For the most part, the images that appear here were not created specifically to be tarot cards. Most of them were created spontaneously, without much conscious intent. After a while, I had accumulated a large number of images and it started to occur to me that some of them might work as tarot images. I had other plans for some of the images, including using them as an accompaniment for different kinds of creative writing. That option has not been ruled out, but for now has been put on hold.
My tarot deck is non-traditional in that I have eliminated the distinction between major and minor arcana, and have not used court cards or the usual numbered suit cards that reflect a deck of playing cards. I have kept some of the names of major arcana cards, but I have changed others. I have approached things subjectively, and without trying to impose too many restrictions on myself, while weaving in many traditional ideas or symbols in my own way. For now I am using the traditional 78 cards, but am unsure if that will remain unchanged. As things stand, many themes in my current deck are repetitive and could be condensed into a single card. Perhaps eventually my deck will expand to include a wider range of themes and concepts.
If you've seen my other websites, it's evident I have a lot of problems and issues. If you get a bad feeling, or think I have a bad vibe, this tarot page is probably best avoided. I don't wish to cause anyone psychological harm.
I first came into contact with the tarot in 1982, but didn't start studying it until the late 80s-early 90s. In 1995, I spent a couple of months in a research library for about 6 hours a day checking out what I could. However, my approach to tarot has generally been non-academic. When I have created images and chosen text, I have tended to do it intuitively and subjectively rather than according to the scholastic info I have acquired, seemingly throwing everything I have learned out the window and expressing it all in a watered-down fashion. At times this has exasperated me to some extent. In addition, I have found myself not skilled enough to capture a lot of what I wish to capture.
All of the images are created by Xesce (me). Most of them have been created from photos I have taken, but a few have been created from the Grey Knight's photos (eg, the springing thorny devil in "The Unexpected", the tower and lightning in "The Tower" (actually, he also made "The Tower" into an animated gif), and the original "Obxesceion" photo - although that was taken under my direction). The flying penis gif in "Inspiration" was created by GK (again, under my direction). "Death" is my take on an old drawing of GK's, with my face worked in.
[I have permission from GK to use his (processed by me) images. One comment: I don't think I've done his photos justice - the images that came to me came in the moment, they were responses to certain circumstances, and I've always wished I could have created better images. For further GK photo credits, click here, or to see GK's website click here.]
[I hope to eventually replace images which have incorporated others' work, not just because of copyright issues, but because I would like this site to consist entirely of my own images. According to copyright law, it seems that unless an 'important', 'essential' or 'distinctive' part of an image is used, there is no breach of copyright. It may be difficult to define 'important', 'essential' or 'distinctive', but my assessment at this time is that the images I've included on this site which include parts of the work of others probably do not breach copyright, partly because they are so highly changed from the original form. Another issue is quality, especially when the quality of the original work is a defining feature. My images tend to be blurred and of lower resolution, and as such there is a pronounced difference in quality to the original work. However, I will remove any image/s that is/are a problem because of copyright issues. I do not think of myself as 'entitled' to use these images, but until I can create new images, I would feel pleased to be able to keep using them.]:
"Lochxesce" ("Synchronicity") was created from an illustration by Ted Nasmith in JRR Tolkien's The Silmarillion, combined with a photo of NYC by Nina Choi from Qantas magazine (combined with a photo of my face.) There are a few other cards in which I've incorporated others' work or photos in my cards, but in most cases they are substantially altered. If anyone would like me to remove a particular image, I will do it. The building in "Hotel Chaotica" is from a photo by Bernard Rosa for Qantas magazine, although the overall look is greatly altered. "Opera" contains an altered version of a photo of the Paris Garnier opera - I took the photo from an ad in Qantas. "Necromance" was created using a skeleton that appeared on an educational disk entitled 'Bodyworks Version 3.0' by Software Marketing Corporation that GK received many years ago as part of a package that came with a new computer. The skeleton was highly processed, and added to a highly processed photo from Qantas magazine. I used the same skeleton as the starting point for "Out".
"Nostalgia" is created from a photo taken by an ex 'stepbrother', and the falling figure in "The Tower" is from a photo one of my biological brothers took - this figure is altered from the original.
I have tried to find out where the (distorted, not exact) quote in "The Fire" came from, but maybe I haven't tried hard enough, because I've been unsuccessful. The quote is something like "If the house was on fire and you could only take one thing with you as you left, what would you take? The fire." For a while I thought it was Jean Cocteau, but I'm not sure that makes sense. Anyway, it's currently an unresolved thing, and if anyone knows the attribution, I'd appreciate it if you emailed me.
I have tried to put text into my own words. Many of the descriptions I've put with cards are well-known associations not attributable to a single source. I do feel self-conscious about not at least providing a list of the tarot books I've read over the years. That will probably be a difficult job, because while I did have a list at one point, it was something that was lost during one of my mass deletia episodes. I will try to address this issue. For now, here's a start. Rose Gwain and Rachel Pollack have definitely been significant influences.
If there are problems with certain browsers, or if there are any other technical issues, or problems, I would appreciate input. back to main tarot page