Tarot Everywhere: An Interview with the creator of Tarot T-shirts Ciaran Gaffey

Tarot T-Shirts is an amazing company that was founded by Ciaran Gaffrey and Rosario Salerno. They have made a brand that incorporates Rosario’s amazing designs into T-Shirts, Bags, Mugs and much more. They have a very unique project that is brought to you with much love, light & care. This project was conceptualized when Ciaran’s partner Rosario decided to create his own tarot deck. The result of this was an entire line of items that connects deeply with the symbolism and mysticism of the Tarot. It was great getting to interview Ciaran and to know more about Tarot T-Shirts and what is in store, enjoy!

Ciaran Gaffey creator of Tarot T-Shirts

Worthy Tarot: How did you come up with the idea for Tarot T-shirts?

CG: It all started when my partner, Rosario Salerno, decided to start creating his own Tarot deck. As a teenager he had been very interested in Tarot but it was in conflict with his Catholic upbringing. He comes from Sicily and back at that time he was studying in a Catholic private school run by nuns. His priest told him that he couldn't use Tarot anymore because they're a 'malevolent instrument', so he stopped, although he enjoyed Tarot so much. Then about a year ago someone told him that his tattoos, which he had designed, reminded them of their Tarot deck and that sparked Rosario's interest in Tarot again. It was shortly after that he decided to create his own deck. 
I had dabbled in Tarot when I was younger but similarly to Rosario I had fallen out of the practice. Once Rosario started creating his deck there was no way that I couldn't be brought back into the world of Tarot. I found the world of Tarot and the culture of Tarot to be so interesting again. I thought that Rosario's designs were so striking and bold that they would look great on a t-shirt. There's a lot of Tarot based t-shirts on the market but I find the majority of them to be quite dull. Rosario's designs I think are bold and sexy, they maintain the core elements and symbols of the Tarot of Marseilles but are also very modern and fashionable

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       Ciaran Gaffey, founder of Tarot-Tshirts.com

Ciaran Gaffey, founder of Tarot-Tshirts.com

Who is the primary designer of your designs, and what is the process like to create a shirt?

CG:  Rosario currently is the primary designer. I am a graphic designer by trade so I know how to turn his designs into graphics for apparel. Sometimes the composition of the card doesn't lend itself to a t-shirt so it needs to be edited to work on a garment. This is the most fun part of the process for me. I'm used to working on very functional design so I really enjoy the creativity of making a design or a card work on a t-shirt. 

We hope in the future to bring more designers on board but for now the goal is to get all of Rosario's designs available on a t-shirt. 

Have you thought of taking your visions, designs and publishing your own deck?

CG: Well Rosario is in the process of designing his deck right now. Currently he has all the major arcana complete and is working on the minor arcana at the moment. He will be printing the major arcana deck soon and when the minor arcana are finished he intends on printing the entire deck. The deck will of course be available to purchase at Tarot-Tshirts.com.

What is one of the most rewarding experiences working with Tarot and other spiritual tools?

CG: For me Tarot is all about giving someone the tools to see their life from a different perspective. I don't believe that Tarot can predict the future or change your life, I believe that you can change your life and Tarot can give you the tools to find the correct path to changing your life. 
I think everyone who works with Tarot has this core belief more or less, any time something is shared by a large group of people it's a very interesting phenomenon. Since I've started Tarot-Tshirts.com I've felt like an anthropologist, I've been examining how people use Tarot and interact with other Tarot users. Everyone shares core beliefs about the cards but everyone has their unique meaning of Tarot also. It's very interesting.

The other rewarding experience has been engagement with our fans and customers. We're a very young enterprise but we've had a lot engagement from people all over the world. Seeing people react so positively to our designs and apparel has been amazing. It makes us want to show our work to more and more people. 

Your Death Card T-Shirt, is bad ass! Have you ever thought of bringing your products to pillows, cellphone cases, & laptop cases? I think many people would love them.

CG: I think so too! At the moment we're just concentrating on t-shirts but iPhone cases and laptop cases are something that we're exploring and hope to offer them in the future.


Are there any new designs on the horizon that we can look forward to?

CG: There's still several card designs that are in the works. The Hermit, Justice, and The Wheel of Fortune card are all forthcoming. Also we will be doing black and white versions of our more popular designs; The Emperor, The Fool, Strength, and The Hierophant. I'm very excited about that. People love our colorful designs but they also want black and white versions as they're more versatile in terms of matching them with an outfit. After all, everyone looks good in black!


If someone is interested in your deck how would they get a hold of you?