I am working on a new project at this end of year. I was very inspired to create a deck of cards called The Cards of Mystery that foretold the afterlife or explained it to me. I was interested also in divination of a more spiritual nature. I found that the best way to do this was to draw my own deck of cards.
By chance I found a book called Introduction to Tarot by Susan Levitt, which is a fantastic full coloured book. I was at a market and thought it might be good to read up, and just found the book. She explains things simply and clearly, which is a style that suits me very well. I like to keep things simple. Through Susan Levitt’s indepth explanations of every element of the picture in the tarot card, I was able to understand more fully the meaning of each card.
I am also inspired very deeply by Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, the novel by Susanna Clarke. There is a scene in the book which features two magicians Vinculus and Childermass, trying to give each other tarot readings using a deck of The Cards of Marseilles. Which is the ancient or first form of tarot. I think one of the differences in this deck is that the High Priestess, is known as the Female Pope.
The totem for my deck of cards is the raven, which to me represents wisdom, and hidden knowledge, and secrets. the dark figures that traverse the cards are reminiscent of the spiritual side of me. The back of the card is also visible in this picture. It is an artwork showing two bold brush strokes, and a black angel’s wing. the reason for this is that it represents two swords, or conflict, and to strike at the heart of the wing, is to strike at a mystery which flies away, and nails it. That is my explanation for the back of the card, visible in the picture on the left. The magician is featured sitting on a throne, generally meaning to represent magical power which creates success in your endeavours. A raven speaks to him and magical writing lines his clothes. The windows to the afterlife are open, and there is plenty of light.
This picture was painted in watercolour. One of my favourites