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Author Topic: Tarot Modification  (Read 2413 times)

Offline DoNotDelete

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Tarot Modification
« on: December 22, 2018, 05:06:25 PM »
I came across many youtube videos where people modify their decks, trimming and edging them. I feel that with the trimming and edging the deck will get a different energy or people disturb deck's energy.

Plus if trimming all cards borders out, they won't be exactly the same size as they were when you buy it, and ink on edges might smudging hands(?).

What is your opinion about it?

(I don't want to offend anybody, this is only my opinion  :) )

Blessings to all  :)

Offline Starlight

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2018, 09:07:35 PM »
Hi be_true,

I don't trim or edge decks myself, but from what I've learned watching YT etc. the reasons for modifying a deck range from the cards being too large to the borders being too distracting, and so on.

Personally, I wouldn't think the modifying the deck in this way disturbs the cards at all. It very much makes the deck "belong" to the modifier, because the time and care and energy and thought they've put into the modifying is going to be embedded in the deck. That's how I see it, anyway.

And at the end, the modifier has a unique deck, all their own. :)
“Usually with life, you start wherever you are, and you flail around for a while--”
― Anne Lamott

“Tarot helps us look within ourselves to understand our emotions, the reasoning behind our words and conduct, and the source of our conflicts.”
― Benebell Wen

Offline joy

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2018, 09:39:33 AM »
Interesting question! I too saw some of those YT videos and I must say I loved the trimmed decks. It gives them an uniqueness. Some trim because they do not like the borders or the cards are just too big. I can see that, as my hands are not too big  :biggrin:
I would love to trim my deck but I am worried I would not do a good job and therefore leave it - for now....
But I think if someone trims a deck, they do it very carefully with a lot of love and therefore it will enhance the energy of the deck.
But that is just my opinion  <3

Offline Thoughtful

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2018, 10:14:08 AM »
l have trimmed decks and been very happy with the results, these are usually decks that are too large for me to handle.  l don't feel you lose anything from the connection with the deck, in fact the energies and love you create from handling the cards and modifying them bring a renewed love and feel to them.
That is if you have done a proper job and not screwed the deck up completely  :biggrin:
Life is a journey not a destination

Offline Rowena

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2018, 10:16:28 AM »
I think some of the trimmed and edged decks are really pretty! I agree with you that trimming and edging probably does change the energy of a deck, but if anything, I think it more closely atunes the deck to the readers energy. I think too that for some decks it might be necessary. If there's some superficial detail that's making the cards difficult to read, and you can modify it, why not?

Offline AJ-ish/Sharyn

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2018, 02:59:02 PM »
I've probably trimmed or treated 10-15 decks over the years, always to improve them for personal use. I've also trimmed a few decks for others.

The cards are paper and ink.
Printed in factories in China mostly.
What soul and meaning am I taking away from that?  X/

Offline DoNotDelete

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2018, 06:33:29 PM »
I've probably trimmed or treated 10-15 decks over the years, always to improve them for personal use. I've also trimmed a few decks for others.

The cards are paper and ink.
Printed in factories in China mostly.
What soul and meaning am I taking away from that?  X/

That is weird from a tarot reader to think like that... If you think they have no energy then why bother reading with them? And just don't be ironic, I've said it's only my opinion. X/

Online Grandma

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 08:30:05 PM »
I've probably trimmed or treated 10-15 decks over the years, always to improve them for personal use. I've also trimmed a few decks for others.

The cards are paper and ink.
Printed in factories in China mostly.
What soul and meaning am I taking away from that?  X/

That is weird from a tarot reader to think like that... If you think they have no energy then why bother reading with them? And just don't be ironic, I've said it's only my opinion. X/

Not weird at all.  Many of us feel that way, or many different ways, about our cards.

Personally, I don't really understand where the energy originates, but I believe it comes through the cards into me, and then through me into the world.  I'll repeat an analogy I've often used.  The cards are musical instruments and we are the musicians who play them.  Some violins are plastic children's toys and some are works of art and beauty, but a gifted violinist coaxes glorious sound from the cheapest instrument and a hack produces only screeches from a Stradivarius.

I read with my cards because they help me tell stories in a way unique to each deck, each spread, each question, each querent.  I love and cherish my cards but ultimately they are, as Sharyn says, paper and ink.

