Morgan Claire Sirene created the Slutist Tarot deck, a masterwork of sexy, body-positive occult advice.
Each card is thoughtfully and painstakingly drawn to represent its specific energy, bursting with color, attitude, and imagination. And it’s sexy. Right down to the inclusive approach, the lusty poses and vividly written descriptions for each card.
Morgan’s card write-ups come from the wise worldview of your liveliest, sexiest, fiery girlfriend giving you some straight-up truth about your self-destructive shit. We all need that voice in our lives.
Morgan answered a few questions for Neon Altar from her home in Chicago. Yes!!
Much thought and consideration went into the development of the Slutist deck, in order to offer a female-centric, sex-positive version of Tarot to the universe. What inspired you to set out on your monumental task, of planning the concept, illustrating all 78 cards, and writing all card descriptions?
Like a lot of people I felt like the tarot imagery and descriptions needed revamping- since the classic decks exclusively represent those who are white, heteronormative, gender normative and focus on a man’s journey. To no fault of great and brilliant artists like Pamela Colman Smith and Lady Frieda Harris; they were working within the confines of what was acceptable, expected and marketable and under the direction of men.
I’ve read quite a few tarot guides from the 70s written by men that offer some deeply offensive, sex negative interpretations of archetypes like The High Priestess and the Empress. I remember reading these and thinking, “How could they get this so wrong??” It’s opportunistic and intentional, and in my opinion, these guys are kinda bitter! When we make art we create the world we wish we lived in, or we illuminate our own nightmares in hopes of bringing our fantasies and fears to the physical realm. A lot of these men want to live in a world where women are whores or mothers, and I live in a world where women are both.
The creation of the deck was mostly lucid.
I have a lot of deep seeded beliefs about sexuality- particularly fetishism, BDSM and sex work and fringe living so I didn’t have to think or plan too much for these things to come out. A lot of my descriptions were inspired by actual experiences in having my cards read or reading for others; my best friend Sarah Lorraine is a phenomenal life long cartomancer, like a true clairvoyant, and I learned a lot from her; and we learned a lot together over several years of studying and playing with the cards together. I was also visually inspired by Annie Sprinkle’s Post-Modern Pin-Ups: Pleasure Activist Playing Cards and Milo Manara’s Erotic Tarot.
How has your relationship with Tarot evolved over time?
My interest in tarot started out as an interest in artwork. I had been practicing witchcraft for most of my life but did not see myself as a diviner. Over the course of about ten years I kept meeting people who read cards, it was like I was a beacon for divination, and was gifted many many decks over that decade and began to gain confidence in reading and studying rather than just having my cards read.
It’s something I take really seriously and find a lot of power in, and has taken the place of therapy in my life in some of the most difficult times. Tarot really, truly saved my life.
I do not consider myself to be a professional cartomancer or diviner by any stretch, though. I am very much a student, and am still building my confidence when it comes to reading for others.
Please tell me about the #SexWitchTour. How did it come to be? What were some key moments, or highlights of the tour?
Both happened to publish books (Striptastic and Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive respectively) at the same time and decided to go on a North American tour together. I am lucky enough to have been invited to join them in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Brooklyn and New Orleans along with our other wonderful magickal friend Valerie Stunning who writes a column called Ask Val for baby strippers as well as her personal blog which is full of empowering messages.
We also had the enchanting photographer Rachel Lena Esterline aka the Stripper Whisperer along for some of the dates documenting the tour, she’s got some really exciting things brewing as well in the world of documentary film.
Any upcoming projects to share?
Definitely a 2nd edition Slutist Tarot, we expect to be sold out of the current edition by Spring so we are planning to release another one with some major changes and some of the old faves.
I’m also in the very very early stages of creating a graphic novel/long form comic book...
... with many of the same elements as the tarot deck! It’s gonna take me a couple of years to complete but until then I’ll be posting images on my Instagram.
In the meantime though, Kristen Sollée and I are brewing up some new projects that will be sexy, witchy and informative! We’re expecting to have some new things in the works within the next 6 months.
How did you become such a badass? (Final question for everyone Neon Altar interviews!)
For every traumatic moment in my childhood I had something provocative to wake me up and keep me in the fight. At 7 I had Labyrinth, at 9 Rocky Horror Picture Show and Sailor Moon and a few years later T.Rex and David Bowie got me through those nasty preteen years. Not to mention a lifetime of bonding with other girls, women and GNC folks and denying shame over and over and over again.
I had a big problem with authority and I didn’t believe in God so from a very young age I became an agitator and always felt electrified by sexual deviance and dissent.
Believing in myself and my power makes me a fucking badass!