My name is Melissa Wotherspoon and I am the creator of the Low Rider Dachshund Tarot, The Aurum Lenormand (along with my son Lochlan), The Lonely Dreamer Tarot (based on the artwork of Odilon Redon, 1st and 2nd editions), and the Rustic Roots Lenormand.
When did all this started?
This all began as I was trying to process the passing of one of my beloved dogs, Stella. I decided that honouring her breed through painting these dogs using RWS symbolism was exactly the thing I needed to do. She had a big, eternal spirit, and now I feel like a part of her lives on and continues to heal others through this deck.
I got into Tarot as a teenager with my best friend. We used to sit on the phone for hours and just talk and shuffle and wait for jumpers. It was kind of like cheap therapy for us.
The process of creation
The process of creation was different for each deck. The Low Rider deck was all based on original oil paintings I created during evenings after work, when thoughts are allowed to creep in. It was a way of processing grief for me. The Aurum deck was a joint project with my son that took place over the summer. He is a gifted teenaged artist and it was a treat to be able to do something like this with him. Rustic Roots was an early pandemic project to help keep me grounded (I don't think it's a coincidence that the deck has a very grounded, woodsy, earthy feel...I needed that at the time). The Lonely Dreamer decks almost created themselves as I was working with such incredible pieces by the gifted French symbolist artist Odilon Redon. The challenge here was to explore his huge body of work and to pull elements together which both honoured the RWS symbology as well as his original works. Many of these cards are composites of his artworks.
My advice for other deck creators
As far as advice for other deck creators, I would say that there is room for all of us so just do it! The community of creators I have come to be connected with has been fantastic and supportive. I would consider many of these people my friends now. It's been wonderful.
Me as a reader
As a reader, I don't like getting locked into spreads. I like to sit quietly and shuffle and think about what I'm being asked. At some point, a spread usually reveals itself to me, based on the individual's needs. I tend to be a predictive reader as well, as I often will get clairvoyant hits if I don't lock myself into predetermined spreads. There are as many reading styles as there are people, and there is no right or wrong, as long as you are following your intuition.
My new project
I am very excited to say that I am working on an oracle project right now with a gifted artist and researcher named Tora Matthews, based out of the U.K. She and I are collaborating on a Redon deck which puts emphasis on his "noirs". It promises to be a deep-dive deck that is a great Jungian balance of light and shadow.
A little more about me
Season: Fall (Canadian fall is BEAUTIFUL!)
Movie: Jojo Rabbit
The book we need to read: Brené Brown's "Daring Greatly"
Song: Build me up, Buttercup
Card for the day: Two of Swords
If I were a Tarot card: The Hermit
Magic is....what starts to happen when you trust that the universe has got you
A dream for the earth: to teach us all how to listen