How to create a tarot deck?

Introduction to Tarot and its Origins

A keen interest in tarot is like unpacking a centuries-old enigma wrapped in allegories, beliefs, and cultures. Embedded with a rich symbolism, tarot began its journey as entertaining playing cards in the mid-15th century Italy. Today, they have evolved into a deep-rooted divinatory system providing clarity and self-understanding. A crucial part of understanding how to create a tarot deck is to delve into its origins and realize the diverse elements that make up a traditional deck.

How to create a tarot deck?Image by Kayla Maurais. Source: Unsplash.

Understanding the History and Significance of Tarot

Tarot’s intriguing history begins as "Trionfi" cards circa 1440 in Italy. The original Italian suits of cups, swords, coins, and clubs influenced the design of tarot decks as we see them today. As tarot transitioned between continents and cultures, it absorbed varied esoteric philosophies, leading to the plethora of styles available today. One constant remained – a deck’s composition of 78 cards, 22 belong to the Major Arcana depicting life’s significant rites of passages, and 56 represent the Minor Arcana mirroring daily life-shaping influences.

The Different Elements of a Traditional Tarot Deck

A traditional tarot deck consists of two divisions: the Major Arcana or "greater secrets" and the Minor Arcana or "lesser secrets". The Major Arcana symbolizes the journey of ‘The Fool’ through twenty-two milestones or life lessons. Each card has unique artwork infused with symbols and archetypes, with each image revealing insightful messages. The Minor Arcana are split into four suits: cups, wands, swords, and pentacles. Each suit mirrors an aspect of life: emotion (cups), creativity (wands), intellect (swords), and material aspects (pentacles).

Tools and Materials Needed to Create a Tarot Deck

Creating a tarot deck is a labor love, self-reflection, and creativity. A significant initial consideration should be the quality and type of your tools and materials to ensure durability and a tactile feel. It’s also important to create a personal workspace that allows you to connect with your projects on an intimate level.

Choosing the Right Art Supplies

Selecting the correct art supplies strongly influences the final outcome of your tarot deck. Whether you choose to paint, sketch, or digitally create your images, ensure the medium complements your style. High-quality acrylics, oil paints, colored pencils, or graphic design software – choose these supplies thoughtfully as they command the final vibrancy and feel of your cards.

Selecting Quality Card Stock for Durability and Handling

Card stock is paramount in dictating how your tarot cards will feel in hand. The card material should balance sturdiness with easy shuffling. A 300gsm (grams per square meter) card stock with a light gloss finish or matte varnish is a trusted choice for DIY tarot decks, granting durability while ensuring superior handling.

Understanding the Importance of a Personal Workspace

Creativity unfolds best in familiar and comfortable environments. Establishing a personal workspace is vital when crafting a tarot deck. Make it a sanctuary of creativity where you can focus and connect with your project’s esoteric nature – a quiet room, involving curated playlists, mood lighting, or calming aroma oils can augment your creative experience.

Designing Your own Tarot Cards

Designing tarot cards unlocks a realm where creativity intertwines with esoteric symbolism. It’s a personal journey that allows you to define the visual cues of your Major and Minor Arcana, drawing inspirations from pips, courts, and suit elements.

Unleashing Creativity: How to Design each Card’s Artwork

Developing artwork for your tarot deck is an intimate process that mirrors your interpretation of each card’s essence. There are no rigid rules; you’re free to explore various themes – modern, whimsical, mythical, or abstract. Consider sketching out your ideas or creating mood boards to guide your design process. Each card should tell a story, weave in relevant symbols that communicate the expected divinatory meanings.

The Major Arcana: Exploring their Meanings as Inspiration for Designs

Each Major Arcana signifies a key event or represents an underlying theme in life. Begin by contemplating the traditional symbolism and meanings of these 22 cards and then infuse your personal viewpoints and experiences into their design. For example, The Fool represents new beginnings or daring adventures; thus, you can design this card to mirror an important outset that resonates personally with you.

The Minor Arcana: Drawing Inspiration from Pips, Courts, and Suit Elements

The Minor Arcana cards resonate with everyday situations. The four suits – Cups, Wands, Swords, and Pentacles – should represent emotions, creativity, intellect, and earthly matters, respectively. For example, while illustrating the Two of Cups (representing love and union), you may evoke the concept of love in a way that personally speaks to you.

Creating Your Own Interpretations

Creating personal interpretations for your deck infuses it with your unique energy and perspective. It requires understanding traditional meanings and adding your intuition-led insights to craft guidebook meanings and even explore reversed card implications.

Developing Personal Connections with Your Cards – A Key in Interpretation

The foundation of reading tarot lies in forging personal connections with your cards. Engaging with each card while designing them is a mindful exercise that sucks you into each card’s narrative. This experience often unravels unique interpretations that make the journey of reading tarot more insightful.

Crafting Card Meanings for Your Guidebook

While traditional tarot decks come with established meanings, creating a deck gives you the liberty to craft card meanings in your guidebook. Reflect on what each card symbolizes to you – the experiences, thoughts, emotions they evoke – and describe them in a concise, relatable manner in your guidebook.

Providing Reversed Meaning Explorations

Reversed cards in a tarot reading often point towards inhibited energy or a blockage towards the upright card’s meaning. While designing your deck, consider providing reversed card explorations. It defines a more comprehensive metaphorical narrative for your tarot deck.

Conclusion: Asserting the Value of Creating a Personalized Tarot Deck

Creating a personalized tarot deck is more than an artistic endeavor; it’s an intimate journey through self-expression and introspection. It allows you to delve deeper into tarot symbolism, manifesting your understandings and connections into physical form. It adds immense value to your readings because of its infused personal energy; each card resonates with a unique narrative directly channeled from your intuition.

#Potential FAQs

What materials are best for creating a tarot deck?
Art supplies could include high-quality acrylics, oil paints, or colored pencils for traditional creation, while graphic design software aids in digital design. A 300gsm card stock is optimal for durability and handling.

Are there specific rules for designing tarot cards?
There’s flexibility in designing tarot cards. While traditional symbolism and meanings can guide your designs, the ultimate aim is to capture your personal interpretations and aesthetics.

How can one uniquely reinterpret each tarot card in their deck?
Personal interpretations arise from engaging deeply with each card during its design. The feelings, thoughts, and personal experiences evoked by each can offer distinctive insights.

What is the importance of having reversed card meanings in my deck?
Reversed cards hint at an unconscious blockage or resistance towards what the upright card epitomizes. Offering reversed meanings in your deck provides a more holistic metaphorical narrative in your readings.

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