Welcome to my blog! I thought a fitting beginning would be a deeper look into the development of my personal tarot deck. I’ve never given it an official name.. that is a problem for another day. It does follow the theme of Greek mythology, however. I have read the Greek myths since childhood so I was very familiar with the characters and situations. As a librarian, I was also drawn to possibilities of storytelling as a method for divining meaning from the cards.
Tarot has always been a storytelling art, but usually the story is created from the imagery on the cards. In my approach, the stories that I was already familiar with provided the meaning. Then I used images from the public domain or licensed using creative commons to create associate the stories with each card.
Like many tarot practitioners, I used Eden Gray’s seminal text from 1973, Mastering the Tarot, when I was first learning to read. It was these meanings that I translated to my own deck as I was developing it. The version that I own is out of print now, but an updated version called The Complete Guide to the Tarot can still be purchased.
One question I have asked myself many times is why am I creating my own deck when there are so many beautiful ones available? Well, tarot lore does tell us that one must have a deck given to them or make it themselves and that to purchase one is bad luck. I don’t believe the bad luck portion of that, but I do understand that you can never know someone else’s deck in quite the same way that you know your own. Creating your own deck allows you to learn meanings in-depth as you design. That kind of knowledge can only come from the creative process.
The other reason I decided to create my own was because I wanted a deck that used Greek mythology, but hated how Medusa was represented in most decks. Her story is particularly compelling to me as she is portrayed as a monster, but was made monstrous by Athena for being the victim of a brutal rape at the hands of Poseidon. Thus while she plays the monster in Perseus’ story, she is a far more complex character than that story allows. As a feminist, I feel deeply connected to this story and chose to place her on the Moon card as a result.