Friday, September 10, 2010

What’s New at the Magician’s Table

And now a word from the shameless self-promotion department (borrowed with respect from those crazy guys at Car Talk on Public Radio):

• Picture Postcard Tarot SOLD OUT
• Two more decks in progress and available now for pre-sales reservation!
• Tarot Class September 19, 2010, Benicia, CA

I am just thrilled that my Picture Postcard Tarot (self-published limited edition) has sold out. Almost all US mailings have been sent; the International mailings are being held waiting for a couple of spare King and Queen of Wands.

My first venture into self-publishing was exciting, obsessive, perhaps even mirage-like in its quality for me. Just a few of the decks suffered from a problem where the King and Queen of Wands were stuck together. When pulled apart, they left part of the images on each other, just like all the CSI shows tell you about the rules of physical evidence. And boo-hiss to that little snafu! The printer, however, has been just excellent about it and is shipping the replacement cards to me now. So if those over-heated King and Queen of Wands are stuck on your copy of the deck, never fear, cooler cards will also be yours.

Who knew Wild Bill Hickok had such a thing for that Party Girl? Get a room!

Many thanks to those who ordered one or more decks, making this experiment possible.

**Update!  Aeclectic Tarot has posted a review and images of the Picture Postcard Tarot.  Click here


Following closely on the heels of my first tarot deck are my next two tarot decks. Like the Picture Postcard Tarot, these will be self-published numbered limited editions. However, both of these decks will be limited editions of 100 instead of 50. The cost will be $25.00 USD per deck plus postage. I intend to publish both before the end of the year and am taking pre-order reservations now. If you would like one or more of these decks, please contact me at my email address which is listed in several places in this blog for more information.

The Art Postcard Tarot is the second in my study of antique postcards from 1900-1909. It is a deck of 78 cards, plus a “Happy Squirrel” and a cover card. Again all images were taken from real antique postcards from that time; the images themselves may be older, but somewhere someone thought it would make a good visual to send their message. The artwork is generally light-hearted, even when dealing with difficult themes. There are portraits, serious art, cartoons and illustrations.

The cover card shows a “romantic harem” theme with the lovelies contemplating their own fortune. The Ace of Swords is atypical of the usual portrayal but shows that not all our new ideas are necessarily good ones. The Hermit walks the night alone. The Queen of Wands is a lively redhead bursting with energy.

The Victorian Trade Card Tarot is the third of my limited edition decks. It too is a deck of 78 cards, plus a “Happy Squirrel” and a cover card. The images on this tarot were taken from trade cards used as business cards between 1870-1890. Trade cards were an interesting phenomenon that had a short but exciting life in the history of advertising. Even during their own time, they were collected and pasted into albums as novelties. They came in all shapes and sizes and, unlike our business cards today, were not personal contacts at a company but rather advertised a business or product in general. Again, I’ve aimed for a light-hearted theme. Often the pictures on the trade cards had little to do with the product being advertised. Looking at some of the ads on television lately, I think we may have come full circle!

The cover card shows a wizened fortune teller and her young clients. Is she telling them to listen to her words or explaining that she has to eat, too? The Emperor is advertising ham even if the pig looks more like an elephant. The Devil is demon temptation, especially for the shoe-lovers among us. Who hasn’t heard that little voice over the left shoulder whisper, “But they are so YOU!” The 6 of Swords illustrates how the picture often had little to do with the product. The advertising for tea is seemingly disconnected from our well-dressed travelers, unless you consider Mom needed that extra shot of caffeine to get the boat going.


Finally, I’m teaching a class using tarot for creative inspiration on Sunday afternoon, 3 pm – 5 pm, September 19, 2010, at Angel Heart 4 You, 501 First Street, Benicia, California. The class is $35 per person. It is called Fire - Inspired Tarot. Collecting, Writing and Creating Tarot and will feature the work of local artists, plus a hands-on workshop for you to create your own art using the tarot as inspiration. I’ll talk just a little about creating these limited edition decks and what it takes to get them from concept to realization, a Fool’s Journey in itself! I’ll also bring some of my collection of antique and limited edition “art decks” with a little bit of information about each of them. It will be a fun class. If you have already created something inspired by the tarot, you are encouraged to bring that. Advance reservations are encouraged (you can pay when you get there). Call Angel Heart 4 You at 707-745-2024 and sign up. There’s no telling what we will come up with!

Best wishes!

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