Reading Your Critiques

In my head I’ve been mulling over a candid video chat I’ve been wanting to make for some time now, but it’s only these last few weeks of stirrings in our tarot community that concretized my motivation to just go ahead and do it. =)

I’ve only chosen one comment to read as an example of a recurring common critique I get, and the three recurring common critiques I’m chatting about in this video are as follows:

  1. I’m pretentious and elitist, and also an opportunist,
  2. My work is imbued with negative, demonic entities and/or I am possessed by or consort with negative, demonic entitles (evil, dark energy, etc., take your pick of descriptive), and
  3. I say insensitive things at all the wrong times (as interpreted from the writings I’ve put out there).

In the video I also reflect on authenticity, the perception of virtual authenticity, and how true, sincere human authenticity will come back to bite you in the ass online, and the only way to appear authentic is to fabricate and manufacture the illusion of authenticity.

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The Urban Incantations Tarot by Lynyrd-Jym Marquez Narciso

This tarot deck is badass. It’s grunge-inspired, urban fantasy, with a John Constantine vibe, and I’m so here for it. The color palette evokes conjured visions set against the shadows of night. Atmospheric, fraught with its air of mystery and dark grit, Urban Incantations Tarot by Lynyrd-Jym Marquez Narciso is like divination with the storyboard stills of a screenplay.

Click on photographic images for enlarged view

Narciso was inspired by the late 90s and early 2000s punk, rock, and alternative music scene. His art in Urban Incantations Tarot is rendered in digital mixed media. The style is cinematic, tense with drama– a brooding neo-noir.

The interminable nightfall, city lights, with scenes so evocative that you can hear the patter of rain and distant thunder. The way Narciso accentuates with smoke, flames, and droplets gives you the sense of an enlivened world, lambent and permeable.

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Transformational Oracle of the Morrighan by Bela Síol

The Transformational Oracle of the Morrighan by Bela Síol and illustrated by Igor Alexandre is a mostly black-and-white illustrated deck with accents of color. The Oracle set is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking connection to the Morrighan.

Bela Síol is a Brazilian pagan priestess and creator of The Oracle of Nehalennia, The Oracle of FreyaThe Oracle of ArianrhodThe Oracle of Venus, and many more. The illustrator Igor Alexandre is a priest and herbalist who explores themes of the occult, nature, and paganism in his art.

As a priestess Síol first connected with The Morrighan in 2009. Morrighan, or Morrigu, refers to the one but also the multifaceted Goddess of Ireland, namely the triad of goddesses Badb, Macha, and Morrigu, and sometimes appearing as the triad of Banba, Fodla, and Eriu. Still others, it’s a triad inclusive of the war goddesses Fea or Nemain.

This all weaves a complex mythology for The Morrigan. Síol’s The Transformational Oracle of the Morrighan is based on the triad of Badb, Macha, and Morrigu or Anand (sometimes Nemain). Each card explores one of the many key lessons connected to The Morrighan.

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Fragments: A Grogryn Oracle by Le Page Novembre

Those who love Renaissance fairs are going to love the Fragments Grøgryn oracle by the artist Le Page Novembre. Novembre describes themselves as “a queer, non-binary, neuro-spicy illustrator and writer” who crafts tarot and neo-medieval art, in the pursuit of “queering catholic imagery.”

They recently launched the brand Grøgryn, an indie sole proprietorship that creates oracles, tarots, and other games. One such artisanal works by Grøgryn is Fragments.

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Egyptian Gods and Goddesses (1870), 12 Prints

Download zip file:
Twelve Ancient Egyptian Deities

These twelve images are sourced from an 1870 publication, Bilder-Atlas – Ikonographische Encyklopädie, a multi-volume compendium of reference books in German. The images are formatted to print at 5.0” x 7.0”, but the resolution isn’t the sharpest. Nonetheless, they still printed okay.

Oops! Please ignore the typo.

After you unzip the file, you’ll see four folders for four different versions of the twelve images. I’ve included the originals, a version where I converted the images to a warmer sepia tone, then two versions with borders for printing.

I’m sharing the files here for those who are fascinated by these sorts of finds.

If you want about 3 mm of patterned border to show and you’re using to print your deck, then go with the 6 mm margin files.

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Comparing the First and Second Printings of SKT: Revelation

The current version of SKT open for pre-orders is the second print run of the full-color Revelation Edition. For ordering information, please click here.

Also, there continues to be confusion around the editions, print runs, etc., so I’ll try to clarify again.

In 2018, I printed a limited edition black and white SKT, with a print run of 1,000 copies. After those copies were sold, that’s it. Hence, limited edition.

In 2019, I printed a limited edition sepia-toned SKT Vitruvian, with a run of 2,000 copies, where each and every one of those 2,000 decks was given a name.

