Advanced Search

T.X. Watson's Sunset Oracle DeckClick to magnify

T.X. Watson's Sunset Oracle Deck

with deckbox

The Sunset Oracle Deck is the current state of a 5-year long project to create a custom fortune-telling deck—I was getting into tarot, but I wanted to see my own values reflected back at me when I did a reading, rather than those of the collective consciousness of the last 300 years of European mystics. So I made my own! And it worked okay, but I had some issues with it, so I made another, and that one was better, then I made another, and that one was worse but I learned a lot, then I made another, which ultimately kinda became this one!

The Sunset Oracle Deck, spread out over a black surface with a clock face pattern carved into it.

This is the 4th edition of my personal oracle deck. It's a 54 card deck, in the style of a poker deck: four suits of 13 cards, and two jokers. 

The suits each represent frameworks for experiencing change: Vibes is about embodied experience, listening to your intuition, and using your physicality to process and move thorugh experiences of change; Glamour is about change as a liminal space, about entering into experiences or environments where the rules seem different and impossible things become possible; Humour is aobut taking experiences of change as an opportunity for play, about joining in the game and having fun with the shifting circumstances of your life; and Curse is about change as it's seen from a normative perspective, where things staying the same is assumed to be good—about navigating social pressure and the gaze of the other. The Jokers are a pushback against a false self-impression of enlightenment, a reminder that getting too mystical and high-minded about your problems can create new problems on its own.

Five cards from the Sunset Oracle Deck face up, and the rest of the deck face-down. The visible cards are Gratitude, the 7 of Curse, which depicts a hand holding a coin and a skeletal hand pushing the hand closed; Guidance, the 2 of Glamour, which depicts a figure crossing a river on a fallen branch, reaching out to the hand of another figure on the far bank; Chemistry, the 8 of Vibes, which depicts two hands, each holding quills, drawing either side of a blue spiral pattern, which is filling in between the lines after they're scribed; Timing, the 4 of Humour, which depicts a piano tied with rope, having just hit the sidewalk and begun to break apart, while a figure walking on the sidewalk looks back, surprised, having only just been standing where the piano landed; and the black Joker, Contempt, which depicts a jester on a throne lounging unceremoniously.

Sunset Oracle Deck Instruction Text

The 4.0.1 version of the Sunset Oracle Deck comes with a set of cards offering a brief explanation of each card, instructions on the Twilight Spread (the standard 3-card spread I use with the deck) and an explanation of the six blank cards the deck comes with. This text is reproduced here for reference.

Suit of Curse

The Suit of Curse is about the way that changing looks to people who value staying the same, about the pressures of the ways that other people have incorporated you as an object in their understandings of their own lives, and about the way that your changing can be a threat to their sense of normal.

A. Crisis: An aspect of your status quo is abruptly and jarringly changing. View this loss as an opportunity to build back differently. Reversed: This loss of your status quo is significant. This is a change to be survived. Preserve what you can, and grieve what you can’t.

2. Comfort: Finding a place of calm reassurance can help you think through the change that’s coming to you and get the perspective that you need to make good decisions. Reversed: Finding a way to get comfortable during an uncomfortable change is a way of avoiding growth.

3. Impulse: Disregard the instrumental path and follow your actual desires. Reversed: Your motivation may be misguided and acting impulsively may lead you away from what you truly value.

4. Reputation: Thoughtfully consider your reputation as both a resource and an environmental factor in the pursuit of your goals. Reversed: Concern for your reputation is closing off pathways you need to keep open.

5. Sacrifice: You need to sacrifice some of the things that you genuinely value in order to give appropriate care and attention to what you plan to keep. Reversed: You feel called to discard things you need to hang onto in order to prove devotion to possibilities that aren’t actually open to you.

6. Reward: You don’t need to feel guilty about the things, situations, and people in your life that bring you joy. That joy is an indication of your underlying desires. Reversed: Pursuing these pleasures is acclimating you to accepting or seeking harmful circumstances.

