Lately it seems like everyone has something to say about black oppression, white privilege, the unfairness of the Civil War, etc... Just a couple weeks ago there was an uproar in several of the tarot groups that I am a member of about a deck with an unusual name: The Ghetto Tarot
So why do I think this is one of the most soulful decks that I have seen? Click read more to hear about this deck from one of it's creators Alice Smeets.
In downtown Port-au-Prince, the capital of a mysterious, captivating and seemingly poor country named Haïti –land of the mountains- one can find a museum filled with an art collection of creativity and ingenuity in the middle of the Haitian Ghetto. Where a foreigner walks through the streets filled with plastic trash, dust and old car tires and perceives misery and desperation, a group of artists called AtisRezistans (resistant artists) find inspiration in the midst of the chaos; inspiration to create the world they dream of, inspiration to transform trash into something beautiful, inspiration to craft art. The pieces of art inside the museum are a reflection of the beauty they see hidden within the waste.
AtisRezistans are claiming the word “Ghetto”. They free themselves of its depreciating undertone and turn it into something beautiful. Their act of appropriating a word loaded with unfavorable sentiments by altering its meaning is an act of inspiration. It has inspired hundreds of visitors and it has inspired me.
The Haitians loved the idea, being acquainted with cartomancy from the Voodoo religion. They immediately jumped on board to help realize this project and we replicated the scenes of the The Rider Waite deck (that was originally designed in 1909 by artist Pamela Colman Smith) in the slums of Port-au-Prince using only material we were able to find or create locally.
I know that we have all had to adapt to being more politically correct in the last few years, but I am so moved by this project. It really demonstrates that the symbology of the tarot is really universal. I loved the idea so much that I supported the original Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Today you can purchase the deck direct from the creators. What are your thoughts on this controversial deck?
24 years of tarot experience, 20 years experience as a mom, and a lifetime of knowledge is just rattling around in here!