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Creating an RWS / Thoth exploration deck


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GalllowsInk

Hi there!

 

Im currently about halfway through the First Draft stages of a deck Im creating as an exploration of both the Rider/Waite/Smith and Thoth decks...

 

Im trying to merge the two and reinterpret the cards with my own perspective,  while keep as many elements of the previous cards as possible

 

please excusrle the quality of the Images, as theyre just from photos off my phone, but below are the Drafts for the Kings of Wand, Cup, Disk and Sword ....theyre drawn in a small A5 format now, but I'll be reworking them into larger artworks once I have finished drafts for the whole deck.

 

Id LOVE any feedback if it all possible?

 

Thankyou!

 

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GalllowsInk
Posted (edited)

Hi!

 

Well, itll take a bit of explaining obviously, but here goes...

 

Starting with the King of Wands...

 

This is one I took directly took inspiration from another image, the Magician from Brian Frouds "Heart of Faerie" Oracle https://pin.it/78L1pCY 

I was admittedly a little stuck when it came to working with this card, as I didnt know which direction to take it...

The RWS card seemed simple enough to reinterpret,  However The Thoth cards, the Knights, were a little more involved...

 

The figures in these cards are all on Horses due to their nature, but I wanted to avoid using this element as Ill be concentrating on the steed imagery with the  4 RWS Knights and the 4 Thoth Princes ; and I wanted to be careful not to fall into a trap of repition...

 

So I decided to look through some inspiration stuff, and wanted to look up this card : https://archangeloracle.com/2017/03/31/he-of-the-fiery-sword/amp/ from Frouds earlier Oracle deck "The Faerie Oracle" , which is the only deck Ive ever worked with , And the Magician Card popped up as I was scrolling through related images, where it sort of clicked what I should do.

 

The Magician Oracle card has a Pegasus flying off to the uper right hand corner of the image, So it made sense to have the 4 Kings as the Central figure, with a steed or soforth as a major element in the Background. 

 

Running with this,  I went ahead and sketched out essentially the same figure from the Oracle card, fully intent to acknowledge this as a scource of inspiration as I will be going into my journey through my study of the Tarot which began when I started using the Faerie Oracle. 

 

I then added the Horse in the Background, and decided to base it off to Protagonist in this game

...For a couple reasons, Primarily due to the fact that I had drawn two very similar Horses in the Majors with Death and the Sun (they're actually the same horse, which is hinted at in the inages) ...And due to my desire to not repeat myself if possible, this meant each horse going forward needs to be Unique. 

And Secondly, the Song that plays over the gameplay "Always" by Erasure seemed to fit. 

 

The Horse is meant to he taking off from a spot in the mid-background, to the lower Right, And Exiting the Card in the Top left. On the King of Wands Card , There is a Comet Coming down from the Top Right hand Corner, which is Intended to be the Neowise Comet....I was going to Colour the emergy surrounding the Metalic horse on the King of Wands with the same colouring to link the two, However i went with the blues, purple and pink so it wouldnstand out a bit more in contrast to the reds and oranges of the flames in the Foreground. 

 

The Idea was the Horse takes a seperate journey that begins in the King of Wands, travels through the next two cards, and Finishes at the King of Swords . 

Theres also another allusion to this on the Kings wrist,  where you can see a little green "power" symbol, To signify a begining.

 

The King of Swords has his Rapier pointing South East (if you surmise that the four corners of the Cards are the points of a compass) which is meant to Echo "the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram" ....which Ill go into later...but the Sword is also pointing at a little Red "Power Off" symbol on the Ground....Im not sure if this is actually going to be neccesary to explain in detail in any supplementary material or not, but my purpose was to sort of work with and tap into the energy's and ....character (?) Of the archetypes of the cards and through that Look inwards and explore my connection to the Divine Male...On, Off, Horse signifying the journey each stage of discovery....

 

The Thrones I mostly did away with, However Each King stands infront of a Plinth that will bear their sigil and be designed to Echo the Thrones in the RWS cards...the RWS wand Sigil is the Salamander, Here I have drawn the Salamanders as native to a great desert where the King here is performing an Alchemic ritual... the Mythical Salamander which werr believed to have an Affinity with Fire, have been drawn to this spot where the King is and are curiously investigating.  

