By Shalayne Pulia
Updated Apr 17, 2017 @ 4:11 pm
the_wild_unknown / Instagram

I’m superstitious. I’ll admit it. I like to do that soul-searching thing where you stare up at the stars and will them to give you some sense of direction. So my friends weren’t too surprised when I started raving about some spirit animal cards. That is, until I explained the goose bump-inducing reason I dropped $60 bucks on a tarot deck and made them try it for themselves.

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It all went down last summer when I dragged my friends to Manhattan’s ABC Carpet & Home. I’m a frequent window-shopper at ABC. Their space is like a Pinterest board titled “rustic romance aesthetic" set up shop in a warehouse and birthed a few chandeliers, rooms of vintage finds, and a trendy restaurant for good measure. It’s one of my happy places–something about the miss-matched menagerie of trinkets is oddly soothing. But that day, my friends and I were less focused on home décor and more transfixed by a tiny white book and tarot deck from “The Wild Unknown.”

the_wild_unknown / Instagram

The deck promises to connect with questions posed silently and provides a daily animal likeness reading. You can also read your past, present, and future cards, gain insight on a specific obstacle, dig deeper into a relationship, and project your year ahead. (The whimsical illustrations are so beautiful that I instantly considered adding a favorite card to my tattoo collection.)

Instructions are simple enough. Shuffle any way you like for as long as you like while thinking of a question. This is less Magic-8-Ball-style “yes” or “no,” and more “How do I solve this problem?” or “What’s happening with this relationship?” If that’s all sounding very hocus-pocus—I feel you. But hold on, it’s about to get weirder.  

When my friends and I demoed the deck in-store, we all pulled the exact same animal, three times in a row, after shuffling a deck of 63 cards that has not a single repeat. In math-speak, that’s something like a 0.025 percent chance.

the_wild_unknown / Instagram

The card told us, at that post-grad point in our lives where everything felt unstable, to relax, meditate, and channel our energy inward. Which was like a nice big “Hey, stop preparing for the sky to fall. Everything’s going to be okay.”

We were floored. Clearly, it was a sign from the cosmos. So I bought the deck and brought it home for more friends to try. Another roommate read her cards; her skeptical boyfriend even took a stab. Soon my whole inner circle tested it out. There was a lot of laughter at the absurdity in the beginning. (I get how a card telling you you’re an octopus today comes off as slightly less than mystical.)

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the_wild_unknown / Instagram

But the giggling gives way to silence when a spirit animal description fits so seamlessly in your headspace. They’re more often than not eerily applicable to our silent questions.

A couple months later, a visiting friend who jetted off to NYC with a broken heart and an empty stomach drew the Gazelle card, which appeals to a vulnerable spirit. It told her to stop harping on the past—when you’re standing on the ashes of a relationship wondering where the hell things went wrong–that’s something nice to hear. She cried when she read her description and still has a photo of the page saved on her phone for when she needs a reminder that relationships suck.  

the_wild_unknown / Instagram

Are these cards really connected to some spiritual mojo tapped into the predetermined course of our future? No idea. But I do know that convincing my closest friends to take one step past their comfort level of cosmic knowledge is, at the very least, a pretty fun way to pass the time. 

You can take it as seriously as I do, now the resident mystic toting a deck of tarot cards to parties. Or you can simply use them as a 10-second break in your schedule to refocus your good juju inwards. Who knows, maybe your day as a cobra will strike you as something special.  

Find out more information on The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck here