5 Things You SHOULD Do To Sell Your Tarot Art Online.

1, Check Your Mental Attitude

Most artists I’ve encountered feel downtrodden because their art is not selling, not even enough to pay the rent or the groceries. Above all things though one must remain positive and be prepared to learn how to sell your work. Without learning how to sell your work, you’re like a potato farmer in a world of potato growers. You’ve produced great potatoes but who cares when i have literally tonnes of them to pick from? Sell me them! Tell me why your potato is better than your competitor? When the world is falling down around you, learn to push through it and continue on creating great work. Only those who keep going will finally make it but you must learn the art of selling your wares…

2, Read lots of Sales Books

Being an artist is only half the battle. Sadly creating great artwork is probably the least important aspect when it comes to selling the work although of course that helps too.

How many times have you heard an amazing band playing amazing music and are stunned to find that not only do they not have a record deal, but hardly anyone has heard of them? Probably a lot. I know i have. In fact sometimes it annoys me. To be honest it annoys me more when you hear a local band who has been trying to get their music out there for years yet have no online presence in the “Internet age”. No business card, no website, not songs on Youtube. They appear to want to be found yet they’re hiding so how does that work?

Then you then go on to be equally stunned when you hear the latest offense upon the ears that passes for popular music and you see that not only are they signed by a big label, but they are highly sought after by the populace. “Surely the populace can’t be that beaten down that they think this is amazing music can they?” you ask yourself. Of course not.

Often what you’re experiencing is the power of hype and most of the time creating hype is rather costly. Big companies can afford to create the hype but more than likely you’re an artist like me who is concerned with paying the rent and don’t have the money for huge commercials. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking that every deck you see out there which appears to be highly sought after is a result of it being a brilliant deck because often that is not the case. Rather, hype is very often manufactured and a lot of money changes hands (I am a newcomer to this sad state of affairs and was shocked to hear a lot of what went on behind the scenes)

In other words your art doesn’t necessarily have to be amazing to sell it, because we’ve seen many mediocre decks being produced that do not have anything special about them, but they are highly sought after and fetch big money and big publicity because of them being powered by hype. Selling a product is only mystery until you learn the secrets of how sales work. That being said, not everyone knows how to fully utilise these sales strategies. Some may apply to you and some may not.

That being said you also want to put your very best work out there because people deserve your best and if you are an honest person like me, you would not been fulfilled by putting out mediocre rubbish.

I really feel that i can say we have achieved a lot of attention for our Twisted Tarot Tales through a grass roots approach. We aren’t paying anyone to write any good reports, or paying for publicity. We’ve worked at it the old fashioned way and you can too. It doesn’t guarantee success instantly but I like to think our success, even if it takes a little longer, has more of an enduring appeal.

3, Boast like you’ve never boasted before

This has been a very hard one for me. I was taught not to be boastful as a child, and all through school I was taught the same thing. Don’t be boastful as no one likes a boastful person. This mixed with religious teachings about how wrong it is for man to boast about his own creations, along with a society (at least it would seem in Northern Ireland anyway) that doesn’t like overly boastful people has made me very wary about taking credit for anything that has worked for me, anything that has done well.

Unfortunately sales are all about boasting about an object’s qualities, and in art the objects are either the artist himself/herself or the artworks. To boast of these qualities, you need to find unique differences over the competition (and let’s be serious, your fellow creators are the competition even if they like to pretend they are not). If you’ve ever been backstabbed, shunned or have seen fellow creators attempt to sabotage or undermine your work, please don’t fool yourself into thinking they are anything other than competitors. Some will suggest that there’s “room enough for us all” in such a very niche industry, all the while trying to turn your successful “campaign” into a train wreck. Keep your wits about you, boast of your qualities and never show weakness. If you show weakness, expect to be taken advantage of.

4, Defend Your Work To The Death

Your artwork is YOU. It represents you as a person; it represents your achievements, your skills, and your knowledge and so on. If someone takes issue with your work, it is your responsibility to stand up for it. Answer questions respectfully but be aware of when these are not questions but underhanded attacks. It’s your job to make sure the next person who wants to derail you will think twice about it unless there is a really good reason to find issue with you.

More than likely, if you create a kick ass outstanding work of art (or several) and you gain a following, you WILL find opposition, but don’t let them get away with lying about you or trying to ban your work.  People will suggest you take the high road when this happens but the high road is congested by well meaning people. That and some of these people need challenged simply because they are not expecting to be challenged. Over the past year my partner and I are becoming known for creating controversial art yet I feel it’s not that the art itself is necessarily controversial; rather all it takes is one big shot to feel offended by a cartoon and if you are not on it and handling it, it can potentially grow out of control. It’s your job to make sure that these people are called out if they are being hypocrites or are being troublemakers for the sake of causing trouble.

5, Create Your Best Work

Not that it has to be mentioned, but the most important thing in the end is to create great work because let’s face it, if you are like us, you would not want fame or fortune if you yourself felt that you were producing mediocre art. You’d still feel like a fraud. Rather, your own worst critic should be yourself. If your work is good enough for you, in the end that’s all that really matters, though let’s hope you are financially rewarded too 😉

5 THINGS NOT TO DO WHEN SELLING YOUR TAROT ART ONLINE

Selling any kind of artwork is hard. Unless you’ve got a Picasso or two at your disposal, you’re probably not going to become a millionaire any time soon. That being said there is no reason one can’t make a living using the gifts of his or her hands. However, there are a few things i suggest you don’t do…

1, Don’t sell yourself short.

A lot of creative types have the self doubt, the low self esteem and the mood swings that go with their creativity, and it’s very easy to blurt your feelings out onto Facebook. This is all very well if it is between family or close friends but you don’t want potential customers hearing how you’re hardly selling any art these days. In other words it’s great to be in touch with your feelings of disappointment and disillusionment but remember that when you voice this, not only does it send out into the universe that you aren’t doing so great (and some beliefs say this thought sent out comes back to hit you like a boomerang),it also sends out a message that your work isn’t in demand. If it isn’t in demand, why would you think it would be in more demand with a sad story of how no one supports you? You don’t want pity purchases because to my knowledge, if pity purchases exist, they are few and far between. Buy a diary and write any of your frustrations there and then keep making great art. We’re pretty much all in the same boat.

I don’t mean to be harsh but believe me I’ve been there and done that. In recent times, although this is a different kind of case, I’ve still slightly fallen into that trap of self pity, but that was because some jerks over the past year have been trying to do everything from ban me from forums (because I defended my work) to trying to flag and remove my work from Facebook because they hated how great and how quickly we were able to create a huge interest in our tarot deck without needing the backing of certain people. I’ve been told that that goes right up their nose and they hate it. 

