The last of the tarot decks I’d ordered arrived on Monday. I’d ordered the Maroon Tarot at the end of January and had received an e-mail very shortly thereafter saying it would be mailed soon. Apparently “soon” meant a month later, as it was postmarked February 27. Ah, well.

So, barring any new purchases (I’m trying SO hard not to, both because I really can’t afford any new ones and because I really need to make an attempt to get to know the ones I have before I add to the mix), I’m ready to start exploring.

I had initially thought that I would move sequentially through the deck, starting with the Fool and ending with the last of the suits. But lately, my mind has been drawn to a specific card, which keeps turning up in various readings. (I’ll talk about that card in another post.) So I thought I would essentially go through them in whatever order seems to leap out at me at the time. Might be “pick a card, any card” random, or it might be a card that keeps popping up, or it might just be a card I like — or don’t like.

One of the decks I bought during my New Year’s shopping spree is the Wolf Pack Tarot. Despite the name, it’s really more of an oracle deck than a tarot deck — it has the expected 78 cards but none of the typical major/minor arcana cards. It was created by psychic Robert Petro in 1995. The first version of the deck was black and white and featured 60 cards with artwork by Bruce Silkwood. The later 78-card colour version was apparently created in two runs, with the first run somewhat lighter in tone than the second. It features the artwork of Pat Morris. Both decks were published by Wind Spirit Productions, Inc., and were printed in Belgium.

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Was playing around with Sonia Choquette’s “Ask Your Guides” card deck the other night, riffling the deck to break it in and airing it out a little (the fumes from the varnish or sealant on the cards is enough to make you high). I’d decided to do a three card draw per Sonia’s spread suggestion. I’ll write down the details later (I’m not near the cards right now) but what was notable about it is that the first card seemed to want to jump out. I suspect it actually was a single-card drawing masqeurading as (or forced into) a three-card spread. In any case, the card clammoring for attention was “Self Esteem”, with guardian/guide Michael. Even more interesting is the fact that of all the cards in this brand new deck, this is the only card that is damaged. Bit funny (and fitting), that — that the Self Esteem card should be imperfect.

You know, it pays to clean your bookcases every now and then. I found a load of things that I was having trouble locating, including my wayward Druid Animal Oracle as well as my Karma Cards and Tarot of the Witches (both of which were tucked inside a chocolate cigars box) and the book for my Fortune Teller’s Mah Jongg cards. Now, if only the wayward book and 5 stray cards from the Faeries’ Oracle would turn up, I’d be a happy camper. (I think I tucked the cards in the book after the last reading I did so if I find the book, I should find the cards — if not, I have no idea where the cards disappeared to and that would be disastrous as they are my favourite deck.)

Still waiting for the last of my shopping spree items to arrive. If I’d known I was going to be laid off last week, I wouldn’t have bought so much (damn, it’s a hard lesson to learn). But the packages are nice to receive. I think there are 4 packages still to arrive: the Maroon Tarot, the Tarot of Prague and Bohemian Gothic Tarot, some marvelous padded, lined tarot bags, and some worry stones (amethyst, goldstone, and jade — I already have a moonstone worry stone). I feel like I’m missing something but those are the ones I remember.

Once the last of the tarot decks arrives, I had plans to start my tarot studying in earnest but, for the time being, I need to concentrate on finding a job. That includes brushing up on my French. So my posts over the next little while will be more general tarot/oracle/spirituality posts, rather than what I’d hoped for.

Found via a related link in an old post in Gaian Tarot creator Joanna Powell Colbert’s blog: Corrine Kenner’s Tarot for Writers online workshop

When you participate in this workshop, you’ll learn how to:

  • tap into the archetypal imagery and symbols of the tarot for creative inspiration
  • build characters and stories based on randomly drawn tarot cards
  • use additional cards to develop scenes, settings, dialogues, and descriptions

How marvelous is that? Yet another thing to add to my wish list for maybe later in the year or next year.

From her blog, it appears that Corrine is planning a Mystic Faerie workshop for February and is considering making it available online. That would be nice. No one interesting ever comes here for seminars. Oh, wait — I could go listen to Dr. Oz and Hillary Swank if I wanted. (Not!)

when you start getting drive-by comment spam.

Whoo hoo!

Next step? Actual visitors.

Weeks-in-advance-I’ll-never-be-able-to-break-even kind of broke. I’d like to say it’s just the cards and card sets that are doing me in but a tarot bag fetish has broken out that is showing signs of surpassing that.

It started out because I wanted a few new bags for the decks I’d ordered in December. I don’t like to have two identical bags so went on the hunt for new bags. I bought some bags from Dreaming in Color a couple of years ago that I really liked but they are charging astronomical shipping fees now to ship outside the US (understandable but still really pesky). Mind you, I also found the wholesale source for the bags they sell as well — if I ever decide to get more of those bags, I can always get them from the source instead.

So, I went to eBay. This was before I really started investigating things, before I joined Aeclectic and other forums, before I really knew how many wonderful crafters are making tarot bags out there. So, I bought some that I saw on there. Some are just OK. Some are absolutely brilliant custom creations. I also bought some Lo Scarabeo bags, which, despite being mass produced, are actually really nice.

