Tarot Business Spotlight: The Five-Minute Party Reading

Skill Level: Advanced

Today’s installment of Sightsee the Tarot will walk you through the choreography of a five-minute party reading and some incredible tips on choreographing party readings, straight from one of the most renowned tarot professionals in the country, Jenna Matlin. But even if you’re not interested in being a pro reader, mastering the five-minute party reading is a great skill to have.

Since footage for this video was filmed after 10 pm, I didn’t have any human bodies to be my extras. =) Hence, our little stuffed friend Q-Ball is the stand-in.

I wrote up a quick book review of Have Tarot, Will Party here if you want to learn more about the book.

Post-edit, I realized I didn’t cover everything I wanted to cover (and certainly nowhere close to covering all the juicy bits in Matlin’s book!), so this companion blog post is my personal add-on to the video.

Continue reading “Tarot Business Spotlight: The Five-Minute Party Reading”

Spirit Keeper’s Tarot: First Edition and Vitruvian Edition

What are the differences between the 2018 First Edition Spirit Keeper’s tarot deck and the 2019 forthcoming Vitruvian Edition?

I showed a walk-through of the Vitruvian Edition in a YouTube video here, which also offers direct comparisons to cards redesigned from the First Edition. So be sure to check that out if you want to know exactly which cards in the deck were redesigned.

Also, please note that the First Edition is now out of print. It’s featured in this blog post only as a point of comparison for the Vitruvian Edition, which you can pre-order now until March 20.

You can also check out the Gallery of All Cards to view every single card in the deck, both the First Edition and Vitruvian Edition. However, the exact color tones in the actual printed Vitruvian deck will be significantly more muted than the digital images you see on screen.

I’m also still tweaking the exact color tones, so the Vitruvian images in the Gallery are works in progress. I keep printing and re-printing tweaked test copies of the deck to scrutinize the color tones and every singe time so far, I’ve found issues that I wanted to correct, so bear in mind what’s there is still subject to minor tweaks.

Recently I went on Instagram and turned the question on you folks and asked what you intuit to be the differences between the First Edition and Vitruvian. People had some incredible observations and insights! Now it’s my turn to share how I perceive the differences. =)

Continue reading “Spirit Keeper’s Tarot: First Edition and Vitruvian Edition”

Reading Tarot for Others (Free Book of Maps Chapter Download)

The Book of Maps Vitruvian Edition is going to be a significantly larger volume book than the First Ediiton, with new chapters.

A collection of those chapters are intended to showcase the more practical side of the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, especially how a professional tarot reader or one who reads tarot for others might be able put the deck into everyday use.

Continue reading “Reading Tarot for Others (Free Book of Maps Chapter Download)”

Buy the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, Vitruvian Ed.

The pre-order period has closed.

However, you can still place an order of the deck, with delivery scheduled for mid-August to early September. (For those who pre-ordered, your decks are scheduled for delivery by end of July, 2019.)

Deck Description:

Spirit Keeper’s Tarot is a hand-illustrated 78-card tarot deck (with 2 additional versions of Key 0, for a total of 80 cards) inspired by late Renaissance woodcut prints, with symbology based predominantly on medieval European alchemy, Hermeticism, Zoroastrianism, astrology, the Kabbalah, Abrahamic angelology, Egyptian mythology, Sufism, and late Renaissance Christian mysticism.

The narrowly-tailored premise of Spirit Keeper’s Tarot is to transform tarot keys into calling cards for accessing a spirit world of beneficent immortals.

The artwork is original black and white line drawings done by hand, by me, in pen and ink, then digitally remastered to monochromatic sepia tones. The cards are bordered with a tea-stained parchment design.

All decks will be anointed with hand-crafted holy anointing oil made of Ceylon cinnamon, cassia cinnamon, myrrh resin, and sweet lemongrass.

R E A D :

F R E E   D O W N L O A D S :

The Vitruvian Edition:

While the First Edition SKT deck was in black and white, a largely faithful scan of the original line drawings I did by hand, the remastered Vitruvian Edition is in monochromatic sepia tones with redesigned architecture.

