Late last year I successfully funded the Major Arcana version of my tarot deck, Tarot of the Zirkus Mägi. What began as a tie-in to a fantasy novel soon eclipsed its parent venture and became my most engaging project ever.
As it turns out, the Circus Arts provide a perfect milieu for the cards of the Major and Minor Arcana. There are stars and roustabouts, successes and failures, dreams and nightmares. The clowns, acrobats, equestrian acts and entrepreneurs, each with their fond expectations or dashed hopes, all comfortably express the truths and secrets underlying the realm of the Tarot. The two worlds merge as seamlessly as if they were meant for one another.
Now the Full 78-card deck is nearing completion. The artistes wait in hushed silence behind gaudily-panted tent-flaps, waiting for the call to perform. The band conductor is taking his place at the podium. Everywhere is the scent of popcorn, candy-floss and, yes, sweat and animal dung.
Together we have a higher mountain to climb: I need to sell enough pre-orders of the deck to pay for its production, and once again I have decided to do that on Kickstarter. This way, nobody gets charged if the goal isn't met, and nobody is at risk. It's a way of keeping everything simple and structured.
Here's (some of) what people have said about the Majors Deck:
"This is one of the sexiest decks I've come across. It could be made by a Victorian brothel Madame for entertaining in her parlour.... The circus as a metaphor for life cheers me up, simply put. This deck reminds me to deal with the many bizarre events of life with equanimity and a glint in my eye." -- Lisa Frideborg Lloyd, Thematic Tarot.
" ***** Don't you have a few more stars I can use? I really need them to rate this precious gem. It has the fresh scent of originality combined with the visually intriguing. Love it, love it, love it!" -- Corinne R.
"***** Gloriously beautiful cards, fabulous quality, I *adore* them, thank you so much!" -- Zelda F.
"I received my deck and it's GORGEOUS!!! The pictures, the gloss, the stock, just GORGEOUS!!! I want a full deck now!" -- Vanellope V.
More Than Just a Novelty Deck
Tarot of the Zirkus Magi combines two of my lifelong interests: the performing arts, specifically circus arts, and mysticism. Though I have owned decks and been interested in the tarot for all of my adult life, I did not start studying tarot seriously until quite recently. Creating this deck has been both a learning experience and a labor of love.
I did a lot of research for each one and worked hard to match the meaning and message with the image and presentation. Far from just being a "gimmick" deck, I have made every effort to create a genuine working deck aimed at practitioner and novice alike, and I hope that copies of it will go to people who will use it that way. None of these designs were tossed off casually — I made the deck not just to look good (although I hope it does) but to talk and to tell stories and to interact with its users.
I have tried to apply the language and history of the circus to a cross-pollination of Waite-Smith and Crowley / Thoth symbolism. For the minors, I started with Crowley's keywords and Colman-Smith's visuals and used those influences as launching pads while browsing the rich history of Circus performance art. I read many texts and studied many decks and tried to assemble a unique vision for the deck. In most cases, the Thoth keywords were replaced with ones that I felt more appropriate to the meaning -- sometimes including authentic Circus lingo.
My friend and Tarot Professional Carrie Paris (creator of The Magpie Oracle and co-creator of the beautiful Lenormand Revolution deck) has been there for me from the beginning, helping me along with information, suggestions, and moral support throughout the design process. Many thanks to her for putting up with my late-night flooding of her e-mail inbox!
Unlimited, Yet Limited.
Unlike the Majors-only version of the deck published last year (which was striictly limited to just 300 copies total and will never be reprinted), the Full Deck is meant to stay in-print indefinitely. However -- there will be just 500 copies in this first print run of the complete deck. Additionally, It features a different card back, different DEVIL card, and a substantially revised Moon card (in addition to a few minor tweaks to several other Major Arcana cards) from the Majors-only deck.
