Today’s TBT takes a look back at the many specialty backs the Isidore Tarot has had over the years. None of these are standard. Most of them were specials for various sales. My favorite will always be the knight of cups. Mermaid! Remember, right now is your last chance to nab a second edition.
I could say that Halloween is fast coming into view so to celebrate we are starting to put our Jacks out for the season. Then I’d giggle a little. Why? Jack and every other form of Halloween thing we have is typically out year round. Halloween time simply means I switch out all of my summer flowers for autumn ones. Today Jack has selected three cards for me from my Isidore mini tarot. I have decided to touch upon the first one; if you can see it! The Hanged Man.
I’m not a fan of this card. I never have been. I think this can be strictly chalked up to how I feel about the symbolism on the card. Simply put? It bothers me. That aside, there are a few different ways to take this card. I typically think of it as a suggestion of being stuck or indecisive. Though it is also often a suggestion of giving up the lesser to gain something greater. The Hanged Man is willing to sacrifice himself for a greater good. It’s like I really want and need this now! But if I just wait and try to be patient something better might come along. There’s a lot to it. But like I originally said, for me it’s a card about being held in one place. Thankfully right now I’m only surmising it for you and not having to apply it to myself.
For the Isidore Tarot I was very mindful of keeping a certain whimsy to every card, even the darker ones. In the case of this card my hanged man is a happy little gent who was thoughtful enough to strap his hat down so he does lose it as he dangles upside down. It takes a little of the harshness out of the card’s symbolism for me without removing any of the meaning.
So I have a new project for my shoppe and that’s basically using a standard size card for all my decks. It makes the bulk ordering process just that much easier. I can buy packaging supplies for everything and not have to keep up on a variety of different sizes. With that said, I’ve been reworking the Tea Bats Lenormand card artwork to fit a larger card size. In the long run they’ll look a lot better. The current cards are super neat, but there is so much detailing to the collages on them that some of those details get lost.
So I’m about to retire the first edition of the deck and look towards offering the second edition in the new year. The packaging will be slightly different, but I’ve kept all the very best pieces of what made the first edition lovely. The companion book will remain the same. Technically what I use now is the second edition of the book anyway and I love it. I have our last sale for the first edition at this link if you’d like to pick up an original deck.
This is just a quick (call it a drive-by posting) to let you know I have decks on sale now that have been sold out for awhile. The Isidore Tarot second edition and the Tea Bats Lenormand first edition are about to be retired. They’re not on sale until mid-October for anyone interesting. Stop into my shoppe page for more details and links to order. Thanks!! I’ll be making dedicated posts about those decks and when to expect their next editions after these sales close.
Would it be too cliche of me to say, given the nature of my swords suit in the Isidore Tarot, stick a fork in me I’m done? I picked the Ten of Swords today to be dramatic, because this card looks most brutal and dramatic, but a lot of the perceived woe in it really is more just the drama. It’s about hitting the bottom and looking up and seeing that’s the only way left to go. I’ve felt very much like that the last few months.
All the misery I went through leading up to my diagnosis that resulted in surgery did a lot to squeeze the happiness out of my summer. However, no matter how hard it squeezed at the end of the day I could still take a step back and realize that I was still happy for the most part. Much of my perceived irritations in life are ones that I know I can easily sweep to the side. Like my surgery. I didn’t want to go into my fifth major surgery, be sure of that. However, the surgery went very well, I was healing very quickly, and I was no longer suffering those painful episodes. I didn’t want to do it but was very grateful it went as well as it did. It was a little harder to keep that chipper frame of mind when at the end of that healing process I took a header down a flight of stairs.
Now that I’m recovering I’m able to, here too, take a step back and allow myself a smile when I think about it. Attic is on all of my branding and it was my attic stairs that did me in. Our duplex has one large bedroom and a long finished attic. We opted to turn the spare room into a work room for the gent and I. The attic we split in half; one side being our bedroom and the other side my sewing and project room. The stairs leading up to it go through the middle of it in what looks like a closet with a door at the bottom. Well on route to the bathroom downstairs around 5am three Sundays ago I took a trip head first that left me in a trauma center looking like Edward Norton in Fight Club as he lay on an ER bed telling the nurse I fell down some stairs. Meh to that. I don’t need to recap it all here. It sucked. My personal blog has the bits for the curious.
The point being: I was knocked out cold long before I lay at the bottom of those attic stairs in a heap, but I can imagine looking up from the bottom of them in that heap and thinking sonofabitch (in a Melissa McCarthy voice). All the specialists, brain scans, body repairs, and time spent confined to a recliner half blind and feeling tore up really knocked the wind from my sails. I can look at this card and say it represents how victimized I feel by circumstance and how beat down I am. And when you hit the bottom what is there left to do? Start climbing back up. The night is always darkness before the dawn but the sun will surely rise again. So I got back up and dusted myself off, plugged my many holes, and started to trudge back forward. I still give the attic stairs the weary stink-eye though. I’m not altogether unconvinced there isn’t a gnome living under the top step. I just happened to step on his roof at the exact moment he decided to pop up to go investigate the cat’s food dishes downstairs.
