Last December, I was exhausted. I am working for a while now on a Cartomancy manual which will be divided into four large volumes, and it was conceived as a step by step, initiatory process. Although it is roughly based on my three decades on research, study and practical experience, on things I have written and especially on the accompanying book for my first published Tarot deck, the re-writing and re-editing process wear me entirely down. So, last December, I decided to allow my self a small break from work. Those who know me by now knows that ‘break’ in my case means another kind of work, respectively focusing on another project.
Some of you also may notice my interest in so-called dystopian literature, especially in the work of Orwell, Huxley, Koestler, Bradbury or Yevgeny. I read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four a long-long time ago, and I saw the 1984 film. Last year I bought a Penguin edition of the book and took it to me on each occasion I had to travel through the city and read from it randomly. Eventual-ly, it gave me the idea to write a Tarot based, esoteric-dystopian novel myself. Sure, there have been many books conceived in a similar manner; it is enough to mention William Butler Yeats’ Stories of Red Hanrahan, so, the idea is not original by any means. However, the subject is quite tempting and offers a wide range of topics and possible approaches.
During my alleged winter break, I started gathering background information and writing dispersed fragments of the book. I pulled from my Rider-Waite-Smith deck the seventy-eight cards to establish the order of the chapters and structured the book into three parts.
I had two separate ideas which should have come together as one.
On the one hand, an esoteric, initiatory journey through the seventy-eight cards of the Tarot deck. On the other, exploring the possible not so distant future at the individual and collective level as Orwell or Huxley did in their work; Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World respectively.
Although this ‘new shiny thing’ brought back my lost appetite for writing, in January, I put the project apart and returned to my ‘regular’ self-imposed day to duty job and re-focused on the Cart-omancy manual.
I also have to mention that last year I also got involved in a collective Tarot deck project for which I created five cards: The Magician and the four Fives. My concept was a college-based re-imagination of Pamela Coleman Smith’s drawings – which got an excellent feedback. However, it was not my intention to complete a full deck in this style.
The worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus has changed our lives – I’m afraid not just for a couple of months, but for good. Putting aside the medical, social and economic aspects, there are other topics of great concern. Mass-surveillance and individual tracking tools have been implemented quickly, for the ‘greater good’. However, there is the risk that the heightened surveillance to continue even after the coronavirus outbreak ends.
The new local and global circumstances rearranged my priorities. I think the Cartomancy manual can wait; the esoteric-dystopian novel might be of more interest at this point.
I also had another project on my mind, a scholarly guide-book for the classic Rider-Waite-Smith deck. I believe there is an arguable need for an in-depth study and throughout explanation for one of the most popular decks in the history of the Tarot. To my surprise, many users of the Rider-Waite deck are unfamiliar with its origin and theoretical, philosophical background. There is more than one method of reading this deck, and I would like to introduce and explain these systems accordingly.
On the other hand, the esoteric-dystopian novel will definitively need an adequated illustration. So, creating a modern re-rendering of the original Rider-Waite-Smith deck may be the best choice. Therefore, these three apparently separate projects are coming nicely together.
I want to make you mine ‘partner in crime’ in these projects and gave you access throughout the entire creative process.
As some of you may know, others already support my effort, I have a Patreon page. The basic concept of the Patreon is that of support creativity.
I will post on daily bases work in progress and finished imagines, fragments from the things I write.
For only a 5 US Dollar (or more if you like) monthly contribution, you will have exclusive access to all these materials. At the end of the process, if there will be interest, a limited edition of the deck will be possible. Those who will be interested may get an exclusive copy of the deck at a friendly price.
Become a patron https://www.patreon.com/attilablaga Thank you!
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