Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The TAROT MAXIMO deck is available for purchase on my Etsy page for $45, shipping included. Each deck is professionally printed on sturdy 3.5"x5.75" cardstock and comes wrapped in cloth within a mesh envelope.   

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


  The Tarot Maximo is a project I began in May of 2011 with the intent of building a personal visionary Tarot deck. Artwork for all 78 cards was digitally created using ARTRAGE 3.5 to combine photographs and hand-painted art, the entire deck taking just over 6 months to complete.
   There are many ways to interpret the Tarot.  I did my best to closely represent the traditional archetypal imagery of the popular Rider-Waite deck so that these tools will feel familiar to anyone who has worked before with the Tarot. To strength the visual association with the imagery, I've forgone all the titles of the cards, so you will want to familiarize yourself with each card before using the deck.
   I had great fun creating this tarot deck and bonding with each card's concepts, so I hope they prove just as useful to you and your workings.
  ~ Most sincerely,     Anthony Max


I am an artist, not a writer. I wouldn't begin to know how to write a manual on the either the history of the Tarot or it's usage. That is a journey of self-discovery that I will leave to you, but I have included a brief descriptions of each card from my private notes which should aid you in deciphering the symbolism.
We'll begin with the Major Arcana-- the 22 trump cards of the deck with a rich history behind each figure. In the Tarot Maximo, each Major Arcanum symbolizes a significant experience along our Fool's quest to discover the World he inhabits.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Fool

The Fool sets off on his journey through the Tarot. He represents the start of a new adventure, but like a child, he blunders into this new world blindly and without wisdom. If not for the warnings of his barking dog (his conscience), he could easily lose his footing and his adventure would be over before it begins.

The Magician

The Magician represents the skill of mastering possibilities. He takes the desires of the Fool and transforms them into avenues of destiny, reflections of what could be. The Magician embodies inventiveness and not just creativity, but the purpose of putting creativity into action, but be warned: The Magician has no true power. He merely shows you what already lies within. But now you know his trick.

The High Priestess

The High Priestess is the female embodiment of wisdom and a complement to the trickery of the Magician. She is a teacher of history and secret knowledge. She is the Fool's intuition and instinct. Her teachings temper the many possibilities that the Magician put forth, so one would be wise to counsel her before rushing into risky situations.

The Empress

The Empress is the force of creation. She is both the spark of something new and the energy that pushes you to nurture it. The Empress is fertile with the potential to create something new by assuring abundance and love. As a mother, she will protect her child from the pitfalls he is not old enough to see, for she loves him and won't see him fail.

The Emperor

Seated beside the Empress is the other creator, the Emperor. But where the Empress smothers her child with love, the Emperor gives the child distance to make his own mistakes and learn from them. His advice is stern and logical. His instincts on decisions often seem harsh, but are grounded in reality. His will is the highest authority, yet he offers you a taste of his power to push things into motion.

The Hierophant

Like the Magician and the High Priestess, the Hierophant is purveyor of arcane knowledge. But he guards his knowledge and doesn't give it freely. Instead he prefers to lend his wise utterances at moments of crisis. He may or may not support the path the Fool takes, but will at least offer harmony. The Hierophant wants to erase his fears and show him the joy of having a supportive community. His gift is faith.

The Lovers

The Lovers represent passion, temptation, trust and lust. They are each the other's mirror reflection- different but comfortable to be surrounded by. Their intense fire for one another sparks anguish when the needs of the physical body clash with the desires of the soul. Is it perfect harmony or mere infatuation? Danger or destiny? The power may be too strong for the Fool to make a clear decision.

The Chariot

Just as the Fool grows weary on his treacherous path, he encounters the Chariot. Here he has the means to reach his destination and avoid some of the dangers he attracted on foot. The Chariot represents the drive and focus to push forward. With determination this chariot will hold up well to travel. Just be certain to point it in the right direction...


