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  1. StaroftheWeek2.25-3.5_24.thumb.png.6bee1c46a8a18e1617f00d00c61900a7.png


    Feedback, comments, and questions are welcome.


    This reading gives us insight into specific energies that we can focus on during specific days of the upcoming week as well as throughout the entire week as a whole.


    Today’s reading will use The Ark Animal & Tarot Deck by Bernadette King.


    Here are focal points for our meditation:



    Sunday:          How Can I Express Generosity?                                               Maiden of Cups                                         ‘Idealist’

    Monday:         How Can I Set the Emotional Tone for My Week?                   IV                                                                 ‘Sovereignty’

    Tuesday:        What Do I Want to Manifest?                                                    XIII                                  Mekonennet        ‘Death/Transformation’

    Wednesday:   What Wisdom is Coming to Me?                                              X                                    Mazal                   ‘Fortune’

    Thursday:       What Do I Want to Develop?                                                    Matriarch of Wands                                   ‘Leadership’

    Friday:             How Can I Connect with Romance, Friends and Nature?     XI                                    Gevirah                ‘Justice’

    Shabbat:         How Can I Rest?                                                                        VI                                    Ohevet                 ‘Choice/Lovers’

  2. Decks, decks, decks. There are so many of them. How do you tell them apart? Where did it all begin?


    From the late 18th century to the mid-20th century there circulated a hypothesis, wild as it may seem now, that the tarot deck was invented in ancient Egypt – and with ancient Egypt I mean the time period c. 2700 BCE to 395 CE, but please remember, that Egypt was under foreign administration (Persians, Græco-Macedonians and Romans) from 525 BCE.


    Today, we know more about both ancient Egypt and the history of playing cards, than what was known in the 1780s. The Rosetta Stone and all that. Handbooks about card games available during my childhood often repeated the claim, that the ordinary 52 card playing card deck began as a simplification of the tarot deck, but it is now attested, that it is the other way round. Decks for card games consisting of 52 cards existed in Egypt during the high middle ages, and reproduced in Spain and Italy from the 1370s. The guesswork in the 1780s had been correct about the geographical origin, but missed the chronological mark with somewhere between 4100 and 700 years, and the significance of this is, that the raise of playing cards didn't occur in a pre-Christian polytheistic setting (as the Enlightenment Era thinkers had presumed, thinking that all the nice symbols on tarot cards are surviving hieroglyphics), but in a predominantly Islamic culture (with a significant Coptic Christian minority) and without the 22 trumps that makes tarot decks so famous. Both Egyptian, Spanish and Italian playing cards had four suits, easily recognised by today's tarot readers: Swords, Sticks, Cups and Coins.


    All court cards were originally male: A sultan and two officials with the title nā'ib, which means 'representative'. In the past, that word could, among other meanings, refer to an assistant judge, but it could also refer to a vice-regent or other types of officials. Today we are mainly familiar with a court consisting of a king, a queen and a jack, but some traditional German decks (and I will return to them in a later blogpost) still preserve one male Ober (Upper) knave and one male Unter (Lower) knave, which is a remarkable example of how slowly the taste of card game players may change over centuries. As for the word nā'ib, it still survives in the Spanish word for playing card, naipes.


    In due season, I will focus my attention on tarot decks proper (the well-known 78 card version, of course, but also the less known 64 card version from Sicily, the 62 card version from Bologna and some other overlooked versions or derivations). Before that, I will take a look at how ordinary playing cards evolved. They do not look the same everywhere. Though the four old suit marks survived with only minor changes in Spain, in most-but-not-all parts of the Italian peninsula, in the tarot deck, in the minchiate deck and in the aluette deck, already in the mid-15th century they were adapted into (Spade-shaped) Leaves, Acorns, Hearts and Bells in many German-speaking principalities. This latter German set of suite marks formed, in turn, the basis for the French suits, which are well known in many parts of the world today: Spades, Clubs, Hearts and Diamonds.


    Something often forgotten by the present generation, particularly outside of Italy and Germany, is how late Italy and Germany became united countries, in 1861 and 1871, respectively. Gaming habits do not die swiftly. The former countries, out of which Italy and Germany were united, still cultivate regional identities, and the decks and games popular in any particular region often go back for centuries. This factor also cause consequences for divination methods. Regional cartomancy methods in the past were, of course, based on the particular deck or decks popular among card players in each of these regions at the time. Foreign decks lost competitive strength, because of customs duties, even if the place of origin of these decks were just in the neighbouring principality, where decks looked differently, and other card games were popular. Therefore, it isn't irrelevant for card readers to know something about regional playing card decks. It was out of them many decks, later designed for explicit cartomantic use, evolved.


    To be continued.

  3. O'Tarot Treadings

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  4. Strand of Pearls

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    People participate in things special to feel special.
    Thereby, they indeed become "special".


    Growth comes with perception of limitation and develops into limited perception.
    Once perceived, perception becomes limitless.


    If we keep us from proceeding without confirmation given by others, we are nothing but a hermit to ourselves.


    A gate once opened does not stay so, nor can it be passed by everyone.


    Words can not name what truly is essential, for they are a means of escaping namelessness.


    The mind can not be without perception, yet perception does fine on its own.


    If people do not link with the earth they inhabit, the ground beyond their feet will be unsteady, for it is the soul of the living which gives sustain to the world.


    The very first quest of any human - be they female, male or diverse - is for breasts, yet as they mature, only the female can grow a pair.


    Once the lock is replaced, the old key becomes useless.

  5. Mitou's Grove

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    Latest Entry

    For the 24, 25;; and 26th of January 2024:


    From 9PM to Midnight, take the time to settle down somewhere calm, relax, breathe deeply; and visualise the Full Moon. Beautiful sceneries, beautiful animals... And let the energies they carry flow through you. Those energies of beauty, tenderness, and Love. Be sure to record and remember everything you will feel, see and hear. Let that magical moment imprint itself in you. And if you wish to talk about what you experienced; do not hesitate to let me know. Changes are coming fast, and we must move akingside them.


    I will be with you.

    With Love and Light.


    🌜 Mitou 🌛

  6. Tarot Journey By Van

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    Latest Entry

    Hello There! It's Van here.

    Today i'm gonna share the story about how i got my first deck and what i'm currently doing with it.

