What is the New Tarot?
The New Tarot is a deck of 77 cards, designed to be a "sequel" to the traditional Tarot: all the cards and concepts are new, but it follows the classic Tarot structure. There are twenty-one new Major Arcana, numbered from XXII to XLII, and four new suits of Minor Arcana.
The Major Arcana of the Tarot proper are often understood as the way-stations of a "Fool's Journey" towards self-knowledge and self-mastery. The Major Arcana of the New Tarot are meant to encapsulate a second and more outward-focused leg of that journey, in which the newly enlightened Fool steps out into the world to explore and to make his dreams a reality. For this reason, their numbering begins where the classic Major Arcana leave off.
Just as the traditional Minor Arcana represent the fundamental tools that must be mastered in order to achieve self-knowledge, the Minor Arcana of the New Tarot represent the (somewhat more complex) tools that must be mastered in order to achieve worldly success. The four suits of the New Tarot are as follows:
- The Suit of Keys -- represents forces of innovation, discovery, and problem-solving
- The Suit of Chains -- represents forces of social control, alliance, obligation, and manipulation
- The Suit of Masks -- represents forces of identity, role, and self-expression
- The Suit of Tomes -- represents forces of knowledge and imagination
How can I use this weird thing?
The New Tarot is meant to be read, just like an ordinary Tarot deck. It is calibrated for outward-focused queries concerned with tangible goals and interactions between people...those areas in which the Tarot proper, with its focus on inner vision, can be most frustratingly obscure and allegorical.
For those interested in a greater complexity of response, it can also be shuffled into a regular Tarot deck, resulting in a hybrid deck with Major Arcana 0-XLII and eight full suits.
Also, of course, the New Tarot makes for a worthy collector's piece. A New Tarot deck contains seventy-seven pieces of beautiful fantasy art, depicting concepts and symbols unlike those in any other deck.
Can you give me some examples of what you're talking about?
We can indeed. We've prepared several sample cards to show off our art style and to illustrate the kind of symbolism we're using. Pictures are below; explanations of the sample cards can be found in the FAQ.
Who is behind the New Tarot?
The deck designer is Warren Tusk; he's responsible for all the concepting and the symbolism. The art is the work of the inestimable Leslie Minnis. (More of her painting can be found on her blog.)
Where's the money going?
This is approximately the cost of making 77 high-quality fantasy paintings. Taking on a full-scale Tarot deck involves massive time and labor.
Anything else I should know?
Plenty. You should check out the FAQ. And if there's something you want to know that isn't there, you should contact Warren.
(Also, if you're selecting any prize at the $25 level or above, please add $10 for international shipping if appropriate.)
Thank you very much for your attention and your interest. If you'd like the New Tarot to become a reality, please consider making a donation.
The Sanctuary card represents psychological, emotional, and spiritual invulnerability. The priestess sits serene within a shield she has created by sheer force of will, and the demon storm that rages all around cannot touch her. You can follow her example to create a sanctuary within your own mind, and inside your safe space you cannot be changed or harmed without your permission. Whatever may befall you, you can remain yourself, and let life's difficulties break themselves against your shield rather than twisting you.
This Major Arcanum is the first of a series of three cards (XXIX, XXX, XXXI) portraying different forces that can be harnessed to cope with the stresses and obstacles imposed by the outside world.
In a reading, Sanctuary will often represent calm and self-possession and mental integrity. It may be a call to resist outside influences, or to remember the truth of who you are. It can also stand for isolation and stagnation.
Many thanks to Elisabeth H. Cohen, the card model, who volunteered her image for this promotion.
1) I will consult with you to determine a card within your suit that's a good fit for your personal identity and interests. (If you're taking Fellowship, obviously, this is moot.)
2) You will send me a whole bunch of photos of yourself. I may ask you for particular expressions or poses.
3) Leslie will draw up some sketches, which I'll pass on to you for your approval.
4) The magic happens, and there's a beautiful card.
The King of Tomes is the man who knows everything. He is cheerful and lighthearted by the standards of Tarot royalty, for he delights in the infinite information he has at his fingertips. Knowledge and information are useful, powerful forces...but they are also fun, brilliant toys in their own right, and the King knows that well.
Like all court cards, when appearing in a reading, the King of Tomes will often stand for a particular person known to the querant; as a King, he will probably be a "mature" man (whatever that may mean in context). He may be a caring, inspiring father; an intentionally difficult man who delights in argumentation; a man who has acquired much erudition, and who frequently feels compelled to demonstrated the breadth and depth of his learning; a collector or enthusiast who devotes tremendous time and energy towards some particular interest; an eccentric man caught up in his own world; an author, academic, artist, or historian.
Many thanks to Aaron J. Dinkin, the card model, who volunteered his image for this promotion.
XXXIII Fellowship depicts a classic fantasy adventuring party, striding forth along a sun-dappled path into...the next part of the story. It represents teamwork, emotional bonds between individuals, and a general sense that the future can be won together.
In other words: this card is a symbolic testament to friendship, and also a kick-ass fantasy portrait for 4-5 people.
The base concept for this card is "Acceptance." The four masked individuals are seeking to embody particular roles and identities -- they are, after all, actors -- and the audience acknowledges them with applause and acclaim. The Four of Masks indicates that you have successfully learned to wear some particular mask, to take on some particular role in life. (The mask is not necessarily a lie or a deception, although it can be; it is simply a part that you play in certain circumstances.)
In a reading, the Four of Masks likely indicates that you can competently live up to the expectations of others in some regard. It may also indicate that you are being duped, or otherwise accepting something at face value that may have deeper truths to it.
Our hope is to get the deck taken on by one of the major American Tarot publishers, U.S. Games or Llewellyn or someone like that. We think that it will be good enough, and compelling enough, that this should be achievable without too much difficulty. With luck, the New Tarot will be appearing in bookstores alongside the big-name decks. If we must, though, we'll self-publish; this product is our dream, and we will ensure that it becomes a reality.
Very approximate. Don't place too much stock in them. The process of generating 70+ paintings of this quality is a long and unpredictable one, and we'll be negotiating the vagaries of the publishing world to boot.
As soon as the project hits is base funding level, we'll be providing regular updates on how the deck is coming along.
The text on the card is placeholder text. Serious Tarot publishers generally prefer to do fonts and text layout themselves. So, no, the finished deck probably won't have Papyrus on it.
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