Our latest interview is with Matt Wisner, the creator of the Transient Light Indie Tarot Deck.- a deck that focuses on the transient nature of life. This is Matt's second tarot deck, the first is the Trinity Tarot.
The major arcana is gender neutralised and reimagined - merging traditional symbols with new interpretations. The minor arcana will be fully illustrated also, with the house of Cups being specially interpreted into various different forms of vessels, or containers. This follows the theme of the endless spirit being contained within transient bodies.
The deck will be produced plastic-free and will also have plastic-free packaging.
Kickstqrter - Transient Light Tarot
Where in the world do you call home?
Usually I live and work in London. During lockdown, I’ve been temporarily staying at my parent’s home in the East Midland countryside!
What was your first experience with tarot and when did you fall in love with it?
I stumbled across tarot at a secular tarot workshop by Litwitchure at a music festival in 2018! It had been a transitional year for me – coming out as gay, leaving religion, moving to London and starting over with my first boyfriend. Leaving Christianity left me with a clean slate to find spiritual practices elsewhere… tarot fitted perfectly. As a visual artist who loves symbols and stories, the architypes of the tarot spoke to me. I immediately found it a powerful tool to tap into my inner spirit and intuition.
What made you want to create your own tarot deck? What was your inspiration?
It was only natural to see the tarot as a desirable challenge. But it wasn’t until I started working on my first deck, during the UK’s first lockdown, that I really worked through each card in depth. The experience of putting that deck out into the world opened my eyes to the powerful opportunity presented to me. I now feel inspired to create tarot cards as a spiritual tool – a tangible, practical and rich artwork that people can connect with on a daily basis, throughout the transient cycles of life. It’s become quite a humbling experience!
What would you say is unique about your deck?
My new deck, Transient Light, will be produced plastic-free and locally here in England. It will also include 3 bonus cards (Past, Present and Future) and a 120 page guidebook. Since the Kickstarter launched, I have also introduced my good friend and poet, Fausta Joly to collaborate with me on this guidebook. Her main role will be to create 22 bespoke poems for the major arcana. The focus of the deck is on being a vessel of the eternal spirit of life, love and the broader universe. One of the most powerful themes I find in the tarot is the call to embrace death. Whether an ending is soft and natural, like The World, or sudden and painful, like The Tower – The constant cycles of endings and new beginnings is what gives this life beauty. And in turn, it gives us the opportunity to grow and heal.
How long have you had the idea for the deck for and how long has it taken you to create it?
Honestly, the concept has formed naturally in the process of creation – in-line with my own journey and the lessons I’ve needed to learn. Usually, my artistic practice is painting, and I let imagery flow as and when it comes to me. The reasons come to light in the act of making an image, and ideas simmering below the surface spill out. As I’ve been working on this deck, I’ve found it has tied up paintings and ideas I’ve created over the last 5 years. This has also been enriched with childhood experiences, religion and stories taken from my current home-town surroundings.
We are living in such crazy times. How has the pandemic affected your creativity?
It’s been up and down, but overall it’s been very good for my creativity in two ways. Working from home has given me time to invest in my creative projects – and in my personal development and reflection, which in turn feeds into my work. Secondly, the pandemic led to me moving back home temporarily. This means lots of countryside and childhood spots to feed from. I’ve been very fortunate to have not lost my income, so I’m very privileged and thankful to be able to use the resources around me. Isolation has helped me address my fear of being alone. Before the pandemic, I was always out and about, avoiding time alone. But I’ve been able to reach a place where I enjoy my own company – which has really helped me create more often, and not wait until it’s bursting to come out before making quiet time to action it!
What have been your challenges in creating this deck?
My two challenges have been financing and time management. Creating an indie deck requires investment, with little guarantee of profit! And whilst working a full-time job, managing time and creative flow is a real task. It’s been an interesting experience to commit to a Kickstarter project before the final product is complete. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and faith from my backers – but there’s an element of healthy pressure too! Healthy doses of pressure and accountability is fertile ground for my creativity – and it’s also exciting to share the process with my backers. I’ve learned a lot about how to take care myself and develop a system of making time to step away and recuperate. Managing this cycle of stop and go has nurtured my creative flow and reflection throughout the project.
Why did you choose transience as a theme for your deck?
My Trinity Tarot deck was fuelled by my spiritual journey of discovering the divine and manifestation at the beginning of my post-religious life. The new Transient Light deck follows on from this journey, focusing on transience – after a year of loss, change, grief and opportunity for everybody. The very transience of life, is what makes it valuable. Nothing is permanent, yet as humans we are fascinated by the eternal. I’ve had an image in my head for a few years now of a skull containing an eternal spirit of love – that our temporary, earthy bodies can contain and facilitate something more universally connected and priceless. Letting this spirit within us take the lead in our life shifts the focus from the darkness of loss to the beauty of transience. If we have a spark from the universe within us, what a deliciously brief life this is!
How will you celebrate when the deck is finally published?
It all depends on the covid-19 restrictions here in the UK! Honestly, I think I will treat myself to a break – book some time of work and get outdoors. I’m hoping to return to London in a few months, so I will need to recuperate before the change.
What is on offer for people who pledge?
You can pledge to purchase the deck alone or in bundles of 3, 6 or 12. You can also bundle the deck with my first deck, Trinity Tarot. Alternatively, you can pledge as little as £10 for a set of 3 signed postcards (Sun, Moon and Star).
All decks purchased via pledge will be signed, numbered, hand wrapped and shipped with love by me! I’ll also be throwing in a discount code for further purchases either on my Trinity Tarot deck, postcards or t-shirts.
To back this unique deck click here:
Kickstqrter - Transient Light Tarot