    Everything started with a visit on my mom's friend house, she was about to help him with something in his family tapestry business, keep in mind his family runs the business in my town so they come here very often but they don't stay too much, and me and my sister decided to go together, idk if you i know but here in Brazil the gypsy community is strong and quite large so it's pretty common to see and interact with them (they majorly live in the north of the country but there's some in the south, where i live, too). So we got in to his house, my mom and his wife started to chat about the shop and sales, while i was looking into the ceiling which had this massive tapestry with a lot of signals and stuff (i really don't know what it was), i'm a really curious person so i questioned about it and they said that it was a representative image of their gods and stuff and i started to get even more curious and started to questioning more, but well they didn't fell comfortable enough to share more in detail, i guess, then i got quiet. After a while their granny entered the room and approached us and started to talk with my mom about the shop and how to keep their business while on road and how to avoid being robbed stuff like that, i'll admit i got bored and i decided to keep starring at the ceilling because the tapestry was too beautiful and it seemed to be alive, like there was blue and red then green and some white and flowers and threes, it was one of those things you can't stop looking even if you want. After doing the financial stuff and helping them with the system of online sales and shopping (apparently my sister build their online sales shop and she's helping since 2019), we were invited to take a break and eat, the hole family was together (pretty large one with six or eight brothers and all sharing one house) and my mom started to chat with the granny and she was talking about reading something and my sister told me she reads Tarot and that's how they found my mom and decided to keep her as their financial and legal consultant for about six years. In the past i was curious and studied about Tarot but i never felt the urge to keep studying, so i got close and started to listen more and more, granny was telling about this dream she had with me and my mom on my birthday that i had the entire universe in my hands and that if my mom didn't feel offended she would like to present me with a deck. Well, my mom was shocked but glad, she said it was okay, then she passed me this yellow box with a brend new deck and told me that she buyed this one in 2015 without knowing why, and perhaps the reason was to give it to me. I was pretty scared, but at the time i accepted in order to be respectful and kind since all the members of the family are kind to us. She look right into my eyes and said: "I'm so sorry, darling! I'm not gonna be present to see the beautiful path of your life, but i'll watch your steps when you left by this door." By the time i had no clue what that means, today i understand after a lot of things happend (she lefted the country to come back where she was born, my mom's friend told me the reason is she's going to die soon).

    Ok this happend in 2020, they left the town one mouth after this and right now we don't have any contact, besides the little messege my mom's friend sended her in June telling about their granny. For two years my deck stayed my bookshelf, adimiting to myself that i was fucking terrify of it made part of my process to be close (don't get me wrong, things happend in the day brought the deck to my house, things that had never happen in my entire life. We got in 2023, i was walking in the city at night with my mom on the side walk in our left side there was this old lady, she got really close to me, put her arm on my and asked me to help her, i couldn't see her face and she was smelling roses, i accepted and then we walked a little bit ( i live in a town crossed by a river and at night my mom and i like to got into the border of the river so we can clean our feet, it's pretty normal, and no, it's not a polluted river) after we got into our spot which is basically the start of the river she left my arm and said: "Don't be afraid, touch once and you'll feel courage and curosity. Don't be afraid of my calling, because if i'm calling you there's a motive." My mom at this point put herself in front of me and started praying and telling her stuff, i fucking scarred, it was dark, i couldn't see nothing and the only light we had was from a old made from wood street light i was shivering and almost running away, this fucking lady entenred in the river and FUCKING DISAPPEARD, right in front of my eyes. This river in my town is known for have a lot rocks in the bottle and have a dangerously flow, i almost pissed my self, we didn't even stayed at there, my mom grab my hand and we started to run into one of the fisherman houses, after a while we got home. She sat with me and said: "Are you using that stuff that Miss Yasemine gave to you?" I said no and she replied: "Do it or things like these are gonna keeping happening."

    Guys keep in you minds i'm not the type of person who believes in those things, honestly i always thought this **** is for crazy and for people who belive in astrology and stuff but i almost **** myself out of fear. It took me one month to recover and i'm still afraid to be in the same place again. I got really into Tarot in end of the year and no, this was no magic, enchantment or curse from his family.

    So in the end, i'm studying Tarot, a got a new box and i pretend to do some things that in my religion are necessery to keep it clean and protected!




  7. Except, of course, if it is a well made cat deck. Or something with dragons. Or... no, really, i don't need any more decks. 


    My inventory of both tarot and oracle decks has grown immensely. Initially, we stopped buying decks about 10 years ago due to house hunting (less stuff to transport) and general lack of space. After moving, we bought decks worth about $700 from LoScarabeo, then a few from elsewhere and we thought we were done for at least 10 more years.


    Then there were the after-corona spoils where you could bulk buy decks from ebay and elsewhere, as people who took up reading dropped it again after isolation was over. Also, books and other hobby stuff but I didn't go over board with those.


    So we ended up with lots of new decks (some duplicates), some of which I had never heard about and would probably not have bought otherwise. Some of them are unusable for my housemate, but I haven't yet found anything I could not ever use. It is a challenge to use some of them. And they made me curious what else is out there I have not encountered yet and - wow. I would be interested in some of them but I have made the decision not to get anymore decks unless we need to fill up an Amazon buy.


    I am not sure what to think about the masses of decks out there anymore. If we get more decks we will have to be a lot more critical. No more bulk buys for us I think because we are both really bad at passing decks on as long as we might eventually use them for something. The only one we could part with easily is the Deviant Moon, it gives us both the creeps.


    My housemate built 3 colorful shelves for the walls in our inside temple room, but they are almost full and the larger decks fill up the space under the Bast+Sekhmet altar. No, we really don't need any more decks. Chances are, we will still get a few more. I'm just being realistic.

  8. Eternal Arcana

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    I wanted to start my first post with bringing awareness to the tarot community about something that has genuinely transformed my spiritual journey and deepened my connection with the cards.

    And that is - Notion, a remarkable digital tool, that has not only redefined the way I engage with the tarot but has the potential to ignite a newfound passion and inspiration within the hearts of fellow tarot enthusiasts. Its impact on my practice has been profound, and I believe it has the power to unlock a world of possibilities for anyone who embraces it.

    I must confess, I've always been a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my tarot readings. The mere idea of keeping a tarot journal, meticulously noting down each card drawn, the positions, and my interpretations, always fascinated me.


