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The Key Tarot Deck

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

2 Years in the Making!

A 78-card deck, each card featuring photography art of models, natural environments, and ritual tools (includes guidebook).

Our goal with the Key Tarot is to bring classic tarot symbolism into the real world by placing people, instead of illustrations, as the main source of inspiration. Using photography allowed us to recreate the iconic imagery while incorporating real ritual tools and objects. This approach allows the reader to imagine themselves as each archetype so that they can better embody the message of the cards. Seeing real people as the archetypal characters in the cards enables the reader to better understand how the messages in the cards relate to their everyday lives and experiences. Photography is also a new medium not many other deck creators use so it helps our deck stand out from others. Each model we chose to photograph was from our local community and reflects the diversity of spiritual beliefs. It also helps to reintroduce the classic tarot symbolism in a way that is more inclusive to a diverse range of people.

As tarot enthusiasts and teachers we created this deck with both the beginner and experienced reader in mind. By keeping the classic Rider-Waite Symbolism anyone should be able to easily read and intuitively connect with this deck. One issue many readers face is that the symbolism in historic decks can be too complex, yet many contemporary decks focus too much on style and not enough on substance. We wanted to honor the historical integrity of traditional tarot symbolism, while engaging modern readers with a new and fresh portrayal. Our deck achieves this goal by using photography and luxurious aesthetics to enhance the tarot experience while still staying within the foundation of traditional tarot imagery. Our graphic design, gold edging, and matte black finish also helps the deck stand out in unboxing and deck flip-throughs in online content.

How did you get started with this project?

Scarlet and Jamie met during a Solstice party and quickly bonded over their shared interest in tarot. Scarlet, a long time tarot reader, YouTuber, and instructor, had always dreamed of creating her own deck but felt she didn't have the artistic talent to make her vision come to life. Jamie happened to be a talented digital artist and photographer, so quickly the idea of working together on a tarot project came into fruition. Scarlet could bring the tarot knowledge and Jamie could create the meaningful visuals.

We quickly realized that we didn’t want to just make a tarot deck, we wanted to make something truly unique that would help connect us to the wider tarot community. This desire led us to the concept of creating real life modernized scenes for each of the cards and then photographing members of the esoteric community as the models in the images. This way we could take the iconic and historic symbolism of tarot and make it real and tangible. Additionally, we could use real ritual items and clothing to enhance the magic of the images.

This was not a simple undertaking as planning, designing, and creating 78 individual photoshoots with different models and props was a huge commitment. The photoshoot phase of our project took about a year to complete plus an additional several months for the editing and designing the box, guide, and additional materials. It truly was the ultimate labor of love, but we were honored to be working on a project that we both were so passionate about. We hope you enjoy our finished result and we are so thankful for the opportunity we were given to deepen our knowledge and love of tarot through this project.

Where is the deck sold?

Shop for The Key Tarot deck on Etsy. Click here to view and purchase.

Thank you for your interest!


Jamie Gold

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