Sigil Arcanum Tarot: A Symbolic Journey

by Taylor Bell

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      Daniel Lockwood on

      I want this

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      Amazing. Cannot wait!

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Taylor BellBy Taylor Bell
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Taylor BellBy Taylor Bell
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About

The goal of this project is to create a tarot deck which can be read intuitively based on symbols and patterns instead of full illustrations. The project aims to provide a tool for beginners to learn tarot in a brand new way, and for experienced readers to garner a better understanding of the underlying symbols and elements behind the 78 keys of the tarot.

Symbolism is tremendously important because people can learn symbols easier than they can learn languages. Sigils are like a word in a language; they can be simple or complex, but they express meaning in just the same way, tracing our human understanding of concepts and communication back to the days of cave paintings or cuneiform. The best part is that they can be universal. A word of no language is a word in all languages.

The symbols used in this deck are based on hermetic and alchemical concepts.Over two years of research has gone in to making sure that each of the individual components are accurate; such as the alchemical process (or "magnum opus"), the four classical elements, the seven planets, the constellations of the Greek zodiac, the kabbalah, as well as the attributions of the Thoth tarot and the Waite tarot systems.

This deck can be considered a Thoth compatible deck since it follows the same order in terms of the Major Arcana, and all of correspondences match the Thoth system. This choice was made to ensure that the attributions are as close to accurate as possible, a task which turns out to be more difficult than it may seem at first, because many tarot decks deviate from standards, and the two primary decks of the modern day (Thoth and Waite) deviate slightly from each other.

Major Arcana
 

These cards feature unique line-art sigils which incorporate the alchemical, zodiacal, planetary, and elemental symbols associated with the Thoth tarot, compounded into visual interpretations of the majors themselves.

Minor Arcana

The aces feature the classical symbol for the element of the suit, in which is a line art drawing depicting the energy of that element.

The 2 - 10 of each suit features the elemental symbol as pips depicting the number of the card, as well as the roman numeral at the top, and a series of three symbols at the bottom: The planet, the element, and the zodiac.

The court cards feature a stick figure depicting their role, as well as the element for each position and each suit; e.g. the King of Wands will feature the symbol for Air with a K denoting King, and the symbol for Fire denoting the suit.

Colors

Each of the Major Arcana features a spectrum gradient of colors that relate to the energies of the card, and are particularly situated around each of those relative symbols; e.g. XVII The Star features a pentagram, hexagram, and double-heptagram. Inside the heptagram are the seven planets of alchemy, each colored according to their Sephirotic attributions (Mercury is orange, the Moon is purple, Venus is green, etc).

The First Five Major Arcana in full color
The First Five Major Arcana in full color

The Minor Arcana feature a two-tone color scheme to match the element. The core pips are the color of the element, and the special design is a shade darker, while the numerals and symbols at the bottom are white.

The base deck will have 80 cards; the 22 Major Arcana, 56 Minor Arcana, a thank you card, and a special extra card which features the back image on both sides, representing the silence.

The standard box will be made of sturdy paper, and will have enough room to fit the deck and booklet. The booklet itself will be around 100 pages and will feature information about all symbols and cards, divinatory meanings, suggestions for interpretation, and an explanation of the forces of Alchemy.

The Blackout Edition of the Sigil Arcanum Tarot--which will feature all the same cards--will be printed with rich glossy ink offset on a substantial matte black paper stock. The result is a mesmerizing and sleek appearance which is best read by candle light. The deck appears entirely black on black, and you must shed light on the cards to reveal their hidden meanings.

The edges of the cards appear matte black due to the card stock, which adds to the dark effect. The box will be printed on the same matte black cover, with thicker, more sturdy paper, and will be printed offset to give the same illusory appearance. The booklet, however, will be printed normally, because let's face it, nobody would want an all black instruction booklet.

All tiers will have the option of either Full Color or Blackout Edition.

