a tiny refrence guide after whipping out the cards


I got a q... and was wondering if you guys have some ideas and what have you. Here goes...

I've found an older set of cards I've created (outside of my original 150) and these suckers were labeld. so I go through my file cabinet and find an unfinished book about the cards and meanings, etc.

But, I hate having to go by the definition (I think WAY OUTSIDE the box here) and even my cards are on the unconventional side. (like minors and court cards... maybe it's just an oracle deck...?)

So my question is this: should I write the darn book anyway or just let it rot on my hard drive. I'd like others to see and (hopefully!) use my cards, but since I'm a way outside-down the street-down the corner-and 3 blocks out the alley kind of thinker, I highly doubt this would sell to any publisher (but, almost everyone who drools over it says my drawings are spiffy.)


There is currently a thread active called Too Much Information for Tarot? that you might want to look at, it covers the same quandary you find yourself in.

Speaking for myself: The more unconventional your cards are, the more likely I am to need some help with the symbols and intent, if not the interpretations. It's a matter of how accessible you wish your art to be. If you designed your cards for the chosen few who can grasp your though processes, well and good; I will point out, though, that if your intent is to have your cards receive as wide an audience as possible, then more detailed explanations would be appreciated.

There is a great illustration of this situation at the beginning of Paulo Coelho's novel The Pilgrimage: Coelho, about to receive a sword signifying mastery of an esoteric tradition, is instead told that he has failed because of his arrogance in presuming that such knowledge is for an elite few, rather than everyone.

It is something to consider, when deciding whether to let that book in your closet continue gathering dust.



Some of the " OUT OF THE BOX" thinkers have the greatest knowledge to share. The ideas are different & they work!


I'm with the pirate on this one. I'm agin one more book that tells what the cards are supposed to mean, but it can be really useful to know what you were thinking about when you put them together (well, the printable parts, anyway).


musing the printable parts

But that's the problem. I don't think, i just do. When I draw, I 'zone out' and 'wake up' when I'm finished. I had a chat with my friend who loves blabbing about his fav. subject, philosphy and religion and we started talking about my current situation for the moment...

He commented that I think in metaphors, since I pretty much stink at expressing myself with the written/spoken word (this is really bad if you're also a struggling and starving author!).
So if I am to get that book I started out of my HD, how am I going to get it that everyone understands my thoughts?

Also, I'd like to note that as far as symbols/pictures/etc are concerned, the folks who gave my cards a test run all said something (along these terms somewhat) about how the cards meaning only made sense to them and how if and when I ever write the definitions will bloster that...?

I'm mainly an oracle deck user (since to me, life is a big riddle) and these folks are random people, most I don't know (outside of friend of a friend) and they use different types of cards (still shocked at so many!)
Should I just package these cards and just say 'use them the way you feel?' This has been bugging me lately and I don't want to become another collection that gathers dust on someone's shelf....


Astra said:
I'm with the pirate on this one. I'm agin one more book that tells what the cards are supposed to mean

Hi Astra. Well, I agree with you in some ways, but on the other hand you have to remember that an awful lot of people who buy a tarot know nothing about it (for example, we sell many, many Tarot of Prague to visitors here who buy it because it is about Prague - it's often probably their first introduction to tarot). Similarly with many decks, the buyers may be people to whom the book is a first introduction. This means that to be practical, most "companion" books have to include some basic meanings.

I am struggling with this one myself as I am currently writing another companion book. In some ways I wanted to leave out the basic meanings and just go for the more idiosyncractic thoughts - but in that case it would cut out a lot of readers. What I've done in fact is to make the "basics" more concise this time (hopefully without making them trite) and given myself a bit more time/space to try out other approaches - our new deck is playful and needs a more playful book.

Anyway, just my take on this. I do agree that for anyone who has a few companion books the "standard" meanings are a bore - the problem is you have to satisfy a broad readership within one book.


Baba-prague, I agree that a book on a particular deck needs to appeal both to new readers and old. Couldn't there be a section on "standard" interpretations - the ones that are most common for the card - and then a separate section for your own thoughts? My bias is against each new book that says what the meanings are "supposed" to be rather than what the most common interpretations are.

Sayanoran - try coming home after your readings and putting down as much as you can remember of what you said each card meant at the time. After a while, I think you'll start to see patterns in your interpretations, and those can be used as the basis for later writing. I really can't relate to totally zoning out during the creative process, since it's never happened to me. Still, once you have the cards in front of you, you can take a crack at trying to scribble down just what metaphors are at work in what you see.


Zoners R Us

Sayonnaran... I also zone out and then wake up and I got lotsa fractals. :) No keywords yet... I'll post another thread on that but wanted to let you know you aren't the only zoner. I think high creatives have to zone to get into some wee part of the brain or something. Trying to translate to logic just becomes gobbelygooks. I think with my fractals, I'll apply a meaning and keyword later from scratch and just focus on creating them when I'm zoning. Mine may have to be one of those decks with just a Lwb and people can choose to read it or not. :p

Wishing you all the best,
another Zoner