INTERVIEW WITH VIVIANA DRUGA, MAKER OF THE 22 + 1 MAJOR ARCANA DECK.
I sat down with Viviana on the last day of my travels in Berlin, right before heading to the airport. She made me tea with the most delicious honey and we cozied up on her couch to begin the reading. Her deck, modeled after the Tarot de Marseilles, is beautiful and bright. I loved the insight I received from her reading. Interview below:
How did the Tarot find you? At what point in time did you start reading for others?
Tarot did find me. I did receive another deck before on my birthday maybe in 2011. A Crowley deck. I kept it in my house for a few weeks and then without thinking about gave it as a gift to a friend - who then lost it in a secret garden party and fell asleep with cards covering the whole garden. When she woke up all cards where in the pack. This was the story of the first pack who did not stay with me. Tarot de Marseille did. I was familiar with A. Jodorowsky and his consciousness expanding cult movies but I had no idea he is a big tarologist as well. I remember Michael Northam ( a sound artists from North West of the U.S.) showed me a book in OTannenbaum bar one night: Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy. I was psyched - I felt a call. I ordered it same night online, read it and there I was obsessed by what he was calling: a way to understand a human soul: the tarot. The I ordered The Way of the Tarot and my boyfriend gave me the Marseille Deck as a gift pretty much same time so all the tools at this point were on the table. During this time of theoretical study, costume designer Tata Christiane contacted me saying: I want to do something with you. The idea came stoke me: You can work with me on creating this Tarot deck: i will chose the people interpreting the Major Arcana according to my own intuitive vision and we will create the set and costumes together. Said and done but....took 2 years. Amazing time. Really grateful. At the the 22+1 Tarot de Berlin exhibition in 2014 during which time I had on-going readings sessions with the big installation cards - I realized I was ready to do it on a regular basis. Trial and Error worked. I use only the Major Arcana in my readings. I feel its Jodorowskyan style.
What was your spiritual process of making the deck? What guided you? Angels, ancestors, dreams?
I would say dreams and my own personal upbringing in the Transylvanian nature landscape and its inherent mythology. I would be searching for my characters while being in a club and see someone that would fit my Hanged Man idea so would just approach him right away and his answer would be: wow I feel like that, yes let´s do it! Thats how the process would be.
What does The Empress card mean to you? Is there a particular card that you see yourself as?
The Empress is a young girl waiting for compliments at the beginning of her becoming a woman. She is ready to give birth (legs open) to a new project. Yes, I guess I can be her, though I connect more to High Priestess out of any singular woman character sitting on a chair. There is a mystery about The High Priestess that I connect to. She keeps a secret, she is absorbed in her studies but does not reveal much yet. You can only imagine her inner journey.
As a performance artist I do show quite a lot of my inner world but the rest of time when am not performing am more into the Priestess role.
The deck is called 22 + 1 ~ what is the meaning of that?
There are 22 images in the deck. 1 stands for the person for whom the reading is being done. In total 23 - magic number. My birthdate 23rd. Discordianism... I can go on forever... :)
Anything else you would like to share about the creation of this beautiful deck?
It's a psychomagic object. It started as a psychomagic act to place real people interpreting 2D characters. The real people would become the cards and in the transfer there is a spirit travel involved - a connection to other realms. I do believe we can transform our realities. We are our own healers.
Clothing and rings styled by Janina Angel Bath from the Empress Vintage vaults. Rings available in store and can also be requested for purchase online.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT VIVIANA HERE