7. Gratitude: It’s okay to take advantage of the opportunities you are being given by the people who love you <3 strong="">Reversed: You're considering making choices that you know you don't want to pursue because somebody sacrificed to make those choices available to you.

8. Civility: Some rules exist only because someone with authority has decided they care about them. Reversed: These rules are a threat; disregard them at your peril.

9. Ordeal: You have the opportunity to endure hardship to achieve knowledge and self-determination. Reversed: Just because it's hard and you're doing it on purpose doesn't mean it's making you better.

10. Grace: Punishment is not mandatory. Consider forgiveness. Reversed: You may be feeling pressure to grant grace for things which you find unforgivable.

J. Accolades: You deserve credit for your accomplishments. Allow your status to be accurately described. Reversed: the accomplishments you choose to take pride in may be backing you into a role you'd rather not play.

Q. Mortality: You get to exist and that’s awesome. Reversed: Fear of wasting your time may steal more of your life than any misspent endeavor could.

K. Incompleteness: 'Perfect' is a myth and a nonsense word. Embrace falling short, getting halfway, being 'good enough' or 'better than otherwise' rather than 'the best.' Reversed: You have spent, or are spending, an unconscionable amount of time trying to get something right that will never be right. The sooner you cut your losses the less you will have lost.

Suit of Glamour

The suit of Glamour is about experiences of change as suspended realities: crossing thresholds and entering spaces where what was once impossible becomes possible, where what was once easy becomes difficult.

A. Threshold: Before you is an opportunity to make a choice. Doing so will change the rules of reality you're used to. Reversed: You're being shoved off the ledge, and it's on you to learn how to fly before you meet the ground.

2. Guidance: Other people who know the rules of the environment can help you survive it and acclimate to it. Reversed: As long as you're acting under the direction of a guide, you can never become the protagonist of your story.

3. Naming: You're being offered a part to play, and it will come with an appropriate manner of engagement. Reversed: You're being pressured to take a role that's scripted to act against your interests.

4. Defamiliarization: You will benefit from looking at things that you think of as familiar and obvious with fresh eyes, and try to learn about them as though you just discovered them. Reversed: You find what were once sources of comfort and familiarity are now confusing and don't give the help you expect them to.

5. Truth: You already know something important about this. Reversed: You already know something important about this.

6. Gift: You are being invited to take part in a community or circumstance through a symbolic gesture. Reversed: Attempts are being made to influence your beliefs and behaviors by influencing what objects you identify yourself with.

7. Shrine: There are rituals you can access that will help you think things through and reach good conclusions. Reversed: You're trying to use rituals to process ideas that those rituals can't encompass, and are walled off from insight.

8. Beauty: You face a decision about what kind of person you will be. It is not necessarily directly consequential, but it's symbolically vital—an essential stroke in your painting of self. Reversed: The challenges you face will make it difficult to keep the aesthetic of self that you want to maintain.

9. Belief: To get the benefits of belief, you need to act in a manner that will cause you to suffer if you're wrong. Reversed: You are suffering because you're trying to maintain beliefs that conflict with your experiences.

10. Transformation: In order to become something new, you have to destroy parts of what you are, or have been. Reversed: You can't keep being what you want to keep being and also become what you want to become.

J. Test: You're faced with a problem that you can overcome if you really are who you've been claiming to be. It's time to rise to the challenge. Reversed: Your attempt to be what you've been claiming to be threatens to consume you.

Q. Eternity: Some times seem to last forever. They'll feel too short later but right now you get to be present with them. Reversed: It's hard to see beyond the scope of your current circumstances. Futures seem unimaginably distant and you struggle to believe that you can escape.

K. Apotheosis: When you find who you truly are and let everything else fall away, you will gain powers beyond the scope of your imagination. Reversed: Your most actualized self may not be entirely compatible with some things you really don't want to sacrifice.

Suit of Vibes

The suit of Vibes is straightforwardly about learning how to vary the boundaries of your self in ways that diverge from the modernist standard you were raised with: that your self is your specific, discrete physical body, and in particular the brain within that body, and in particular the consciousness generated by that brain.

