Tarot Majors Only Deck | Nick Stewart
My lovely friend Nick Stewart is a super artist. He conjures glorious, almost cosmic images from fountain pen ink and bleach, like a real life Magician!
Nick has created a set of Major Arcana cards – mostly as a project to show off the fabulous effects that you can achieve with fountain pen ink and bleach. I know, it seems like they are unlikely bed-fellows, but really, the results are fascinating – often serendipitous – and always beautiful.
To help him with the project, I provided him with some keywords for the 22 cards of the Major Arcana and, as a thank you, he has provided ME with a set of his newly created cards! I am one very lucky bunny!
I thought I’d review them for you because he will have them available to buy from his website and they are certainly VERY different to anything else out there in the market.
It has taken DAYS for me to manage to get this video from my phone to the blog. I don’t know how to make it show up smaller though!
The cards themselves have a high gloss finish and are small and square, measuring only 6cm x 6cm. The small size makes them a fab Majors Only mini, if you collect them, and easy to lay out lots of them in a small area.
The square shape is also unusual and it means that as well as having a right-side and a reversed reading, you could also have a side-ways interpretation too. And whatever that might mean to you!
The card corners are rounded off – which means they won’t get quite as much ‘dunting’ damage. Is ‘dunt’ even a word outwith Scotland? Is ‘outwith’ even a word outside of Scotland?!
Each card features a medieval manuscript style image picked out of the gloriously luxuriant fountain pen ink shades with carefully applied bleach. I know. CRAZY, but it works!
Around each of the simple images is a circle that contains the card’s name and some keywords to help you interpret the card.
They are presented in a very sweet black bag with a wax stamp on the front.
Also included with the 22 Major Arcana cards is a card giving details of each ink used and on which card – which is a nice touch if you are a bit of a fountain pen freak yourself. Which I am!
Nick would be the first to admit that he is not a Tarotist, but he has picked very sympathetic artwork to the subject of each card.
Although I have a clutch of Majors Only decks in my collection, I tend not to read with them because I find Majors are very SHOUTY to work with when there are no nuances from the Minors and Courts.
Does this deck work?
I thought I’d give it a go and ask the cards ‘what do I need to know about Coronavirus?‘ because, let’s face it, it’s impacting on all our lives at the moment.
The cards that I drew were: Chariot + Fool + Devil
I interpreted this as: I need to know that we are being pulled in two ways. One way, is The Fool, where people are ignorant of what keeps us safe and act irresponsibly, but not out of malice. The other way we are being pulled is The Devil – obsessed, addicted, wicked – this is us hanging on every bit of internet advice and being addicted to the horror. It also is the card of the hoarder, the stock-piler, the price gouger and the crook.
I would consider neither of these options the way forward, but it’s where we are at the moment. Maybe what we really need to do is somewhere in the middle of these cards – 0 and 15. That’s a total of 16 cards, so the middle lies between 8 and 9. In this deck, VIII is Strength and IX is The Hermit. So maybe the middle way is the right way – we need fortitude and staying away from other people. That works for me.
But, this much we already know. The final draw of three cards concerned the question ‘what is going to happen to me and my loved ones?’ The cards drawn – The Lovers, Justice and The High Priestess.
We are going to make the best choices that we can – not for immediate gratification, but for the Highest Good. If we do our best or whether we act irresponsibly, we shall receive natural justice accordingly. The High Priestess indicates continued social distancing and focus on the inner life, rather than the outer.
Nice, I can totally see all that as being useful, so as a Majors Only set, they work.
What are the drawbacks of the deck?
While the small size makes it easy to lay out lots of the cards in a spread, it also makes it tricky to read the keywords. And the titles and keywords themselves are very small. I needed my glasses!
I love most of the imagery and how it has been applied, but some of them work better than others. That said, the card names and keywords ARE printed on the card too, so it’s not like you’d ever be in a position where you’d be unable to use the cards! Unless you don’t take your specs with you.
Depending on interest, Nick might make a few sets of these available. So if you fancy a set for your own good self, get in touch with him.
If you are interested in learning more about Nick and his alchemical method of creating art, check out his @quinkandbleach page on facebook, instagram and look at his website for details on how YOU can learn the same techniques.