 

The RWS king sits upon a Throne surrounded by Grass and Trees and Valleys and such, And I was originally going to stay fairly close to the Background artwork of those cards...However in the progress of drawing the previous cards (The Aces and the Queens Court) I discovered, and listened to "The Alchemist" by Paolo Coehlo, Which is a little trite and Self-Helpy, but also resonated deeply with me and my own personal experiences...The Pyramids play a significant role in the book, And I have used a great Desert and Pyramids as the setting for this Card instead. 

 

Furthermore,  King, or Magician can be Considered the Alchemist figure. 

 

The Pyramids and the Alchemist I first started intentionally including on the Ace of Disks, The Desert next appears in the Queen of Disks and then Here in the King of Wands. That said, The Pyramids and Desert etc Also have a few appearences through the Major Arcana aswell...which I completed before lkstening to the book....both due to appearing in the Imagery of the Major Arcana already, and my desire to include inages relating to Burning Man and the Black Rock Desert in Nevada (Which Has played a significant role in my life) ....However its not great a stretch to say that their inclusion was also pre-determined by my eventually discovering the Alchemist after hearing about it on a podcast...if you believe in that sort of thing.

 

I do, but thats another story for another time.

 

The King Holds a Feather aloft in his right hand, the  Feather of Truth which is weighed against ones heart before admittence to the underworld,  A ritual I have directly referenced in my Judgement Card. The Feather is also a quill,  for communication. 

 

In his left hand, the Wand, is the Same design as the Wand from the Ace of Wands....A flaming / Burning Bush of sorts

 

The Lion on the Kings Chest is to signify courage. The RWS King of Wands has a Lion Medallion, Smaller and Golden over an ornate green Cloak.  I decided to make it a little more pronounced, it can either be considered a Tattoo, or if you prefer, a Familiar (with the idea being that it is a silent companion that just happens to be close to his heart) it is Green,  and Crystaline, and is based off L Frank Baums OZ books. 

 

....There's a lot of OZ books. A LOT. But they tend to fall into two categories....ones that are glorified travelogues, where the characters go from place to place and nothing much happens,  which are twee and inconsequential and not all that good...And then the ones that are important, With Story, and Conflict,  and  actual Stakes. They're scary and thrilling and chaotic,  for what they are, But they have meaning and they're all the better for it. 

 

...I have always been concerned were I to ever sit down and write, that my stories would fall into Category A. But , Then again, Theres always the chance they wont. 

 

So the Lion is The Cowardly Lion, or , like...An Homage. (Plus the King has a Green Cloak and I did need to reference that) 

 

The Kings Sash is Closed by a Claddagh , Representing Love, Loyalty and Friendship, Which is what I was originally going to use as his crown aswell. Its colouring is similar to the Horse's,  to Unify them a bit more, as they were feeling a little too seperate and I needed to subtley show that they are related somehow. 

 

In Place of a standard Crown, there is a Halo of flame above his Head. Not to say that he is Angelic or a Holy Figure. BUT it is a way I depict divine beings, and Inspiration / Insight from time to time. Its meant to indicate that he is a visionary or seer.

 

The Three Lines on his Jaw relate to the Celtic AWEN , another Symbol for Inspiration...this and the Claddagh are both directly showing a linkage to the Celtic origins of some lore of Faerie, However its also another personal thing due to my Irish heritage (like....my family that is. I dont have enough Irish heritage to do anything more than nod in its general direction) 

 

The Cards Surrounding him are taken Directly from the Heart of Faerie Magician, there depicted as Tarot cards, here Playing Cards. 

One Habit I picked up many, many years ago is to always collect a playing card if I see one where it shouldn't be, which is often and random and probably not unusual...so whenever I see a playing card in the street it goes straight in my bag or my wallet. 

So....thats a nod to that. 

Althought I am considering naming my deck "Lynch's Tarot: Better Living through Cartomancy"....maybe. Im floating the idea around.

 

Finally, the Smaller, Other figures, Dancing amongs the flames (symbolising Potential, Lure Creative force, and Spirit) and encircling the King of Wands, are a Collective of Pixies, Who dance to keep the world turning.

 

They are not subjects of the King, nor did he invoke them with some sort of spell or ritual or magical plea (which one could be forgiven for assuming if they were to stumble upon the scene, randomly, wandering a great mythical desert) 

 

Instead , They are asking the King to stay awhile and Join their dance, if he pleases, Until his Horse gets back. 

 

They speak of Duty, Willingness, Joyfull Participation and Virtue. 

 

...

 

I think thats about it. 

