Published in Esotoracle with David Spangler

 An enlivening experience of the new deck by the creator of SoulCards 
Deborah Koff-Chapin, with David Spangler

There is a mystery that infuses this deck – a sense that unseen beings are collaborating in its creation. Since publishing the SoulCards in 1995, I have felt a deck consisting of only faces hovering around in potential, waiting for the right time to come into form. That time is now.

Each of the 72 drawings in Portals of Presence was created in a unique setting – a sacred site, natural environment, or with an inspiring wisdom teacher. To create a face through Touch Drawing, I bring my attention to subtle sensations within my own face. It feels as if a being is gently impressing itself upon my subtle body. I move my fingertips on paper that is placed over aboard that has been rolled with fresh ink. Lifting the page, I see marks on the underside created by the pressure of my touch. It feels like I am translating a subtle presence into the familiar language of a human face. Think of them as personifications of elemental forces, nature spirits, wisdom beings or subtle allies. Bringing these faces together in the form of a deck makes them accessible as vehicles for relationship. In this era of accelerating challenge on the planet, the possibility of collaborating with intelligences beyond the human offers hope that we do not have to face our challenges alone. We must renew our communion with life.

To illuminate the larger context I asked my friend, mystic philosopher David Spangler, to share his thoughts. David’s life work is to develop partnerships between those of us incarnated in the physical world and beings who inhabit the non-physical or subtle realms.

“Deborah’s Portals of Presence card deck offers a unique tool. In the past, interaction with beings in the subtle worlds has been characterized as seeking verbal guidance from a “higher” realm. While communication will always have a role to play, going forward what will be needed is collaboration and partnership: a sharing and blending of vital, creative energies from both sides of “the veil” in service to the world. The overriding understanding will be that, whether we are physical or subtle beings, we share in the life and well-being of a single planet; a world whose greater ecology has both physical and non-physical aspects. We need each other and the world needs what we can co-create and generate between us. 

For this collaboration to take place, we must acknowledge that the subtle realms exist, that they play a vital role in the health and wellbeing of the planet, and that partnerships are possible. We have to learn how we can form energetic alliances that are mutually rewarding. Though inhabiting very different orders of reality, both physical and subtle beings share an overlapping field of energy. We are both part of a sacredness that is more than physical and more than subtle. This creates an imaginal field common to us both. 

In this quest, Portals of Presence offers a direct way of using this imaginal field to contact the energy fields of subtle beings. What these cards are saying in a variety of ways is Here we are! Can you feel us? Does it awaken in you our shared kinship in the life of the world? Does it awaken the subtle dimension of your own being that can match our own? 

These cards are more than just pictures; they are projections of the energy of a living presence passed through the lens of a shared imaginal realm. When we meditate upon these images, we are drawn into that realm as well. We may find within ourselves a resonance that is much more than a simple communication; it is a felt sense of partnership as fellow sacred lives. Through understanding and internalizing this deck, you will find a portal that can open to those subtle colleagues with whom you would wish to partner in a sacred alliance of mutual empowerment.” —David Spangler

In this spirit, I invite you to experience a simple yet essential approach to Portals of Presence. Once you know how to enliven these cards, you can use them in many ways, including combining them with other decks to bring a new perspective. Begin by closing your eyes. Bring your attention to your body, becoming aware of any sensations. Relax into deeper focus. Can you feel the radiance of your own presence? Open your eyes and softly gaze one of the faces on this page. Allow it to fill your visual field. Pay attention to the shapes, textures and colors. Keep looking beyond your habitual comfort zone. Can you sense a living presence behind this face? Can you imagine it gazing back at you? There is no need for words or meaning. Simply open to a sense of resonance between you and this face. If you have time, you can then focus on the other Portal shown here. If words begin to rise out of this non-verbal connection, write them down. When you feel complete, close your eyes. Notice how the presence is reverberating within you. Offer gratitude, as if you are closing a visit with a friend. Then bring your awareness back to yourself. Can you sense your own presence more fully? 

Open your eyes and bring your attention to your environment. You might walk around your house or go outside in a state of receptivity. Gaze at something — a tree, rock, plant, cup. Simply be with it. Can you feel a subtle presence beyond its physical form? Take note of new ways you experience the world.  

Deborah Koff-Chapin BFA has been developing and teaching Touch Drawing since 1974. She is creator of the decks SoulCards 1&2 and Portals of Presence. Deborah has published five SoulTouch Coloring Journals and is author of Drawing Out Your Soul. She teaches internationally, and now also online. Deborah holds weekly online Song Bath Sanctuary, and monthly attunements to enliven the Portals of Presence deck on zoom. She is ordained through the Lorian Association. Find out more at

David Spangler, MCS is the Spiritual Director of the Lorian Association. He is a mystic, writer and educator in the integration of spiritual values, energy and presence into everyday life. He was co-director of the Findhorn Community and has taught extensively for over 40 years. Since 1965, David has worked clairvoyantly with a group of spiritual beings whose purpose was to explore and develop a spiritual teaching around the process of incarnation. Find out more at

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