The namesake for this edition comes from Vitruvius, who lived around 80 B.C. to 15 B.C. Vitruvius was a Roman architect who taught that every structure must exhibit three qualities: stability, utility, and beauty. These three qualities have come to be known as the Vitruvian Triad.

A millennium after Vitruvius, Leonardo da Vinci was inspired by the Roman architect’s works. One of da Vinci’s most famous sketches–rendered in sepia ink–is the Vitruvian Man (1487).

Limited Print Run

We will place our print run order based on the number of pre-orders we get plus a couple hundred extra to spare. That’s it.

After this print run is sold out, we won’t be reprinting. Even if a future SKT deck happens, it won’t be for many years and it will be different from this version. SKT will not be handed over to a mass market publisher anytime soon, either.

All Decks are Anointed

I craft my own anointing oil from essences and macerated oils I make myself from raw ingredients painstakingly sourced to ensure quality. The Ceylon cinnamon bark was purchased at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. The cassia cinnamon leaf was imported from India. I use whole, highest grade myrrh resin (tears of myrrh) and lots of it (because making your own true essential oils requires a lot of myrrh). The lemongrass is fresh, local produce that is personally sun-dried over several months before the oil-making process even begins. And then the oil making process takes another several months before they’re ready. The olive oil is from Athens, Greece. Multiple layering of astrologically-timed ritual work is crafted into the anointing oil.

Multiple Deck Orders:

Shipping costs for multiple deck orders are as follows:

U.S. Orders
Orders of up to 3 (three) decks will cost a flat rate of $8.
For orders of 4 (four) decks or more, please contact James at abelldelivers@gmail.com before purchasing for a price quote of shipping costs

International Orders
For orders of 3 (three) decks or more, please contact James at abelldelivers@gmail.com before purchasing for a price quote of shipping costs. 2 (two) or less decks will be covered by the shipping cost noted above.

Payment Instructions:

In one single payment, remit the total dollar amount for number of decks ordered, packages ordered, shipping cost, and any optional insurance.

PayPal or GooglePay to abelldelivers@gmail.com

Direct link: https://www.paypal.me/benebell

By placing an order, you are consenting to the terms and conditions set forth below.

How To Order

1. PayPal or GooglePay the total dollar amount to abelldelivers@gmail.comAND

2. Immediately after payment, e-mail us at abelldelivers@gmail.com with your

  • Full name
  • Mailing address you want us to send the deck(s) to (even if it’s the same as your PayPal account, this is so we have all of your information in one place)
  • E-mail for personal contact
  • PayPal or GooglePay e-mail used for payment, if different from above
  • International shipping please see additional instructions below

How To Pay

In one single payment, remit the total dollar amount for number of decks ordered, packages ordered, shipping cost, and any optional insurance.  Please included your full name and “SKT purchase” in your payment “notes”

PayPal or GooglePay to abelldelivers@gmail.com

PayPal direct link: https://www.paypal.me/benebell

International Order Instructions

Please e-mail the following information to us:

1. Full name:
2. Street address:
3. City:
4. Province:
5. Postal code:
6. Country:
7. Telephone number (in the event there is a customs issue):

Confirmation Notice

VERY IMPORTANT! We will e-mail you a confirmation notice within 7 (seven) business days of our receipt of your payment transfer. If you do not receive a confirmation notice in 7 (seven) days, something went wrong. Please e-mail us at abelldelivers@gmail.com immediately. Sometimes it’s because the wrong e-mail address was entered in for payment. Other times something just got lost in cyberspace. To make sure your order is accounted for, you need to have a copy of the confirmation notice. This is our checks system. All confirmed orders will get an e-mail confirmation.

Optional Insurance for Lost or Damaged Packages

We are not responsible for lost or damaged shipments, which is why we recommend purchasing the optional insurance. Optional insurance costs an extra $2 for every $100 you want ensured. Packages lost or damaged in transit are covered under the U.S. Postal Service insurance policy you purchase, and if no insurance is purchased, then there will be no refunds or replacements for loss or damage. Please read the terms and conditions below carefully.

A Companion Course, Free and Online

With the First Edition, over 95% of purchasers ordered the Premium Package that included the online video course series. That’s why I decided to make the online video course series public and freely accessible. I figured this would be most convenient for all and would spread around the good karma.

