How did the Portals Oracle come to be?

In trying to recount the inception of Portals Oracle when prompted with this curiosity from others, I found myself getting pulled further and further into the past, where I discovered somewhat of a beginning—which was more than a decade prior to the project being even a dreamseed in my heart and vision. 

I’m 21 years old. I’m in Delphi, the site of the ancient Oracle site on Mt. Parnassus in Greece. 

History tells it that the woman who served as the Oracle for the people at Delphi was first a succession of pure, clear-channeled adolescent virgins, and then later switched to women post-menopause because men from all over the place and young virgins were not a safe mixture. These women would leave all of their worldly attachments behind (families, homes, all the things), and devote their whole lives to serving this key societal function. A vessel of service to the whole. She was called the Pythia- the bridge between heaven and earth. When confronted by civilians and travelers with their most critical questions, the Pythia would enter a trance state through the inhalation of some kind of natural vapors steaming up from the ground, and offer enigmatic prophecies which were then interpreted by the priests. The Pythia was consulted by people from all over the ancient and classical world for insight and decision-making guidance. From emperors to farmers, all were permitted to visit the Oracle if they were able to make the trek. This went on for more than a millennium! 

So I’m at that place, studying abroad the summer before my senior year of college. 

My inner mystic was ever so gently budding around this time. I had found yoga a couple of years prior, was a Religious Studies major, enamored by the spiritual traditions of the Eastern world, with no practical ideas about what I wanted to do or be when I grew up. I just knew that I was drawn to holiness more than the “practical worldly stuff”, and so went about learning about God and esoteric mysticism through my formal education. Another way of saying that my experience of the Divine, up until that point, was mainly a mental one. 

As soon as I stepped foot on that sacred oracle ground though, I had this brand new feeling of becoming more alive. It was the first time that I remember encountering divinity not just as a concept in my mind, but as an awakened sense in my body triggered by geography. There was something about those old gorgeous ruins of that oracle site that had a big something to do with something about me, or someone I once was in lifetimes previous. Whatever the case may be, I felt something continuous there. Something unmistakably true. I had no context for it at the time, just an experience of resonance, gentle yet so profound.

A couple of months after I got back from Greece, my mom died very suddenly. She had stage 4 Ovarian Cancer and didn’t know it, and her tumor ruptured and poisoned her system within a couple of days. It was one of those flip your whole life upside down situations that took years and years of grief to process my way through. But it catapulted me into the healing and spiritual realms so earnestly, as the pain of that loss was so all-encompassing and shocking, and my only true solace for working through it was by making contact with the unseen realms however I possibly could.

And thus began my journey with oracles and divination. 

I was enchanted by the ways that we could invite the spiritual dimension into the realm of form to work with us directly. Through tools that we could interpret with our cognitive sensibilities, combined with a deeply surrendered trust—I delighted in the surprise of seeing what was ready to be seen by myself and those who sat before me. 

The more I worked with divination tools, the more undeniable it proved to be a cornerstone of my path. I was (and still am) endlessly amused by the whole thing. After about a decade of exploring and growing with oracle tools personally and with my close community, I began to offer my oracle services professionally. I’ve had the great pleasure of supporting hundreds of people through big life questions and transitions by way of the oracle’s poignant guidance, interpreted through my intuitive understanding.  

I’ve worked mainly with Tarot and many, many other oracle decks, the I-Ching (the Chinese Book of Changes), and Runes.

The Runes, one of my favorite ways to divine, originated in the first century CE by the Norse people. Twenty-four simple, elegant symbols inscribed into small stones, and stored in a pouch. In working with them over the years, I became a big fan of their tactile nature, as well as the sparse symbolism that corresponded to such resonating messages. 

In the summer of 2019, moving through a heartbreak that was undoing me, I craved a spiritual and creative project to channel my energy and help me make sense of my unraveling. I felt inspired to create a modern version of the Runes, add some style and flair to the language, and find artisans to help me reinvent the product with a fresh new spin, while still remaining true to the form. 

I started by transcribing my Runes interpretation book into a Google Doc. My plan was to write out each interpretation, word-for-word, and then go back through and freshen them up. Add a lil’ twist of lemon, so to speak. I spent about a month transcribing the book. Tedious yet satisfying, I was able to integrate the Rune’s symbology even more deeply.

But when it was time for the next step, to add the lemon, my inspiration flat-lined. I stared at the words. I had nothing new to say. It was already written beautifully, and I didn’t actually care to change it.

Womp womp… I was discouraged, to say the least. This project was the outlet I needed in order to cope with the ache that seemed to be taking up very long-term residency in my heart. Without it, I was just a puddle of pain and longing and I needed a way to transmute my experience into something higher.

Then one day, while micro-dosing psilocybin, I received the clarity I was waiting for. It wasn’t my task to re-write the Runes. I was being called to create a new oracle device, inspired and influenced by the Runes format. Once I understood, I sat down and 26 words dropped out of me and onto the page within minutes. I was going through a spiritual initiation through this heart-break-open, and the words that flowed through me were a synopsis of the deep education I was right in the thick of. 

I hit up one of my nearest and dearests, Lano in Tucson. She also happens to be my very favorite artist, and a major inspiration to my heart, truth and creativity, (follow her on instagram to see her beautiful work, soul and cutest new baby – @lannnno). I’ve been watching her bust out all of these magical symbols and color shapes for years, and knew she was the gal for the job. She was all in for it, and so for the next several months I channeled the text for the oracle, while she channeled the art. And we were both so stoked as best pals to have our first creative collab. 

The writing was a breeze. This is how I came to understand that I was simply a conduit assigned to this creation. I spent a year coordinating and managing the other project elements which were less breezy– deciding which medium, shape and size to use for the Portals pieces and how to go about getting the symbols encoded on them and who could do it. Choosing materials for the pouches and finding the ones who would sew them. Discovering the right designers and printer for the book, and so on and so forth. 

And thus, after much trial and error, and many obstacles and delays that go along with any creative endeavor, the Portals Oracle was born. 

Channeling the text for Portals Oracle was a very satisfying experience. To be in a creative flow state for the sake of service is something I hope to re-encounter again and again on my journey. But my FAVORITE part of the Portals Oracle experience is receiving the cherishing words from those who are using it, hearing about how much the tool serves and supports them on a daily basis and in moments of need.

It’s my highest honor to share this creation with you. 

Thank you with all my heart for being here to receive it. 

Mega-super infinite gratitude to my gifted co-creators of this  Portals Oracle magic:

Lano Romero Dash on Symbol Creation & Illustration

MaryHannah Reynolds and Gabrielle Goldman on Book Design

Melanie Ogata on Pouches

Megan Herold on Laser Cut Pieces

Gabrielle Goldman on Landing Page

Jef Taylor on Photography