Last fall I spent five weeks in Torino, Italy working at the Lo Scarabeo offices. While there, I did a variety of work, including writing some Little White Booklets (those small booklets that come with decks).
After reading the one I wrote for Tarot of the Dream Enchantress, Riccardo Minetti, the editor at Lo Scarabeo as well as a deck designer, said that he could see how I “dragged the image meanings kicking and screaming in line with the Rider-Waite deck in my head.”
It is true—I was enslaved to my mental deck, which is the Rider-Waite. After spending so much time with Riccardo, I saw the value in freeing myself from that enslavement. But that is another discussion for another time.
When I was to start working on the booklet for the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight, Ric asked me to not consult my mental deck, but instead to lose myself in the images and write what those images say without reference to the Rider-Waite. He said to go move quickly, to not think, to just react and respond. Since I was working from the original artwork and not finished cards, it was a bit easier, as there were no card titles to distract me.
After writing the text, I did not look at it again until I received the finished deck, over six months later. Mostly, I was amazed and pleased. Sometimes I couldn’t believe they were my words. Sometimes I laughed when I noticed that despite my efforts at letting go of my mental deck, it still showed up.
This deck will always be dear to me, but beyond my personal connection, it is truly an evocative, powerful, and surprising deck. Take a look for yourself. Below are the images from the 6 of Wands, Strength, the 3 of Swords, and Death.
I’d love to hear from anyone else who has used the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight. Also, I want to continue to explore the idea of the mental deck and/or Rider-Waite dependence, so share your thoughts.