    For years, I used a traditional written journal to record my readings, but it always felt like something was missing. That was until I discovered the powerful world of digital tarot journaling.

    In my quest to find the perfect phone application that could efficiently record and organize my tarot readings, I embarked on a journey of app downloads that left me wanting more. I craved a tool that would not only store my readings but also provide the freedom to customize, search, and visualize the magic of my tarot journey. That's when I stumbled upon the game-changer – an application called Notion.


    Notion, to put it simply, is like spreadsheets on steroids. It's a digital workspace that allows users to create and customize databases, task lists, notes, and more. When it comes to tarot journaling, it's a dream come true for the modern practitioner.


    Here's why:


    1. Customization Beyond Imagination: Notion's greatest strength lies in its ability to adapt to your needs. You can create your very own digital tarot journal from scratch, tailoring it to your style and preferences. Add tables, tags, links, and images as you see fit, making it a truly personalized experience. Say goodbye to the limitations of physical notebooks and hello to a world of limitless customization.

    2. Searchability for Insight: One of the most frustrating aspects of traditional tarot journaling is flipping through countless pages to find a specific reading or insight. With Notion's powerful search feature, you can instantly locate any reading, card, or keyword you desire. It empowers you to connect the dots between past and present readings, enhancing your understanding of the cards and their messages.

    3. Real-Time Visualization: Digital tarot journaling brings your readings to life in ways that pen and paper never could. You can instantly see your readings unfold, complete with card images. This visual aspect adds a new layer to your understanding of the tarot, allowing you to absorb the energy and symbolism of the cards as they appeared in your spread.

    4. Insights Through Graphs and Stats: With Notion, you can also track which cards you pull most frequently, as well as which suits or themes dominate your readings. The app offers the ability to create graphs and statistics that give you a deeper insight into your tarot practice, helping you identify patterns and trends in your readings.

    If building your own tarot journal seems daunting, fear not! There's a vibrant community of creators on platforms like Etsy who sell beautifully designed tarot journal templates for Notion.

    Notion has completely changed the way I read and journal the tarot personally. This application has become a trusted companion on my journey, allowing me to explore the cards and their messages with unprecedented depth and clarity. I highly recommend you check out the app Notion. It's more than a tool; it's an enabler of your tarot magic. With its boundless customization, searchability, real-time visualization, and insightful statistics, you won't regret making the switch to a digital tarot journal.

    Your tarot practice will flourish in ways you never thought possible, and the magic of the cards will come alive like never before.


    If you're curious to witness the true capabilities of Notion and how it can elevate your tarot practice, I invite you to take a look at my own digital tarot journal...

    Which You Can Check Out Here:


    My Tarot Journal


    Ultimately, whether you choose a written or digital journal, the act of maintaining a journal is profoundly beneficial for your soul, and it has the potential to enhance your skills and overall well-being. It's a valuable exercise that should be incorporated into your daily routine. The simple act of reflection, whether through words or digital records, not only strengthens your connection with your chosen practice, be it tarot or any other discipline, but it also nurtures personal growth and self-awareness. Daily journaling offers you a space for introspection and the opportunity to refine your skills while promoting a sense of balance in your life.

    But this is a journey I'm excited to share with you, and I hope it inspires you to embark on your own path of discovery with this or some other remarkable digital tool to enhance your own tarot experience!





    Untitled design 1.png

  9. Continuing on from my exercise observing each suit as a whole, separately, here are my observations for the suit of wands:


    Swords - Air - Thoughts, Conflict, Challenges

    • If the suit of swords, laid from Ace to King, represented your emotional forecast for the next two weeks, what would it be saying?


    Ace, showing new conquest with great potential, indicated by the crown. However the card's foundation is rocky - it is still merely potential at this point.

    Two shows a feminine figure, blindfolded, crossing two swords across her chest. A deep body of water and the moon is behind them, indicating deep intuition/emotion, but they connot see what lies before them, which is why they remain guarded.

    Three indicates terrible sorrow and heartbreak. Three swords, plunging through a heart; the heavy rain pouring down behind a further reflection of the situation at hand.

    Four shows a potential result of 3's heartbreak. He appears to be made of stone and are lying in quiet contemplation and hands as if praying. The swords surrounding him represent his current situation; in his detached state, he is also failing to see what is being shown to him in the stained glass window - someone recieving aid after having called for it.

    Five reminds me of betrayal, or deceit. One main, all swords in his posession, carries a smug expression and looks back at two figures, each cast off separately - alone, devastated. 

    Six shows a family unit - husband, wife and child. They are turning their backs on the hardships/strife they have been experiencing. There is a deep body of water that must be crossed before reaching solid ground, indicating an emotional journey.

    Seven is most definitely up to something; he appears to be sneaking away from a fair, circus or marketplace (or similar) with swords in his posession. Something I find quite interesting is that he is the only figure amongst all the sword cards who is holding their sword by the blade and not the hilt. A forewarning, for sure! 
    Eight shows someone blindfolded and tied up with rope, representing a situation that is likely consuming them. They fail to see the sources of aid around them - civilization in the distance, many swords surrounding them. Some creative thinking could likely help remove their bindings.

    Nine shows someone lying in bed, grief-ridden. It's interesting to note the star signs on the bedspread, the situation could be out of their control.

    Ten indicates terrible hardship - a red blanket covering up spilt blood. Oddly though, the body of water is completely still, indicating a degree of acceptance despite the overwhelming sorrow.


    Court Cards

    The Page holds a sword in front of them, but looks behind at what they have just faced. They have seemingly let go of what once burdened them, but the fact that they are looking back at the previous cards of the suit means they may still be a little weary, or hesitant.

    The Knight is ready to face strife and hardship head on - charging towards the number cards to face those challenges directly, becase he now has the resources and allies to help solve them.

    The Queen reveals only a part of herself - she is reserved. However her throne is adornes with butterflies and a cherub. There is much more to what's on on the surface with this queen, she posesses a gentle kindness within. The direction she faces indicates that she is focused on what is coming ahead.

    The King holds a stern expression, ready to face the challenges before him. Similar to the queen, butterflies adorn his throne as well. Despite his stony exterior, he strives to protect beauty and grace.

  10. I had thought the internet couldn't get worse, but I was wrong.  Yesterday it was horrible and couldn't be used at all.   There's apparently a silver lining, though.  Today it's actually useable so maybe they fixed somerhing.


