Mitra Cline introduces us to her mermaid themed tarot in this interview. The images of mermaids evoke imaginations of fantasy creatures that show us the duality of life - there are times when we feel entirely at home, just like the mermaids in water, and times where we may struggle, like a mermaid out of water. This deck is not only beautiful in it's imagery, but also in it's messages.
This kickstarter was successfully funded. To purchase, click here - The Mermaid Type Tarot
Where in the world do you call home?
I live in Santa Barbara, California. I am most at home near the ocean.
What was your first experience with tarot and when did you fall in love with it?
My first encounter with tarot happened in college, around 2002. Inspired by a class project with Carl Jung's book, Man and His Symbols, I memorized the tarot cards and started reading fortunes. Within a year, I was reading regularly at house parties and special events. I love reading cards because it is emotionally and creatively magical for myself and others.
What made you want to create this deck? What was your inspiration?
Over the years of reading, I noticed how many people come to tarot with questions about romantic love and intimate relationships like family and friends. I'm 38 years old, and I still struggle to keep a healthy balance in my close relationships. One day, while talking to my then-boyfriend about mermaid sightings, I found an old black and white print of a mermaid couple that seemed to be arguing online. The image captured my attention, and I decided to work with the image in my art. I was in a depth psychology MA program at the time and wanted to try a therapeutic technique called, sticking to the image. I understand that when people are stuck in limiting patterns, it can be helpful to expand the vision with this method slowly. I started by drawing the same mermaid couple in different letter shapes, and more diversity emerged as the alphabet developed into numbers and special characters. Mermaid Type is my image of balance, interconnection, and wholeness. I see this deck as a holographic image with repeating patters from the micro to macro level. Each letter card is a complete character, and together they make a language tool open to infinite possibility. When I finished the font set in late 2019, I suddenly realized that the art should be a tarot deck.
Aside from your own deck, do you have a favourite deck? If so, which one?
I now own 57 decks and my favorite deck changes with the context of the day, but I seek unique indie decks. Like my mermaids, my deck collection is another practice in sticking to the image. I see using the different versions as the therapeutic and part of my creative work as an artist. It's almost like being fluent in many visual languages, and I find great joy in expanding my ability to communicate with others.
Do you have a favourite card (either from your deck or just the card in general). If so, why is it your favourite?
The star card is my favorite in general and in my deck. The image on this card is the last painting I made in this mermaid series. The star contrasts with the evolution from the initial arguing couple, seen in the two of pentacles, into a colorful spiritual union. The painting style is fluid like water, and the figures are almost angelic. I put this image as the back on the Mermaid Type Tarot Party Edition.
What have been your challenges in creating this deck?
What's challenging is to know when to stop and share the work. I'm holding two truths at the same time. One certainty is that I am proud of the deck I have created. I also know that I could improve it, and if given the opportunity, I will most likely do that in future editions.
What is one thing you really want people to know about this deck?
I can see now that this project is heavily influenced by my struggles with language comprehension as a dyslexic person. A psychologist told me, as a child, that art was my best option because I would not be able to do anything else in life. It was devastating news at the time, and it's also ironic that my career has proved the opposite to be true. I now see vulnerabilities as a source of strength as they taught me resilience and patience, which are practical life skills.
Your deck is inspired by intimate relationships and depth psychology. How does the mermaid theme fit into this?
The Mermaid Type is a balance of my artistic strengths and vulnerabilities as a dyslexic person. Mermaids are powerful in their watery element. However, out of their element, they are immobilized. Likewise, my experience with words is an experience of extremes. This tarot deck reflects this experience as the letters are alive; they move and dance as you look within to read the cards.
How will you celebrate when your deck is finally published?
To celebrate publishing the Mermaid Type Tarot during the time of COVID requires some creative thinking. Most likely, I will treat myself to a day at the beach with my dog, Lucky. The weather is beautiful here this time of year, and I haven't been able to swim in the ocean this summer.
What is on offer for people who pledge?
In addition to the tarot deck and guidebook options, I offer more creative materials to people who pledge. People can explore the mermaids creatively on their own with the coloring book, stickers, and tarot reading offers. I even made the mermaid font file available for those who would like to try typing in mermaids on their computers.
To purchase this gorgeous deck and bring the magick of mermaids into your life, click here: