The Charles Dickens Tarot deck & companion book

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welkin
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The Charles Dickens Tarot deck & companion book

Post by welkin » 29 Mar 2018, 10:34

New deck - The Charles Dickens Tarot - based on the life and work of Charles Dickens.
With a 200 page companion book detailing each card and providing background.

Available now on Indiegogo:
https://igg.me/at/charlesdickenstarot/x/16259080

From the maker of The Shakespeare Tarot, The Beatles Tarot, & The Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot.

The 78 card deck is based on the R/W model, is laid out horizontally, and is comprised of paintings and images from the 19th Century.

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Nemia
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Re: The Charles Dickens Tarot deck & companion book

Post by Nemia » 30 Mar 2018, 07:16

Like the other decks by Chris Leech, this looks very very interesting, well-thought out and beautiful. I wish these decks were in my league financially - what a pity.

I love Dickens very much, this cosmos of human lives, struggles, tragedies and triumphs, and I wonder where this cosmos connects with the tarot archetypes. I'd love to read the book even if I can't afford the cards. I know that within me, the people from his books live on and so do the tarot archetypes. I wouldn't know how to connect them though. (With the Beatles deck, I found it much easier).

I'll keep an eye on this deck and hope someone from this forum buys it and writes a wonderful review about it ;-) And I also wish a larger tarot publishing house would take these decks on board in more affordable editions.

I'm curious :-)

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welkin
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Re: The Charles Dickens Tarot deck & companion book

Post by welkin » 04 Apr 2018, 19:14

thanks for the thoughtful words, Nemia.

The cards and characters are not just matched up in some arbitrary or schematic way, but rather they found their positions after a lot of thought on the matter. In a sense, Dickens worked with archetypes, and as a result his characters often align with tarot archetypes amazingly well. Also, as I found with my Shakespeare Tarot, the resulting associations facilitate a much more detailed and in-depth reading, because not only do we usually remember the characters well, but we know what did happen and what will happen to them, who they interact with, where and how they live, and the small foibles in their make-up. This is in stark contrast to the images, say, on the R/W deck, where we know next to nothing about the resting body or church in the 4 of Swords, or much more about the Queen of Cups than she is water of water and her sky is blue.

This said, the deck is much more and better suited to contemplation than to rapid, multiple readings. The Shakespeare Tarot is similar, but because that work and history is more difficult and most people only know Shakespeare's 4 or 5 most popular works, the complex network of information can be admittedly overwhelming. With the Dickens Tarot, however, many people know a great many of these characters, the work is simply more accessible, and Dickens' humour make reading with it far more user friendly, fun, and informative.

I too wish I could lower costs of production, or that some company would pick up my decks, but until that happens I continue to keep the decks and companion books as fairly priced as I can.

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Re: The Charles Dickens Tarot deck & companion book

Post by Nemia » 07 Apr 2018, 03:56

Oh I know you do, and I'm sure you won't heap riches on riches with your decks. So much work goes into them, so much thought. Nothing can pay you for these hours of reading and contemplation. No complaints from me! If I was better off, I'd buy them all, and I hope very much others will do so.

I'm very much intrigued by what you tell about the conception of the deck. Re-reading Dickens with the tarot in mind must make for a very different experience. You probably by now see tarot-shaped archetypes everywhere :-) Western culture is certainly saturated by them. The major arcana are more obvious but how does one find the situational, not archetypical minors in literature or music?

I think the only way to find out is start a fund and buy the decks and books.

It's an interesting time to be alive and see tarot take new and innovative roads. Especially where different obsessions meet :icon_lol: - tarot and the Beatles, tarot and Shakespeare, tarot and Dickens. My Shakespeare obsessions is many many years past, Dickens - hm, lately I read other things, Trollope and Gaskell and George Eliot, must get back to Dickens! And the Beatles are the soundtrack of my life since my parents fought about them. (When my mother left my father, she took all our Beatles records with her and my father was grimly satisfied - he had always preferred Handel and Bach, and couldn't love both Baroque and the Beatles) (my mother took me, too, and the Leonard Cohen records!)

ETA: Oh, and Hollywood. There were times when I bought every book about Classical Hollywood I could find, had pictures of Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe on the wall and I still love Vivien Leigh and Carole Lombard!

Your decks sound just what I love! *off to look again at your Indiegogo*

One more ETA: I looked also at your website for the deck and really like the concept. 19th century art - Dickens' life and books - and tarot themes, archetypes and motifs. Good decision imo to use the landscape format.

What happened to the Beatles, Shakespeare and Hollywood Tarot - are they available somewhere?

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welkin
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Re: The Charles Dickens Tarot deck & companion book

Post by welkin » 10 Apr 2018, 11:30

I have found that the smaller, situational scenarios of the Minor Arcana appear in literature quite frequently, essentially because they occur in real life quite frequently. In a way you could say this is why literature and the tarot are both so effective, and transcend the time they were created - they speak of something universally human, things frequently occurring in real life - whether one wears a toga or sneakers, is a visible minority or a snob.

Having internalized these forms and meanings, one starts to see them all around. And if an area of focus is large enough - like the works of Dickens - if one meditates on the question, all kinds of versions of the cards appear. the question then, for me making the deck, becomes more technical - which character or event to choose to best highlight a given card's meaning? how to include all the major, most well-known characters and also give appropriate representation to every main work of Dickens? how to work in real-life events into the deck, and - ideally - how to do that alongside literary characters and events, incorporating both just as the author incorporated his real life into his literature? While these questions are the hardest work of the project, they are also the most rewarding. That's where you know if you have something, or you just can't make it work - and I think I mentioned that so far, of the decks I've made, the Dickens deck has worked with the Tarot structure - and, indeed, elaborated on it - the best.

The artwork comes after - and is the most purely enjoyable. but then my background is in art, and it comes naturally.

As for music - i cheated a bit. For the Beatles, I incorporated aspects of their lives for the cards. simply using music - like the Dorian mode or the C to Am shift - would be weird [but probably fun].

You mention Trollope - that's my mother's favourite writer. I read widely, but my own special interest is 20th Century European writers. It can be a trick finding areas of interest which I have an affinity with and which would also suit the Tarot and that other people might be interested in. I don't make these decks for a job, but because it interests me and becomes involving and ultimately edifying. People have suggested certain money-making deck ideas to me, and while I can see they'd be popular, I'm not interested enough and just can't bring myself to do it.

Yes, all the decks are available. I keep the website addresses as simple as possible:

shakespearetarot.com
beatlestarot.com
goldenageofhollywoodtarot.com
charlesdickenstarot.com

As much as I like Bach and Handel - I have wide-ranging tastes in music - your mom certainly made the best decision and got the lion's share of the deal, taking the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, and you!

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