2, Don’t show your jealousy 

If someone is getting the spotlight constantly and you are not, Just keep producing the best art you possible can. Your artwork might be more superior to that of the latest trendy tarot deck being talked about (and your illustrations probably are superior, most fads lack substance) but more than likely if you produce good art, your tarot deck will stand the test of time. Theirs probably won’t.

It’s difficult not to be upset when you’ve spent years perfecting your illustrative techniques while someone else “borrows” the works of an already established (but dead) artist and is held to high acclaim, but that’s life unfortunately. While growing up, I was interested in comic book artists and I would read how these old timers who’ve been in comics for thirty or forty years have become forgotten about because of a new generation who introduced a different style to western comics (in this case they were introducing a more Asian manga feel to a comic industry that had a more American comic book style look). Naturally the old timers, the veterans, felt a bit overlooked (and may even have become less in demand) because of the young comic artists, but I personally felt that it was a lot of style over substance. The old timers had perfected their art and had a more solid education than a lot of the new stuff that seemed flashy and in your face. The old timers were masters of story telling, but for young kids, the visuals of the more dynamic new stuff were more interesting. 

In such a niche industry as that of tarot deck creation, try to suppress any jealousy you have over how successful someone else might be doing with what appears to be something mediocre, because believe it or not half of the success that people talk about actually holds little substance.

3, Don’t share your Ideas before you’ve even put pencil to paper.

The Tarot creating world is FULL of creators with no vision, no new ideas, and if you really care about your work, care about your “brand”, you’ll want to rein in your desire to announce your big mighty plans until you’ve got it all planned out and are almost ready for launch. It’s sad that things have got this way but if you’re a traditional illustrator like myself and can’t produce 78 cards over a few weekends like some of these up and comers, then keep your trap shut lol…no seriously, keep quiet. You’re excited, we get it; you want to tell the world of your amazing idea, but unless you want someone else to show you your idea before you’ve even drawn it yourself, then you need to keep it to yourself. We’ve seen lots of our ideas being used soon after we’ve announced them. Is it coincidence? Possibly, it’s hard to prove either way and hey, you can’t copyright ideas.

4, Don’t be a jerk.

Nobody likes a jerk, no matter what industry you find yourself in. We understand that you might be socially awkward and don’t know how to act around others, but being an jerk for no other reason than being an jerk, just makes you….well, a jerk. AKA don’t try to ban my controversial artwork just because you can’t draw your own illustrations. It’s unsporting.

5, Be intellectual but not unreachable.

Intellectual people are only ever cool and fun to talk to if they are also able to downplay their knowledge for people who perhaps don’t know everything the intellectual is saying. It’s great that you have perfect grammar, congratulations.(that’s actually to be commended nowadays in our newspeak text age) However no normal person really appreciates words that 99 percent of the population never use in daily life UNLESS these words have no other ways of being conveyed. It creates a disconnect.

Another thing. In the divinatory world, i can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that someone was a Greek Goddess in a past life, now reduced to being a “domestic goddess” or some ancient mystic from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro three life times ago. Another may claim they own Pamela Coleman Smith’s handkerchief or Crowley’s shoe. hell, it may even be true, who knows, but all but the most docile see this as “props”…stage props that is. Simply bearing the fingernail of Waite or the scrumpled unused sketch from Lady Harris doesn’t make you any more of an expert on tarot than the average Joe. Why would it? Nor will the suggestion that you’ve met with Christ, Buddha and Krishna in person, and they’ve departed some secret wisdom to you that justify the price hike in your readings. You may as well be a black belt in origami as far as I’m concerned. Some of the plainest non boastful people out there have the most amazing tarot reading skills I’ve ever seen. I’m getting to be an old man, I’m not impressed by the stage show, but with the skills… Yet there are enough people who love the stage show stuff, the fanciful, the spectacular and they choose to have their magicians dress the part. I get that. I am not suggesting you don’t dress the part and have fun, but spare people the pretentiousness. Don’t patronize them.

Click here for 5 things you SHOULD do to sell your Tarot Art online.

 

 

COMIC HORROR IN TAROT

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Yes, you guessed it (didn’t you?) a Dwarf from the movie franchise Phantasm is our Page of Pentacles

The Twisted Tarot Tales. This is epic folks. In this Tarot we’re working on something that has never been done before. I was taught to never be boastful but the people have spoken and we’re told daily how our Tarot is at the top of people’s wish lists. Even i can see that we have something truly unique in this deck of cards. I’ve seen many hundreds of decks but I’ve never seen one created before with a comic book style feel, mainly because most people creating tarot decks these days fall into two categories, none of which are traditional pencil and ink illustrators. On one hand you have digital artists that range from digital painters all the way through to photo manipulators, and on the other hand you have painters. There are no illustrators, or at least very few of them.

I like to believe that this is the reason Twisted Tarot Tales has such a huge following, such a huge interest, but that is not the only reason. People love it because it’s not only different but its innovative and features some of the thought-provoking in your face pieces of art you’re ever likely to find in a Tarot deck. Horror has been tackled before, but often with a far too serious approach.

Our Tarot is based on comic books which means that if you’re a skilled professional reader and you display these in front of clients, immediately the comic book imagery and bright happy colors put clients at ease. It’s possible the more darker sinister looking tarots achieve the same results but i would not stake my money on it.

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We originally had a Joe Kubert cameo but due to the angle of the image where we see what’s in front of the illustrator, we had to shelve it. We may release the Joe Kubert version as a bonus later on.

As a kid growing up i wanted to draw Comic books. I loved the bright colours, the action, and the various styles of hand drawn artwork/inking that went into every page. Like every other kid interested in comics, over time there were particular artists’ styles that speak to you more. My early favourites were Andy and Adam Kubert and later Chris Bachalo. I also liked Todd McFarlane, Mark Bagley. I didn’t get into John Romita JR’s work until later on. I also later found Kirby’s work, considered the father of the Marvel style of work. Illustrating Twisted Tarot Tales has been the closest i’ve got to realising that dream. I view it as a series of 78 cover illustrations, the kinds of things you’d see gracing the covers of a comic book.

Included in our deck is a host of cameos and tributes, most of which have graced the comic books at one time or another. These are joined with our own characters we’ve created through the deck, although with visual depictions of everything from old radio shows to mythological monsters.