Once again the deck will be printed by J.S. McCarthy Printers in Augusta, Maine on 16 pt card stock, plus a gloss UV coating. The paper is FSC certified and 55% recycled. All production will be done using 100 % wind power.
The cards are 3" wide by 5" tall. They will be packaged in a simple tuck box. A 16-page (approx.) Little White Book will also be included in the package.
Through the "rewards" section of this Kickstarter project, the deck will be available with a variety of combinations of extra goodies, etc. Please read the rewards section carefully so you know exactly what you are signing up for!
Update: Announcing Add-Ons!
Some of you have mentioned that you might like to add-on an extra deck to your order. Here are the available "add-ons" that you can choose from:
Extra copies of the full 78-card deck: $45 per deck.
- Extra copies of the Majors deck: $25 per deck. LIMITED QUANTITIES.
- The Circus Tarot Book (this complements the MAJORS version of the deck): $24 per copy..
7.9.14: Adding More Add-Ons!
I can't imagine that any of you would want to add these next items on to your pre-orders, but maybe it's one of those things that falls into the category of "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained..."
I've published two novels, a book of short stories, and four volumes of comics featuring two separate sets of characters. If you care to add any of them on, they are $16.00 per volume, and you don't need to add any postage. Below are a list of the titles, and each title links through to a mini-site that will tell you anything and everything you need to know about the books (or you can visit www.ducksoup.me for the full picture and lots more), in most cases including excerpts. It would please me to no end to see any of them added-on, but they are kind of (OK, a lot) off-topic:
- Persephone's Torch: A Novel in Three Acts
- Melies' Notebook And Other Stories
- See Them Dance: From the Positively Spectacular Adventures of Cranch the Clown (The book that inspired this deck in the first place)
- Quirk (Comics. Two volumes, "Pulp Friction" and "Termination Alley."
- Tinsel*Town (Comics. Two volumes: "Ashcan Blues" and "Love & Death."
As this Kickstarter project is launched, the deck is just two cards away from completion. The tuck box and the LWB are both about 3/4 done.
I launched this Kickstarter project before all the work was complete (and am giving it a longer runtime) because it seems to me that $9,000 is a lot to raise. It's my intention to have all the work completed well before this project ends, so that the deck can go to the printer soon after the closing date.
UPDATE 6/25: The deck, tuck box and LWB have all been completed.
I'll keep everyone current on the deck's progress here through regular Project Updates. You can also see all the finished cards and track the deck's development from its inception over a year ago, at the official website: circustarot.blogspot.com. My main website is www.ducksoup.me. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I will post all questions and answers here through Project Updates.
Thank you for looking at my project! YOUR interest, enthusiasm and support are the only reasons this deck has come so far! Thank you all!
Tarot of the Zirkus Magi © 2013 Duck Soup Productions.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING RATES
Within the U.S., your reward also includes free shipping. Beyond the borders of the U.S., I am very sorry, but I have to add on a $25 USD shipping fee, to cover the cost of International Priority Mailing. I know this sucks. I hate having to do it. But I took a bath on overseas shipping when i did the Kickstarter for the Majors deck, learned my lesson, and won't make the same mistake twice. The USPS, for whatever reason, has made shipping to other countries REALLY COSTLY. I'm sorry about that.
Risks and challenges
I've done this before.
Once the thing is funded, the risks are negligible. The printer is super-reliable, well-established, and does stellar work.
As soon as the money is in hand, I will give them the green light, and It Will Be Done. The whole process will be documented beginning to end through Updates here. Getting all the "rewards" assembled and shipped out can be fussy and time-consuming, but If this project is funded, it will be completed and delivered in as timely a fashion as possible (not using any third-party fulfillment services)-- and I have plenty of happy supporters from the majors deck to vouch for that!
After all, I'm just like you: a lover of books, tarot decks and movies who starts to ask "Where's my stuff?" the second that I plunk down my shekels. I feel your pain. I also can't stand having things hanging over my head: I'm going to want to get this thing done just as much as you want it done!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)