Over the last couple of weeks, the Lefty Oracle Deck has been sitting on my desk like a loyal companion. Through out the day, I've caught myself glancing over at the deck and each time I've felt an immediate connection to my inner child. I can't think of another deck that has stirred up that sort of connection to my true-self. Kathy Crabbe is the creator behind the deck and her story of how she came to birth the Lefty Oracle Deck is inspiring, especially for those that live in a space where art and intuition intersect. In the interview, she shares why she was led to paint the deck with her non-dominant hand, who the Leftys are, and what she is currently working on.
How did your journey as an intuitive-artist start?
I’ve always been an artist and an intuitive. I believe that we all have these talents, but they get buried by real life. The key for me was sticking with it! I’ve also been lucky and blessed to be able to pursue my dreams, and I’ve also made good choices guided by my intuition and my dreams.
In the guidebook, you mention that the Lefty Oracle Deck started as a passion project over 16 years ago. All the illustrations in the deck are created with your non-dominant hand. What was your initial inspiration? And, why did you use your non-dominant hand?
I began drawing with my non-dominant hand because I wanted to explore new territory. My right hand kept leading me to the same place. So, I explored something that felt awkward and uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone. Using my non-dominant left hand forced me to adapt and slow down, which helped open me up intuitively.
When you drew your first illustration, did you know in your heart space that it would manifest into more. . .possibly an Oracle deck?
I originally thought of the Leftys as single panel cartoons; odd, funny characters with strange names. I’ve always wanted to cartoon probably because my grandfather was a famous Canadian cartoonist, who created Jasper the Bear, but my metaphysical leanings kept leading me into deeper waters, so I just went with the flow.
You have created 1,000 lefty drawings. How did you choose the 52 illustrations for the deck? Was the selection process a struggle or did you just know?
That was the hardest thing of all; to choose just 52! My first Lefty Oracle Deck had about 75 cards in it. I used that deck to give over 1000 soul readings and I could tell which cards were the most helpful for my clients. The year that I published the deck, I participated in The 52 Project at the Riverside Art Museum, which concluded with an exhibit. So, I decided to focus on the number 52.
Can you share a bit about who the Leftys are?
The Leftys are you and they are me. They represent all facets of human kind, but with a twist of playful humor and lightness because I feel that is often missing in the metaphysical realms.
Has your relationship with the Leftys evolved since you published your deck?
It’s always evolving! They led me onstage in Hollywood with my hero, to starting a writer’s group, to beach hopping with seniors from a Red Hat Group, and on, and on. I now create all my work with both hands!
As I was flipping through your guidebook, I realized that The Lefty Oracle is more than a deck. You have poured so much love into writing the guidebook. How can The Lefty Oracle best be used?
The Lefty Deck truly is a labour of love and my life’s work; the kind of thing that if I died tomorrow I can honestly say I have created something worthwhile that has been of service to others. The Lefty Deck can be used in sooo many ways. From storytelling to giving intuitive readings, to expressive body movement, to exploring one’s creativity, but it’s also wonderful for groups, classes, parties, moon circles, etc. The prompts within it are geared toward reflection, healing, journaling, developing intuition, moving your body, and drawing with your non-dominant hand.
What artists inspire you? And, if you could spend a day with only one artist (living or on the other side), who would that be and how would you spend your time with them?
I’m inspired by printmakers especially contemporary Japanese woodblock artists for their simplicity and asymmetric abstraction, by Joan Mitchell for her giant, gorgeously colorful, passionate abstracts, by Paulina Cassidy for her wonderfully detailed oracle/tarot decks and by the great Post Impressionist and Expressionist painters: Matisse, Gauguin, Kirchner, Per Kirkeby.
I would love to spend a day with William Blake exploring his visionary etchings, writings, and books.
What new projects are you working on?
I just started a Crone Club on Patreon to empower the inner wise woman. I share channelled New and Full Moon Meditations and Crone Club Charms (channelled watercolors and words). I’m also helping to build an addition to our home in Temecula, California and our cottage in Ontario, Canada which is a whole different kind of work, but I do enjoy the painting part of it, and being outside!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I want to thank my photographer and good friend, Lori Ann Beach for the lovely photos within this interview. I’d also like to share my latest Crone Club Charm to inspire your inner wise woman. Because painting, like life is an adventure; one never knows where one will end up, but one can always choose hope and love and laughter to lighten the load.