Liminal 11 recently sent me a copy of their latest release – ‘The New Chapter Tarot‘. Designed and created by the internationally recognised, award-winning, graphic novelist and arts educator Kathryn Briggs, this diverse, delightful and marvellously modern Tarot deck is a story, a journey, and one woman’s self-portrait of change.
Kathryn began her comic-making career whilst pursuing her Masters at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art with a feminist reimagining of the archetypal Hero story, “Story(cycle)”. She later launched her independent small press ‘Ess Publications’ with this ground-breaking comic. Following her success, Kathryn won the Elsinore Award for Graphic Shakespeare in 2016 with her adaptation of Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 1.
Kathryn later founded Dundees only independent book fair – The Ex Libris Book Fair, and she has served on the committee of GENERATORprojects, an art-led gallery and community space. Kathryn’s short comics have been featured throughout the UK in anthologies such as Treehouse Comic, Dirty Rotten Comics, Meanwhile…, and Sliced Quarterly. Her work has also been exhibited in art galleries around Sweden, Scotland, Japan, and the USA.
Kathryn is an experienced art educator, she has lectured at her alma mater, Glasgow School of Art, The McManus Museum, Dundee Contemporary Arts, and she has presented a paper that she co-authored at the 2016 Graphic Medicine conference in Dundee. Kathryn has also been featured as a panellist at Glasgow Comic-Con, where her collection of short comics ‘Magpie’ was awarded the runner up for the Graphic Novel of the Year in 2018.
Kathryn has since returned to her home town of Philadelphia, where she lives with her partner and her adorable cat. She currently works as a teaching artist for Fleisher Art Memorial, alongside participating in grassroots community organising, serving as coms director for her local chapter of Pennsylvania Stands Up, and working upon her personal endeavours such as the recently released ‘New Chapter Tarot’
The New Chapter Tarot
Faced with the realisation that her relationship was coming to an end, Kathryn’s entire life was at a crossroads. She was an immigrant on a marriage visa, with no professional contacts and not much in the way of community back home. Arting through her issues, Kathryn began painting Tarot cards as she processed her feelings and emotions: The Queen of Swords is the friend who offered their shoulder to cry on before giving the keenest advice, the Six of Disks is the adopted cat who aided Kathryn in feeling rooted and at home. Strength is the friend she hadn’t seen in almost twenty years, yet who had also returned to the strange place they were both from yet never truly felt that they belonged.
Published in March 2021, each of the cards within The New Chapter Tarot is a meditation in paint; the cards were born as feelings arose and were released through art. This complete deck is said to represent a new life, a circle of hope, friendship and love.
Packed and Presented Perfectly As Always By Liminal 11
If there’s one thing that I love about Liminal 11 (and believe me, there’s a lot to love!), it’s their perfect packaging that each and every one of their Tarot decks arrives within. Encased in not one but two beautifully decorated and designed boxes, Liminal 11 Tarot decks each come with an adorable, hardback, colour-printed, handbag-sized guidebook which slips easily inside the packaging alongside the cards, for simple storage.
I love how Liminal 11 continue to produce these magnificent magnetic-close magical boxes, which most usually open from the base of the box revealing a second open-top box, ideal for display purposes. The New Chapter Tarot is another example of Liminal 11’s success as it features beautiful gold, shimmery foiling, and awesome artwork both inside and outside of the beautiful boxes in which it arrives.
The New Chapter Tarot arrives with a sixty-nine page, colour-printed, hardback, handbag-sized guidebook that includes a contents page, a foreword written by Rachel Pollack, an Introduction, a single page upon each of the major arcana cards explaining both upright and reversed meanings alongside a colour-copy of the imagery from the card, a paragraph upon each of the minor arcana cards, a single page upon each of the two bonus/ exclusive cards, a guide upon reading the Tarot, and four spread examples.
Though I’ve come across a few of Liminal 11’s delightful, dinky, little guidebooks throughout the past year, they still never fail to charm me.
Printed in a luxurious matt cardstock, The New Chapter Tarot features simple, black card backs with an image of an owl and a swan touching wings, plain white edging and simple, geometric, bordered, watercolour-style images with plain, easy to read titling. Whilst Liminal 11 Tarot decks tend to be traditional Tarot card sized, The New Chapter Tarot is a slightly smaller deck than most.
Hand-painted with wonderful watercolours, The New Chapter Tarot is a delightfully diverse representation rich in mythology, sacred geometry, and traditional symbolism. Though this deck follows the titling of the traditional ‘Rider Waite Smith’ Tarot, the imagery and the symbolism featured within The New Chapter Tarot feels far removed from that of the RWS Tarot.
The Major Arcana
The Major Arcana is a prime example of how Kathryn has used her wonderful watercolours to illustrate her emotions in a diverse and rather different perspective from that of the traditional RWS. I’m not sure as to whether it’s due to the geometric patterns of the colours perhaps, but from the moment that I began shuffling this deck, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Thoth Tarot as it shares similar qualities in design.
Included with The New Chapter Tarot art two exclusive cards: Gratitude and Invocation. Whilst I have yet to draw these cards within a reading, I appreciate their inclusion as I feel that they add to more detailed, more interesting readings in the future.
The Minor Arcana
The New Chapter Tarot is traditional in terms of the four suits as it includes Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles, which Kathryn has titled as Disks.
Similar in style to the major arcana, the minor arcana of The New Chapter Tarot features a range of water-colour, geometric imagery which despite being beautiful in terms of design, may be difficult for beginners readers to understand and to use. I would therefore suggest that The New Chapter Tarot is most likely suited to experienced Tarot readers who already hold prior knowledge of the meanings and concepts behind each of the cards.
Flipping Through The New Chapter Tarot
Here’s a short video walkthrough guide further explaining and outlining The New Chapter Tarot.
Reading With The New Chapter Tarot
I have carried out a number of readings with The New Chapter Tarot over the past fortnight, all of which I have found to be quite enlightening. Due to the smaller size and the matt finish of this deck, I find The New Chapter Tarot is easier to shuffle, though I’ve got to be honest – the imagery isn’t really my style. Don’t get me wrong, this is a beautiful Tarot deck but something about the geometric shapes just feels a little bit too Thothy for my liking.
Purchasing & Pricing Information
The New Chapter Tarot is available to purchase directly from Liminal 11 for only £21.99. One thing I love about Liminal 11 is that they produce the most fantastic, indie-style Tarot decks at really reasonable prices. You simply cannot and will not find a Tarot deck of this quality for this price elsewhere.
Whilst The New Chapter Tarot isn’t really my style in terms of artwork or imagery and I found many of the cards to be too far removed from the traditional RWS, I can appreciate the story and the concept from which this deck was created. Though I would suggest that The New Chapter Tarot is more suited to advanced Tarot readers, I would recommend this deck to those who perhaps enjoy the likes of the Thoth Tarot, as it shares some similarities in style.
For further information upon The New Chapter Tarot or alternative Liminal 11 publications visit www.liminal11.com
Disclosure: I was sent the above product for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.