What Makes the Slutist Tarot Special?
Morgan's intention is to tell the story of The Fool through the archetype of The Maiden. The Maiden is a femme identified young person, but anyone can identify with her. In the classic tarot narrative, a querent is expected to identify with cis male archetypes — regardless of their own gender identity — and similarly, The Slutist Tarot asks it's querent to find their own divine feminine.
In the Slutist Tarot's narrative, The Maiden is hungry for experiences but has little foresight and she is prone to mistakes driven by desire and ego. Like Alice, she meets different archetypes along her journey who can both help and hurt her as she grows and learns about herself and the world around her. She learns that there is both chaos and harmony in sex magick, and the journey leads her from one state to the next.
In her journey, she is driven by hedonism and has hearts for eyes as the world expands around her (The Fool); she discovers her own bodily autonomy and sex magick (The Magician); she transforms herself through a myriad of experiences and influences (The High Priestess through Temperance); she finds herself in toxic and dangerous situations whether with people or substances (The Devil); she discovers that the chaos magick she's been brewing has forced her to sacrifice everything, and she sees all the excitement and pleasure come crashing down (The Tower). From rock bottom, she looks up remembering her strength and the power of her sexuality (The Star); she faces her trauma (The Moon); and through divination and self-love she is able to heal and stand up strong (The Sun). In the end, she realizes that she is a part of everything else, as she sees the world reflected in her rather than herself reflected in others (The World).
This deck is meant to be both erotic and representational — not just for daringly promiscuous sex witches, but also for those who devote themselves to monogamous relationships or abstain from sex all together, because we acknowledge that "sexual liberation" is an all encompassing power to make choices about one's own sex life. The Slutist Tarot aims to put a woman’s voice behind eroticism, and to create images of people on the feminine spectrum in a way that we believe honors their sexualities.
Many contemporary tarot artists have been departing from the misogyny, racism, and imperialism of the classic tarot narrative and imagery, an intention that The Slutist Tarot shares. The titles king, queen, prince and princess have been playfully reclaimed by the LGBTQIA+ and fetish communities, so we chose to keep these titles in the minor arcana. The most commonly used decks were helmed by women artists, yet they were credited solely to men. The Slutist Tarot is a narrative that centers those on the feminine spectrum, with a few precious masculine and male identified exceptions. In this sense, we've flipped the script on a historically androcentric model of thinking.
Many of the images were inspired directly or subconsciously by people Morgan met in the goth, fetish, and BDSM communities, the DIY art community of Chicago and while working in the sex industry. She was also inspired by witches and healers she's grown up with or became close with while learning divination. Those individuals were illustrated with explicit permission.
The word "slut" affects all people differently, and it's not for everyone!
Kristen has been drawn to the slut archetype since childhood, and views it as a symbol of feminine power and transgression in the face of patriarchal body control. Her ongoing and intrepid journey to uncover the healing powers of hedonism has been inspired by slut positive witches like Stevie Nicks, Lydia Lunch, and Elvira.
Morgan was once a teenage slut and witch with an inclination towards BDSM and fetish, one helluva dog-eared copy of Lolita, and very conflicted feelings of shame and desire. Through transgressive femmes like Shirley Manson, Lydia Lunch, and Siouxsie Sioux, she was able to find personal power in the face of misogynistic sex negativity that she and most female identified people have to wade through on a daily basis. Slut means sexual agency, and embracing a multiplicity of sexual expressions.
"Slut" is a word and a concept that brought Kristen and Morgan together, as two people who felt at first degraded by the slur, and later empowered by reclaiming not only the term but also their sexualities and deviant inclinations. Morgan was alerted to the blog Slutist by an old flame, got in touch with Kristen to gush over the similarities in interests from gothic subculture to Pamela Anderson, and Kristen made her Slut of the Month in August of 2013. Shortly after, Morgan began writing for Slutist on a semi-regular basis, covering topics ranging from sex and dating to witchcraft and sex work. In June of 2015, the two sisters of Babalon met in person for the first time at a Void Vision show at Saint Vitus Bar and have been brewing mischief, love and activism together ever since!
GOALS, but WHY?
We simply cannot make this deck a real life physical thing without you! Printing and shipping is very expensive, and the minimum number of decks that we can order is 250. Up to this point this project has been self funded, but printing is just out of our reach.
Our stretch goal is to raise enough money to print 500 copies of The Slutist Tarot which will cost $8,000 to compensate our graphic designer and pay to have these babies printed and shipped. If we have 500 that means we can sell decks on the Slutist website, at Slutist's Legacy of the Witch festival at Saint Vitus Bar on June 3rd, and we'll make it available at our favorite occult and book shops in Brooklyn, Chicago, and beyond. This is our stretch goal: more money more decks!
