Our latest interview is with Thea, the creator of the Black Cat Tarot - a deck that highlights the special and quirky things about our favourite noir felines.
Thea is a small local artist in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She created this deck for all Black Cat Lovers!.This deck is not bad lick. In fact, this deck is super lucky! Black cats have long endured cruelty and horrible misconceptions due to myths and superstitions and Thea has set about to dispel this and show us the beauty to be found in black cats.
Kickstarter - Black Cat Tarot
Where in the world do you call home?
Albuquerque, New Mexico! Home of Green Chili and traffic cones. Albuquerque is beautiful; it's right next to the Sandia mountains which make all of our sunsets magical and pink! We are truly the land of mañana. We definitely have a lazy cat vibe in our culture. Think the opposite of New York City. We are kind of a loyal group of weird people who love our IPA beers and the United Soccer Team.
What was your first experience with tarot?
When I was a kid I found one of my mom's tarot decks and laid out all the cards. She got really upset. I was messing with her stuff but I thought the cards were so beautiful, I wanted to look at them more but she wouldn’t let me touch them. So, whenI first bought my own Tarot deck when I was 20 I was so happy, I set out all the cards every day and just loved them. Now I personally own almost 100 decks. I love them. I love to do readings. I love to sit with the cards. Tarot means so much to me personally. I love that each deck can speak to you in a different way. I set out to create my own tarot deck but put that project down at least 7 times as something “too difficult”.
Well, I finally created Painted Tarot which was my first Tarot Deck and funded on kickstarter. It was so freeing but I felt like I learned so much from the experience I wanted to create another deck. I created Cats in Space Tarot and was narrowly funded on kickstarter. I was told by so many people that the project was a good idea and I think it was too niche. But then doing some self-healing I got really creative and made an oracle deck, Love Thy Self, which was also funded on kickstarter. I wanted to come back to tarot and I wanted to create a tarot deck that was really for me. So I made this Deck, Black Cat Tarot. This is my 4th Deck that I have created and I am so proud of it. I have learned so much about myself, about tarot with each deck. This is definitely my best one yet.
What would you say is unique about your deck?
I own every Cat deck that exists! Seriously! I love Cats and I love Tarot. I know of 10 Cat Tarot Decks, if there are more let me know! I made sure my art and style was different from what is out there. I wanted this deck to be unique but not gimickee. This deck is simple yet funky with its art. The cats aren't overly detailed but each card has REAL symbolism from the RWS style. It’s cutesy yet accurate, Stylized yet mystical. It’s a much different deck then any of the cat decks out there. including my Cats in Space Deck. I think its bright color and heavy imagery will provide for insightful readings. This is a clever deck and I hope it helps offer guidance and find hidden answers.
How long has it taken you to create this deck?
My First tarot deck took 4 years. My second deck took roughly nine months. My Oracle Deck took two years to create and this deck has taken about 2 1/2 years total. Most of the art was completed in the last 2 months! Mostly November was when I created this deck. I sat and thought about this project for so long. But once I started it the art flowed out of me. It was so much fun to create this project. I hear sometimes people say during deck creation that it takes so long, and I didn’t experience that with this deck. It was a joy to make each card. Each one was fun. It felt so authentic and releasing. I feel like these cards are filled with wisdom that we are all capable of so much more than we can imagine. I completely loved creating this deck. It was one of my fastest projects. I seriously felt a shift inside myself that allowed me to create this. I really had to believe in myself to overcome the self doubt of others. Everything people say to you is a reflection of themselves. Usually if someone says you can't do something it is because they believe they couldn't do that thing. Once I figured that out = a solid 50 hours of working straight and I almost had each card perfect!
What card are you most proud of and why?
I really like The Hierophant Card. I struggle connecting with this card because it can have that religious sort of connotation. I hated this card in my Painted Tarot Deck. I painted her as a woman pope with shadows before her and I made her ominous and lifeless and creepy, like a negative yielding authority. I think she's ugly. It's not about being just for her, it's about following rules. So I sat with this card for a while and decided to draw a funky kitty floating through space time. When you view this card like a teacher or a mentor and view it as life lessons for yourself you can start to see this as an omen of yes, do your research and remember you stand on the shoulders of giants. There is nothing you can’t learn. So this is my favorite card because it made me connect deeper with this card for all of my tarot practice!
What impact would you like your deck to have on it’s readers?
