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New Beginnings

Handling a brand new deck is strange. It looks different, it feels different, it *sounds* different. The edges feel different.. a little sharper, almost too new. The “woosh” sound is different as I shuffle them with my hands. I know that essentially it’s the same deck. It was made with the same love as before. But this feels so different to me.

I spent a lot of time working through these images to make them as awesome as possible.. “Animism 2.0” is just a little bit brighter, just a little bit warmer and though in reality, it’s just a very subtle change, it still feels like a brand new tarot. To me, it really is a brand new tarot.

It’s kind of funny, because while I’ve been working on improving this deck, I haven’t actually been using my own in a long time. Sometimes things happen and I find myself far away from using tarot. I didn’t feel like I was in the right mindset to come back to it. But now with this, this kind of new deck, I knew I wanted to start again. It’s like a new beginning.

I shuffled, and drew, and the Five of Wands is my very first card from my ‘new’ tarot. And while it was completely unexpected, it feels like it came when I needed it most. Talk about internal struggles. The tension, the fiery red, the feeling of urgency, it says a lot, and it forces you to think about what the next step needs to be. It’s a good wake-up call.

I’m as humble as they come, but damn it all, I love my ‘new’ deck. It’s back, and it’s beautiful, and I am in love.

The Animism Tarot is back and is now available @

Chinchilla! The Impulsive Page of Wands

The  Page of Wands is quite dear to me because it was inspired by my crazy little chinchilla that I had when I was younger. That fluffy thing was full of spunk and energy.. so much so that he constantly rattled at his cage to get attention, chewed up some of our walls (the damage is still there today. I guess he didn’t want us to forget him!) and got a hold of my childhood stuffed animal at one point and chewed that up too. I was not pleased and he was so lucky he was super cute.

So I knew I’d have to include a chinchilla in this tarot, and I think he fit well with the Page of Wands: young and energetic, a liiittle crazy, always on the go and always trying to get a hold of everything. This match was meant to be!

I definitely won’t forget that fluffy guy. Here’s to you, you nutter.

Beware the Bite of the Eight of Wands

The Eight of Wands calls for quick movement and swiftness. No time to pause and reflect here. Don’t dillydally. Don’t think about it. Now is the time to act, and the black mamba won’t hesitate to do so.

I’m a bit glad that there weren’t too many scales to paint. Most of my focus went into the snake’s face and I really wanted that to pop. I liked painting the background and creating that little bit of texture in the trees; but not too much, since the snake was the main focus.

I wanted to retain the swiftness of the traditional Eight of Wands. My wands fell back and became part of the background, and I wanted the snake’s movements to actually break through the wands in the painting, This snake is ready to break through any restraints and finish what needs to be done.

Ten of Wands: A Desert Journey

The Ten of Wands took me on a journey deep into the desert. A Bactrian camel appears in front, holding a heavy load on its back. It’s come a long, long way and travelled for many miles through harsh terrain and sandstorms on its journey. Refusing any help, exhausted and overworked, the camel finally sees its destination in the distance. The rest of the trail will not be easy, but the camel plods on.

The camel was an easy choice for this tarot: a creature able to withstand the extreme, strong enough to journey through with a heavy weight on its shoulders, and stubborn enough to keep going. I hope through all this, this camel will learn not to push itself too hard, and to perhaps accept the assistance to lighten its load.

Tarot: The Red Fox is the Queen of Wands

I was extremely excited for the Queen of Wands. This was going to be my first queen tarot and I knew it would have to be fabulous. Strong and cunning, beautiful and unafraid, I thought that the fox would be a perfect fit for my queen. I thought of painting perhaps a different kind of fox; maybe the Arctic fox, or the fennec fox, but in the end, I really couldn’t not paint the fiery colours of the beautiful red fox.

I wanted this tarot to be bursting with warmth and the fox to be radiant. I played with curves a lot in this painting, creating a heart with the tree and her tail, symbolic of her love and passion. The sunflowers turn to her for her radiance and life.

Now, okay, no ordinary red fox would have a tail that grand.. unless you’re the Queen of Wands, of course. Only the best for her!



Seven of Wands: The Lowly Hedgehog

The Seven of Wands is a card filled with obstacles. It presses the need to remain strong, to keep fighting at all costs and to never, ever giving up. I loved the idea of painting a pair of hedgehogs for this tarot: these tiny, cute little critters taking a stand and doing whatever it takes to defend themselves from any and all threats, showing that size is only a small factor when your will is strong.

I wanted to have a badger to be the creature threatening the safety of the hedgehogs, but I decided to only paint its shadow, to represent more of a mysterious danger. To the hedgehogs, it may be a badger, but to the viewer, it may represent any dark force coming your way, something to watch out for.

Ace of Wands: The Fiery Goat

The Ace of Wands is all about that first spark of energy, a time when you can feel something special start to come to the surface.  I chose the goat for its fire and its passion. It, like the Ace of Wands, is wild, a little unstable, maybe even a little crazy, but it might be exactly what you need.

Smooth curves have been a reoccurring element in some of the paintings, and this one is definitely no exception. The curves of the goat’s horns seem to work with the curve of the tree. So even though the Ace of Wands is hot and fiery, there is still balance.

Project 365: Day 189-190 – Trudging along with Tarots

Day 189 – Ace of Wands in progress

Day 190 – Hurray Michael’s

I’ve really been trying to focus on the tarot cards lately. I know that at the pace I was going at, it would take forever for me to finish the deck. Even now, I’ve only recently hit the halfway mark. That means I still have a loong way to go! I am determined to finish this deck, however. I feel like I’ve gotten so far already; there’s no way I can just stop now.

I also do want to work on other things too, like get back into creating pendants again. I’m looking at a few different supplies now and thinking of what else I might want to experiment with. I picked up this awesome jewellery display stand at Michael’s. Though I don’t know if I’ll really use this thing for photographs or not, but either way, you don’t really lose much when they have 40% off sales.

Day 190b – Bonus tiny dessert. Yay!

Two of Wands Tarot: The Giraffe Sees You!

The Two of Wands represents a time when you need to realize that the world is your oyster. I decided to paint the giraffe for this tarot because I wanted to create an image of this incredibly tall creature having the advantage of being able to see further than anyone else, able to see every detail of the world around it: what lies ahead, what may come, and how to prepare for it. That, I think, is the power of the Two of Wands.

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