Monday, February 26, 2007


You may have noticed one of my other interests is in writing haiku. Given this, for some time I've been mulling over the possibility of designing a haiga Tarot; haiga are, very simply put, illustrated haiku. As this idea simmered on the back burner, I stumbled across some incredible taiga, i.e, illustrated tanka.* Wow! What a great idea for my Tarot. The additional two lines -- haiku are usually only three lines, and tanka five -- would give me more room to swim around in (or drown :-D). And the tanka form is traditionally more amenable to directly expressing emotions and conclusions than the haiku form. Yet a tanka would still be short enough to fit comfortably on a normal size Tarot card. Not to mention that the title "The Taiga Tarot" is alliterative. :-D

I have to admit that before I came across taiga I'd never tried writing tanka, so I am really reaching with this project. In my defense, I have been doing a lot of reading of and about tanka. As a result, the ideas for tanka and accompanying Tarot images have begun popping, waking me up in the middle of the night. I love this sort of creative ferment.

There have been and continue to be practical issues, of course. I had to figure out how to protect the cards once finalized. Not to mention how to produce them to begin with and on what sort of paper stock (my printer nozzle can't handle card stock). For protection and endurance, I've purchased a laminating machine. For production, at least so far, I'm using a combination of hand sketching, scanning, and Paint program manipulation to actually develop the cards for sharing here.

OK, enough stalling. Here's the first Taiga Tarot card that woke me up, demanding to be manifested:

[See revised version in following post]

I'm not at all surprised it was The Moon that called to me first. Of all the cards in The Tarot it's the one that has most consistently wheedled, cajoled, even demanded my careful attention over the years. The next call was from Strength (using the Leo astrology glyph), and after that The Star (referencing Tzaddi, the hebrew letter often corresponded to it). I'll post these two and others as they come in separate future posts. [P.S. added several hours after making this post: I've already received some interesting feedback on the above design. I'll post a revision of it in my next Taiga Tarot post.]

It is tempting to relate to these first three Taiga Tarot designs as a past/ present/ future reading. And so I will: I'd say The Moon references all the unclarity and struggles with darkness (both others' and mine) over the years, and also the acknowledgment and development of my intuitive skills; Strength, what I am currently doing, embracing and taming my "tiger;" and The Star, oh my, if that is to be my future -- how lovely!

* A tanka is a mood poem written in five lines, that usually references natural images and human emotions. Also, there is often a contrast or conclusion or response in the last two lines to the first three.

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‘til next time, keep responding to and enjoying The Tarot,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm and Roswila's Tarot Gallery & Journal.****

Sunday, February 25, 2007


This blog is dedicated solely to my Taiga* Tarot designs as they develop. I am not necessarily designing this deck for use in divination, but rather to ultimately share 78 taiga, drawn and written out of my over 30-year journey with The Tarot as a faithful and creative guide. I also do not post these as final versions, simply as final for the moment. Some may very well be subject to revision as I discover more about their inter-relationships, or am drawn to a different design or wording, or receive feedback.

Very simply put "taiga" are illustrated tanka. "Tanka" are mood poems traditionally written in five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables, that usually reference natural images and human emotion. Also, there is often a contrast, conclusion, or response in the last two lines to the first three. My tarot tanka are largely non-traditional, but I do make an attempt to respect the basic form. At the end of each card post is some additional "Background Information" on the deck.

From the start the cards have been influenced in some way by my night dreams, and they all have a decidedly psychological bent. I most definitely expect the latter to continue as that is largely how I relate to The Tarot. I also make no attempt to encompass a broad range of Tarot meanings and approaches in these designs, but to simply highlight an aspect or two of each card that I have found central, pointed, or less common.

As to why a black and white deck? I adore color and find it's often an important aspect of readings, so had no idea that the deck would be in black and white. (Actually, the only thing I "knew" about the deck ahead of time was that it would be a taiga tarot.) But this is how it has come through. I am planning to make the backs of my own laminated copy very colorful, however. :-D

I have the odd feeling that this deck exists in its entirety somewhere else/when, and is coming to me, card by card. There is also an image that keeps occurring to me: this deck is like an embroidered panorama, being made from one long strand of many textured thread, within which each individual card is one stitch.

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'til next time, keep enjoying The Tarot,

**** [aka: Patricia Kelly] **** If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Tarot Gallery & Journal; Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm; and DREAMJIN: for Haiku-Like Dream Poems, a Yahoo group.****