A Personal Univeral Deck is a brainstorming tool, an inspiration machine, a divinator, or a game deck.
Universal Deck's built-in oracle at work.
A deck contains 50 cards, each with two words (so: 100 words created by you). The words are divided between the senses, movement, objects, and abstract concepts.
The idea / writing exercise / divination tool originated with the American poet and playwright Michael McClure, who called them 'word sculptures'. Here's a one hour 1976 lecture to his students on the exercise. Paul Nelson has a shortened write-up of the exercise as well as a photocopied book of McClure's speech, and this site has an example of how the exercise might be used for teaching.
This site is a free tool for creating your own Personal Universal Deck, which allows you to:
- 'Throw' a divination
- Keep an annotated record of your divinations
- Re-organize or edit your deck
- Print your deck
* Note: Making a deck by hand can be a tactile experience; not being in front of a computer is a worthwhile consideration. Still, I like building tools, and think this is a fine alternative.