    Aside from the internet, my need for transfusions seems to be on its way out.  My red blood cell count has been 6 and I had to have a transfusion twice now.  This time, though, my blood count was 10.  The healthy blood count is 12 on average, so I'm only a little bit low this time.  I did some research myself and found that people who take Prilosec (omeprazole) long term can become anemic.  I've taken it for 30 years.  I told my doctor, he switched me to Pepcid (famotadine) and I'm actually feeling much better, in addition to improvement in my blood test.  The rate for acheiving a normal red blood cell count after stopping Prilosec is from 4 to 8 months, so I'm hoping that will be true of me.  Pepcid can also cause anemia but I'm going to be watching for any sign of it this time.









  11. BobaTea's Tarot Journey

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    Decks Used

    • Trash Panda Tarot by Jennifer Starling Dukehart
    • Maybe Lenormand by Ryan Edwards



    For my one pull tarot card I set the intention of, "What do I need to know for today?"

    For my lenormand spread I set the intention of, "What will happen/play out today?"


    I pulled The High Priestess (2),

    Book (26), Hands (39), and Eye (46)


    Off the bat I can tell today will be focused on my growth spiritually or at least growing my knowledge whether it be tarot, intuition or spirituality in general. The High Priestess lets me know that I can learn more (wisdom) if I so wish to do so, which is interesting because I planned to do some readings for others later on reddit. I also feel like it will be a still day today so probably not going out or anything (typical). I only say this for The High Priestess given the lenormand spread as it focuses on knowledge and learning, the eye reminds me of the third eye, the unseen the unknown and spirituality just like The High Priestess. The hand reminds me of helping or giving a helping hand so perhaps helping others will grow my knowledge spiritually.


    Now this could have a totally different meaning it could mean watching (Eye) someone closely that I will meet (Hand) today that will unfold unknown secrets/knowledge (Book) and The High Priestess could add upon that of being still, calm and collected while gathering information and using intuition or my gut feeling and trusting it.


    Let me know what you guys think as I believe it could be a fun practice, I will admit I'm not sure if this blog posts is against the rules I mostly want to use my blog to track readings and see what occurs to learn more about divination.

  12. Tarot Space

    Hello, friends it is crucial to clarify that I do not have an establishment or corporation and therefore does not make me a business owner or own any business. However, from experience I do operate with a business plan and foundation. The full intention behind the use of the word "business" was meant to go into detail about structure and process earnings from tarot associating to a business. I'm sorry for any misinformation or misguidance this may have caused you. Thank you for your support thus far! 😟

  13. 1*GINbN5BHmoBPNlyOweyUhw.jpeg

    Pick a card. :D

    For this reading, you will pick a card (choose a jewelry item) and that will be your message on today’s topic. Now let’s begin to reading. ❤


    What did you pick? :D

    What do you need to know in regards to money/financial concerns for the next 2 weeks?


    Moon Earring — Strength, tells me that this month will be an important time for you. I see new career opportunities and more money coming your way. You’ve been working really hard, applying to jobs and doing what you have to do to grab life by the balls and make things happen. I’m sense very strong baddie boss energy and I feel like soon there will be a positive twist and new beginning for you in the career place where you succeed in significant way.


    Rose Earring — Ace of wands, shows me that movement is happening and soon. Within 1 week from now, I get things will be improving for you. You may be offered a promotional opportunity or get a pay raise. For some its a new job offer. For others, new clients. Either way, new doors will open and new avenues for money will arise this month.


    Wolf Ring — The Hierophant, is a powerful message when it comes to money. This card tells me that you are wise, educate and prepared. I feel like you know what to do in order to thrive in any work environment. You are confident, you are strong, and you are capable. Above all else, I feel like right now you need to believe in yourself because there is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it.


    Thank you for your time, I’ll see you again in 2 weeks! :D




  14. In the Creative Circle, we are slowly working our way through the major arcana via The Fool's Journey.  I wanted to document my own journey in its fullness here.  This blog post will be updated each time I post a project to the Creative Circle so do check back regularly if you're interested.


    0 The Fool

    For the Fool, I represented the fresh start and taking a step of faith into the unknown by making some moccasin shoes.



    1 The Magician

    I decided to represent the Magician by knitting something to protect my hands.  I'd noticed that in a number of the Magician cards, the hands were often being used to channel his creative energies to combine the elements in some way so this seemed a good idea!



    2 The High Priestess

    For the High Priestess, I used inspiration from some of my animal decks to connect the High Priestess with a cat and created this cute crochet cat, called Mysti, in the colours of the High Priestess's cloths from the RWS and The Herbal Tarot decks.  (For more information on why this photo is staged this way please head to the Creative Circle for March 2023...)



    3 The Empress

    For the Empress, I was inspired to create something using ingredients from nature, so I made Nettle Leaf Syrup!



    4 The Emperor

    The Emperor inspired me to create databases for various things:

    - my book collection

    - my knitting needle and crochet hook collection

    - my classical piano pieces so I can find different versions more easily in my books


    5 The Hierophant

    6 The Lovers

    7 The Chariot

    8 Strength

    9 The Hermit

    10 Wheel of Fortune

    11 Justice

    12 The Hanged Man

    13 Death

    14 Temperance

    15 The Devil

    16 The Tower

    17 The Star

    18 The Moon

    19 The Sun

    20 Judgement

    21 The World

  15. Little Fang's Thoughts

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    The Wild Unknown Tarot © Kim KransOriginally published on Little Fang Tarot with some minor edits.


    Many people dread getting a reading done and having Death appear.

    “Does it mean I’m going to die?” No!

    What I’m here to explain is that often times these cards don’t hold any literal meaning behind them!

    Death, The Devil, The Tower, the Three of Swords, and the Ten of Swords, are all some of the most feared cards that could come into a tarot reading.  Just look at the pictures at the left, don’t these look ominous?


    What if I told you that these cards can be used as a warning and a chance to grow instead?


    I want to break these cards down and show you that there is nothing to fear and there is everything to learn!






    Consider the phoenix of myth.  It has lived its life and is now worn and tired.  What is there left?  The great bird has reached the end of its long life, once majestic and bright, now shattered and dull.  In a burst of flame and ash, the phoenix sheds its older shell and returns renewed and majestic once again!