Quality Overhaul - $30,000

This stretch goal will feature the upgrade of the previous level, plus:

 - Box Upgrade to double-cube telescoping box
  - Card edges gilded silver (black for the blackout deck)
  - Protective UV coating on cards and box (for colored deck)
  - Booklet upgrade to perfect-bound mini-book
 

Book

The book will be between 150 - 170 pages, and will go much further detailing the symbolism used in each card, the historical significance of each symbol, plus more interpretations on symbolism and how to read the deck, including a multitude of spreads (both static and modular), as well as a brief history of Alchemy and Tarot.

Risks and challenges

I've worked hard on mitigating any risks or challenges along the way, and I've come up with what I believe to be a stable plan for producing the deck (and the other pieces like the box and book) efficiently, cost-effectively, and in the United States. Costs of printing in the United States can be a little higher, but this means I can keep the business local to my home state Minnesota, and I can pick up, assemble, store, and ship all the decks myself.

A breakdown of Costs for transparency's sake:

- The Color Decks: $2,750 for 500 units
- The Blackout Decks: $5,000 for 500 units
- The Boxes: $8,460 for 1000 units
- Tooling Fees: $1368 for the boxes
- Shipping: Roughly $7 - $8 per deck, so around $7,500
- Storage: I have secured a safe, climate controlled space for the decks, so I'm not including this in the calculation of the costs for Kickstarter.
- I also need a way to seal the decks. My two options are plastic wrap or stickers, and I'm leaning more toward stickers. Cost for 1,000 stickers would be roughly $45 - $50, something I will cover out of pocket as well, since it's such a low cost.

This brings the total cost for all pieces to $25,078. Seventy-Eight dollars higher than the goal for this project. One dollar per card in the tarot, and if this project funds at $25K I will supply whatever else is required to get it done and shipped out.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A Solitary Card

    You will receive a random card from my personal Blackout Deck. I've used this deck for many readings over the last year. All symbols are consistent with the final deck, though some style is different.

    Includes:
    • A Single Sigil Arcanum Card
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Limited Edition Print

    You will get a 6" x 9" print of one major Arcana card. You will be able to choose between two styles:
    - Black on Black, printed on "skin-smooth" matte paper
    - Full Digital Watercolor, printed on high quality white archival paper.

    Prints will be delivered in sturdy padded envelopes to prevent bending or creasing.

    Includes:
    • Sigil Arcanum Majors Poster
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    One Deck - Early Bird Special

    If you are one of the first 25 backers, you will receive the Sigil Arcanum for $7 less.

    Includes:
    • Sigil Arcanum Tarot Deck
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    Pledge $42 or more About $42

    The Sigil Arcanum Tarot - One Deck

    You will receive:
    - One copy of the Sigil Arcanum Tarot.

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    • Sigil Arcanum Tarot Deck
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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    And One for a Friend

    You will receive:
    - Two copies of the Sigil Arcanum Tarot.

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    • Sigil Arcanum Tarot Deck
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A Deck & A Reading

    You will receive:
    - One copy of the Sigil Arcanum Tarot deck
    - A Full hour long online tarot reading by the artist via voice or video chat, discussing whatever questions you might have, and learning different ways to interpret the symbols on these cards.

    Includes:
    • Sigil Arcanum Tarot Deck
    • Hour-Long Tarot Reading
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    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    Retailers Exclusive: 10 or more decks

    If you are a retailer in the United States with a Tax ID or EIN, and are looking to make a bulk order of decks, this tier is for you.

    10 decks at $22 each: $220
    20 decks at $20 each: $400
    And even 50 decks at $15 each: $750

    Shipping will depend on the quantity ordered.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The Deck & A Handmade Box

    You get a copy of the deck in a beautiful hand burned black wooden box made by the deck's artist, numbered out of ten.

    Includes:
    • Handmade Wooden Box
    • Sigil Arcanum Tarot Deck
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