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Question for Creators


Lonely
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So, I got to thinking based off another post I just made in deck creations and now I'm curious... For those of you who have or are making your own deck or making one for others; when you come across a card that could have more than one very different meaning to you, how do you go about it? Do you mesh them? Go with the more positive meaning to attract positive energies and outcomes? Go with a traditional meaning and toss yours out?

 

For example: for me 5 of pentacles is either "this will result in feeling ICEsolated, move on" (pun intended) or it means "through thick and thin" depending on the cards next to it, so if this was your interpretation of this card how would you illustrate 5 of pentacles?

 

(Interesting how some cards seem to have the same meaning across the board for everyone and others have differing meanings per person or spread.)

 

Thank you!

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7 hours ago, Lonely said:

So, I got to thinking based off another post I just made in deck creations and now I'm curious... For those of you who have or are making your own deck or making one for others; when you come across a card that could have more than one very different meaning to you, how do you go about it? Do you mesh them? Go with the more positive meaning to attract positive energies and outcomes? Go with a traditional meaning and toss yours out?

 

For example: for me 5 of pentacles is either "this will result in feeling ICEsolated, move on" (pun intended) or it means "through thick and thin" depending on the cards next to it, so if this was your interpretation of this card how would you illustrate 5 of pentacles?

 

(Interesting how some cards seem to have the same meaning across the board for everyone and others have differing meanings per person or spread.)

 

Thank you!

I think it depends on what you're aiming for the deck.

 

If it's for yourself, you can do entirely what you like so long as you understand it.

 

If you're aiming for a more traditional deck to sell, you might want to go with the traditional meanings.

 

There are plenty of tarot decks out there that don't follow the standard meanings. (Then you have to work out whether it's a tarot or an oracle...)

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If you ever go to an art gallery or popular art exhibition where there are crowds of people grouping around an artwork (probably less likely at this moment in time!), it's fascinating to listen and observe the discussions. I love doing this. People interpret the same thing they are seeing really differently, someone might say look at that part of the picture and someone else, look at that! I once heard someone saying the artist is so miserable based on the picture and then mins later someone else saying they must have been so happy when making it! Also some people loved the artwork, other's detested it! I remember at one very long horizontal painting I said out-loud that the horse represented the artist's issues with masculinity and everyone around were like, yeah I see that, I totally understand this painting now. I was joking a little bit when saying it but also I could it see it as the symbolism but it was funny at the time! It is fascinating because viewing the same thing produces different feelings and ideas from people.

 

So you make a deck and you publish it publicly and people are going to interpret your cards differently! I think as an artist you can only create the intention you want for each card and put it out into the world if you want to make it public. You can publish your intentions for each card in writing but people might not agree or follow them. I have looked at cards and see it totally a different way to the artist's intention. But the artist has to let it go, people will see if differently! It's the way of tarot and artwork.

 

The question of course is if you make the 5 of Pentacles and your intention is to make it mean isolating from others but mosst people read it as social times with friends, is that a failure on the part of the deck creation / artist? Even if your vision can be interpreted in many ways, you have to get your basic ideas over perhaps.

 

If I am reading a deck and the artwork really strays from the traditional meaning, I tend to go back to the general meaning of the card. I usually read the artwork first but sometimes they are just too far away from tarot structure. A little example of this, the Osho Zen Tarot is probably the deck most on the tarot / oracle boundary line of any other. It has a tarot structure with majors and 4 suits. But if you read the cards I think you have to ignore the traditional tarot structure, it's just too beyond tarot. It reads better as an oracle, taking each card as a single entity because when you try to compare it to the tarot equivalents it's so tricky and confusing 🙂

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tarot numerology is pretty basic and universal.  Fives = Evolution over time, power of change. Conflict, uncertainty, instability. The suit determines the area. 

You can make a deck of cards based on any system you want to promote, but if you want to sell a deck, and call it tarot, it needs to be reflective of tarot numerology. 

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5 hours ago, DanielJUK said:

If you ever go to an art gallery or popular art exhibition where there are crowds of people grouping around an artwork (probably less likely at this moment in time!), it's fascinating to listen and observe the discussions. I love doing this. People interpret the same thing they are seeing really differently, someone might say look at that part of the picture and someone else, look at that! I once heard someone saying the artist is so miserable based on the picture and then mins later someone else saying they must have been so happy when making it! Also some people loved the artwork, other's detested it! I remember at one very long horizontal painting I said out-loud that the horse represented the artist's issues with masculinity and everyone around were like, yeah I see that, I totally understand this painting now. I was joking a little bit when saying it but also I could it see it as the symbolism but it was funny at the time! It is fascinating because viewing the same thing produces different feelings and ideas from people.

 

So you make a deck and you publish it publicly and people are going to interpret your cards differently! I think as an artist you can only create the intention you want for each card and put it out into the world if you want to make it public. You can publish your intentions for each card in writing but people might not agree or follow them. I have looked at cards and see it totally a different way to the artist's intention. But the artist has to let it go, people will see if differently! It's the way of tarot and artwork.

