Tarot from an non-tarot country – A rant

Since I’ve learnt that this giant second-hand book shop near my apartment sells tarot decks, I’ve been obsessed. Not just because they have an online catalog that lets you reserve said tarot/books, but because they have The Vertigo Tarot, which is my crazy dream these days. “Crazy” because it costs the ludicrous amount of R$280,00. Second-hand. I am an unemployed 25 years old that hasn’t finished college yet, of course I do not have this amount of money to spend in one single deck. Beautiful, beautiful deck. With a beautiful hardcover companion book. Illustrated by Dave McKean, responsible for many covers of Sandman, my most beloved comic and one of the greatests pieces of fantastical narrative ever made. Can you feel my pain over the screen? I hope you do.

But that’s not the point of this post. In dating this deck from a distance, I managed to get myself a Raider-Waite-Smith deck brand new, I guess the The Grand Waite Tarot, plus the Ultimate Raider Waite companion book, old but in good condition, for R$35,00. I’ve been studying and reading tarot for quite a while now, but the RWS itself was always a hard one for me to get, for a moral reason: it was published at 1911. This shit does not has copyrights anymore. How come a version of it printed in cheap paper, in a cheap box, with a horrendous little white book (seriously, mine doesn’t has The Fool on it; people took the “zero card” way too seriously) retails for R$65,00?

Another example: I bought the Tarot Illuminati printed by a national publishing house. Tarot Illuminati was super hype back then, I really wanted a copy and naively bought the national one, that costed me R$79,00. I was super happy, of course, cause the international (or must I say original?) one was going to cost me R$150,00, so I was walking on clouds with this purchase… until I opened the box. Questions for you, owners of this deck: do your deck has that beautiful gold edging? Mine doesn’t. Are the backs of your cards centralized with the faces of your cards? Mine aren’t. Are the corners of you deck round? MINE AREN’T–seriously, I almost burned the thing when I first noticed this. Round corners, for fuck’s sake. ROUND CORNERS.

Some of you must be thinking: “Well, her currency must not value the same amount on her society as dollars value on american society”. And you are wrong. Our minimum wage are about the same.

All of that because my country is not kin on tarot. You do not see people selling tarot readings on Elo7 (our own Etsy-like online store). It is hard to find courses on tarot, books on tarot, actually it is hard to find trustworthy tarot readers to begin with. People still look at tarot afraid of it, or mocking at it. National artists and illustrators have no intention to publish a tarot deck because it’s too much woo woo and new age-y for them. There is only one publishing house that bothers to buy the copyrights from some decks and bring it to us, but is the same one that published my revolting Tarot Illuminati that I just talked about.

Learning tarot in this environment is tough, man. I still have the privilege to speak English, and I use it all the time. My kindle is filled up with books on tarot, none of them in my first language. My YouTube feed is full of tarot channels, with amazing ever-students tarot readers that share their pieces of information and thoughts. None of them from my country. I got the tools, I got the inspiration, but I have no one to talk about it. I have friends that ask for readings, have my beloved girlfriend that listens to me talking and talking about it, but it is not of their interests. They can’t help it. Neither can I.

So, yeah, Imma blog about it. This and all the other shit that I can’t find real life people to talk to. I’ll probably be talking to myself as I normally do, but now at least I can pretend someone is interested.