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Wheel of Fantastic

TT&M Family
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  1. I think the Whimsical tarot actually is now out of print and has suffered from the 'out of print price inflation' curse.
  2. The 1JJ is still in print and is easily available in Europe. It's published by AGM Urania. The cardstock is flexible but is very difficult to accidentally crease due to a webbed core. It's great cardstock actually but I prefer the older decks. The card titles are only available in English on the current decks in case that matters.
  3. I'm not sure if the 1JJ has ever had different backs - I own a vintage pre - US Games 1960s copy; an early 1970s copy and a current edition. They all have that brown tartan back. The reason I own two vintage editions is because I enjoy the tactile feel of the old cardstock (which is thin but firm) plus the old decks still have the card titles in French. Also, they come in two piece lift off boxes.
  4. I like the Lo Scarabeo Ancient Italian but my favourite Italian deck is the 1JJ Swiss - that deck reads very well for me. These decks are considered variant Marseille style decks; I'm not aware of any books especially for them but certain books for the Tarot de Marseille should work. Caveat: Ben Dov's book 'The Open Reading' is a great book on the Marseille that's usually recommended but I don't feel it works so well for Italian decks. I would recommend Tom Benjamin's 'Tarot on Earth' as a a good book for learning all Marseille pip decks, including the Italian decks.
  5. Yep, 'Rare' gets a raised eyebrow from me. Occasionally, the deck really is rare but usually not. The inflated prices sellers attach to decks just because they are OOP gets a smile from me too. Supply and demand should determine prices; the OOP deck that no one cares about probably isn't going to sell for £££. I like vintage 1JJ Swiss decks - they're not in huge demand and I managed to find a mint condition 1960s pre-US Games copy for £9.95. Bargain! Seller had common sense unlike some for the same deck.
  6. My favourite in print mass market RWS is a tie between the Tarot Von Waite Premium edition by AGM Urania and the Centennial Smith Waite. The Von Waite (German edition) is easily available on Amazon.de but the English language edition appears to have finally gone OOP. Just an aside, I originally found the crackle back Von Waite on Amazon.de back in 2016 and started a discussion about it on Aeclectic. That thread became huge and sparked interest in the deck. I don't think it's false modesty to say I helped increase the Von Waite's popularity but also brought it to the attention of US Games who squashed the English edition. That really sucked!
  7. I have bought many, many decks on EBay including many expensive OOP decks over the years. I can say I've never had a bad experience but you do need to be careful. My top tips are: 1) Are there several pictures of the cards clearly showing their condition? If there aren't then avoid. 2) Do some research first so you know what the deck is supposed to look like. 3) Check the seller's rating. If the seller has a 100% rating and more than 100 sales you should be fine. I have bought from sellers with less than 100 sales but I would not buy from someone with no sales, especially if it's an expensive deck. 4) If there is some delay in dispatch or delivery make sure you contact the seller. 5) Be aware of pirate copies; EBay is flooded with them which is another reason research is important. If decks are being sold new, are very cheap compared to, say, Amazon and come from Lithuania, eastern Europe or China, then be careful. Going for the cheapest price for new decks is not always the best option. 6) When looking at pricey decks, check the going market rate on EBay - use the filter to see what completed sales of that deck went for. I used this some years ago to find an excellent condition early 70s Royal Fez Morrocan for £60 instead of the £200+ prices being asked for. These tips haven't failed me so I can recommend using EBay - with care.
  8. I have both books; if you only had to get one get Barbara Moore's book.
  9. You might want to consider the self- publishing route for your deck. You will be able to control all the variables but it's probably going to be damn hard work.
