Thursday, August 29, 2013

Beginning the Pip Cards: 10 of Swords

Earlier in the week, I promised you THE LOVERS. It's on the way! In the meantime, here's something that I did just last night that I'm pretty excited about: my first design for the deck's pip cards. This meant  deciding on a style and frame format that would set the whole rest of the deck in stone -- and I'm pleased with what took shape.

At the top of each card, in the same style but with the colors reversed from the Majors, will be the card number and its suit. At the bottom, in the same style and colors as the Majors, will be a keyword for the card's basic meaning. Most of these will be derived from Aleistair Crowley's THOTH deck (which will make my Circus Tarot an interesting Bastard Child born of RWS and Thoth), but I reserve the right to use a different word if I think that I can do better. This gives each card a real circus-sideshow look that I'm quite pleased with, and leaves plenty of room for the central image.

This also forced me to decide on my suit names, so here they are: CUPS are CUPS, SWORDS are BLADES, WANDS are BATONS, and COINS/PENTACLES/DISKS are RINGS. 

So, I made a lot of little progress last night!

The thing that made this card the obvious first choice from the pip cards to get its design was the central image. I found it quite early on in the process and immediately thought, "Ten of Swords! If he doesn't have enough piercings, I'll add 'em on!" 

He didn't, and I did.

The DEATH card in the Majors is nothing to be afraid of: that's not true of the ten of swords! The ten of swords is one of only about two or three cards in a Tarot deck that you DON'T want to draw under any circumstances. Even its REVERSED meaning is not good! In the past couple of years, drawing at least one card for a daily reading, I have only drawn the ten of swords twice -- and both times what it predicted came fully to fruition. Don't mess with the ten of swords. Does it look painful? It should. No good will come of it!

Next up: THE LOVERS. Promise!

-- Freder