Friday, May 15, 2015

DIY Oracle: Tarot for Lost Souls

In this DIY Oracle, you'll learn how I used an app on my iPad to create Tarot for Lost Souls, a 22-card tarot Major Arcana deck.

One of my favorite apps is Uface (Unique Face Maker). It allows you to make cartoon-like avatars with many different expressions. After playing with Uface for several months, I wondered if I could create a personal deck of tarot Majors using the faces I was creating. Some of the cards seemed easy because they already represented "people" like the Empress, Magician, and Hermit. But what about the Wheel of Fortune or the Chariot?

I have a tumultuous history with tarot majors. Many, many years ago, I had so much trouble interpreting their archetypal energies within the context of everyday readings that I finally removed them from my tarot decks. This led to my decision to read playing cards almost exclusively. Creating this deck has helped me to see these archetypes through my own eyes, not through a book interpretation. In my hero's journey, The Magician is a con artist, the World is a beauty queen, the Star is a sensitive massage therapist, and Strength is a tired old woman.

I can clearly witness my personal and cultural filters in this deck too. For instance, I realized that I made the Justice and Tower cards with similar symbols.

As an African-American, the symbolism of the afro hairstyle, the sucker punch, and the Black Power fist in the Justice (equality, fairness, (in)justice) and Tower (destruction, chaos, brutality) cards is not lost on me. But what's surprising is that I wasn't conscious of putting such similar symbols in both cards until I saw them together in a spread. This goes to show you that creating a deck like this is a highly intuitive process. It's also a personal reflection of you, your biases, and all of your filters of experience. I think that's why the name, Tarot for Lost Souls, struck a chord with me. Putting these archetypes together into one deck helped me see all of the lost parts of myself.

Some of my lost (and found) selves

The cards are black and white. The images were created using the ios version of Uface app, which is also available for Android. I then used another app, Tiled, to add a black frame for the bottom. After uploading to, this area was used to include the card name.

Step 1: Create the face in Uface app

The Uface app is easy to use. Once you open the app, you decide whether you wish to create a face using the app's presets or start with a photograph. If you wish to work with the presets, you select the male or female icon.

If you wish to use a photograph, tap on the camera + face icon under Gallery. Creating faces from photographs of yourself or your friends will really personalize your deck. Here are some faces I created based on photos of myself and a few co-workers:

What I LOVE about this app is the choices! So many choices! You can change the face shape, hair, eyes, eyebrows, nose, and mouth. Plus, you can add accessories like hats and glasses, and jewelry (female) or mustaches (male). Color can also be added to every feature. In the screenshot below, I've colored the hair light brown.

There are also backgrounds (hearts, musical notes, storm clouds, etc.) which help tell your character's story, and hands can be added to show action.

When you're happy with how your avatar/archetype looks, save to the Gallery. When ready, you can download it to your Camera Roll.

The app will save with the Uface logo at the bottom right of the image but I always do a square crop to crop this out.

If you don't want to make physical cards, you can stop after this step and add all of your images directly to your camera roll in their own folder. Then, when you have a question, close your eyes and tap on a random image. Whatever you select is your answer. I call this lazy divination but it works almost as well as shuffling cards. 

Step 2: Add title frame to the bottom in Tiled app

Next, I pulled the image into an app called Tiled. It's a collage maker app. What's great about it is you can customize your own collage. I use a customized collage for making most of my decks. It's the one that's highlighted in the screenshot below.

Once the square Uface image is pulled into the top of the collage, you can add color to the bottom part of the collage (see screenshot below). Save it to your Camera Roll. Now it's ready for uploading at

Step 3: Finish in

I'm not going to give an entire tutorial. You'll have to go in there and play around. But here's a screenshot showing you how to add text to the bottom of the card. In the screenshot below, I've added the word FOOL in white letters using the Markerman font.


Since this is a Majors-only deck, I use it the same way I would any other tarot deck. I know many people think of a Majors-only deck for spiritual readings, but I don't use this deck in that way. The images are so informal, the deck lends itself to everyday readings. I have been amazed by the breadth and depth of my readings with these cards. They are very easy to interpret in all kinds of spreads.


