I’m so excited about the Grimoire Tarot Journals, which you can buy here for $7!
I got my first tarot deck from a little store called New Age Alternative in New Jersey. I was 14. The deck came with a little booklet that meant nothing to me, so I threw it away and made up my own meanings for the cards based on their images. The meanings were not “correct,” but they made sense in my teenage brain. I tried using making up ways to use the tarot but gave up at a young age.
I didn’t use or care for the tarot for many years. Friends would offer me readings when I’d find myself in difficult spots, but the readings were sort of scary. I’d look at the cards and think, “Those colors remind me of my first bicycle!” or “She looks like my mother!” and learn that the actual meanings of the cards had nothing to do with my associations. Though my friends were skilled at giving readings, I grew afraid of what the cards truly meant and subsequently shunned the entire idea of the tarot.
But like many other queers in my age group, I became re-inspired by The Collective Tarot. The first card I saw from that deck was The Star, which was created by Adee Roberson (follow that link and check out her brilliant art). The Star is a consistently positive card across decks, but there was something particularly magnetic in that card that urged me to dive into its waters.
I decided to explore that deck fully after receiving it as a special gift. Along with my gently-used Rider-Waite deck, I detailed my journey inside a hard-cover journal. I dedicated a page or two to each card. I wrote about the colors, the symbols, personal associations, and feelings/messages that came to me while mediating on the images. Before I knew it, I had essentially written my own book about the tarot—a highly personal reference book that is unique to my own experience. That book is for my eyes only.
The journal I used was beautiful but difficult to write in due to its solid spine. Rather than continue to use that journal to write down my personal interpretations of my tarot readings, I opted for a plain spiral-bound notebook. While it was easy to write in, it didn’t look nice or feel special.
I wanted to create a portable, notebook-style journal that comes “pre-installed” with magical intention. I ran the idea by Annie Murphy, proprietress of Grimoire Comics & Curiosities, and she loved the idea. I asked if we could use some of her tarot art (originally drawn for The Collective Tarot) for the covers and.. well, now there are special & affordable little tarot journals that you can pop in your bag and take anywhere.
I wrote a 6 page informational guide to journaling with the tarot that appears as the beginning of each book. I wrote up info on a few spreads I love, as well as ideas for documenting your days and nights. And because the paper feels so nice, it feels nice to write on—I can’t wait to start actually drawing my spreads with my favorite pen, the Micron 05!
I encourage you to use any deck that resonates with you, and also to keep an eye out for future journals with tarot art created by art wizards Millán Gabriel Figueroa and Yvette Tyler.
The journals are available from Grimoire Comics and Curiosities for just $7. They may seem simple, but they can be useful tools and would likely make lovely gifts. Spread the word, if you will! This round was made exclusively by broke disabled queers who want nothing more than to share our gifts with the world.
A note about paying for art:
I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason why so many artists are not paid for their work is because of the “queer/punk 99% myth,” which I see as middle class queer/punk artists falsely assuming that because they don’t need to be paid for their work in order to survive, neither do artists living in poverty. There is a huge problem with middle class queers and punks neglecting to factor their access into their class status. This isn’t only about trust funds, it’s about safety nets, able-bodies, Macs, white privilege, passing privilege, secret stashes, savings accounts & property ownership. I don’t believe in “equal pay”—I believe in paying to promote class equity, which means providing more money to those who need it. That is the stance I take when it comes to collaborating on these journals, and I bring this up because I want to encourage transparency in art-peddling! I’m a broke person and I’d love it if broke people weren’t the only ones who encouraged class transparency in queer/punk projects. Your $7 goes to reimbursing our up-front printing costs that were not covered by pre-orders, packing materials for shipping, transportation to the post-office, Etsy fees, and the small remaining amount goes to artists and writers for their time, work and magical energy.
Love you all. xoxoxo