I've had an almost-life long love with the cheesy Australian drama Prisoner Cell Block H (recently reimagined as Wentworth on Aussie TV). When I was a younger "tarot student", I had only one deck and did very occassional readings for friends. I had a real urge to create a Prisoner deck, and during one weekend of boredom I began a very long process of getting onto it. My logic was (like many people who make their own decks) that I know the characters so well that to incorporate each one into a card, I'll surely give incredible and unique readings!
I also have a best friend who's a lover of both Prisoner and Tarot, so my idea was to make 2 copies (one for me, one for her as a birthday present) and surely it would be a delightful, niche culty deck that maybe one day I'd even print loads of professional copies to sell?
Well, try focussing on a reading when this little baby pops up :
Downloaded dodgy photos from google. Bonkers tacky background colours with no relevance. Cheapo glossy printed card paper from the home computer. I even kept them in a reused paper gift bag, with a wonky paper sticker on the front. Classy eh?
My understanding of tarot was a little on the basic side back then....I'm even a bit baffled as to why I used certain characters for some cards. Here's the original Franky Doyle (for those of you who watch Wentworth), inexplicably representing the 5 of wands (warning - your eyes are about to hurt) :
I did one or two readings with them. It didn't go terribly well. With no symbolism to work with and me being a novice then, it got a bit confusing for my friends, having to stare at all of these psychadelic colours and the massive, distressed 80's faces of Australian actresses.
Nevertheless, I still thought it was incredible, and still do a little bit. My friend told me it was the best birthday gift she'd ever received. I keep them safe and secure at home because, despite the fact they're a bit rubbish, it was a massive DIY project that I put hours of work into. On a personal note, they perfectly capture my taste for all that is tacky in life (really, my home looks a bit like these cards) and they're are a bit loyal to the show itself, which was often accused of being kitsch and tacky (although hardcore fans like me often disagree!). I pull them out every now and then and they make me smile, like Marlene here :
Have you ever made a dodgy tarot deck, or tried to? Maybe you'd just like to lash compliments or abuse at me for this little creation? Make your comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org any time.
Whatever the weather; Queen Bea has got my back :
Love Ste / The Tarot Cat x