Meet Sea Witch Tarot creator Willow Whiteraven
The artist behind the mythical sea and underworld themed Sea Witch Tarot, Willow Whiteraven, gives us a glimpse of the process behind the creation, and why she would add The Huntress to the major arcana...
What can you see out of the window where you work?
“My desk faces directly out the window, and the building I live in is on a canal that is dotted with a mix of old and new houses. Behind the houses is a horizon of high-rise buildings that line the beach, a few blocks away. The most delightful things I get to see are the native birds that feed on flowers right outside the window and the storm clouds that roll in over the sea most afternoons.”
Where and when do you feel most creative?
“I’m a morning person! In the summertime, I wake around 4:30am and get to work, either at my desk or sitting in bed. By 11am I go back to sleep for a couple of hours and then spend the rest of the day doing the more mundane things required of me. So I guess my bed is my most creative place — plenty of thinking and dreaming.”
What does tarot mean to you and why did you want to create your deck?
“Is it weird to say that the tarot is like my best friend? I ask her so many questions, sometimes ad nauseam, until she tells me to hush! I acquired my first tarot deck when I was 11 years old. I bought it with my lunch money while on a family beach vacation. I still have it, it is a major arcana deck, and I have not lived without the tarot since... and as my decks know, it's been a hell of a ride. I wanted to create a deck because I'm a graphic designer by trade. I'd been meaning to put together my ideas for many years. During the first Covid19 lockdown, I finally pulled the artwork together. To hold that first printed deck in my hands was surreal.”
Were there any challenges?
“Once I’d overcome procrastination and indecisiveness, everything was fine. The artwork was quite intricate to prepare, and I collected imagery for decades, so I felt pretty ready. Some of the swords cards required detailed work as I did a restoration on an antique and incomplete deck I accessed digitally from a museum in Paris".
Which tarot card do you identify most with and why?
“It’s hard to resist saying the Sun. I don’t pull this card often, but when I do, I beam a smile. I don’t know why. It’s just pure joy to me.”
Which card do you find the most difficult and why?
“I may as well hide under a table when I get the 9 of Swords. I find it hard to look at this card without a sense of dread and over-analysis. I think I have pulled it in times that have been personally dark for me, so it probably triggers all those fears at once. It's something I need to work through.”
What tips can you give someone who wants to create their own deck?
“Please, please, please get started! Today! Choose a subject and format you are very familiar with and roll with your intuition. You’ll be amazed and flows from within.
If you could add an additional card to the major arcana what would it be called and represent?
“The Huntress. For the Goddess Diana. I think this is an important aspect of femininity that we need to draw from right now. Having a tarot card that suggests these properties may offer profound guidance for those who resonate with the messages that come with Diana.”