WRITTEN BY: JAMES BATTERSBY
Tarot Collectibles is a website founded by James Battersby and Christine Aguiar. James is known for his previous work as illustrator for “A Kings Journey Tarot” (authored by Chanel Bayless), “Simply Deep Tarot” and “Twisted Tarot Tales” (alongside Christine Aguiar). Christine Aguiar is co-creator and author of “Twisted Tarot Tales”, “The Propaganda Art Tarot” and for “The Trippin’ Waite Tarot”. Tarot Collectibles specialise in hand drawn, self published tarot decks, the range is from medieval fantasy to horror comic. Also work as a freelance artist.
At Tarot Collectibles we always try to come up with challenging and fun concepts for tarot decks.
Our latest effort The Trippin’ Waite was inspired by mid 60s-70s psychedelic imagery. We borrowed from designer Wes Wilson and Victor Moscoso who blended several different styles together such as Art Nouveau, comic books and pop art. We also incorporated some visual ideas from Propaganda Art mainly the use of the sunburst which is also featured in some psychedelic art posters.
Christine’s interest in psychedelic art and hippie imagery goes back to her childhood. Her father was an unconventional parent, a former hippie who loved psychedelic art and visual effects. As a teenager, he converted his room into a dark-light room , painted the walls black and using fluorescent paint, painted a dragon on one wall and King Crimson on the other. It remained this way throughout her childhood. The alternate Moon card is based on the painting in his room . The original image was inspired by the cover art of King Crimson’s album “In the Court of the Crimson King”
The idea to blend this type of imagery with the Waite Smith tarot came from a discussion we were having about the cards themselves. We wondered how the RWS images would look in different settings.
One of the first settings we imagined was the dystopic vision of a zombie apocalypse. Being fans of the popular series “The Walking Dead” you can imagine this was easy to do. The setting is also non technological with people having to revert back to a time without the heavy reliance on the internet, television or cellphones. Horror is a genre we’re very familiar with having created Twisted Tarot Tales, our horror comic tarot.You could say zombies are our thing.
The next idea to enter our mind was the hippie era. How would the characters adapt to sixties counterculture with its communal living, hippie rags, LSD and cannabis?
In the Trippin’ Waite there’s hippie shacks, peace signs for pentacles and vivid colours. Another characteristic of the psychedelic experience is the bright, penetrating colours which seem unusually rich and vibrant. I’ve added rainbows for heightened effect and intensity.
Some of the cards such as the five of wands and seven of wands challenge the perception. The five of wands depict fairies play fighting on a sunflower. At first it might strike people as men wearing butterfly wings having a mock battle of sorts but really if you look close they are on top a flower. The seven of wands shows another little guy battling against opponents and the bees returning to their hive. Look how large the bees are compared to the man.
We re-imagined the Waite Smith with longer hair, cultural diversity and a bell bottom here and there.
The Trippin’ Waite is packed with rainbows, butterfly wings and trippy clothes and clouds. Hence the name “Trippin’ Waite”. If you’re looking for something a bit Bohemian, with some flower power, wild costumes, lots of colours, spirals and textures this might be the deck for you.