Fuck Yeah Tarot Decks
August 8, 2016 8:43 PM   Subscribe

 
Cool site. I shudder every time the Tarot is mentioned because of the book Last Call by Tim Powers.

mentions of Lake Mead fill me with dread
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:22 PM on August 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


The Metafilter Tarot deck features four different kinds of beans, as well as 22 different bean-based dishes or deconstructions of beans.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:28 PM on August 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


And no one noticed the MeFi's own involved?
posted by Samizdata at 10:07 PM on August 8, 2016


I love Tarot. My family was superstitious Catholic growing up, so there was a lot of "demons, occult, divination! This is demonic and you should NEVER EVER" feeling regarding Tarot decks. And I still don't buy what some say, that the cards have predictive power. But I do buy that they have power--images and symbols that yield textured and layered meaning. Randomness that can be generative, prompting, and meditative.
posted by erinfern at 10:14 PM on August 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


there is of course a Discordian Tarot, but for my money, the finest counterculture deck is Morgan's Tarot, which is glorious and, i understand, back in print.
posted by drjon at 10:31 PM on August 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Nice to see the shout-out to Mefi's Own egypturnash for the Silicon Dawn Tarot, which has its official page here.
posted by wanderingmind at 11:01 PM on August 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


wanderingmind: "Nice to see the shout-out to Mefi's Own egypturnash for the Silicon Dawn Tarot, which has its official page here."

As I mentioned above.

I was interested how long it took anyone else to notice.

Kudos, brilliant being, kudos!
posted by Samizdata at 11:11 PM on August 8, 2016


But I do buy that they have power--images and symbols that yield textured and layered meaning. Randomness that can be generative, prompting, and meditative.

That's exactly it, for me - humans are marvelous pattern-matching machines, and tarot cards being random, iconic, evocative, and complex makes them an excellent tool for sparking new insights into a situation. I've got the aforementioned Silicon Dawn one, and it was directly catalytic in (I can't really call it "responsible for" since the cards have no agency of their own) resolving some significant personal issues I've had in the past. In a literal sense, I might very well not be where I am today without that catalyst.

If you need some thoughts provoked, I heartily recommend that deck, even if (like me) you've got no taste for the mystical associations of tarot. It's a delightful lens to look at the world through.
posted by NMcCoy at 11:21 PM on August 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


That's exactly it, for me - humans are marvelous pattern-matching machines, and tarot cards being random, iconic, evocative, and complex makes them an excellent tool for sparking new insights into a situation.

Ditto - I've never used a tarot deck but I'm a huge fan of the I Ching as a way to put my own thoughts in order and re-focus my approach to a situation.
posted by Itaxpica at 11:34 PM on August 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


One of my more dubious achievements is being named on the Credits card of the Discordian Tarot (version 2).

I think my current favorites are the Phantasmagoric Theater and Ghetto tarot decks, but I'm pretty pleased to have a copy of the 1998 reproduction Sola-Busca deck.
posted by hades at 12:12 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, and anyone who'd like to try their hand at a game of Assumption without the risk of playing it with a Lombardy Zeroth deck might enjoy the Dead Man's Hand Tarot, made for that purpose.
posted by hades at 12:19 AM on August 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


There's apparently a Sola Busca reproduction deck around, too.

They included in the sample images the three of wands card described in the book
posted by sukeban at 12:31 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


This one (apparently fanart taken from pixiv) is funnier when you consider that Nintendo started up as a playing card company and they've also done Mario versions of their classic hanafuda cards.
posted by sukeban at 12:42 AM on August 9, 2016


Anyone interested in tarot cards should read Alan Moore's Promethea. Some gorgeous artwork there by JH Williams III too. Issue 12 is particularly relevant here.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:46 AM on August 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Andromeda Klein (a YA novel) is my favorite Tarot novel and my favorite Frank Portman book. Great word play and a twisty ending.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:41 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, this is my jam! I have a decent collection of decks. I'm going to check out Promethea and Last Call too.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 6:13 AM on August 9, 2016


I talked myself out of making an Angelica Anthem Elizalde reference in that thread about the psychiatrist who believes in possession cases thinking nobody would get it, and now I find a thread full of Tim Powers readers!
posted by jason_steakums at 6:37 AM on August 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:49 AM on August 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I keep thinking about carving my own tarot deck, but from talking to other artists who have done so it sounds like a huge undertaking. Still, the idea of a medieval woodcut style deck featuring UFOs and cryptids sounds pretty cool if very, very niche.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:52 AM on August 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


Looks like FYTD lasted about long enough to post a bit out of my deck and not much more - the newest post there is from 2011. Did I really draw the Silicon Dawn that long ago? Where'd all that time vanish to? Oh, right.

robocop is bleeding, yeah, it's a lot of work. Took me about a year. If you've got a slow art process or lots of distractions it'll take you even longer. You'll definitely level up your art skills by the time you finish it though.
posted by egypturnash at 7:32 AM on August 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wow, awesome work egypturnash! My wife (in the long ago) loved the Tarot, amongst other things. She owned two decks, a traditional deck, and The Voyager Tarot which I see has taken on new life with a new(ish) millennium.
posted by evilDoug at 7:38 AM on August 9, 2016


There is a Bosch tarot deck? How long have people known about this and why have you concealed this knowledge from me?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:46 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm another tarot deck collector (around seventy decks, I think, plus I'm backing three on crowdfunding sites right now), and I'm lightly involved in the tarot community on Tumblr. I always liked FYTD and was sorry that the owner stopped updating it.