A labour of love, many months of work have gone into the creation of this tarot and we’re excited as much as everyone else is to see it finally available in our store. In the mean time you can find excellent Twisted Tarot Tales tarot bags/pouches which can realistically be used for all sorts of keepsakes. Watch this video to see the bags in action

We’ll also have our works on display in New York City’s Tarot Society gallery in December. More information as it comes to us

10 MOVIE REFERENCES IN OUR TAROT

We love horror movies and we love comic books, and when you add the two together something special happens…especially when you are creating an all new tarot filled with comic book style horror art….tributes. We present to you 10 tributes/cameos which we have put into our work not only because we think the concepts are great, but because in our special way we want to honour those in the comic and horror industry who have inspired us for all these years. Without further ado, here are 10 movie references that you may or may not have noticed in our Tarot so far.

bates-motel-tarot-cards1, Bates Motel – High Priestess

Almost unnoticeable, we give a little tip of the hat to the Psycho movies with the figure in the window in the house on the hill beyond our Elvira lookalike High Priestess.

We also revisit the Psycho inspired imagery again in  the 7 of Cups where some poor unsuspecting grandmother figure gets a nasty surprise in her refrigerator. In the 7 of Cups we see that there is an attacker about to attack the elderly woman. We roughly used the same iconic pose that we see in the first Psycho movie’s “Shower Scene”.

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“It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent’s fritters” – Our Motel Hell inspired 7 of Pentacles

2, Motel Hell – 7 of Pentacles

Some of our cards will be instantly recognisable to horror fans, like our Motel Hell inspired 7 of Pentacles. We uploaded our image onto horror fan groups on Facebook and asked the question “can you guess which horror film inspired us” and it was correctly named almost immediately.

3, Christine – Chariot

My partner, who is also called Christine, felt that Stephen King’s popularly book Christine, about a possessive car with a mind of its own, perfectly represented a twisted version of the traditional Chariot card in Tarot.

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Granny G in our Two of Wands card.

4, Granny G – 2 of Wands. Christine’s friend Ousa Khun created the character Granny G for the movie Of Gems and Giants about a granny taking up arms and battling in her zombie infested LA neighbourhood. Although Of Gems and Giants never did make it to completion as a movie, Americans might remember the character Granny G more from America’s Got Talent. Granny G was used as a stage name by the same actress (Paula Nelson) for the popular American TV show’s seventh season in 2012, but we like to envision her fighting off the zombies with her sub machine gun 😉

5, Land of the Lost – Hanged Man

Christine loved the TV show Land of the Lost as a kid, in particular the Sleestack characters and as a lover of both horror and horror comics, felt that the Sleestacks would look great in our pulp horror comic themed comic Tarot…..and yes, in case you were wondering, that’s a comic style version of Grumpy and Dopey. Initially i had coloured Dopey his usual gray colour but we felt that to keep with the colour theme of the image, we coloured him green also.

6, Poltergeist – Ace of Cups

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Ace of Cups for Twisted Tarot Tales

This was a great card to illustrate and it attracted a lot of likes and comments on Facebook. There’s a couple of things going on here, but i’ll tell you what was in my thought process when setting the scene. The little girl has sneaked into an older siblings bedroom down in the basement. The room belongs to a horror loving teen, with everything from an Annabelle inspired doll, to a “sort’ve” Fright Night inspired poster, albeit with a little hint of spiritual and romantic love ideas, such as the biblical quote John 3:16.

A horror themed deck can be a bit difficult to execute (no pun intended lol) because in Tarot you have such a range of scenarios and situations. In the case of a Horror Tarot however, Christine felt that it would be best to represent that one main emotional reaction that is inherent in the best of horror: fear itself. So essentially in our Tarot the ace represents fear and i feel that Christine’s concept with a kid watching horror, and in this case interacting with a horror movie, and being completely frightened is at the heart of many a horror fans love of the genre and what got them started in their interest of all things dark and haunting.

7,  Romero’s Market – Seven of Swords

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8, Our Nine of Wands not only is inspired by Salem’s Lot but we wanted to add in a little Boris Karloff too 🙂

I thought it appropriate that since this was a zombie card where the zombies are crawling out of the supermarket, the supermarket showed be named Romero’s Market after the legendary George A Romero; famous for his Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead and other zombies movies.

8, Salem’s Lot – 9 of Wands

Our 9 of Wands is inspired by Salem’s Lot, another book by Stephen King. This was one of Christine’s favourite films as a kid and as she recalls, one of the scariest. Instead of the little crucifix though, our guy holds two paint brushes in the form of a crucifix. On the table can be seen a calculator with numbers which when read upside down say “HELLHOLE”, along with little models the boy had been painting earlier. (little replica toys of both our Lovers card and our Alternative lovers card)

9, Queen Alien from Aliens – Empress

As i write this, i have not actually illustrated it yet but we have for our Empress an Alien Queen complete with eggs and even a face hugger. Initially we were going to loosely base it on Giger’s Queen without doing a complete rip but with such an iconic figure a lot can get lose when watering things down. We’ll see what happens!

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10, Gizmo features in our Nine of Swords.

10, Gizmo from Gremlins – Nine of Swords

Our Nine of Swords features a stuffed teddy bear that many have recognised as Gizmo from the Gremlins. We added that in as a little joke and apart from the “Christine” reference which we had talked about and illustrated in an early version of the Chariot card in October last year, Gizmo might actually be our second tribute to appear in our Tarot.

Thanks for reading!

HALLOWEEN COLOURING PAGES

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When printing PDFs, make sure it is set at A4 size for best results. Initially it was set as A4 scaled on my printer options and the images come our smaller and misaligned a bit

As we happily work on one of the newest most talked about horror themed Tarots in recent times, we felt our fans might like a few colouring pages for Halloween. Initially i had uploaded them on Facebook and also on my website, but i’ve found that they have a tendency to take your high quality image and reduce it to a very small pixilated version of its former self. So today i spent a few hours figuring it all out, and uploading a series of PDFS instead. These can be printed off on home computers and should come out exactly as i have intended. All you have to do is click on the images below and press print.

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ELVIRA 1. Click the image above to be taken to the printable PDF file. Happy Halloween and get colouring!

ELVIRA 1. Click the image above to be taken to the printable PDF file. Happy Halloween and get colouring!
zoltar

ZOLTAR. Click the image above to be taken to the printable PDF file. Happy Halloween and get colouring!

Temperance

WITCHY (Temperance). Click the image above to be taken to the printable PDF file. Happy Halloween and get colouring!

lions

LIONS. Click the image above to be taken to the printable PDF file. Happy Halloween and get colouring!

Granny

Granny G (2 of Wands). Click the image above to be taken to the printable PDF file. Happy Halloween and get colouring!

elvira2

ELVIRA 2. Click the image above to be taken to the printable PDF file. Happy Halloween and get colouring!

