Idea for a new tarot


This links in a way to the previous thread where someone wrote about dreaming of cards from a new deck. I have been offline for weeks because my computer when down and I was too ill till now to sort it out. I was quite feverish at times, and in a half-dream state I found myself thinking about a new tarot. It is based on a what I think is a theme that hasn't been done before, and I pictured several of the major arcana very clearly.
What I am wondering about, as I've never made a tarot deck before, is what I am letting myself in for. Until I start,I sense I won't realise how much work and time will be involved,but I am feeling a pull to do it.
Are any other people hovering on the brink like me?
All the best


Just go for it! Unless you get those images out of your head and into the real world soon they will start to fade... and then they will never be able to be shared with anyone. :) Sure, creating a tarot deck is a lot of work but unless you give it a go, you have not created anything... Take the leap!!! :TFOOL


Oh, you have to do it! You're not wrong, it is definitely a lot of work, but just imagine the depth of the readings you could do with a deck that you know so intimately!
78 artworks are a huge amount, and the length of time 'til completion would depend largely on the size of them. Oh, and of course how much detail will be in them.

I began working to create my own deck but got bogged down painting the first one. It's become way too obscure with masses of unimportant symbolism and things that probably don't really need to be there. I'm going to start from scratch.
I think my main problem was the size; they were going to be quite large and so there was too much detail that wouldn't be visible anyway once they were down-sized. Plus I get sidetracked and my mind follows all sorts of conflicting tangents when I paint, so have your image well thought out and planned before you start each one. But seeing as you've seen how they're going to look already, you won't have that problem.

You have to create this deck; this could be the deck I've been waiting for! I know you will, I'm sure you don't need anyone to push you.

I can't wait to see it :)


I am a Tarot deck collector and I've also started creating a new Tarot deck in the past 2 months.

One thing I've very quickly found out, was the symbols used in each card are of paramount importance. Some artists would slavishly imitate the Rider-Waite school, or other mystical philosophies. Others would completely disregard them, creating their own universe. The worst, in my opinion, would selectibly dip in and out of the different schools, making a mess of the whole thing.

You must keep in mind that the underlying meaning of each card is unchangeable, otherwise you're not dealing with Tarot anymore. So whatever the symbols you use in the creation of your personal vision of the Tarot, they must reflect that underlying meaning. Consider the cards to be sort of an alphabet spelling out a message. This message must be universally understood by all 'readers'.


Grasshopper - I, too, am on the brink. But I've taken the leap, as I can't seem to help myself. :D I've been wanting to create a deck for what seems like eons (but in truth is probably only about the last five to ten years...ok, maybe that IS an eon!). It's only been in the last year or so that I've decided on what I wanted to do for my deck. I'm writing an epic fantasy novel, riddled with lots of psychological and spiritual fodder, ripe for a tarot deck. But I got bogged down in what character or plot line coincides with which card. It made it impossible for me to even begin to create a single card. Then I found this website and got rapidly inspired.

The only problem is, the deck I've just started to create is NOT the deck of my novel. I decided that I was just going to have to start with a "practice" deck before I tackled my novel. And you know what? I'm finding that this is the best thing. Yes, it's a lot of work, but at the same time, I'm gaining an intimate knowledge of the deck that I previously lacked. I'm certain that when I finish this deck (and I still have the inclination) the deck based on my novel will be much easier to tackle.

I agree with Kayne that you should just do it. The longer you wait, the quicker your vision of your cards will dissipate. At the very least, write down everything you can remember about each of the cards that you drempt about. Worry about the minutiae of symbolism later. The important thing is to commit your artistic vision to paper. The "semantics" of your deck can be sorted out later when you actually sit down to mold each card. Granted, if you're creating your deck by hand, you've got to have a pretty good idea of exactly what you want to include in each card in the way of symbolism. But, if you're creating your card with a computer program, you can always add or subtract the symbolism as you see fit.

And remember, no one says you have to complete an entire deck if you don't want to. It's the journey that's important, not the end result.



the gap between mind and matter

I know what you must be feeling.. My mind is filled with pictures of the perfect deck. But as soon as I start working on creating it, I'm always dissapointed. But I won't give up trying to create that perfect picture in my mind. It just takes time and practice.
I'm planning on doing the artwork without computers and I guess thats asking for a lot of work and redoing...
But just follow the inspiration and jump!


Start with the major arcana, and make scetches. If that increases your enthusiasm, go for the full deck. :)


I too am making a tarot deck. I started one a while back by drawing all the pictures by hand...and hooboy...that was a lot of work! (It helps if you have a computer program better the word and paint) lol. It didn't work too well. I started another one recently, but it's pretty much just copying and pasting. I'm doing it the cheap way, by finding pictures online (I'm only making one deck for me, so I'm not worried about copyrights) and they've been working really well. In less then a month I've done almost all the major arcana (5 to go baby!)
So, yeah. But it's been a lot of fun, so GO FOR IT!!! ^_^


I was on the brink, so what I did was buy a pack of index cards (a buck or less at most office supply stores) and start sketching out the ideas. I did it on 4 x 6 cards to give myself a little room. Simple pencil sketches at first, but as the process progresses I've added stuff I cut out of magazines, photocopies, etc. I am now getting a pretty good idea of how much work this deck is going to require and it looks like a lot.

But I'm going to go for it- I remember once complaining to someone that the books I'd been reading usually had some things I liked about them, but were lacking in other areas, and why couldn't someone just write a book with all the good bits in it? That someone's reply was something like 'Quit yer whining! Why don't you do it?' And since then, I have been.

As I was tarot deck shopping I realized that out of each deck there were cards I liked and cards I didn't (at least artwork-wise :D) and that same advice came back to me like a ghost from the past.


I found that once I had my 'vision' - that clear mental idea of what the cards had to look like, that I felt the need to draw and draw and draw.
I wanted to spill all the ideas out on paper,all the cards at once, pretty much, so they were all there in front of me - no longer did I have to expend effort holding the ideas in my mind. That was a huge relief.
But they were just sketches - the bare bones of ideas. Then came the real work- going through and organizing the ideas. It's as though you need ALL the cards in front of you, so that you can balance one against another, and see what they really need to be. You can figure out if your idea has to be collaged, photographed, drawn, painted, sculpted or welded in steel. That way, you won't spend endless time on a mass of useless detail or misplaced finish or a High Priestess's eyelash, when you should be spending time working on a really good composition or the exact placement of some important symbol.
Once you have all the general parts laid down, then you can begin on the next level of detail, and so on until you get to the depressing part - how to get the thing printed.
That's my process. Probably too linear and anal-retentive for some people of a more wholistic bent, but there you are - that's what makes horse races and the wide variety of Tarot decks.