Created by Alexa Villanueva, of Lexa Luna Studios.
The story of the Future Ancestor Tarot Deck
After the passing of my grandfathers in the Spring of 2020, my hands & heart needed time and space to heal. Not only was I grieving the loss of two sacred pillars of my family, but also carried the weight of fear, uncertainty, and sadness of the pandemic that was (and continues to be) shaking the world.
I spent a lot of time pondering my grandfathers’ roles in our lives here on earth, which led me to contemplating even more heavily about the role my own life plays on earth.
Art is a form of therapy for me, so I knew I had to get my hands moving & make something.
With art supply stores closed due to the lockdown, I gathered materials I had in my home: sumi ink, watercolor paper, scissors, & some old brushes from my ceramic studio.
Slowly, I noticed the more I painted, the lighter the weight of grief felt with each stroke. On my piece of paper, the shape of a praying woman began to form. In front of her, a small grave. But I knew something was missing… something that resembled life. I wanted to honor their life in this image with something living. The letting go, the calling in. The learning, the growth.
I am lucky to live on Coast Salish land, where nature is abundant. That’s when I went outside, found a stem with two leaves, and knew instantly that this was the missing piece.
From there, the Death card was born. The very first card of the deck.
We Are Future Ancestors.
As I continued to create the deck by hand and in collaboration with the land I am on, I can’t help but feel immense gratitude for the immense healing that this process has given me. The creation of these cards have not only allowed me to process my grief, work with nature & art in meaningful ways, but also has brought me in closer relationship with tarot & community.
This deck is dedicated with love to my grandfathers & ancestors, Ruben Toledo & Cielito Villanueva.
I also couldn’t create this deck without the help of my cherished friends & family who never hesistate to sit down with me whenever I ask to discuss the cards for further exploration, always providing me with the most helpful feedback.
There are pieces of each you in these cards. Salamat!