Frog

FROG (Justice). Click the image above to be taken to the printable PDF file. Happy Halloween and get colouring!

zoltar

Temperance

lions

Granny

Frog

elvira2

elvira1

10-Challenges-in-Making-a-Successful-Tarot-Deck

Table of Contents

1 – Publishing vs Self Publishing

2 – Selecting The Right Size

3 – Be Knowledgeable in Tarot or Collaborate with a Tarot Reader

4 – Choosing The Right Theme

5 – Ideas For 78 Images

6 – Drawing 78 Images

7 – Self Promotion Online

8 – Sales Extras

9 – Social Networking

10 – Interviews and Radio Shows

1 – Publishing vs Self Publishing

Having illustrated two 78 card Tarot decks and a massive 94 deck (King’s Journey) over the past few years, I can tell you that this first step, in the form of a question, is probably the most important which is why I’ve placed it as number 1 (although please read the rest of the list not as a countdown on the most important overall but rather a list of what I’ve found most important to follow progressively to avoid problems later on).

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A massive 94 card deck of brightly coloured adventurous tarot images for only 42 dollars (includes postage and packaging)

Right from the get go I recommend making a conscious decision of whether you want to be picked up (if at all possible, it can be hard) by a big name publisher or you want to publish it yourself.

From my own experience it comes down to what you want out of your tarot. If you want to be paid for all your hard work (because your tarot is most likely going to take about a year to make and that’s a conservative estimate) your best bet is to self publish. If you want your name out there and are not worried necessarily about getting any tangible money from it, you’ll want to go the publishing route. Unfortunately it would appear that in most cases you cannot have both “fame” and “fortune” at the same time, but rather you have to choose which is more important to you.

In my case I have been published by a publisher and I’ve self published too. Simply Deep Tarot was published by Schiffer Publishing in 2012 and while this has got my name out there probably more than I ever would have on my own, I typically receive about 20 cents for every Simply Deep Tarot sold through Schiffer Publishing. I’ll put it out there and say that I have no idea what Lewellyn or U.S Games are paying out. If you’re filed as a co creator with Schiffer you divide the ten percent royalty in two. That’s chump change though for all of your hard work. I’ve talked to other creators who are equally disappointed in the royalties from publishing houses. How I tried to “make it ok” in my mind was to imagine each Tarot Deck was the equivalent of handing out a business card to future potential buyers as essentially that is what it kinda is. That and people, hopefully, love what you’ve created and are getting enjoyment out of it! So all is not lost lol

Simply-Deep-Tarot-buy

We released a borderless edition. This one i actually make more than 20 cents, but I feel the price is still reasonable at 40 dollars including postage and packaging. (POD printing dictates most of the cost per item)

Self publishing, on the other hand, may not seem as glamorous, but this is YOUR creation, your hard work and if you can get a decent Print on Demand site, this is definitely a more empowering option – But of course the hard work is on you to then promote it. So there are pros and cons to both paths. Occasionally you may come across forums where some people are suggesting that the reason you’re self publishing your work is because no real publisher would want your deck. Could you put with that if it meant making some actual money from your work? I hope so!

Again, both publishing routes have their postive points. If you’re interested in building your name up and are not caring for the money side of it (at least yet), you may want to go the “officially published” route. I’m sure there is some wisdom longterm in getting published by some of the big names. They may bring you name recognition and later down the line using that name recognition you may THEN self publish and gain far more customers, thus getting a decent return from your hard work. I’m just trying to pay the rent for next friday! lol

2 – Selecting The Right Size

So you’ve decided to try for U.S Games or Lewellyn or Lo Scarabeo. Before you even begin planning out your illustration on each page you’re going to want to know what size each of these companies print their cards at and then create a template that you can use over and over again. I was a bit green when I created King’s Journey and Simply Deep Tarot. I illustrated the images on full A3 size paper (11 x 16 inch paper) but thankfully Chanel Bayless, co-creator of both of those tarots wanted King’s Journey as a smaller deck and so it was not important to have it as a regular tarot size (2.75 x 3.75). As for Simply Deep Tarot, I was able to squeak past because Schiffer was adding borders to them.

easy-tarot-template

Here is the template i use as a guide for our Tarot illustrations. It’s really a POD template (blown up by x5 if i remember correctly)

Because these days my partner/co creator Christine and I self publish our Tarots through a Print on Demand printer, I now use a template that I’ve made and use as an underlay for each illustration I work on for any subsequent Tarot. So The Cultural Revolution Tarot and our Twisted Tarot Tales (currently in the works) have all taken advantage of the template. For our Tarot sized Borderless King’s Journey Tarot and Simply Deep Borderless edition, I spent time resizing them earlier in the year for the much more narrow tarot sized 2.75 x 4.75 inch. It took some time to resize every card but in the end it was worth it. To save headaches later, I suggest creating a template. What I have found is that the  11 x 17 inch pre lined Bristol board comic book pages made by Strathmore have pretty much the same dimensions of a standard tarot card, so if you were drawing your images at that size those have preprinted templates anyway. In recent times I’ve taken to using this occasionally, especially on an image I imagine is going to look epic as later down the line I may use them as giveaways or sell them as original art.

Click here for the importance of having a BLEED, and also what size and file type you should save your Tarot images as

3 – Be Knowledgeable in Tarot or Collaborate with a Tarot Reader

I am not a Tarot reader, but in every tarot I’ve illustrated I’ve worked with two very knowledgable readers who both produce very accurate readings, you know the kinds of people who could read for you using nothing more than a pack of regular playing cards. While in every deck I’ve had a few of my ideas represented and I’ve visually designed much of what you see on every image, i’ve relied on both Chanel (King’s Journey and Simply Deep) and Christine (Cultural Revolution Tarot and Twisted Tarot Tales) to come up with both the ideas and the composition of each card. So everything you see is composed to look that way by either Chanel and Christine in their respective Tarots. I’m happy with this arrangement because i feel confident in their Tarot knowledge and my illustrations combined. I rely on the Tarotists I work with because at the end of the day they are trying to compose an image that they themselves can read. Christine and i also enjoy sharing our new cards and asking the opinions of other Tarotists too. We feel it’s inclusive and we like to think that everyone is part of the journey in the creation of our deck.

4 – Choosing The Right Theme

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One of our Cultural Revolution Tarot illustrations

Let’s face it. All the popular themes in tarot have almost all been covered. Love medieval themes? there’s something for you! Love Cats? you’re in luck. Love Fairies? there are loads of them to choose from, but try looking for a Tarot based on Chinese propaganda imagery and you’re going to be sheer out of luck…unless of course you stumble upon our Cultural Revolution Tarot. Yes, one Chinese Propaganda art themed Tarot now exists. Finding something that has never been done before is exciting, but it brings with it some pitfalls that you may want to try to avoid.

Our art deck The Cultural Revolution Tarot based on Chinese propaganda art posters, caused a fair bit of controversy with the politically correct crowd, but our new deck, our upcoming Twisted Tarot Tales seems to have hit a chord with a lot of people. Lots of people like comics and horror, and so a deck based on the pulp back horror comics of the 70’s and 80’s like House of Mystery and Chamber of Chills etc, seems to have done the trick.  Therefore it’s a little trial and error to find what interests people and what doesn’t, but most important is creating something that you enjoy working on and have some knowledge about otherwise drawing 78 illustrations is going to be a chore!

