Sometime in the past six months or so I began following an account on Instagram called @MeadowQueen. This account is the personal account of a lovely witch named Brittany. She also has an incredible, thought-provoking blog of the same name that you should go check out. She often does "deep dive" looks at individual cards and also does readings using a variety of decks.
Well, this made me realize I'd never thought about some aspects of tarot.
A little backstory: I bought my husband the traditional Rider-Waite deck. When he was first wanting for a deck, I thought it was important to start at the beginning with the "original" deck (before buying, for example the Thoth deck or any of the various spins on the Rider-Waite deck).
The Rider-Waite deck has been interesting, but also as Brittany pointed out, occasionally problematic for queers/Feminists.
Seeing the other decks she owns, it occurred to me that one can break from genders, themes, and any/all imagery present in the Rider-Waite deck. In fact, the whole four suits with a set of face cards scheme can be thrown out the window! It's really the free associating and symbolism that's the key.
So, with this in mind, I turned to storytelling, where I have my roots. The concept, in particular, that I've been chewing on is that of universal symbols or the collective unconscious, the hero's journey, and Jungian archetypes. These are tools that writers use regularly. They can use it to their advantage to play along with (or break) stereotypes. It helps them connect to their audience. These things depict experiences and relationships that all people share and/or relate to.
I've been researching and building a set of concepts that I plan to depict in a set of divinatory cards. I've been trying to keep the concepts as broad and inclusive and open to interpretation as possible; not giving anything a prescribed meaning.
So far I have 38 cards. This is quite the departure from the 78 cards in a standard deck of tarot cards. I don't want the deck to get too bloated, but I don't want it to be too meagre, either.
Currently, I have these sections:
I hope to finalize the concepts and begins sketches this week/next week. I'll post updates of my progress as the project goes along.
(I know this isn't an earth shattering concept and other people have done this before. It's just new to me. These other decks are usually called oracle or divination decks. As I understand it, tarot specifically refers to the four suit/major arcana/minor arcana set up, with variations on the theme.)