Hello all and thank you for your support this far in AKAMARA Tarot’s brief but wholly fulfilling one year journey.
I am pleased to announce that I have created more for the collective and wanted to give a dive into what plans I had in mind when creating these two new decks.
Aṣótele was created, in part, as a way for me to share my love of cartomancy in general merged with some of the iconography one may see through out West Africa as it pertains to spiritual and ritual masks and implements. This deck merges some aspects of playing cards, via the suits, much akin to the early beginnings to card throwing a lot of our spiritual ancestors used, as well as calling into focus proverbs native to our growth and Keys to better explain the story-like significance of the Fool’s journey.
This deck is 78-cards and does adhere to the tarot format of having the 22 majors and 56 minors however it can better be described as a tarot, playing card, oracle fusion with some adages that help the reader discern what the cards mean when used in a spread. The proverbs help those who may not have the individual meanings memorized but it also adds a bit of old school esoteric studies to the meanings when discussing additions such as planetary influences, numerology, and to some degree a Kabbalah-esque take on interpreting the traditional definitions of the cards.
The masks coincide with the messages like for instance if you take a look at the 2 of Hearts — Ife | Love card, it features a mask used overall to suggest the proposal of marriage, often used by the Gaya people of the Kano State in Nigeria. Now the colors of the masks can change the specific meaning as it pertains to marriage but the features are what determines what the purpose is for overall. In the 2 of hearts we recognize that while it can suggest love, it can also suggest the culmination of two parties coming together in partnership and when presenting this mask it is up to the receiving party to accept or reject — as is the nature of 2 of cups in my opinion — it is a fleeting and sometimes short term card that depends on surrounding contingencies.
Because of my semi-obsession with the organization and level of detail presented with the Key of Solomon — I have decided, that level of detail can be applied to cards when used in conjunction with magic. So as I have studied the meanings of traditional tarot over the years, I’ve started to deviate and experiment with the spirit that lies within the way we develop our individual relationship and understanding of the cards and how they mold themselves to fit the way they know we will understand them best. And in doing so, I have ultimately aimed to include how these cards can suggest what kind of magic is necessary as a incorporation to the solutions or prophecies told.
KEYS 0-21 — Realm of the Spirit
Hearts — Realm of the Esoteric — West
Diamonds — Realm of the Physical — North
Spade — Realm of the Mind — East
Clubs — Realm of the Transformation — South
As you can see, in my work, I tend to divest from the essential Water/Emotion, Earth/prosperity, etc so on and so forth because I believe there is more to these elements beyond surface level interpretation. For instance, with water one can rightfully assume it has to with emotion but it also has a deep underbelly pertaining to occultism and the left path (not necessarily left handed, just deviating from the mundane). I hope that makes sense?
The guide book expounds on these principles ad nauseum but the gist is that it’s definitely for those that seek to study Tarot beyond pretense and basic meaning. For the nerds like me haha.
The specs are a little different size wise, the best I can describe is it is between the size of Akamara and Okana however the rose petal finish will stay. I do believe the guidebook for this deck will be larger in size — more like a soft over textbook because I do want this to be a point of study as well as a practical use deck.
Tongues of the Mother
Now this deck is to my understanding of my motivations — an ode to the everyday-ness of ATR worship. Like AKAMARA, I do draw influences on each ATR I have done personal research on as well as those I have been initiated into myself.
These cards use iconography presented in the day to day of the average spiritualist and black practitioner. From the use of religious tools, to incarnations of our deities, to even the symbolic use of animals. To a degree my purpose with this deck is to show appreciation for some of the tools and ideas we have come to learn in our traditions. It’s not a punchy dramatization — this is life.
I decided to use my background as a traditional painter to execute a gritty but still somewhat elegant interpretation of us. From showcasing us deep in prayer, initiatory rites, our use of ATR specific divination tools, and creative use of applying ancient knowledge to tarot meanings. Ofcourse there is more to our story than 78 definitions but when read as a story — the picture can be painted fairly accurately.
My aim is not to overly simplify. However there is only so much one can explain about something you should experience firsthand. Nothing about us is simple.
Unlike AKAMARA, I decided to Integrate the titles and Roman numerals into the painting as a artistic and somewhat personal choice. We shall see how that bites me in the end with the traditionalists. 😂
Over the course of the month of pre-orders I will be releasing the remainder of the artwork and deciding on which surprises to release on the Minors of this deck because I am still running silent polls with a small group of people on decisions I make going forward.
The specs are generally the same as Akamara size wise, same finish and will come inside a box of similar dimension — however the thickness may be amended for ease of bend-ability. I have taken stock of what you all have said in your reviews be it video or written and I will strive to fix any and all gripes stated.
I do hope this helps at least in the interim as I decide how to shed more light over the next 30 days. However I hope you trust me when I say these may be some of my best intellectual works this far.