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A Unicorn Key ~ Oracle and Guide Deck

A Unicorn Key ~ Oracle and Guide Deck

The magic of a unicorn and mystery of a key are the perfect mix for an enchanted oracle card deck. Unlock your own potential with the gentle assistance of a beautiful, heartfelt deck with hints of tarot symbolism, designed and developed by Ellen Million.
$7,660 🎉
of $1,800 (USD) goal
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A Unicorn Key is a 55 card deck of 2.5 x 3.5 (poker-sized) cards. Each card has four different but related guide words, and can be drawn in any direction! Each orientation has a different aspect: an action, a reaction, a reflection, or a shine.
Act, React, Reflect, and Shine!

The Act aspect is a planned action. Whether done by or to you, it is with intention and choice.

The React aspect represents something more instinctive or automatic.

The Reflect aspect suggests you pause and consider a sticky topic.

The Shine aspect celebrates you, and your source of energy and inspiration!
The strongest aspect for each card is the one that is read when the artwork is upright, but they are all interrelated. When you do readings, you can choose the aspect that your spread suggests, use the direction as drawn randomly, or pick the guide word that relates most strongly to your question. Use the colors and symbols in the artwork for extra inspiration!

As an example, let's look at the first card in the deck: Contact. I made this card for the 2019 Junicorn challenge with Prismacolor pencils on colored pastel paper, but I added a galaxy background and did some edits and updates to the design. 

As well as a deck and a brief mini guidebook that explains each of the cards and aspects, I have written and designed a Companion Guidebook. This 8.5 x 11 inch, 100-page paperback is lushly illustrated, with expanded descriptions and 16 layouts that you can color (if you wish!) and use for readings with any deck. Get a free sample layout to download: here!


I have always unabashedly loved unicorns. Every year since 2016, I've drawn 30 little unicorn art cards in the month of June as part of the Junicorn challenge, and long before that, I was drawing and writing about unicorns...and a lot of them had keys.

The first Unicorn Key - from 2003!

I started doing coloring book pages in 1997, highly-detailed for adult colorists (long before the craze!) and full of story and emotion. The keys reappeared in dozens of these pages, often paired with unicorns...sometimes with unicorns in eggs.

I took my love of unicorns on a shared world side quest and created a setting called Torn World that had, in part, a semi-nomadic tribe of northern herders who raised mammoth-sized, thick-furred unicorns. You'll find many illustrations that I did for this project in the Companion Guidebook, as filler illustrations and as the background for card layout spreads!

I've also been fascinated by tarot cards, have done several designs for group decks, and even started my own, but I didn't want to follow the strict tarot system with this deck. I spent several years trying to figure out how to make a deck with both horizontal and vertical designs as I illustrated more cards and the list of words that I wanted to include grew longer and longer.

The solution was simple in the end: give each card four words and let a reader turn them in any direction! I worked to make each set of four words interrelated and to craft not only the artwork but every word with care.

A Unicorn Key was finally hatched!
55 unicorn cards

17 illustrated layouts

Digital Support ($5): Besides my undying gratitude, all supporters will get at least one .pdf layout to print, color, and use for readings. Additional layouts will be unlocked as we go and included in all tiers! These layouts can be used with any oracle deck or tarot cards (just disregard the parts of the instructions that refer to the aspects!).

Simple Swag ($10): Any unlocked stickers, postcards, bookmarks, and card singles that will fit flat in an envelope for a first class stamp are included in this tier! (Plus digital rewards.)

Just the Deck ($55): You'll get the 55-card deck and a mini guidebook in a beautiful tuck box (the magnetic box shown is a stretch goal)! Any simple swag that is unlocked will be included, though you can always opt out if you prefer not to have more stuff. Note: the deck always comes with the mini guidebook!

Deck and Companion Book ($70): This includes the deck and mini guidebook, as well as an 8.5 x 11 inch companion publication. This softcover book includes a full page for each card including an image of the card and expanded guide word descriptions, plus concept art and illustrations. There will also be full-sized, illustrated layouts. Each book will be signed, and this tier includes unlocked simple swag! 

Deck and Companion Book—Sketched ($80)! Make your package a little more personal and have your companion guidebook sketched! Sketches are quick-sketches, not intensely complicated artwork...and it will probably be a unicorn. This is a limited tier, because I can only sketch so many!

More Magic ($105): A deck, a sketched companion book, a coloring book of your choice, and a random original unicorn art card from the deck! You'll also get all unlocked simple swag. This tier is limited to 10.

The Whole Haul ($245): 2 decks, 2 signed and sketched companion books (so that you can keep one pristine and use one, or give one away!), your choice of 10 coloring books, and an original custom-drawn unicorn card, plus any unlocked simple swag. This tier is limited to just 5!

The Unicorn ($700): It's the Whole Haul - PLUS the original artwork on the card backs and Companion Guidebook cover! There's only one of these! 

Unlock upgrades and make this project even more special!

UNLOCKED! Our first stretch goal, at $2000, is a 2" vinyl sticker of the card back artwork! (Backers have chosen the version with no words!)

UNLOCKED: Our second stretch goal is at $3000 and will be a pdf download of a second layout page for ALL backers to download and print!

UNLOCKED: Our third stretch goal is at $4000 and will be a pdf download of a bookmark for ALL backers to download, print, and color, plus a printed bookmark for all backers at physical tiers! (The image shown is a bookmark from a previous campaign - I'll be making one specific to A Unicorn Key!)

UNLOCKED: Our fourth stretch goal is at $5000, for a limited edition bonus card! It will be exactly the same as the cards in the deck so it can be shuffled in and used with them, but will be packaged separately, included in the Simple Swag tier, and be EXCLUSIVE to this campaign. 

