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a community-designed tarot deck by 30+ artists featuring feminist leaders who inspire joy, empowerment, peace, healing and most of all, guidance.
a community-designed tarot deck by 30+ artists featuring feminist leaders who inspire joy, empowerment, peace, healing and most of all, guidance.
98 backers pledged $4,380 to help bring this project to life.
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exultation tarot: a feminist journey

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It is my sincere belief that JOY is the ultimate healer and it's the discovery and creation of pure exultation that can transform the way we experience life. As a spiritual practice, I've read tarot for about 7 years now. Shortly after I received my Masters in Social Work in 2013, I created a practice to offer intuitive tarot readings, as well as energy healing, spiritual counseling, and various 101 workshops in Chicago.

It was during a TAROT 101 Workshop that I received feedback on a negative reaction to some of the traditional, hierarchical, and patriarchal imagery seen in most traditional decks. Often, the imagery was not resonating with newly-learning-tarot-readers. Furthermore, it was actually adversely affecting the reader with an overshadowed message of these systems of oppression, instead of a purer interpretation. While there exist a few non-traditional decks out there with genderqueer or ungendered imagery, I hadn't yet seen a tarot deck that was exclusively dedicated to the life and experience of being a woman.

Thus, the idea for the exultation tarot deck took ground; not a fool's journey, but a feminist's.

I started the vision by writing the names of all my feminist icons and heroes... women who shaped my adolescence, my social justice activism, my academic career, my healing journey... but I knew this deck was not just for me, but my community. I posted the question numerous times and added every suggested name to one incredibly lengthy, power-packed list. The priority of collecting names, extremely important for myself and members of my community, was to have diverse representation in the overall list across background, social identities, physical form, waves of feminism, even controversial figures, of the historical, contemporary, and fictional persuasions. 

With a list of over 150 names came months of research and meditation on assigning certain cards to an inspiring woman. Some were seemingly more obvious or easier to decide than others, but many took months to find a home (card). Ultimately, 82 women were left for the 78 cards and ... me, with very limited artistic ability. 

I talked to a few artists here and there, but the project seemed exhausting, daunting, and time-consuming to pull off, until a certain supporter suggested a solution so simple and glaring... Why not have multiple artists from my community do the artwork? How perfectly aligned with the exultation tarot project vision of diverse representation. 

32 artists later... we now collectively come to you with a beautifully crafted, absolutely unique, and intentionally created tarot deck. Just as feminist leader and icon is different, every artist of this deck is unique in their own personality and brilliant skill-set. Aside from traditional meanings of the cards and common imagery and the reason behind the chosen woman for the card, artist otherwise took the reigns. Every artist retains personal rights to their art, though originally created for this project. 

You can read more about the STUNNINGLY TALENTED artists at exultationhealing.com/tarot-project/ and see their other worldly and artistic contributions. 

While you can see a few card sneak peaks at facebook.com/exultationhealing, some of the cards include:

♔ bell hooks as the Priestess
♔ Katie Sackhoff as the Chariot 
♔ Sylvia Rivera as the Hanged Woman
♔ Sonya Renee Taylor as the Wheel of Fortune
♔ Ruth Bader Ginsberg as Justice
♔ Dolly Parton as the Devil
♔ Joan of Arc as the Sun
♔ Ellen DeGeneres as the World

♡ Idgie + Ruth as the 2 of Cups
♡ Yoko Ono as the 5 of Cups
♡ Erykah Badu as the 9 of Cups
♡ Cherrie Moraga as the Queen of Cups

♧ Amy Poehler as the Ace of Swords
♧ Michelle Tea as the 4 of Swords
♧ Audre Lorde as the Queen of Swords
♧ Frida Kahlo as the Goddess of Swords

♤ Gloria Anzaldúa as the 6 of Pens
♤ Andrea Gibson as the 8 of Pens
♤ Angela Davis as the Goddess of Pens

♢ Sleater-Kinney as the 3 of Pentacles
♢ Stella Young as the 7 of Pentacles
♢ Octavia Butler as the 8 of Pentacles
♢ Willow Smith as the Princess of Pentacles
♢ Malala Yousafzai as the Warrior of Pentacles

Sacagawea
Sacagawea
Emma Watson
Emma Watson
Alice and the Rabbit
Alice and the Rabbit
Dr. Brene Brown
Dr. Brene Brown

PROJECT DETAILS
Artwork:
90% of the cards are completed in a beautiful way and the remaining 10% is in rough-draft form, soon to be finalized. 78 Cards, including ♔0-21 of the ♔Major Arcana and 1-10 & Princess, Warrior, Queen, and Goddess Court Cards for the suits of ♡Cups (Water element - representing the emotional aspect of life), ♤Pens (Air element - representing matters of the mind), ♢Pentacles (Earth element - representing the physical realm), ♧Swords (Fire element - representing energetically charged matters). The deck can be used as a traditional tarot deck, with minor changes made to significant names (for example: The Oracle instead of The Emperor, of the Shaman instead of the Hierophant).

Cost: The cards will printed through a local woman-owned (to Chicago) printing company, and packaged separately in either plain-white tuck boxes or a project-specific customized color tuck box with a two-sided brief accompanying guide sheet. The full-color, gorgeous deck will then be shipped directly to you! The funding goal includes the cost for printing, packaging, and shipping 100 decks.

Stretch Goals
: *future* Stretch Goals will include the cost for printing further decks; the cost for printing higher quality packaging options; a booklet to include detailed descriptions of cards and their meanings and feminist icon pictured. 

TIMELINE: since the art is practically complete, a quote received from the printer (and a quote from a second printer, just in case!), and leg-work done, we only need funding to be able to print the cards! Post-funding, processing of the project takes approximately two weeks and printing one week, with estimated shipping & arrival dates in the first week of December. 

Risks and challenges

I believe using a printer can initiate risks associated to timely printing and production, according to any difficulties that might arise in the sizing of digital cards, formatting, or a need to fix an error in printing once viewing the proofs. There is also a capacity challenge of personally packaging every single deck. These being said, I can't imagine a solution that I wouldn't know someone who could help me with the answer.

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    You will also receive TWO high-res printed tarot card images OF YOUR CHOICE, suitable for framing or gifting, in the mail, and TWO tarot card images OF YOUR CHOICE via email in HIGH-RES, suitable for printing. That's a total of FOUR images!

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    You will also receive TWO high-res printed tarot card images OF YOUR CHOICE, suitable for framing or gifting. You will also receive an email with a THREE-CARD draw from the new tarot deck with an applicable message for your week ahead in a picture-email format, including the HIGH-RES images suitable for printing. that's a total of FIVE tarot card images and TWO tarot readings!

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Funding period

- (31 days)