So in closing, with tarot symbolism I like the fact that even when you’re looking at something that should make you shudder, there is a place to drag some hope from it. So always keep a stiff upper lip and stay positive. Life is about ups and downs, bumps and bruises, and maybe, like me, when something so horrible happens a little of the brightness comes in with how those around you circle and show how much they care. And with that, I’m back to regular updates again. Hopefully! I’m still half blind at the moment, so screen time is off and on. I hope you’re all well!
As a few of you may know I’ve been swimming through some icky health waters the last couple of months. After some tests and a trip to the surgeon we found out the main culprit of my irritations. Yesterday I had out-patient surgery to correct that irritation. The procedure went along smoothly and I came home snorgled out of my gourd (read that as: They gave me a lot of happy drugs so I wouldn’t feel or really remember what happened) and camped out in a recliner all night in la la land. Today I’m mostly more coherent, but the pain of the surgery is slowing me down a bit.
I’ll be on some heavy meds for the next week or so and keeping myself away from the aetherwebs so I have a little time to relax and heal. Then I’m hoping things will finally be back to normal again. I’ve been working at half capacity and very distracted for months now and I feel like that’s put me behind on so many things. I’m happy I can get back into my sites at full strength again!
I’ve had these cards bookmarked for awhile now and I hope to nab them one day when my coin purse is full of coins and not cobwebs. The deck is described as “ntricately drawn, stunningly unique. Arcana Playing cards blend the traditions of standard playing cards with the secrets of the Tarot. Each royal is drawn with an unprecedented amount of detail in a engraved style. Featuring 12 uniquely crafted Royals and Aces, 4 Major Arcana cards (The Fool, The Lovers, Death, and The Tower), and standard pip number cards.” and is available for a very wee price. You can nab one here.
This is a really nice dark and moody deck that I came across by pure chance while doing a google search, which is strange! Me being a fan of collage art, the tarot, and all things dark and mysterious I should have come across this deck before. So thank you random google search algorithm. The deck description states “The deck takes a subtle and psychological approach to the Gothic. It draws much of its atmosphere from the 19th century Gothic writers such as Edgar Allen Poe, Sheridan Le Fanu, Henry James , Louis Stevenson, and Bram Stoker.” and indeed it does that. It’s simply beautiful. The deck was created by Alex Ukolov and Karen Mahony and published in 2007. It’s currently on its third edition and is available for purchase here.
I have put a proper page up for my latest lenormand deck project – The Ink & Blood Lenormand. There you will find the rough drafts of the cards that are almost finished. They just need a little tweaking here and there, but for the most part they’re close to the final versions. More to come. 🙂
I have Isidore decks available again but only in a limited number. When this printing sells out I’m not sure when I’ll be able to order them again, but I’m working on that. You can grab an Isidore Tarot deck with full packaging here. For those who’d like just the deck you can pick that up here, there is also the option to add a book. These are available until I’ve sold out. And as mentioned in the previous post: These decks will come with my version of the Happy Squirrel card for tarot fans who collect decks with those. I’ve also listed them (at that link) for anyone who already has the deck and would like to add it to their deck. 🙂
So as I mentioned in my previous shoppe update there is an add-on card for The Isidore Tarot. I included it in the doll-size version of the deck (pictured here) and showed it off at my last convention and everyone loved it. I hadn’t included it originally because I didn’t have the space. I mentioned to a few people that I was planning to include it with the third edition of the deck that I would eventually publish. A few of my existing Isidore deck owners cried foul so I made a promise to make it available for anyone who’d like to add it to their deck.
So here it is! Since there are two editions of the deck I’ve made sure to order cards that have both card backs. These are being printed through the same printer whose cardstock and printing are pretty uniform. I’ve never had any decks that felt different than the others and the size is also uniform so this card should fit right into an existing deck. Below are options for each deck back. Select the one that matches your deck. Cards are a whooping $2 to cover the card, envelope, and stamps. Cards are printing and will be available to ship in two weeks. As for the card going into the deck, it will be available in every deck for the third edition and I will be including one in any second edition orders. Nab one by hitting that little more button.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been out looking for pretty pretty decks, but I had a moment today and stumbled upon the Medieval Cat Tarot. Oh this is an adorable deck! The artist is Lawrence Teng and to quote him about the deck: “Medieval Cat Tarot marries rich esoteric symbolism with truly wonderful artistic styling and expression. While there is a definite theme to the illustrations on the cards, this is not merely a collector’s deck. Each card’s meaning is rendered in a heartfelt but simple way so that anyone can appreciate and understand it. One need only seek to identify with the players in the drama acted out on each card. The characters on each card are shown either in the act of, or participating in, behavior and situations which describe the truest meanings of the card as it is understood in a more universal way, based upon the Golden dawn symbolism as interpreted by A.E. Waite.” Quote taken from his U.S. Games Systems page. And that is where you can find the deck if you’d like to pick it up.
