Rust Belt Arcana

Rust Belt Arcana is a book of 22 essays and a Tarot Deck featuring the wildlife of the Great Lakes Region, released in 2018 by Belt Publishing.

The essays in the book map those divinatory associations of the Major Arcana to the living world. These are stories of abundance and loss, the persistent remnant wilderness of the Industrial Midwest. Exploring this natural history helps us to find our place in the landscape, to know our home and ourselves. It was listed as one of the Nature Conservancy’s Favorite books of 2018 .

The deck was recently updated for its fifth printing. Artist and co-creator David Wilson and I spoke about the process of creating the deck in a recent video.

When we published the book and the deck, I had intended to go back and provide an overview or background on the associations on the Minor Arcana. In January 2021, I noted reflections on each of the cards in a Twitter thread and I’ve collected those reflections in a hastily put together presentation you can access here: MinorArcana2021.