My Personal Journey with Anxiety and How it's led to Homebound Tarot
I’ve always found Tarot to be a personal experience. Maybe because I’m such a private person when it comes to emotions and sharing the deep stuff. I’ve also always written down and reflected on my readings, but a couple of years ago, I began using tarot cards to prompt my daily journaling. What I found in those pages, the realizations I was finding in myself, and how I felt walking away from many of the journaling sessions was comparable to leaving a therapy session.
Somewhere before then, I was given a homework assignment from my counselor.
“What does your anxiety look like? I want you to create your anxiety in art.”
That exercise started everything, though I didn't know it at the time. And over the next couple years, the shadowy blob character penciled into a lined notebook turned into the flowing, emotional figure in homebound. That one prompt pushed me to explore the meanings of my personal anxiety through tarot in the most in-depth ways, and gave this deck the grounding force that resonates with all of us.
Right from the beginning, the intention was to design a deck that reflected my struggle with anxiety, while still being open enough to be used as a tool to help others cope with theirs. I knew my experiences were not entirely unique so imagery that had a story with me would resonate with others.
When I started reading tarot, and even now, I find there to be a lot of fear, gatekeeping, and misinformation surrounding the cards. So when designing Homebound, my goal was to strip those barriers down. The Guidebook is an equal part in this aspect. It's written as a tool in deciphering the cards from a position of intuition, and self-reflection rather than the traditional predictive, symbolized approaches that remove us from the equation of our future.
Because the deck would be holding space for emotions, the name was beyond important. I spent months running through word combinations and filled pages with names. Once I landed on Homebound it was a done deal.
Homebound: on the way home.
Homebound: unable to leave one’s home.
I have social anxiety which can develop into agoraphobia and depression at the worst of times. There are places I’ve written off completely because of the severe anxiety of how I’ll be perceived or what will happen there. Throughout my life, I've changed schools, quit jobs, even dropped out of university because the anxiety that arose at the thought of just going to these places was too much to carry. My anxiety can bind me to poor routines, and my world can feel pretty small when I let it control me.