    Something is coming to an end.  It’s time to Transform.

    You are burning something that is no longer needed in your life and coming back better and stronger for having gotten rid of it.  It can be scary, and it can be hard, but you’ll be way better off for having gotten rid of the burden that you carried.

    The Devil

    This card can be a warning against temptation and addiction.  You may be being led down the wrong path, but knowing is half the battle!  Consider the actions you are currently taking in life and determine the reasons behind the choices you have made.  Do you have everyone’s best intentions at heart?

    It’s time to slay the demons within yourself and find the light of the matter.

    Don’t let fear be your enemy, face it head-on!  This feeling of powerlessness is under your control, and you can choose to break the chains that bind you and free yourself.

    The Tower

    The changes that Death brings may be more gradual, much like the flow of life itself.  However, the Tower is a sudden and abrupt change that may shake the very foundations of your life as you know it.  The best part about this crumbling tower?

    Once it comes down, you can build something BETTER in its place!

    It’s hard to deal with a big change, but it’s inevitable.  When this card comes up you can be better prepared to face it head-on and then start planning what you want to put in its place.  This card gives you more power than you realize!

    Three of Swords

    Ah, the card with the swords that spear the heart.  The typical sign of heartbreak and despair.  Pain is a sad part of life, and it’s not something you can always avoid.  Pain is a challenge that allows you to grow and expand!  The Swords represent the logic and thought and the heart is emotion, therefore…

    Your emotions may be holding you back.  Release the grasp they have over this situation!

    The Three falls under the Empress’s domain, so it’s important to nurture and be kind to yourself.  Don’t allow the pain or grief to overcome you, you are strong and you can grow.

    Ten of Swords

    Great, the card where something or somebody is being impaled by a bunch of swords.  How can THIS be any good?  It’s not the best card or the nicest looking, no, but it also signifies an end to something with a chance to bounce back from it.

    Once you have hit rock bottom, there is nowhere else left to go but UP!

    You have reached the end already and you are feeling the pain of all those swords upon you.  Just because it’s the end of one story doesn’t mean you can’t start writing another!


    Don’t be afraid.  Knowledge is Power!

  16. On the Use of White and Pink/Flesh Colors in the Tarot de Marseille


    This is a long post. Here is the TLDR version: The use of white and pink in the Tarot de Marseille, especially the Conver deck, is kind of a big deal.


    I have been noodling with these ideas for a while. I am presenting them here in draft form and invite feedback.


    The numbers in parentheses are footnotes. There are notes at the very bottom of the post. 


    I have also posted the essay in my nascent blog, Dispatches from the Cosmic Command Post.




    A great many Tarot de Marseilles (TdM) decks produced in the mid-18th century depict the “protagonist” figure of the cards from the major arcana and the court cards with purely white faces. Many depict the same figures with pink or flesh tones for the hands and other parts of the body, indicating that use of white for the face is a conscious choice on the part of the card maker, and not the result of some limitation in printing technology.


    Furthermore — across multiple decks — there is a consistent pattern(1) of where the pink or flesh tone appears in other parts of card, either in pieces or areas of clothing, or in symbols of authority or other implements used by or associated with the protagonist figure. 


    These observations are not original. The purpose of this essay is to present a two-faceted discussion that may make original points: 1) The patterns of use of “white face” in the Tarot de Marseilles suggest we should consider protagonist characters as wearing a mask, in the manner of theatre across the ages as well as dances and ceremonies important to indigenous peoples since time immemorial, and 2) the location, the “attribution,” of the pink color in other parts of the card is significant: the attribution of this color indicates a meaningful aspect of the protagonist figure, and what is most important to him or her. And if 1 and 2 have any validity, we can explore the idea that these features offer a layer of meaning in the cards that can usefully be explored when using the tarot for divination or self-discovery.


    To provide context for our discussion — before investigating ideas of masks and performance, and of white and pink as signifying elements —  I will provide some rather bald data: a listing of significant, extant historical decks, and an indication of the color used for the majority of faces in the major arcana and court cards, as well as the color used for hands and other body parts. The listing is not exhaustive, and there are, within decks, exceptions in each case. The listing also includes decks from outside the period with which we opened this discussion (the mid-18th century), as well as some decks that purists would not label as Tarot de Marseille. Finally, the listing only includes “mass market” (for the times) decks produced with wood blocks: it does not include one-off hand-painted decks.


    Madenié 1709: White faces, white hands

    Heri 1718: White faces, white hands

    Heri 1730: White faces, white hands

    Payan 1713: White faces, pink hands

    Laurent 1735: White faces, pink hands 

    Cheminade 1742: White faces, white hands

    Burdel 1751: White faces, white hands

    Rochias 1754 (Swiss): White faces, pink hands

    Conver 1760: White faces, pink hands

    Feautrier 1762: White faces, pink hands

    Jerjer 1801: Pink faces, pink hands

    Arnoux & Ae Amphoux 1801/1802: White faces, pink hands

    Gassmann 1840: Pink faces, pink hands


    Also: In the late 20th and early 21st century, two thoughtful recreations of the Conver 1760 deck achieved what might be called “critical mass” in terms of acceptance and interest, and played a great role in bringing the Tarot de Marseille to the attention of readers outside of France and environs who had previously dealt only with decks from the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) tradition. In both decks, the pink flesh tone is replaced by a tan color, and in both, the attribution of the “hand color” (here, a tan) in other parts of the cards remains consistent with that of the historical decks in general, and the Conver 1760 deck in particular.(2)


    Camion-Jodorowsky 1997: Tan faces, tan hands

    Conver Ben-Dove 2016: Tan faces, tan hands


    Considering the above, we may paint some broad strokes. In the earliest decks, areas of flesh were often not colored at all, regardless of position or body part. By the mid-1700s, white faces on characters that are otherwise rendered with flesh tones becomes a norm. In the 19th and 20th century, the white faces have largely disappeared, with flesh tone used for the faces as well as other body parts. 


    White Face as Mask


    My tone so far may suggest I consider myself a scholar of the tarot, competent to make historical arguments. I am not. This essay is not a reasoned argument for a way of reading the cards, but simply an exploration. 


    I primarily use the Conver 1760 deck, and as I interact with it, both the white faces, considered as masks, and the use of the pink flesh tone elsewhere in the cards present as signifying elements. 


