Our latest interview is with Lyn Thurman, the creator of the Wisdom of the Depths Tarot - a tarot deck that uses digital collage artwork, mainly from the late 1800s, in ocean-inspired scenes.
The deck is loosely based on the tradition of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck - the names and numbering are the same - but Lyn took creative license with the images
Kickstarter - Wisdom of the Depths Tarot
Where in the world do you call home?
I live in a beautiful seaside town in North Wales. We moved 10-hours before the first UK lockdown and I’m so blessed that I got to spend 2020 only a ten-minute stroll away from the sea. I adore living here. However, I’m a Londoner and London will always have a piece of my heart.
What was your first experience with tarot/oracle and when did you fall in love with it?
I bought my first tarot deck when I was seventeen. I had no idea what I was doing so I picked an Ancient Egyptian deck because I’d always felt a connection to that era. However, I really didn’t feel a connection with the deck. I buried it in my underwear drawer and never used it. Not sure what happened to it.
When I was in my late twenties, I re-found tarot. It was a turbulent time in my life but it rekindled my fascination with all things mystical and magical. I bought a Rider-Waite tarot and set about learning how to read tarot. That was the beginning of the love affair with tarot and the start of a tarot collection (I’ve lost count).
What made you want to create your own tarot deck? What was your inspiration?
I created an oracle deck in 2015 – the Sea Whispers – and had originally planned to create another oracle deck last year. It just felt like the right time to get creating again after a bit of a lull. But, as a tarot reader, I really wanted to create a tarot deck. It just seemed like a huge undertaking – 78 cards following a traditional RWS format. My husband encouraged me to take the plunge.
My inspiration was the sea (it usually is for most things I do). It’s my happy place and I wanted to share that through my tarot.
What would you say is unique about your deck?
I think my deck is a bit quirkier than most sea-themed tarot decks. I have folklore characters, regular sea-living folk, and familiar creatures.
How long have you had the idea for the deck for and how long has it taken you to create it?
The idea for the tarot deck came very quickly after realising that I’d like to create another oracle deck (in 2020). As soon as I realised that I was going to do a tarot deck, I started to create it. There was no big plan – just an unfolding.
It took me a little over a year to complete. I started in July 2020 and finished August this year.
We are living in such crazy times. How has the pandemic affected your creativity?
Actually, I feel incredibly lucky to have found the pandemic to be a time of healing. Having space to reflect and ponder has renewed my creativity. I have had time to allow creativity to flow to the surface and then the desire to pursue it.
What have been your challenges in creating this deck?
My first challenge was believing that I could do it. After that, the deck sort of came together on its own.
The next challenge was finding a printer in the UK that prints tarot/oracle decks. I only found two and one of those didn’t really meet my requirements. Fortunately, the other printer’s test deck was exactly what I was hoping for.
My final challenge of this journey so far has been working out how to price a campaign for Kickstarter. The most frustrating thing was working out the postage, which must be included in the campaign goal. It gave me such a headache!
The majority of the images you used were from the late 1800’s. Does this time period have significance to you?
Not particularly. There is an abundance of public domain images from the late 1800s so it allowed me to find my characters for the tarot deck. I also fell in love with taking old artwork and breathing new life into it. My next deck, which I‘ve started on already, will also use a lot of 19th-century illustrations.
How will you celebrate when the deck is finally published?
That’s a good question. My husband and teenage daughter are my support team (and will be parcel packers when the time comes) so it will involve them. Might have to involve vegan pizza too!
What is on offer for people who pledge?
Along with the tarot deck, backers can choose to include a digital Tarot Journal, art prints, and handmade tarot bag wraps (made by The Auld Spaewife in Scotland).
If you'd like to back this stunning deck, click here:
Kickstarter - Wisdom of the Depths Tarot