And then I found Etsy. Damn Karen at Magic Realist Press for even reminding me that Etsy exists. As I mention before, I ended up buying one of her custom Baroque Bohemian Cats bags. I also ended up finding the most gorgeous one-of-a-kind custom bags from another Etsy seller that I ended up buying. I know what decks are going in those. I currently have more bags than I have cards to go in them, but that doesn’t stop me wanting more bags. After all, I have more decks on the way, too. They’ll all need their own protective homes, right?

Tonight I made the mistake of visiting Tarot Totes while combing Aeclectic threads for links to list in the Open Directory Project*. It’s a good thing I’m broke. Well, if I wasn’t already, I surely would be now. I’ve had to settle for bookmarking the bags I want for a later date, when I’ve broken even and can afford to buy more. It’s a long bookmarks list. They offer bags in so many sizes, colours, patterns, and styles (including padded cases and double silk sleepers). If only I’d come across them before I went nuts on eBay. Not that I don’t like the eBay purchases, but I would have spent my money here rather than buy most of what I bought there. My favourite bags, I think, have to be the High Priestess bag (just love the pattern on the material), the Swords bag (it’s minimalist but I love swords — used to have a small collection of them but had to get rid of that when I moved), and the Celtic Dreams set (bag and laycloth — who doesn’t love purple?). I also love the double silk sleepers (little sleeping bags, if you will) for cards. I’ve gotten into a habit of double bagging cards, since some of the decks I have are quite slippery, and the sleepers look like perfect little inner sleeves. And they’ll customize the colour combinations. Let’s see — when does my income tax refund come through?

They offer a list of patterns by colour but, unfortunately, don’t hyperlink the lists so that you can easily find those colours/patterns in the catalog. (I know they offer a search engine and tips for using it at the top of the page but it’s still extra work and I’m lazy at heart.) Actually, maybe that’s not a con — if they were all linked, I might find myself buying even more than I’m tempted to buy now. (Laziness wins out over obsession every time.) I also like how they show decks which complement the bags (er, decks that the bags will complement?), though that also sparks my interest in even more decks that I don’t own.

*The ODP is a human-edited directory that provides data for a number of search engines and directories, including the Google directory. <shameless plug> We’re always looking for good editors so consider this an invitation to apply. More information is also available at the ODP’s public forum.</shameless plug>

Kept seeing that acronym in forum posts at Aeclectic. Took ages before I figured out it meant “little white book(let)” .

I love LWBs. They’re perfectly sized to fit in the same pouch or box that your cards go in and so you can always bring them with you. Companion books? Not so much. Unfortunately, they’re also easily lost. Wonder if you can get them replaced? I don’t remember if my Angel Tarot deck came with a LWB. If it did, I have long since lost it. Tarot of the Witches definitely did, and I think I still have that around here somewhere. (Presumably that LWB is with the cards themselves, which I haven’t managed to locate yet. A few decks have gone to ground, it seems — I’ll have to make a concerted effort to hunt them down. ) 

with maxed out Paypal accounts.

That debauched shopping spree continues. I think I’ve finally run out of steam, but that’s only because I’ve run out of money. The last purchases were doozies.

The other deck that arrived on January 11 is the Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot. It, too, is a gorgeous deck. I love the fact that the cats pictured are from the Prague Cat Shelter that were chosen for their personalities. The more I looked at it, the more it grew on me. I decided to go hunt down links for it and some other decks and came across the home page for it. That was a huge mistake. The version that I have is apparently the first edition. They now have a second edition, with slightly different cards and cleaner borders (the ornate border around the first edition cards is really busy). That wouldn’t be enough to tempt me except that they also have a limited edition (500 copies) Gold version. *That* I couldn’t resist, especially with the special bag that you can get for it. Then I made the mistake of checking out their blog, which in turn led me to their Esty.com page, which in turn prompted me to buy a limited edition print of the Hermit card and the Hanged Man card. Those items altogether pretty much drained my bank account.

That’s good, in a way, since I came across a couple of hand-made decks* that come in special editions that would completely bankrupt me. It’s on my wishlist for my birthday so if I can be a good girl until then, who knows.

Of course, the copy of the Alcohol Tarot that I bought earlier that day (yesterday) didn’t help matters. Nor did the mousepad I decided to splash out on. It’s been an expensive week, on top of an even more expensive December.

* One is the Illuminated Tarot, a hand-made version of the Rider-Waite deck by Carol Herzer. (Derek Armstrong’s review at Aeclectic Tarot pretty much sums up why I want the special irridescent version of the deck, which costs a mighty $145.) Another is the Chakra Mandala (also by Carol Herzer), which costs $52.

Each year in the Aeclectic Tarot forum, a thread is created for people to list their tarot collections. Many are incredibly impressive, both in quantity and in quality. I understand the obsession. I feel it but really can’t bring myself to buy a deck just for the sake of buying a deck. I used to, though. Way back when I first got interested, you couldn’t find tarot cards in too many places in the area where I lived. And my exposure to other areas was limited. But whenever I saw a new deck of something, anything, oracle-related in the local bookstore, I’d buy it. Many of them don’t appear in the list I’ve given in the About Me page because, well, I can’t find — or remember the details of – most of them.

Now, though, I buy only what pulls me in, either because of the artwork or because of the style or uniqueness of the deck. (The Luman deck did that to me. I’m still not sure what I think of it as a self-analysis tool, but I absolutely love the artwork and that more than anything is why I ended up buying it.) Unfortunately for me, nowadays I find many more decks that pull me in than I can reasonably afford to buy. In fact, I just now ordered a copy of the Alcohol Tarot.

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