Karla Refoxo of Tulku and I met by divine inspiration. The magnificent plant medicine woman and healer had just moved to Colorado from California and we happened to be in a shop in downtown Boulder at the same time. She was showcasing her soulwork amulet and talisman jewelry to the shop owner and I was absolutely blown away. I wanted to know more about this interesting being that lived heart first. Fast forward to today and there have been tons of heartfelt conversations where we’ve shown ourselves in our most raw and delicate states. Never a word of judgement and a beacon of unconditional love, Karla not only is intent on living her best life, but helping others live there. In fact, she is the main reason Totems and Tarot exists. She encouraged me to go after my dream. I’m so glad she did and I’m even more honored to sit down with her today to learn more about her process.
What is a DreamTending session?
In the DreamTending session, rather than just interpreting the dream, I guide you as we go back into the dream together— resulting in a surprising and illuminating experience. It’s in some ways akin to a shamanic journey. If you’ve ever experienced that, you know that what you find when you go into the worlds behind the veils is more often than not very surprising and powerful.
Tending dreams lit by the fire of presence, curiosity and imagination— is a deep dive into uncovering our own creativity, soul voice, and the vast realm of possibilities always available to us.
How did you get involved in this style of healing? What attracted you to it?
I’ve always been a big dreamer and have been guided by my dreams—most particularly by some really significant precognitive dreams— throughout my life. Over the years and through studies and work of a more shamanic nature (including Plant Spirit Medicine) I’ve learned ways of seeing dreams that have been very illuminating.
When a friend recommended I read the book DreamTending—written by teacher—Dr. Stephen Aizenstat— I was immediately inspired by the shamanic nature of his work and began studying with him through his certification program at Pacifica University. As an artist, this work has inspired my creativity, as a healer it has proved a potent tool for healing myself and others, and as a mystically-leaning person it has enriched my intuitive side profoundly.
How can a client expect to feel after completing a dreamtending session with you?
I think the words of one of my clients speaks to this best—”Rather than tell me symbolism, Karla walked me back through the dream, and together we extracted feelings within the dream. Providing much insight, medicine was brought forth that will last throughout this lifetime and into the next. I am now reconnected to a deceased ancestor who while alive had a profound impact on my life, along with two other powerful helping spirits. We are all now profoundly bonded. I obtained antidote for any confusion and confirmation of intuition.”
While this is one persons experience, it speaks to the power of DreamTending to reveal the hidden depths within every dream and bring lasting gifts into our life.
I understand you are currently working on the Tulku Oracle Deck! So exciting. A few questions…What does the word Tulku mean?
In the Tibetan tradition, a tulku is the recognized reincarnation of a past Buddhist master. The new incarnation takes rebirth to bring blessings and benefit to all sentient beings.
Did you create these symbols or motifs or have they already existed for centuries?
Though I created some of the symbols myself, most of the symbols, archetypes and totems have existed since ancient times.
What is your favorite card from the deck right now?
Ooh that’s a tough question! I love the Owl totem card—not only because I love owls and the image of the card— but because It holds the medicine of seeing into the mystery and being able to express that “seeing” through voice. These are gifts that are very up for me right now as I fully take on embodying owl energy to the best of my ability.
Are there oracle cards, like in tarot, that are focused on shadow work or provide warning? Could you offer an example or two?
Through working with the cards I definitely have noticed that there are some that show up as voices for the shadow, or forewarn of some challenge and darkness in regards to the question. There are a handful of these in the Tulku Oracle deck.
Two of the cards in my deck that come to mind as examples are the Dragon Phoenix and the Raven, particularly when they show up in reverse. In the Dragon Phoenix image the dragon is wrapped around the Phoenix. In the amulet it is all about transformation and there is also that protective element to it.
When it shows up in a reading though, I’ve noticed it’s almost as if it is saying that you have to go through the fires of the dragon guarding the treasure to become the phoenix. It’s about transformation and like with the Tower card in the Tarot, it can be quite a challenge. When this card shows up in reverse, it is much more this way and has often pointed to being stuck in some darker challenge, like addiction of some sort.
