The Theda Bara Tarot

I have reached a bit of an impasse with the Jook tarot. This is mainly due to the need to acquire a lot of props for the cards, and these are taking longer to obtain that I originally expected. Also, the unusual high temperature over the last few weeks in the UK has made both my studio and workshop unusable at the moment, and wet plate collodion chemicals do not like this. So, I have decided to work on a side project until September when I will be ready to re-commence the Jook tarot.

This side project is the Theda Bara Tarot. It was something I had planned, but thought it would be something for after the Jook Tarot was finished.

The inspiration for the idea behind the Theda Bara Tarot is from two angles.

Firstly, I described in my blog here that I researched thousands of vintage photographs, many from the silent film era. I saved the images that I liked best and that matched the aesthetic look and feel I wanted. I  noticed that images of Theda Bara were catching my attention much more than anyone else. I kept on seeing images of her from various films, thinking ‘that would make a great card.’ Eventually I realised that it might be feasible to create the major arcana with Theda Bara images. So I resolved to try and do this once I had completed the Jook Tarot.

Secondly, I talked in my blog here about my original intention to include my calligraphy in the Jook Tarot. As I decided this did not work with that tarot, I wanted to include it in a different project and the Theda Bara tarot is perfect for this.

I have now added a page to the main menu covering the Theda Bara tarot, and this can be found here.


  1. Stella Waldvogel

    Put me down for both a Jook Tarot and a Theda.
    I need yet another Tarot like I need a hole in the head (“A fool there was who made a prayer (Even as you and I!)…”) but the Silent era (along with the Pre Code) is totally my thing, and so far nobody’s captured the vibes.

    You did, though,

    Congrats – and could you be persuaded to do a Chaney Sr. deck at some point? Just wondering.

    • Jook

      Thanks for the lovely comments Stella,

      I too love that era, and it’s such a shame that so little of Theda’s films survived. Luckily we have some great photo stills of her from her films, although it’s a shame she was just a bit too early for the golden age of Hollywood photographers such as my personal favourite, Eugene Richee (although wrong studio for Theda)

      The idea of a Lon Chaney deck is something I hadn’t thought of. Such an expressive face, and wonderful range of appearances he certainly would be perfect for many tarot cards.

      Thanks for posting here.

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