Cartomancy Tarot - Keywords?

Keywords or no keywords?

  • Yes, I like them!

    Votes: 15 51.7%
  • No, I'd rather learn it.

    Votes: 11 37.9%
  • Other (please explain!) :)

    Votes: 3 10.3%

  • Total voters


I've been working on a little project (mostly for myself) where I'm creating a tarot deck whose minor arcana is designed to incorporate traditional playing-card meanings. I might like to publish this someday if there's any interest. My question is: keywords, or no keywords? Normally I prefer not to have them, but this system is so different that I feel like I almost have to have keywords - or spend years learning a new system entirely. If you were working with a deck that was vastly different from what you're used to (and had unillustrated pips) would you prefer to have keywords to help you out, or would you like to figure it out on your own?

Thanks for your responses!


It seems that I have spent so much time & energy learning tarot, that I am unwilling to invest many hours in a new system. I like oracles that are fairly quick to use (i.e. without long study) so I would definitely prefer keywords.


I would be interested in a deck like you describe. Keywords don't bother me on cards. In this case, I would appreciate them. Maybe people who don't want/need them could just trim the cards.

I'd like to see some images of your pip cards when you're ready to post them. I'll watch this thread to keep an eye out.


Here are a couple of sample cards. I haven't quite decided how to do the playing card correspondences.. do you (generic you) prefer one suit symbol (like the 3 of cups) or the corresponding number (6 of coins)?

These images come from the Vachetta line drawings, modified a bit to fit the template of the private publisher I hope to use.


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Babalon Jones

I had to pick other. Not *usually" a fan of keywords, but I like the names of the "lords" that Golden Dawn uses, and like the adaptations of those names used on the Thoth deck.

Agree that in a new system, it helps sometimes to have them.


Any opinions on the pip cards above? I'd like to get some feedback before moving forward with them :)


I think I'd prefer the corresponding number like the 6 of coins image, but I am having a hard time picturing what that would look like with the nines and tens. :neutral:

ETA: I'm wondering if the keywords will be larger on the lower number cards then getting smaller on the higher ones?


I think I worked out a system I like for the pips.. here's some examples from the Coins suit! Let me know what you think :)


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I really love the art in your cards! It is a deck I would definitely buy!
I know that keywords are extremely helpful for beginners and for those who want to use a deck of cards immediately, but to my experience keywords can be just like a cheatsheet on exams. Yes, they can help you on a reading, but you hardly learn seriously the meanings. Additionaly, when you use a deck with keywords written on the cards, it's not "attractive" for other people that one reads the cards for..they get TOO distracted. So, I would say that if you'd like to publish this work, it would be great to have 2 decks. One with keywords and maybe a "companion book" and one seperately without keywords for "advanced learners". What about court cards? Could you show us some samples? :) I'm looking forward to it.


I particularly like that you haven't added a text title to the Priestess/Papess trump card.

Not so keen on the keywords, as I (and perhaps others?) might want to use different cartomancy meanings.

Like the art-style :)

Bee :)