With Raven in reverse the challenge shows up as a trickster type of energy—a very neptunian kind confusion of not knowing exactly what or who you’re dealing with. Raven in reverse often points to things appearing one way but actually being very different than they seem in regards to the question.
What came first: the oracle deck or the jewelry? Could you tell us more about how the jewelry is made?
The jewelry came first, when I started making amulets in a basement room in an ashram in 2005. For me the jewelry I have always been drawn to has had a sacred purpose. I was always looking for something authentic, ancient, and with a living talismanic presence and that was hard to find except for in expensive antiques. So as an artist I embarked on making them myself.
I already had a strong and long standing spiritual as well as artistic connection with Nepal and decided to find someone there to work with. The quality of the traditional, hand-made metal work you find in the Newar artists who are indigenous to Kathmandu Valley is unparalleled. I was very lucky to meet Rajendra Bajracharya who is both a buddhist priest and artist. He made statues and sacred objects at that time.
I understand the jewelry is blessed by a holy woman. Why is this an important part of your manufacturing process?
Getting the jewelry blessed is very important to me. In keeping with my intention to bring the greatest blessings, support and peace to the people who wear Tulku, each amulet is blessed by a Nepalese holy woman known as Mata—or Mother.
The simple puja or ritual she does consecrates the pieces and brings them to life. In the Buddhist and Hindu traditions sacred statues are brought to life by a ceremony that “opens the statue’s eyes for the first time”—called Prajna Pratishtha.
In this ceremony the breath of life is breathed into the object, making it a living presence through which to connect with the divine. I love and believe in this tradition and want it to be a part of every amulet we share with the world.
When will the deck be available?
The cards are all finished and now we are currently in the final stages of editing the book, which will be about 250 pages long. It’s been a long process! Once that is done we go to designing the interior of the book and then on to production. The packaging is sumptuous and elegant and has already been designed. The complete Tulku Oracle deck and book is lined up to be ready to line bookshelves and live on personal altar spaces by early spring of 2021. I’m aiming to get the Kickstarter up and running later this month.
Currently you are offering readings with your Oracle Deck even though the deck itself is not yet for sale. What can someone expect during a reading?
The readings are like a journey—I learn something new each time. If the client doesn’t have the questions they want answers to figured out beforehand, we tease them out together during a brief check in and share. Then we start the reading. I guess the best way for me to answer this question is to share another review from a recent customer.
“Karla Refoxo’s Oracle Cards are divinely inspired profound images that create messages of wisdom and guidance. She has painted both ancient symbols and unique visions. I received a reading from Karla that brought me tremendous comfort and insight to my relationships and a health concern. Her gentle and authentic interpretations of her cards allowed me to engage with her in seeing the meanings. She did not tell but guided the answers with me. Karla is a gifted artist and a wise and down to earth healer. I highly recommend Karla Refoxo’s Oracle Card Readings. I know you will find a clearer and deeper connection within your heart.”
Do you send your clients images or notes after a session?
During or after the session I send pictures of the cards I draw in the reading, which can total up to 15 cards. I record the session as well so the client doesn’t have to worry about taking notes but can be fully present and listen to the recording afterwards. A lot of information gets shared and the recording and images help the client ground and integrate it over time.
Why did you decide to become part of the Healers Hub?
I feel really honored and inspired by your vision to create a platform that helps people find the kind of healing and tools they need during these very challenging times. The way you create community and offer support in all sorts of ways for so many has always been something I’ve admired about you and resonates deeply with what I feel called to do as well. I know I’m in amazing company here, and I’m excited to see what you’ve created grow to include more healers, teachings and other product offerings. I want those who are meant to receive the medicine I have to offer to be able to find me, and it’s a gift to be here on this amazing Hub so that they can.
Karla can be found at Tulku. If you’d like to book a dreamtending session or oracle card reading with her please visit our Healers Hub. Her oracle deck launches in Spring 2021 and will be featured on our website. Stay tuned!