CULT is officially halfway done (give or take a card of two) and it's shaping up to be the most personal tarot deck I've created to date. I can only hope you trust me enough to wander down this new weird path I am creating.
The impetus for this deck was born from the overwhelmingly positive feedback to Bridge Witches. The response to the representation I attempted in those cards was so warm and heartfelt—it was shocking and I cannot be more grateful. It taught me that while I struggle to open up about the things that matter to me, there is in fact a place for those thoughts in this world.
Since childhood, I have worked diligently to build a world inside myself in which to escape. You can never be bored when your mind is filled with different places to wander around and ideas to pour over. Over time, I began to see the risks in being honest about my feelings and I built a barrier between my inner thoughts and the rest of the world. That has extended to becoming rather private and even hiding entirely—an example: with the exception of one year, I'm not in my high school year books, anywhere; I think one year I even went entirely unmentioned. In adulthood, while I think I'm pretty friendly, I don't open up to people easily outside of a basic script. Instead, who I am comes out in the work.
CULT is a horror themed deck about gender and queerness. Cups are vampire themed, sword are ghosts/possessions, coins are witches, and wands are devils. Since always, we have used horror to talk about the things that scare us. Well, talking about myself scares me, so I'm doing it with horror references.
Defining myself has always felt like picking a team. Well, I went to art school and most of us are not "team players". Instead, I am defined by my lack of definition. I'm attracted to people and the contents of their mind, not a gender. While I would classify myself as a woman, someone once called me "Sir" on accident and I really liked it. The beauty of gender fluidity has always been a topic I live to explore in my figurative work.
A cult is a group of people with beliefs that seem strange to the status quo. I'm taking the word and twisting it for my own purpose. What if it's the status quo that holds the strange beliefs and upholds a dangerous obsession with unattainable standards? Instead, the group of "misfits" in these cards are examples of living life beyond the invisible barriers of society.
Thirty-five "completed" cards were sent off to the printer for a proof and will be ready for sharing in 11 days time. I say "completed" because there is a chance I will get the cards back and decide to make changes or find errors that need adjusting.
Below are the images for the 35 cards. Notice they have a signature in most of them—that won't be in the final deck but for now, consider it a watermark.
While you're waiting for the deck to be completed you can pre-order this deck and get some 12x18 prints of the finished cards. $3 from every CULT print goes to the Sunrise Movement.
Leave a comment with your thoughts :)
(NSFW images below)
In the latest update of Bridge Witches: A Tarot Deck, I made a special pre-order option for people who wanted to become cards in the deck. For a cost, you could choose a card to be featured on in the deck. For those that would rather not have their own face on the card, they suggested a story or historical figure to feature. For a little bit more support, they got a card and an 8x10 framed print of the cards. Those that chose to pre-order also got their decks weeks before everyone else—getting one of the first decks to roll off the press.
I've just started work on CULT: A Tarot Deck and would love to offer a pre-order option again. I'm changing the pricing structure and what comes with the pre-order.
- Regular Pre-Order: $60.00 for a deck
- Build a Card: $70.00 to help design a card and get your deck even before pre-orders.
The Regular option is to receive a deck when it's ready. The price includes free shipping in the United States and to Canada, (everyone else see here for shipping rates).
The Build a Card option is to be a model for a card yourself or, if you want, to help design the card.
We can collaborate! All modeling for this option is clothed. We can discuss via email or Google Meet what you would like to do for the card and I will give some direction for taking a good reference photo. There are only 10 slots and I am making decisions about cards right now so if you want to do this I suggest getting in touch ASAP. People who purchase this option will be the first to get their decks when they are ready.
August 2020 Update
As of August 12th I am about half way done with the drawings! The next step will be to prepare the deck for printing and then create the guide. My hope was to have decks shipped before Halloween but right now the news is looking really grim for the US Postal Service and I am concerned this will delay the supply chain and getting the decks shipped out to customers. Therefore, I am pushing back my tentative shipping date to late November 2020 to ensure I have enough time to get things in the mail and on their way to customers. If you have further questions please email email@example.com.