If the Shadowscapes Tarot is my favorite tarot deck, it’s still not my favorite divinatory oracle – that title is reserved for Brian Froud’s Oracle of the Faeries. I’ve had this deck for well over a decade (and it’s starting to show its age) and done hundreds of readings with it, though I’ve always had the best luck using it to read for myself. I use it primarily for my monthly five-card reading these days, as a way of asking “What do I need to know about the coming month?”
With the Summer Solstice coming up – a holiday that is connected to Faery for many Pagan traditions – it seemed a good time to feature my beloved deck in my planner.
Here, step by step, is how I decorate these days.
Usually when I’m doing stickers for myself, I don’t bother using my Silhouette machine unless I’m already cutting orders for the shop. I print out all the stickers on one sheet (you can read more about how I do all that in this post from February) and then cut them with a regular paper trimmer.
I like to do my decorating on Sundays at Starbucks before a writing session, which means I have to take them with me. This week I couldn’t find the little plastic envelope I normally stow them in so I made a quick envelope out of cardstock, which worked out well because I could then stuff all the backing papers into it and recycle the whole thing. I also brought washi samples in a few colors I thought I might use.
On the left are my standard decorating tools: a tiny tape runner, a gift card I cut in half (I use it to cut washi – nothing works better for a clean line), a small craft knife, and a Pitt artist pen in XS size.
I dump out all my stickers and separate them into piles: purely decorative, column headers, my self-care sidebar, and so forth.
The first things I stick down are two strips of washi: one separates the sidebar from the week, and the other the weekend from the weekdays. I like to combine Saturday and Sunday into one section since I tend not to have a rigid schedule on the weekends. Then, I put in the Weekend banner, followed by my “This Week” and “Next Week” stickers. I only ever use one of the bottom-row checklists each week; the rest get covered up. I add my self-care sidebar and Currently Reading box, and that leaves a checklist area on the left for to-dos that need to get done this week but not on a specific day. I can refer back to it throughout the week and add items from that list to individual days as I have time to complete them.
Next come the section headers. As I’ve mentioned I used to use a Top 3 To Do box, then another for Projects and a third for Writing. I’ve changed that up to let myself do more journaling so my days encompass both things I wanted to do and what I actually did that day.
For example, the to-do section will have a bullet journal-style list like
- make grocery list
- mail out Etsy orders
- check job postings
But the Events section will say “Bought more freaking washi tape @ Michaels, had lunch with Talulah, watched Star Wars w/BFF and ate ice cream.”
On Wednesday I’m supposed to do the cat boxes and vacuum (in theory at least) so I made a special sticker for it.
Where I put my Writing sticker depends on how much of the column is left blank after I decorate. I used to put pretties all over every column but it made the whole spread so chaotic I eventually shifted to using mostly the bottom of the pages for decoration and the upper columns for writing. I like to add one or two pretties to break it up a little, and on the weekends anything goes.
First I lay out all the pretties where I might want them, and slide and switch them around until I like their placement. This time I even removed one of the headers and restuck it lower on the column to accommodate a pretty.
Once I like where everything is, I stick it all down, then add the Writing headers, leaving two or three lines on each day to jot down what I worked on that day.
That’s it, aside from the actual writing down of the things! I mostly make to-do lists day by day, but at this point I’d fill out the This Week checklist and start on Monday’s to-dos as well as write in upcoming events or time-specific appointments. Often I’ll scribble down advance planning in pencil weeks ahead of time and then ink it in when it comes time to do up that week.