I'll update further,  for the other cards, if anyone is interested 

?

 

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Edited by GalllowsInk
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GalllowsInk
3 hours ago, Raggydoll said:

Yay, another deck creation thread! I like the look of this and I’d love to hear some of your thoughts behind each image. It becomes easier to provide input if we know what your intentions were 😀

I don't know how reply notifications work on here, But Let me know what you think 🙂

....Im still fairly new to the Tarot, having started learning in December,  So its a little concerning that I may be getting some of it wrong. 

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So @GalllowsInk ALSO plays Robot Unicorn Attack!!  Nice!  I've played that game on and off for ten years now.  It's the only game on my mobile phone.

 

The kings are wonderful!  I will be following your deck's creation with interest! 😄  I like that your symbolism is very personal and inspired by sources with strong imagery all their own.  This seems like a very expressive deck that would be well-read intuitively.

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GalllowsInk

Haha thankyou...Ive tried to make it a little bit of everything, but cohesive. 

 

Here are my Majors, Or the First Run anyway (Before I rework them into a more detaield version)

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I think you have created imagery that feels fresh and vibrant. And you definitely have a specific style that can be discerned through all your cards. Several of your cards make me smile - in a good way! Please do continue sharing your work! 

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GalllowsInk
Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Raggydoll said:

I think you have created imagery that feels fresh and vibrant. And you definitely have a specific style that can be discerned through all your cards. Several of your cards make me smile - in a good way! Please do continue sharing your work! 

Thankyou! 

 

It's a lot of work, But I'm definitely trying to make it feel unique. 

 

The writing I stumble with as I dont really write...I find it easier to do this sort of thing: 

 

(But Ill have to put some sort of quide together...I think a little explainy book with Key concepts,  And an expanded, Illustrated guidebook with a bit of depth to it)

 

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GalllowsInk
1 hour ago, Raggydoll said:

I think you have created imagery that feels fresh and vibrant. And you definitely have a specific style that can be discerned through all your cards. Several of your cards make me smile - in a good way! Please do continue sharing your work! 

...just out of curiosity,  what Prompted the handle "RaggyDoll" ?

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GalllowsInk
50 minutes ago, Raggydoll said:

The handle? Not sure I know what you mean? 

Sorry.. I meant username. 

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GalllowsInk
41 minutes ago, Raggydoll said:

Oh I see! It is something I chose a long time ago. It is based on one of my favorite tv shows as a kid ("the raggy dolls"). It was very relatable to me 🙂

Dolls like you and Me? 

 

 

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GalllowsInk

...So Last Evening I started writing some Keywords thingys for as a quick goto when I need to eventually do a writeup for the deck...I used a book with a couple pages used for something else...and the page before it was something similar for one of my personal characters that might potentially make their way into an Oracle type system at another point. 

 

Coincidence, But still...

Take of that what you will I guess haha

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Hi! Welcome to our forum & Deck Creator Guild! 😄

 

& let me know if you need help with anything i'm hobby artist & pro selfpublished deck creator!^^ lol

 

Also must say I like your idea/ concept & your characters & comoositions/perspectives looks Awesome!:D

 

imo you should definitly name it Fairy Fantasy Tarot as we Need more of these & it totally gives me Shadowscapes Tarot vibe with all details & fairy lore!:)

 

Also you may consider Larger tarot size as imo Your Art deserve it!:D

 

Only remark be careful with primary & secondary colors & don't over do it!xD I know you wish to include All symbols & associations you can think of for each card but keep in mind size of the card you do not wish look to crowded or at least make sure important elements stand up colors outline etc over background for good contrast & best overview?:) spirits keeper tarot 1& 3Rd edt in progres is best example overkill or exactly what you may like!:) ha ha! also for companion book sake you do not wish it to be too heavy?:) & you can always make another deck with different topic/layer to cover!:)

 

P.s hope you have instagram to share this vip?!:)

 

All Best!

