Valya Dudycz Lupescu

Writer, fueled by coffee

In the Cards: The Amanda Palmer Tarot

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For hundreds of years, the Tarot has been used as a system of divination, reflection, storytelling, and inspiration. There are decks inspired by gods and goddesses, decks of cats, decks inspired by fictional worlds like Harry Potter or Star Wars, fairy tale decks and complex metaphysical ones. People are drawn to certain decks because they identify with the imagery or connect with the artwork or theme.

It comes as no surprise that fans of singer Amanda Palmer decided to draw upon the iconography of Amanda’s work, both as a solo artist and member of the Dresden Dolls, to create a Tarot deck.

For those unfamiliar with her work, Amanda’s songs, while fiercely intimate, are also iconic. She sings about abuse, addiction, abortion, heartache, love, abandon, regret, and hope; and her songs give voice to the dreams and fears of fans around the world. That would be enough to endear Amanda to her fans, but she takes it further to connect with them on a personal level at shows, ninja gigs, and online. Amanda opens herself up, and people often walk away saying that the experiences were intimate, inspirational, and transformative.

That is what the Amanda Palmer Tarot is about: Intimacy. Inspiration. Transformation.

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When Madeline C. Matz, told me she was going to take the collaborative deck to Kickstarter, to use the crowd funding tool for preorder and distribution of the tarot deck and to pay the 78 artists involved, it made perfect sense. Collaboration brought the deck into existence; collaboration would get it produced.

***UPDATE: The Tarot was fully funded within 24-hours of launching the Kickstarter Campaign, but you can still order a deck until September 3, 2013!***

At its heart, the Amanda Palmer Tarot is a one-of-kind creative collaboration, a tribute deck featuring the work of 78 different artists, including Molly Crabapple, Kyle Cassidy, Walter Sickert, Kristina Carroll, Zelda Devon, Katelan V. Foisy, and more. Even fans unfamiliar with Tarot as a system of divination can enjoy the beauty of the unique cards inspired by all-things-Amanda.

Tarot is like a mosaic or patchwork of our lives at any given moment. People look at the cards to gain insight, to glean something new, to be challenged, to connect with a larger picture. (Interesting that those are some of the same reasons we encounter art.)

It will be interesting to find out what Tarot readers will think of the Amanda Palmer Tarot, because of course, the cards are sexy, symbolic, and provocative.

But then again, Art should provoke, and Tarot should provoke. Any deck inspired by Amanda would have to be provocative, and I think that translates into a beautiful and powerful collection of cards.

You can read more about the kickstarter campaign and order your deck here.

There are also Facebook and tumblr pages highlighting the artwork, and a twitter account: @afptarot

Check it out and spread the word.

Aren’t you curious to find out what you’ll see in the cards?

Author: Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and STICKS & BONES, as well as the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Born and raised in Chicago, Valya received her degree in English at DePaul University and her MFA in Writing as part of the inaugural class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since receiving her MFA, Valya has worked as a college professor, obituary writer, content manager, internal communications specialist, co-producer of an independent feature film, and Goth cocktail waitress.

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