So in the past few months there has been a lot of talk about diversity in the world of tarot. A lot of people have been arguing as tarot readers we can do better, we can have more diverse decks and such. Well, the progress, I believe, has been steadily coming through. Decks by Carrie Paris, the Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert, and many other are really becoming more of a representation of the people who are readings and designing tarot art. I saw this deck and I felt like this is even more of a step in the direction of diversifying tarot. So let's get into it.
Here is a little bio provided by the artist: "Courtney Alexander is a recent graduate with her Bachelor’s in Studio Art from the University of South Florida. In her past work she dug into issues of duality, hyper sexuality, and self-awareness; a much more personal dialogue which served to create vulnerability and explore the complex nature of her existence. Her paintings and sculptures are abstract and experimental, allowing for a more tactile sensory experience. The Dust II Onyx Tarot Deck is her largest project to date."
-How did you get into tarot?
"My interest in tarot grew over time. I was initially very weary of it. When I began to explore my spirituality I felt comfortable just staying within the realm of crystals meditation. There was woman I trusted (and still do) in regards to receiving readings. Then I began to get readings with friends and so that helped me to be less afraid of the cards. I also began using tarot apps. It took the dark mysteriousness out of it and helped me see them as a very valuable tool.
Now I own 3 decks: the Aquarian, Crystal, and traditional RW tarot decks. I also own one word angel cards that I pair with my readings. Tarot has helped me understand myself so much more. I'm very intuitive but I'm also an intellectual. So my brain gets in the way of me hearing what i need too. So instead of fighting my brain or making it sit in the corner like a child, tarot helps me include it in my readings. It speaks to my ability to recognize patterns while also triggering my higher conscious to speak to me."
“Dust II Onyx was created from my desire to make artwork that resonated with my soul, and now has become a work I want to share with others. I consider it an honor to create this deck and I look forward it being a tool for beautiful and transformative experiences for each and every reader.”- Courtney Alexander
-What is your philosophy on tarot?
"I don't prefer to use tarot to predict. If I read for anyone or myself it is always with the premise of empowering the receiver. There is no system of divination that can overpower my ability to make decisions or manifest in my life. It can not replace my free will. All it can do is tell me what the forecast. From there I always have the power to make decisions that align with my soul growth. It is an informant of sorts. So with the philosophy in mind it keeps me from falling into the trap of believing tarot has some special power to control my life. That's how many who read or go to readers are disappointed. However, when we see tarot as a teacher we are in a much better place to receive the lessons we need to learn."
-What inspired you to create "Dust II Onyx"?
"I had the desire to create a deck for several months. When a friend invited me to be a part of an art show I saw it as a perfect opportunity to begin. I've spent a lot of time looking at so many different decks and none of them deeply resonated with me. My first deck was the Aquarian and I was definitely drawn to the Art Deco. The Crystal tarot is beautiful and is reminiscent of the style of one of my favorite artists, Gustav Klimt. Even still, the cards don't hit me in deeply powerful ways quite yet. They have been great to learn with.
The deck I've wanted is one that felt truly connected and bonded to me. So creating a deck is certainly a way to make that happen. I also wanted a deck that featured POC. The decks that do exists were either not created by us, and/or they were laden with stereotypical themes that didn't appeal to my personal spiritual journey.
Once I decided to create a deck it didn't immediately come to me. i sketched a few ideas but nothing stuck. Then I went on with life. Within the span of a few weeks I had two dreams about these beautiful black portraits. They became the inspiration for the art. As for the actual process of creating the compositions, I work intuitively. I look at basic symbolism and meaning of each card, but otherwise I let them speak for themselves. I trust the deck to be what it wants to be."
-What is the message you hope to send with this deck?
"My desire is for people to see themselves in this deck. To have a kindred connection. To see the mirror reflecting who they really are. It's about deep, impactful transformation. That's the energy I put into them and hope resonates with each user. Whether you're an enthusiast or a reader, the work is meant to stir within you on the soul level."
Want to be part of the awesome Kickstarter for the deck?! Click here.
If you want to learn more about this deck, check out the links below:
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