Our latest interview is with Nadine Sophie, the creator of The Cosmic Seeker Tarot Deck - a fantasy-based tarot deck that is set in a fictional universe full of magic, fantasy characters, and creatures.
This is the 5th deck that Nadine has created. The Major Arcana are all represented by different fantasy archetypes that suit the original RW meaning. The deck begins with the Cosmic Seeker (org. The Fool). With this deck, you can embark on a journey through the ever-curious eyes of the Cosmic Seeker in a world full of magic and wonders. On this magical trip, you will meet all sorts of archetypes that will teach you important lessons and give you insights into the journey of life.
Kickstarter -Cosmic Seeker
Where in the world do you call home?
Currently, I am in Germany - which is where I am originally from. However, I have visited and lived in several countries and will probably go on another adventure soon.
What was your first experience with tarot?
I got my first tarot deck around the age of 14 and have been fascinated by tarot and oracle decks ever since.
What would you say is unique about your deck?
The Cosmic Seeker Tarot is a modern interpretation of the traditional Raider Waite deck that takes place in a fantasy world. All Major Arcana were replaced with fitting fantasy archetypes. The Minor Arcana are represented by the elemental suits of Water, Fire, Earth, and Air. I wanted a deck that is easy for beginner's use so it still works within the traditional tarot system but it is also a great divination companion for more experienced readers as well! I also put the traditional reference on the cards so you can work with the deck without needing to look into the guidebook if you are already familiar with the traditional RW interpretations.
How long has it taken you to create this deck?
I have created this deck entirely on my own including all artwork, texts, and design. It will have taken me around 2 years once all cards are finished.
Your deck is set in a fictional universe. Where did the idea for the fictional universe come from?
I have always been a huge fan of fantasy literature, science fantasy as well as of video games, and tv shows that take place in a fantasy universe. I started drawing in Kindergarten, writing my own fantasy novels as a teenager, and started doing tarot readings around the same time therefore this project combines my three biggest passions! This deck is just really speaking to me as a tarot reader and fantasy geek. This deck also has a strong personal node. People who know me in my personal life know that I am a bird lover. I have two Cockatiels which I absolutely adore. Hence this deck features a lot of birds. I just can’t help adoring these masters of the air.
What card are you most proud of and why?
I really enjoyed painting all of the cards. However, my current favorite is the Guardian of Water with the sea dragon. I am really proud as I can see how much I could develop my artistic skills over the years. Although I have been drawing my entire life, it wasn’t until 2018 that I started to paint digitally. Apart from that, I like the fact that my deck includes darker characters and scenes as well to create contrast. This is what I’m personally missing in a lot of tarot decks as a deck collector myself.
What impact would you like your deck to have on its readers?
I would like for the readers to be taken on a journey through the eyes of the Cosmic Seeker, which is the Fool in the traditional RW deck. A journey through a world full of fantasy and magic and I would like them to dive deeper into the meaning behind this deck.
Was it hard to incorporate a fantasy theme with the traditional Rider Waite system?
Since I have been studying the traditional Rider Waite system for nearly 20 years now - I could easily link the Major Arcana to fantasy archetypes. My creative flow with the Major Arcana was going really smooth and I think it took me about 2 days to come up with all of its characters. However, the Minor Arcana were a bit more challenging. I first wasn’t sure if I should keep the traditional suit: Cups, Swords, Wands, and Pentacles or if I should change those as well. I really liked the idea of having different elemental settings for the fantasy journey to take place. In the classical system, we see those items matching the number of the card shown. The 5 of Swords would show 5 swords to make it for the readers easy to identify the cards. But how can you visualize an element like air or earth in numbers? It took me a long time to decide whether I should implement numbers into the system as well or just visualize the meaning of the cards. Finally, I decided to still showcase the traditional Swords, Pentacles, Wands, and Cups but WITHIN the elemental settings of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water.
What have been your challenges in creating this deck?
Creating a hand-illustrated deck is very time-consuming. It takes me around 8-16 hours to paint one card - multiplying that by 80 leaves me with nearly 1000 hours to just create the artwork for this deck. That doesn’t include the brainstorming, designing, and writing part of creating a tarot deck that adds another few hundred hours on top. The challenge here is to make enough time for that whilst juggling a regular job for financial safety.
How will you celebrate when the deck is finally published?
I plan on celebrating this event with my partner, friends, and family.
What is on offer for people who pledge?
People who support the Kickstarter campaign will get the deck for a reduced price and receive them a lot earlier than those who buy it later on. I am also planning on a little exclusive surprise goodie that backers will receive with their deck that I don’t want to reveal yet. ;-)
To embark on a magical journey through a fantasy world, pledge here:
Kickstarter -Cosmic Seeker