Cards of Wu
May 28, 2010 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Cards of Wu. A series of woodcuts in the form of a fictitious deck of divination cards by Ellis Nadler. They're available to buy online as high quality digital prints. [Via]
posted by homunculus (17 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
these are lovely. would be great to have a whole set with minor arcana cards as well so you could set up a tent on a pier and give people the most bizarre tarot reading on the planet.
posted by peterkins at 11:54 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's a bunch of great stuff on Coilhouse right now (which would be worthy of their own posts, imo), like the work of Sperber, Antoine Helbert, and Rimel Neffati.
posted by homunculus at 11:59 AM on May 28, 2010

It's got a touch of Gorey, but it mostly looks like Ryder-Waite collided with PICTURE UNRELATED images, as rendered by Charles Burns. Maybe a little Brute! Which is to say, "Good stuff." I imagine a sample reading might include things like "Beware octopi this holiday weekend," "The cards reveal that your past bubblegum has come back to haunt your chateau," and "Your karma has strayed into an Indigo zone, Citizen."
posted by adipocere at 11:59 AM on May 28, 2010

mostly looks like Ryder-Waite

Not to pick nits, but the actual artist responsible for the famous imagery of the RW deck was Pamela Colman Smith.
posted by hermitosis at 12:05 PM on May 28, 2010

Where's the Raekwon of Cups or the Inspecta Deck of Swords?
posted by electroboy at 12:08 PM on May 28, 2010 [5 favorites]

hermitosis, what are the best faux divination card sets?
posted by boo_radley at 12:11 PM on May 28, 2010

Wu cards ain't nothin' to fuck with. Srsly, good stuff, thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:14 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Golden Nose points to a purchase in my immediate future.
posted by The Mouthchew at 12:18 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Goddammit, Nadler!
For the last time, those are my goddamn cards, and you know it!

posted by Dr. Wu at 12:29 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Only want if it comes in a rare foil.
posted by pianomover at 12:56 PM on May 28, 2010

What the hell did I just write. I meant the print FFS.
posted by The Mouthchew at 1:17 PM on May 28, 2010

these are great - thanks!

(and also thanks for the Coilhouse reference - i am (re)watching Get Carter right now!)
posted by jammy at 2:08 PM on May 28, 2010

These are great. I don't know that I'd want to wake up to some of them, but I'm glad they exist. But I'll second the call for a minor arcana so you can mess with people's heads.
posted by immlass at 2:15 PM on May 28, 2010

I'ma fuckin, i'ma fuckin put ya Three Knots on the dresser, JUST ya Three Knots, and then bang them shits them shits with a fuckin Znakir of Thrax like BLAAAAAH
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 2:51 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'ma fuckin, I'ma fuckin pull ya fucking golden nose off ya fuckin head, then stab that shit with a rusty screwdriver like PLOTCOCK PLOUGHHHHHH.
posted by daniel striped tiger at 3:05 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

hermitosis, what are the best faux divination card sets?

I love these images from Andre Breton's Arcane 17, though it's hard to tell if they count as "faux" since they use the traditional titles of regular Tarot cards. There are lots of people inventing divination card systems out of whole cloth these days; some of them are total boring garbage, and some are really unique, like the Victorian Flower Oracle.

Honestly there's not much practical distinction between real divination decks and faux ones anyway, because when it comes to divination utility is in the eye of the beholder. I could probably scratch together decent readings out of the Wu deck if there were more than 14 of them.

What makes something a "Tarot" as opposed to just a deck of divination cards is a certain hierarchical structure in their ordering -- it's more than merely providing a full spectrum of arbitrary symbols (though like I said above, some of those sets are really interesting to explore with).
posted by hermitosis at 5:20 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

This may be one of my favorite Mefi posts ever.
posted by vertigo25 at 9:12 PM on May 28, 2010

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