Dee has met a new guy who seems loving and attentive but she feels uncertain about him. She wonders, "Why do I feel like I can't trust him with my heart?"

The Why? Why? Why? Spread

Card 1 = What you think is happening. This card shows your perception of what's going on.

Card 2 = Unconscious desires. What do you really want in this situation? There are often unconscious desires blocking you from attaining what you really want and from seeing things clearly.

Card 3 = What's actually happening. This card reveals the truth of what's going on, often in contrast to what you think is happening.

Card 4 = Your contribution. What is your role in this? This card reveals an action or mindset that is contributing to the problem and keeping you in a cycle of confusion.

Card 5 = Expectations. This shows the expectations (positive or negative) that you hold related to this issue. There is usually a strong connection between this card and the unconscious desires.

Card 6 = What is needed for greater clarity. Contrast this card with your contribution. It shows a skill needed to see the situation more clearly.

Card 7 = Overall guidance.  This card shows the best way to proceed.

Before going into each card individually, I look at the spread as a whole and see if there are any visual comparisons/contrasts to be made. What similarities can be seen in the Unconscious Desires (Tower) and Expectations (Justice) cards? What differences are seen in Cards 1 and 3 (Magician and Fool) or Cards 4 and 6 (Devil and Temperance)?

What you think is happening

In this deck, the Magician is a trickster or con man. You may think this guy is too good to be true or that he's pulling a fast one on you. Do you believe this guy is conning you? Do you think he's untrustworthy?

Unconscious desires

The Tower shows a sucker punch from left field. Is there some part of you that doesn't want this relationship to work? Sometimes, we get so accustomed to dealing with crap that it becomes comfortable and we don't know how to live without it in our lives. This card shows an unconscious desire for difficulty.

What's actually happening

The Magician represented a con artist but the Fool shows this guy is really sincere and perhaps a little naive at heart. He's hopeful and full of big dreams although he may not be realistic about how to achieve them. 

Your contribution

The Devil shows you may be acting out or acting impulsively,  doing things to get attention or push him away. Your uncertainty about this relationship may be causing you to be rebellious and immature in this relationship.


This card shows you're expecting trouble. Justice snarls and raises her power fist...she's ready to fight for her rights. But in this context, it's all wrong. Justice in this position suggests you're expecting that you will need to defend yourself in this relationship. Compare this card to Tower (Unconscious Desires). There's a lot of similarity between these two cards visually. In the Tower, the guy is getting punched. In this card, the fist is already up to defend against such infractions. Questions to consider: Why are you on guard? Why do you expect to get sucker-punched in this relationship?

What's needed for greater clarity

Temperance shows that moderation is needed for greater clarity. Contrast this card with Devil (Your Contribution). While Devil is radical and extreme, Temperance takes the opposite approach by being calm and dispassionate. She wants to see all sides of the issue and remain as neutral as possible so she can make a wise assessment based on the facts as they are actually presented. She stays focused on the present, not the past or the future.

Overall Guidance

The Sun is giving you a thumbs up which means everything is fine and it's time to go for it.


  1. I love this! It's so creative and fun. You always inspire me to start up new projects...!

    1. So happy to inspire you Joy! Thanks for visiting.

  2. Hi do you happen to have a file for all the cards, not just the Majors? And are you willing to share those as well? Thanks in advance. The idea behind these cards is amazing.

    1. Hi Cutie! Thanks for visiting. Glad you like this deck. I'm assuming you mean the file of Majors cards I have in the Goodies Folder for those on my newsletter list? Yep, I have the rest and I will probably get them together in a file by the next newsletter in September. So stay tuned!

    2. Is it possible to still get a copy of these love them!

    3. Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks for visiting!! For copyright reasons, I don't sell this deck but you can find the images I've scanned in the FREEBIES section of my blog to use as you like. I now have a video on how I made the deck. Check out the VIDEOS section on my blog.