& Good Luck with your deck creation!^^

reall/irena

 

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GalllowsInk
On 8/17/2020 at 10:44 AM, reall said:

Hi! Welcome to our forum & Deck Creator Guild! 😄

 

& let me know if you need help with anything i'm hobby artist & pro selfpublished deck creator!^^ lol

 

Also must say I like your idea/ concept & your characters & comoositions/perspectives looks Awesome!:D

 

imo you should definitly name it Fairy Fantasy Tarot as we Need more of these & it totally gives me Shadowscapes Tarot vibe with all details & fairy lore!:)

 

Also you may consider Larger tarot size as imo Your Art deserve it!:D

 

Only remark be careful with primary & secondary colors & don't over do it!xD I know you wish to include All symbols & associations you can think of for each card but keep in mind size of the card you do not wish look to crowded or at least make sure important elements stand up colors outline etc over background for good contrast & best overview?:) spirits keeper tarot 1& 3Rd edt in progres is best example overkill or exactly what you may like!:) ha ha! also for companion book sake you do not wish it to be too heavy?:) & you can always make another deck with different topic/layer to cover!:)

 

P.s hope you have instagram to share this vip?!:)

 

All Best!

& Good Luck with your deck creation!^^

reall/irena

 

Hi! Thanks for the feedback! 

I'll definately check out your guide when I have a bit more time to absorb it...I'm totally considering larger cards as I have a playing card sized version of the Thoth deck and its just too small to appreciate the artwork. 

 

I am wary of overkill re: too many symbols etc, which is why Im doing a "quick" runthrough of the entire set as draft versions before I set to work in creating the "real" deck...That said, once I rework these and mix in a lot more colour I think I can make it work, despite the complexity of the art. 

 

I DID draw 8 or 9 cards towards the end of last year with the intent of completing the whole deck that way, working it out as I went along...which Ive included below...but they were proving difficult as Id want to change things or alter the compostion as I learnt more about the cards etc, and it was too much....So I put them down and started on the smaller, sketch versions on April 20 when I did the Magician and High Priestess cards. The High Priestess was actually the first card I did, And the Drapery behind her is intended to have a Hemp Leaf print as opposed to the traditional Pomegranate....because 4.20 , and also "High Priestess". 

 

Its silly buuuuuut it also kinda fits. 

 

 

Name wise, Im still uncertain....although I am considering "the 5 Bells Tarot" ....For reasons I wont go into just yet, but I think make sense..Ive included a possible Card Back below aswell. 

 

For the Companion book, there will defiantely need to be two...a small, portable one with Key information about each card, And a larger, heavy-duty book that is full of art and writing and annecdotal things about my personal life. Id wager that will come second, once I complete / release the Tarot Deck....or as an optional thing where you can get them together or the Cards on their own. 

 

Again, Im not sure, but Ill figure it out at some point. 

 

I always envisioned any book I complete to being similar to this in format https://books.google.com/books/about/Faeries_The_25th_Anniversary_Edition.html?id=9MgsqlMARBAC 

 

...if that makes what Im saying a bit clearer in context. 

 

 

 

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You are welcome!;) im pro critic as well!^^ lol

 

also your draft looks good to me!:D I would test print/publish it (with your original handwritten book!^^) as exclusive limited Sketch edt available until you have official deck & book ready for official publishing?!:D imo it will give you good ideas/perspective to see how these look printed on different card sizes & see what works best for you?!;) also seen how sketching is popular on instagram I bet there Will Be Demand for these as it’s handy crafty as it get!:) lol

 

I recommend thegamecrafter Jumbo card size but mpc have few options as well!^^

 

p.s I don’t see book format/size from your link but if it’s same as this bookdepository https://www.bookdepository.com/Faeries-25th-Anniversary-Edition-Brian-Froud/9781862055582

think it’s A4 aka big notebook?:) & you are lucky as tgc just got books!:)

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/publish/product/DigestPerfectBoundBook

 

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/publish/product/LetterPerfectBoundBook

 

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/publish/product/JumboCoilBook

 

 

 

p.p.s just remembered to add this book to your reserch list imo it's Must read for anyone Tarot!;) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditations_on_the_Tarot

 

All Best!

Irena

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  • 2 weeks later...
Antipodean
On 8/17/2020 at 12:05 PM, GalllowsInk said:

Here are my Majors, Or the First Run anyway (Before I rework them into a more detailed version)

Screenshot_20200724-131612_Gallery.jpg

Brilliant work! I hope you keep it up 🙂

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Ealasaid Enfys

Great job, GallowsInk! I started my tarot journey with the Thoth about 15 years ago and never got the hang of it. It didn't speak to me but was recommended by someone. A couple of years ago I followed a tarot class for which I had to buy a RWS and I never looked back to the Thoth. So the mix you did here seems very interesting for me to serve as a bridge between the two decks.

