Tuesday, September 16, 2014


A truly Magical deck.

Only 500 copies of the
first edition were printed.

Click on "order the decks" in the sidebar to get yours today.

The Circus Arts provide a perfect milieu for the Tarot.

There are stars and roustabouts, successes and failures, dreams and nightmares. The clowns, acrobats, equestrian acts and entrepreneurs, each with their fond expectations or dashed hopes, all comfortably express the truths and secrets underlying the realm of the Tarot. The two worlds merge as seamlessly as if they were meant for one another.

Far from being just an "art deck" or a "gimmick" deck, every effort has been made to create a genuine working deck aimed at practitioner and novice alike.

Every card in the deck can be viewed here at this site.
Use the navigation in the sidebar or just go back in time
by using the "Older Posts" link at the bottom of each page. 


"The attraction of the virtuoso for the public
is very like that of the circus for the crowd.
There is always the hope that something dangerous will happen."
- Claude Debussy.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Physical Box Proof is Here -- And The Burning Question....

Box of Tarot Cards + Pussyquat. (Pussyquat Sold Separately)
Box of Tarot Cards + Pussyquat. (Pussyquat Sold Separately)

I wasn't sure that I was actually going to get a physical proof of the Tarot Box... but they had to slightly re-arrange what I had done in order to accommodate a different cut, so I guess they thought "better safe than sorry."

It arrived early this afternoon, and here are the pics to prove it:

Here's what it looks like flat, from the front...
Here's what it looks like flat, from the front...

... and the back.
... and the back.

Popped into three dimensions...
Popped into three dimensions...

From the bottom...
From the bottom...

From the top down...
From the top down...

"Here's the Church, Here's the Steeple, Open the Door and See All the... Cards!"
"Here's the Church, Here's the Steeple, Open the Door and See All the... Cards!"

Now Then...

The Burning Question is....
AAAAAAHHH! When is it going to be DONE???!!!!
I put that question (somewhat less hysterically) to the man in charge of the press, and this is what he said. Literally, I'm cutting and pasting from the email, the lack of capitalization and punctuation is all his: "we will order dies tomorrow takes a day or 2 to get those, im guessing a week for production"
So there you have it, right from the printer's... ehm... typing fingers. You now know as much I do. Still... "won't be long, now, chaps..."
-- Freder.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Printed Proofs of the Full Deck are Here!

 The printed proof of the cards and LWB are in -- and here are pictures. I can see a couple of issues that need to be dealt with: mainly the corners of the cards are rounded off 'WAY too much. Really, they're rounded about twice as much as the Majors deck was... I will have a word with the printer, and I'm sure we can deal with this. I can also see a couple of cards that I might want to brighten (or darken). No matter what I decide, I really doubt that it will slow the process down much (if at all) at this point.

 'Ja like the look of it so far? I like this picture because with just a hint of fanning you can really see how substantial the thing is. The deck has girth and weight... and yet it's very shuffle-able. It gives off a good vibe!

 It looks nice laid out, too... but you'd better have some significant free tabletop space if you want to lay them all out at once! 

 You can really see how the cirners are rounded too much in this shot. On some of the cards, it even comes dangerously close to chopping off text. The other thing that's a little weird is that they came to me stacked up in exactly the opposite order that they should have been. Oh, well. I think this can be fixed with a word, but even if it can't -- you're going to want to go through the cards anyway the minute you open it up, right?

 Without the slight riffling in my hand, it looks a little less formidable... but no less substantial.

 Here's a view from the back. 

 This next sequence of pictures, shows all of the Minors laid out in sequence. I apologixe for the blurriness of some of these pictures. I'm using an iPhone to take photos, and it's sometimes hard to see what you've got before you move on... I do, however, really like the contrasting colors for the wand and cup court cards.

 These images are also very dark. The earlier ones I shot outdoors in natural light came out much more accurately.

 And now hare are three views of the Little White Book, which turned out exactly right. Well, with years of newspaper advertising behind me, if I can't get something like the LWB right, what CAN I get right?

 Next, as I did with the Majors deck, I wanted to get shots of this side-by-side with some other decks that may be right in your home, so that you have something to stack it up against. First, the Zirkus side-by-side with Crazy Uncle Aleister's THOTH deck....
 Okay, Unkie's deck is more substantial looking from head-on, but watch what happens when you look from the side!

 Next, the special 100th annual-versity edition of Waite-Smith:

 Next to the Zirkus, the Swiss IJJ deck looks like it could use some Viagra...

Hans and Franz took one look and said, "De GAIRLEY deck can LEAF de WOOM!"

 Cosmic Tarot, anyone?

 I guess it needs its Consciousness Expanded...

 And finally, The Victorian Romantic.

