Show your love! Purchase a deck by February 14!

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Due to a recent upsurge in sales of the Tarot of the Absurd, I have decided to celebrate by increasing the price of the deck by $2.00 on February 14th.


Two bucks! That’s right! Not even the price of a Starbucks coffee. Nonetheless, you may ask yourself, why so much?  The answer is simple: I need a raise. I make approximately $2.90 per hour on this deck, which was the federal minimum wage in 1979.  I live in Vermont where the minimum wage is currently $8.73. How much more money will I make with a price increase of two bucks? Unfortunately, very, very little.


Lucky for you all, new price is still a totally awesome deal for a signed & numbered limited edition hand-finished 100% made in USA tarot deck. Buy one now!


sales photo


Tarot of the Absurd for sale on AMAZON!

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

The Tarot of the Absurd is now for sale on Amazon!

(Tho why anyone would buy it there instead of here is beyond me.)


It is pretty straight-forward to list a product on Amazon,

if they already carry it.

If they don’t carry it, it’s another story.

I couldn’t figure how to list the deck properly,

so I put it in the “everything else” category,

which, it turns out, is against Amazon policy.

I needed assistance.


I invited over a babysitter, then dialed.

HOLD (10 minutes.)

He answered.

I told my story.

He said:

I couldn’t change the category; I’d have to make a new listing.

It is against Amazon policy to list in the “everything else” category.

I’d have to put it in “children’s toys & games.”

I said:

It’s not a children’s toy: it’s targeted to neither boys nor girls nor unisex children!

He said:

Call the feeds department and wait on hold.

HOLD (infinite)


INTERLUDE while on hold:

After 35 minutes of hold time,

I called Amazon on another line with another phone,

waited on hold, then spoke to a representative.

She said:

Hold times are very long.

Then we were disconnected.

I called back, was put on hold,

then got the same representative.

I told her the issue & my current hold time with the feeds department.

We were disconnected.

Five minutes later, she called me back through the original phone

(somehow, you see, because I was still on hold, over 40 minutes now) & said:

The feeds department would be of no use to you.

They will not be able to change the category

unless you update your Amazon seller account

to a PRIME seller account at $39.99 per month.

Would you like to update your account now?

I said:

I will not even sell forty bucks of stuff per month!

I have ONE item.

She said:

She said, well, too bad.


She said:

Do you want to talk to the feeds department anyhow?

They won’t do anything for you.

I said:

I’ve been on hold over 40 minutes! OF COURSE I want to talk to them!

She said:

Okay, I’ll contact you with the feeds department.


During the intervening NEXT 15 minutes of hold,

I decide to fill in a review of Amazon

about how my interaction went

and whether I’d tell others to sell on Amazon based on my experience.


You can imagine I did not write a glowing review.


Eventually, the feeds department answered.

I asked:

Why are the hold times are so long?

They said:

There are a lot of people calling the feeds department.

I asked:

But what IS the feeds department?

They said:

We control the spreadsheets.

I decided it was not important that I understand. I said:

Okay, I need my item in the proper category.

After which there was a lot of discussion, which boiled down to this:

There are some categories that are off-limits

to people who do not pay the $39.99 monthly prime seller fee,

and would you like to upgrade your account now?

I said:

Look. I’m not even going to sell $40 of stuff each month.

It is against Amazon policy to have my item listed as it is listed now,

it is not a toy or game aimed at boys and girls,

and I have one item.

They said:

Too bad for you!




I think at this point someone noticed the

less-than-glowing review I just sent in.

After ten minutes of chatter they let me know:

they were doing me a huge favor

by changing the feed so my item would be in the correct category

which is really off limits to me unless I pay for it

but they are doing me a special favor

and they certainly won’t do it again (they informed me)

so please wait on hold for two minutes

which really turned out to be fifteen

but at the end of that fifteen minutes the category was changed

corrected I think

as it stands now

it should be right.


One hour twenty minutes on the phone,

most of it on hold. Just to change the category.

Maybe someday I’ll sell a deck on Amazon!!!


Anyone out there who has purchased a deck,

I would be most grateful

if you would be willing to write a nice review on Amazon.

You do not have to say much: just a few words of what you like.

I’ll post on my blog when I sell my first deck there.

Please do not hold your breath…


The Lovers — Love Poetry & Tarot Readings

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

As we all know by now, I am supposed to be writing a book about my tarot deck. I love writing. I also thoroughly enjoy cooking and going for long walks and keeping my daughter happy. I have a few things I must do now and again, such as washing diapers and dishes and maybe some dusting on days when a blue moon falls on an odd-numbered Monday in May. Occasionally I sleep.


