Can Tarot cards be altered?
Here are the elements you need for a fundamental deck even if you can customize your tarot deck with a variety of speciality alternatives like foil stamping, metallic ink, or linen texture.
How do I make Tarot cards on my own?
What I actually wanted to do was open a store that offered independently made tarot and oracle decks like the ones I collected, first online and then offline. I would purchase these independent decks from vendors like Two Sides Tarot and Little Red Tarot, and I imagined that perhaps I might create my own small collection to offer to Manila residents (and maybe Asia).
Now I know some of you who frequent this blog do have tarot deck creation goals of your own… so I thought I’d put together a guide that can *fingers crossed* walk you through the creation process the way I did it.
Disclaimer: If you think this piece is going to be about suppliers, printers, and the like, I’m going to warn you right away that it isn’t. I get a lot of queries about those things. Regarding execution, I encourage you to conduct your own research. You can set together your decks just as easily as I did by conducting your own research. Your best friend is Google.
So let this serve as a guide, but don’t expect any spoon-feeding. Open yourselves up to the experience of learning through process, discovering through research, and creating a tarot deck all your own.
Decide what you want. Back in architecture school, we had to begin with a design challenge before we could even begin sketching or discussing aesthetics. You must understand your why. First and foremost, why are you building a deck? Is your deck an outlet for your creativity or an attempt to tackle a problem? Are you making a deck in order to generate income, support a certain cause, or get a little more tarot knowledge for yourself?
Knowing your why will set the tone for your entire creation process. Give this fundamental step time.
begin with a notion. These days, independently produced cards are based on themes. It’s too general to say, “I want to create a tarot deck.” Make your creation worthy. Do you want an animal-themed deck? Why? Do you favor having a “Stranger Things” theme? Eighties soap operas? political leaders
Select a form of artistic expression. If you’re into impressionism, Op-art, or post-modernism, go ahead and do whatever you feel at home with, unless you’re making a deck to broaden your style or portfolio. I selected collage because that’s the medium I’m comfortable with.
Setting your parameters will help you create a visually appealing deck (unless the concept you’re working with calls for a range of art styles, in which case mixing things up might make sense).
You need to accept your own artistic ability at this point. Consider what you can actually accomplish if you have a limited amount of time. Perhaps painting frescoes, photographing them, and then processing each image is not the ideal course of action if you want to complete a deck in a month. Consider whether you can actually complete 78 canvases (and possibly more since you’ll need extras for do-overs and such) if you’re comfortable working with oil on canvas.
Establish your guidelines so that you have a reference point to use when you build your deck.
Make sure you understand what you’re getting into before you even start. I am aware that many artists who have no background in tarot take on the task of creating a deck. But I think their cards have a distinct vibe than real tarot readers. They aren’t as useful as decks created by those who are proficient in spreads, have a thorough understanding of their archetypes, and can read for themselves or others. Even the most accomplished artists are unable to discern tiny elements when using the tarot, despite their skill.
If you are familiar with tarot, make a deck. If you know how to use one, construct an oracle deck. Do your research.
Start working. You’ll just have to put in the effort; that’s the part that the majority of eager beavers are looking forward to. Tarot cards cannot “magician their way into existence.” Get your iPad out, start using Procreate, get some scissors, paint thinner, and brushes.
Be prepared to make a lot of stops and starts at this phase of the process, and be nice to yourself. When you’re ready, display your work to the public. To assess if what you’re doing resonates with both groups, it would probably be beneficial for you to seek feedback from both a non-tarot reader and an experienced reader.
To keep the big picture in mind, remind yourself. Although we occasionally interpret tarot cards individually, we often use pairs of cards and broad spreads. You must have the ability to take a step back from your task and assess how the cards stack up. three, five, ten, and twelve-spot spreads. Lay them all out to check for stragglers, see if any visual or thematic trends emerge (extremely important in a deck! ), and determine whether you like the way they all look when arranged in a formation.
