New spread: SUM Odd Cards

It is once again time for a new spread.

SUM Odd Cards

Let some chaos into your story.

Shuffle both decks together, cut the deck, and scatter five to nine cards on the table. Use more cards on a bigger table, or for bigger ideas. Turn any cards face up that aren’t. Or, leave one or two face down until the last moment and fit the revelation into the web you’ve already built.

Look for patterns in the way the cards fall. Cards that fall close to each other are more strongly related than those that are distant. Cards that lay touching are describing the same person, place, or thing.

There is no right or wrong, top or bottom, left or right.

And remember: Above all else, the point is to engage your creative side and have fun with the ideas.

Interpretation by Example

Look at the sample at the head of this post, showing a scatter of eleven cards. Three cards fell alone, there’s a cluster of two cards, and a large cluster of six cards to the right.

The loners are easy, they stand for what they say on the card. Use either end, just the picture, and the color and shape for inspiration. So reading it naturally we have “elevator”, “war”, and “strength”.

The cluster of two is also easy, the cards are touching but nothing is particularly hidden. Together the four words, two pictures, and the colored shapes are inspiration for a single significant subject. Again reading it naturally, we have a “fearless gentleman”.

The cluster of six is a little more difficult. Did you notice that there really are six cards here? One of the cards is nearly completely hidden under the others. Due to the way I drew the sample image, I actually don’t know which card that is. In the daily draws, the cards used will be listed in each of the preview posts, so any single hidden card can be identified by elimination. With more cards to describe it, this subject will likely be more important to the story, or at least the best described subject. Use the visible features to identify the public face of this subject. If desired, use any hidden features as hidden motivation or properties for the subject. Reading it naturally, we have a “butter knife racket, with a loyal but neglected teddy bear at its core”.

Why SUM?

Oh, I suppose I could explain the name. The Creativity Oracle Deck owes its very existence to two groups of magicians: The Society for Unusual Manifestations, and The Elders. The annual event sponsored by the SUM is The Odd Gathering, held in Livermore California each Spring. The idea to create the deck was a product of the long drive home from Livermore to the San Gabriel Valley. The first prototype deck was revealed and play tested for a meeting of The Elders, and the first commercially printed decks revealed and play tested at a previous Odd. This tribute is a reminder that while the Oracle is available to all creative endeavours, it was born out of the art of magic.


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