Being the nerd that I am, my favorites decks have to be the RPG tarot decks:

* Mage: the Ascension Tarot (OOP)
* Mage: the Awakening Tarot (OOP)
* Ravenloft Tarokka Deck (OOP) - a specific tarot deck for the classic D&D setting.
* Curse of Strahd Tarokka - a specific tarot deck for the reboot of the old 1983 Ravenloft adventure.
* The Deluxe Harrow Deck for Paizo's Harrow setting. The rulebook that comes with the deck contains a game that can be played with the deck, and there's a player's companion that helps you integrate the cards into the game.
* While not technically a tarot deck, the Deck of Many Things has been printed twice to my knowledge: an OOP edition from Green Ronin, and a current edition from Analog Games.
posted by magstheaxe at 7:57 AM on August 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I love Tarot, but I do have a hard time finding decks that match my aesthetic. When Japanese decks were a thing, those were pretty good at it (but pricey!), but that seems to have kind of faded away. Most of what I see is hippie fairy or way too "goth" stuff. And some of that would be fine if the art was better.

I'm heartened by a lot of the "indie" decks that people are creating. Sadly, I usually find out about them too late to get in on the Kickstarters/etc. (although I know several eventually get republished).

I was very happy to find The Linestrider Tarot. I've enjoyed reading with it so far.
posted by darksong at 8:03 AM on August 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Silicon Dawn deck is absolutely beautiful. I think I am going to need to buy a copy. Fantastic work, egypturnash.

My favourite tarot-related thing is Jessa Crispin's regular-ish newsletter. I love her writing.
posted by corvine at 8:19 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah, it was a simpler time when Charles Williams wrote The Greater Trumps! A fun read for you Tim Powers fans (if you haven't read it already).
posted by cleroy at 8:50 AM on August 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I started reading Tarot a couple of years ago and I never thought I would have more than one deck, but they do seem to accumulate. My favorite is Jodorowsky's version of the Tarot de Marseille, mostly because I don't really love Crowley so prefer the older styles, and the cards seem very thoughtfully designed and really speak with each other.

I've also wanted to make my own deck but it does seem like a gigantic undertaking that I'm not quite ready for. I think once you start reading you really develop your own relationship to the cards and that impulse is inevitable, though.

I always have funny conversations with the more science-minded folks I know that start with them looking at me all side-eyed and asking, "But you don't BELIEVE in that stuff, do you?" And they never quite seem to buy it as a method of self-reflection and not fortune telling. And I seem so logical enough, otherwise.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 9:10 AM on August 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Ha, as a science-minded type (with a very woo-inclined parent who's into it from a fortune-telling POV) it's taken me a long time to feel okay about my interest in the tarot!
posted by corvine at 9:22 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


As an insane person with a collection of approximately mumble mumble decks, I want to thank you for this FPP! I keep wanted to do a Golden Girls deck but um I have no artistic talent whatsoever so.

Also, what jeweled accumulation said about self-reflection and not fortune telling, times one zillion.
posted by holborne at 10:51 AM on August 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm surprised that Topps has never tried making and marketing their own tarot decks, either as complete boxed sets or as random-assortment bubblegum packs. A Garbage Pail Kids, Wacky Packages, or Mars Attacks! tarot would be right up my particular alley.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:45 AM on August 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


A Wacky Packages Tarot would be amazing. I loved those freaking things when I was a kid.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 11:47 AM on August 9, 2016


I do have not-fully-developed ideas about divination and fortune telling (like tarot and astrology and also witchcraft and spell casting) being appealing as a way of understanding the world or trying to apply some kind of logic to an otherwise random and often painful universe. And that especially attracts people who otherwise have very little power in their lives. And I think that these kinds of methods especially appeal to women and those outside of mainstream power structures for that reason, but that's also why it's completely discounted as frivolous nonsense by these same power structures and the people who benefit from them most.

Anyway, I like the tarot because it uses ancient archetypes that are still relatable and puts some of my problems in perspective, since I'm using these ideas that are 500 years old but they're still relevant to my every day experience. This is also why I prefer the tarot de Marseille as opposed to the golden dawn-influenced decks, including Rider Waite Coleman (even though the artwork on that one is fantastic). I've been curious about tarot in non-western cultures, though, since so much of the imagery and even the whole concept is so rooted in European, Judeo-Christian history (the pope/hierophant, the devil, etc).
posted by jeweled accumulation at 12:56 PM on August 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Dollar Tree Tarot? You have spoken to my soul.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 10:07 PM on August 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


NB: The printing of that deck which would have been available at Dollar Tree is long gone, but it looks like you can get a recolored version as the Wishcraft Mystical Tarot for $10 or so.
posted by hades at 7:41 PM on August 15, 2016


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