B A C K G R O U N D N O T E S
Some of you may know of the online video companion course to Holistic Tarot already. I put out the first few video lectures for the series this past week. The videos supplement the study guides and handouts, which supplement the book, Holistic Tarot. To check out the course outline and description, click on the above hyperlinked banner. This blog post is just to offer some of the behind-the-scenes commentary.
Offering a Beginner’s Tarot Course
I have been pressed ad nauseum about offering a beginner’s tarot course. While I haven’t felt called to start production of materials with that specific intent in mind, as in an online multi-media course that teaches you how to read a deck of cards, I wrote Holistic Tarot with that specific intent (i.e., to instruct on tarot at the beginner level) in mind. Then when the book launched back in 2015, I created a portfolio of syllabi, study guides, and handouts to help people navigate the 800+ pages. That was my “beginner’s tarot course.”
Still I got pressed. Apparently that wasn’t what many of you folks had in mind when you think “beginner’s tarot course”?
So this video lecture series as a companion to the already available free download study guides and the book itself is my best attempt at a beginner’s tarot course. What I mean by that– I just don’t feel excited about, like, This is Key I: The Magician and here is what it means. This is Key II: The High Priestess and here is what it means. Now moving on to the Minor Arcana we have… this is the Celtic Cross. This is how you do a three-card reading. Here is how you shuffle. You know what I mean? Plus, I can count on both hands the number of tarot teachers who do that way better than I could, and do, and those beginner’s tarot courses are available and easily accessible to you. Since I don’t feel excited about that kind of course, I couldn’t successfully produce that kind of course.
Yet the press to create a beginner’s tarot course continued. And I asked myself, how can I approach beginner’s tarot study in a way that was totally me? So then this happened.
Why I Don’t Record My Talking Head
To fit in conception and production of videos into my schedule, I brainstorm topics and thoughts for videos while I commute to and from work. I save voice recordings and dictate what I want to do videos on and what I want to say.
Then some early morning or late evening hour, I transcribe those voice recordings and write out a script for a possible video. I gather public domain images, my own photography, royalty-free b-roll video footage, b-roll video footage I take on my own, and then string them all together using MovieMaker, the only video production program I own. There’s a little red circle button option in MovieMaker that allows you to record voiceover, so again at some early morning or late evening hour, in my pajamas, no makeup on, hair a mess, and work space around my computer a mess, I make the videos by recording voiceovers.
If I produced videos of my talking head, I’d have to consider lighting, so time of day would matter, and all the hours when natural lighting is best, I’m at work. Let’s forget the lighting. Let’s talk personal vanity. Such an approach would mean I’d have to put on, at the very least, a presentable shirt, make sure the background behind my talking head isn’t a hot mess (and it’s almost always a hot mess), and make sure my face isn’t a hot mess, which means makeup. Anyone who has ever tried knows that cameras are unkind to normal, everyday makeup. Which means special attention to makeup. And I just don’t have the mental bandwidth for special attention to makeup. Hence, the approach I’ve adopted for producing the videos.
Also, I don’t know if you can tell, but I don’t produce the full-length video in one sitting. I work on it a little bit here, a little bit there, and then over the course of many days, one video is completed. As a talking head type video, if I took that approach–which is the only approach that fits in to my schedule–every 2 minutes of footage you’d see a fade out, fade in, and me in a different outfit at a noticeably different time of day. So this approach I’m using is how I can hide the fact that one video takes many different days without it compromising a cohesive vibe.
Yeah, okay, I know, some of the video footage doesn’t really fit what I’m talking about. Sometimes it’s a stretch in terms of relevance but I try, given the limitations and parameters I’m working with. Sometimes, when choosing video footage for what I’m saying in the voiceover, the question I have to ask is “Is this totally unrelated?” If it isn’t totally unrelated, then it’s a go. Sigh.
Fee Arrangement for the Course
I did not want to put on my business thinking hat for this one. Plus, the long-term goal for the endeavor wasn’t just to teach tarot to a beginner, but for these videos, I have a defined point of view in mind, and it’s a point of view I want to share with people. So up the course went for free, in a sense.
I say “in a sense” because I do pressure those who make above a certain middle class living wage to fork over $13 by donation, via PayPal or Amazon Gift Card. You’ll see all terms in that Companion Course link. And that $13 is only if you utilize the complete companion course, meaning all study guides, download all the handouts, and reap benefit from all of the video lectures.
Like complete. If you’re dipping in and out, here and there, enjoying only snippets, then don’t worry about payment of anything.
Students still in school shouldn’t pay anything for the course. I encourage their pursuit of education and empathizing with how poor most students are, don’t want your money. If you’re a stay-at-home spouse, I understand money and expenditures can often be a dicey issue and I don’t want your interest in such a course to cause any such dicey feelings, so if you’re a stay-at-home spouse, this course is free for you.
Retired folks are generally no longer earning money and are just slowly going through their savings, and if you’re retired, diving in to such a tarot course full-on would be such a cool personal project to add to your schedule and to keep that mind of yours strong and vibrant. My mom and dad are retired folks so I want folks like my mom and dad to enjoy this course for free. That way they can easily and without hesitation add tarot coursework to their day. Studying and reading tarot for yourself is such a fantastic way to reflect on a life well lived and to keep those mental faculties malleable and alert.
Then, of course, if you aren’t earning a regular income right now due to unemployment or $13 really should go to other more pressing areas of your life but you’re still really, really interested in dedicating effort to such a tarot course, then I want you to have this course at your free disposal.
Veterans, for their service, and my lovely VIP clients, i.e., those who interact with me frequently for divinatory work should also have access to this course for free.
But I won’t say no to your $13, so if you want to give it in spite of qualifying under one of the above, I happily say thanks.
You can click here to go to the public YouTube Playlist I’ve created that arranges the video lecture series in order. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you stay up to date on all my uploads.
Please Help Spread the Word
If you can’t afford to give $13 at this time or you’re not really using the entire course and just diving in and out on occasion for bits and pieces of the course (which is totally free and I encourage it!), you can still do a little something for me in exchange. Help spread the word about this course and about Holistic Tarot! Share links to videos you like on social media. Start a conversation about some of the topics I address. Share links to the handouts or supplements. Help me expand my reach. That would mean the world to me.
Asking for Feedback and Appreciating Your Comments
Are there specific topics or issues you’d like to see me address in my video lecture series? Email me or send me a private message. Comment below or comment on one of the videos. Reach out and let me know your thoughts and offer feedback. I can’t guarantee I’ll always respond, due to my schedule and so replying to comments can sometimes be a hit or miss for me, but I really do appreciate hearing from you. Let me know which direction in your opinion you’d like to see the series go in. What do you think so far? How far I decide to take the video series depends entirely on public feedback.