{ Oracles of the Month }

When we get asked, "what is your favorite thing in the shop?" we always get tongue tied, hah... It is so difficult to answer, since everything in our space is hand picked.... we love everything! Although depending on the month, we totally do gravitate towards different items or new things we manage to get in stock (which is always so exciting!)... SO! We are going to start a little monthly blog of what we are extra feeling this month. Most of the time they are items that get over looked... Others times they are awesome show stoppers. But want to know why they are extraordinary? Or who are those precious little gems we have been giving lovey eyes to? Or even crystals we have been working with for whats been going on in our own lives? Lets get weird, ;)  

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SPECIMEN OF THE MONTH
- Bats

Bats are unique, spiritually and physically. They are the only mammal capable of true flight. They are portrayed as messengers, gods, demons and familiars in mythology and folklore. There is also a belief in Chinese culture that says that seeing 5 bats flying together is symbol of the “Five Blessings”: long life, wealth, health, love of virtue and a peaceful death. Their use of echo-location makes them symbolic of perception and clairaudience. Bats are social creatures who stay close to their families making them a correspondence to community and nurturing.
- “I know Bat’s might be a little cliche for the month of October, especially if you are like me where bats are very much an all-year-long theme… but I have a soft spot for bats and especially, Halloween. No one can deny that their obsession of taxidermy and the macabre didn’t start here with all the pumpkins, bats, and cobwebs (and also can’t deny that they cut these iconic shapes out of paper and pasted it all over their rooms until I was able to acquire my own… i mean they… i mean I? i mean… who didn’t?).”

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MINERAL OF THE MONTH
- Hematite in Quartz

These Quartz points are filled with inclusions of powdered hematite. It gets it’s name from the Greek word for blood, ‘haima’ but it appears in a range of colors from metallic grey to red-brown. As with any inclusion, Quartz amplifies the healing properties of the Hematite making it a powerful ally for grounding and manifestation. If you need help getting your “head out of the clouds” this is a great stone to ground you in your body. Wearing a piece of hematite daily is one way to feel its benefits as it calls you to pull your dreams and aspirations into reality. Hematite also teaches us balance, courage through tough times and to seek the silver linings in life.
- “I use quartz as a catch all stone, always making sure that I carry one with me everyday. I especially love inclusions. Inclusions are when a crystal has impurities or other minerals trapped within its form - growing together - a natural fusion - enhancing one another.”

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ARTIST OF THE MONTH
- Amanda Lee of PleaseSendWord

Amanda Lee of Pleasesendword is an artist, activist and herbalist based in Kansas City, MO. She wildcrafts elixirs for our most delicate moments. The TAKECARE anxiety tincture is crafted with high quality spirits, this elixir uses the medicine of Milky Oats, Chamomile, Skullcap, Valerian Root and Lemon Balm. When you are feeling anxious and need help returning to yourself, take 2-3 droppers full of the tincture and you will quickly feel the benefits of these herbal allies. You can find more of Amanda’s carefully crafted work at pleasesendword.com.
- “This tincture is one that I am very proud about carrying in the shop. As a depressant anxious lady, I can say this one definitely comes in handy. Sometimes there is no time to take that breath to calm down or when anxiety takes over… this is where the tincture definitely does the trick. Highly recommended”

Let us know what you think! What is your favorite?
-xo Oracle

{ Unnatural Wedding }

We had the pleasure of being a part of Natalie & David's wedding, a little un-natural history museum sort of way wedding. Natalie has been a collector of specimens for her whole life, always gravitating towards insects and bird taxidermy. So when she approached us to make some centerpieces, we couldn't see how to decorate her a wedding any other way. 

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Paper Sun Photography captured the beauty and Fat Plant Society worked with us on the centerpieces, providing the moss and helping us stage the environment for each table. They turned out beautifully! No table nor specimen were alike, which gave the guests the feeling of walking into a personal museum. 

 

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Natalie had requested our double framed specimens, which we made her a special batch for her rental along with spread specimens to nestle around the moss and other tables...

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One high traffic areas, we made sure that the unframed specimens were safe... but at the end of the night, Natalie had planned to give those specimens to her bridesmaids! What great little additions to anyones curio cabinet (jealous)

 

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{ Oracles of the Month }

We always get asked, "what is your favorite thing in the shop"? Which we always get tongue tied, hah... It is so difficult to answer, since everything in our space is hand picked by us.... we love everything! Although depending on the month, we totally do gravitate towards different items or new things we manage to get in stock (which is always so exciting!)... SO! We are going to start a little monthly blog of what we are extra feeling this month. Most of the time they are items that get over looked... We have some awesome show stoppers, but want to know why they are extraordinary? Or who are those precious little gems we have been giving lovey eyes to? Or even crystals we have been working with for whats been going on in our own lives? Lets get weird, ;)  

 

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SPECIMEN  OF THE MONTH
-- Cottontail Rabbit and lucky rabbit foot talisman 

"Rabbits belong to the order of mammals called Lagomorpha. Working with the rabbit spirit offers an energetic but grounded energy. Symbolically the rabbit represents abundance, cleverness and spontaneity. Rabbits are known for their ability to procreate quickly making them a symbol of fertility. In our lives, fertility can represent not just children but also fertility in manifestation, and creativity. They correspond with the astrological sign of Virgo. "
- I love working with rabbit energy, less so for their symbol of fertility but their speediness and keeping the energetic flow fluid. Who can say no to their precious little faces, especially when they are being feisty. Kindness, love, change, luck, desire... but also depicted as a trickster god in folktales. 