    A scholarly exploration of the use of masks in theatre and ceremonial dances and rites is well beyond the scope of the essay. Instead I will simply offer some thoughts. 


    In this Conver deck, the hands and other body parts of major figures (such as the legs of the male figure in The Lover) are consistently rendered in a somewhat realistic pinkish flesh tone. This makes it clear that the use of white for the faces was a conscious decision on Conver’s part when applying color(3).  


    The white faces can (I believe should) be considered as masks. 


    In theatre, since at least the time of the ancient Greeks, the use of masks offers an obvious practical benefit: they allow an actor to play multiple roles. 


    We often hear (and talk) about the cards in a tarot spread as telling a story. We could just as easily think of it as the cards as staging a play. I am going to put my cards on the table here (as it were): I conceive of my deck (this particular deck) as a living entity, with a name and a personality.  (Call that quirky or worse if you wish, but it is working for me.) I find it helpful to contextualize a spread as her staging a play for me. To do so, she has to adopt different characters, different personae, at different places in the spread. She uses masks to do this. That is, the use of color in the deck (here, white) emphasizes the idea that each card is a role, an instantiation. It is not the whole; it is the whole presenting in a particular aspect.  


    The play has an audience: me, and whoever I am reading for. The idea of masks signifying identity is relevant on this side as well. We go to tarot — we ask the deck to stage a play for us — for many reasons, including advice and insight. And, bless them, the cards answer. The cards give us advice that often takes forms like, “Now is not a time for action. It is a time to retreat and reflect. So, be like The Hermit. Put on your Hermit mask. For now, be that character in the play that is your life.” Or, “Yes, you’re a sweet guy, but right now you need to man up and show leadership and decision. Your family needs this. So pull out your Emperor mask and be the Emperor. Take on that role.”


    The cards both acknowledge and depict something central to the human condition: at different times, in different situations (so many times and situations in the course of a life), we have to assume different roles. 


    To put it simply, you are you, and you are also always someone to someone, and the someone changes (and the someone is often you). 


    To navigate this, you will constantly need to don different masks. The cards acknowledge this. They endorse it. And they provide guidance for which masks you need to take out and don at given moments in your life.


    Some final notes on this: There are only five cards in the Conver deck where the protagonist figure appears without white face: The Hanged Man (12), Card XIII (“Death”), The Devil (15), The Star (17), and The World (21)  


    Of these, I consider only The Hanged Man to depict a truly human figure. The others are either depictions of an idea or, in the case of The Star, a human-appearing figure who clearly exists in a dream world, and therefore is more emblematic than human. (And the name of the card is The Star. Perhaps the woman is not the protagonist, but rather the large star at the top of the image.)


    Again, only one clearly human figure appears without a white-face mask: The Hanged Man. This reinforces the idea of The Hanged Man being a card about meditation and self-sacrifice as a path to self-awareness, rather than delay, paralysis, or torture. The Hanged Man has put himself in this position to see who he really is, without masks.


    This notion of tarot figures wearing masks can be considered when working with any deck. At the simplest level, my point is that — through their use of white and pink — many TdM decks foreground this idea and encourage us to think about masks and roles as we interact with the cards. 


    The Pink/Flesh Color as a Signifier


    The Conver deck not only uses a semi-realistic pink color as a flesh tone in the major arcana and court cards, but also repeats this color in other areas of the cards. Other TdM decks do not present the color outside of area of flesh as frequently as in the Conver, but when they do, they almost always present it in the same positions. So, the placement of this color is not a unique quirk of the Conver deck, and it is not random, but rather a widely used feature that is emphasized more in the Conver than in other surviving historical decks.


    My belief is that these “attributions” of the color in other areas of the card were an intentional choice on Conver’s part(3), and that they bear exploration.


    Of everything discussed so far, this idea —  how the color pink “attributes” in the cards — is the most difficult to express. Clearly it is highly subjective. But:


    Let us consider the placement of this color as an indicator of what is most significant to or valued by the protagonist figures.


    Or, let us consider the placement of this color as an index, a pointer, to what we should pay attention to… in the cards, in ourselves, or for the querent.


    (Alejandro Jodorowsky — a controversial but indisputably learned commentator on the tarot — takes up colors in the cards, and, in a chart, puts this beside the flesh color: “Human realm, conscious life.” Let us keep that idea in mind: the color can be an indicator of what the protagonist (the “human”)  is aware of (“conscious”) as important and self-defining.)


    I am at a loss to better explain my sense that there is meaning here, in this layer of the card imagery, so let us simply look at the cards.


    The Magician, Le Bateleur (1): We see the pink color in two places: a scarf-like garment around the Magician’s throat, and his table along with the tools laid out upon it.


    In several cards, the use of pink around the neck is ambiguous: it could be a scarf-like garment, or it could simply be the flesh of the protagonist’s neck. Here, because of its width, it seems clearly to be a scarf or collar. This attribution indicates the importance of his voice, his words. Le Bateleur is a street performer: his patter, his schtick, is how he makes his living. In the broad, popular idea of magicians, what do they do? They use words to cast spells. 


    The largest area of the signifying color in this card is on the table and tools. This man is all about his craft. He uses tools to bring about his will. Among other things, he is a technician. The Magician uses tools and and tricks to get what he wants. The RWS Magician is a more positive and exalted figure, but the same holds: he uses a wand and the implements on the table before him to manifest his will. 


    The Popess, La Pappesse (2): Here the signifying color appears all around the protagonist’s head, and in a band across her heart.


    La Papesse, the High Priestess… this is a complex figure, but however we approach or depict her, there is always a strong link with knowledge. This woman knows things (head), but its source is more intuitive (heart) than reasoned. 


    The Empress, L'Imperatrice (3): The RWS tradition foregrounds the feminine aspects of The Empress, and identifies her most strongly with ideas such as motherhood, fertility, and nurturing (which are all to the good).  In contrast (but not in contradiction), the TdM tradition foregrounds the actual card/woman as named: she is The Empress. She is a leader. She is a head of state. 


    The color pink appears here at the neck, and in this case, it really is a bare neck, rather than a garment around her throat. And this lets us see an intriguing detail, communicated through a very short and simple line in the art: she has an Adam’s apple, which is usually considered a male feature. The Empress is a woman, she is very female, but she is in a role traditionally reserved for men. In order to play her role, in order to succeed as an Empress, she must evince masculine qualities alongside her strong feminine nature. The Empress is arguably the epitome of the feminine in the tarot, but there is also an element of androgyny here: her role requires her to take on male aspects.


