About The Major Barkana
This project started when one person on our art blog said "You should make a tarot deck!" And then we thought, "We should make a dog-themed tarot deck!" We originally planned for this project to raise enough for our service dog, but then it took off far beyond what we could have imagined. So then, we decided that 30% of profits would benefit other disabled people getting their service dogs.
Features of the Deck
Every single card features a real dog (or two, like in the Lovers). It's immortalized dogs that have crossed over and shown off newly adopted pups. Every single dog is placed on a card that their human selects—ensuring that the dog's real colors come out in a tarot card that fits them perfectly.
When you order a deck, you'll receive information about the service dog team you're helping to fundraise for, along with two "Service Dog Fact cards*." One for you and one for a friend! We encourage you to share these educational cards with a friend, since there's a lot the general public doesn't understand about service dogs. *Please note: for international orders these cards are not included, because we don't know international service dog laws.
About the Artists
It’s a small team of two creating this entire tarot deck and—surprisingly, we share one body. That probably sounds super confusing, but it’s actually quite simple and possible. We, Arien and Bael, have a condition called dissociative identity disorder (DID).
During childhood trauma, our identity didn’t form into just one person like your average human—we became multiple people sharing one brain. Essentially, our mind couldn’t handle trauma alone, so it compartmentalized to protect itself and formed several personality states. This condition used to be known as multiple personality disorder, but that’s a pretty stigmatizing and misleading title. It’s a dissociative disorder, not a personality disorder.
We’re artistic, fun, silly people and we love working together on projects. What better way to advocate for this condition, raise money for service dogs, and create adorable art than through this project?!
We both really encourage you to skim through this blog here—it’s a comprehensive resource on facts and myths about dissociative identity disorder. Including it being normal and okay to live with multiple identities. We don’t need a cure; we’re happy as is.
Arien’s a non-binary individual who loves flowers, watercolor painting, and his girlfriend Serena—plus her family dog, Halo. He’s the type of person who, when seeing a puppy walking by, acts like a dog that just saw a squirrel! The epitome of dog-loving. Arien does most social media posts for The Major Barkana and will be completing the watercolors.
Bael’s a fun, humor-filled, punk. He deeply cares about those he’s close to and, despite having suffered through a lot of abuse, he’s retained a loving personality. He can make anyone laugh and loves getting real playful with dogs—especially the ones that will almost knock him over. Bael’s awesome at drawing, so he’s done the majority of the sketches! (He also really needs a photoshoot.)
How DID impacts our business:
For us, it really feels like we’re just working as two artists. We just happen to share the same 24 hours in a day, meaning that time management is a huge part of our success in this project.
You may see some shifts in our conversational styles on social media, since Bael and I do have very distinct personalities. Similarly, expect to have your emails signed with either “Arien” or “Bael.” Arien’s more often managing emails, but it’s not his job exclusively. You’ll also see us say “our service dog”—even though legally service dogs are just for one person.
We’re open to answering questions about DID, as long as you avoid blatant stigmas (like “are you going to murder people?” No, we’re not.). Simply send your question to this link or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!