Tarot and photography? What's the connection...?

When you think about photography, tarot cards are probably not the first thing that comes to mind...

I've been fascinated by tarot, astrology, and all things mystic for years. The first time I saw photography incorporated into a tarot deck, was when I met James Wanless about 20 years ago. He ran a "strategic intuition" workshop, and used the Voyager Tarot Deck as part of his methodology.

I bought my own Voyager Tarot deck that day, and still have my much-loved and consulted cards now. What I love about the deck is the rich, emotive imagery in every one of the 72 cards. Each card is a montage of images (mainly photos), that represent the characteristics of that card - some elements are natural, some man-made, and every card is inspiring in its own way. The image below is the first card in the Voyager deck - The Fool.

Earlier this week, in a completely unrelated context, I came across an artist and photographer by the name of Lee Varis, who is developing The New Millenium Tarot deck - a concept similar to the Voyager deck, but very different in look and feel.

Lee's website says he is "a photo-illustrator working in Hollywood. He has been involved in commercial photography for the last 25 years. He started working with computer imaging about 16 years ago and currently works with digital as well as conventional photography in conjunction with computer graphics to create images for use in print advertising."

Here's the Fool card from the New Millenium Deck. I love the style of this deck too, particularly that it incorporates digital photo images.

Tarot, and "oracles" in whatever form they come, have been around for thousands of years, I really love how uber-creative people like James Wanless and Lee Varis are incorporating digital photography into tarot to give it a modern-day spin.

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