 Now onto the box: I'm a little disappointed that I'm only going to get a proof of that in PDF form. Risky; but I can see how the cards came out, so I have that for reference. They did completely re-wicker the die-cut line, but I pretty much knew that had to happen.  Boxes are not something I have a lot of experience with:

 In Closing...

I'm about 99 percent happy with the proof, and the other 1% is easily addressed. I'll give them the OK with changes, and I see no reason why production ought not to begin the first part of next week. And because these guys work fast, it is my Deep Suspicion that I will be picking up the decks at their plant somewhere around the 3rd or 4th of September! I don't think it will be much later than that...
Then the WORK starts -- getting the decks and other items out to you! Have you filled out your survey yet? 

Thank you all for making this happen!

-- Freder

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Click to enlarge.
One can never know the Tarot completely: it is always coming up with new angles on The Universe, new correspondences and new meanings. I learned a lot while I was designing the deck: in fact I learned just enough to know that you’re never done learning about the thing. 

Lately, while working on the text to go with the new book — if I ever finish it — I’ve had a couple of lightbulbs go on over my head pertaining to the cards. Most of these have been simple enough to post on Facebook, where I offered them with the qualifier that these may not be original thoughts after all, and who knows but that I might have picked them up in some reading, only to have them not quite make it down the coin slot until now.

The latest “flash” concerns cards one through seven when taken all together, and came to me several mornings ago when I was lying in that state of half-sleep and half-waking. 

I suddenly realized how perfectly placed these cards are, how closely they relate to one another, and how the first four cards play out in the latter two. Again, I am certain that this is nothing new, no new pearls of wisdom to be found here — but when the lightbulb finally snaps on over your head, it always brings with it a flash of recognition and satisfaction and a rush of good feeling that you finally “get” it, you finally made the connection.

For The Seer represents the voice of subjective and subconscious knowledge accessible only by those who dare to dive into the Black Water, and swim through its murky depths. Because she is placed where she is, her influence is felt by both The Magician and The Empress, who benefit from and deepen their experience from Her council. On the other hand, The Hierophant represents a completely different sort of wisdom, that of Learning and Tradition — and because he is placed where he is, he has the attention of The Emperor, as well as (possibly undue) influence over the Common People (The Lovers).

Alas, The Hierophant appears all too often in his negative aspect, where he descends into Dogma and Materialism and his limited experience becomes a cage binding him away from true enlightenment — but still the Emperor will listen to him and take his council no matter the circumstance, unless the Empress can make her influence, and thus the extended influence of The Seer — manifest to him. In every case, The Emperor must make a choice (also as evidenced by The Lovers immediately following this sequence) between the two types of thinking.

If he chooses right, his choice will be made manifest in the positive aspect of The Chariot… but if he listens to the constricting and materialist Hierophant, if he makes the wrong choice (as happens all too often) he will become the worst kind of negative force: a man with conviction who under the influence of False Wisdom will apply whatever force is necessary to bend Reality to his will… which can be quite painful if you happen to be The Lovers — one of the aspects of Reality that needs to be bent. 

— Freder

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Wheel of Fate is Turning....

The final card revision. Click to enlarge. Can you spot all the differences?
ITEM! All of the final files are completed and ready to go to the printer.

ITEM! Late last night I successfully initiated the transfer of funds from Kickstarter/Amazon to my bank. I'll swing by the bank on Monday to make sure the transfer has gone through. If it has, I'm frankly going to sit on that deposit for a few days and just let it "take."

ITEM! The rep that I'm dealing with at J.S. McCarthy printers returns from his vacation on Monday. I'll contact him then, let him know what's going on, try to set up a time frame for it all to happen... and I also want to send them the box design so that they can look it over to see if I've met all the specs. 

ITEM! This thing could go to press as soon as the end of next week, and I suspect that it will go to press no later than the following Monday, They will do an initial press proof, which I'm sure will take a few days. If there are no changes to be made, I'll OK it and they can go ahead with the production.

ITEM! All this makes me believe that we are on track for the deck to be completed and ready to ship ... possibly as early as the end of this month, but I would think conservatively that it can't possibly be any later than mid-September.

ITEM! I'm starting to get excited about the idea of holding one of these babies in my hand and casting my first reading with it!

Thanks, everyone! 

-- Freder

Monday, August 4, 2014

Revisionist History

Recent health issues have made it impossible to write (you can't write without thinking, and you can't think when you're in extreme pain), and so work on the new book has slowed to a standstill. On the other hand, I don't have to think (at least with my front brain) to do design work... and so over the past few days I've been devoting myself to making the final files for the deck ready so that they can go to the printer -- hopefully next week. I'm nearly done with the minors.

Along the way, I've made some revisions to a few of the designs, as I've said I would all along. Here are some of the major changes for you to see. The new, or newest, version is always on the RIGHT. You can click on any of the images to enlarge. These have already been posted on Facebook, but in case you missed them there -- Enjoy!!