Updated: Jun 24, 2020
We had the absolute pleasure to interview Melissa Wotherspoon about her new indie deck - The Lonely Dreamer Tarot, based on the artwork of Odilon Redon.
This Kickstarter has now finished. To pre-order, click here: - The Lonely Dreamer Tarot
Where in the world do you call home?
I feel so fortunate to live in a century farmhouse with happy ghosts, my husband, my two (teenage!!) children, and my pack of five wild dachshunds (they’re not really wild, but it builds their confidence and helps them stand a little taller if I say that). We overlook the rolling countryside outside of a quaint little town called Millbrook, Ontario, Canada. Many people have seen Millbrook before and they don’t even know it, because its main street is used in a lot of charming Hallmark Christmas movies :-)
What was your first experience with tarot and when did you fall in love with it?
I can’t remember exactly my first experience with tarot, but I remember walking with my best friend over to the local new age shop, where we bought each other our first RWS decks together. Then we’d sit on the phone for hours with each other, just shuffling forever, until - A JUMPER! - followed by the ensuing in-depth analysis. My best friend and I would keep dream journals and I will never forget one of the most vivid dreams I’ve ever had. At the very beginning of my foray into Tarot, I met the HIEROPHANT himself. He was very kind and mumbled in warm, deep tones, and I remember waking up feeling like I had just been set on a path, as though the Tarot had found me.
What made you want to create this deck? What was your inspiration?
I am a high school arts teacher. Needless to say this time at home has brought challenges as we try to take something so inherently hands-on into cyberspace. There has been a lot of grief to work through in the past few months, so many things that won’t come to be. As a musical theatre director with the perfect cast of students, that has been devastating and a lot to process. I often find solace in visual art, and in this case, Redon’s work came to the fore. I began to experience a dialogue with his work in a way that I hadn’t before, and virtually an entire Tarot deck unfolded before my eyes. I might have been going crazy at the time, because I thought I heard him whisper something to me….must have been the cold winter winds…Anyway, this deck has been my Hermit’s cave - a place to crawl into when I just can’t take anymore white noise. It has helped me process a lot. I didn’t plan on creating another Tarot deck so soon. My first deck, The Low Rider Dachshund Tarot, was born of a need to process the passing of my soul dog, Stella. My son became interested in Tarot, so then we created The Aurum Lenormand deck together, which I dedicated to my friend and her son, who both battle Marfan syndrome on a daily basis. My son is a gifted artist, and as such, tends to be on the quieter side, so this was a way to connect with him. I guess there is a pattern here of the process of creating the deck itself representing a key part of the journey.
Aside from your own deck, do you have a favourite deck? If so, which one?
I have a different relationship with my decks having worked so closely with them, but I still do pull from them. As an artist and tarot collector though, it’s nice to look at the work of others. Hard to pick just one, but I do love the Pagan Otherworlds. Everything about that deck gives me a buzz. The card stock is actually otherworldly. Another one I gravitate frequently towards is the Wildwood. There are ancient whispers with that deck, and I’m still early on the Fool’s Journey with it and figuring out what it is trying to tell me.
Do you have a favourite card (either from your deck or just the card in general). If so, why is it your favourite?<