I’m trying to avoid getting a new deck for a while but there are brilliant creators out there making it as hard as possible for me! This gorgeous new deck is Our Tarot, a collage art deck filled with 78 history-making women from all walks of life.
Earlier this year, I broke down after circling the project for a while and finally took a deep look at the Slow Holler Tarot project. Looking back at my first Tarot of the QTPOC post for the Slow Holler Tarot, I can still feel how tense I was about it- a trepidation borne of past disappointments with projects that claimed to live in the stars but hardly made it off the ground. To me, that post reads like someone reluctantly dipping their big toe into ice cold water in the middle of winter. The promise of a queer southern tarot deck felt too big of a promise to fulfill.
I’m excited to hold the Slow Holler Tarot in my hands. I’ll admit, I am tense about it as well. Mostly because it holds or hopes to hold so many of my identities, there’s a catch of breath in my throat that won’t be released till I hold the beautiful black-gold-red cards in my hand and hopefully see myself. Perhaps unfairly, I’m looking for southern Black complicated gris gris realities that we live right along with those magical escapist imagined futures we seek out in our magic and in each other. Yes, I know, it’s a lot to ask for from one deck, to ask from a community of artists, people, who may be looking for all of these things for themselves and the ones they love in the art that they create.
I got to do an awesome interview with the amazing creator of the Dust II Onyx Tarot over at Little Red Tarot.
Regarding the tarot industry and what’s out there for folks, Courtney had this to say about why she was motivated to create a deck that was made for her and her community:
How do you feel your many identities meet, push up against, or vibe with the current tarot landscape?
I would at this point in my life describe myself as fat, black, queer, and divine. There isn’t a deck out there to my knowledge that expresses this freedom that I feel within myself. I definitely have an appreciation for the quality of imagery I see in decks such as the Wild Unknown and Fountain Tarot. I definitely see them as having a place in my own collection. However, I needed to see ME in a deck. I wanted a deck that pushed past surface meaning for me. That drew me into a deeper place in my subconscious and I had yet to find one that did.
Happy to review this deck long since added to my Tarot of the QTPOC list, The Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert.
The original version of the Gaian Tarot was indie released in 2010, then LLewellyn in 2011, and this year by Schiffer and I’m glad for it. Decks like this often sell quick- people are hungry to see themselves in the decks they work with- and what is left available after the first printing is usually price gouged to the high heavens (prayer circle for the Collective Tarot). Reprintings keep decks more accessible, and I especially encourage folks to prioritize the support of indie reprints.
You should absolutely support the Asian American Tarot. I believe my first words when I saw the Kickstarter for this deck was “Oh wow.” breathed with awe as I rushed to add it to my Tarot of the QTPOC list. I don’t know that I have seen a tarot project like this before, and I have to say it is a stunning idea for such an important vision.
Some tarot decks you can look away from.
Your eye glazes over the art and you look for what you want to find; you seek out what you’re used to finding in a particular card, careless of what’s there that doesn’t fit.
Enter The Mary-El Tarot: Landscapes of the Abyss, and I dare you to look away. In fact, I bet you try.
“A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.”
For those who may not recognize some of the most popular lines of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast (go have a listen!), WTNV is a popular podcast written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. It is filled with surreal story lines built around a radio host, Cecil, who may or may not be a figment of his own imagination reporting on the daily news of his creepy hometown, Night Vale, all the while falling in love with a newly arrived scientist shaking things up, Carlos.
It is partly because of this base that the deck makes my Tarot of the QTPOC list as the world the tarot deck’s artist, Hannah Holloway, is directly inspired by is full of queer, gender non-conforming, and poc characters.