Better Together: Into the Woods + Lumina Tarot + Connected & Free Alchemist's Oracle

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You know you've been hit STRONG by the collector's bug when a deck you already have a copy off suddenly comes in a new edition and you are compelled to purchase it. Even if it's kind of, sort of the same thing, even if only a few cards are a little different, even when shipping from Australia (argh) costs arm and a leg.

Such is the case with Inner Hue's Lumina Tarot and Connected and Free Alchemist's Oracle. I mean, yes, I've already written about these decks. I purchased the Connected and Free Oracle when it was in its first edition back in 2015—at that time, the deck was still produced on non-coated quick-to-dog-ear card stock.

Again, I jumped on the bandwagon when the Lumina came out in 2016. This is always going to be one of my most memorable tarot purchases ever because I'd written Lauren (the deck creator) about how used and abused my oracle deck had become and she so very generously sent me the second edition of the Connected and Free Oracle for free. OMG.

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I'm also an avid subscriber of Lauren's Soul School Monthly newsletter, so when she announced she was coming up with a book entitled "Into the Woods" (I love that musical, btw), I was ON IT. 

If you'd read my review of the Sacred Creators Oracle, you'll remember me writing about a creative roadblock I was suffering through. My solution and first actionable step out of that hump was to purchase Chris-Anne's oracle and this book.

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I like how when you purchase a physical copy of the book, you also get sent a PDF. As most of you know, it takes forever and a day for anything to reach Manila, so having an e-book to tide me over while waiting for the actual book to arrive means A LOT to me.

And let me tell you, this book was LIFE-CHANGING! I'm an avid yin yoga practitioner and very much respond to the concept of yin and yang. This book takes that simple concept and expands it further, comparing our own internal temperature, moods, and even our physical being to the turning of the seasons. Sure, we don't get four seasons here in the Philippines (just hot and hotter, wet and wetter, humid and… humid-er), but I can still absolutely relate to the concept of hibernation during the winter, growth during the spring, active energy during the summer, and turning inward during the autumn.

When you're able to recognize whichever season or seasons you're in at any point in time, you have a better hold of your Soul Self. And once you lock into that self-awareness, the opportunities that open up to you become endless. Bad days don't have to mean your world will crumble, and good days are put into perspective by knowing that nothing lasts forever—whether that's a career high, a romantic relationship, the way you perceive yourself, whatever. Lauren writes about these things in such an easily accessible way, you feel like you're talking to an older sister.

The cherry on top to all this is that these beautiful ideas are all accompanied by the incredible drawings and graphics by Tegan Swyny of Colour Cult. Honestly, the book is a delight to flip through. Everything is SO PRETTY.

I just found out, too, that the book has been picked up by a publisher which is such wonderful news—the more people get in touch with Lauren's message, the better for the world at large. :)

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Okay, so moving right along with this whole review and collection update, the Lumina Tarot got an update with some cards getting major makeovers (or makeunders, depending on how you look at it). Since I was already making a purchase all the way from Australia, I decided to slip this new edition of the Lumina Tarot in while I was at it. I mean, why not? 

This edition have the cards slimmer and thinner (easier for handling), plus they now come in a big box that houses the cards, the guide book and a black pouch for storing your decks in. I pretended I didn't need the deck by watching a couple of reviews on YouTube then finally just freaking bit the bullet.

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There aren't a lot of new cards, but if you were wondering what they were—I've taken photos of them.

The seven of cups is one of the new cards I love—anything swathed with that shade of blue-green captures my heart.

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It generally irks me when deck creators keep coming up with modifications to decks and people aren't able to purchase the new cards on their own and have to spend for the entire thing all over again… but I get it. Production can be a nightmare to deal with and selling cards piecemeal isn't exactly the most viable thing.

There are a couple of cards I'm a little "meh" about and prefer the previous edition's artwork. I love the original two of pentacles for its green background so I was a little disappointed that it ended up white this time around.

The deck (unfortunately) is now Sold Out but knowing Inner Hue, these may make a return sooner rather than later.

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Back to the story… while I was on this rabbit hole of "adding to cart," I ended up taking a look—yet again—at the Connected and Free Oracle. To my chagrin (and also complete joy), the deck was also updated with nine revised cards (pictured above and below) and five new ones. The font is completely different too.

What was another deck in my cart, right? What indeed…

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From a collector's standpoint, it's really interesting to see the evolution of these decks. I still heavily use my beloved dog-eared original Alchemist's Oracle—and when I compare that to how this new deck has evolved, I'm completely transfixed. 

We, as readers, grow with every spread we create and interpret. It's almost a given that so do creators and the artists they work with.

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The new cards add deeper layers to the deck as a whole, although I must admit that I haven't used this new edition quite as much as I do the original. Mainly because I want to keep my new decks pristine so I try to avoid shuffling them (LOL). I know I'll be pulling this out of my closet eventually. For now though, they're there more for form rather than function.

And that concludes my deep dive back into the Inner Hue universe and all it has to offer. Yes, it may have put a pretty sizable dent in my pocket, but I don't really feel bad about supporting indie creators like Lauren. Seriously, if you ever subscribed to Soul School Monthly or her newsletters, you'll see how generous she is with how much she gives to the community for free. These creators deserve our help :)

I certainly hope I've also helped you out with your deck collecting and book-buying adventures. I've opened the comments up in case you've got any questions about these purchases and my sporadic, online shopaholic adventures!