There are a lot of great ideas of course that may never see the light of day due to copyright. If copyright were never an issue we’d have everything from Game of Thrones to Star Wars, Sponge Bob to Mickey Mouse but as it stands, no publisher would ever touch them (unless of course you somehow magically obtained permission from the copyright holders which for some of them is probably not that out of the question; Christine’s friend Terry Donaldson worked on both Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Tarot). So there are great themed Tarots that might never ever happen, but it’s finding something that speaks to your soul and that isn’t copyrighted that is the most important.

You also have to remember that within the Tarot community (online at least) there are a lot of traditionalists and depending on what you’re creating it could lead to anything from plain disinterest to actually considering boycotting and banning your hard work. On the other hand, there are also those who probably do like the “idea” of change in tarot, until they see something quite different from what they are used to. With that in mind, creating a successful deck brings with it a fine line between controversy and popularity, enough to cause a stir of interest without people coming out with their pitchforks to hunt you down. Controversy and popularity; sometimes they can be the same thing and while usually never planned, controversy can sometimes work for you.

If interested in being picked up by a publisher I would research what they print and what they seem to avoid before you make plans for your deck. If in doubt ask them.

On the other hand there is absouletely nothing wrong with sticking to the much loved, tried and tested themes. At the end of the day if it’s something you love, then why not? Not everyone needs to seek new frontiers. My guide is merely to alert you to potential problems along the way if you choose something a wee bit more radical!

5 – Ideas For 78 Images

Believe it or not, this is almost as taxing and time-consuming as actually drawing the illustrations. occasionally I put forth ideas which I’d either like to draw or think would look cool visually. For The Cultural Revolution Tarot and Twisted Tarot Tales, the ideas are almost all from Christine.

One of the harder tasks in creating Tarot imagery is the placement of the suit symbols. Eight swords for the eight of swords, 9 Wands for the 9 of wands and so on, all the while still making the image visually interesting. The Majors are easier because you can create a straight forward image without needing to place 10 cups in the image etc. I think this is why it can take a while to get the imagery put in place as far as its composition goes.

6 – Drawing 78 Images

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Illustrating The Cultural Revolution Tarot last Summer

From here you’re either drawing or digitally manipulating imagery for each of your cards. I illustrate the images traditionally as i prefer hand drawn work over photo manipulated imagery / digital painting.

Probably the main thing you need to remember about illustrating Tarot images aside from making the images readable and including the suit symbols is the borders and bleed of your image. Follow the link for a more indepth view of why this is important.

For our Twisted Tarot Tales i try to imagine that each of our illustrations is the cover for a horror comic. It depends what you’re going for but in my case i try to make every illustration in our horror tarot big and bold and colourful because not only is it keeping in line with the theme of the deck, but it’s eye catching and looks great.

7 – Self Promotion Online

For myself, step 7 coincides with step 5 and 6 (planning out and illustrating each card) because i like to take people on the journey of how our Tarot is progressing. Others may choose to plan out and illustrate their cards in their entirety before showing them / self promoting online. It’s up to you.

As for self promotion on Facebook and other social media forums and groups, try to create a schedule and stick to it. Everyday you create an artwork, post it on as many Tarot forums as you can and create a list of what days you are allowed to post on each forum/group etc, because some only allow you to self promote on a particular day. Creating a list/chart makes it easier to see at a glance where you can post without offending any of the moderators/admins. I try to do this very same thing but sometimes life gets in the way

I’ve created WordPress blogs, YouTube channels, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, even Pinterest accounts and have tried to maintain all of these while working on our current Twisted Tarot Tales. (some have worked for us, some haven’t – it is difficult to understand the inner workings of each specific one, but they may work for you) We have Amazon listings, eBay listings and an occasional Etsy listing too, but I find these are harder to maintain due to the sellers fees and also the fact that we don’t keep much stock in our studio. (we use Print on Demand sites).

There are other areas that may interest you for promotion such as Instagram and Vine, both of which, if I am not mistaken, require a Smartphone. I don’t own one and have no intention to in the near future, so that’s off-limits to me.

See how the Illustration runs off the borders? The reason is that when cut, there is no danger of any white showing

Click here to learn about the importance of creating a bleed in artworks

As far as self promotion goes my way of thinking is that Facebook is probably the biggest social media site around, and while I self promote there, I am trying to find an audience outside of Facebook for Tarot sales in order to double the sales. As anyone who works for themselves knows, maintaining an online presence is a job in itself (before you even get to the illustrations).

As for Facebook, I’ve found that Tarot Professionals is a great place on Facebook to get your message out mainly because there are so many members of that site that your work is being seen there probably more than it would anywhere else. As much as possible I try to post on TP, but I also try to post on many other tarot forums.

Without ever having paid for an advertisement, our online promotion the past few years has paid off for us as we’ve seen customers from the four corners of the world; Australia, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Cyprus, Spain, U.S, Canada, France, Ireland, UK, even Lapland! (and this is our self published tarots)

Currently some of my Twisted Tarot Tales illustrations are in New York City for a show scheduled for December.

Consider the theme of your Tarot, and find pages and forums that may be interested in the theme of your deck regardless of if they actually have an interest in Tarot. In our case for Twisted Tarot Tales we post on both Comic book fan forums and Horror fan forums. It may seem like a long-shot but sometimes it can surprise you.

8 – Sales Extras

Regardless of whether you’re planning on self publishing or being published by a big name publishing house, you might want to think about creating Tarot bags/pouches and reading cloths as an aside to your Tarot. We’re currently looking into Tarot bags and reading clothes. It’s a great opportunity not only to earn a little extra (which always comes in handy if, like me, you are relying on the sales of your art to buy groceries and pay rent) but to offer a great product that keeps in line with the theme of your Tarot for those who love the illustrations and characters.

9 – Social Networking

How does one go about this? I am still learning but I’ll give you my advice. Don’t get on anyone’s bad sad. That’s pretty much it!….just kidding. I advise you not to get banned from Aeclectic Tarot indefinitely like I did. It didn’t do anything to my sales and also I’m told that the site is losing it’s relevance with the exception of the site showcasing new up and coming tarots, but still, you want to stay on the right side of people if at all possible. Thankfully, although I cannot participate in any discussions at Aeclectic, our tarots are represented. Aeclectic is notorious among many Tarot creators for being a very argumentative, often Troll like in nature, but if at all possible stay on the right side of people. Many people in the tarot community have a very thin skin, (think rice paper), but in saying that, there are many open-minded reasonable people.