In addition to that video series already freely available, I will be producing another set of videos to go along with this redesigned deck, with new content tailored around the aspiration to make this deck more intuitively accessible so that you don’t feel like you need to be anybody other than yourself or to know anymore than what you already know (or are willing to learn) to gain access to all that this deck can offer.

The set of videos that went with the First Edition deep-dived unapologetically into mystical realms that required the suspension of rational skepticism, i.e., we were talking about your Holy Guardian Angel, ritual magic, angels, demons, the Akashic Records, and that kind of thing.

The new set of videos will be more practical and applicable to everyday readings. How do you interpret SKT court cards in readings? How do you actually and effectively integrate basic beginner-level astrology with tarot readings, using the astrological correspondence system that the SKT deck follows? How do you use your deck and Book of Maps together to do an I Ching and tarot divination?

The Book of Maps

Only the $65 Premium Package will come with the Book of Maps companion guidebook to the deck and it’s just a PDF digital file.

Everything in the Book of Maps, First Edition will still be in the revised Book of Maps, with updated card images, card entries, and some minor line-editing. You can read sample chapters from the Book of Maps here (scroll down to the bottom of that page for the hyperlinked sample chapters).

There’s also an additional 230+ pages to this revised edition of the Book of Maps. The new additions will include more on how to read the SKT court cards, working with the Olympic spirits, integrating astrology with the tarot, integrating gematria with the tarot, and an entire reference section on using the tarot and I Ching divination together. You will be able to look up short form I Ching oracles based on your SKT tarot card readings by consulting this Book of Maps. No additional I Ching texts required.

Additional Terms and Conditions:

Brace yourself. There are a lot of them. Because experience.
  • Delivery is FOB original shipping point, postage pre-paid by seller
  • All pre-orders are NON-REFUNDABLE, so please do your own thorough due diligence before deciding to place a pre-order
  • We are not liable for packages that the postal service has recorded as “Delivered.” If you see that the tracking information for your package notes “Delivered” but you have not received it, then you will need to contact your post office for more information.
  • We are happy to replace damages under the following conditions:
    • You have to e-mail your claim to abelldelivers@gmail.com. Please do not send me a private tweet, direct message on Instagram or Facebook, leave a comment on an arbitrary blog post or Instagram photo from like five months ago, or try to communicate with me telepathically about your claim. Please stick to e-mail. We will only be answering claims that have been e-mailed to abelldelivers@gmail.com.
    • Please e-mail us photographs of both the front and back of the damaged card and make sure the photographs are reasonably clear before you send. Please do not send us blurry photos and expect us to know what we’re looking at. Please send the photos as image file attachments.
    • Damages to the cards that would reasonably impact a tarot reading will certainly be replaced, such as a noticeable manufacturing defect on one of the card backs, printing smudges or printing errors on any of the cards, or altogether missing cards. Manufacturing defects to the cards will be replaced.
    • Minor issues that are reasonably foreseeable and commonplace risks when buying tarot decks will not be replaced.
    • Significant or total damage to the deck box will be replaced. However, minor or subtle dings, scuff marks, or scratches to the box will not be replaced.
  • You understand that there are no guarantees of perfect, flawless application of gilded or gold edging on your deck. Gilded edging on decks is produced through a process that crushes gold-toned plates into fine grain and then that fine grain, a gold dust, is applied to the cardstock edges under high pressure and heat until it is sealed onto the stock. Some fall-out is inevitable. We cannot guarantee that there won’t be some fall-out with your gilded edges. Furthermore, note that harsh shuffling and handling of the cards might wear down the gilding.

International Terms and Conditions:

  • International buyers are responsible for knowing what the customs fees will be and paying those customs fees to your local agencies
  • Your order may be subject to VAT taxes that you have to pay your government.
  • Your order may be subject to import fees that you have to pay your government.
  • Your order may require you to take a trip to the post office and be physically present to pick up the international shipment, which may also require that you show a photo ID, so the name on your photo ID would need to match the name of addressee on the package. In other words, if you tell us to print your name as “Shambala Thunder Fairy” but your government-issued ID says “Bob Smith,” you may run into problems at your post office.
  • For international shipments, our customs declaration will state that the package is for “tarot cards.” Before you place your order, you are responsible for verifying that declarations for “tarot cards” can be imported into your country. Please note that some countries in the Caribbean and in Muslim countries ban the import of “occult objects” and as we’ve come to learn, that includes a tarot deck. You are responsible for confirming that tarot cards can be shipped to your country before placing your pre-order.

