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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Free PDF Download: Excerpts to Sole Proprietorship in the Sacred Arts

The following free PDF download is an excerpt from a manual that will be part of an online course forthcoming in 2019: Sole Proprietorship in the Sacred Arts.

Part guidebook, part hands-on workbook, this excerpt is 62 pages of reading and prompted brainstorming that will cover the following:

  • My story
  • Myths of the six-figure mystic
  • What is a business model?
  • What is voice and how do you define your voice? (This is the starting point of effective branding.)
  • Branding your identity (Let’s begin considerations for your brand’s physical appearance.)
  • How do you build a reputation? (Preliminary thoughts are provided; the online course will go more in-depth on this topic.)
  • How do you create value?
  • The magic of prosperity consciousness

Continue reading “Free PDF Download: Excerpts to Sole Proprietorship in the Sacred Arts”

Pre-Order the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot

SOLD OUT.

Spirit Keeper’s Tarot is a hand-illustrated black and white 78-card tarot deck (with 2 additional versions of Key 0 cards, 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 angelic realms, or the spirit world of beneficent immortals.

R E A D :

You can check out images of all the cards by clicking on the banner below:

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Evocation of Waite and Crowley

The following is an excerpt from The Book of Maps, the companion guidebook to the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, a hand-illustrated black and white tarot deck crafted with practitioners of the mystic arts in mind. The pen and ink drawings were inspired by woodcut prints from the late Renaissance. Symbology called upon is based predominantly on medieval European alchemy, astrology (the Sacred Seven), Hermeticism, Zoroastrianism, Abrahamic angelology, Kabbalah, Catholicism/Christianity, Sufism, and Egyptian mythology.

By the way, the date of this posting is the mid-point between Waite’s birthday and Crowley’s birthday. How fun is that!

Excerpt from The Book of Maps:

Evocation of Waite and Crowley

My purpose for including this section is to document my personal ritual practices in attempting to evoke the spirit presence of A. E. Waite and Aleister Crowley, with my own Holy Guardian Angel present, while conceiving Spirit Keeper’s Tarot. This is not a how-to instructional nor does it purport to teach anything about evocation. Treat this section as nothing more than a memoir of what I did to create my tarot deck.

I set out on the Major Arcana cards with the intention of evoking Waite and Crowley, but sincerely did not feel like I succeeded during the crafting of the Majors. I never actually felt their presence (tenuous and subjective as it is anyway) but did feel the very strong and powerful presence of my Holy Guardian Angel, who I’ve opted to leave unnamed in this Book.

Instead, I felt like my work on the Major Arcana was being used as a test or trial, to see whether I was worthy of being given assistance in my endeavor. So the crafting of the Majors was very much my own. It wasn’t until commencing the Minors, beginning with the Four of Scepters (Four of Wands) that I felt the very strong and powerful presence of both Mr. Waite and Mr. Crowley.

Before writing this chapter of the Book of Maps, I had decided to keep this part of my crafting process private, in large part because I had no idea what I was doing. I was also aware that revealing such practice could be construed as a marketing ploy, which I certainly did not want. So I made no mention of it.

Before undertaking a Key set (i.e., Realm of Twos, Realm of Threes, etc.), I’d light two long taper candles, one white and one black, with W etched in gold on the white candle and C etched in silver on the black. I placed the white candle on a hand-drawn mat of Waite’s rectified birth chart (birth chart rectification is an astrological calculation used to best guess the time of birth when it is unknown). Considering the number of times the word “rectified” comes up in Waite’s Pictorial Key, I personally found a lot of humor in having to use a rectified birth chart for his evocation.

Continue reading “Evocation of Waite and Crowley”

Physical Proofs Are In! Now Awaiting Full Shipment.

These arrived yesterday evening… on my birthday. I’ll get going on snapping more high-resolution, professional marketing shots of the cards soon enough.

The white ding you see in the top left corner of the box in the bottom center photo above does concern me, but if that’s the worst of it, then count me happy. I also think when you opt to go with such a solid-black matte finish, white dings like that are bound to happen.

As for the cards themselves, I’m quite happy. The cardstock is 350 gsm. That’s thicker than mass market standards, so you’re getting higher quality, but not as thick as 400 gsm (getting into the realm of oracle deck stock) where you can’t do the riffle shuffle. It was important to me that the cards are in fact functional in the hands of a real life tarot reader, but ultimately, you’re the judge of whether I succeeded at that. =)

There’s a little white booklet (literally titled “little white booklet”…ha…) that doesn’t have a whole lot in terms of meaty content, but I think will do the job in terms of orienting someone on the premise of the deck, assuming they haven’t been following my progress notes and therefore don’t already know. There was no way I could have fit any of the Book of Maps card by card, symbol by symbol content into this LWB so I didn’t even bother trying.

