Tarot D: The Didactic Tarot, by Jeffrey M. Donato
When I started on my epic journey, the intention behind creating my own version of the almighty Tarot was to teach myself more about cross-cultural, archetypal story-building. I have been obsessed with mythology, fairy tales, movies and comic books since I was very young. I first began exploring the Tarot about fourteen years ago, and ever since then – I’ve been hooked! I am drawn to our patterns of existence and how they can be recognized and utilized to learn and grow. As temporal beings, we may think linearly, but we exist cyclically. Each card is extensively detailed, so you can really look at it and ponder it for a long while. They are meant to be contemplative and I hope they are inspiring. This is my way of giving back to the Tarot some of the creative fire it has instilled me with.
As far as production on the deck goes, I am still looking into a few things, but I am hoping to have it available this year. Stay tuned on the Tarot D Facebook page for updates!
[Note from The Tarot Review: these cards look great in large size; to see bigger images of the cards below, click the image. ]
The “Master of Fire”, Aries in my deck, is powerful, impulsive and willful. Beside Aries stands Orion, a cusp sign I’ve attributed to individuals born in the space between Aries and Taurus. Each of the Court Cards has one of these attributions to give some deeper interest. Another of my preoccupations is that of the natural world. I love animals, and so anthropomorphizing the western zodiac sun signs felt like the right idea to me.
The 9 of Water, “Shadows of Luck”, is and always has been one of my favorite cards in the Tarot. I love the meaning behind it as well as the mood it conveys. Here you can see the twin demiurges who are the focus of the entirety of my pips. There is an underlying narrative that is my version of a creation myth. I’ve always felt that knowing and recognizing the palpable moments of a story is an effective way to deepen symbolic knowledge. It can also expand the imagination to beyond the “borders” and initiates the questions: “What happened before this?”, “What comes next?”
“Fledgling Before the Plunge”, traditionally The Fool, this is the great hero who takes a leap of faith into the great unknown. Fledgling is the symbolic “everyman/woman”. I chose to pay homage to the Waite-Smith Tarot as it was one of my first and strongest influences. With the trump suit, I wanted to create the story of a hero who now exists and has an adventure in the same world we just saw constructed by the demiurges throughout the spot cards.