Tarot Talks: An interview with Siolo Thompson, creator of the Linestrider Tarot

Hi my beautiful souls! I hope that you are reading this surrounded with the most beautiful love and light! This is an interesting time that we have decided to incarnate in. We are leaving the water Age of Pisces to enter the Air Age of Aquarius. This has opened the way for much change which we all witness on a daily basis. One of the exciting things about this time is that it ushers in new light to old traditions. The face of the many beautiful Tarot Decks is changing just like our world is. Many talented artists have lent their expertise time and love to create decks that in my opinion are transformative. I have had the most amazing opportunity to interview many of the artists who have created these decks as part of my Tarot Talk’s series!


Siolo Thompson creator of the Linestrider Tarot

Siolo Thompson uses “multiple mediums and techniques in her work with a focus on draftsmanship and narrative development.” This has given her the proper arsenal to execute a deck that is filled with love and care. From soft lines to hard lines, to white space to pastels she has fueled the traditional images that many are used to with a cast of characters that comes directly from the heart. I had the pleasure to interview Siolo about her deck and creative process. 

Worthy Tarot: Tell me about yourself, where are you from & where are you currently? How have these locations influenced what you do creatively?

Siolo: Currently I live in a big, strange, ramshackle house in Seattle, Washington. We have a garden full of magical plants and trees, many kinds of birds live in our garden and I can see them at play outside my studio window. I feel that my current surroundings really do feed into my creative process and have brought me to a more nature driven place. The tarot deck I created is full of plants and animals and very strongly related to the natural world.
As much as I now feel at home in the Pacific Northwest I am not originally from Seattle. As the child of a very adventurous mom, I was born in Apia, Western Samoa (to an American mother and Samoan father) and ended up spending my adolescence living in the mountains of Bolivia. Coming of age in a place like Bolivia I had a chance to see the clash and blend of indigenous belief systems and the Catholicism that sought to temper it. Ramshackle street shrines rose on curbsides ornamented with colorful offerings proffered to an obscure Catholic virgin, or just as likely, to a local lesser god. The perils of a place determined which deities got the most play. For example mining towns were partial to El Tio, a devil like character that rules the underworld. I was fascinated with all these figures, the little gods and the saints, the miraculous and the quotidian. I was raised in a very Christian paradigm but as soon as I was old enough to really think about it, the static concept of a monotheistic God never spoke to me. Where I could not connect with ‘God the Father’, I could absolutely connect with the ocean, the stars, the plants and animals around me and the quiet secrets of the natural world.”

 Siolo Thompson, creator of the Linestrider Tarot

Siolo Thompson, creator of the Linestrider Tarot


What drew you to Tarot, what aspects of your energy have found their way into your deck? How does this make your deck unique?

ST: When I chanced upon my first tarot cards as a teenager I was immediately hooked. While it would be many years before I came to a fuller understanding of the history of tarot and how to read from a deck, I found that meditating on the images of the cards provided focus and guidance. I felt that the archetypes represented on the tarot cards are universal and cross all the belief borders. It has really been in the past few years that I have more fully explored tarot as both a professional project and a way to navigate my life. The idea of creating my own version of the deck entered my mind and slowly grew into an obsession. The history, traditions, and community that surround tarot are an endless source of interest and inspiration for me. Each card I research and each tarot practitioner I talk to provide additional insight into the collective, living body of knowledge that I am attempting to add to.

We are entering an Air Age which is associated with thought. When you examine air it can blow everything around that is not tethered. People are trying to find their footing and light as they enter this age and are drawn to the magic and spirituality of the Tarot. The face of the tarot just like our new age is changing, how do you feel your deck lends to this revolution?

ST: In tarot the Sword cards represent the air element - that swift steely power of the mind, the dominance of the intellect. I can absolutely see these forces at work in the world around me and in a way it makes sense that the internet would be such a fundamental part of the way the future is taking shape. We are all in a transitory phase and things are in flux, the very nature of the way we communicate and relate to the world is changing. On a very practical level I think we will see an even greater shift toward the digital world and relationships that have their foundation in the electronic rather than physical realm. My tarot project, the Linestrider deck, fits into this new era of Air in the sense that it took shape on the internet (via a crowdfunding effort) and will be published as an app with Fool's Dog Tarot (for iphone and Android). Although I love that the deck exists as a physical object I am also happy that it has taken on these ephemeral, digital forms. 

If you could use a film, artists, novels to make your dream Tarot deck what would that be? (I have a couple NeverendingStory Tarot, Pippi Longstocking Tarot, Julie Heffernan Tarot like please now!!!!)

ST: Oh boy, there are SO MANY decks that I would like to see! I love scifi and comic books, a tarot deck using Science Fiction characters would be amazing. I have Salvador Dali's tarot deck and it's not always the best deck to read from (very funky energy in that deck!) but I love seeing the way other artists bring the tarot to life. It's a big undertaking but I would adore having decks from all my favorite artists.

Would you ever create another deck, think about this one as I know 78 cards are a huge undertaking!

ST: Yes, absolutely. I found this process so interesting and rewarding that I am already thinking about what I want to do next. I think I might do a traditional deck of playing cards, or maybe an oracle type of project. I am interested in Ichthyomancy (fortune telling with fish) which I know seems a bit weird, but I think I could present it as a very beautiful series of watercolor illustrations.

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

ST: The indie version of the deck is completely sold out but the commercial version of the deck will be released by Lewellyn Worldwide next year. We are schedule to have the deck in stores by May 2016 and it will also be available on the Lewellyn website for worldwide distribution. I'd be super happy if folks would take a moment to visit the Linestrider website and sign up for the mailing list. I will be sending out news about the project and advance notice on special editions and things like that.

Find our more about Siolo and the Linestrider Tarot at www.linestridertarot.com/