creating text-based symbolism


I'm interested in exchanging ideas through the possibilities of creating tarot symbolism with minimalistic text imagery instead of a picture. Pictures are wonderful, but to find words that are equivalent can be a creative challange of thought.



Wow, what an inventive creativity you have! :) What about converting the meanings into a short written piece or poem that you can associate with like: lone, massive fervently vital truncheon ablaze! endeavoring enterprising expressing or whatever for Ace of Wands. I think making your own versions of tarot is an art, and your art is like your personal magick, and I envision wands as involving using your magick, or creating your art. So, to you I say, Ace of Wands! and please post some of it (the idea is refreshing)


I wish you all the best with this, but have some extreme reservations about the concept from a reader's viewpoint, if only in the availability of multiple levels of interpretation that graphics have as opposed to text.

F'rinstance, you could do some great poetry about a catafalque for the 4 of Swords, but the image lends itself to many other things - recent post in point about seeing the slab as a massage table to pinpoint a querent's occupation.

Still, it's worth trying, I think, if only as a potential enrichment for the journey.


words, words, words


the deck I'm working on is gematric based. I take a pool of words that are numerologically equal to the concept of a card (I have a whole dictionary of over 1200 words that I've created).

From these, I write a verse about it. From there I do the card illustration.

Sounds like we're running a bit parallel here. If you check in the 'Gematric Tarot' thread in this forum, you can see the results for DEATH.

I'd like to see your results-- words can paint rather intense pictures.

fly well

le pendu

Hi TarotText,

If I understand correctly, you are conceiving a deck that's "imagery" is words.

How much emphasis do you plan on placing on typography? In my experience, the type chosen to communicate a word has exteremly strong resonance. At the ad agency where I work we spend days choosing type to correctly emote the essence of the message.

Do you plan on mixing fonts? Or do you think that might be visually confusing?

I look forward to seeing samples should you choose to share them.



This text idea is an experimental process on symbolism in general. It could be even more closer to basic cards of fortune, not necessarily needing to be structured as a tarot deck.

I'm just very interested in text symbolism and have a constant enthusiasm for visual writing of overlooked everyday life. I enjoy when a few words capture what has been missed by the eyes..or to frame words in such a way that triggers memory and deeper perceptions. I'm hoping this kind of forum motivates me more to experiment with the text-based idea.

As you expressed Astra... it is a kind of potential enrichment of the journey to exchange the symbolism we see and try to put it into words.



Hi TarotText,

I'm intrigued by your idea -- having a graphics background and being rather fond of the typeface as visual art.

Wondering if you're thinking of doing these as freeform letters? I think if you stay away from fixed type and fixed lines, then it could give a real visual impact.

Any samples yet?? :)


Having subscribed to the magazine SomersetStudios, they have pages on Calligraphy in each issue & I can see something like that being a great visual plus on cards like these. You're not limited to computer fonts you know! Hand drawing the words may give extra oomph.


This idea is fascinating. I can't wait to see more samples to get a clearer sense of a finished deck!