit Cats became. Eventually, it felt like all I had to do was open a door in my mind, sit in front of my watercolor paper brush in hand, and a Spirit Cat would eagerly prance through with its own unique personality, name, and healing message. I was just capturing this little spirit into words and paint

Every time, I felt so curious about who I would meet that day through the paint and what they would have to share with me.

It felt like an oracle decks was naturally emerging from the process. Eventually, I decided to commit to creating a deck of Spirit Cats and follow the project through all the nitty-gritty details and logistics of bringing something like this into form.

 

 There is such a clear spiritual energy in the deck that goes well behind just the art itself. What is your own spiritual path and practice like and how did that impact doing a project like this?

For many years, I have been practicing intuitive channeling and have worked with nature spirits and my guides to co-create in the physical realm. The Spirit Cats Deck was definitely born out of this partnership. There are always so many potential creative projects we can work on but I was continually redirected towards the Spirit Cats over and over again.

I would also say you will find a streak of embodied wildness and daring freedom in the deck that has its roots in my ecstatic dance rituals. For 15 years, I have been heading out to the remote desert to dance under the full moons with a bunch of independent, mystical and rebel-minded folks ushering in the sunrises with twirling bodies and wonder in our hearts.

Cats know how to embrace the experience of being in their bodies. You can feel it when they stretch, hunt, pounce, and even sleep. I don’t reject our physical or emotional experiences in favor of pure spirit or light. I revel in embracing the full range of my human experience from struggle to bliss, from trembling fear to heart-opening courage. I find it to be super healing to dip into the non-dual state through meditation and ritual but this does not take away my appreciation of our experience within duality here on earth. I love living in that beautiful paradox of duality and non-duality. This is reflected throughout the Spirit Cats Deck.

 

 There are a few cat themed tarot and oracle decks out there, but they’re all a little different. How have you found people responding to and interacting with your deck? As anything you’ve heard or seen from people using it surprised you?

So many beautiful, heart-warming stories, synchronicities, and sentiments have made their way back to me from people working with the deck. One woman told me that her 7 year-old grand-daughter was struggling with her parents’ recent separation and encouraged her to pick a Spirit Cat. She choose “Expression” and it was just the inspiration she needed to open up, share her feelings and feel a little less alone. Another man shared with me that he was amazed to find 2 “Courage” cards in his deck. Courage was his word for the year and this magical coincidence spurred him to make some daring moves in order to follow his intuition.

I have also been surprised to see people use the cards for creative inspiration. Some people have made mala beads, knitted toys, and even jewelry inspired by a specific Spirit Cat. Other use the cards to as a starting place for art-journaling. I love seeing this ripple-effect of the creative process.

The Spirit Cats Deck is very approachable yet does delve deep. Because of this, for many people, it is the very first oracle deck they have ever bought and worked with. This is so exciting to me. I love thinking that the Spirit Cats might help people open that doorway into their inner world and connect them with their inner wisdom in a new way.

 

 Do you have any plans to do another deck? If you did another deck, what do you think you’d like to use as the theme or focus?

I don’t have a specific deck planned but I have floated some ideas around in my mind. Right now, I am actually working on a magical children’s book.

In the future, I would love to work with forest creatures and spirits in another oracle deck. I grew up in the woods in New Hampshire and feel an intimate connection with the trees, plants, mushrooms, and animals. I often feel like my inner world takes on the characteristics of a forest. I am curious about delving deeper into that metaphor and working with those woodland nature spirits.


 

You can pick up a copy of the Spirit Cats oracle over at Nicole’s site. She also has a free 13-day email based course called Vision Seeker that you can sign up for designed to help you get the most out of reading with this or any other deck of tarot or oracle cards.

 

FTC Disclosure: I received this book and deck for free from Watkins Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment and opinion of the product. 

 

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