And then of course there is the school of thought that says that the mysterious energy of tarot cards originates in the ancient oaks and evergreens that are sacrificed to be pounded with proud ritual into pulp that is by ancient secret alchemy rendered into paper imbued with holy energy.

No, I'm just kidding.  But if you believe your cards have energy, then by all means treat them that way.  You are far from alone in the world of Tarot to feel that way, and I respect you for it.

even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah
        Leonard Cohen

Zen pretty much comes down to three things -- everything changes; everything is connected; pay attention.
        Jane Hirshfield

It all fits together if we let it

Offline Whisper

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2018, 10:34:48 AM »
I've probably trimmed or treated 10-15 decks over the years, always to improve them for personal use. I've also trimmed a few decks for others.

The cards are paper and ink.
Printed in factories in China mostly.
What soul and meaning am I taking away from that?  X/

That is weird from a tarot reader to think like that... If you think they have no energy then why bother reading with them? And just don't be ironic, I've said it's only my opinion. X/

Not weird at all.  Many of us feel that way, or many different ways, about our cards.

Personally, I don't really understand where the energy originates, but I believe it comes through the cards into me, and then through me into the world.  I'll repeat an analogy I've often used.  The cards are musical instruments and we are the musicians who play them.  Some violins are plastic children's toys and some are works of art and beauty, but a gifted violinist coaxes glorious sound from the cheapest instrument and a hack produces only screeches from a Stradivarius.

I read with my cards because they help me tell stories in a way unique to each deck, each spread, each question, each querent.  I love and cherish my cards but ultimately they are, as Sharyn says, paper and ink.

And then of course there is the school of thought that says that the mysterious energy of tarot cards originates in the ancient oaks and evergreens that are sacrificed to be pounded with proud ritual into pulp that is by ancient secret alchemy rendered into paper imbued with holy energy.

No, I'm just kidding.  But if you believe your cards have energy, then by all means treat them that way.  You are far from alone in the world of Tarot to feel that way, and I respect you for it.

Heavens!! I could not have said it better!
Whispering Tarot

Now is the only reality. The past is memory and the future imagination.

We are spiritual beings going through a physical experience.

Offline Shanachie05

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2019, 10:26:52 AM »
In years past, I have always attached so much mysticism and mystery to these decks of cards when I see them offered in shops that the power they radiated always made me dizzy and short of breath when I went shopping for them.  Now I feel it was probably just anxiety over they potential for insight that they held, when they sat on the shelf, waiting to be purchased.  How did I know I was going to pick the right deck?

I went shopping last Friday in Salem, MA.  Five different stores had multiple sets to choose from, including one store which must have had over 200 decks stacked on shelves in one corner of the building.  Not once did I feel that short of breathe and dizzy feeling that I used to get.  I felt I had the opportunity to deeply consider each deck; to look, to pick up and to see samples if they were available and to feel how I felt about it.

I share all of this because this thread de-mystifies to me what the decks are to us.  It's different for each person, but a decks speaks to us in some way because we feel a draw from it to begin with. After that, I can see how modifying the deck becomes an act of familiarity.
 
Whether the magic is in the deck for us, or whether interacting with the deck speaks to the magic in our hearts makes no difference.
The power is in the love and familiarity one grows with the "tool" one uses.

I LOVE the analogy Grandma uses.  I play violin and have three different ones.  The way I feel them changes because they were all made from different trees by different artists and played by different people before they came to me.  Except for one which was made for me.
And I LOVE how Sharyn puts it, that they are paper and ink, made mostly in China.  When I see 200 decks stacked in a shop wrapped in plastic, the idea of mass-production really hits me.

I used to worry that cutting or modifying the cards decreased their value, in case I wanted to re-sell them at some point.  I guess it still probably does.  But when you make the effort to modify and adjust a deck to your level of comfort, it makes it that much more valuable to you, so reselling never becomes a question.
 
Learning by practice.

Online Grandma

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2019, 02:22:53 PM »
I read with my cards because they help me tell stories in a way unique to each deck, each spread, each question, each querent.  I love and cherish my cards but ultimately they are, as Sharyn says, paper and ink.

And then of course there is the school of thought that says that the mysterious energy of tarot cards originates in the ancient oaks and evergreens that are sacrificed to be pounded with proud ritual into pulp that is by ancient secret alchemy rendered into paper imbued with holy energy.

No, I'm just kidding.  But if you believe your cards have energy, then by all means treat them that way.  You are far from alone in the world of Tarot to feel that way, and I respect you for it.

