Procedurally generated Tarot cards

Originally published at:


“And this card, the “Boatload of Gerkins”, reversed, indicates that your will soon find yourself in a pretty pickle.”


This deck will likely produce more accurate “readings” than the traditional ones.

ETA: Yup


The Dreamer, the Three of Anchors and The Lotus…

Stay away from the ganja today, mate.


Next up: procedurally generated Tiffany lamps.


These are just beautiful, but the traditional cards are filled with little symbols and story and the procedural cards have none of that. Also, how many suits does this deck have? I’ve seen six so far…


While the procedurally-generated cards may lack the specific symbolism of Smith-Waite (itself of course based on Marseille), I imagine they still might be useful, especially because of the nature of their creation.


Not to be ‘thatguy’ but the point of tarot , so far as i know it, is that it’s only divinitory in the sense that it is about understanding one’s own psyche and circumstances. It’s an elaborate and sometimes beautiful system of codes and symbols whose ultimate meaning is derived from the reader’s own (sub) concious. Sort of a fancy rosarch test, it’s usefullness is in stepping outside of one’s narrative and looking at it another way,


Which decks are your links from?


The name is Rorschach. Dr. Rorschach.


Interestingly, after a lot of clicking, it seems to be structured such that each new “draw” with click/enter produces a spread from a single “deck,” which is cached and used until either the page is refreshed or the color scheme is changed. Each deck appears to use four suits selected randomly from a pool, as well as an indeterminate number of standalone cards selected from another pool. So if you keep clicking, you will see the same cards with the same art repeatedly, until refresh or color scheme change.

For example, I drew the “Queen of Masks” card with the same art several times. By cycling back and forth between color schemes, I went through 10-20 “decks” to get one with the Masks suit again, and then clicked until I drew “Queen of Masks”–with different art. The new art was repeated on subsequent clicks in that deck. This makes sense in that one of the ideas put forth in the linked twitter threads was for a physical print-on-demand deck that had art procedurally generated for each order.

I also like how the art is generated/paired in such a way that numbered cards have the appropriate number of “nodes.” Don’t know the programming terminology so much, but there’s clearly an effort made to ensure that a three or a seven has three or seven clusters that our pattern-recognizing brains recognize, and the standalone cards don’t. This is introducing visual Rorschach-blotting to the psychological Rorschach-blotting of tarot, but it’s designed in a way to be conducive to that system rather than scientifically neutral.


Five Of Tomes, Shore, Trickery

No reading at the beach for me for a while.


“The Ten of Lotuses” looks like Goku from Dragon Ball Z, “The Six of Bells” looks like a light house reached by a bridge over a wild sea, while “the Tablet” looks like a Hannes Bok illustraion for an HP Lovecraft story.


Zombie tarot and Grand Etteilla (thanks to google image). I like the mid-century style from the Zombie deck.


I believe the amazing devil card is from the Zombie Tarot

The other two are from tan antique “Grand Etteila Egyptian” deck that I would love to get my hands on.

Thought about including cards from the Muroida Rat Deck, but it’s not a full set yet, amazing though it be.


Roger that.

That is a pretty awesome reading right there!

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There’s something oddly Charles Rennie Mackintosh about these:


I think getting “Four of Eggs”, “The Lover”; and “Four of Anchors” is a message about the importance of family planning…


I was having some fun at the expense of the cold-reading charlatans who use tarot decks, but I can see them being used in the way you describe. Looked at that way, those card decks meant to provoke creative thinking and new ideas (AKA task cards or prompt cards) are direct descendants of tarot. My dad got this one as a gift years ago: