Much has been made of tarot decks. There are a lot of art decks, beginner decks, advanced decks, confusing decks, cute decks, ugly decks, sinister decks, simple decks, complex decks etc etc. No matter where I looked at tarot decks, I was never ever satisfied, so I took it upon myself to design my own deck. I liked some of the ideas in the Crowley Thoth deck, mostly about the new Aeon. On the other hand I was pretty unhappy with the numbered suit cards. I did not feel like the depictions made it any easier for me to interpret the cards or understand them.
However, at least these numbered suit cards have some color and emotion to them. The Tarot De Marselies numbered cards are the absolute worst. When trying to read them it is far to easy to get the cups and coins confused and get so frustrated as to put a cold drink on top of the cards, bending and ruining them.
Unlike the Marselies. The Raider-Waite takes this to the other extreme and has people on the numbered object cards, but I always felt like the people kind of obscured the objects, making one focus too much on the personalities rather than the thing happening on the card.
When I began working with Belial, I was afraid of him. Yet I was desperate enough to evoke for the purpose of getting to know this demon in hopes that I could make a suitable pact agreeable to both of us. This ended up turning into a long multi-year process for something that I wanted “right away” and had no actual clue how to achieve, but technically does not break any so called “laws of physics.”
One day, I was getting tired of not making any money. I decided I did not want to rely on working hard for money, and sat down to think up investment opportunities. I was still kicking myself for not investing in Bitcoin back when I had first heard about it. I had been too skeptical and afraid to put part of my meager savings into it. I had noticed that Belials name seemed to be mentioned more and more, that the Left Hand Path and demons in general seemed to be getting more and more popular with no end in site to this new trend. Since I figured I could still get in on the bottom of it, just like back when I had read about bitcoin but dismissed it, I decided I would not so easily dismiss this trend. There was only one question in my mind. Would Belial approve of me buying internet domains with her name on them?
The COVID-19 Pandemic was just starting, and I had been sitting on this idea in my head for quite awhile. I had recently seem some terrifying things involving someones reputation, that made me certain that I should double check upon this before I made my move, after all, demons had been demonized for a long time, and how did I know that the time was right to make this move instead of sitting on a worthless domain?
One of the Belial Familiars I have appeared before me at my circle. She looked like a woman in a robe wearing a shaman’s headdress. I asked her what she though of my idea. I didn’t know what she was going to say. She said “the mask will come off.” Ironically, this is right about the time when everyone started wearing masks due to COVD-19. I felt it was very cryptic, and I got the feeling that the decision was entirely up to me, and she was not going to tell me if I should do it or not, that she would influence me one way or the other. I went down and accepted it, I decided to buy the domain name in spite of of any uncertainty I had, because I had the desire to make these cards.
For those who don’t know, I love painting, and doing all types of artwork, but I could never justify to myself the cost of buying all that canvas and paint. I didn’t want to end up with a bunch of paintings I couldn’t sell and my work become just another hobby hole to throw money down for fun, while meanwhile, I wasn’t making any money. But now, that I had a vague plan to make some money, I decided I would go ahead with it.
I began with making the suits numbed one through ten. I didn’t want to make overly complex pictures or people on them. I wanted them to denote a state of mind, and not necessarily a personality as with the face cards and major arcana. I started with the cups, beginning with the ace of cups, then doing all the cups, and then the swords, then the wands, and finally the pentacles. While I was still working on the swords and cups, I reconfirmed with Belial that he would be showing up so that I could do some portraits of the various versions of Belial. I was really excited to have that kind of fun with it.
Eventually, I finished the suited cards one through ten, and I got to the court major arcana cards. For the all the cards I sketched ideas before I painted them, but sometimes I changed the idea altogether, however all the cards were entirely object cards and had no animals or people in them.
I had this idea of myself as a portrait artist. Now, Belial has appeared to me in many different forms, some male, some female, some scary, some beautiful, some animal. I thought, well certainly Belial could model for me all the court cards and major arcana as she agreed to do. But when I got out all the aluminum foils that I normally use when I evoke, the response was overwhelming. I felt like there were too many spirits vying for my attention and how could I possibly make sense of it. I wanted a deck of cards that regular people could understand even if they weren’t very into the tarot or even the left hand path. So we worked out a plan, I would sit down with my sketch book, meditate upon the card, and then Belial would appear in my notebook and I would sketch the card out. I did the court cards over a few days. I noticed how obsessed my son started to get over certain things, but I didn’t pay it much heed.
I then discussed starting on the Arcana Major. I did the same process, but Belial wanted me to hurry up and get it done as soon as possible. I didn’t stop to think about why, but then I began the major arcana. It ended up being a lot more intense than I had really prepared for and it started affecting other members of the household in frightening ways. Afterwards, I will be honest, I almost did not want to paint or do the cards because of how overwhelming the process was for me, being the most intense working I had ever done up to that point. At least after two days I had finished sketching them, and then I painted them all over the summer.
Then I created this website and uploaded photos of all my canvases that I had done. I felt really proud to have done it. In retrospect, I should have posted more what I was working on back when I was working on it, built an audience and a following, but again, that is why I am doing this in the first place going through the whole process.