That said, I admit that I could never do anything to damage a card, and with my luck trimming or edging my cards would not be treating them well.  I do have a deck or two that would appeal to me more without their borders, but they could never safely become borderless at my hands, even with a paper cutter, so bordered they remain.

My belief in the importance of treating my decks as precious objects is a corollary of the respect for books that my Papa, my beloved grandfather, taught me.  When I was a child I loved to build cozy tents in his back yard with two Adirondack chairs tipped over onto their fronts and covered with blankets.  I would nestle inside with a glass of lemonade, a doll and a book and be happy for hours. 

The first time I did this I was four years old.  I used some books to weight the blankets.  My Papa explained "no, sweetheart, books are only for reading" and he went down to his workshop and brought me some blocks of wood to use instead. 

Since that day I have treated books, and subsequently tarot cards, with the love and respect that I had for my Papa.

even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah
        Leonard Cohen

Zen pretty much comes down to three things -- everything changes; everything is connected; pay attention.
        Jane Hirshfield

It all fits together if we let it

Online DevonCarter

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2019, 02:30:11 PM »
I haven't yet needed to trim or modify a deck, but unless it was a very expensive one I wouldn't hesitate to do so! I also believe the cards are just ink on paper. I work for a printer, and while it is very cool to see the process, there's nothing mystical about it.

There is care put into it - though I suspect the larger the factory the less human touch there is. But where I work, either I or the designer creating the files put time and effort and care into getting them set up right. They go to prepress, where another person sets up the press sheets properly and checks the file again before making the printing plates. Then the press operator sets up the press, compares to the proofs, and sometimes calls me or prepress in to press proof as he adjusts to get the color and registration just right. Running a press well is truly a craft, and each operator knows his/her machine and it's quirks. The press operator monitors and continues to check throughout the run, and once it is done (and has dried) it goes to bindery, where another person cuts the piece and it is collated, boxed, and prepared for delivery. We are a small place, so the majority of that is done by hand. In a big factory, there will necessarily be more automation, but still - it takes people to get the ink on paper just right.

BUT - it's still ink on paper. I guarantee there are extras and cut sheets and setups of even the fanciest of decks that are commercially available being recycled and thrown out. Somewhere right now there's a factory with tarot cards on the floor being walked on, until they finally get swept up and disposed of.

I think the "magic" happens in the reader - when the art and reader and querent and situation all come together. So I personally think customizing the cards to the readers taste can help, if the deck doesn't click with the reader as is.

If I do ever decide to trim a deck, though, I'll be getting the bindery guys at work to do it for me! 2 minutes on the computerized knife cutting the whole deck at once will be better and more accurate than me trying to cut them all the same.

Offline ilweran

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2019, 04:58:21 AM »
I trimmed my Llewellyn. I love that deck but it was too large for me to comfortably shuffle and the borders were large. So they came off! it is so much more manageable since and doesn't seem to have had a negative effect on them.

I've edged a few decks as well - the trimmed Llewellyn, Shadowscapes, Legacy of the Divine, Chrysalis, Dreaming Way. It makes them feel more mine. And makes them look pretty :)
Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life: bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky.

(Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea)

Offline Mi-Shell

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2019, 01:24:07 PM »
Of course the cards are just paper and ink. That I can read with any given deck for any given person comes
1) through years of study and experience reading ftf
2) my natural aptitude to interpret signs, symbols and images
3) The fact that my Ancestral Clan Guardians and personal Miahanits  will use any medium available to me to show me and deliver a message for my client in such a way that I can easily see, understand, relate and explain it to them.

So, ifff there is a message needed to be given and no Tarot deck around - I can read from any pimply potato, rock or wood or whatever that may be conveniently flipping around.
 
 

Offline gregory

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Re: Tarot Modification
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2019, 10:00:20 AM »
There is of course the famous case of  Tarot Pink. An excellent deck created for a good cause, using stellar artists whose work was been ruined in the publishing process.

http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/tarot-pink-for-cancer/

The only way to use that is to trim it. It's dreadful. There is now a version without all the rubbish on there. But for all of us who backed it - that travesty is what we got. We were supposed to get lovely big cards.

Fair enough they had to be made smaller - but REALLY...

There was much discussion as it all panned out: http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=235509

Tell me trimming that wasn't a valid modification.
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