Bird People Tarot Cards

Major Arcana Cards: Complete / Minor Arcana Cards In progress

I’ve loved tarot cards and the illustrated symbolism, and dreamed of creating my own version one day.

The intricate symbolism, skill required & the scope (78 Cards!) has always daunted me a little. However the 2020 lockdown seemed like a perfect time to start.

I had very naively thought there were only 12 Major Arcana cards (There are in fact, 22!) But I like to think this was my subconscious tricking me into just starting the project instead of putting it off year after year.

These cards feature my bird people, which also helps soften or remove some of the overt gender binary and religious symbolism from the Pamela ‘Pixie’ Rider Waite tarot, which is largely considered the ‘classic’ tarot card deck.

If you would like to support my work and help me fund the print production of a tarot deck. please visit my shop. Open edition prints of some of the Major Arcana cards are available.

The Fool / Le Mat

Air

Upright: Beginnings, Following your heart, Curiosity, Potential, Innocence, Leap of faith, Originality

Reversed: Folly, Lack of direction, Poor judgement, Reckless, Disregard of consequences, Naivety


The Magician/ Le Bateleur

Air

Upright: skill, diplomacy, creative energy, self-confidence, will, talent, capabilities, ideas, potential, vision, inspiration

Reversed: disquiet, disgrace, inaction, uncertainty, lack of clarity, unfocused, manipulation, trickery


The High Priestess / La Papesse

Water

Upright: secrets, mystery, the future, silence, tenacity, inner wisdom, science, subconscious mind, awareness, inner illumination, intuition

Reversed: passion, conceit, surface knowledge, shallowness, unaware, inner disquiet, lack of calm


The Empress / L’Impératrice

Earth

Upright: abundance, comfort, Creation, Fruitfulness, action, initiative, nurture, sexuality, stability, protective, maternal

Reversed: drained, creative block, instability, unwanted creation, vacillation, stagnation, overprotective, co-dependent, controlling


The Emperor / L’Empereur

Fire

Upright: Maturity, Stability, Authority, Control, Leadership, Power, In Charge, Recognition, System, Rules, Order, Strategic, Guideance

Reversed: Domineering, Rigid, Poor leadership, inability to stand up for yourself, controlling, immature, loss of authority, powerless, lack of discipline


The Hierophant / Le Pape

Earth

Upright: mentor or guide, spiritual teaching, religious beliefs, convention, conformity, tradition, alliance, servitude, following the set path, group identity, following a group, society, adhering to set rules,

Reversed: Personal beliefs, freedom, challenging status quo, following your own path, internal beliefs, internal guide, no need for external or societal approval, conflict with authority, rebellion,


The Lovers / Lamoureux

Air

Upright: Harmony, Balance, Relationship, Friendship, Partnership, Love, Attraction, Trial overcome, making a choice, Sacrifice

Reversed: Imbalance, One sidedness, Poor communication, Detached or cold, failure in any relationship, divorce, seperation, broken deals, foolish design, impulsive choices, too many choices


The Chariot / Le Chariot

Water

Upright: Control, willpower, success, action, determination, moving towards a goal, discipline, decision making, commitment, dedication, travel, war, triumph,

Reversed: Change directions, slow down your course of action, Obstacles, Self-Disciplined, opposition, lack of direction, lack of motivation, over controlling, dispute, defeat


Strength / La Force

Fire

Upright: Power, compassion, inner strength, Endurance, energy, action, courage, magnanimity,

Reversed: Despotism, self doubt, lack of confidence, abuse of power, weakness, discord, disgrace, insecurity


The Hermit / L’hermite

Earth

Upright: Inner wisdom, self-isolation, self-reflection, Contemplation, Inner Guidance, search for truth,

Reversed: Loneliness, too much isolation, lost way, not enough self-reflection, lack of awareness


The Wheel of Fortune / La Roue De Fortune

Fire

Upright: Good luck, cycle of change, A turning point, things outside ones control, fate, fortune, unexpected events or changes, adapting to change

Reversed: Bad luck, resistance to change, clinging to control, breaking cycles, unexpected / unwelcome change,


The Hanged Man / Le Pendu

Water

Upright: Wisdom, suspension of action, waiting, contemplation, circumspection, patience, discernment, trials, self-sacrifice, intuition, divination, prophecy, different perspective,

Reversed: Selfishness, stalling, at a standstill, procrastination, indecision, apathy, stagnation, avoiding / fear of sacrifice, needless sacrifice


Justice / La Justice

Air

Upright: Equity, rightness, balancing a choice, a balanced decision, truth, accountability, honesty, integrity,

Reversed: Legal complications, bigotry, bias, excessive severity, retribution, injustice, corruption, dishonesty, unfairness, avoiding accountability


Death / La Mort

Water

Upright: Change, An ending, Destruction, Letting go, Transition, Release, Adapting, Transformation

Reversed: Inability to let go, Resistance to change, Stagnation, Repeating negative patterns, Decay, Inability to adapt


Temperance / Le temperance

Fire

Upright: Moderation, balance, patience, calmness, middle path, management, frugality/economy,

Reversed: Extremes, excess, imbalance, impatience, competing interests, failure to balance long term needs with short term happiness


The Devil / Le Diable

Earth

Upright: Excess, playfulness, materialism, enslavement, fear, feeling trapped, temptation, unhealthy relationships

Reversed: Breaking from addictions, divorce, freedom from restraints, restoring control, release


The Tower / La Maison Dieu

Fire

Upright: Danger, crisis, sudden change, unforeseen catastrophe, calamity, disgrace, deception, ruin, upheaval, chaos, revelation, awakening

Reversed: Personal transformation, fear of change, averting disaster, Negligence, absence, distribution, carelessness, apathy, nullity, vanity


The Star / L’etoile

Air

Upright: Hope, Faith, rejuvenation, purpose,

Reversed: Insecurity, discouraged, Lack of faith, despair, disconnection


The Moon / La Lune

Water

Upright: Illusion, Intuition, Hidden truth, Uncertainty, Confusion, Secrets, Unconscious

Reversed: Fear, Deception, Anxiety, Misunderstanding, Misinterpretation, Clarity, Understanding


The Sun / Le Soleil

Fire

Upright: Contentment, Enlightenment, joy, success, vitality, self-confidence, truth, enthusiasm, energy

Reversed: Unrealistic expectations, lack of clarity, low vitality, blocked happiness, excessive enthusiasm, pessimism, unable to appreciate


Judgement / Le Judgement

Water

Upright: Self-evaluation, Awakening, Rebirth, Absolution, A cross-roads, renewal, purpose, self-reflection

Reversed: Self-Doubt, inner critic, ignoring intuition, lack of self awareness, failure to learn,


The World / Le Monde

Earth

Upright: Completion, accomplishment, wholeness, Full circle, Harmony,

Reversed: Taking Shortcuts, lack of achievement, Feeling incomplete or unbalanced, Delays, seeking closure, Lose focus, inertia, stagnation, Emptiness


Minor Arcana TBC

For updates on the Bird People Tarot deck & to see work in progress images
follow me on instagram @janineshroff


Support my work and help fund this project!

Published by Janine Shroff

Designer & Illustrator based in London. I specialise in UI/UX, branding, hand-drawn illustration & painting.