The 1st Form-Giver story is here. Prelude to Tarot in the Land of Mystereum: An Imagination Primer.
From self-published to published:
I began the original Mystereum Tarot (self-published) in May of 2005, setting a 3-year deadline for myself for the deck and LWB. No TV, no Tarot, no reading about Tarot, no looking at other peoples’ Tarot, no talking about Tarot . . . no Tarot at all, a brainwashing. It was time to divine the cards from re-scratch as I feelingsense resonated with them.
Putting a standing 2p-5p meeting in my work schedule Mon thru Friday, at first it was only meeting the requirement of my “butt in the chair” method. I completed The Fool through the Emperor that summer, and nothing in the Fall, every day butt-in-the-chair. . .thinking about the cards like a theosophic vision or awakedream, feeling into multiple cards, single cards . . . a flurry in Nov/Dec and I was up to 16 completed . . . and back to butt-in-the-chair. I would rebel yet maintain the discipline of the ritual by standing up holding the chair to my rump and old-man-walk out and sit down in the garden . . . was funny after a month or two I would get back up with the chair and old-man-walk to the kitchen, sit down, and open a bottle of wine or make coffee/tea and grab my smokes . . . and old-man hoof it back to the garden one-handing the chair to my rump . . .
Then, in January of 2007, yes almost 2 years in something happened. Denver. January. 2007. And, 36 inches of snow in 6 hours plus-minus. I had scoffed at the weather report the afternoon of the blizzard thinking, “Yeah you gambler’s anonymous overflow people . . .er. . .uh hem . . .I mean meteorologists. Whatev.” And, I didn’t go to the grocery store that afternoon. The next morning? Took me 6 hours for an 8-block “walk” round trip to the store. I left once the sun was out planning to get “off the mountain” so to speak by 2p before the storms came in. At 2:30p I was back, and with the clouds began to get dark. Sat in my chair, one set of devil’s fingers on the desk in front of the screen with a, “Ok now. What do I want to do with this. I want to speak the cards. I want the cards THEMSELVES to speak. I want to be a playwright of 80 voices.” That was 78 + card back + book cover.
I would be stuck in my house for 2 weeks. No mail. No visitors other than neighbors in our daily shoveling-out rituals chippin away to the main street. Car completely covered in a snow drift, and the alley to my drive just as deep. I thought the 2nd night, “Well if there ever is a time to make this deadline, it is now!” I started cranking.
BAM BAM BAM . . . lightning that night while it was snowing? That felt dangerous, somehow weird and anomalous. And, somehow fitting. And, then came the fetch wood carry water training discipline of butt-in-the-chair being over. Same time, same bat channel, but I started and finished 60 cards in the 3 months of that Spring of 2007, and held out Temperance from May to the Summer Solstice to complete as the last card . . .
Solstice. Sit back down in the chair after a couple of months off not looking at ANY of what I had done at all. One day. Card complete, and jumping out of my chair pumping my fists in celebration YEE HAH I slowly came to a halt. Uh hem. Book cover? Card back? I smiled at my false summit of completion. Took myself to dinner, and came back and worked into the night to be fully done to awake the next morning to . . . . The Mystereum Tarot. I had written the chapters of the 48-page LWB as I went along to tune the feelingsense resonance of the text to the voice of each card.
Little did I know that Schiffer would approach me at RS09 (Readers Studio 2009) to launch into the next iteration . . .Tarot in the Land of Mystereum: An Imagination Primer. Deck + 192-page book set where the cards literally speak like they are in a personal play for you on the stage of your life.
I never mentioned writer’s block up there. A whole year went by at one point. I gave myself the credit to take the time . . . but on an occasion or 2, ok I’m lying… actually 4 times lol, I looked over and saw my frisbee. HOOKY! Sometimes, wanting to produce something on self-imposed deadlines . . . be truant to yourself as your own boss. . . just don’t tell on yourself. Sneak out of your own house. Sneak back in. An inability to have fun while you create can mean you are hungry, yourself indicating for you to do something else here and there, and/or a host of lotsa things. Rather than writer’s block, may I suggest to whaleshark comb the plankton of your creative urges? Things take time only if you give yourself the time. Heck, I lived my life on deadline for decades. Hooky can be an effective project management tool.
Schiffer approached me in 2009, May. On July 2 I started the Tarot bedtime stories contracted by Schiffer. Little did I know I was about to literally speak the cards and fulfill my original 2005 dream via a 192-page Imagination Primer book with tinkered-with, tuned and tailord Mystereum Tarot cards. The Imagination Primer book, beginning as bedtime stories took on a life of its own. This time I went in order, one by one. Coming up on The Devil, I was feeling a little squirrely. HurROOOO. I am the DEVILLLLL! No, not THAT one . . . and my eyes lit up. There it was. These are no bedtime stories. After 4 years I was speaking the cards. I trashed the 45 pages I had written thus far, completed The Devil, and started back with The Fool. Tracking back, one by one moving forward . . . I finished in 4 months. Put it all down for a month. And, came back in month 5 with 12 hard edits. Put it down for a week. Came back and combed, fine-tooth combed, tuning and tailoring and on-the-spot re-writing. December 4th, 2009, my birthday, I said out loud, “I want a BIG birthday present. This is going out the door on the 9th.” STUCK my butt in the chair. Ate. Slept. Drank. Lived the cards at the detail level. Shifting focus and redirecting scale on the fly to the scale of the universe. Back and forth antinomy-izing, integrating the inner opposites so as to make duality look rather bush-league.
December 9th, 2009, and it was off. Called my editor at Schiffer Publications to let her know to check her email 6 months early from my 1-year deadline. “OMG Jordan! I just read some of this! This has never been done before and evolves the bedtime stories to a new level! 30 minutes ago another author called to say they were a year behind deadline. Well . . . YOU get their spot! You will be in the Fall 2010 catalog!”
And there is the story of how The Mystereum Tarot iterate-evolved into Tarot in the Land of Mystereum with cards speaking in its 192-page Imagination Primer companion book. Hope you’ve enjoyed this prescient remembrance telling of it. Tells me to keep looking forward to new things. Tells me. . . I had one helluva Place of Creation story ride! And, here’s the one helluva creation story ride that the Ace of Swords had!
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