    The only place in the card where the signifying color pink unambiguously attributes is in her scepter, the symbol of her authority as a leader and head of state. 


    The Emperor, L'Empereur (4): This is not a nuanced card: authority, leadership, stability… rationality and strategy, defending boundaries… also the father role.


    The signifying color attributes here in only one place: The Emperor’s throne, the seat and symbol of his authority. The man has become the role, the position.


    The Pope, Le Pape (5): We will consider The Pope below, alongside The Hermit and Justice.


    The Lover, L'Amoureux (6): By the terms of my thesis (the TdM uses the pink color in the human protagonists’ garments or implements as a layer of meaning), this is a problematic card. The color is present in the whole body of the Cupid figure and in the lower male figure’s legs, but never in a garment or object.


    A possibility: I see a pattern in the use of the color with protagonist figures, but it is not clear that this card has a protagonist. The card is called “The Lover,” and Cupid’s arrow is pointing towards the male, but he is not graphically privileged like the other figures we have and will look at. He is not larger than the others. He does not fill the frame. He seems to have little agency. Rather, he is a one actor in a multi-part scene.


    The Chariot, Le Chariot (7): The name of this card is “The Chariot,” not “The Charioteer.” So, is the man in the chariot truly the protagonist? Is he the star player at this moment in the play, or is he — like The Lover — a character in a scene? 


    Here the signifying color attributes to the chariot itself and to the scepter held by the charioteer. The horses are not controlled by reins: both visually and by established traditions of the card’s meaning, they are controlled by the charioteer’s will, represented by his scepter.  This is a card about willpower and motion, as shown with the color. The human aspect is secondary.


    Justice, La Justice (8): Justice will be considered below, alongside The Pope and The Hermit.


    The Hermit, L'Hermite (9), The Pope (5), and Justice (8): For each of these figures, the pink color attributes to the inside, the inner lining, of the protagonist’s robes. 


    For an idea of how the color may signify in these cards, consider Alec Guiness’s portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobe in the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope. Obi-Wan abides in the desert, and Luke’s uncle calls him “a strange old hermit.” As a quick internet search for “hermit desert” will show, the connection between hermits and the desert is long and deep. 


    Obi-Wan never makes outward displays of emotion, beyond, perhaps, gentle amusement. But we never feel that he lacks emotion: he seems to have a very rich inner life and genuine humanity. His inner life and emotions are rich, but they are not for public display. 


    I believe Obi-Wan is an exemplar of the kind of emotional restraint and privacy signaled by the attribution of pink in these three cards. The Hermit in the tarot is, well, very much like Obi-Wan: a figure who has retreated from the world, and through a meditative discipline has gained wisdom and even power.


    The Pope is very much a public figure, but if he is a good spiritual leader, he will have risen to this high position at least in part because of his spiritual gifts and strengths. Like The Hermit, he will have wisdom and a rich inner life. When performing his role, his actions are public and ritualistic, but he is not an automaton or functionary. There is a depth to the man.


    Justice too is a very public figure. In this card, the pink color attributes around her brow: she must make reasoned judgments. It also attributes around her throat: the most powerful aspect of her role is to pronounce sentence. Her words determine the fate of those who come before her.


    And if she is a good judge, her determinations will be guided and tempered by an inner wisdom. She will embody not only law and order, but justice tempered with mercy. 


    The Wheel of Fortune, La Rove de Fortune (10): There is no human protagonist figure in this card. I will simply note that the pink color appears in the beams supporting the wheel and inside the controlling imp’s cloak.


    Strength, La Force (11): I believe the previous cards show a pattern emerging, where the parts of the card shaded in pink indicate what is most important to the figures. They show where or in what the protagonists invest their life energy. 


    (An irreverent aside: Who else uses La Force, The Force? Jedi! I bet her robe is pink inside, just like Obi-Wan's and The Hermit's.)


    Many, probably most, tarot readers see the lion in the Strength card as a representation of powerful inner drives. It is life energy writ large. 


    This woman has pink around her throat and down the front of her dress, The area covers her heart and descends down across her abdomen. It is a triangular shape that tapers downward, but the lower portion is obscured by her arm. If the triangular shape were extended to the point where the two long sides meet, it would terminate at her groin. 


    This woman controls inner drives — the powerful life energy that for some people becomes destructive — with a strength that comes from her heart, and from her very core. When she speaks, her words will be powerfully expressive and persuasive. 


    The Hanged Man, Le Pendu (12): As we saw earlier, The Hanged Man is the only human protagonist figure in the deck who presents without a mask. He is also the only one where there the pink color does not appear anywhere other than his flesh. 


    Earlier I suggested his lack of a mask reinforces the interpretation of the card as a meditative effort to find the true self, without the masks we put on in our social roles. Perhaps identifying the true self also involves divesting from garments, tools, and symbols.


    Card XIII: I don’t believe we can apply the same emerging rules to this figure as with the human protagonists. I will note though that Conver makes dramatic use of the pink color here. I find this rendition of the death figure in Card XIII to be one of the most powerful, even disturbing, of any of the decks I have viewed. In many decks, it seems essentially a skeleton figure. This figure seems to have been entirely flayed. Rather than bones, it is nothing but flesh, flesh stripped of even the protective covering of a skin.  


    Temperance, Temperance (14): The protagonist here is an angel, not a human. It is not clear to me that the attribution of pink signifies in the same way for human and non-human figures. I will note, though, that the pattern here is essentially identical with that in the Strength card: pink around the throat, and in a downward-tapering triangle over her heart and upper abdomen. Like the woman in Strength, she displays effortless control, here used to move water between two vessels. We cannot really say she pours water from one vessel to the other: water in the real world does not pour at a forty-five degree angle; it pours straight down. Like The Star discussed above, Temperance here is not a person but an emblematic figure existing in a realm controlled by dream physics. 


    The Devil, Le Diable (15): Another non-human figure. Another special case. The Devil card is most frequently identified with manipulation and with sexuality. For a figure invested in these, arms and genitals would be quite important. They are pink here.