I hope that someone does a reading with my deck and they find some clarity and insight into themselves. I believe tarot is a very important tool. I really believe in tapping into your own knowledge and power. Cats are so wise, you hear of cats sitting on hospital beds before people die. Cats are mysterious and wise creatures and we can learn so much from them. I connect with black cats so personally that thinking about them in tarot has deepened my practice. I connect with these kitties and I hope others do too. There's a special deck for every person. and there's a deck that is an occasional use Deck. I think this deck can be both. For some people I hope its their go to, for others I hope they at least find entertainment in the cards. Maybe they will really connect with a card and my imagery can connect them more deeply with that card's meaning. It is a deep deck in the sense that symbolism is important for each card, but also its just pretty adorable and fun. Things can be multidimensional and purpose can be determined by the user. I hope my deck makes people happy. Like a fat purring kitty on your lap :)
What have been your challenges in creating this deck?
Honestly it's letting other people make me doubt myself. It can be hard to turn the criticism off from others, but you must learn to do this as a creator. I put off this deck for almost a year because I was scared. When I first pitched the idea to people in my life, they told me not to do another kickstarter, not to do another cat deck and to wait until life calms down and I can find another non-tarot project. I do have a lot going on. I am just starting back to school, moving, dealing with family drama etc. So yes, adding a kickstarter is alot. But my “too much” is a limiting belief others are putting on me. I am not too much. I am as much as I need to be. I LOVE Tarot. It’s something I connect with, I am not going to stop creating tarot decks. I love them. I don’t care if other people agree with me, and I'm not offended if you don't like every project. What really matters is that my heart is in it. I hope other artists make tons more decks and I hope to make more decks too, I want a future with lots of Tarot and lots of options! I set my kickstarter amount to the bare minimum because I wasn't interested in making money, I was interested in bringing this project to life. I tapped into my own magic and believed in a thing and did the thing. The second I started believing in myself the project was almost finished. We all have this magic and I hope people can buy this deck and tap into that magic within themselves too! The hard things make us grow. How we weather the storm tells us who we are. I believe in Tarot and I need to make sure I am believing in myself too.
Why did you choose black cats specifically rather than cats in general?
Oh great question! Ok so I started an LLC 3 years ago. I was talking to my mentor at the time and he told me I needed a name for my business that was loose, because I was offering: event planning, design and pilates, etc and I needed an umbrella term that I could mold to fit where my career path took me. He told me not to think inside of a box. I was going to call my business “Thea’s Event Planning”. He told me to go home and think about it, so I went home and I sat in my room and my black cat Boo came up to me and sat in my lap, as she does whenever she can. I wrote out hundreds of names, starting with “Boo Works” (My cat's name is Boo) And I decided to name my business Black Cat Consulting LLC, just generic enough that I can still teach pilates and sell tarot decks under one business name :) Boo is my ever loving companion. I accidentally adopted her from NM Animal Humane. I went to look at the new facility they built here in Albuquerque and made the mistake of going into the Cat room. I had just been dumped and I was super sad. But I sat in that room and Boo marched right towards me and immediately showed me her belly and let me pick her up and it was love at first cuddle and I had to take her home. They were not sure if she was 4 or 5 and that was roughly 6 years ago. I am guessing she is 10. I adopted her on October 30th so I celebrate her birthday every year. She loves fish so I usually give her a little tuna. She is my best friend. She has been with me through major life changes, seven moves, several changes in careers, multiple breakups. She is always purring at my side. even right now she's sitting on my feet as cute as can be. I think it’s only fitting that my tarot deck is black cat tarot. PLUS I have already made a deck called cats in space tarot (which is way different, it has real cat pictures and pictures from NASA). Also There are some great cat decks out there. Weird cat Tarot is tons of fun. I wanted my deck to be different then those in terms of focus and art. I think there's plenty of room for even more cat decks :)
How will you celebrate when the deck is finally published?
For Boo’s Birthday I made her a tuna cake, maybe we will do that again when the campaign ends! And video it for everyone! Or maybe Her and I can do a photoshoot, something really cheesy with a ball gown?! I am seriously so happy about this whole experience, to a project I was discouraged from creating, to getting funded in 5 days; has been a roller coaster of emotions. I feel like the universe has thanked me for being my authentic self! I am truly honored that so many people have loved my idea and I can't wait to share more ideas with the world and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. It almost feels unreal. I am definitely going to celebrate with lots of love and light and send out so many positive vibes. I might even get some balloons! Boo loves Balloons!
What is on offer for people who pledge?
I have options for Stickers, enamel pins and even super fun tops! Including a hoodie with paw prints inside the hood! There are fun add ons on thie campaign. I am SO excited!
You can get the Black Cat Tarot Deck for $35 + shipping! Each Deck comes with a 62 detailed guide book and a sticker!
I also have a Black Cat Tarot Bundle that includes:
tshirt or tank top.
A sticker Pack
Black Cat Key Chain
Black Cat Bagnet
Black Cat Enamel Pin
For the purrrfect deck to add to your tarot collection, pledge here:
Kickstarter - Black Cat Tarot