The purpose behind the Celtic myth playing cards is to take traditional lore and give it new life in a modern idiom. Every element of the cards’ iconography is drawn from medieval Irish literature and classical Celtic traditions, from the style of decoration on Earnmbás’ headpiece to the knot work around Lugh. The traditional suits have been transformed into the four magic items of the Tuatha Dé Danann: club, spade, diamond and heart corresponding to the magical spear, sword, stone and cauldron that the Irish faeries brought from the magical cities of the North. Each face card represents important figures from the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh, the Book of Invasions, Colloquy of the Ancients, and other medieval legends. In every way, this deck has been infused with the stories of the ancient Celts.
Working for more than a decade in academia and teaching the mythological context of poetic culture in early medieval Europe, the artist became increasingly frustrated that students were not engaging with ancient lore in a meaningful way. The classroom naturally predisposes students to objectify what they study so that they are protected from any real engagement with their subject matter, and thus resisting changing internally in response to what they have learned. If the full benefit of ancient knowledge is to be realized, however, it must be manifested as an element of modern life. The development of the Celtic deck represents the artist’s bid to bring this ancient knowledge once more into the popular imagination.