This is a hard one, especially if you are a critical thinker, but avoid politics altogether if at all possible. Remember that you’re trying to promote your deck! if you must, make sure your opinion agrees with popular opinion otherwise the politically correct police will try to blackball you. Hey, I’m not even kidding with you. Avoid Tarot politics too. Over time I’ve learned that being vocal about things that go against the popular opinion may feel good for a short time but ultimately if you’re trying to co-exist, you want to stay away from politics. More so if you are trying to sell your products.

Be social. I know you want to sell your wares, but people don’t like sales pitches. They like giveaways and competitions, they like to know that you are their friend rather than a potential customer. Yes, some may invest in you and believe in your work, but people are smart and they can see through those who just want their money.

My philosophy is this. Create a great product and keep it as affordable as possible (it is sometimes difficult to do this in competition with mass-produced decks, which, unless you have the capital, you will not have. More than likely yours will be a small run at best), be friendly and put your commercial out there inviting people to see a video of your cards, or see photographs of your cards (almost a virtual try before you buy) and let them decide if they want to purchase. Put out your commercial into the vast expanse of digitalness and hit the drawing board and produce another kick ass piece of art. I try to live by that.

10 – Interviews/ Radio shows/Conventions

If you are like me, you might wish to avoid radio shows and conventions but I advise against this for the obvious reasons. Radio shows allow you to reach many people and possibly more than you would normally reach yourself. I feel personally that they are not for me, at least at this point in time. A few years ago I was on Dax Carlisle’s radio show and due to the time difference I believe I was on the radio around 1 or 2 am (Irish/British time) and I sort’ve….well, I had a drink for my nerves before I went on the show, followed by another, then another. Dax is a great guy, a great host, as everyone knows, but I get something similar to stage fright before talking about myself or my work. I don’t even like talking on the phone. Thankfully Christine handles any calls coming to our studio. Dax offered me another interview on his show when I brought out the Bordered Edition of King’s Journey but unfortunately I get too nervous.

king-journey-spread

One of the most important things for your Tarot is word of mouth and this comes from people who love your work, sometimes in the form of postings of your cards.

In 2011 I attended the Tarot association of the British Isles Tarot conference, but have not attended one since. I highly recommend that YOU do though because you can make great friends within the Tarot community and there is naturally a stronger connection with people when you meet them in real life.

I do email / written interviews for magazines and online publications though, and to be honest I could write for days without stopping. There’s just something different about radio and video though and despite my many videos on YouTube, i am nervous to make them and usually never watch them again after I’ve uploaded them.

I’m pretty sure if I was more sociable I would do even better sales wise than what i am doing now (although I must admit I cannot complain) and so i advise you to take advantage of the opportunities out there to get your word out.

Here’s some of our interviews and articles in the American Tarot Association magazine Tarot Reflections and Tarot Foundation’s newsletter .

So these are some of the things that await you if you plan on creating a successful Tarot deck, but what is success? Well, let’s be honest everyone measures success differently. Some see success as being recognised by peers, winning awards and all that kind of thing. I view success as receiving great feedback from people, in this case Tarot enthusiasts and readers, from all over the world about our work, and in our case the usefullness of our Tarots. This is what we’ve achieved, but it takes a lot of dedication and work.

If you are a creator or if you have any more advice to add, please leave a comment and help those who are seeking advice. Also If you have any questions, please leave a comment and we’ll try to help you. Please like, share subscribe and all that good stuff!

Here are other interesting articles i recommend you read after this

Sheilaa Hite’s Traditional-vs-Independent Publishers of books and Tarot cards

Janet Boyer’s Forget The Self Publishing Stigma and Go For It

TAROT – RGB OR CMYK FILE FORMAT?

CMYK And RGB? What’s That Willis?

cmyk-vs-rgb-help

Here’s how a fully coloured image breaks down in CMYK mode. Click on image for larger view. Notice that on each color, the other colors are switched off except black (K)? These are the four layers the printer will print all on top of each other to create the image.

It’s Orc Mischief, that’s what it is! This is often a very confusing question for those who are preparing their work for the printers and even more so if they have designed their artworks in RGB mode. Read on and you’ll see why.

CMYK mode stands for Cyan (bluish-green), Magenta (purplish-red), Yellow and Key (Black), the four printer ink colours found in printers, both in home and in professional print houses. Blue, red and yellow being primary colours of course make up every other colour you can think of and for the most part we can see that Cyan and Magenta are close to blue and red respectively. So these three colours along with black make up all the colours you see in magazines, cereal boxes, computer game packaging, Tarot cards, in fact anything you see out there in the printed world. You guessed it, CMYK mode is the mode of choice if you want to eventually print your artwork professionally.

Often you can see CMYK test strips on the backs of newspapers, magazines and on the underside of drinks cartons.

RGB mode, on the other hand, stands for Red Green Blue, as these are the colours that make up the imagery you see on television screens, computer screens and so on. Remember when you were a kid and sat so close to the tv that the “black” areas on screen were actually dark hues of blues, red etc? In this case the blacks are made up of colour. As you may have guessed, RGB is more suitable for web design, web banners etc because those are designed with the internet in mind only and therefore actual printing is not nessesary.

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RGB mode is mainly used for screens. Remember sitting too close to the TV as a kid and seeing this? Everything on TV is comprised of red, green and blue.

The real reason that it is important to know the difference between CMYK and RGB is to avoid dissappointment. Printed colors on a piece of paper or card are naturally going to appear more dull than computer screen colors because screen colors are illuminated by light. Paper, of course, is not and i guess that is the real main difference. If you printed out an image created in RGB mode you’re likely to find that the image is coming out a lot more dull than it looks on screen. To avoid dissappointment then you’ll want to create your images in CMYK mode first. The colour choice is a bit more limited. Some find it more limiting than others but i’ve been creating all of my images in CMYK mode for years so it doesn’t bother me. If you really must,  you can create your images in RGB mode but keep in mind that what you see on screen may not exactly be what you get. Also, it’s possible you may be asked to convert them to CMYK depending on what type of printer you plan on using.

My general rule of thumb is to create artworks as TIFF* CMYK files at 300 PPI and A3 in size. If printing Tarot cards is all you plan on doing, A3 size isn’t nessesary and would be a bit overkill. I create A3 sized work for two reasons; i’m used to doing detailed work at that size and the other reason is that i may at some point release poster sized prints. Saving your work as an A4 size may well be enough for your needs.