A. Body: Your whole body is who you are, not just your ego. Let your body be involved in your decision-making process. Reversed: You are not a disembodied ethereal entity riding a flesh mech, you are your body. You can't escape that.

2. Reason: This makes sense. Think it through. Reversed: You're using the fact that you can't make it make sense to your conscious mind to reject vital information coming from less formalist parts of you.

3. Shiver: You can feel the truth in your skin. Trust what your body is telling you. Reversed: Your physical intuition is tuned to a goal other than the one you want to pursue. Don't flinch.

4. Focus: Don't get distracted by the edge cases and peripheries. Reversed: When you fixate on a particular manifestation of a goal, you trick yourself into thinking it's your only chance at happiness.

5. Charm: It isn't what's said, it's how: communicating can be a magic trick, entrancing the audience. Reversed: Magic tricks are about misdirection. You may be guided away from noticing important things.

6. Feast: Indulge in what you crave. You need it. Reversed: Your pursuit of immediate satisfaction of ongoing cravings conflicts with the effort to arrange for a life where your needs are consistently satisfied.

7. Intoxication: Let overwhelmingly immediately pleasurable or fulfilling experiences act as a compass for your choices. Reversed: Don’t.

8. Chemistry: Other people are part of who you are. Embrace the ways that others make you more yourself. Reversed: The vibes aren’t vibing. Don’t try to force it.

9. Signal: The information you’re noticing is clear and meaningful. Reversed: You are confusing noise for direction.

10. Synchronicity: Things that feel connected are connected. Don’t ignore them because you can’t make sense of them. Reversed: The connections you’re seeing between unrelated things are misguided.

J. Crescendo: Everything is converging. Stimuli are pouring in from every direction, inspiring awe and terror. Reversed: The overwhelming cacophony of events and information is locking you out of meaningful experience.

Q. Compassion: Etymologically, “To suffer together.” Caring for others is not a matter of spreadsheets; emotional bonds are built on feeling with each other. Reversed: Just because you’re making yourself feel bad too doesn’t mean you’re making anyone else’s experience any better.

K. Disintegration: This card is about accepting freedom from confining narratives of expectation and possibility. Reversed: The story with which you're motivating yourself isn't accurately describing the realities in which you're engaged.

Suit of Humor

The suit of Humour is about renegotiating the borders of meaning in intentional communication and behavior. This makes room for statements and behaviors that are neither true nor false, but are instead fiction and artifice. Therein, rapid shifts in the boundaries of meaning, digging tunnels that unify superficially unrelated concepts, is a major source of humour.

A. Play: Engage with things as though the consequences aren’t real, and distance yourself from the intensity of the things you’re experiencing. Reversed: You’re not taking your responsibilities seriously enough. The consequences are real and matter.

2. Rehearsal: You’re engaging with situations in your life as a matter of expertise rather than as innate qualities that you have. Reversed: Taking things so seriously and trying to presolve unsolvable scenarios is gonna freeze you up in situations where you need to go off-script.

3. Voice: You have successfully taken the microphone. Use it. Reversed: It’s not your turn to take up space, try listening for a while.

4. Timing: Seizing the moment. Intuitive timing, and intuitive relationships between times. Reversed: The timing is bad/you’re off rhythm, wrong place wrong time

5. Spotlight: Recognize and make appropriate use of the power you’ve been granted by the position you’re in. Reversed: You have to navigate decisions differently than you would prefer to because of the attention on you.

6. Suspense: The photo negative of crescendo. Ominous silences. Moments of calm before explosive events. Creating the impression that something is looming. Reversed: You don’t know what’s coming, or that you know what’s coming and that knowledge is overwhelming your ability to function in the present.

7. Empathy: Your relationships with other people will be improved by exercising your ability to understand other people as whole people. Reversed: You are in a position where people are likely to have a strong impression of what you are experiencing, and that fact that they have those impressions is not good for you.

8. Tricks: Lying to people is sometimes fun and entertaining. Withholding information can be a part of play. Reversed: Lying to people is gonna backfire.

