Working With the Between Worlds Deck

Working With the Between Worlds Deck

At first, working with the name, imagery, and your own intuition in regards to a specific card is plenty to start reading the cards. You can be a complete beginner to oracle or tarot, and have a rich experience simply by sitting with what is: both in regards to the cards, and your own body’s reaction to them. There is so much to learn just by being present to your own response to an image and sitting with any congruence or dissonance it might bring up. 

Eventually, it might become helpful to strengthen your grasp on how the deck is structured. The different card categories tap into different aspects of a lived experience, each with their own spiritual, historical influences. Inside the known structure, each card can play a more specific role when they show up in a reading.

Understanding the Structure + Influence

The deck is structured around several card categories that explore our inner and outer realms of existence. 

At the very core of the deck is the “Emergence” card. It is the energy of emergence that gives life and rise to all else. It’s the cornerstone. It’s Brahma, the Hindu god of creation who sprang forth from a golden egg. “Emergence” is the energetic orchestra of birds in murmuration.

Emergence + Universal Forces

Immediately surrounding this card circle the Universal Mind, Body, and Spirit. They form the cosmic building blocks and are the vehicles through which life is experienced. These cards pull from the archetype of trilogies, found across cultures and religions. They are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the Tree of Life’s Logoic Triangle, and so on.


Surrounding this core are six Wisdoms, or principles. They are inspired by the wisdom found in Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. They suggest an approach to life, (the Taoist “way”) and are often associated with enriching aspects of our internal experience. The Tao flows everywhere and through all things. Accordingly, the Wisdoms cards can remind us of who we already are. 



Moving toward more explicit worlds, the next card categories are the Valleys and Aspects. Together they depict the motions of life. The structure of the Valleys are deeply influenced by the spiritual journey forged in the influential Sufi text, The Conference of the Birds, by Farid ud-Din Attar. These valleys, or life chapters, provide placement for the individual Aspects. The Aspects also pull inspiration from the Conference of the Birds, as well as Tarot’s Major and Minor arcana, the traditional Hero’s Journey and Rites of Passage.


Lastly, and all-surrounding, are the Guides. The twelve Guides can be understood as both embodiments of unconscious archetypes, as well as externalized entities from which to draw a supportive energy. They are inspired by the work of Carl Jung, as well as the astrological signs. In readings, they show up as both mirrors and supports.

Putting it Together

This structure and archetypal nature of the Between Worlds offers a highly textured reading and a direct path towards the inner spheres. Putting it all together may take some time and practice. The multiple categories are there to reflect the immutable core of who we are as well as life’s daily and long-term fluctuations. 

In a reading, cards are laid out and interpreted–a process in which deeper and broader awareness can be accessed. Working with the deck is a process of asking, receiving, listening your own response, and making meaning in ways that feel true. The linkage established by the images between the unconscious realm and the conscious mind has a transformative potential. By bridging the unknown, the known, and in-between, one enters a contract of integration and possible healing.

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