I like to change up the decks that I do my card of the day draws from just as I like changing the style of deck. I’m still learning the Lenormand deck (yes, you can keep learning even after creating one and visually tackling the symbolism) and when I use it for a card of the day I’m reminded how these cards work better when in reference to other cards. However, doing these single card summaries are helping me learn them on a card by card basis. That said! Today’s card is from my Butterfly Circus deck and is the Tower.
In this card my performer is alone at the top of a tower and can suggest she is either isolated high above or that she’s on high guarding over those around her below. I guess it could also be both! In the past towers were a place of protection or where persons of authority locked themselves away in. There are a variety of interpretations when you go past the simple one word meanings. I think it comes down to the question being asked, what you’re trying to meditate on and what cards are drawn around it. This will have to be a to be continued kind of day card. I’ll tackle this card again.
Today’s card is from my Isidore Tarot and features my rather dapper Hermit. Dapper seems to be the go-to word for me with this deck! The hermit, as a card, is about soul searching and introspection. As we grow older many of us tend to desire a greater understanding of the world around us and not just as a living soul that is here to be a cog in the machine. You might want to look inward and see what makes you tick, what things do you desire to know or understand? Typically the card is read as one that suggests taking some time to yourself to think upon such things and, as said at the start, do a little survey of the soul. It’s a thoughtful card and one I associate with consciousness and spirituality. And once you’ve found your understanding or have come to see how you’ve grown more mature and wise through life experiences, it might be time to share that wisdom. 😉
So… it’s two days before an approaching convention and the special deck of playing cards I made for the con has only just arrived by special rush from my printers. However, they arrived in plain white boxes. They were supposed to be in windowed boxes so the title card acted as the cover. There were only so many oh noes! that can be said and shaking my fist wasn’t going to solve the problem.
In the end my solution was to get prints at the local hour photo. I put two labels to a print and opted to cut out and apply myself. Printing labels might have been easier but the cost would have been greater and the label would have been flat. Corner rounding the cut prints was just my way of being way too much of a perfectionist that paid for it by the obnoxious task. I’ve opted to do my plain box labels this way from there on though. The special bulk rates I get for the prints is less expensive than printing or purchasing labels. I thought I would note it. Though keep in mind this type of packaging solution might only be appealing if you don’t mind a little work for the project.
This was a pleasant sight at the Steampunk Symposium! I wrote this article for Valentine’s Day about the couple who were my King and Queen of Hearts for the Motor City Steam Deck. Don lost his wife shortly after that convention but he keeps a memory of her on him in the card and I was just so choked up about that. 🙂
I have three deck projects going on right now and I have to decide which one I want to settle on. I’m working on one with a game publisher where I’m adding a minor arcana on an existing major arcana – I have a defined timeline with that. There’s wiggle room. Then I have a Lenormand and Oracle projects to do on my own time. My own time translates to what I do at the end of the night when I’m just doing stuff for me.
A few nights ago I had a conversation with Myke about creative output as an artist. For me, who has no defined income, I have to apply myself at all times to create new and make sales on the old. I have no regulated income. I take in as much as I put in and sometimes I feel like I spend all my time just putting in. Not even on one thing. I juggle because I have to. Sometimes that removes a little bit of my joy when creating something 2new that I’m into. I have long since accepted this as a part of being a working artist.
The Happy Squirrelthulhu card in my Isidore Tarot’s doll size deck went over very well at the convention. I had random cards laid out for people who wanted to buy the small cards for their hats (yes, that is a thing for convention costuming) and H.S. cards were snatched right up. He is such a wonderfully dapper and quirky chap. I have been asked about regular size cards and yes, I am doing those. I’m having them printed so anyone with the rounded edges style cards from the first and second editions of the regular Isidore deck can order one to include with their own if they’d like.
I met the good gent Robert Scott from Arcana Advising at the convention this weekend. Thanks to him I was introduced to a world of tarot magazines I didn’t even know existed! He was kind enough to give one of my Isidore Tarots a new home. He also posted a review of the deck to his youtube channel. Many thanks to him for that! My only disappointment was I wasn’t able to get away from the table long enough to get my own reading. Though I have to note he is probably the very first person who pronounced my last name properly on the first go. 😉
So this little note explains where I went to poof on Bat Appreciation day. Boo to that. So I’m off on A.C. posts. It’s been a bit busy though as we start our traveling sales-peeps season. I’ll be getting regular posts scheduled when I get back to my home and a week off!
In the meantime, the gent and I are vending at the International Steampunk Symposium just outside Cincinnati Ohio. If you’re attending please stop by and say hello! I’ve got all my decks on hand, among other things. 😉