From my mid teens up until now i’ve read all sorts of articles explaining the importance of creating your artworks in a CMYK *TIFF format with a 300 *PPI. While initially my interest was in preparing images for comic book printing, the same rule applies to all printed media. This rule, however was set up with big print runs in mind, say for example an order of 5000 pieces. If i remember correctly, when Schiffer published our Simply Deep Tarot they initially printed off a few thousand copies or more. I sent off the images as CMYK TIFF files at 300 PPI on a keydrive, dropped it into Fedex in Belfast and it was sent on it’s merry way to the U.S. I have no idea what the print run is generally among Tarot publishers but i’m pretty sure these publishers will be happy accepting your files in the way i have described. It is always best to ask ahead of time though if possible.

Your main artwork should be saved as a CMYK but if you need to, copy that file but this time save it as RGB,

WHEN YOU MIGHT NEED RGB FOR YOUR TAROT CARDS

rgb-vs-cmyk-help-2

RGB mode has one less channel. Black is made up of a combination of Red, Green and Blue.

POD printers seem to be another thing entirely. POD printers (Print on Demand) seem to always require RGB mode files in a jpg format, the same kind of format that social media sites like Facebook, Twitter etc seem to accept. The reason behind this i am not sure about but i can only guess that since a lot of POD sites are hooked up to Facebook and various photo sharing sites to encourage you to put your personal home photos and family memories onto personalized items, that their machines are set up around that idea. POD sites seem to mainly deal with digital photograph uploads, and since digital photos are already formatted nowadays as high resolution RGB mode jpgs, it only serves to complicates matters if you expect your main customer base (those uploading family photos etc) to convert their images to a CMYK mode tiff file.

So what you would do is copy your original CMYK version image and convert the copied version to RGB mode, and when you are about to save it, rather than save as tiff you will save your file in a jpg format. You always want to keep your original file because your original tiff is in a lossless format. The file format known as jpg is not, and over time loses it’s crispness i suppose. I’ve never noticed that to be the case all that much but i guess this is over a period of years possibly. In any case, POD printers seem to require something different from your files.

The following is an explanation of some of the jargon I’ve used in this blog.

*PPI

There is some confusion to this day, often promulgated by accident, that when creating files we should make sure they are 300 DPI (dots per inch). Dots Per Inch actually applies to the final print process and has nothing to do with the creation of the file itself. Instead what we need to make sure of is that the file is detailed enough to make it worth printing at 300 DPI (whether you or another printer plan on printing it). Everything i’ve read states that the professional print standard is 300ppi. This is used by professional photographers and any time a photo is printed in a magazine or other print publication. That’s what we need.

On the other hand, for web images like banners etc, 72 PPI is generally recommended as web images, as mentioned earlier, are not intended for print. In their case the 72 PPI is just a rule of how detailed it will look for on screen purposes. 72 PPI is more than enough for onscreen viewing.

*DPI

DPI means dots per inch and it dictates how detailed your print is going to be assuming you have followed the 300ppi rule as written about above. 300 DPI is recognised as the standard number of dots to fill a square inch of artwork, but the more dots per inch you have the more detailed your print is going to be. 300 DPI, it is generally agreed, is detailed enough to give a good print without going over board because at the end of the day anymore than that and it’s arguable if you are gaining that much more in print quality (especially for us in creating tarot sized cards)

*TIFF FORMAT

what-is-tiff-file

A long list of files types you can save as.

Tiff is a file format that has always been recommended for saving artworks in. You have a choice when saving artworks to save them as anything from .png to jpg but you’ll want to save your image as a Tiff because this is a lossless format. If you’re wanting to store your artworks digitally and longterm, Tiff seems to be the best choice. It’ll take up more room on your harddrive compared to a small jpg but it is worth it. In my case i work in layers, so when i save my files as Tiff I choose the “unflattened” option. In other words my layers can be altered at a later date because I’ve decided to keep the layers seperate instead of merging them (flattening them)

Making Tarots – What is Bleed and Why Should You Care?

See how the Illustration runs off the borders? The reason is that when cut, there is no danger of any white showing

See how the Illustration runs off the borders? The reason is that when cut, there is no danger of any white showing

The first time I heard of the word Bleed when referring to artwork was in How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by Stan Lee and John Buscema. I was 13. I feel that 20 years and a few thousand illustrations later I can explain to you confidently what that’s all about.

When a printer refers to the bleed line, they are referring to the part where their guillotine is going to cut the printer paper or card, and the general rule of thumb is that you extend your image across the bleed line so that when the paper or card is cut, the colour runs right up to the edge and there is no white (or whatever under color you may happen to have, but it is generally white) showing.

The bleed line is usually an 1/8 of an inch in width and gives the printer a small amount of space to work with in case the paper moves during printing. Ideally the artwork will extend right through the bleed area so that when trimmed no un-printed edges occur in the final trimmed document. as you can see on the left my images extend way over the bleed line. It’s probably a bit overkill but notice that for the most part, nothing in the bleed area or beyond it is crucial to the artwork.

In the case of our Justice card for Twisted Tarot Tales on the left we see the jars with the frogs in them. The jar on the right cuts off. Items can be moved in further if you wish, but in this image I didn’t want to overcrowd the scene so most of the jar will be cut off. This is something to keep in mind when designing your illustrations. Even if you are planning on having borders on your Tarot cards, and therefore the actual illustration will not be connecting with the cut line itself, I still recommend keeping the bleed line in mind in your initial images in the event that you’d like to release a borderless version. It is possible to extend / expand your illustration at a later date to accommodate the bleed line but I recommend planning it out from the start.

Image trimmed to the correct size

Now look at the Image on the left. It shows our Justice card and what it would look like if it were measured to the correct size of the trim line but no more. At first this looks ok, it is the correct size, no more no less. What’s the problem right? Well, there would be no problem if every single printing of this image on the printing press was precise, but at the end of the day there is always the chance for error in printing, especially if you’re printing off thousands as it stands to reason that the more prints you have the higher number of slight errors you will have overall. The idea is to keep the errors minor, which is why you extend your artwork across the cut line.

Now, let us examine what happens if the print slides even a little. Below right we see again the what-is-bleed-3image. It is the same image as the one above, the exact measurements that cut off right beside the trim line. This example is going on the assumption that we feel we do not need to extend our image across the bleed line. Let’s say that after a few hundred prints of this particular card being printed, the printing plate decides to slide. If we’re talking millimetres we won’t fret too much but anything more and we can see the obvious problem. Can you see that not only part of your original image (that you wanted kept) is going to be trimmed off on the left, but you are left with an unflattering white area on the right and bottom (assuming of course that the plate slides a little to the top left, but it can go anywhere). This illustration is a bit on the extreme side as most printing machines, that i am aware of, won’t make such a jump, but we want to make sure that even if it did, there wouldn’t be much of a problem.

what-is-bleed-4And finally we see to the left what your finished card might look like if it were trimmed according to the bleed lines. I’ve put it on a black background so that you can see the white lines. Imagine this, along with the rest of your 77 other cards in the deck going out to your customers. Depending on whether you post your Tarots directly to your customers or whether you have them in hand first (we’ve now taken to having our printer post directly to our customers to cut down on customer costs), ideally you do not want any returns on your Tarots due to printing errors that could be avoided on your end. Some customers may overlook a slight error or two but naturally you’ll want to give them your very best.

