Soul Vision Tarot: Interview With Artist Winter Wren
by Bonnie Cehovet
I was recently given the honor of reviewing a private, limited edition Tarot deck entitled the Soul Vision Tarot. A creative effort from the artists e-group "Soul Vision", the truly amazing thing is that most of these artists have no background in the Tarot! Yet, in going through this deck, I find that most of the cards reflect a very traditional Tarot viewpoint.
One of the artists from this group has agreed to be interviewed. Many in the Tarot community will recognize Winter Wren as a highly creative artist, professional Tarot reader, teacher, author (Llewellyn's 2005 Tarot Reader), and President of the American Board For Tarot Certification.
Let's follow the amazing journey of this deck, from start to completion ... and on to the creation of a second deck by this very versatile group!
Winter, what is the background of this group, and how did the creation of a Tarot deck come to appeal to artists with little Tarot knowledge?
I actually missed out on the inception of the project. I belong to a number of "altered arts" lists and the need for artists to take cards in a Tarot ATC was cross posted to another of my lists. By the way, ATC stands for Artists Trading Card. Being the Tarot nut that I am, I could not resist getting in on a deck, so I joined the list and the project.
What artistic guidelines did the group agreed on for this deck? Were any mediums restricted?
The Tarot card was required to be in ATC format - 2.5" x 3.5", heavyweight cardstock, 79 high quality copies. No mediums are not restricted as long as the final product meets the preceding standards. Some artists work larger and then shrink down their scan of the work at a high DPI.
Was a specific theme agreed upon, or was the general structure of the Tarot the basic guideline for this deck?
The general structure of the Tarot was the basic guideline for this deck. Our next Tarot project (yes, there will be another) does have a theme.
What was the group feeling once this deck was finished? What did they hope to accomplish, and was it accomplished?
The project took longer than expected. But we have an incredible, complete deck and each of us has a copy and we LOVE it.
I have to ask about the High Priestess, which is the card that has your stamp on it! Why did you choose to do this specific card, and what was your thought process in the imagery used? (The card shows a female statue superimposed on a misty outdoor setting, with a cloaked female figure "floating" in the upper right hand corner.)
Yes, she is mine. I have participated in some collaborative decks before and decided I really wanted to do a Major Arcana this time and that is the card that I resonate with. I see the High Priestess as the bringer of wisdom. But in order to bring wisdom you must also gain wisdom. It is a never ending circle. In our society, the bringers of wisdom often no longer get much respect. Things have been commercialized and cheapened too much. I wanted to bring back some of the feel of the ancient oracles, the respect and value and mystery that was given to the wisdom keepers then. The photos were taken at various times in my life - one in the Mediterranean, one in Kyoto, one at a ritual. I love my scanner and Photoshop.
What is your impression of the finished deck? (I have to say that I am thrilled with it, found it highly workable, and wish that copies were available to the public!)
The deck is just fabulous. It does wonders to say how much even "non-Tarot" people can resonate with Tarot imagery.
This group has accomplished a stunning fusion of ideas - in the venue of artistic endeavor, and in the venue of structure, thought, and intent. What advise do you have for someone who wants to be part of a project like this?
Listen to your heart and soul. They will speak to you and guide you and you can then birth what is within.
I want to thank Winter Wren for taking the time to discuss this project with us.
© Bonnie Cehovet
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.