So I said to myself, “You know, Jess, you’ve already written plenty of stuff that no one’s ever going to see. Why don’t you just make a book of that?”


And I said to myself, “That’s a great idea!”


I’m not sure if I was aware at the time that it was a procrastination technique. It is a great idea! Here you go:


I have years of poetry behind me. Reams of it. One of the most delightful things to write is love poetry, or poetic love letters. I could put it together in a little book, match the poems with three-card readings in which The Lovers is modified by two other cards that would describe the flavor of love in the poem, and I could call it The Lovers— Love Poetry & Tarot Readings. So I began.

Lovers Jean Noblet Marseille

 image from the Jean Noblet Tarot


I chose a number of poems then gave them all three-card readings.  Now I am trying to decide how to order them. Meanwhile, I get nervouser and nervouser because— well— these are all virgin love poems. So few of them have been seen by eyes aside from mine! Plus, I have no idea if they hang together well enough to form a book.


Whether or not anyone would actually purchase— let alone read— a book of love poetry is beside the point. I suspect maybe I would give a copy to Martin and a copy to my bestest of friends and then it would just be available on Amazon for random strangers to stumble across in the same manner that one stumbles across a needle in a haystack or an eyelash in a football field. Why, why have I spent my life writing poetry if not to share with the eyes of others? Is poetry merely a masturbatory form of writing?


In my 20s I went through the existential phase of “I write, therefore I exist.” Those things that are written are the things that make history. It was my method of self-manifestation: my Alchemist holds a pen.

Question: If a writer writes and no one is there to read it, does the writer exist?

Answer: Objectively, no. The human who writes does not exist as a “writer” in the eyes of “writer”-label givers unless the words that were written are read.

Someone wrote to me recently: “You would make a good writer.” To which I respond: “You would make a good reader.”

Enough of this existentialism.


Following is a sampler of the most diverse (not the best) of my love poetry and their associated three-card reads. But who would read this stuff? I mean, really. Who would read? Gosh, I hope nobody is reading this…


*   *   *


Expecting W___ in Oaxaca

(Lovers, Star, Knight of Cups)


This country is another world.

My bed is full of chocolate crumbs.

My patio crawls with cockroaches.

On the day you arrive

And ring the brass bell

Before the green gate,

I will sweep the tiles free from ants

And wash between my toes.


*   *   *


Two Verses for P___

(Lovers, 7 of Blades, 2 of Cups & Lovers, 5 of Blades, 4 of Blades)




I did not seek your kisses, mister.

I did not try to learn the way

your whiskers feel upon my neck

And be this as it may:

That I take pleasure in your touch

and would not mind the chance

to explore your navel

to see if I can find the universe inside,

I would give back all knowledge

of your affection

For the pure and simple freedom

found in unencumbered friendship.




The world was so loud in my ears that day,

I could not hear the words you said.

Your lips moved, your body moved,

shirtless, around the cab of that red truck—

but I did not heat the words you said!


I only heard the words you meant to say:

“Get away,

get away—




*   *   *


I was wanting to kiss someone.

Do you like kisses?

I can send you some.

(Lovers, Alchemist, Page of Cups)


Send me your lips. Send me

the teeth behind your lips,

send the tip of your tongue,

the whiskers on your cheek.

Send an earlobe, the nape of your neck,

some fingertips.

Send the side of your nose,

and I will press mine against it.

I will place my fingers on your neck,

my thumb light against your jaw bone,

my lips on your mouth,

and I will press against your teeth.

Your rough cheek on my smooth cheek,

your hand on my back,

your fingers, the back of my head.

Send breath, and breathe against me.

Send a heartbeat,

and let me place my ear against your chest.

Send me all of you for kissing.

I will kiss.


*   *   *



What is this



Tarot Riddles — Tarot of the Absurd

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

[continued from yesterday’s post]

After purchasing my first deck,

I sat down to learn the meanings of the twenty-two Major Triumphs in order to compose

The Tarot Riddles.

The riddles are not intended to describe the image on the card; they are to describe the essence.

This was my first understanding of the tarot deck. It was from these riddles I began to illustrate

The Tarot of the Absurd.

The Tarot Riddles


Download The Tarot Riddles, print them out, cut them up, & put them in order as the Tarot of the Absurd is ordered. The first ten people who take their time to do this will earn themselves either (1) two cute little magnets OR (2) the offer of free shipping on a deck of cards/ $5 off international shipping. (Are there even ten people who read this blog?) And if you just want some cute little magnets (Strength & 7 of Cups), I’m selling business-card sized magnets for $2 each. Any questions? Anyone wanna try? Anyone? Anyone? Hey! Spread the word!


