Review of the Kabbalistic Tarot by Eugene Vinitski and Frater North

Eugene Vinitski is one of the most innovative and intelligent deck creators I’ve come across. When I hear that he’s come out with a new deck, even before I’ve seen it, I get excited, because I know it’s going to be high concept and exquisitely executed.

The Kabbalistic Tarot is no exception to that rule. Vinitski collaborates with Frater North on an esoteric study deck rooted in the Golden Dawn traditions and the results are stunning. The contrast on the box design between the ornate patterned lining and the solid black matte finish is perfection.

Celebrating the heritage of linking the Kabbalah to the tarot first prompted by Antoine Court de Gebelin in the 17th century and then later elaborated upon by Eliphas Levi, the Kabbalistic Tarot accentuates the correlations between the tarot and the Sephiroth Tree, where the Majors represent the dynamic part of the Tree, underscoring the paths of movement from one sephira to another, while the Minors are the rigidly bound static sephiroth.

There are 79 cards in total, with the extra card in the tarot deck being a colored diagram of the Kabbalistic Tree as you see at left in the above photograph. The color coding here is going to be significant when we go to  study the anatomy of each card design later in the deck.

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Review of the Luna Sol Tarot by Mike Medaglia

If you believe that the particular tarot deck a reader chooses to work the closest with reflects the character, aura, and essence of the reader, then the Luna Sol Tarot says to me that those who gravitate toward this deck are compassionate, loving, soulful, and forward-thinking, with values rooted in pluralism, inclusiveness, and diversity of both culture and beliefs.

Mike Medaglia is a comics illustrator with a Zen Buddhist background, along with being one of the co-founders of Liminal 11, the publisher of the Luna Sol Tarot. You may recognize his work from his previous contributions the Huffington Post and Elephant Journal. Thankfully for us tarot readers, Medaglia has now directed his attentions to creating a tarot deck and Luna Sol Tarot is a modern spiritual wonder.

Click image for enlarged close-up view of Majors.

With a muted color palette and timeless, ethereal quality to the art, this is a deck for meditation, self-reflection, inner child work, and daily wisdom. With his background in comic book illustration, Medaglia expertly tells a story of a thousand words in each picture, every card in this deck magically unraveling a full narrative arc with a beginning, middle, and end of a story that you’ll pick up on effortlessly. There’s such a beautiful Libran harmony and aesthetic balance to Luna Sol.

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The Actual Cost of Self-Publishing a Tarot Deck

Back in September of this year, I posted cost projections for self-publishing a tarot deck, “What Does it Cost to Self-Publish a Tarot Deck?” linked here. I think it’s worth your while to compare the projections from that previous post with the actual calculated and accounted for figures I’m providing here.

At this time we have completed packing and shipping out all sold decks and I’ve got a tally for you of actual costs. In other words, this is what I actually spent out of my pocket to produce Spirit Keeper’s Tarot and its companion guidebook, The Book of Maps, alongside an analysis of what I’ve actually earned in terms of income.

In a future post that will supplement this one, I want to talk about the intangible costs of independent publishing, everything from opportunity cost and work-life balance to the cost on your mental health and wellness. For now, this post will be about actual calculated dollars and cents only.

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Tarot Correspondences by T. Susan Chang

This book is such a must-have. Those of you who’ve been following along in my orientation video series for Spirit Keeper’s Tarot will have seen that I recommended Tarot Correspondences as the tarot book to get if you want to work with correspondence systems.

Chang’s Tarot Correspondences is tailored to all levels of tarot proficiency, whether you’ve “been reading for decades” or “you just picked up your first deck,” (as noted in the Introduction). “Correspondences,” she writes, “are patterns and connections inherited from esoteric systems. In tarot, correspondences line up with specific cards.”

Working with tarot correspondences is premised on the doctrine of sympathy, a Hermetic principle that the way one system goes with the other is part and parcel to the magic that happens. Correspondences, notes Chang, are the bridge between worlds. And I couldn’t agree with her more.

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Case Study for the Guided Akashic Tarot Reading with the SKT

Video installment #11 in the orientation course series for the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot is a guided meditative tarot reading rendered through accessing the Akashic Records. The direct link to the video on YouTube is here or you can check out the entire course series on this page here.

In this post I’ll be documenting an Akashic Tarot Reading I did for myself, guided by Video #11. I’m using it as a case study so that it might help round out your own approach with the reading exercise and to think about how you can interpret your own results from the Records.

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The Mass Exodus Away from YouTube

I’ve opted to blog my commentary on this issue rather than create a YouTube video and in the meantime, I’m trying to figure out for myself what I want to do going forward.

Those who follow the YouTube beauty and makeup community, or a community affectionately referred to as AuthorTube, or any other number of subsets of personalities on YouTube may have noticed that all of them seem to have one thing in common in recent times: the growing exodus of their personalities leaving YouTube and seeking out other projects, platforms, or simply choosing not to be so public and personal online anymore.

Yes, part of it is the site’s changing algorithms, but it’s a lot more than that. Few of us, especially pagan YouTubers and tarot YouTube channels did it for views or money in the first place. So the mass exodus of pagan and tarot YouTubers isn’t because of a changing algorithm. We might’ve mildly griped about it, but it wouldn’t have caused so many to altogether up and leave.

It’s the ever increasing hostility. There has been a noticeable wave of negativity washing over the comments section of YouTube videos, all across the board, and that wave has noticeably hit pagan and tarot YouTube channels.

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Behind the Scenes of the Glamorous Deck Creator

From my Instagram feed @bellwen

As those of you who have been following these blog posts for the last half a year will have figured out by now, I’m trying to document the journey of creating and self-publishing a tarot deck, commenting on all aspects of that journey for future aspiring deck creators to reap insights from.

This post will be part comments and part photo essay. Through it, I hope to take you behind the scenes of a self-published deck creator’s process. I hope to take you on the ride of a newly printed tarot deck from what it goes through at my home before it leaves our front doorsteps to arrive at yours.

Meanwhile, I hope to initiate aspiring deck creators into the less-than-glamorous aspects of this undertaking and to begin to convey to you just how much work is involved when you commit to self-publishing your deck.

These are candid shots I’m taking with my camera phone in hopes of sharing with you, as-is, what I see through my eyes. And if you still think the lifestyle of a deck creator is glamorous, then you have a very different definition of that word than I do.

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