THE WAINWRIGHT NAKED HIPPIE TAROT by Jerry Wainwright
The Kingsboro Press, 2018, First edition, 140 pp., 8 1/2" X 11", Softcover
The basic structure of the tarot is 78 cards, each representing a different universal archetype, which come together to construct the complete range of human experiences. Although the traditions of Cartomancy dates back to the 1500s, they were experimented with in the 1970s by Jerry Wainwright, a San Francisco enigma whose personal mythology holds tales of inventing the world’s first dream machine, and recording the Johnny Cash live album in San Quentin Prison. In The Wainwright Naked Hippie Tarot, he began creating a tarot deck, calling on friends and neighbors to stand in for the figures in the cards. They are presented here in their “unedited totality”, photographed naked and armed with handmade props to create the tableaux. Sometimes Wainwright uses imagery evocative of the traditional and widely recognized Rider-Waite deck, but for the most part creates a spiritual lexicon based off his own conceptions of the cards.
“Consider what it means to make a tarot deck. What happens when we model for our friends in our apartment and turn them into archetypes? How can we make each other sacred again and see our movements, our trajectory, our paths as a destiny, not in the sense of predetermination, but in the sense of something that matters, with every word, with every step we take. The High Priestess.”