Readers of this blog will already be familiar with artist, magician and author Tommie Kelly and his blog Adventures In WOO WOO.
For those of you who are new to his work, you can find and introduction to Tommie here.
Most recently, Tommie has released his very own system of magick with an accompanying oracle deck called “The Forty Servants”. Below, you will find an interview with him focusing upon this truly marvelous work of art, magick and spirit.
Q: What was the inspiration for the “The Forty Servants” oracle deck and magick system?
A: Well, I guess I always had the idea in the back of my mind to do a deck at some point, and people were always suggesting to me to do a Tarot deck; but there are two reason why I ended up designing a deck this year:
1, Earlier in the year I did the artwork for a private deck for a client and I really enjoyed the process. This also meant that I had all the homework already done in regard to printers, templates, formats etc.
2, I had the time. I basically had a good bit of downtime from work that I could either have filled by boring myself to death, or by working on a personal project. I decided I’d rather do something other than read with my time, and decided to knock something off my bucket list.
Inspiration wise, I’m not really sure. It’s definitely a Chaos Magick Deck, in the sense that I made it all up rather than worked from any sort of traditional structure.
Q: How does your deck differ from a traditional tarot deck?
A: Well, first and foremost it’s not a Tarot deck but rather an Oracle deck. A Tarot deck has 78 distinct cards that are pretty much the same in every deck, even if the art is different. Not always, but to be considered a Tarot deck you can’t stray too far from the traditional structure (or in some circles no straying at all). The Forty Servants has 40 cards, with only a few baring any resemblance to any of the cards in the Tarot.
But apart from that, I think the main difference is that The Forty Servants has a duel function. The deck can be used as a normal oracle deck for divination, but each card is also a Magick Servitor that people can use to bend reality to their will.
Q: Of all the cards, do you have a personal favorite? If so, why?
A: I don’t think I have one, to be honest. They’re all very much a part of me and I have spent so much time in their company this year that I feel it would be rude to choose between them.
Q: What do you hope people get out of this project?
A: I hope people get a high quality deck that they really enjoy. I hope they enjoy working with it both for divination and magick. I feel Chaos Magicians, in particular, will get a lot of value out of the system.
Q: How long did it take you to create the deck and accompanying guide book?
A: Probably about five months full time work. That said, some of the art came from older pieces that I “upgraded” or hugely augmented (such as comics, Altar Cards, and general pieces – I wanted to include a piece of art from every major project I created to date as they all had something magick to them at the time and I wanted to capture that).
I would estimate that the entire project definitely took no less than 1000 hours, all things considered.
Q: Any pro tips or tricks for using this deck and system?
A: Yea, a big one – use the guidebook as a guide and not a bible. Let the Servants/cards tell you what they are about rather than what is written in the book. If they seem to say something different to you than they do to other people, go with what they say to you. Let the servants tell you about them, rather than impose your (or my) ideas upon them.
Q: What mediums did you use to create the artwork?
A: All my art is digital and I did all the art for the deck in Clip Studio Paint using a small A5 Wacom Bamboo.
Q: Any reports available from people who have bought and used the deck thus far?
A: People seem to really like it and are excited to work with it. The great thing about the deck is that it will become more powerful overtime as people use it more and more. These Servitors thrive on attention, so as time goes on, they will become stronger.
Q: Why the name “The Forty Servants”?
A: I thought about the name for a long while and ended up with The Forty Servants, simply because that’s just what it is – It is a deck made up of Forty Servitors, but I assumed more people know the word Servant than Servitor.
Q: What other projects do you have lined up for 2017?
A: The next personal project for me is a fiction book that I am currently prepping for. Without giving too much away it is about a character who wants to contact a far distant version of himself for advice and help using a very unique (and real word do-able) ritual.
Other than that, I will be working on another new children’s graphic novel and a separate children’s sort of travel/adventure/culture book which will come out next year. I just had a meeting yesterday with the publisher and co-writer and things look quite promising.