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The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre attracts many talented people. We’ve plenty of artists, writers, bakers, actors, dancers, poets and more. One of our volunteers, the supremely cool Kat Wojdyla is also a very talented person. She has been making her own paper. But that’s not all. From her own paper she has been making her own oracle cards. Truly impressive!
Kat has been kind enough to share her process with you here. This is a great thing to keep you busy during lockdown. Be sure to follow Kat on Instagram (@katwojdyla) to see more of her cool projects. And, don’t forget to leave her some nice comments here.

Make Your Own Paper and Oracle Cards

by Kat Wojdyla

Since the lockdown started I had a lot of free time to try new things. One of them was making my own oracle cards from scratch, which involved making my own paper. At first I thought I need a lot of fancy equipment, but it turns out you can find most of the things at home. Here are the steps for making your own paper:

1. Find Old Paper

Find paper you no longer need, like old newspapers, letters, anything you would put in a recycling bin. Tear all the paper into small pieces and place in a blender. If you don’t have a standing blender, I used a stick blender and a big pot, it worked well!

2. Blend

Blend your paper as smooth as possible.

3. Framing

To make sheets of paper you will need two empty frames and some sort of net. I couldn’t find any net at home so I used a lid from a container that had weave-like structure.

4. Pulping

Pour the paper mixture into a big container with water. The container should be big enough so you can fit your frame.

5. Submerging

With the net attached to a frame, submerge it in the paper and water mixture and bring it to surface. Water will escape through the net and you will be left with paper pulp.

6. Remove Excess Water

It’s time to get rid of excess water! Use a sponge, towels, whatever you have handy. This takes a while, so be patient.

7. Remove from Net

Once you dried the paper enough, you should be able to remove it from the net. It will still need some drying. You can place each sheet of paper between layers of fabric and use books to weigh the sheets down.

8. Paper!

Once all the water evaporates- well done! You made your own paper!

If you would like more fancy paper, you can add flower petals, tiny bits of coloured paper, threads or whatever comes to your mind between stage 4 and 5.

Once my paper dried, I decided to transform it into my own oracle cards. The good thing about making your own cards is that you can add whatever messages or images you want. I went with symbols from ‘The Book of Symbols- Reflections on Archetypal Images’. I opened the book at random page and would take whatever symbol came up. Later I traced the card shape I wanted on the sheet of paper and cut it out.

For painting the symbols I used watercolours and went with simple blue colour. You can spend as long or as little time as you want on one card. You can draw little illustrations, or you can write a single word on each of them. It is up to you and whatever your intuition is guiding you to do. I decided to do quick drawings, without worrying about proper shapes or proportions. It was my immediate response to the symbol, so I wanted it to be direct and spontaneous. I also added the title for each card so it was easier to read them later. I ended up with 52 cards, and since the paper I made was pretty thick, I have to shuffle the cards in three separate piles!

How do the cards work then?

Let’s ask a question: what are the current energies for the collective? I also read the cards in reverse, but it is up to you.
Interestingly, we got lake and fountain, both in reverse. The first thing that jumps to me is that they are both about water, which is a symbol for our emotions. As both cards are in reverse, this tells me currently many people might have to deal with blocked emotions. The lake makes me think of reflections on the water, yet in reverse they make me think of illusion or deception. Lake is still, which might be a positive quality, in reverse it makes me think of stagnation. As for fountain, it symbolises water which is hidden underground coming to the surface, a source of life. In reverse I get a feeling of a new, creative source available, yet for some reason it is blocked.
Therefore, we could say as the collective we are dealing with repressed and stagnant emotions, perhaps we tried to push unwanted feelings deep within and gave in to illusions or have been dealing with confusion. There are new possibilities, new enthusiastic feelings wanting to come to the surface, yet they are blocked for some reason.
The next questions could be: what is the reason for these blocked energies, what can we do to unblock them, in what way are they affecting me personally, how can I learn from this, and so on. The way you interpret the card and any symbols you choose is up to you and your intuition. Home-made oracle cards are a great way to deepen it and get to know yourself better. Perhaps you work best with images, maybe single words, quotes, colours, it is up to you. In addition, I feel your own oracle cards, whether made from scratch or not, are infused with your own creative energy, which can greatly help when you read them. So if you have a lot of free time and not much money in your bank account, make your own oracle cards. It is a creative, free and fun way to develop your intuition!