Tarot Talks Volume XIX: An interview with Dame Darcy, creator of the Mermaid Tarot

Tis the Season, winter solstice is near, so are the holidays, & those Chai Latte’s I love so much. I hope that you are bundled up, & in clear thought because we are about to enter the Season of thought…. Better known as the Season of Swords. The holidays are the last rounds to celebrate the many gifts that the harvest of the fall provides us. It is from this time that we are ushered into the time of The Hermit, the time of stillness where we can reflect on what we would like to bring into fruition when Ostara blesses us with the Spring. Dame Darcy has created a nautical themed deck that translates to any time of the year. I love to use this deck during the winter months, because it brings light into a time that can get cloudy. I hope that you enjoy reading about it, as much as I love working with it!

-HERU JEROME

 Mermaid Tarot, Dame Darcy

Mermaid Tarot, Dame Darcy

Interview
Dame Darcy creator of the Mermaid Tarot

Dame Darcy is a powerhouse, having created characters who have a life & energy all their own. Anyone who is familiar with her Meat Cake series is aware of the cult following her work creates. The characters within this deck truly have lives all of their own because of Dame’s process to hand draw them all. Yes every character, every piece of sand, every wave in this deck is hand drawn. With an amazing sepia tone and aquamarine wash to make one feel that they are looking at an old pirate map.

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

DD: I have always liked mermaids a lot but moved to Savanah because of the influence of the boating and nautical stuff. I have always dreamed of being a pirate and sailor surrounded by dolphins and other nautical wildlife. Since I have been in Savanah, I have had a lot more experience with sailing and also got a model fin so I can swim like a mermaid. I shot a series pilot based on my comic book, you can find it on Youtube here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XvOIxSoNaA

The pilot is called Voyage of a Temptress where I play a mermaid. I wanted the deck to look like a pirate map and like it is on parchment paper. The deck in general is sepia toned but with an aquamarine was over it to give the cards a nautical and pirate feel.

 Dame Darcy, creator of the Mermaid Tarot

Dame Darcy, creator of the Mermaid Tarot

To this day the Rider Waite is still one of my most cherished decks. As a sequential artist known for drawing comics, I was drawn to the tarot because in essence it is sequential art. Making a Tarot Decks blends perfectly with the work I do when I create a comic. As a Pagan my soul has been drawn to this work for centuries, and in this lifetime I have been able to combine my love of drawing comics with the spiritual views of Tarot, to make a deck that deeply conveys my vision and artistic sensibilities.


Worthy Tarot: 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?

DD: I worship the Goddess, and in the last 50 years this has been the first time in centuries where women have been able to be property owners, career driven, business owners, homemakers, mothers, sisters, vessels for life and wisdom without the struggle of trying to uphold the demeanor and values that a patriarchal society has placed on them. This is still a struggle with its list of growing pains, but we are coming much further along then where we have been in years previously. I saw an interview where a women said that she was not a feminist, because men have certain issues that women do not advocate. The cornerstone of all feminism is equal rights for everyone, gay, transgender, etc.

I volunteer at a crisis center and teach art to both young girls and boys. And I find equal, open & free expression in women and men which better gets us to greater understanding exactly what equality can mean. I am not a man hating feminist. I feel that men have been neglected and affected by the same issues as women. The problem lies with the patriarchy, I am not against Christianity I like Jesus I just do not like fundamentalism. The Goddess is coming back, feminism is becoming the norm. Some of the growing pains that we are experiencing are men finding where they belong in all of this. The patriarchy is beginning to crumble and we all can see this. If you ask anyone gay, male, female, what island they would want to live one, one with only men or women the general consensus is that of all women so why the patriarchy? I am glad this age is ending.

Worthy Tarot: What inspires you and how was that inspiration incorporated into your deck?

DD:  I love the pirate era and rococo fashion made around the same time in the mid-1700s. My deck reflects the time and sensibilities of this era. I started my career in the early 90s making themes. I would photo copy and hand print stuff. To this day I am still teaching these themes and how to publish them from young people to college level. I have always been drawn to hand drawn or hand made over computer driven art. Anyone can do Photoshop now, but not everyone has the skill and energy that is reflected in a hand drawn deck. All of my deck was hand drawn and painted in watercolor. I am old-school, so Photoshop is not my thing. I think the genuine energy that is conveyed in hand drawn art can get lost when making art via Photoshop. I also have handmade everything on my Etsy shop.

 Mermaid Tarot, Dame Darcy

Mermaid Tarot, Dame Darcy

I self-published this deck, have 3 books coming out this year. My Meatcake comics are going to be put into one book which will come out in June. I am also currently illustrating a mystery compilation, and a book on female murderers called Lady Killers which will be published by Harper Collins. I have two sides’ whimsical fairies goddess and mermaids, but my other side is Victorian Gothic pen and ink. I have the duality of the Gemini, my light blond twin who is an intellectual and can think herself out of anything like Spock. Then there is my emotional dark side, or the darker twin. The two of them are in me at all times and I have to make them work together. I started my career as a teenager working on instincts and intuition as I get older I can utilize these gifts better.

Worthy Tarot: 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!!!!)

DD: Wizard of Oz tarot from the classic of 1912, this influenced my drawing style. There are so many different characters especially female characters which I love within this novel. I like the fact that women are reflected as powerful witches and you see Dorothy go through the Fool’s Journey. Tarot decks do a great job at blending male and female archetypes, because they pick up the male and female energies that are within each of us. You find male and female characters equally dispersed in most Tarot decks. When you are reading for someone the male can represent a women, and the women can represent the male which sends a very truthful message to us all.

 Mermaid Tarot, Dame Darcy

Mermaid Tarot, Dame Darcy

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

DD: I am thinking of creating a Meat Cake Tarot deck based on my comic book series which I think will be funny and fun. I was going to publish a Meat Cake deck before I published the Mermaid Tarot, however I chose not to because it already had its own publisher and following. I figured that mermaids were a great theme and people would love them as much as I do. Just like the Tarot mermaids are mystical. Also like the Tarot mermaids can convey the dark and light aspects within people. Some angel and oracle decks avoid some of the darker themes in life and I did not want to do this with my deck. I like the fact that Tarot can be in your face and explores both facets of life.

Mermaids are beautiful representations of female empowerment and freedom but they can also crash ships and cause storms embodying the energy of the sea Goddess. The sea is not always in a happy place, neither are people.

 Mermaid Tarot, Dame Darcy

Mermaid Tarot, Dame Darcy

Mermaids can also represent everyone, little girls love them. Transgendered people love them because having fish tails they are not gendered biased. Men like them because they are sexy and unapologetic about it. They draw all sorts of people in and appeal to a greater market.

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

DD:  http://damedarcy.com/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/damedarcy

https://instagram.com/damedarcy/

 Mermaid Tarot, Dame Darcy

Mermaid Tarot, Dame Darcy