 

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MINERAL OF THE MONTH
-- Rutilated Quartz

"Rutilated Quartz is a combination of clear or smoky quartz with inclusions of Rutile, which looks like fine metallic hairs or needles that are silver, gold or copper in color. Most Rutilated Quartz comes from Madagascar or Brazil. It is a stone that carries Storm energy activating transformation, cleansing and balancing. Rutilated Quartz is a wonderful stone to work with if you seek to deepen your connection to the Divine and spiritual awakening. It can aid in soothing dark moods and helps relieve fears, anxiety and self-limiting beliefs. This is an excellent stone for those who work as healers or in energetically intense environments because it draws away negativity and protects against psychic attacks."
- I immediately gravitated towards this stone when I saw it - I usually pick out stones without thinking of metaphysical meaning... I am, of course, a collector first. But this process usually works for me as it has weirdly turned into listening to my intuition. This stone took me by surprise as I have been deep diving into a spiritual reconnection to my practice and work; needing to connect the two together. And what were my hold ups? Self-limiting beliefs and negativity towards myself. Needing to reconnect with my guides. Well there you go, subconscious, I am listening...

 

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ARTIST OF THE MONTH
-- Kim Johnson of Chapora Magic 

Kim Johnson creates ritual salves for self-care and expansion. Johnson works with ingredients used in Egyptian ceremonies and Ayurvedic Medicine. She also intentionally incorporates the elements of electricity, ether, wood, air, earth, water and fire into each batch. In the shop, we have the mandrake root salve for tension relief and the blue lotus salve for deep dreaming. Each salve comes with a ritual card to guide you through the experience of working with the plant medicine. 
- I cannot recommend these salves more. I subscribe to Blue Lotus salve right before going to bed; putting it on my hands and neck for good deep breathing and sleep (*definitely put it on when you know you will have a good full nights rest... hard to wake up from if not, or maybe that was just some good deep dreaming?!) Smells divine (not over powering), every ingredient is sourced and mixed with conscious action and the back of each salve even lists what moon cycle it was made under. 

 

Let us know what you think! What is your favorite?
-xo Alessandra

{ Upcoming Taxidermy Classes x2!!}

We are so excited to announce... We had to add more classes because the classes below sold out within 48hours! So exciting guys! Glad to see so many people are as excited about these classes and for the talented Mickey Alice Kwapis coming to Oracle! So, what did we add??:

Raccoon class with some exciting techniques on how to professionally taxidermy your own shoulder mount... skinning, fleshing, the whole deal... learning how to do mammal taxidermy can be hard, but Mickey will talk us through it (and once you learn how to do raccoon, it is pretty easy to bring that knowledge to other taxidermy projects)! Then her final class is a Cabinet of Curiosities class, where students will learn a little of everything; starting with wet specimens, botany with pressing flowers, and then finish off by identifying and dissecting an owl pellet. This is a great classes for anyone who has been fascinated with a little bit of everything... and you get two great specimens for your curio collection ;)

Raccoon Taxidermy
Saturday, July 7th from 12 pm to 3 pm
Deposit $200 (total $400)

Cabinet of Curiosities
Sunday, July 8th from 12pm to 2pm
Deposit $50 (total $150)

 

{ Upcoming Taxidermy Classes at Oracle! }

We are so excited to announce...


MICKEY ALICE KWAPIS is coming back to Oracle Natural Science for some exciting taxidermy classes! We are starting our 2 day taxidermy weekend, Saturday (July 7th), with Pigeon Taxidermy where you will learn how to mount your very own iridescent bird! Then on Sunday, we take a creative turn for a Jackalope or Rabbit Taxidermy class where you will make your very own gaff! Both classes require no prior experience. You will learn all the basics and proper techniques of skinning, fleshing, tanning, cleaning, fluffing, and mounting. Sign up for one or for both! I know I got my eye on the Jackalope class...

Pigeon Taxidermy Class
Saturday, July 7th from 4 pm to 8 pm
Deposit $150 (total $300)

Jackalope or Rabbit Taxidermy Class
Sunday, July 8th from 4pm to 8pm
Deposit $125 (total $225)

 

 

Mickey has taught classes here at Oracle before, but this will be her first full on taxidermy class, a beautifully thought out workshop that she has taught for years all around North America. Last time we saw her here in Kansas City, she taught us how to press and preserve flowers and wet specimens... which was so inspiring to watch all the thoughtfully posed and well preserved wet specimens our students went home with! But for those of you who don't know her just yet, here is a little quick peak from her website about this lovely talented lady; 

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"Hey there! I'm Mickey. I'm a Midwestern taxidermist and craftsperson. Born and raised in Michigan, I took an interest in nature and biology from an early age. My obsession with animals, coupled with a desire to hold onto tangible memories, led to an unexpected intersection. My passion for taxidermy was discovered one night with a dead squirrel, a bottle of wine, and an old biology textbook. I have been working in the taxidermy industry since March of 2012 and I'm recognized internationally for my pop-up taxidermy workshops for beginners. Additionally, I have practiced metalsmithing since 2004 and create handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces inspired by natural history and the occult.

