Behind the scenes of the Tarot of the Sidhe

February 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Is the Tarot of the Sidhe the most thrilling deck to make an appearance in 2011? It’s only February, so perhaps it’s a little early to say(!) but certainly these colourful cards have made a big splash in the tarot world. Not wanting to miss out on all the excitement, I stole a few moments out of creator Emily Carding’s busy post-publication schedule to find out more…

LC: Can you tell us a little bit about the Sidhe, and what they mean to you?

EC: Sidhe, (pronounced Shee), is the gaelic name for the Faery race, most specifically the noblest order of Faery being. In Irish mythology these are the Tuatha de Dannan and their descendants who retreated into the hollow hills due to the invasion of the Milesians. There are also myths tying them to the fallen angels who did not wish to enter Hell but remain in a realm between. Myths are a key by which we may access the truth, and when we spend time with those myths they become a living thing. I like to look into and beyond the myths, it is most important to me to look at the living energetic truth of these beings, who they are, what their nature is and how we can – and indeed why we should connect with them.

To me they are the guardians of the inner Earth, a radiant underworld in which the primal nature of our planet is preserved and a source from which we can draw to restore what has been lost. Faeries are a popular topic these days in the new age market, and it rather borders on the ‘self-help’. I do not believe we should be going to them for help with our lives, though our lives are enhanced by connecting with them. It is most important at this time to forge a working partnership with these beings to strengthen the connection with their world. This means we can be their hands in this world, and they can help us see and experience the world the way that they do. Our perceptions and way of being as a race need to evolve if we are not to destroy ourselves.

How did you decide what would be on each card? Can you describe the process you went through?

I couldn’t really describe it as a decision of what would appear on a card. This was a two-way channeled process, in which I would focus what each card traditionally meant, including colour symbolism and as many layers of meaning as possible, and the image as interpreted by the Sidhe would appear in my head. Sometimes that would translate straight to paper, sometimes it would change as I worked on it. Each one was drawn in ink, with no sketching or forward planning, so it was a very trusting process!
It was important to me to create images that would act as gateways, but also that could be read by anyone, regardless of prior knowledge of symbolism. Perhaps an idealistic aim as we all have our own personal symbolic language that we carry with us, and we all perceive differently. But for those who are called to work with these images, I believe it will be a powerful tool.

Did you find any cards particularly challenging to create?

Each card was its own experience, the energy of some was quite overpowering – The Empress and Pan, as well as Warrior Ten were overpowering and beautiful experiences to work on. I don’t recall struggling with any, but there were two cards that when I looked back on them, there was something not quite right, so I revisited and completely recreated those images. I don’t want to point out which, because they might then stand out for people!

Which cards are you most fond of?

I have an abiding love for Warrior Ten, strangely. It was the last card that I painted before the courts and I actually wept as I painted it. In many ways it is the deck’s and my personal significator- though I think I am still young on the journey that it signifies.
I also love The Sun, Maker Prince, Justice and Pan… oh, and that Dancer Prince too, the tortured poet…

How does it feel now the Tarot of the Sidhe is finally out there?

I am elated! This is such a baby of my soul, it’s like putting myself out there to be judged in a way. I have taken my path and put it into pictures and words and offered it to the world! I know it’s not for everyone, but the appreciation coming from those who love it is a great reward. And the Sidhe are happy too!

You’ve made the Transparent Tarot, the Transparent Oracle and the Tarot of the Sidhe. What’s next for Emily Carding?

I was thinking world domination.

If that doesn’t work out, then I have Tarot of the Black Mountain, which is a majors only deck I did for an author in Montenegro a few years ago, that will be coming out for a new release from Tarot Media Company. It’s been very difficult to get hold of as it was previously only published as a set of pull-out sheets at the back of a book of short stories, which were in Serbian and published in Montenegro! I have written a new little booklet to go with it, and Lena Ruth Stefanovic has translated a couple of her stories and written a foreword, so that will be a lovely thing for collectors.

I am also slowly working in the background on a new Tarot…though I have so much other work going on it may take a while! That is the Neverland Tarot based on J.M. Barrie’s work.

My current big project though is a book called Faery Craft, which will be coming from Llewellyn Publishing. This is about the contemporary faery scene, and also how to work with and connect to these otherworldly cousins of ours. It will have everything from meditations to festival pics, I don’t think there’s been anything quite like it before! I’m very excited about it!
Also my dog, Albus Dumbledog, has been busy working on his own oracle deck…

Finally, what five words would you use to describe the Tarot of the Sidhe?

Potent Gateway To The Otherworld


Thank you to Emily for taking the time to answer my questions! Click here to order the Tarot of the Sidhe from Tarot Chest. Video review coming soon!

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