Make/Shift Oracle Deck



The MakeShift Oracle: A Therapeutic Sojourn Into the Mystical Midbrain
a 78-card oracle deck and guide written and illustrated by Mary Allison Cates

Every night in our dreams, whether we remember them or not, we enter the world of symbols and imagery. Then, every day, as sure as we are walking, talking, and breathing, we are lured back into some semblance of a reasonable life, where it feels important that things make sense.

With the advent of brain-imaging, the very reasonable field of Neuroscience now holds the capability to see where and how information is stored. It turns out that we need both the symbols and imagery of the midbrain as well as the ordered thinking of the frontal lobe to heal our deepest wounds. In other words, we humans have reached the point where it is reasonable to say that we need more than reason in order to be our best selves.

Each card in this deck contains collage art, which is to say that the elements are held together aesthetically but not logically. My hope is to bombard viewers with an explosion of symbols that leads them beyond the capacities of their frontal lobes and into the world of the midbrain. Pick a card from the deck and look at what’s there. Next, let yourself consider each element and what it reminds you of. Let all of your free-associations run together. This exercise is priming the part of your brain that rules the night to show up, with all of its movement and meaning, in the day. Finally, read the corresponding description in the guide, which contains my own subconscious ramblings. Take to heart ONLY what gives you that “a-ha” feeling. Then notice the tenor of your life as you move through the day with a midbrain that is alive and awake!

What shifts will you make? 

Made in Memphis Tenn! 


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