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I practice sustainable taxidermy methods, am a member of the National Taxidermists Association, and have worked, volunteered, and taught at museums and universities all over the world. Last year I won a third-place ribbon for my peacock (his name is Kevin) at the NTA National Championships. I have also served as a consultant to novelist Lauren Beukes for the award-winning book Broken Monsters. You can read a bunch of articles and watch a bunch of short documentaries about my work here. My lectures are primarily targeted towards those with an interest in biology, science, and natural history and focus on the role taxidermy plays in understanding the past, present, and future of our ecosystem. I reside in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago with four living pets and a whole lot of dead ones.

Want to know more? Read my FAQ. Interested in seeing photos of the taxidermy process? Follow along on Instagram."

 

*Also stick around for July First Friday - Mickey will be showing off and selling her work and her jewelry during our First Friday Crossroads Artwalk! Join us Friday July 6th, 6-9pm for some beverages, art, and a good time!

{ The Reoccurring Card }

I recently took this magnificent class with Philip Matthews for creative blocks and writing through Tarot (hosted at Oracle). It was phenomenal. I have never had a guided meditation as well as this class - it opened up some parts of my mind that I hadn't realized were blocked. I've been wanting to incorporate poetry and writing with my work for quite some time, but always went to the drawing board blank. The solution, as Philip taught us, was right there in front of us. They were hidden in our consciousness and proved evidence through the cards that we pulled. By imagining ourselves and our project in a void, we were to ask ourselves why and how did we approach our issues? And isn't that a weird way to use tarot cards, you may ask? Answer; It really isn't.

Tarot is far beyond the divination tool that people have thought it to be. I blame movies and ghost hunting episodes where tarot is represented as a faux paux, an opening of portals, like a ouija board deck of cards that is so full of power that only the damned would consider using. *shakes head slowly and disappointingly

Tarot is a fantastic tool that allows you to touch on your subconscious. Our brain is a powerful tool that picks up on subtleties and symbols, reading into the situation at hand from a different perspective. It is almost as if putting yourself into the cards, as another person, looking back at yourself (if you are doing a personal reading) and then reading as a friend would be giving advice. After years of study you learn the symbology and its deeper meanings, separating yourself more to delve into the void as Lyra reading an alethiometer. YOU are actually the tool and the cards are a guide. 

Sometimes it isn't that easy to read the situation, that's when tarot can help. Separate your deck to the 4 suits, and pull from each to investigate the 4 aspects of your life; what fills your emotions, what are your passions, what drives you, and what are your dream career/aspirations. When things are out of balance that is when we don't feel confidence or have the ability to produce as your are struggling to keep ourselves afloat. Every part of life is important, just like when we don't love ourselves how can we possibly love another. There isn't enough to spread out like too little butter. Friendship, stability, love, career, they all effect how we feel then affect one another. So it always is good to look at the picture as a whole. 

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In my guided meditation I was brought to solve my creative block in a void, where I kept my toe on the ledge trying to grab it and bring it back to where I was originally standing. SO MUCH < DUH. (Honestly, pretty sure Philip is a true magician) but how can that be more obvious that my issues on this project were leaving my comfort zones than the card I kept pulling up (even Philip pulled the same cards for me!) was the 3 of swords. I was holding on the the fear of failure, I was afraid of trying, and I needed help and I shouldn't have felt ashamed for asking for it. 

How many times we as artists have felt this way. Where we aren't good enough or our ideas aren't valid? Taking the leap for a new project or job that we have always wanted, but the instability is unnerving. Plenty of people who I have spoken to always tell me, 'but that's what being an artist is, that's what drives us'. I disagreed with that having to be norm. Why must we all be starving struggling artists? Why can't we have periods of time of experimental work? I blame art school to a degree forcing us to always have a body/series of work. Needing to be flawless and conceptual at all time. Why must you suppress my urge to draw cartoon cats, art world?! Ha, I'm kidding, but not really... as even after art school days are gone we are encouraged to have curated instagrams and facebook pages to sell our work... cohesiveness always sells

But I guess that's the issue. Unvalued work and hustle overrides the ability to experiment, even though it shouldn't. So take the leap, try that new project. Make the work just because. Dump out the studio and start from scratch (*note to self: take your own advice). Purge and force yourself to take the time. To investigate the possibilities. Make something ugly.

Pulling more cards I found I wasn't giving myself enough time, nor patient enough. Rushing the projects, or focusing too much of my energy solely on my other business. Solution? Going to stick to a new routine and studio days strictly for myself. Start saying no more to things and stick to that - maybe even a studio week in the middle of the Ozark? Who wants to go with me?! 

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