Beyonc staging Bey-chella comes to mind. She had to make sure that everyone on stage appeared flawlessly coordinated.
Make a trial run. The effort isn’t ended once the art is finished, whether you plan to build your deck for sale or just want a copy for yourself. You want to check to see how the tarot cards represent everything. If you want to drive your inkjet printer to the limit, do it yourself at home or look for a printer that can make an inexpensive one-off production on standard card stock. This is to determine whether your art, in any size you decide, works. You can use this to check for border problems, uneven cropping, etc.
Use your test deck as soon as you obtain it. Carry it around and do readings for friends, family, and future clients. Trust me, once you acquire that tester, it won’t leave your hands. Check out how it functions in the wild.
Revision is essential. My least favorite project stage, but one that is absolutely necessary if you want to do things correctly. You’ll know what needs shifting and what needs tweaking once you’ve held the sample in your hands and used it for 10, 20, and 50 readings.
With my initial run of the PM Starter Deck, I saw a few things I wanted to change. The fact that I only had 11 copies printed allowed me to fix any errors I found without incurring significant costs.
Examine the market. If you’re quite certain about your deck, you can have a professional finish it right away. You can either order a task for a small print run for yourself or a large print run if you want to take the plunge. You may relax knowing that you tested your deck, made any necessary adjustments, and took into account everyone’s input.
See whether people are interested in your cutting-edge independent deck. Consider going commercial if individuals appear to be really engaged. Examine your numbers to see if you can feel as like you are taking a calculated risk.
Make a Hail Mary and wish yourself luck if you decide to place a large print order. Who knows, your invention could be the next item to appear on the independent shelves of Two Sides Tarot and Little Red Tarot.
Questions you don’t really want answered
Even though it might seem apparent, it’s advisable to refrain from asking the tarot cards questions that you aren’t prepared to hear the answers to. That’s because answers to these questions can reveal information you’re just not quite ready to hear.
“Tarot can definitely come off as offensive if you’re not willing to hear the truth or consider an opposing point of view. Tarot reading Nicole Fortunaso
According to tarot reader and life coach Nicole Fortunaso, “tarot may truly come out as offensive if you are not willing to hear the truth of the problem or look at an alternate viewpoint.” She advises considering why you’re responding the way you are in order to reflect on the best way to address the underlying cause if you ask the question and are unsatisfied with the response.
How should my tarot deck be cleaned?
There are occasions when you might want to perform something more particular and ritualized rather than simply shuffling the tarot deck to purify and clear the energy of the cards. Cleaning your deck could seem like a nice place to start if you’re just starting to understand tarot.
You might want to clean your tarot deck for a variety of reasons, including:
- beginning with a fresh deck
- readings for other people
- You think you need to recharge.
- Your card readings seem a touch “odd” or “disconnected”
- Your deck hasn’t been used recently.
- Your deck has been handled by others
- You think you’ve been utilizing your deck a lot. A LOT, especially for books with strong emotional content
Why should you cleanse or clear your tarot deck?
Tarot deck cleansing helps keep the energy flowing between you and your deck. To keep the link strong and clear, think of it as a little spiritual hygiene. It’s not necessary, but if you have any of the aforementioned symptoms, try a few of the energetic cleansing techniques listed below and note which ones seem to work the best for you.
How often should you cleanse your tarot deck?
This is another way of stating USE YOUR INTUITION: there are no hard and fast laws. Don’t worry about it if you don’t think your deck need it. Alternately, if you like to cleanse them once per week or once per month, that’s great. If it feels appropriate to you, you can even place your favorite crystal on the balcony each night.
If you frequently place crystals on your deck and store it on an altar while not in use, you might not feel the need to cleanse it frequently because this quick ritual will likely be sufficient to keep your deck feeling nice.
There are numerous ways to cleanse your cards, just as there are numerous reasons why you might desire to do so.
