As an experiment and a preparation for a future tarot project I have (to be announced), I decided to further modify this deck. Over the years I have had many ideas for various decks, and I’ve made a heap of notes, many sketches, and even a handful of prototype cards, however, In a weird way, this is sort of “my” first completed tarot. Not one I ever expected to make, but it’s strangely fulfilling nonetheless.
In part one of this tarot adventure I mentioned that this deck had taken on a life on its own, and that really is the only way to describe this transformation. It has come to life in a real Frankenstein way, and I definitely feel like a mad scientist experimenting with forbidden technology, combining things that maybe should not be mixed together… creating a monster!
I’ve been taking Gordon White’s Tarot course, which I highly recommend by the way, so this experimental phase is very coloured by what I’ve been learning there. Below is some work in progress photos of the pip cards
The four suits colours are easy enough, and has the traditional associations, with Swords/Air/Yellow and Wands/Fire/Red swapped to Swords/Fire/Red and Wands/Air/Yellow respectively, because that’s how I roll these days.
It gets a little more complicated with further colour combinations, but it does follow its own internal logic, which I very much like. This is based on some historical context, but it’s mostly speculative, and experimental (and that’s the spirit of this deck).
Here the Major Arcana has been given colours according to their association with the cardinal virtues (Justice, Fortitude, Temperance and Prudence) and their correspondence to Swords, Wands, Cups and Coins. It’s worth noting that in this case The World is linked to Prudence, which seemed to make a whole lot more sense to me, than The Hermit that is perhaps more common.
I won’t go into much detail on how and why the colours are what they are, as that’s probably a topic for another post but a quick rundown is like this:
- Coins: Prudence (The World). The Moon, The Sun, Judgment and Princesses.
- Swords: Justice. The Hanged One, Death, The Devil, The Tower and Princes.
- Cups: Temperance. Lovers, The Chariot, The Hermit, The Wheel and Queens.
- Wands: Fortitude (Strength). The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant and Kings.
It’s also worth noting that I put The Hierophant in the Wands/Fortitude category, because all the other ones had five Trumps in them, and sequentially and symbolically it seemed to fit there. And lastly The Fool gets no colour or cardinal virtue association, while The Magician is also standalone but with all 4 suit colours.
The full deck in all its glory:
I’m really pleased with the whimsical nature of this deck. It has its own unique look, and it has inspired me to explore the hyper-dimensional world of the Tarot on a deeper more intuitive level.
Next I’ll get a completely blank deck and see if I can take this experiment even further.
PS The basis of this deck is the out of print first edition of The Minimalist Tarot, however you can get the second edition here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/616021759/minimalist-tarot-deck-2019-edition (and from what I can tell it looks like it has addressed and improved upon some of the issues I had with the first edition).