Catherine Thoms

Catherine Thoms

The Grand Arcana

Our AG+ members will know that we introduced something new to their roster of perks this past spring: a guild-specific monthly horoscope-like forecast based on a secret, in-house divination technique. 

We’ve only hinted at the method we’ve been using to write these forecasts—until now. 

We’re finally ready to let you in on the secret!

The monthly readings have been created with the help of our very own one-of-a-kind oracle deck we call The Grand Arcana.

We’ve mentioned wanting to have a Briarverse-inspired deck of our own someday, and while this is very much still a work in progress and won’t be available to you all for a minute, we thought it was time to let you in on a little bit of the magic. 

In fact, doing the monthly readings for AG+ has been our way of play-testing the deck so far, experimenting with different layouts, getting a feel for the meanings of each card, and seeing how the cards themselves interact with each other. As someone very much intrigued by (if definitely still a novice at) tarot cards and oracle decks, this has been a complete blast. 

So! I want to share with you my method for the last few monthly forecasts, which is not the only way we intend for this deck to one day be used, but for now, is the most thorough and straightforward method while ensuring that the readings stay interesting. 

The deck consists of 12 Oracle cards and 42 Arcane cards. 

(The names of the cards and houses will be a reveal for another day.)

The 12 Oracles are related to iconic character archetypes on storytelling, after all, narrative is magic. The Arcane cards are divided into the six elemental houses and are themed accordingly.

The monthly forecasts have consisted of a 3-card reading: one Oracle card, and two Arcane cards. The Oracle card serves as the guiding figure for the reading; it may suggest a theme to watch out for, or offer guidance and direction as you interpret the next two cards.

The Arcane cards are the clearest when you interpret them through the lens of the Oracle card. They don’t necessarily need to be interpreted in the order that they were drawn, but sometimes it makes sense to do so if you get a sense that there is sequential importance in your reading. A narrative, if you will.

For example, for this month’s Ebenguard reading, I pulled:

Oracle: The First Fire

Arcana: Unpolished Ore; The Pendant

There was a strong creative energy in this reading, as The First Fire often serves as a driving force for change and inspiration, while Unpolished Ore presents an abundance of possibilities waiting to be seized. The Pendant, however, is meant to give one pause. It represents the pendant given to Deirdre Green by her father and though its origin is connected to the Path of Silver, it was used to help Deidre along the Path of Wool. Its presence can serve as a reminder to ground oneself, to stop and redirect if you’ve gone off course. The Pendant might also represent your true purpose and can be manifested through either a physical talisman or by meditation.

I chose to interpret The Pendant’s presence as a caution against getting too lost in the fires of creative fervor, a reminder to take things one at a time and to remember both your roots and your responsibilities—two things that Ebenguards seldom need reminding of, but it never hurts. The beauty of The Pendant is that once properly acknowledged, it also offers its blessing to go forward and unleash your creative mind because with its energy working in your favor, you can be sure that your vision will be clear and unwavering.

I hope you found that reading as fun as I did! We’re hoping to start showing you some more of the cards and their layouts in the near future, with a smattering of readings throughout, so let us know what you’d be interested in seeing. I know we say this all the time, but this is one project that we really are SO excited to share with you in full one day, and I can promise that you’ll be seeing more of it soon!