What is The Tarot of Michelle?
The Tarot of Michelle is an art project, an illustrated deck of cards with captions describing life lessons reminiscent of the Morgan’s Tarot deck of cards. It is more of an “oracle” deck than a “Tarot” deck as it does not follow a structure or have suits or arcana.
Everything is a Learning Experience
There are no lose-lose situations. If you have learned something, it is not a 100% loss.
Also see, It’s All Material.
Why The Tarot of Michelle?
After my father died, I was thinking of what my brother and I learned from him. Then I started thinking about what my legacy would be: all the life lessons, learnings, mistakes, and little bits of wisdom I’ve accumulated over the years and I felt compelled to share them with others somehow. The bite-sized one-lesson-per-card format of the Tarot deck, with cartoony illustrations that are fun to draw, seemed like a suitable format.
Isn’t the tarot satanic?
No. Do your homework.
Small, humble, mundane things can become the most valuable, versatile things ever.
Everything in our lives has more than one purpose.
Keep the truly useful things around.
Consistency, portability and modularity can make life easier.
How to use The Tarot of Michelle?
However you want, really. I envisioned drawing a single card for inspiration if I were stuck on a decision or stuck in a situation or otherwise needing input or advice. It could give me a perspective check, or remind me of a skill, principle or value that could be applied to the situation. People often use the Bible this way, opening to a random verse to get inspiration. A simple three-card, past-present-future lay-out might work too, but the cards don’t really lend themselves to more complex layouts such as the Celtic Cross.
Supposedly, the Morgan’s Tarot deck started with a set of personal cards created by Morgan Robbins for his own use, reminders to himself containing the wisdom of his spiritual journey. That sounded good to me.
You could also use the cards to get to know me better, or use them as a starting point for meditation, as a writing prompt, or to brainstorm ideas or inspire creative projects.
What are the pictures on the cards?
Some cards describe abstract ideas like values or traits. Others show objects or symbols with a particular significance or lesson attached. Others have sayings or expressions and my own take on them. You might see an egg, a book, a mug, an American flag, a pair of shoes, a landscape, or an animal on a card.
Choice, sacrifice, and priorities.
There is a cost to keeping “stuff” around.
Rotate your stock and clear out clutter regularly.
You can’t predict 100% what you will need in the future. Just do the best you can. Prioritize the expensive or hard-to-replace items.
What do the cards mean?
Some life lessons are simple; others are more nuanced and complex. So each card has one or more meanings that could apply depending on the situation. There is not a “positive” or “negative” meaning depending on whether the card is upright or reversed.
Some of the meanings will only make sense to me until you read the story behind the card. Others you might have to think about for awhile. Others you might disagree with or have a completely different take on them. Others will be completely irrelevant or baffling. That’s all okay.
Where do you get the ideas for the cards?
Most ideas come from real-life experiences. There is a story behind each card which will be shared via blog posts, articles or social media.
How many cards are there?
At the time of this post there are about 70 designs sketched out of which about 60 are illustrated. The deck will likely have between 70 and 100 cards when finished.
The cards are numbered but there is no significance to the order.
Wisdom vs. Knowledge
Know the difference.
Apply book learning to real life. That is where it makes a difference.
Learning for learning’s sake is fun, but ultimately will not affect the real world.
How are the cards made?
Original ideas were sketched in pencil on 3×5 index cards, then scanned to disk and used as a background layer in the iOS drawing app Paper. The finished images were exported to Photos on Mac, then printed on 3×5 index cards to create the first set of prototype cards. I used MS Word to type up the captions and print them a few at a time on the backs of the cards. I used a corner cutter to round the corners and make them look like a real deck of cards. I might use a printing service to produce the final version of the deck.
What are you going to do with the cards?
I’m not sure yet. I’d like to give decks to my friends and family as gifts. If there is enough demand I might make them available to purchase.
How can I stay informed about new cards?
Follow my WordPress blog or on Medium, or become a Patron on Patreon.