    The Tower, La Maison Dieu (16): Non-human. Conventionally associated with great, even disastrous, change and the unmaking of stable structures, The Tower is often discussed as a phallic symbol as well, with the action at the top of the card considered as an orgasm or ejaculation. I will simply note that in the Conver deck, this phallic symbol is flesh colored.


    The Star, Le Toile (17): We have touched on The Star previously. I would argue that the female figure here is not, strictly speaking, a human. She is an emblem of [choose your interpretation] appearing in a dream-like landscape governed by a dream physics. She is able to remain supported by the surface of water. (In most decks, one knee of the figure rests on the land, but her other foot does rest on top of — not in — the water.) The bird on the tree is never drawn to scale. While the image is static, it communicates no sense that she needs to repeatedly dip the vessels in the water to refill them, but rather they seem to endlessly pour. Her flesh is, of course, flesh-colored.


    The Moon, La Lune (18): One of only two cards outside of the pips in which no human-like figure appears (the other being The Wheel of Fortune). (With Card XIII, we at least see parts of human figures.)


    The most common color pattern is for one canine (the one on the right) to be rendered in the pink/flesh color we have been considering and the other in a relatively light blue color. I cannot help but wonder if this pairing or opposition signifies: that is, if the pink or flesh color means something about life energy and consciously-identified tokens of identity, does the light blue color carry similar (but likely opposite) freight? A topic for a different essay.


    The Sun, Le Soleil (19): No human protagonist. The near-nude young male figures are, naturally, rendered in flesh tone.


    Judgment, Le Jugement (20): No human protagonist. Two of the nude human figures below are rendered in flesh tone, with the third in the same light blue we saw in the left-hand canine in The Moon. It may or may not signify that pink appears in the angel’s wings, on the flag, around the throat, and the whole of the sounding horn.


    The World, Le Monde (21): Non-human. Pink appears in the lowest, most animal-identified figure (the bovine on the lower left) and the highest, most celestial figure (the angel on the upper left).


    The Fool, Le Mat (0): We close the majors with one last human protagonist. The legs of his trousers, the sleeve on the arm holding his walking stick, and the bag holding his possessions are all pink. The Fool is most consistently discussed as going on a journey, and of course “The Fool’s Journey” is a widespread trope for the tarot as a whole. Each area rendered in pink here attaches to something that enables journeying through the world. 


    The use of pink in the court cards is similarly suggestive, but I will not go through each card individually. Instead, some patterns: 


    Pink appears in the throne of each of the kings, strongly recalling The Emperor.


    It would be tidy and symmetrical if we could say that, in contrast, pink appears in none of the queens’ thrones, but the tarot — a tissue of patterns — always inserts an exception to its emerging rules. Pink does appear on the throne of the Queen of Coins.


    Pink appears on all of the knights’ horses, which fits with their traditional interpretations around movement and action, as well as the name of the cards and the title: “cavalier” (Type II) and “chevalier” (Type I) both derive from the vulgar Latin word for horse, “caballas,” which displaced “equus” of classical Latin. 


    In three of the knights (Coins, Wands, Cups) pink attributes only on the horse. It attributes on the right shoulder of the Knight of Swords, as well as on the shoulders of the King of Swords. What do you do with a sword? You swing it. With your shoulder.


    Twice now, we have seen an all-but-one or a three-but-not-the-fourth pattern in the courts. Here are some others:


    One of the queens (coins) has a bare neck. 


    The pink scarf around the throat, which can be associated with voice or expression, appears on only one of the kings (wands). 


    Three of the pages (coins, wands, cups) have a pink scarf around the throat, but not the fourth (swords); three of the knights have a light blue color around the throat (wands, swords, cups), but not the fourth (coins). The colors of the canines in The Moon are echoing here. 




    To summarize:


    A white face on a human figure that is otherwise presented with natural flesh tones strongly suggests the idea that the figures are wearing masks. The  figures literally look like they are wearing masks, which brings into consideration associated ideas such as roles, personae, and spread-as-story, spread-as-play.


    Whatever decks we are using, ideas of masks, roles, personae, and plays provide a useful vocabulary for reading and discussing the cards in a spread. 


    In the Conver 1760 deck, the pink color appears outside of uncovered flesh in garments or items that resonate with with the human protagonists’ defining characteristics or the aspect of character where they invest most of their life energy.


    The Conver deck uses the pink color in this way more than other Tarot de Marseilles decks, but not differently: other decks often omit this feature, but virtually never use it in different parts of the cards. 





    (1) It is not a perfectly consistent pattern, of course. This is the tarot. The tarot is a tapestry of patterns (progressions, cycles, matrices), but the pattern is never perfectly regular.  Within decks and across decks, there are always aberrations, always exceptions that prove the rule. Which is to say, the tarot is organic, not mechanistic. (Many find the expression “The exception that proves the rule” to be odd or even non-sensical. It is not. The expression does not mean “The exception that proves the rule to be true.” Rather, the word “proves” should be read as “tests”… as in the sense of “a proving ground”.  The expression means, “The exception that tests how far we can take the rule, and locates the point where the rule breaks down.”)


    (2) Both the Camion-Jodorowsky and Ben-Dove decks use the Conver 1760 deck as their reference point for recreating the Tarot de Marseille. And, this may the point where I should make a disclosure: I too consider the Conver 1760 deck, not as in any way authoritative (that idea does not work with something as fluid and organic as the tarot), but as the deck that best represents the Tarot de Marseille in its full maturity, and the tarot as best rendered before later, individualistic esoteric elements entered the picture. To borrow from an oath, I consider it “All the tarot, and nothing but the tarot.”  Call this a judgment or a bias: either way I am aware of it, and have made my best effort to take it into account in the ensuing discussions.


    (3) We do not know who created the wooden molds used for this deck, but — assuming the 1760 date means anything — we do know one thing: it wasn’t Nicholas Conver. Conver’s father, Mathieu, a card maker, did not settle in Marseille until 1766, and Nicholas Conver did not become a card maker until 1801. During this period, ownership of the molds used to make cards was often transferred, either because of bankruptcy or death, or in a simple sale. It was also a common practice to carve out elements of the mold — such as the trademark-like information usually placed on the Two of Coins — and replace it with something more current. So, Nicholas Conver did not design the cards. But, as a working card maker between 1801 and 1829, he would have overseen production of the cards coming from his shop, and this includes the selection and application of color, presumably through a stencil process.



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