Emily Dickson is the High Priestess of a new Tarot Deck

Emily Dickinson as the High Priestess in the American Renaissance Tarot.Read this interview at Reality Sandwich with Thea Wirsching, who together with artist Celeste Pille has created the American Renaissance Tarot deck,, based on leading writers, artists, and activists of the 19th century such as Emily Dickinson,   “I’ve seen the American Renaissance period described as the literature that appeared in the years 1830-1865,” Wirsching says, “but for this project I’ve expanded the range to 1825-1875, to include early comers and late bloomers.”

She continues,

I think it’s become fashionable to criticize and even to hate America, particularly in liberal and academic circles. Many of us are walking around in a lot of shame over who we are as a nation, and feel uncomfortable taking pride in a country that was built on the exploitation of African slaves and the genocide of indigenous people.  And while I don’t think we should ever forget those horrific facts in our history, we’ve also thrown the baby out with the bathwater and rejected the knowledge that American culture has also been productive of incredible writers, thinkers, visionaries, and spiritual savants. I think collective shame keeps the left from embracing an educated patriotism that could help us turn the political tide; this project celebrates outspoken abolitionists such as Thoreau and Lydia Maria Child, successful black men like Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany, and philosophical innovators like Emerson.  These Americans inspire pride and reverence in our history.

The project is more than half-completed, and as things are done today, it is at least partly crowd-funded. I’ll make a donation . . . but they had better have Nathaniel Hawthorne in there some place!

7 thoughts on “Emily Dickson is the High Priestess of a new Tarot Deck

  1. Just saw this Chas, thank you! Nathaniel Hawthorne is our King of Cups and I discuss that card with the image on our FB page … and I believe cards devoted to the Marble Faun, The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, and the Scarlet Letter appear on our IG. I’m hoping the artist can finish the Young Goodman Brown card, the Seven of Cups, by Halloween! Glad you found us.

  2. Thea Wirsching

    Oh love it, yes, re: your other post. Yes we’re really playing up the phantasmagoric satanic mass for our YGB/ Seven of Cups. I think the most goth scene in Hawthorne’s oeuvre is when he breaks authorial convention to yell at Governor Pyncheon’s corpse! I wrote a paper in graduate school comparing it to the redundancy suggested by the post-mortem photography that was prevalent at the time … it’s a very weird scene!

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