Major Arcana Compositions

So my original plan in this project was to get all the drawings done, then compositions and then think about text, but I think it’s important to remember the text should work with the illustration rather than being placed on afterwards (something I often forget!). I’m glad I did these experimentations with text as it’s changed the composition entirely for some cards! The borders have cropped out some of the card which I think helps balance the overall card better. It stops them from having too much white space and looking a bit bare.

I’m still keeping in mind of course how I can bring the tarot up to date which was outlined in my brief. One of the ways to do that, aside from obviously changing the illustrations, is to think about changing the names of the cards. I would like these cards to be a real, functioning set and for people to be able to read them, so in order to start changing the names I have to understand what the cards mean – at least on a basic level. The major arcana follows a narrative, starting from the first card, The Fool. The Fool embarks on a journey through the major arcana, and these cards are the people or situations he comes across. It’s said that up until the death card, he is in the physical world, and afterwards the metaphysical world.

I’ll be using this narrative as a very loose base for my cards, and roughly following the popular Rider Waite System. The exception of this will be the minor arcana – I think symbolic cards rather than fully illustrated scenes would work best for my cards and keep them ‘fun’. I don’t want them to be too serious! I think maybe that’s the key to modernising them? I’ve also considered changing some of the ‘characters’ of the major arcana into different types of witches (and there are many, many types of witches!) but more on that later. 🙂

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