VIZ: The Card Deck

Along the lines of Askeris being a fortune-telling implement, and also thinking of possible merch-types for a fundraiser, I’ve imagined creating a tarot-type deck with the various door faces.

There will be 28 murals, but 28 cards is a little small for a deck. At best, it’s maybe a half-deck. but I’m not keen on breaking it out into the 56 different depictions.

In the Tarot, there are the arcana cards, plus the suit cards. There are no obvious suits in my project… unless you go with Red/Blue(/Magenta). (Sticking a pin in this, because it’s useful, but didn’t come to me until I was typing it out just now.

Ignoring that epiphany… I was trying to stick to elements literally in the piece for the rest of the deck of cards, rather than trying to bring in new ideas. I like obvious and logical mythology/myth development. I briefly considered whether to incorporate the planets or constellations (or make up constellations), or somehow bring forward the labels I used in my early diagrams, but none of that felt quite right.

However! I’d been overlooking fortune-telling content that already existed in the piece: the door edges. I plan to paint overlapping questions on the non-hinge edge of each door using the same paint technique. That adds 14 more cards, and the final literal decorative element: what goes on the bridges that connects the two doors of each set.

So, there are seven of those, and if each was a particular symbol, it would bring the card count to 28+14+7… 49. That’s a good deck size. But how to theme the final seven? Angels? Natural elements? Phases of the Moon? Seasons? What about the seven gateways? Remember, these are bridges that somewhat frame the doors.


Good, good, transitional pairs so far. But one left over.

The breaking of silence.

{heart eyes emoji}

I don’t know how these will be visually represented, but I like the conceptual shapes.

At this point in my drive, I wasn’t close enough to home to be done brainstorming, so I went on to think about how this tripartite deck would be used in a fortune telling scenario.

  • 28 Aspect cards (dualities, usually animals)

  • 14 Question Cards

  • 7 Gateway Cards

The central idea is to read the journey between two gateway cards, and each question card would function as a pivot, changing the direction of the layout 90 degrees from that point onward.

  • shuffle deck

  • place deck face-up

  • Subject splits deck in two

  • if both cards showing are Aspect cards, Subject picks one to be the Guide

  • If only one showing card is an Aspect, that is the Guide

  • If no showing cards are an Aspect, Subject splits the deck until a Guide appears

  • Split parts of the deck are re-stacked so the Guide is on top.

  • Guide is placed to the North of the Deck

  • If the next visible card is NOT a Gateway, that card is discarded (Face down) to the West of the Deck. Repeat until a Gateway appears.

  • When a Gateway appears, the Reader picks up the Deck and replaces it with that Gateway

  • Subsequent cards are part of the Journey

  • The Journey continues until another Gateway appears.

  • The first Step of the Journey is played to the South of the first Gateway.

    • If the first Step is an Aspect, the second Step will be played to the South

    • if the first Step is a Question, the second Step shall be played to the East or the West of it.

  • Continue the Journey.

    • When the previous Step is an Aspect, the current Step continues the journey in the same direction

    • When the previous Step is a Question, the current Step turns the Journey in a new direction. North/South travel is changed to East or West. East/West travel is changed to North or South.

  • The Journey is concluded when the next Gateway is reached, no matter how quickly.


Now to write all the cards and test it out.

And develop a two-player game from it. ;D