Different ways to cleanse your tarot deck
Use holy smoke. Light a dried rosemary, lavender, cedar, sage, or palo santo cleansing wand until it begins to smoke. Hold the smoke a safe distance below the deck while holding the burning herbs in one hand and the deck in the other so that the smoke drifts upward onto the cards. Turn the deck so that the smoke covers it from all angles. Next, safely put your deck to the ground and put out the fire.
On the deck, set a selenite stone (or a black tourmaline or a transparent quartz). Although an hour would suffice, I prefer to let it rest like this for the entire night.
Set them on display during a new moon. The New Moon is energy of a blank slate; you can purify the deck by setting it on a window sill on a new moon night. At this moment, you can also make a brand-new intention for your deck.
Place the cards in a salty dish. A strong and stabilizing cleaner is salt. My preferred choice for a thorough cleansing is this. Allow it to sit anywhere from one to eight hours in a dry area.
Shuffle in chaos. Spread the cards out on the ground, then shuffle them around like a child playing in dirt. This method’s freedom and randomization serve as an excellent reset.
the shuffle and sort. Set up the deck in rows of seven cards across, commencing with the Major Arcana numbers 0 to 22. (see photo above). Next, arrange the cards, Ace through King, one for each suit, as follows: Swords, Pentacles, Cups, and Wands. View the deck in this configuration, then mix everything up (like the chaotic!) and shuffle it thoroughly.
After a breakup
Draw one card for each of the following inquiries if you’ve recently broken up with someone and want to know more about the reason or determine whether you’ll get back together:
- How energetic is the partnership right now?
- What caused the divide in the first place?
- What do they really think of me right now?
- What do they intend for me right now?
- What kind of relationship will this be in the future?
- Which action is ideal for me to take right now?
When job searching
You can lay out this spread and see what kind of career guidance the tarot can offer if you’re feeling uncertain about your career path or thinking about a new employment. Draw one card once more for each query.
- How active am I in my career right now?
- What challenge must I overcome?
- What is my calling in life?
- How can I follow this calling more closely?
- What should I do to prepare for the upcoming month?
When deciding between two options
This spread can highlight the benefits and drawbacks of each option, guiding you toward the best decision if you’re using tarot to decide between two possibilities (two job offers, two apartments, perhaps a love triangle???). The deal is this: Per card, pose one question.
- What is the fundamental cause of this fork in the road?
- What is the likely result of choosing option A?
- What is the most likely result for option B?
- What more should I take into account that was overlooked?
- What’s the best thing I can do right now?
When something is off with a friend
You may explore what insights and solutions this spread reveals if you’re concerned about the status of a friendship or feel that something is amiss but can’t figure out why. Ask one question per card, once more, I repeat.
- What makes this friendship so crucial?
- What led to this sudden change in tone, and why?
- What has changed, in my friend’s opinion?
- What can I do to make this matter more urgent?
- What is the next step for this friendship?
- What should I do at this moment?
Self-Publishing Your Oracle Deck without an ISBN
The first choice is to get your deck printed in modest quantities and sell it locally without formally releasing it as a book product. If you plan to sell your deck mostly online, on Etsy, or in neighborhood book stores, this is a terrific option.
If you’re willing to handle the majority of the shipping yourself and anticipate selling a realistic number of decks each month, it’s a simple way to get started.
As an alternative, you can have a print-on-demand business like MPC or The Game Crafter produce your deck. Since each of these businesses has a physical location, you can sell your deck there directly, have orders transported straight to clients, and have individual copies made whenever someone places an order.
The benefit of this approach is that you won’t have to handle any of the packaging and shipping yourself, and you won’t have to make any initial outlays of money. The drawbacks of this strategy include very low profit margins per sale and lower-than-expected final product quality due to digital printing instead of offset printing for your business cards.
Self-Publishing with Your Own ISBN
The second option is to self-publish your deck with an ISBN number and have it produced in bigger quantities (beginning at 5001000 copies). You’ll need to conduct study to learn the precise steps to take for your deck because they may vary depending on the country.
