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Changes

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on June 8, 2010 | Comments (3)

Lisa Hunt, talented, magical, and prolific artist, says: I think you should talk about how much tarot has changed since you entered the field. Also, how do you think you were instrumental in that change? How did you contribute to the tarot revolution? Lisa recently did a fabulous post about her tarot journey. Check it out here.

This is a good question. But it can sure get confusing, because my role only touches tarot as it relates to traditional publishing. I remember when I first started acquiring tarot projects, I looked for things that interested me—I still wasn’t experienced enough to realize that my tastes were more intermediate and advanced than the majority of tarot deck buyers. So we published decks like the Pythagorean Tarot or Brain Williams’ brilliant Ship of Fools Tarot. Both of these were fascinating decks, but they were not as popular with our customers as I imagined they would be.

After some time of experimenting with intermediate and advanced material, we found our groove. We know what kinds of projects please the majority of our customers and meet their spiritual needs.

Although there are still some projects that puzzle me. The World Spirit Tarot was and is one of my favorites. Why wasn’t it more popular? I thought it had all the right elements: charming art, traditional composition, great size, and excellent packaging.

Meeting the needs of the largest portion of our customers still leaves a smaller but important community thirsting for more experimental or complex materials. What of them? Here is where I think exciting changes will occur. Publishing is changing and opportunities outside of traditional publishing abound. I think clever entrepreneurial spirits will find ways to fill those needs better than traditional publishing can.

I don’t know if tarot really has changed much and I don’t think I’ve affected the course of events at all. There are, as there have always been, mostly people who approach tarot as beginners and the projects that are designed with them in mind. There are intermediate and advanced people who cull all new beginner material for those gems of new ideas, which are sometimes hidden there.

Publishers and editors don’t really change things. We watch trends and try to see what people want and need and give it to them; we don’t tell our customers what we think they should want. So really, it is the community that determines the changes in direction. And as with many things in life (for better or worse) the community speaks loudest with its dollars.

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Ty
on June 10th, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

Barbara,

While i may only have impacted a few readers and querents, don’t downplay your own impact! Your books have helped me and I am sure a lot of other people. The decks you have brought to light have becme the tools we use to enlighten, inform and chart our way.

And for the record, I LOVE the Ship of Fools tarot. I loved the book in college (Look I’m using my degree in Medieval & Renaissance Studies!)and it was like sitting down with an old friend on one hand my new friend tarot on the other. Don’t you ever doubt that you’ve made a positive impact, or I’ll have to heft my copy of ‘Seventy-eight Degrees of Wisdom’ towards the Twin Cities!

Ty

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#2 
Written By Barbara Moore
on June 10th, 2010 @ 4:38 pm

Ty, that’s really nice of you! The question focused on change, and I’m not sure if I did much to change things. But perhaps I should write about what I think I’ve done to help popularize tarot. People who are very into tarot sometimes think that beginner projects are lame or a sell out or whatever, but I think they are very, very important. So, while I cannot be convinced that I was part of any sort of revolution within tarot, I think I’ve helped make it more easily accessible to more people. How’s that?
:-)

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