Majors and Minors

lampdownlow

As I read the reviews of Tarot decks, I have noted a frequent concern about differences in quality between the major arcana and the minor arcana. The usual comment is something to the effect that the majors have received more attention, work and detail.

I am posted the following question here because it relates (in my mind) to the creation of a Tarot deck -- that is, what is going through an artist's mind as he or she creates the deck.

I have a sense that many artists would be inclined to devote more attention to the majors because...well...they are major. And a little less detail with the minors would be artistically sensible to distinquish them as minors. I am suggesting this as a possibility opposed to the notion that the artist is simply lazy and and has put all her energy into the first 22 to then sort of knock out the rest.

What do others think?

And if the artist assumes he is doing the smart thing by devoting less detail to the majors, is that really the smart thing according to what people want to see?
 

lampdownlow

lampdownlow said:
And if the artist assumes he is doing the smart thing by devoting less detail to the majors, is that really the smart thing according to what people want to see?

Of course, I meant, devoting less detail to the MINORS...
 

WolfyJames

Personaly, I would say no. I think the minors are as important as majors. After all, the minors are 56 cards, the majority of the deck, how can you not care about the two third of the deck? Of course, you can make a major arcana only deck if you want (if you plan to focus on the majors), but if the minors are included, might as well put some efforts on them.

I love that when the pips are illustrated and meaningfull. It makes the use of the deck easier. I saw Tarot de Marseilles when I was a kid, and it completely turned me off from tarot for at least a decade. The majors were horrible (still are, yeuk!) and the pips not illustrated, the kind of things I wish never existed. Thank God I found The Enchanted Tarot, it put me on the tarot track, otherwise I wouldn't be here today. I'm sure on this lots of people disagree with me, but I'm not interested in such decks with no illustrated pips. I'm planning to make my own tarot, and the minors are going to be illustrated and as important as the majors.
 

HudsonGray

I didn't hold back on the minors when I was drawing them for my deck. Some of them are more detailed than the majors were. It probably depends entirely on the artist (of course) as to which deck skimped & which deck doesn't.
 

Astra

I have to admit that I ended up treating the Majors as a fifth suit, albeit a bit longer than the other four. When I'm reading, I find I don't care much whether the card is major or minor, but how much of an impact the graphic has at the time, so each card got attention depending on just how much work I had to do to translate the concept to the work I was doing. I suppose this is heresy, ;-) but so be it.
 

baba-prague

Well, to be honest I think we sometimes devoted more time to some of the Minors. It was simply because we felt there was more flexibility for change in the Minors, so some of them really needed thinking out in a lot of detail.

In the Majors, we felt that certain things could/should not be changed (I know not everyone would agree with this) - so in an odd way it was easier to decide how to depict them. There were some exceptions to this - our Moon card went through eight variations (!) and our Hanged Man also took a long time.

However, in the end I think it was the Courts that needed the most attention. It really is hard to make courts that distinctly convey their different characteristics. Our "we can't do this" card was the Knight of Swords oddly enough. We had IMMENSE problems with that card - though in the end it suddenly clicked.

By the way, I am one of those people who like illustrated Minors. I understand why it can be disappointing to get a deck in which the Majors obviously had a lot more attention paid to them.

But again, there are people here on AT (who I respect) who would rather have non-illustrated pips. So it isn't in any way a hard and fast rule that illustrated pips will be popular with users.
 

lawguy51

baba-prague said:
.But again, there are people here on AT (who I respect) who would rather have non-illustrated pips. So it isn't in any way a hard and fast rule that illustrated pips will be popular with users.
This point focuses in on why I love of the Thoth deck so much. The Minors, even though not illustrative in the way an RWS-type deck is, are nevertheless some of the most evocative minors I have experienced with any deck. I wince when I draw the 7 or 8 of Cups. I am electrified by the 8 of Wands. And the Court Cards, there are none better in any deck, imho. (Baba-Prague, I anxiously await your deck's arrival in my mailbox with bated breath and thus anticipate waxing poetic about your creative endeavors soon!). The Thoth for me is a supreme example of an artist, in this case Lady Frieda Harris, who treated every card with extraordinary creative inspiration.

Lawguy51