  10. Of the mass market tarot deck publishers I feel US Games and AGM Urania are absolutely the best in terms of card stock quality and quality control. What they both have in common is that their cardstock - while different - does not crease, bend or tear without wilfully trying to do so. The cards should last for years. I don't share the same view with Lo Scarabeo decks. The quality control is not there; I've had misaligned artwork, printing errors and creased cards straight from a sealed pack. Lo Scarabeo customer service is excellent though, when I contacted them about a printing problem on one card, they sent me a replacement card all the way from Italy. Cardstock is O.K. but varies between decks - not as good as the US Games or AGM stock but not bad. Schiffer cardstock is thick and heavily laminated at least for the decks I have. I've had very minor issues with peeling laminate but nothing major. I think the thick cardstock is O.K. in terms of durability and I don't riffle shuffle but your mileage may vary. I don't enjoy the tactile feel of Schiffer cardstock and it does put me off using the decks regularly. Llewellyn cardstock is frankly terrible - too thin or tends to chip. A shame as they publish decks I really like but the cardstock isn't going to stand up to regular use. I don't understand why they put so much effort into elaborate magnetic closure boxes and excellent books but then use cheap, crap cardstock for the actual decks. I avoid Llewellyn decks for the most part for this reason.
  11. Better choice would be most widely used decks, that would indicate the most essential. Where's the Wild Unknown Tarot? That's arguably the most popular tarot deck of the past 7 years!
  12. If you want a different take on how tarot works I can recommend 'Radical Tarot: Breaking all the Rules' by Vincent Pitisci. He makes a very persuasive argument that tarot reading is a form of creative thinking known as conceptual blending. We focus too much on the cards themselves rather than on the interaction of tarot spread positions with the random placement of the cards. He's certainly got a point. Pitisci is a professional reader who uses Tarot de Marseille so if you want insight into how you could read the minors this could also be an interesting book. Unfortunately, the book does not come as an ebook but it is not expensive and easily available on Amazon.
  13. I regularly attend tarot meetups here in London so I've done readings in pubs and a yurt in someone's garden! The readings in pubs have certainly FELT different; we've had the use of private rooms but also the main room. I think you can still focus on the reading but doing readings in busy public places does have a different vibe. The readings for others in the yurt have been some of the most insightful ever - the yurt was set up for tarot reading as well as yoga lessons.
  14. I am planning to go professional after 14 years of tarot reading. I have been doing a lot of research, particularly from the people who have done well for themselves online. In particular I want to call out The Tarot Lady, Biddy Tarot and Tarot Avenue - they all have substantial amounts of advice on starting a tarot biz. Highly recommend having a read through their blog posts and podcasts. Top tips i've learned as I embark on this professional journey: 1) You need your own website that you control - that means not using Etsy. Plus, on Etsy you'd be competing with hundreds of other tarot readers offering ludicrously low rates so it would be difficult to raise your prices. The website should be clean and simple and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial. 2) Marketing is critical, you can't just create a website and sit back. For a start create compelling content on your website that will drive traffic to your site. Focus on one to two social media platforms and create a presence there. Provide value to your clients. 3) Your prices should reflect what you think your time is worth. If you have a goal of how much you want to earn per month or year then you need to structure your pricing to reflect that. 4) It is going to take a while for your tarot reading business to make income level money - 6 months to a year is realistic. 5) Legal issues are important but so are ethical policies - for example, I will not do readings on health issues (physical or mental health), financial or legal issues. I will not do divinatory readings as I personally believe this disempowers people - I will be clear that people have free will and I will not be responsible for their actions. I have been looking into nitty gritty stuff such as what website builder is best for my needs, the best payment gateway etc. I've never built a website before so this is a learning curve. All the advice I've heard and read recommends creating your own site as places like Etsy could suddenly decide to not support tarot readings which happened on eBay some years ago. Anyway, I need to put all this knowledge to practice so we'll see how we go. There's a lot to starting up a tarot business, I guess the real question is how serious do you want to make it - a side hustle or a full time business?
  15. You shouldn't be discouraged, mental blocks happen sometimes. Was there a particular question you were trying to answer with your reading? I find that questions give context to the cards drawn and are actually necessary for a meaningful reading. Did you make a note of the cards you drew for the reading? Sometimes it can take awhile for the interpretation to become clear. Also, I find it's always worth getting more information from the querant to help clarify things. I wouldn't be discouraged if I were you, blocks happen and it makes for a good learning experience to reflect on why so you can be prepared the next time it happens.
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