Strength is the tamer of the beast. She represents the calm and gentleness required to constrain the wild passions of the lion within our hearts. She teaches the Fool not to be ruled by his impatient instincts, but by a love for his own well-being. She settles the wild energy within so that it may be focused into something useful for challenges ahead.

The Hermit

The Fool on his journey has been illuminated by a savage reality. The tide and turn of his adventures is too much excitement for him, so he shelters and turns within for clarity and balance. In this innerspace, he shuts himself off from outside influence and shines his light onto his own dark mysteries to glimpse his true self. This is when the Fool must walk alone and become The Hermit.

Wheel of Fortune

The Hermit arises from his meditation with renewed purpose. Having discovered that he is the greatest master of his fate, he is ready to cast his lot upon the Wheel of Fortune. With the universe at the center spinning out a myriad of possibilities, the Fool chooses his path of evolution. Whether it leads to prosperity or retribution, he must embrace the change to achieve his goals.


Justice teaches us fairness. She is a mature influence on our Fool by showing him the importance of balance. From her, he learns how to satisfy his needs in both the material and spirit worlds. She is just and open to different perspectives. Justice tempers selfishness with selflessness. Instead of taking sides, she seeks a compromise that can soothe all parties equally.

The Hanged Man

At learning the lessons of Justice, the Fool learns compassion and sympathy for his fellow travelers. He begins to realize that his souls is not entirely unique, but a single unit of an intricate web of human cultures, and beyond that a great interconnected chain of life. He hangs himself from this tree of life for nine days, studying the world from a new perspective. He surrenders all his fear of death and resigns his fate to the physics of nature that birthed him. He finally feels a sense of inner peace as if he finally knows his place in the universe.


Everything born must die. The Fool reaches the end of his life and usefulness. Alone and separated from the web of life, his lost soul purifies itself through grief until it transmutes into a higher state, filtered and evolved from his losses. Death signifies the end of one journey and the promise of the next.


The Traveler's journey through the Tarot has taught him the role of balance in the quest for harmony. He has been mother and father, communed with religion and peeked behind the veil, has died and been reborn. Our Traveler begins his new life by finely balancing the opposing forces of his nature, so as to not let one side rule his intellect. He knows moderation and uses it. He has learned Temperance.

The Devil

The Traveler has forged a new life, but is he being honest with himself for the sake of an ideal? Is he denying his instinctive wants? Part of his lesson in Temperance was learning to responsibly control his wild desires and temper them with logic, but can he truly know those desires without indulgence and abandon? The Devil invites the Traveler to be honest about his vices and tempts him to test the limits of his own carnality.

The Tower

The Traveler encounters the familiar Tower. It is familiar because it is built from the frozen moments of his old life. It appears stable enough from the outside, but as the nostalgic Traveler thinks of climbing to the top, lightning strikes from the heavens and crumbles the tower to rubble. Shocked by the destructive power of nature, it is only now that our Traveler understands how fragile this tower of self was constructed and just how weak life can be without the strength of knowledge and experience.

The Star

Humbled by the destruction of his Tower, the Traveler wanders through the darkness. At first he is blinded by darkness, but clouds dissolve to let the Star light his way. The Star twinkles faintly in the distance. The Star illuminates many pathways to travel upon, but still he follows the direction of the Star. He knows not where it leads, only that it is brighter than the land he left.

The Moon

In the night sky, The Moon rises to taunt our Traveler. Staring into the darkness, his head fills with visions, confusion,self-doubt. Is this the right direction? Is the Traveler lost alone in a dangerous place? His panic roots him to the spot, and he is tempted to abandon his journey. In this state of fear, how can he trust himself to make the right decision? He can only rest here for the night and wait for The Moon to pass.

The Sun

The night passes, and The Sun wakes our Traveler. In the radiance of the sun, he can see that the world is much less frightening than he thought. It is alive and abundant and ready to nourish him. He finds himself inspired and hopeful, prepared to make bold decisions. It's as if he can see everything in a rational, useful light. His fears retreat into the shadows under the rays of The Sun.


