In recent years the world has seen a resurgence of Pagan traditions. Wiccans, Druids, spiritualists, and other Pagan pathways. They have started to step out of the shadows of anonymity, and fear, into the light of a modern and (typically) more accepting culture. With this resurgence, sacred tools of practitioners have gained mainstream acceptance and influence; none more so than the tarot deck.
As the ancestor of modern playing cards, the Tarot was adapted by Pagans as a tool of divination and reflection: a mystic system by which to divine the secrets of the self, others, and even the future. Throughout history the artwork of the Tarot has been reimagined and redrawn, often with a primary focus on some aspect. Sadly, a deck for gay men—reportedly a large portion of Pagan practitioners—has been missing from the annals of great Tarot decks.
St. Jinx is an artist who focuses on sensual works depicting men. Recently he has developed a line of Tarot decks, which are described as being “created specifically for gay men”. Additionally, “each card is fully illustrated with beautiful characters and vibrant backgrounds”, but follow the tradition of the Rider-Waite-Smith original artwork and designs. For those who might be unfamiliar—Rider-Waite-Smith is one of the oldest (and widely used) standards for Tarot. It is a 72 card deck with a Minor and Major Arcana that depicts each card in specific, pagan-derived, ways.
As an avid lover and collector of Tarot decks, I was beside myself with excitement to finally see a queer deck representing sexuality, mythology, and paganism in a positive way. And after receiving my purchase I wasn’t disappointed either.
I received my deck about three weeks after ordering. It arrived and immediately I was impressed: most Tarot decks come in flimsy card-stock boxes that fall apart pretty quickly. Not the Divine Masculine deck. It came in a glossed hard case with full artwork and a description on the back. The deck itself was breathtaking, each card an original piece of art.
The cards are drawn and colored digitally, which gives them a contemporary feel, and depict a racially diverse range of men. The backs are dark-enough that the passerby wouldn’t be able to immediately peg the cards for their queerness, but each feature the same intricate-mirror image.
Necko is a veteran, LGBT activist, and writer. In addition to his work as a freelancer Necko writes fiction with the purposes of providing strong LGBT and female protagonists to the world. More of his work can be found at neckofanning.com.
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