Okay, now for those who are actually interested in getting their hands on this deck, here’s the plan so far.

No, you did not miss the boat on some pre-order launch that came and went. It hasn’t happened yet. I don’t like to point and shoot without information, so that’s why I didn’t do an early bird pre-order offer.

Also, instead of following Business and Marketing 101 rules, I’m just going to tell you the plans as they come to me, so we’re always on the same page together, even if it means maybe later down the line we might have to also backtrack together. So just bear that in mind.

Continue reading “Physical Proofs Are In! Now Awaiting Full Shipment.”

Tarot of Enchanted Dreams: Deck Review

The Tarot of Enchanted Dreams by Yasmeen Westwood is a digital photography-collage tarot deck that transports the would-be enchantress into a fairytale fantasy. The color palette of blues, purples, pinks, and silver sets a mystical tone. If you were that little girl or boy who used to dream of being a princess in a faraway magical land of angels, fairies, and unicorns, then this is absolutely the deck for you.

At the craft of digital photo collage art, Westwood is talented. The layering is seamless, color tones adjusted to be perfectly complimentary, and the black borders very much work to balance out the artwork. The cardstock feels like industry standard, maybe somewhere between 300 and 310 gsm, not entirely sure. It’s also shiny, with a very glossy sheen.

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What Does it Cost to Self-Publish a Tarot Deck?

I wanted to post this for the aspiring deck creators to crush your dreams. I’m kidding. Sorta. Here’s the thing. If you’re aspiring to self-publish your own tarot deck, then I want to make sure you go in fully informed and with a very comprehensive strategic plan. Can you arrive at the other side of all this having earned some money? Yes, you can. If you’re smart. I’m hoping this post will help you to be smart.

A lot of indie deck creators kind of just wing it, forget to account for certain costs, and end up losing money on their venture. The rare success stories are lauded with such fervor that we start to believe that a financially successful tarot deck is the norm. Well it’s not. The norm is the deck creator who didn’t do the math right, and even though a healthy dollar amount was raised through crowdfunding, much of what was earned was inadvertently wasted, and the tarot deck never makes it past its first print run.

So if you plan on crowdfunding your deck production through a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, then this post can help you ascertain how much you’ll really need to ask for. Or if you go the route of bootstrapping it yourself, what is that going to look like? How are you going to maneuver your budget planning?

To keep the topic streamlined, the only thing we’ll talk about here is money. Numbers. So we’re beginning the train of thought assuming you have a marketable tarot deck. If your deck is shit none of this matters. So assuming you have a product that can generate a healthy level of demand, let’s proceed.

In each of the tables here, you’ll see the line items are numbered along the left column. My notes will correspond with each numbered line item.

YOUR COSTS

Let’s begin by itemizing your anticipated costs and expenses. How much money, in U.S. dollars, does it take to self-publish your tarot deck of 78 cards, packaged in a box, and accompanied by a little white booklet?

Also, don’t just look at the tables and end there. You have to read the line notes that explain where each expense description is coming from. Some line items you can probably cut out. Some will be cheaper for you. Though some may be more expensive. It all depends. So read the notes.

Continue reading “What Does it Cost to Self-Publish a Tarot Deck?”

Register for the 2018 Card Reading Magic Summit with Tori Hartman!

I’m honored to be selected as one of the speakers at the 2018 Card Reading Magic Summit hosted by Tori Hartman. She and I will be talking about the steps to becoming a six-figure mystic. So many of the folks I love dearly will also be speakers, so personally, I can’t wait!

Register for the Free Pass Today

Click Affiliate Link

The free pass only gives you access to the live airing of each speaker’s segment. If you’d like open access to all interviews for two weeks after the event, so you can take a little longer getting through them, get the Bronze Pass for just $5. Even cooler: you get access to all past events, too! Come on. That’s pretty amazing. $5?

There are also Silver Pass and Gold Pass options for those serious about the craft. These interviews are with professionals in the sacred arts industry who will share with you their trade secrets, professional experiences, and expertise in the field. You don’t want to miss the event.

Plus, every speaker will be offering a free gift! Mine is a 62-page PDF excerpt of a textbook I’m putting together for a future online course, “Sole Proprietorship in the Sacred Arts.” You’ll get to read the first seven chapters in a PDF download that you’ll get for free when you register for the Summit.

The 62-page excerpt will share my own story, then some myths about the six-figure mystic, designing your business model, defining your voice, branding basics, and what I consider the most important chapter: how to create value.

