7.11.23: Welcome to the New EP
Odds--and ends . . . .
First and foremost, the intent of Tarot | An Exploration Project remains exactly the same.
Here’s how I described it at the very beginning, more than two years ago:
Basically . . . a publication that explores Tarot in the context of art, literature, history, science, philosophy, esoteric studies, popular culture, and current events.
Everything published on EP is designed to be thought-provoking—and to enrich any Tarot practice, whether just beginning or long advanced. My goal is to offer readers who take Tarot seriously a type of content they won’t find elsewhere.
All approached in a creative way, with plenty of color and playfulness.
So if the intent is intact—what’s changing? And why?
When I first decided on an EP reset, I spent quite a while looking over all the posts up already published. And as noted recently—that was a total of 222!
Substack doesn’t offer an easy way (understatement) to find out the word count for each post, so I’ve done a quick statistical sample and come up with an estimated average of 800 words. Excel tells me that 222*800 comes out to 177,600 words.
As a point of comparison . . . that’s about the length of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, or Catch-22. It’s half as long as Gone with the Wind, and three times the length of Fahrenheit 451.
Apples to oranges, obviously. But still—the EP archives have basically comprised a pretty long book.
About a quarter of that content was in the form of revised and updated material from Part One of my book The Tarot: History, Mystery, and Lore. Originally I planned to publish an entire “second edition” here on EP.
But after a while that didn’t seem like the right direction, so I stopped. And I’ve now pulled all the HML material out of the EP archives and into the draft of a new ebook. It will contain a revision of the entire “History” part of HML, along with rewritten material from the “Mystery” part.
The original “Lore” part looked like this:
That annotated Booklist was quite long—and I wouldn’t try to redo it with more recent books, for a whole stack of reasons. So the new “Lore” section will highlight a few absolutely necessary books, but spend more time on developments in the Tarot world since HML was published.
I look forward to having this new ebook ready sometime in the fall. And by virtue of the ebook format, there will be lots of color illustrations, as well as linked notes and other luxuries that are impossible in print volumes.
I’ll be including some previews and progress reports on the book in EP during the next couple of months. But I’m most enthused about several new features that are coming in the reboot.
While I was surveying the EP archives, I saw a lot of interesting material that hasn’t been easy for new subscribers to find and read. So part of the EP reboot will be tagging every story (old and new) in order to build a more accessible library of content. For example “Decks,” “Performances,” “Exhibitions,” “Literature,” “Popular Culture,” “Issues,” and so on.
I’ll also be adding views of my own Tarot library and deck collection, as well as sharing Tarot-adjacent items from my Inbox. And there will be more items from “The List,” plus more objects from “The Time Capsule.”
Yes, there’s audio in the EP future! I’m experimenting with Otter and with AI options, but will also try out my own capabilities as a narrator. Point is—I have some tapes of vintage interviews that I’d like to share, along with excerpts from my other Tarot books (Methods, Mastery, and More, and The Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg) that I think have interesting new connections.
Eventually I hope to introduce community features, such as chat, Q&A, guest writers, reader profiles, etc.
Now, About the “Ends”
The new EP will continue to have one free post every month on the 1st—but posts on the 11th and the 22nd will be for paid subscribers. There will also be additional content for paid subscribers, such as one series of Daily Notes each month, archive access, expanded audio readings, and some other extras I’m still working out.
I thought about this for a long time, and looked at various strategies used by other Substack writers. In the end, my decision came down to this: I want to continue providing quality content, and can’t do that entirely for free.
The new paid structure will start in August—details coming soon. But no worries if you’re a recent or new subscriber. You’ll have a free 30-day trial.
The next full post will be along on July 22, as promised! But in the meantime, I’ll be sharing a new essay on “The Three Tarots,” along with a glimpse of the Tarot topics I plan to explore soon.
As always, thanks for reading. And for being fellow explorers. C