Hopefully if you were not aware of the importance of creating a bleed in your artworks before you will be now. It involves some planning and understanding that everything drawn outside of the bleed area will be lost. With this in mind you’ll want to concentrate on the imagery inside the bleed area with some slight details of the image on the part that will be cut off. In other words, objects, for example book cabinets, skyscrapers, walls etc that will cut off at the trim line will only slightly be detailed. The important thing is the colour as a white background, as seen in our examples here, just throws the image off.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that it has helped you.

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An example of the bleed line in our Five of Swords card featuring ghostly pirates

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Three of Swords bleed line

The World – Journey into Space

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A sketch for part of our World card for Twisted Tarot Tales

As a child i was interested in space travel, especially to find aliens, but unlike many people who were and are influenced and inspired by space travel, other worlds and aliens, i didn’t make the leap into this interest though Star Trek or Star Wars. I wasn’t exposed to those things, probably for a few reasons. My parents weren’t interested in them, nor did i really see this stuff appearing on TV very much. Had i grown up in America, things might have been different.

My first real memory of the idea of an extraterrestrial came in the form of one of those fake tattoos that kids have. I remember being down at a place called Bonny’s caravan park as a kid, in Newcastle ,County Down. I can’t find the image online but it was like a “grey” alien but coloured green/blue and looked almost human, i mean more human than they are normally depicted. (not the huge black eyes kind). I’m pretty sure that I’d thought about space long before that, but i believe it was at this point, looking at the artwork of the tatoo, that i declared to myself “I will become an astronaut”. I think that in itself was interesting. The artwork inspired me not to be a cartoonist, but an astronaut. I love drawing pictures but my first choice would have been to explore what was out there. Part of me believes that it’s the wondering what is out there that draws people to spirituality, and in our course the mystery that is the Tarot.

Well needless to say i gave up the idea of being an astronaut, not because i didn’t know how to

I used to love seeing the space shuttles go into space and wish i could go too

I used to love seeing the space shuttles go into space and wish i could go too

achieve my dream (although I’m sure that hurdle would have put me off later if had pursued it), but because i watched most of the Space Shuttle Missions and there was never any word about intending to find alien races. Naturally this was way before i discovered the possibility that perhaps they already had found alien life forms out there. Listen to the accounts of astronaut Gordon Cooper, for example, and you’ll see that some astronauts believe they have already made contact, having witnessed both UFO’s and actual humanoid type beings.

But anyway, I had given up on the idea to venture into space and was saddened by it. At this point in time i believe the Space missions were taking place to build the first ever space station but that didn’t excite me, and being a child i decided that they weren’t looking for aliens fast enough, if even at all. Still, the idea of space travel and alien life forms have always interested me. I loved the ancient aliens TV show (the first few seasons especially, after that it kinda got a bit desperate for ideas in my view) and i believe we have been visited in the ancient past.

Karnak, Egypt

Karnak, Egypt

Abydos_UFO_Alien

The strange images found at Abydos. Photo is borrowed from the internet for educational purposes

I’m also inclined to believe that the Pyramids were not built by the Hebrew Slaves, but by what the hieroglyphics show – hybrid type alien beings and otherworldly powers. Weird? Maybe, but read on. I had the good fortune of going out to Egypt and seeing these pyramids for myself with my brother. It is hard to describe how strange the place feels, especially if you do believe that we’ve been visited before. The huge ancient building blocks weighed up to as much as 80 tonnes, and many have said that it is impossible to move some of these with any equipment we have today so it does make you wonder. Even the Egyptian tour guide at the pyramids laughed and said it was not humans who built these iconic tall structures. Ideally i would have visited Abydos’s Temple of Seti I, to see the strange “helicopter” hieroglyphics, but it was out of our way. Of course, these particular hieroglyphics being “helicopters” or modern-day airplanes are considered “pseudoscience” but that doesn’t make it any less true or any less false. Depending on if you believe these strange things may have happened way before us, or not, It’s a different way of viewing things.

I personally feel that what some refer to as pseudoscience should really fall into science theory as not all “real science” deals with “science fact”. In some branches of “real science” some have theories such as worm holes, time travel, alternate reality, parallel universes and so on, which will supposedly valid theories are, lets face it, venturing into the realm of so-called pseudoscience, if i am not mistaken. I do not think, in the scientific community, that it should be a heresy to speculate then about the possibility of time travellers from our future dealing with the neanderthals of our past, or those of the future giving wisdom or prophetic visions to those in the past. Certainly the hieroglyphics are strange regardless of what they mean.

I also stayed for a time in the Sinai Peninsula with the intention of visiting Mount Sinai or what they

Mount_Sinai_UFO_Aliens

The mosquitos love Irish blood. Myself up in the Sinai Mountains

call “Moses Mountain” in Sharm el-Sheikh, a town where we stayed. Unfortunately I was not able to visit Mount Sinai because during the time no tour group wanted to take us there. apparently Al Qaeda operatives were in the Sinai Mountains. I remember at the time, my brother and i had to make a decision. Part of why we flew out there was to see Mount Sinai. We decided we’d ask the local lesser known tour guides if they would be interested in taking us up the mountains, but none of them would take us either. You can venture into the mountains of Sinai without a problem, but only so far. The actual “Mount Sinai” is further inwards, amidst the Sinai mountain range which crosses into the “yellow” area. In the Sinai Peninsula we discovered that it was divided into three zones. The red zone was a no go area mainly in Northern Sinai, where Al Qaeda operatives were known to be about. Mount Sinai lay in the yellow zone, where as you may imagine Al Qaeda were known to occasionally visit, and the green zone, were most of the holiday resorts were, was the safe zone (or what passes for safe in such a place). I reasoned to myself that many people over the years have feared coming to Northern Ireland where I’m from even after the troubles, for fear of being shot or venturing into the wrong area. While this can happen, it’s not very likely. Then again i know the area. Egypt governed Sinai Peninsula might be a whole different ballgame.

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After Me Lucky Charms!

TTT4coinssmallFor our Four of Coins we have an angry Leprechaun defending his treasure. Despite living in Ireland all my life i didn’t realise that apparantly Leprchauns were originally thought of as wearing red coats. According to Yeats, the solitary fairies, like the leprechaun, wear red jackets, whereas the “trooping fairies” wear green.

Green of course is what most people are familiar with when it comes to the appearance of Leprechauns and i think this came about with the tourism in Ireland. With green being the most well known colour associated with Leprechauns we’ll stick with this.