Hanged Man — Tarot of the Absurd

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

il penduThe hanged man sacrifices himself
for some purpose greater than his own well-being.
A willing victim of his own up-ended perspective,
he pushes aside the popular opinion,
forsakes the temptation of easy gratification
and goes without things commonly seen as “needs”
in attempt to open others’ eyes
to a different world view.


A martyr to some is a traitor to others;
a thief to some is a savior to others.
Bear witness to your true beliefs:
Which side are you on?


*   *   *


I went to the printer’s with my 80 files: 78 cards plus the extra moon plus the silly copyright card. The silly copyright card will be numbered (1 thru 600) and signed, but I’m not going to let you know all the silly words.


I’ve never gone through the process of putting something in print format for the printer before. I needed to make all the files the exact correct dimensions (7cm x 12.5cm) and add bleed and crop marks and make sure the color was correct. Tedious.


I hear the millions (I wish!) asking, “What color?” Oh, if only I could have known before-hand that files need to be in CMYK for print and RGB for screen. For some mysterious reason (feel free to enlighten me in great detail if you know), RGB black does not translate to the same black as CMYK black. Now that I’ve re-learned my lesson the hard way, I recall being told something to that effect a dozen years ago.


Anyhow, all my files were printing some horrible muddied black. I am a person of muddy grays in theory, but I wish the pigment on these cards to appear BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK.


The upshot is, I should get to see a proof sometime next week. Yahoo! After I measure how thick the stack of cards is, I will design a box. The box will not be a regular tuck box, because my printer does not have a die to cut them out and I do not wish to cut out 600 boxes by hand (why not? who knows!) so I am making my task even more difficult by having a partly printed, partly handmade box. Thus, no two boxes will be exactly alike.


If anyone is interested in a copy, do feel free to let me know (see the contact info) and I will keep track of you in a very organized manner and let you know when it is ready.


You notice I have not yet mentioned price. This does not mean they will be free. It means I detest setting prices. Ultimately, it will be the low-average price for a LE self-published deck, which is $41 including shipping in the US. Assuming the box is not too much work…


*   *   *


Happy Summer Solstice!

Temperance — Giovanni Vacchetta Tarot

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Artist: Giovanni Vacchetta


After I finished the last illustration for my Tarot of the Absurd a few weeks ago, I started contemplating publishing options. I would really like to find a publishing company to help produce it well and help market it. I am interested in fine quality cards that will stand the test of time. Eventually there will be a book to go with it.


There is a print-on-demand game site on line called The Game Crafter, where people who like to make up games can find all sorts of game parts and design a game and have it printed for themselves and others to purchase and play. A few people have made tarot decks on poker-size cards. The site just started offering larger-size cards for tarot. In order to check out the quality and pricing, I re-produced an old historic deck originally illustrated in black & white by Giovanni Vacchetta in 1893. It has been in-&-out of print since then. I produced a sepia-toned copy with words in English. It is perfect for hand-coloring, should you be so inclined, and available for purchase here:


“What should I do about publishing my own deck?” I asked my new-old Giovanni Vacchetta tarot, and drew Temperance.


Favored: Balance, moderation, patience, purpose, meaning
Opposed: Imbalance, excess, lack of long-term vision


Temperance is about moderation and self-restraint. Balance, patience, and avoiding extremes— especially important in situations of stress or anxiety— all lead to a sense of calm and a place of peace. Walking the middle road— the way of tranquility— leads to an even temperament and a fulfilling life.


Temperance has a clear, long-term vision of what needs to be achieved. Refusing to rush along, Temperance takes its time to learn along the way. The way is peaceful, guided by an inner voice which cannot be heard amongst chaos.


Temperance works in harmony with others, combining forces in a beautiful synergy of talents, experiences, abilities and skills. Always needed during periods of transition, Temperance asks for patience to act with good timing and precision. Change is essential for learning and accomplishing anything. Temperance lets us know there is nothing to fear.


Temperance tells me: “Stick to your focus. Take time to work hard. You have spent 13 years illustrating your tarot deck. Do not rush into printing it without thorough research. Everything will come together beautifully in the end.”

Tarot of the Absurd

Sunday, December 4th, 2011
Infant's Feet

My feet— long ago.

The goals of this blog are to create a daily entry about a one-card tarot reading in order to facilitate the writing of a book at the end of 78 weeks’ time.


Six days a week I will read a card from a different tarot deck. One day a week I will pick a random card from my deck and write about that.


(Unless I don’t.)


For the purpose of this blog I have chosen four suits,  corresponding to the suits as I have named them for my deck. Other names are as follows:


cups— AKA— hearts, chalices
coins— AKA— pentacles, diamonds, money, oro
sticks— AKA— staves, wands, clubs, rods, batons, sceptres
blades— AKA— swords, spades


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