Judgement is a wake-up call to the unbridled optimism the Sun provides. The Sun will inevitably fade and darkness will return. The Traveler must prepare for the darkness by laying his past and old guilts to rest. He must respect the violent battle between darkness and light and hold no grudge, for the Judgement is his last lesson in this world. He will emerge with his wounds healed and his soul transformed.

The World

The Traveler's soul leaves the behind The World. As he floats high above the earth that birthed him. He sees the face of creation in all its intricacy. His soul soars above the unaware lives below, perfected through reason and travel, as he understands his complete purpose in The World.

Ace of Wands

The Suits are the tools by which the Magician divines the hidden potential in his travelers. We'll begin with the Ace of Wands. The Wand suit regards human passions and needs. The Ace represents a new discovery. A divine spark that leads to a potentially life-changing experience.

Two of Wands

Two of Wands signifies a fork in the road. The traveler must choose a path and direct his passions accordingly. Both routes may seem inviting, but your instinct makes an excellent compass.

Three of Wands

Three of Wands is a good omen. The traveler can spot her destination on the horizon. Her journey is not yet over, but she feels renewed energy at seeing her goal in sight.

Four of Wands

Four of Wands tells of a celebration. A commitment will be honored, A foundation cemented. Congratulations are in order.

Five of Wands

Five of Wands signifies competition. Passions will clash, but the traveler must either find a way to make their voice heard or else unify his enemies under one cause. This card warns of danger and conflict, but also allows for resolution.

Six of Wands

Six of Wands is joyously triumphant. The traveler has shaped his passions into success, and society adores him for it. He parades joyously like a hero, but it is important not to forget that fame is fickle and memories fade. Enjoy success, but never become complacent.

Seven of Wands

In the 7 of Wands, the traveler is outnumbered by hostile forces. The passions of others are being forced at him violently. Surrounded at all turns, there is no place he can flee. It is time to for him to make a stand.

Eight of Wands

Our traveler feels overcome by his many burdens. As the stress builds, he finds himself moving too fast. If only he could relax a bit, he could handle his responsibility efficiently and passionately. The 8 of Wands card warns the traveler not to drown in burdens, but to prioritize them . Deal with the toughest problems and push on. The traveler may even receive a message that help is on the way.

Nine of Wands

9 of wands is a warning not to give up! The traveler is at his wit's end, and his troubles are many, but he is so close to his goal. It would be irresponsible to give up now. If he weathers the heartache, he will be the better for it.

Ten of Wands

The traveler is in trouble. By taking on too many tasks at once, he has endangered all of his hard work. He lets the passionate fires of one responsibility burn other aspects of his life. Pay close attention. The Ten of Wands card cautions the traveler to remember what led to this mistake, and it will save him from future regret.

Page of Wands

On the road of passion, the traveler encounters the Page of Wands, an ambassador for creative thought. The Page seems jovial and giving. He offers to introduce the traveler to a new and exciting adventure, a creative pursuit... Will the traveler accept?

Knight of Wands

The traveler wanders into an arid desert. Just as he begins to question his surroundings, the Knight of Wands appears before him. He has the tools to save the traveler from the harsh environment, and better yet, he can get him across the desert at great speed. The traveler holds on to the knight as they both whisk to safety at the speed of the wind. The Knight of Wands shares with our traveler the power to be bold and to implement a solution with speed, force, and certainty.

Queen of Wands

The traveler meets the Queen of Wands. Never has he met such an hospitable and loving spirit. She gives off a joyful charisma and a sense of oneness with her environment. The Queen of Wands teaches our traveler the beauty of generosity and togetherness. Her qualities reminds him of the home that he misses.

King of Wands

The King of Wands greets the traveler with a friendly but firm handshake. He speaks in a passionately regal tone of voice, but he provides heartily for the common man. The traveler is mesmerized by his powerful and charismatic speeches, and the King's subjects adore him. But only by leading the charge and proving his lion-heart will the traveler earn the respect of the King of Wands.

