(The Pandemic Tarot)
In September 2017, hurricane Irma landed close to the coast of Tampa, Florida, where my good friend, university professor and tarot master, Santiago Echeverry lives. Affected by the hurricane and looking for a place, Santiago called me to ask for shelter while driving away from Florida. Once at home we had a very long conversation which included his expertise in matters of Tarot, which he had learned directly from his mother, who back in our country of Colombia was a reputed cartomantist and esoteric consultant. I had just returned from a long stay in Catalonia and France where I had bought the well known and respected Tarot the Marseille not knowing that it would turn into my future inspiration to create my own deck. During Santiago’s visit to South Carolina, he insisted on reading the Tarot for me despite my reluctance; with that reading he absolutely opened my mind to the amazing world of Tarot. He suggested that the best way for me to fully understand the Tarot, is through creating my own deck of cards.
Curious as I am, I started reading about cartomancy and particularly about Tarot. During that search for knowledge in this ancient art, the Chilean filmmaker and tarot master Alejandro Jodorowsky, who takes a psycho-analitical approach to tarot, became of special interest. In 2019 during my visit to The Palais des Papes in Avignon, France I acquired the book by Oswald Wirth, Le Tarot des imaginers du Moyen Âge, which included a magnificent Tarot deck. When I finally decided to create my own deck, I determined that the only way I could possibly understand, conceive, draw, and read a Tarot deck had to be in connection to the idea of a therapeutic reading. Thus, The García-Lemos Tarot is designed to be a source of personal understanding of oneself and/or the querent. In other words, my approach to the deck follows the teachings of Jodorowsky who has repeatedly said that divination is not the final goal of Tarot, but that it is first and foremost a powerful instrument of self-knowledge and a representation of the structure of the soul.
Therefore, I suggest studying the cards in detail before venturing into a reading. Familiarize yourself with all and each and every card and then display them as a painting, or as a comic strip; think about your questions, your doubts, your dreams and put them in perspective trough the “eyes” of the Tarot. You will be amazed how you already know the answers to all your questions by way of the Tarot. Thus, the Tarot turns simply into a trigger of your own knowledge and insight.
The García-Lemos Tarot was entirely conceived, drawn and printed in 2020 during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Columbia, South Carolina.
“XIII The Card with NO Name”
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The García-Lemos Tarot is also available at www.makeplayingcards.com