Science Tarot is a creative science communication project that combines science, art and mythology into a tarot deck to engage and awaken people's curiosity about science and the natural world.
The deck illustrates science stories to engage scientists, artists and tarot enthusiasts alike. In this way we aim to bridge disparate communities and foster both science education and self-discovery.
In the Science Tarot, Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey is adapted to tell each suit's unique story from Ace to Ten. You can follow your own personal Hero's Journey through the myths and archetypes represented in these science stories.
Major Arcana as Science Stories:
Powerful stories offer helpful stepping stones to each of us: shared experiences, moments of transformation and familiar characters. Each Major Arcana card invites us to find our own story within the realm of science.
Stars as Creation
Icon: Bunsen Burner
We begin our journey with the stars, where the elements that form planets and generate life are manufactured. Through astronomy and cosmology, we explore our human impulses to survive and create.
Particles as Exchange
Icon: Magnifying Glass
Elements created in the stars now interact, forming molecules, planets and organisms. Through the fields of geology and chemistry, we explore our own interactions with the world around us.
Swords as Observation
From matter emerges consciousness, which divides the world into observer and observed. Through physics, math and the scientific method, we explore our own power to shape the world.
Cups as Integration
The stories of science and human experience lead us back into the world again, not simply as observer but as participant. Through biology and ecology with the scientific method, we explore the realm of human emotions and relationships.
Face Cards as Scientist Portraits
Each face card profiles a different scientist along their particular life path.
Each is linked to a symbolic neurotransmitter inspired by biological anthropologist Helen Fisher's work on personality types.
Explorer (Page) - Dopamine: A seeker whose initial curiosity about the world opens a gateway to scientific inquiry.
Innovator (Knight) - Serotonin: The devoted researcher whose persistence and invention reveal new insights.
Storyteller (Queen) - Oxytocin: The negotiator whose intelligence and empathy welcome others into scientific discovery.
Visionary (King) - Testosterone: The director who drives scientific study forward into new territory with vision and hope.