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A complete Tarot deck evoking the 72 Demons of the Goetia and 6 Grand Princes of Hell by Travis McHenry

A complete Tarot deck evoking the 72 Demons of the Goetia and 6 Grand Princes of Hell by Travis McHenry

The Demon-Possessed Tarot is a deck that captures the essence of every demon of the Goetia and traps them in the cards.  The cards are meant to look like they’re authentic copies from a deck created in the 1600s by a conjurer and then hidden away in the wall of a castle for four hundred years.

The cards are aged with wrinkles, rips, and discoloration.  Some cards have holes where fire or ash has burned through.  One card is even spattered with blood, suggesting the conjurer failed to protect themselves against a violent demonic entity.  These are all graphic enhancements, of course, the cards themselves are pristine!

This deck feels ancient and mystical–imbued with real magic–making each card truly unique with a life all its own.

The Pictures

In many cases, the artwork representing the demons was easy to find and came from an established artistic and folkloric tradition.  However, pictorial representations of some demons have either never been created or do not match the description of the demon found in the Ars Goetia. To remedy this, I combed through thousands of public domain images from old books to find quality pictures that accurately represented the demons who had never been drawn before. Many of the drawings had extensive amounts of background clutter (mostly mountains and random lines) that are really distracting.  I painstakingly erased these lines and also touched up the images where necessary.  In the image of Balam below, you can see I’m the first artist to repair that gaping hole in the poor bear he’s riding upon.

The Grimoire of Dark Souls

An extremely lucky few can obtain a hand-crafted, totally unique grimoire giving detailed information about the demons including invocations, summoning sigils, circles of protection, and other scary stuff.  Some of the grimoire is written in a coded-language from the 1600s, but the majority of the text has been translated to English for easy reading.

The entire 40-page book has been carefully aged using a three-step process.  This leaves the paper feeling a bit like leather.  Some of the pages have actual burns along the edges or even right through the pages.  These burns are real (unlike the ones for show on the cards), there is also occasional wax spatter from where the unholy grimoire has been used by conjurers in the past.  The spine of the book is hand-sewn and surprisingly sturdy. Due to the time and labor involved with producing these one-of-a-kind works of art, only a limited number will be made available.

Here’s where your money goes

The primary cost involved is printing the cards.  The printer has already been sourced and I’ve had several variations of test decks printed.  These variants each involved changes in the overall graphic design as well as the physical texture / thickness of the card.  I kept printing test decks until I was satisfied with both the look and feel of the cards.  If you like what you see on your screen, you’re gonna love the way they look in your hands. Other significant costs include the cool velvet bags and tuck boxes that are used to store the cards when you’re not busy summoning demons to guide your future, bring you love, teach you liberal arts, or destroy your enemies (not that you’d ever do that, right?).  Also, shipping all these decks will end up costing nearly as much as getting the cards themselves printed.