New Chapter Tarot by Kathryn Briggs (a Liminal-11 Publication)

Kathryn Briggs is a graphic novelist, illustrator, and arts educator. Following the end of her marriage, she left the UK, where she had gone to art school and launched her career in the arts, and returned home, back to Philadelphia. The New Chapter Tarot is her story of starting a new chapter, told through paint.

With a matte finish and the absolute perfect hand-held size (about one-fifths shorter than standard tarot), this deck is a delight to read with. It reads like a Book of Changes, because these cards were born from its creator’s journey of personal evolution. New Chapter Tarot is described as featuring beautifully diverse representation, mythology, sacred geometry, blended with iconic traditional tarot symbolism. Briggs herself is a practicing witch.

The card back with the heron and owl touching wings is a stunner of a drawing. I interpret the heron as symbolizing exoteric knowledge and the owl as esoteric knowledge. I also love that the High Priestess card is featured on the box, which is a representation of the Mystery of the Triple Goddess or, as the guidebook notes, “Mami Wata bringing devotees into the spirit world to gain Knowledge.” Oh, and as you can see from the photo, like the standard Thoth card backs, they’re non-reversible.

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SKT-III Production: Redoing the Digital Proofs

We got the digital proofs in from our printing company, but I’m going to have to make alignment adjustments and re-submit. So, in other words, delay.

The red lines you see in these digital proofs shared here are where the cards will be cut, so everything inside the red lines are what you’ll see on the actual card. There is about 10 pixels (that’s 0.169 cm or 0.0665 inches) too much around the perimeter, more than I had wanted on the card faces and about 18 pixels (that’s 0.305 cm or 0.1201 inches) too much around the perimeter of the card backs.

The test print samples I got done myself with a print-on-demand service cut the margins exactly where I wanted, so sadly, I thought I was good to go. But I’m not. The way my actual printing company cuts the cards or gives the margin specifications is a little different. Which is totally normal. Which is why we do these digital proofs first before physical samples are printed.

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SKT III Production Status Update

SKT Revelation Production Status Update: Short Version

  • We’ve sent the down payment to our printing company and commenced the production process, but–
  • First we’re doing a test print for the final confirmation of color, the packaging, and also to see how the coloring looks with the selected cardstock and finish, which we estimate to take about 2 weeks to complete, and–
  • After hundreds of drafts and flip flopping between different options, I’ve finally selected a card back design.

SKT Revelation Production Status Update: Long Rambling Version

Let’s talk about what a Journey (*dies*) creating the card back design for this third edition deck was!

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The Tarot Courts and Your Birth Chart

Crowley’s Book of Thoth assigns zodiacal domains to the Kings (Thoth Knights), Queens, and Knights (Thoth Princes). Each rulership begins at 21° and ends at 20°.

So, for example, the Queen of Swords begins her reign at 21° Virgo and ends at 20° Libra. At 21° Libra, the Knight (Thoth Prince) rules until 20° Scorpio.

It’ll be fun to superimpose this over your birth chart to see which court cards rule over your natal planets and personal sensitive points.

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SKT III Production Status: More Test Prints

Eeks. RGB to CMYK conversion was not the issue. In my previous post on this matter, I showed you the digital files I converted from the RGB to CMYK. This is now the test print of what the conversion to CMYK looks like.

Fun tip: since I’m ordering this deck to check color, I tried to optimize my resources and time by printing lots of different versions for the card back options I was entertaining. This way in one fell swoop, I can determine which design, which color saturation, values, brightness, etc. to go with.

In the above photo, you can see how I printed out many variations of that double vajra bluish card back design, at different color saturation and brightness levels to see which one I would like best.

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Asian voices in the tarot community

Morning Calm Oracle by Seo Kelleher

When I was growing up in the tarot world, the only Asian I knew of in this field was Robert Wang. Times have changed some, and I’m pleased to share with you many who are contributing incredible work to the tarot community.

In no particular order, here’s who I’ve been fangirling hard over as of late:

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SKT III Status Update: Color Values and Saturation Issues

Just a quick update on SKT: The Revelation edition. I’ve now gone through two test prints of the deck to check color issues. We haven’t even gotten to the test runs for checking cardstock, finish, etc. We’re still on color.

Nonetheless, the pre-order newsletter e-mail will be sent out on the morning of March 20, 2021. One way to check whether the pre-order e-mail has been sent is to check the newsletter archives, linked here.

Even though the photograph of the cards is unfiltered and as-is, I think something about the way it’s translating digitally masks the problem that is all too glaring in real life: the color values are just a smidge on the dark side, and there isn’t enough contrast, so you end up with very slightly blurred images.

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Kimberly Tsan’s Spread Machine Cards and Oracle

Kimberly Tsan is a unique and eccentric gem in our tarot community. She brings playfulness, kindness, and quirk to the world of cartomancy. I’ve reviewed her Way of the Panda Tarot before here. She also created The Sparkly Lenormand, which I’ll be talking about in the near future. Her latest contribution is the Spread Machine Cards & Oracle, plus two optional expansion packs, Change and Quest. I’ll be covering all three card sets.

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Madhouse Tarot by Eugene Vinitski and Elsa Khapatnukovski

Madhouse Tarot by the tarot powerhouse duo Eugene Vinitski and Elsa Khapatnukovski is a gripping storybook that captures the human experience of unreason. This is a deck that delves into that part within every one of us, the unreason that is the reason we feel alienated, exposing the piece of our soul that’s been fragmented from turmoil.

These illustrations explore the supernatural. From portraits of horror and torment to unsettling visions, with the aesthetic of a Victorian asylum meets the Roaring Twenties (you’re going to see quite a few references, including well-known figures from that time period), the premise of this deck is in a class all its own.

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