UNLOCKED: Our fifth stretch goal is at $5500! Nearest and dearest to my heart, I'd like to upgrade to a magnetic closure box, rather than staying to a simple cardboard tuck box, which increases both the cost of the deck AND the cost of the shipping. All tiers which include a deck would get this upgrade.

UNLOCKED: Our sixth stretch goal is at $6000 and is another exclusive bonus card!

UNLOCKED: Our seventh stretch goal is at $6500 and is another exclusive bonus card!

UNLOCKED: Our eighth stretch goal is at $7000 and is a 2" vinyl sticker included in the simple swag and all physical orders!

UNLOCKED: Our ninth stretch goal is at $7500 and is another exclusive bonus card!

CLOSE ENOUGH: Our tenth stretch goal is at $8000 and will be PDF downloads of ALL the PDF layouts for ALL backers. (I have unlocked this one after the close of the campaign because we got close enough! All backers will get all the layouts!) 

LOCKED: Our eleventh stretch goal is at $8500 and is another exclusive bonus card! This will be available to backers as an add-on after the campaign. 

More stretch goals will be announced as we go!!

Simple swag includes things that lie flat and will fit in a first class envelope: stickers, postcards, bookmarks, and single bonus cards. More complicated swag may be unlocked (Pins? T-shirts? Commemorative bricks?), but these will be made available as add-ons in order to account for shipping charges. (It costs a lot to ship commemorative bricks!)

I'll rely on backer input to decide on which stretch goals get priority, but I'll make sure I don't overpromise or delay rewards!

Add-ons are extra things you can have shipped with your rewards. They include extra decks, extra copies of the Companion Guidebook, coloring books, and other goodies and treats that may be added as the campaign grows.

Add-ons include US shipping!

Coloring book add-ons: Full-sized coloring books are 8.5 x 11 inches, with 20 single-sided page of highly detailed illustration. Small coloring books (Garden Sprites, Christmas Sprites, and the Coloring Alaska titles) are 5.5 x 8.5 inches, with 12 single-sided illustrations. These are ALL OUT OF PRINT and limited to stock on hand, first come, first served. Contact me to reserve rare titles! You can comment on the project or email me at ellen AT ellenmilliongraphics DOT com.

For all available titles, more details, free sample page downloads, and previews, visit

To claim your newsletter card, visit my webpage and check out with your cart - leave the price at zero and you will be charged nothing! Not a member of my email list yet? Scroll down on that page and join! Any one of my lists qualify, including my not-so-secret romance pen name. This card will only be sent if you are pledging at the Simple Swag tier or above.

To get the Patreon exclusive card, you have to be a Patreon patron in the month of June at the $3 tier. You'll get this card whether you get a full deck or not, and I promise I won't be offended at all if you join for June and immediately unsubscribe. (Think of it as a $3 add-on!) Subscribe here

Note: I will be writing full descriptions for both of these cards and printing them in the campaign edition of the Companion Guidebook, but they will not be listed in the Mini Guidebook. This is true of ALL the bonus cards we unlock.


US shipping is included in every tier!

International shipping will be charged at the end of the project when I have actual weights and current charges. You can expect between $15-$50 dollars extra, depending on what you order. If you'd like a more specific estimate, please contact me with your country and the reward you want, but be aware that costs are constantly changing. 

International shipping does not include taxes (including VAT), import fees, or customs. You may be charged these additional fees when your package is delivered. I cannot estimate these and do not cover them. 

Crowdfunding is like a no-risk preorder to make a dream come true. If the project funds, you get charged at the end of the campaign, I get the money, pay the printers, and send you your goodies. If it doesn't fund, you never get charged.

It does mean that the project isn't already sitting on a shelf ready to ship. The campaign will run until June 30, Backerkit will take a little while to pay me, and then the printers will go to work. All the pieces and parts have to be made and shipped to me. (In Alaska!) Then I have to box up all the magic for YOU, and the postal service will deliver little packages of enchantment to your doorstep. I anticipate delivery to US addresses in November, and international orders in December. 

I'm keeping the project simple and straight-forward, and I'm going into it with everything already finished. Once funds clear, I'm ready to press go with the printers! I'm no newcomer to shipment and fulfillment, and I have back-up plans on top of back-up plans. I'm frankly amazing at sorting and shipping and signing, having done it since the dark ages of the 1990s—even before there were cats on the Internet. 

Best of all, I will keep you regularly updated. Glitch in the matrix? I'll tell you. Changing printers because a factory burnt down? I'll let you know. Your package is getting there two weeks early? You'll get a message to make sure you know! You can check out my previous campaigns on Kickstarter, but backers are always delighted with my service and happy with their products. I'll make it right if something gets messed up. 

About Ellen...

Hi! I'm Ellen Million, and I like unicorns.

I am an artist, primarily of coloring book illustrations and tiny colored pencil unicorns, and I write steamy paranormal fantasy romance as Elva Birch. I live in Alaska, in a house that I built in a birch forest with my true love.

This deck was my Secret Passion Project for years and years. I designed all the art, came up with the deck system, agonized over the guide words, and wrote the descriptions and layouts; every flaw and foible is my own.

I do, however, have to particularly thank Deirdre M. Murphy, Melody Debenham, Yoon Ha Lee, and Layla Lawlor, for their invaluable help in finalizing the project, catching typos, fixing awkward bits, and brainstorming solutions. I also have to add my gratitude to Mary Anne Walker, Jenny and Alexander Heidewald, Patrick Woolery, Bokerah Brumley, and Christiana for reviewing and testing the first round. None of this would have happened without them—and the project won't happen without you! Thank you for your support, whether you're backing or sharing or just cheering me on! 

If you believe that this project is not in compliance with BackerKit’s Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, you can file a report by sending a message via this link: Report this project