Our bare bones goal is $6,000. This will enable us to compensate our graphic designer and have 250 decks printed and shipped with no excess income.
We also promised all the lovely people whose faces appear in this deck that they would receive their own complimentary copy of The Slutist Tarot which means that 30 out of however many decks we order will be on the house.
What is Tarot Anyways? Why Does it Matter?
Tarot is divination, it's a tool many use to navigate through difficult times in their lives, or to find answers within themselves that they are too afraid or unwilling to see. Divination is a word for something we all do without noticing — we see ourselves reflected in things and people around us, and this informs our world view. When a person reads tarot cards they are gaining insight about their own selves and decisions they need to make.
My first experience with the tarot was when I realized I could not afford to visit a therapist in a time of need. I took an opportunity to have my cards read by a professional cartomancer, which was not only a very small fraction of the cost, but encouraged so much agency. The practice not only helped to guide me out darkness but also gave me the tools I needed to heal myself and to continue learning divination on my own terms. The tarot is a therapeutic option that is deeply embedded in a multiplicity of cultures, psychological and psychoanalytical practices, and the occult, with an emphasis on art and expression. We believe that divination works. Not only does it work, but it’s fun, it’s expressive, it’s engaging and liberating. The tarot isn’t fortune telling. There is no definite end or final outcome. Many paths are offered to you, and it is up to you how you are going to proceed. The cards can help you to see yourself and the choices you are making from an outside perspective. It can be painful, but the pain is not without rewards.
“I’ve often said that a good diviner can read anything-cards, rune stones, a crystal ball, tea leaves, even the cracks in a wall. Because the world is a likeness of itself-or because God created in Its own Image-as quantum physics, the Holographic Paradigm, synchronicity, and many other models may suggest-what is around us at any given moment is what we are most like, but we only recognize that piece of the likeness that we are able to perceive. We are only aware of whatever dimension, plane, event, situation, or part of life we are perceiving, and the reason we are perceiving it in the first place is because it *is* that part we are *most* like. When we lay out tarot cards, we are attempting to look at a part of life that we would not normally recognize. And whether we are successful at this or not, either way we will see our own reflection in the cards, just as surely as if they are a brightly polished mirror reflecting back to us our own self-same image.
If this seems simplistic, perhaps it is, because, in the end, it is possible that the universe itself is simple. It is usually only people who tend to complicate matters.”
-Jana Riley, “Why Divination Works,” Tarot: Dictionary and Compendium (1995)
How Can You Help?
- BACK THIS PROJECT! Any amount that is comfortable to you helps us. Even if it's just one dollar, those dollars add up. Trust me, I know. I'm a stripper.
- BUY THE DECK! This Kickstarter is like a pre-order, your donations will turn into the actual product, alchemy!
- SHARE SHARE SHARE! Snag images from this page, the Slutist Instagram, Morgan's Instagram, or Kristen's Instagram and share on social media with a link to our Kickstarter. If you can't donate, share! Information is power and we will love you for it. It's a great way to show support for independent artists and writers like us!
- FOLLOW us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter xo
- PARTY Come to Slutist's 3rd annual Legacy of the Witch Festival on June 3rd at Saint Vitus Bar: if we make our goal we'll have decks and prints to sell, and readings!
A very special thank you to Sara Crow and Andrea Cruz for creating the Kickstarter video for us xoxoxo
Risks and challenges
Although Morgan has completed illustrating all 78 cards, there is still a lot of work to be done! Our incredible graphic designer Sonia Ortiz digitally renders these images into the lovely cards you see above. She will also be putting together the box and booklet designs and coordinating the order with our printer.
Finding the printer was a divine challenge. We discovered that most Tarot decks are printed in China, and that it is illegal for printers in China to produce sexual media. Not one for censorship, we began a domestic search. Through trial and error we finally landed a printing company in New Jersey that was happy to take on our project.
So far we have personally funded around $300 on art supplies (micron pens, prisma markers and marker paper) and over a thousand on Sonia's digital magick.
We also promised every person whose face appears in the cards that they will receive a free deck, which is about 30 decks!
In order to print 250 decks and have them shipped to us and compensate our graphic designer for the rest of the project, it will cost us around $6,000.
Our stretch goal is $8,000, because we would love to print 500 decks instead so we can sell them over time, and have a nice inventory for Slutist's Legacy of the Witch festival at Saint Vitus Bar on June 3rd!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)