Photos: (top) Christiana with Lisa Hunt, (below) Christiana with Ciro Marchetti
I’m a creative person. I can’t play an instrument well or draw a straight line at all. But I am creative. It’s just that all the ways I am creative rely on someone else’s creativity first. I love to dance, but I need music. I am a secondary creative person.
There is no other area in my life where this is truer than with tarot. Sometime I feel that I can really make a tarot deck sing – I know I can make it talk. With a tarot deck I can summon spirits, create healing, give business advice and help you find love. With a tarot deck I can create stories and games. I can write books and help you discover truth about yourself.
This is why I am so grateful for the tarot artists who create beautiful decks that inspire my creativity. Without them, my creative, spiritual and business life would be much less than what it is. I can’t imagine what it is to conceive and execute seventy-eight pictures to create a tarot deck – and many of the great artists of our time have created more than one tarot deck!
Of course the first ladies of tarot art are Pamela Colman Smith and Lady Frieda Harris. They set the standard for much of what modern tarot art has become. In the past forty years many wonderful artists have joined them in working with that standard and in creating new standards.
Sometimes I am surprised by new tarot decks. The art is so radically different from what I have come to expect. To me some of these decks don’t even feel like tarot. But for every deck there are plenty of readers who are able to feel the art and hear Spirit whispering through the images.
The diversity in tarot decks reflects our diversity as a community. Tarot is unique in that there is a set structure and specific archetypes. The way that structure is expressed and the way those archetypes are represented can vary a great deal. The talents and imaginings of the artists allow tarot readers to use and expand our own creative and spiritual gifts.
A tarot deck is more than a bunch of pictures. It’s a spiritual tool. Tarot images help us to tap into our intuition and our natural psychic abilities. Tarot images each carry an energy with which we can do magick.
No tarot reader will love every deck. Most of us won’t even love every card in a deck we treasure. Tarot is so personal we can sometimes become ultra-picky about each image. It’s important to remember that the artists in our community render each card from their perspective of the archetype. Sometimes it will match our own perspective perfectly, sometimes it won’t. But can you imagine our tarot world without the rich selection of tarot decks we enjoy today?
Let’s all show some love for our tarot artists, past, present and future. Without you our lives would be much less colorful, much less creative and much less fun.