Mixing Influences


I have started my tarot deck for the hundreth time it seems...but this time it looks like I may have the neccessary skills, commitment , and desire to see it to its completion.

But as I work on the majors, I have developed a small problem...

Ok...I am basing the deck images on the RWS for a few reasons.
One, because I love this deck and this is the one I learned to read on, and two because I am going to have illustrated minors and Iwould like to keep with the images I am most very familiar with.

But here's my problem...there are several major cards, where while I have no problems with the images on the RWS versions...there are images from other decks...mainly the Marseilles... that I just like better.

The Magician is one...where as much as I have always liked the RWS, I really like the concept of the juggler or le bateleur more...and it fits in better with my theme concept.
I also would like to change the 8/11 Justice/strength numbering back to pre-RWS original system, because I feel it just makes more sense.

So, I guess my question is, do I make these changes, or, since most of the deck will be clearly influenced by RWS, do I just continue to base my deck purely on a single deck, and not try to mix the symbolism or influences?

I would love to hear what you think!


i would say there is already a rider waite out there.. and already a marseille out there.. as well as many clones.. since this is YOUR deck and comes from your heart - do what YOU like. It will mean a whole lot more in the end, I would think :eek:)

..but just my opionion...


No Tarot Police. No Tarot Jail. No Tarot Jackboots to kick down your door. Maybe someone will not like your deck for one reason or another, but that is not a good excuse not to do it.

"Lay on, MacDuff, and curst be he that first cries, 'hold, enough!'"

(William Shakespeare, Macbeth)



consider this-
You are probably not the only one who feels and works better with the things you have described.....a blending may be just what someone else is looking for......


Some people will disagree with your ideas, others will agree heartily. As long as you have clear, definite and explainable reasons for the symbolism choices you make, the deck should hold up fine.

And keep us in the loop, okay? We'd love to see what you've come up with!


Thanks everyone! You are all right, of course.

It's my deck, and I have the freedom to do anything I want with it!
I guess this all stems from this weird desire to want to please too many people but I should know by now, that there is never going to be a deck that is universaly loved by everyone!

This deck I am working on is going to be pretty strange anyway...(it's got a backstory and is rather "themey" in the extreme!)

And I just realised that the RWS infuences are not actually as obvious as I thought they might be, and I have subconciously combined symbols from other decks without even realizing it!

All this worry for nothing! (maybe I should stop working on the 9 of Blades card for a while!)


Hm... I would totally agree with Rota here, meaning that any change from the traditional RWS you make, would just need a good explanation for it...

Now, it is definitely not a must to go after this deck, BUT it is true that many people know it, and if they can read that they'll embrace and read yours as well...easily...
And since you fancy that anyway, why not?

I had a similar dilemma when doing my own deck. But since I have changed and evolved a lot since I started, now i can tell you, that after each passing card, I felt more secure to "keep or kick" some of the existing elements, as well as adding my own. So, the way it looks now, one can tell which card is which, but there are cards that have a more personal flavor, which is ok. It shows where i came from, and where I have arrived...
Some cards i had my own insights, and confidence that later emerged, to make my mark on, and some others, less familiar to me, I was glad some one else had a composition for!!!

also, i don't know if you are into astrology and/or the kabbala, but i inserted those too, because many times they helped me understand the cards better... I know some people include I-Ching, Runes, and what not....
And WHY NOT???
no matter what you do, as long as you do it with love (dedication will come), will be another incarnation of the tarot. This is the beauty of it!

Good Luck!