The idea of reading Tarot cards may seem like nothing but New Age mumbo jumbo to most people. This is understandable given our increasing disconnection from both the functionality of the human imagination and the incredible depth and complexity of the unconscious mind.
In the modern world we seem all too ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to esoteric modes of thinking.
Reading Tarot cards isn't supernatural, it's an old technology that uses images, symbols and narrative as a way into deep contemplation and reflection about the choices we make in our lives.
The Tarot can help us to shed light on the many different modes of being we can embody throughout our lives and to help direct the illusive emotions that unconsciously guide us.
It ultimately helps those who use it to make choices that are very often left down to vague unconscious habits and unquestioned cultural tropes, rather than clear conscious self-determined decisions.
In an age where external seeking for constant distraction is so prevalent, having a device like the Tarot, that directs our awareness inwards, is becoming much more valuable than ever before.
The Tarot was originally known as a 'sacred game', not only did it divine your future, it was also used as a prompt for storytelling.
The Tarot offered a framework on which the reader could flesh out a story, with their own personal myths, to help them formulate and bring structure to their thinking, rather than passively let a TV director or writer do it for them, as we do so today.
Why is it that so many people binge watch numerous TV series on streaming services like Netflix? The prevalence of this in our society I think speaks to something much deeper than a mere desire to switch off, escape our lives or be entertained.
I believe that this cultural phenomenon highlights our innate need to connect with the vast symbolic landscape of our collective unconscious.
The ancient art of storytelling has always been a vehicle through which our decisions in life can be informed. For instance, the archetypal characters we come across in these narratives help us to contemplate and virtually play out the numerous ways of being in the world, without having to make the same mistakes ourselves.
I didn't want to create just another novelty deck but something that felt both unique and authentic, a deck that could be used just like the classic Rider-Waite or Marseille decks.
I've decided to create a deck that may take visual cues from the Rider-Waite designs but mainly speaks to the energy of each card, how it might feel to an experienced Tarot reader, rather than just literally depict the symbolism embedded in each card.
I've experienced first hand how Tarot readers connect to a space in their awareness that isn't so clear cut, that is more ethereal in nature, that's the space I want to depict within these cards.
This is a side project to my personal and commercial work, so I'm taking my time to complete the full deck. This is the first 35 cards from the deck, which have taken me 2 years so far to complete.
I'll see you in another 2 years for the next 43 cards!