The Castle of Crossed Destinies: A tarot for the age of destruction

September 1, 2022
2 min read
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I love running Ōrke. Using technology to solve real problems is a buzz that never fades. But sometimes it's nice to do something a little bit different. Like drawing a tarot for the age of destruction.

Sometimes the world is a confusing place, a mad spinning tetrahedron of hidden meanings and lost memories, whirling through a cosmos that probably only exists as a simulation being piped into my ruined, formaldehyde blue body through wires and electrodes and various protein-rich fluids. But what can you do about it?

Make a tarot deck, that's what. I've been working on one for a while, loosely based on medieval religious icons and The Castle of Crossed Destinies, a novel by Italo Calvino. Eventually there'll be a complete set, with a 22-card major arcana (the interesting cards) and a 56-card minor arcana (the cups and swords and whatnot). These aren't traditional tarot cards, and they come with their own layers of mystery combining reflections on the modern malaise with journeys deep inside the folds and wrinkles of innerspace.

I draw all of the cards from scratch in Procreate. It probably takes a day or so of elapsed time from having an idea to final texturing (the backgrounds always take longest), and it's a real trip. It's very fulfilling to spend hours losing yourself in detail and end up with something weird and complete. And then you're one day older. One more stinking day squirted out of the fritzing 3D printer of destiny.