The third edition of The Tarot Restless is ready to enter production and artist Winslow Dumaine is looking to bring the world a new path to healing with his deck inspired by black metal, Dark Souls, and H.P. Lovecraft.
As someone who has read tarot for almost 25 years, now, I can say with certainty that, while the artwork might change, very little differs from one deck to the next. However, upon occasion an artist will do something that takes the reader by surprise. Some of those changes are subtle, such as in Kim Krans’s incredible The Wild Unknown Tarot deck in which she changes the tried and true face cards from Page, Knight, Queen, and King to Daughter, Son, Mother, and Father. It might seem minute, but it brings an entirely different interpretation to a reading.
Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the first time I looked through Dumaine’s deck.
The imagery here is dark, set in a fantasy world where the human world faces an apocalyptic crisis due to global infertility. With little hope, they find themselves surrounded by pain, suffering, and the possibility that their dreams might never come to fruition as they had imagined.
This is the story of The Tarot Restless, and it was born from Dumaine’s own pain after the loss of a relationship and the crushing depression that followed.
“Instead of writing (more) sappy poetry about my broken heart,” the artist’s Kickstarter reads, “I resolved to convey the staggering, suffocating, intensity of pain and the long and convoluted road to recovery. Betrayal, nihility, and loss drove me to create a universe in which a rogue pantheon of gods cursed humanity with infertility, condemning the species to extinction.”
The standard tarot deck is comprised of 78 cards: the Major Arcana (the archetypes) and four suits generally built around the elements of Earth (Pentacles/Coins), Air (Swords), Fire (Wands), and Water (Cups). Again, sometimes we see slight variants here, but they generally follow this pattern.
The official promo trailer for The Tarot Restless featuring music by Pharmakeia
The third edition of Dumaine’s deck has swollen to 100 cards. This consists of the original 78-card deck (12 of which have been redesigned) plus the 12-card The Zodiac Retrograde and the 10-card The Oracle Inimical (The Exalted and the Exterminated). In addition, the deck comes with the 140+ page Restless Meditations, a guidebook of short stories that dive into the intense interpretations of the deck.
“I spent years of my life making these illustrations and refining the stories that accompany them,” Dumaine says. “This is not a guidebook on how to destroy your pain, but a bestiary on how to tame your demons and make them work for you. I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you, and I hope that it helps you through what difficulties lie ahead.”
For more information on The Tarot Restless, please visit Winslow Dumaine’s full KICKSTARTER page which launched on February 1, 2021! In the meantime, take a look at some of the chilling images from the deck below.
The Face Cards of The Tarot Restless
A Sampling of The Zodiac Retrograde from The Tarot Restless
A Sampling of The Oracle Inimical from The Tarot Restless