Get on the mailing list to receive important updates and progress reports about your pre-ordered deck.

I will be sending progress reports, important updates, and everything related to your order of the SKT deck by the mailing list linked here: www.tinyurl.com/SKTnews.

From now until the pre-order window closes, I’ll also be sending exclusive previews, maybe some freebies, and who knows what else through that mailing list only.

Whether you’re just interested in staying up to date on the progress of the Vitruvian Edition or you’ve already pre-ordered your deck, get on this mailing list!

This isn’t some promo marketing thing. It’s 100% a my convenience thing. I can easily, by one click, send out notices to everybody who has consented to receiving e-mail notices and don’t have to keep track of or keep on updating any manually created email lists.

This edition is going to be the last SKT print run for a very long time… years, or maybe even never.

We are going to place a production order based on the pre-order quantity, plus some hundreds to spare and sell until they run out. And then that’s it.

We are not going to reprint this version of the deck. We might consider reprinting new versions of SKT way, way down the line in the future, for a possible five-year anniversary or ten-year anniversary special. In fact, there’s even the chance of never.

SKT will not be handed over to a mass market publisher. Maybe when J and I are so old and feeble we can barely hold a pen to write our own names, we might at that point give SKT to a publishing house, but it won’t happen anytime soon, so please don’t hold out for what you hope will be a cheaper version of the deck in two years.

Still got questions?

Please e-mail your inquiries to abelldelivers@gmail.com.

Redesigning the SKT Tarot Box

Redesigning the box for my deck has been so much harder than designing the first edition’s box, because I love my first edition box design. I love the symbolism, I love the energy of it, how it very much feels specific to a particular historic period, and I love how it complemented the black and white deck itself (first edition). Being so attached to it means parting with it has been the hardest part.

Specs wise, the new box will be the same as the first edition box– a top and bottom lid format, absolute matte finish, and really sturdy quality. Anyone who has the first edition might be able to attest to how freakin’ amazing these boxes are. If you’re curious, to get this quality for your tarot box, the stock is 1200 gsm. Compare that to the stock for the tarot cards themselves, which is 350 gsm.

Continue reading “Redesigning the SKT Tarot Box”

Redesigning Cards in SKT for the New Edition

Scan of the pen and ink line drawings that will become the new card back design

It’s been back to the drawing board for me on account of a few cards from Spirit Keeper’s Tarot. As a rare books and art collector myself, I have some sense of considerations for what retains value of limited edition decks, and I wanted to honor those who supported me in the first edition black and white run by doing everything in my control to assure that your acquisition of the SKT first edition deck was a worthwhile investment. =)

Rejected drafts of card back designs.

I see SKT #2 as a sibling of SKT #1. It’s the same deck the same way siblings share the same DNA, but there are distinct physical and personality differences between #1 and #2. At least that is my hope for what you’ll be able to perceive between the two editions.

First, let’s just talk about the drawings. I’ll share with you which cards I’ve scrapped entirely, went back to a blank drawing board, and did an entirely new illustration.

Continue reading “Redesigning Cards in SKT for the New Edition”

The Intangible Cost of Self-Publishing a Tarot Deck

This is the sequel follow-up blog post to “The Actual Cost of Self-Publishing a Tarot Deck” that came after “What Does it Cost to Self-Publish a Tarot Deck?” If you’re not up to speed already, then start by reading the latter link (“What Does it Cost…”) and then the first (“The Actual Cost…”).

Here I want to address the intangible costs to being an indie tarot or oracle deck creator. Oh, and yeah, be forewarned that this is a very, very long and rambling blog post.

Continue reading “The Intangible Cost of Self-Publishing a Tarot Deck”

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.

Continue reading “The Actual Cost of Self-Publishing a Tarot Deck”

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.

Continue reading “Case Study for the Guided Akashic Tarot Reading with the SKT”

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.

Continue reading “Behind the Scenes of the Glamorous Deck Creator”