Kayti Welsh Stewart is a woman on fire! She is the founder of the 78 Tarot and also the creator of the Animantras Chakra Oracle Deck, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter last week!!! The deck is still available for pre-order via her website. I am grateful to have scored an advance copy of the deck. Before interviewing Kayti, I spent time connecting with her deck and I must say that I am in love the bright colours, and cute animals that she hand drew herself & created into graphics. I have an affinity for small sized decks, and the Animantras fits into the crevasses of my palms perfectly. In her interview, Kayti shares what prompted her to create the deck, how she connects with the Chakras, and how her deck can be used for healing by understanding the behaviours associated with each Chakra.
You are known in the cartomancy community as the founder of the 78 Tarot. You shared your story of how the 78 Tarot came to be in the last interview that I did with you and the other leading ladies behind the project. I love hearing the story of how a project comes to be. What inspired you to create the Animantras Chakra Oracle deck?
This deck had a long journey from start to finish. The animals guided me to many different places along the way. Sometimes I look at it and wonder where it even came from, it feels as if it appeared out of nowhere, as the best creations often do. I realized during my own journey learning about Chakras, how few learning tools there were out there. I wanted to create something not just for teachers and Reiki Healers, but for children and beginners on the path to self-awareness. I wanted to create something simple, and friendly, something everyone could relate to. Animals seemed like the perfect way to show the behavioral aspects of the Chakras, and it gave me the ability to connect to these beautiful creatures and work with their energy. They also helped me to draw them and write the guidebook.
It is my goal for you to not only learn more about your chakras, but learn more about the beautiful animals and creatures that walk this beautiful Earth. They deserve to be honored and celebrated! I hope this deck is a colorful and fun way to connect you to your Chakras, and introduce you to 49 different animals and their energies! To give back to the animals who give so much to us, I will be donating 10% of each month’s sales to a different animal rescue!
Your rainbow critters are so adorable and cute. Each animal is connected to a specific Chakra. How did you decide, for example, the raven would represent the Root Chakra and be assigned the mantra, "be watchful?" What was your process like?
Truthfully, and as silly as this may sound to some, these cards really created themselves often. The animals would already know what they are, and it would just appear in my head. I feel as if this was a true collaboration with the spiritual energy of each animal in this deck. It is one of the big reasons I decided to give back more to the animals. They have given so much to us in the form of their energy and knowledge, just co-existing with our energies.
How was birthing the Animantras different from creating one of the 78 Tarot decks? And, how was the process similar for you?
78 Tarot is very different from creating a deck of my own. In fact, I would say, the polar opposite. When working with 81 artists, you have to compromise. A lot. You have to let go of reigns. A lot. You have to decide what is going to make everyone happy and not just yourself. That is the most important thing to do when leading a group of people. Respecting its separate energy.
For creating a deck of my own, it was totally me. I could express everything about my own personality and energy, which I lovingly poured into this deck. This is also my first time writing a guidebook, since Trish Sullivan writes all the ones for the 78 Tarot.
How has working with the Chakras impacted and influenced your spiritual practice? What changes did you notice?
Number one thing? BALANCE! I feel so much more calmer and focused! I wanted to learn about the Chakras in order to correct some behavioral patterns in myself. Working with emotional energy is something that I really feel strongly about, and as a healer, its very important I use this in my practice.
As the creator of the deck, what tips can you share for those who want to use the Animantras Chakra Oracle to bring their Chakras into balance? How can the deck be used for Chakra healing?
There are many ways you can use this for Chakra healing, and I actually include a few spreads in the guidebook to get started. One thing I like to do is separate the deck into color piles and choose a card from each pile to check in on my Chakras. For example, if I pull a card for my Solar Plexus Chakra that is a giraffe with the words be confident, I know that I am lacking some self esteem and need to work on that. The guidebook has guidance I wrote to not only learn about each animal, but also how to connect better to their energy to assist you in healing that Chakra. There really is so many different ways to use this deck, and no way is the wrong or right way. I think everyone will find that it fits into their practice in a different way, since everyone is so different.
The name of your deck, Animantras is very clever, as each animal represents a mantra. How was the name conceived? Did you consider other names?
Thank you! I actually do not remember any other names, this one just jumped out! I think I thought at one point calling it Rainbow Animals but that is not a very unique name and I was sure it was already taken. I thought it really needed a unique name and this one just popped out of nowhere! I told you I don't have a very scientific process haha! Its all very fluid and I often am finding myself trying to catch up with my own project, as it has such a life of its own.
I saw a glimpse of the guidebook on Kickstarter. What does the guidebook include?
The guidebook includes 2 different spreads to get you started. It includes a little about each Chakra, but I did not go too much into the technical details of Chakras in this guidebook because I wanted it to be kind of a fluid learning tool where you feel the Chakras and learn about how each behavioral aspect is connected to each Chakra. I think this is a better way to start your Chakra journey, since there is virtually endless information about them out there. It can be quite a daunting subject for those who are not familiar with them. So, the guidebook is geared towards teaching about the animals and how they connect to each of the 7 Chakras in a fun, friendly and familiar way.
When I read your posts on Instagram, I can feel how fired up you are about the Animantras. What is your vision for your deck once the rainbow critters head out into the world?
Well, I really want to get these into the hands of people teaching children! Yoga instructors, Therapists, Montessori Schools, any kind of children's wellness centers. I think these would be really good for trauma victims. Non-verbal children. The list goes on and on! If anyone has any ideas on how to get these in the hands of kids I would love to hear it. I think it is so important to start your path to self awareness at a young age. I started far later in life and I feel as if I knew earlier on how to deal with all of my complex emotions as a human BEing, then I would have had a far easier time growing up. It is my wish that this helps children of all ages! Who doesn't love cute rainbow animals! I also plan on donating 10% of each month’s profits for Animantras to a different animal rescue. If you follow me on Instagram, we will be voting on one each month!
Is there anything you would like to share?
I am just so grateful for this loving community that has embraced the Rainbow Animals and brought them to life, I could not have done it without each and every one of you.