The benefit of this approach is that you have the option to publish your deck as a physical book product and distribute it to book stores and online sellers all over the world once you have an ISBN number.
You should ideally work with a business that can store and transport your product for you if you anticipate selling significant volumes of your deck. A prominent choice for this is Amazon FBA. This is a supplemental service that many of the bigger printing businesses provide.
(Note: You might need to publish your oracle or tarot deck along with a guidebook in order to obtain an ISBN number. Playing cards are not officially eligible for ISBN numbers as a stand-alone product. There are, however, some exclusions to the norm. If in doubt, get in touch with your ISBN organization for more details.)
Getting Your Oracle Deck Published by a Publishing House
Finally, you might want to think about submitting your deck to a publishing house that specializes in oracle cards and/or spiritual literature.
Working with a reputable publisher has certain distinctive benefits, though, if you feel inspired to pursue this option.
You won’t have to bother about printing, distributing, or sending your deck to clients yourself, to start. Using the network of booksellers that your publisher already has will save you money up front and enable you to reach a far wider audience. A portion of the promotion will also be done for you by your publisher. (However, you will be required to contribute to the promotion as well.)
To Sum Things Up …
Getting your oracle card deck published can be done in a variety of ways. Ultimately, you must decide what is ideal for you based on your objectives, vision, plans for using your oracle deck to generate money for your company, and the time and resources you are willing to commit both now and in the future.
If I were to make a recommendation to you, it would be as follows:
Develop your vision first. Describe the specifics of your deck, including its subject, number of cards, preferred card size, whether a box and/or booklet are necessary, how you want to use the deck in your business, and other details.
To create the first physical prototype of your deck, work with a prototyping business.
Choose your next course of action once you are satisfied with what you have. If you want to self-publish your deck, print a small quantity (up to 1000 decks, or print them as needed, based on your budget and preferences) and then start marketing your cards to your target market. You can send your prototype to publishing houses together with your proposal if you’re thinking about finding a publisher for your oracle card deck.
Aim higher. Invest in the tools and services you’ll need to reach more people and sell your deck. This could involve employing a warehouse and distribution service, setting up Amazon FBA, printing and publishing your cards with an ISBN number so you can distribute your deck to book stores, etc.
As a general rule, give yourself the room and resources you’ll need to expand into your vision without feeling constrained, honor the trip, and ground your idea as swiftly or gradually as is appropriate for you and your business at this moment.
Want More In-Depth Support to Bring Your Vision of Your Own Oracle Deck to Life?
To learn more about how my team and I can help you with our done-for-you services, check out my DIY course here or send me a note.
My own oracle cards: is that possible?
Since the meanings of oracle cards are typically stated directly on them, there is no need to learn the meanings of each individual card, making it an even simpler hobby to start than tarot cards.
Variability: You can make your deck as distinctive as you want it to be because the format for oracle cards allows for so much flexibility. In addition to the meanings on their cards, some artists also include rituals for the user to do.
Oracle stands itself from other card games by being a collector’s item in addition to a game and a hobby. It’s difficult to stop after purchasing just one deck because there are so many decks available with various sorts of artwork. Printing oracle cards is a creative approach for artists to promote their work in a way that is both aesthetically beautiful and practical.
Tarot card connections: what are they?
Advice on connecting with your tarot cards whether it’s your first time using them or you’ve owned your deck for a while.
Connecting or reconnecting to your deck can be a helpful activity, regardless of whether you haven’t picked up your deck in a long, are hesitant to conduct a reading for yourself, feel “wrong” with the readings you’ve been conducting, or have purchased a new deck.
Check out Reading Tarot for Beginners: How to Start Reading Tarot for Yourself for advice on how to pick your deck.
Being a competent reader requires you to connect with your tarot deck. However, you must invest time, care, and attention in a good relationship.