 

My first thought was that the drawings were too aggressive for me (the harsh lines) and busy, but when I saw the Adjusment-card I was sold. Beautiful!

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  • 2 weeks later...
GalllowsInk
On 9/9/2020 at 2:43 AM, Ealasaid Enfys said:

Great job, GallowsInk! I started my tarot journey with the Thoth about 15 years ago and never got the hang of it. It didn't speak to me but was recommended by someone. A couple of years ago I followed a tarot class for which I had to buy a RWS and I never looked back to the Thoth. So the mix you did here seems very interesting for me to serve as a bridge between the two decks.

 

My first thought was that the drawings were too aggressive for me (the harsh lines) and busy, but when I saw the Adjusment-card I was sold. Beautiful!

Thankyou! 

 

Tbh I struggle with Thoth a bit, mostly with all the numerical stuff....I don't math good, and the significance of all the sacred geometry stuff is a pain because,  yes, it adds a LOT to the deeper meaning of the cards....but its not the easiest thing to incorporate because it ends up being the main focus of the design (like with the Thoth High Priestess for example)

 

But it certainly speaks to me more than RwS.

 

...as to the Harsh lines and business of the work, I put that down to these being the preliminary versions. I can certainly see where youre coming from....however they ARE very rushed as its more a case trying to figure out the design elements so that I can rework them in a second version. 

 

I appreciate the feedback though...I imagine there will still be very bold lines in the final version, because I lean towards a very comic booky aesthetic...but hopefully the busy, aggresive aspect wont be as prevelant. 

 

 

....These are they 4 cards I "completed" most recently...Theyre a mix of the RwS Pages and Thoth Princesses of Pentacles,  Wand, Sword and Cups....I wasnt sure which direction I wanted to take them as The Page cards are exclusively male, and the Princesses all distinctly Female...

 

So I went with a Non-Binary version...I was running with  "They of the Sword" (or pentacle,  wand, cup) but Im starting to think "Page" could still work.  

 

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9 hours ago, GalllowsInk said:

Tbh I struggle with Thoth a bit, mostly with all the numerical stuff....I don't math good, and the significance of all the sacred geometry stuff is a pain because,  yes, it adds a LOT to the deeper meaning of the cards....but its not the easiest thing to incorporate because it ends up being the main focus of the design (like with the Thoth High Priestess for example)

 

If it's not your thing, leave it off. It's better to leave something off than to do it badly.
(I stink at math, too. A lot of people do. You can have a perfectly robust IQ and stink at math. Everybody is wired differently.)


All of the layers in any given card from the Thoth - the paths, the Hebrew letter, the astrological stuff, etc. - are different expressions of the same concept. Crowley could fiddle with tables of correspondences endlessly (case in point, 777) and Lady Harris apparently had similar inclinations. And I am not saying any of us should ignore that! One author ignored everything because she didn't like Crowley, and ended up writing a notoriously awful book about how you didn't need to read Crowley to use the Thoth. She even misidentified some things on the cards: she said the pelican, for instance, was "a swan" and related it to The Ugly Duckling. 😏 Everything needs to be studied and reflected on from time to time in order to fully appreciate the deck and gain some understanding of where it's coming from. But in order to read the cards, you just need a basic grasp of what the cards are about. Knowing it backwards and forwards can enhance your reading. There's some wonderful old posts on this at AT, here's one that puts the Qabalistic stuff in simple terms and explains the usefulness of incorporating it:
http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php?p=4312387&postcount=17

But that will only work once you've fully internalized it. And some of us will never make heads or tails of everything. But the Thoth is a deck of 78 very expressive cards. Even the titles on the Minors are an expression of the card's essence.

Do what you know. It's better to leave things out than to do them badly due to a poor grasp of the concept. And I don't mean that in a snarky way. The Thoth is a lifetime study. If you're not ready for "Thoth based", do "Thoth flavored" or something.

 

Quote

But it certainly speaks to me more than RwS.

 

The RWS is full of blinds, I know. Some of the meanings and imagery are fudged and not in accord with the Thoth. In those cases, I'd suggest going with Crowley-Harris. Thoth just works better.

 

Quote

...as to the Harsh lines and business of the work, I put that down to these being the preliminary versions. I can certainly see where youre coming from....however they ARE very rushed as its more a case trying to figure out the design elements so that I can rework them in a second version. 

 

Yes, they're obviously roughs!

Interesting...watching to see where you go with this.

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