Both the black and white First and the sepia-toned Vitruvian are out of print. If and when you see them on second-hand markets going for astronomical prices, that’s not me. That has nothing to do with me.

In 2021 I released the third and final full-color Revelation edition of SKT. The Revelation is open edition. That means there will be various print runs. A first print run of 3,507 copies came out in 2021.

Now in 2023 there is a second print run of 3,168 copies.

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SKT: Revelation 2nd – Printing Status Update

Tarot Uncut Sheets

On our production milestones, we’re at the stage of cutting. The uncut sheets have all been printed. After cutting, the next stage will be gilding.

Our factory informed us that they are projecting May 7 for delivery outbound, which means we hope to receive it on our front doorsteps by July 15.

Card back design for the Certificates of Authenticity (noting assignment of Orders)

Interspersed throughout this status update post will be photos our factory sent to us. They’re really good about keeping us in the loop and providing full disclosure of the process, so for that I’ve been grateful.

Just love catching the partial glimpses of the printing machinery!

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Tarot Tube and Classism

The photos interspersed throughout this post are totally random, just for Pretty.

It would have made more sense for me to present this topic in video form on my YouTube channel, but I’ve been a bit under the weather with the flu, so my voice is scratchy, my nose is stuffed, and I don’t feel like putting on makeup. A blog post will have to suffice.

Tarot Tubers of Reference

I follow Mixtress Rae on YouTube, which is how I saw her video, “Do I have a shopping addiction or am I just poor? Income equality in the tarot world.” My pathway of clicks must’ve alerted The Algorithm to feed me Nightsong Tarot‘s “Money, Consumerism and Tarottube, VR to MixtressRae” and I am glad for it! I’m also subscribed to MasculineIntuitionReadings, so I caught the replay of “Witchin’ & Bitchin’ about consumerism and entitlement in [the] tarot community.” Sorsha Soaring also makes great points in “Double Standards in ‘Community’ – Tarot Tube.”

You’ll have to watch these videos first because what they have to say is what I’m referencing throughout this write-up. By the way I hope you’ll like and subscribe to them all as I have. ❤

UPDATE: I’d also like to amplify these important voices to the conversation: “An Update and Some Thoughts on Tarot Consumerism” via Elisa’s Magickal Space; “VR to Mixtress Rae & Tarot Tube: Reacting vs. Responding” via Highly Sensitive Tarot; Sylvain’s Deadly Sins responds to both Mixtress Rae and this blog post here, “Goblins & Gardens, Trolls & Tolls (a VR)“; and “Income Inequality VR to Mixtress Rae” via Faith of Cardinal Spirit Readings.

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Complete Book of North American Folk Magic, edited by Cory Thomas Hutcheson

Cory Thomas Hutcheson, author of New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic (2021), has brought together an incredible assembly of folk practitioners from across North America– Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

You will get an own voices insider perspective of Appalachian mountain magic, brujeria, curanderismo, Detroit hoodoo, Florida swamp magic, French Canadian sorcellerie, Irish American folk magic, Italian American magic, Melungeon folk magic, New England cunning craft, New Orleans voodoo, Ozark folk magic, Pennsylvania powwow and braucherei, Slavic American folk magic, Southern conjure, and more.

North America stretches five thousand miles across, nestled in between two great oceans, and within that space, frozen tundra, glaciers, pine forests, deciduous rainforests, blooming deserts, prairies, and towering groves of redwood.

This is the homeland of hundreds of Indigenous nations for millennia, a land ravaged with invasions and displacements, of dark legacies but also a hope for and collective effort to forge a brighter future.

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Love Oracle of Eden by Abusua Pa

The boutique indie publisher Abusua Pa, who printed the Tazama African Tarot, has released an absolutely exquisite and divine oracle deck, the Love Oracle of Eden. This is the second deck by the Black-owned publishing house, whose mission is to increase Black representation in tarot and art.

“Joy is the essence of my being.” – from the Love Oracle of Eden guidebook (2022)

With the Love Oracle of Eden, writes the creators Bjorn Franklin and Chiria Da Luz Fortes, “We had the idea to create a deck about love and relationships, as we did not come across many decks that covered this important subject while including people of colour.”

“To encourage honesty and love with oneself no matter how painful it may be. . . . Even my worst day is a sincere blessing and an opportunity to show myself and those around me grace.” – from the Love Oracle of Eden guidebook

They stumbled upon the art of A.J. and Chantelle Hamilton, the artists of the Love Oracle of Eden. 56 incredible models posed for these photographic compositions, each meticulously curated by the artists for this deck.

Let’s start with the production value. Holy smokes I’ve never seen anything quite like this. The caliber of thought and, like, at this point that deck box is some sort of origami, the level of care that goes into the craftsmanship is impressive. Every design element is not only beautiful, but serves symbolic purpose.

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