Damaged but determined to survive. Strength for gay men in the Nine of Wands

We're all damaged goods and all of us enter the LGBT+ family wounded when we come out of the closet. I can only speak as a gay men for that's where my identity lies. That said, I hope what I'm writing will resound with the rest of the LGBT+ community and maybe even for others. After all, straight and queer folk are more similar than we're given credit for.
Each of us bring our own unique wounds, fears, weaknesses and defensive postures to the mix when we come out. The first three generally speak for themselves and for the most part, we're likely to find understanding from our fellow gay men. It's more complex with our defensive postures however and these take courage to overcome.
The problem is, we forget to stop defending ourselves, even when we're in a safe space. Before we know it, we've hurt each other through bitchiness, being on the defensive or through overt emotional toughness. It's too easy to adopt a loud, even ferocious persona than to l…

Gay, male and conflicted. Positive inner strife in the Five of Wands.

The Five of Wands has traditionally been known as the card of strife. It may denote discomfort, struggle and exertion but these are battles worth fighting. Stick with this and you'll find yourself strengthened through your battle. Just as in nature, a butterfly's wings can only be strengthened through the struggle to break free from its Chrysalis, we as men must often grow through life's bumps and bruises
The shadow side of ourselves
For gay men in particular, many of our conflicts are internal ones, particularly as we navigate the rocky road to coming out, and  learn to move past societal prejudices to a place of self acceptance. When designing the Son Tarot, I wanted to reflect this inner struggle through the Five of Wands so here, you see the man's main opponent  is his own shadow self. This 'negative' figure is the embodiment of all his internalised fears, along with a fair few prejudices he may not even have realised he's developed over the years. The …

The one we really don't want to talk about: Facing the Death card.

In the Healing Light Tarot, The Grim Reaper takes the form of a skeletal apparition wandering through a twilight graveyard. He is swathed in mist yet crowned with a bright star and surrounded by a mandorla halo. This is the archetype we often fear the most; that of death, transformation and the finite. The card represents change, decay and fragility.
The mythology of the grim reaper

Death as a force of nature  has been personified in countless religions and cultures across the ages. In Hindu Scriptures the Lord of Death is King Yama, who is seen riding a black buffalo whilst wielding a rope lasso to snare his captives. In Judaism, we see the Angel of Death as described in the book of Exodus. This manifestation  is sent by God to destroy the first-born children of the Egyptians. The Grim Reaper as we know him in the traditional Tarot comes from 14th Century Europe; the time of the Black Plague and Europe's worst ever pandemic. A third of the population was lost to the plague, so de…

Celebrating the Quantum Tarot. Chris's first published Tarot deck

Back in 2008, I was privileged to have my first deck published by Kunati Inc. Although that publishing house was to prove short lived, the same deck and book set - conceived and written by Kay Stopforth and illustrated by myself, was soon re-published in a revised second edition by Lo Scarabeo

The Quantum Tarot 2.0 has become a classic in its own way. It's been reprinted several times, has become one of Lo Scarabeo's best selling decks, and to my surprise, it shows no sign of slowing down. It's the project that launched me as a tarot artist, so my collaboration with Kay Stopforth mean a great deal to me. 

This video from my Youtube Channel celebrates Quantum Tarot 2.0. while taking you on a journey through the cards. I owe a special debt of gratitude to  Kay for coming up with this incredible concept. You don't get many more exciting offers than being asked to illustrate something like this. Special thanks also to Lo Scarabeo for believing in us.

The Son Tarot: A gay man's road to self acceptance and confidently coming out.

Back in 2005, two days before my 38th birthday, I began work on what would become the Son Tarot. Of all my projects, this was the most life changing and it attests to the healing power of the Tarot. As I created the Son Tarot, I had to meditate deeply on what it would mean to put myself 'inside' each card. By doing this progressively for each image as I designed the deck, I emerged from a dark period of depression which had lasted several years, as well as dealing with my self acceptance issues. In effect, the Tarot taught me my worth and gave me the ability to enjoy and celebrate being me. As this deck is so personal, it was a great privilege to have it published, along with its companion book by Schiffer in 2012. Here's a new Youtube video I've just created to showcase the deck. If the Son Tarot does nothing else, let it remind you that every time you pick up any one of your own decks, you're holding one of the most powerfully transformative tools you're ever…

Lenormand Cartomancy. An alternative to Tarot.

Apart from my longstanding interest in tarot, I've also been working for sometime with the cartomancy system named after Marie Anne Lenormand, the celebrity fortune teller of the Napoleonic Era and personal sybil to the Emperor himself.

Kay Stopforth, my collaborative partner for the Quantum Tarot gifted me my first deck of Lenormand cards back in 2007. The card images and the system of cartomancy behind them intrigued me, being so utterly different from the Tarot. There were few resources available back then; indeed, I could only find one available text in English. As a result, I decided to learn all I could, develop my own deck and eventually write an easy, how to guide in order to make this truly remarkable alternative to Tarot more widely available.

Schiffer Books published the deck and book as Lenormand Cartomancy in 2013 and thankfully, my publication became one in a number of roughly contemporary publications that heralded a Lenormand revival in the English speaking territo…

Introducing the Healing Light Tarot.

The first advance copy of my new deck and book set, the Healing Light Tarot has arrived! Have a look with me as I browse through the cards. The deck will be published by Lo Scarabeo on May 25th 2017.