Ace of Pentacles

Now we come to the Suit of Pentacles, representing the attachment to material goods... and most often, money.
The journey begins with the Ace of Pentacles, when our traveler uncovers a treasure. It signifies a substantial amount of wealth or abundance of material goods. It is a lucky card, though beware: material luck can spur jealousy in the hearts of friends.

Two of Pentacles

The traveler encounters a jester who is juggling his coins. It looks like fun, but is still an unwise way to treat something so valuable. The Two of Pentacles reminds the traveler that juggling finances is tricky, so be prepared to quickly pick up what is dropped. Nobody can juggle forever.

Three of Pentacles

The 3 of Pentacles foresees the foundation of something profitable. The traveler's hard work has been recognized and he will see himself be paid accordingly. But he would do well to remember that the profit he makes will have to be shared with his benefactors.

Four of Pentacles

The 4 of Pentacles warns our traveler to hold tight to his material wealth. Success is risky, so he should be cautious of investing in new projects. The 4 of Pentacles is a lesson of thrift and patience.

Five of Pentacles

The 5 of Pentacles represents a financial hardship. The traveler is bleeding his material wealth, yet he struggles to hang on to his sense of pride. The traveler is forced to evaluate his spending habits and choose his physical needs over luxury and comfort.

Six of Pentacles

From the 6 of Pentacles, the traveler learns the value of spending his money justly. Having experienced financial hardship, he is understanding of his responsibilities to share his wealth with his community. The 6 of Pentacles reminds that sharing the wealth with friends now will ensure their help during hard times. It is also a reminder that one should not be too proud to accept a helping hand.

Seven of Pentacles

The traveler meets the 7 of Pentacles, a maid exhausted by her chore-work. There is so much left to be done, but she must press on if she would like to be paid. The Seven of Pentacles is a reminder that everyone must toil to get by. Those who give up will have nothing to show for their wasted time.

Eight of Pentacles

The 8 of Pentacles teaches our traveler the value of being skilled in a trade. By learning marketable skills and experience, he will ensure his financial livelihood forever. It may take a while to learn this new skill, but it will result in stability and financial gain. Nobody will come to the traveler's rescue at this time. He must learn his own value in the world.

Nine of Pentacles

The traveler meets the woman behind the Nine of Pentacles. She has retreated to her private garden, surrounded by things which make her happy. She is not rich by any means, but she is in no financial difficulty. She is a self-made woman who takes pride in her accomplishments and her ability to take care of herself without help.

Ten of Pentacles

The Ten of Pentacles is an omen of good fortune. The fruits of the traveler's labor have paid off, and his life finally feels balanced. There is even enough to share with those he cares about most. He is free of financial burden for now, but this spell of complacency is a great time to plan for future stability.

Page of Pentacles

The traveler meets the Page of Pentacles, a young man on his way to a masquerade party. The traveler laughs to himself because he immediately takes this Page to be a young man excited to spend his wealth in front of his friends. The Page of Pentacles signifies immaturity in finance. It represents wasteful spending, but also the thrill of knowing what is wasteful and not caring.

Knight of Pentacles

The Knight of Pentacles represents the strong loyalty to one's business. He is the intuition of how to solve a problem, and the willpower to achieve it. He invests wisely but cautiously. He is here to remind the traveler to take pride in his work and that accomplishing tasks efficiently will bring financial reward.

Queen of Pentacles

The Queen of Pentacles takes great pride in her wealth. She greets the traveler with charm, style, and grace, and she offers to take him in. The traveler can see that she does not spoil her subjects with frivolous toys and entertainment. Instead she invests it practically in ways which will benefit those who rely on her. Her pride in her wealth stems from her ability to financially nurture her family.

King of Pentacles

The King of Pentacles has mastered his desire for material wealth. His work has paid off in luxury. His own projects have grown so large that now he finds himself investing his wealth in those around him. The King of Pentacles signifies a benefactor, financial comfort, and abundant resources. He is the master of material achievement and intelligent spending.