 

The question of course is if you make the 5 of Pentacles and your intention is to make it mean isolating from others but mosst people read it as social times with friends, is that a failure on the part of the deck creation / artist? Even if your vision can be interpreted in many ways, you have to get your basic ideas over perhaps.

 

If I am reading a deck and the artwork really strays from the traditional meaning, I tend to go back to the general meaning of the card. I usually read the artwork first but sometimes they are just too far away from tarot structure. A little example of this, the Osho Zen Tarot is probably the deck most on the tarot / oracle boundary line of any other. It has a tarot structure with majors and 4 suits. But if you read the cards I think you have to ignore the traditional tarot structure, it's just too beyond tarot. It reads better as an oracle, taking each card as a single entity because when you try to compare it to the tarot equivalents it's so tricky and confusing 🙂

 

In this context, I remember chatting to a very well known tarot creator, and I asked if something on one of the images was supposed to represent - something or other - I'm afraid I forget now, and he looked at the card and said: "Not when I painted it - but it does now !"

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@stephanelli @gregory Thank you guys so much for your input. I agree if it's my own personal deck whatever jives for me works and if it's one to sell then stick to the more commonly known structure and always to numerology.

 

@AJ-ish/Sharyn @DanielJUK so going off the evolution and change mentioned by AJ and the art is in the eye of the beholder consept by Daniel, do you guys think something like one person in the hospital hooked up to 5 machines while the other weaps at the beside would convey the same meaning and feeling as the traditional illustration? I guess I'm asking cause I'm worried my tendcy to look for the positive meaning of each card will overtake the artwork, I mean every card has positives and negatives especially depending on what they're near in the spreads. Thank you both so much for reading my original post and giving me feedback!

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my concern with that particular image is it will date your deck because it is now covid-centric. 

I might also confuse it with a 5 of cups=feelings, and which is the primary character? 5 of swords speaks of destitution in whole, in basic tarot deck, your suggested characters might be rich as  Croesus. Or the bed character might be a effort at murder and the weeping character might be a Black Widow wife. Any reader and querent can put themselves in the Waite card situation, very few in your version so out comes the complicated stories that probably confuse the point of the reading. 

 

these are the sort of things that make or break sales once a deck is published and people start using it and commenting on media. 

You can produce a all positive deck if you like, it's been done, Doreen Virtue comes to mind. But they also take a beating on media because they are bent tarot. Tarot structure doesn't need that, based on the query and spread the cards will clearly answer, there is no need to make them all gruesome or fairy light. Perhaps define which market you want to attract?

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I don’t really follow RWS depictions in my own deck project, but I also wouldn’t say that what I’m creating is necessarily contradicting the ‘traditional’ RWS meanings. I think that most readers who aren’t absolute beginners could work with my deck and make sense of it. I am sure they will see different things than what I might have intended, and that’s perfectly fine. A deck can definitely be a good reader and have many layers to it. What makes a deck a good reader is, in my opinion, that it’s done by someone who is experienced with tarot and who has an overall vision for how the individual cards will come together as a functioning, multifaceted whole.  
 

As to your vision.. were you thinking about having 5 machines because the card is a ‘five’? I don’t really think it’s necessary to have the number represented visually like that. Also, what 5 machines would that be? If you’re inspired by Covid or are thinking ‘full life support’ scenario then you could perhaps depict an ECMO patient?
 

If you feel that something like that would depict the 5 of pentacles in the way you see they card, then go for it. Write a good guidebook entry to explain your thoughts in case you plan on making it available to others! 

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28 minutes ago, gregory said:

I'd agree. One of my 5 Pentacles: I think it says what it needs to.

1480872471_05acoins.thumb.jpg.5fb2d7fa2da30ba181587f3c668e4dbf.jpg

I don't entirely agree with AJ about hospitals necessarily dating it. But you really don't need 5 of anything just because it's a 5.


Agreed. And I'd stick with some kind of homeless imagery like this. The card has a strong poverty element, and people in hospitals are usually either insured or live in an area with a big enough tax base to support a charity hospital, at least in the US. (And it's odd how insured people are magically declared "ready to go home" when the insurance runs out. Our health care system is in shambles.)

 

Waite said that the card "foretells material trouble above all". In the Thoth it's worry and material crisis. It can be an illness or injury (the boy in the RWS is on crutches) but the emphasis is on the 5 destroying the stable security of the 4, the "What do I do now?" aspect. It's more about desperation than grieving.

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VERY few cards need a specific number of something on them. If any at all.

 

Care to see my 7 cups ?

 

781846219_07cups.thumb.jpg.727e1e53dccd56a83097f58c9575d4ef.jpg

Unlimited choices.... Far too many actually. I talked to that couple, as I had to ask permission to use their image. They said it was just awful, having that much to choose form. THAT'S what the card is about. It wouldn't have said it any louder if I'd limited it to 7 packages ! I quote from a meanings website I happen to like:

 

It predicts that the querent is or will be faced with choices that emotionally pull them in several directions.

 

Credit to Thirteen.

 

I have others. You are really limiting your design - and also being a little oversimplistic, going that route. Getting the meaning across is key. Not how many whatevers are on there.

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