One of the things I really wanted to do as I was creating this deck is to make it inclusive. Tarot decks are usually not inclusive. Some of the more modern or specialty decks have embraced inclusion, but many more traditional decks don’t default to male-oriented, heterosexual imagery and white skin.
I wanted to do something different. Many of the cards in my new deck, the Practical Tarot, lend themselves to reimagining. This is one of them. For example, the Sun usually has a little blonde-haired blue eyed child riding a horse. One, I didn’t want anyone to be riding a horse. And two, I wanted to be sure that we had children who weren’t just little tiny blonde babies on the card. That’s the cool thing about being the artist. You get to do what you think is right.
The Pages in the deck gave me another opportunity to be inclusive. A lot of other decks give you court cards of white people with different-colored hair.
The Practical Tarot takes many other types of people into account and includes them.
First, usually, there is only one person on the Page card. Granted, the person looks a bit androgynous in some decks. But often you can ascribe male as the identifier.
So, I added two people in each card. They can be male (or male-identifying) or female (or female-identifying). I couldn’t figure out how to insert gender-fluid or non-binary folks because I couldn’t find depictions that would convey those notions in addition to the people already on those cards.
But I could have additional hues of skin, and I did.
It’s so fascinating to me now to see the difference between my old deck and its default to white skin and my deck with its rainbow.
I hope that more people will be able to see themselves reflected in the cards. As a good friend of mine put it to me recently when we were talking about why she moved to Philly from a less diverse place. “It was really great to walk around and see people who looked like me.”
And that’s what I was going for with this deck. I hope you’ll be with it and see people who are like you.