My nieces refer to me as Aunt Spooky. And my family? They’re still waiting for my Stevie Nicks as goth phase to pass. So I guess it should come as no surprise that I am an autumn girl who celebrates Halloween a little bit each day. A spooky, autumn themed tarot seemed a no brainer. I just wasn’t sure what type of style it was going to eventually evolve into. I knew that I wanted it to be rich and lavish, colorful though dark, and I wanted each card to look like a snapshot of a scene taking place somewhere seldom seen.
I decided to use 17th and 18th century classic paintings as my palate, turning to my most favorite medium; collage. I wanted there to be something somewhat familiar with the scene, while at the same time unique. I divided my themes into three categories: One, the autumn scene. Two, a re-imaging of classic movie monsters. Three, the macabre. As I worked on a card, I also wrote a short story to accompany the character being created.
The original version of the deck was simply called The Attic Halloween Tarot and it featured only the major arcana. This is mostly due to breaking my own important rule and being in a rush. I wanted it to be out in time for Halloween 2015. That might have been possible if I wasn’t in the process of moving to Ohio to be closer to my gent’s father, who was nearing the end of his struggle with liver cancer. There was a lot going on and a lot of emotions being processed, which honestly fuels my creativity, but it doesn’t put me in the frame of mind to be properly focused on the more practical parts of launching a deck, like packaging, proper promotion, and such. Soon after concluding the first edition sale of the deck, I tucked it away for the moment.
Since then I’ve had time to give this deck a bit more thought. I received publishing interest from a gaming company with the stipulation that I add a minor arcana to it. That prospect is somewhat in limbo at the moment as I don’t have any experience working with a publisher and I’m researching what I should know before jumping head first into it. I have been working on the minor arcana though, as well as giving the deck more of the attention it originally deserved.
Madam Lydia Wilhelmina’s Tarot of Monsters, the Macabre and Autumn Scenes. The border and borderless versions of the first edition were retired and I made a compromise by keeping the card artwork full bleed with a delicate gold border. The minor arcana is slow going. I’ve been trying to create two cards a week. I’ll start posting the minors when I have finished suits. Whatever may come of the potential third party printing of the deck, I’ll most likely offer a special sale for it this approaching Halloween and this time do it in the way the deck deserves. 😉 For now, you can pop by this page to see samples of the companion book that describes my strange characters.