9. Repetition: Repetition is about repetition is about repetition is about repetition… repetition causes tension. It’s about the ways that you can use repetition to manage people’s emotional relationship to a situation, or the way you can get information about things based on the way you feel about things happening over and over again. Reversed: You’re feeling trapped in cycles under the malicious influence of others who keep throwing the same bananas at you.

10. Foil: The contrast between you and your adversaries paints you in a favourable light. Reversed: The harmful reflections on you . You’re putting yourself in situations that cause people to interpret you in ways that you wish people wouldn’t.

J. Innuendo: There are things going on in your question that will not be spelled out for you straightforwardly. The hidden meanings and implications of your question/situation are as or more important than the literal text. Reversed: You are in poor control over the things that people are reading into what you are saying, and are leaving wreckless implication in the things you are saying.

Q. Subversion: The systems you are attempting to operate in are breaking down (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing). Reversed: People are maliciously compromising your understanding of the situation you are in in order to guide you into deadends and traps.

K. Humility: To be a part of the story, you can’t pre-humble yourself, you need to walk confidently into situations and risk being humbled. Reversed: You identify too strongly with your pride. You won’t be able to play like this.

The Jokers

The Jokers are guardians of two of the strongest boundaries of identity: in vulgarity, the parts of yourself that are too base and unpleasant to incorporate, and in contempt, the parts of others that threaten your self-esteem.

Red. Vulgarity: The physiological and base are an essential part of your life, and your happiness depends on a connection to them. Reversed: You are compromised by the pressures of external judgment of your base instincts.

Black. Contempt: The idea that no one is better than anyone else is intellectually bankrupt. Reversed: Your hatred of particular possibilities is blinding you to potential options.

Twilight Spread

You can use these cards however you like to do any kind of divination or reflection that you prefer, but the Twilight Spread is a three-card spread that was designed with these cards in mind, and if you’re looking for a way to make use of them it’s a good place to start.

The Twilight Spread has 3 cards, one for each twilight: Civil Twilight, when the sun is between 0 and 6 degrees below the horizon, Nautical Twilight, when the sun is between 6 and 12 degrees below the horizon, and Astronomical Twilight, when the sun is between 12 and 18 degrees below the horizon. This spread works best when you have a specific question, but if you can’t think of one, “What is the answer to the question I should’ve asked?” often works quite well.

Civil Twilight is so named for the period of time when the sun is below the horizon but its light is still keeping the sky fairly bright. It’s when streetlights start to turn on. Your Civil Twilight card describes your circumstances as you currently see and understand them.

Nautical Twilight is so named for the time at which the stars are visible enough that sailors can use them to navigate. Your Nautical Twilight card describes the outlook for the future of your question as it appears to be projected.

Astronomical Twilight is so named for the time at which the sky is dark enough that telescopes can see clearly enough through the atmosphere to identify objects that are not visible with the naked eye. Your Astronomical Twilight card describes the things you cannot see about your question without the assistance of special tools (such as a deck of cards). It’s often easiest to think of this card as being the deck’s advice.

Blank Cards

The latest version of this deck, which includes these instruction cards, also comes with a few cards with the same back as rest of the deck, and a completely blank face. If you find that there are cards in this deck that really don’t work for you and you want to swap them out for something else, or if there are cards from other kinds of decks that you wish this one had, or you just have a concept you’d like to see reflected back at you sometimes when you decide to read your fortune, please don’t hesitate to add it.

Before making this deck available for purchase, my original plan was to write a purchasable course on how to make your own fortune-telling deck, attuned to your values and loaded with symbols that are significant to you. Doing that is, it turns out, extremely difficult, and that project is now on a shelf in the back of my mind to be taken out every once in a while over the next few years to check for possible progress. In the meantime, though: your fortune is yours to shape.


T.X. Watson

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (0)
Discussions (0)
Narrow Results
$ to $
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!

Product Information
Original electronic Click for more information
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Last Updated:
December 23, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on January 03, 2023.
T.X. Watson