Last week I released a sneak peek into the 62-page PDF:

The Magic of Prosperity Consciousness

Click to Download PDF

This week, I’m releasing another sneak peek:

Introduction

Click to Download PDF

If you register to watch my chat with Tori live, on September 15, 2018, at 9:30 am PT, then it’s free! Or you can register for a two-week access, for just $5, which includes access to all events for the Summit. Be sure to check out all the tiered options below.

Register Today

Click Affiliate Link

Becoming the Six Figure Mystic: Tori Hartman’s 2018 Card Reading Magic Summit

I’m honored to be selected as one of the speakers at the 2018 Card Reading Magic Summit hosted by Tori Hartman. She and I will be talking about the steps to becoming a six-figure mystic. So many of the folks I love dearly will also be speakers, so personally, I can’t wait!

Register for the Free Pass Today

Click Affiliate Link

The free pass only gives you access to the live airing of each speaker’s segment. If you’d like open access to all interviews for two weeks after the event, so you can take a little longer getting through them, get the Bronze Pass for just $5. Even cooler: you get access to all past events, too! Come on. That’s pretty amazing. $5?

There are also Silver Pass and Gold Pass options for those serious about the craft. These interviews are with professionals in the sacred arts industry who will share with you their trade secrets, professional experiences, and expertise in the field. You don’t want to miss the event.

Plus, every speaker will be offering a free gift! Mine is a 62-page PDF excerpt of a textbook I’m putting together for a future online course, “Sole Proprietorship in the Sacred Arts.” You’ll get to read the first seven chapters in a PDF download that you’ll get for free when you register for the Summit.

The 62-page excerpt will share my own story, then some myths about the six-figure mystic, designing your business model, defining your voice, branding basics, and what I consider the most important chapter: how to create value.

And just for a sneak peek, here’s the seventh chapter included in the free excerpt: “The Magic of Prosperity Consciousness.”

You can download and check out the sneak peek seventh chapter (eight pages) right now!

The Magic of Prosperity Consciousness

Click to Download PDF

2019 Metaphysician’s and Metaphysical Day Planners

$25

The 2019 Metaphysician’s Day Planner

Okay, so at this point, I would reckon about 95% of the people who are going to be buying this have already bought this before and know all about my Metaphysician’s Day Planner already, so I’m not sure how much I really need to say about this thing? =)

If, however, you stumbled here by chance and so have no idea what I’m talking about, in 2017 I debuted a Metaphysician’s Day Planner, which you can read all about and see pics of here, the 2017 Metaphysician’s Day Planner.

I did one again in 2018, which you can watch a video walk-through of and read more about here, the 2018 Metaphysician’s Day Planner.

Product Description

You send me $25 via PayPal and then e-mail me at abelldelivers@gmail.com with the completed form (you’ll see it below) and within 3 business days, you’ll get a confirmation e-mail that your order has been received. If you don’t get a confirmation e-mail in 3 business days, something went wrong and we didn’t get your order, so contact us again to follow up.

However, the digital e-delivery of your order won’t arrive in your inbox until November 30, 2018.

What’s the $25 for? You get the digital files only (as a PDF e-delivered to your e-mail inbox) of the 2019 Metaphysician’s Day Planner. It is going to come formatted and ready for third party print-on-demand printing with a site, such as Lulu.com (it’s the most economical option I’ve found, and substantially cheaper than if you tried printing locally, but you can also home or office print it for free if you have that kind of access). I’m going to recommend that you get it spiral-bound for easy use.

Your $25 Day Planner includes customized options, such as:

  • Your choice out of three size options: (Option A) U.S. Letter, 8.5″ x 11″, (Option B) Trade Paperback, 6″ x 9″, (Option C) A4 European Standard, 8.27” x 11.69” or 210 mm x 297 mm
  • Your birth chart in Tropical Whole Signs (not Placidus), featuring decan rulers along the outer ring, both traditional and modern planetary considerations, a couple asteroids, and key personal sensitive points.
  • Your 2019 solar returns chart, but it’s not a true solar returns chart. It’s just a transit chart for your birthday in 2019 with location of birth changed to your current location of residence.
  • Your choice out of the provided options of what I refer to as “Divinity Pages” (only because I have no idea what else to call it). Click here to view all Divinity Page selections you can choose from.

You will get a folder full of lots of different day planner cover options. You can mix and match or choose any cover option you like. You do not need to tell me what your cover option is. You get all of them. You get to choose on your own time. OR! Create your own! Or customize, edit, modify, and change up any of the cover art options I send you!

You will also get the digital files only (both a PDF formatted digital file and also a MOBI e-book file to upload onto your e-reader) of a companion guidebook to the Day Planner. For those who have the 2018 Day Planner, don’t get too excited. It’s pretty much the same exact content as the 2018 one, only updated with some of the 2019 astro info.

Continue reading “2019 Metaphysician’s and Metaphysical Day Planners”