Creating a Big Bear Tarot Deck!

Come on a journey with me as I create a deck of Tarot!

I’m creating a tarot deck—as a way to learn the tarot deck. I think drawing or creating a deck forces you to figure out what each card is about, and what part of the visual image is important to you as a reader. What elements go? What does this card say to you?

The Tarot Lady, Theresa Reed, produced a coloring book for folks to learn the deck, and I think that is awesome as well! You can really get to know the deck that way too. But Theresa also suggested we figure out, intuitively, what each card was saying to us—that there could be very personal meanings that came through a card. As a visual artist, I took that challenge seriously, and wanted to understand what each card meant to me… what meanings were being conveyed.

So, I’m building a deck! So far I have four cards, as you can see in this post… and I’ll be posting about each of them and what my design means to me. When I get all 78 done, I will have a comprehensive database of the cards, and their meanings, that can stay up on this site and help others too.

I am also thinking about publishing the deck once I’m finished. I don’t think I will be done with the complete deck before Christmas, but I’m going to try by Dec 31. There are 104 days left—so I could pull this off! When I get to 25 cards, I will start up a Kickstarter, because by then I will know the approximate creating time and how to publish a deck, what the costs are, and whether I’m committed all the way. At four cards, it’s too early to tell anything.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to help keep me on track, you can help by joining my Patreon. For as little as $1 a month you get to have all the designs of the cards mailed to your inbox, participate in polls, and be a part of the process! Also, at slightly higher levels there are Weekly 3-card pulls for Creators, meditations on art, access to more of my art (fairies, gardens, beefy satyrs all in pleasant flowers and pastoral landscapes), stories, buttons, stickers, cards. All of this keeps my bills paid too… but makes us a community, and that is priceless.

Things I want my deck to do: be queer friendly, be colorful, be body-size diverse, reflect a modern sensibility, be fun and be joyful!

Mostly though, even if I don’t publish the deck, I want to learn about the cards in this more intimate way. Creating a deck is an intuitive act—as you hope that you are channeling not only your desires as a card reader, but as someone who gets read, but also channeling some deeper unconscious ideas about what the deck needs to say to people. You are creating a deck for others too—and what symbols will you put in the cards that will speak to others?

So come with me on this journey as I create a Deck! Find out all the frustrations and the joys of re-interpreting the cards, designing them, making decisions about what to keep and what to throw out. How do you make a deck?

Now, on with the deck!

Published by jstueart

Jerome writes science fiction/ fantasy and queer fiction and has been published in many magazines and journals including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lightspeed, Fantasy,, Strange Horizons. His first collection, The Angels of Our Better Beasts, was published in 2016 and was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award. His work was/is a finalist for the Eugie Award and the World Fantasy Award. He also makes art---acrylic paintings and small watercolor paintings. He holds a PhD in English and is currently working on an MA in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life at Pacifica Graduate Institute. He lived for 10 years in the Yukon Territory, but now lives in Columbus OH.

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