Discover more from Tarot | An Exploration Project
Notebook: Page 1
More about the new path . . . .
Welcome to another milestone in the evolution of EP!
I mentioned last time that the new mini-posts would be called “News and Notes.” But now that I’m writing one, that sounds really clunky.
And I like the idea of “Notebook Pages”—so that’s the new plan.
Which brings us to the debut of . . .
Whatever I’m working on, my antennae are always tuned to potential Tarot connections. By now that’s a habit—not something I think about consciously.
And my antennae started quivering yesterday, while I was working with a client who wants to publish a book. Like most would-be authors, he has unrealistic expectations (understatement), but a lot of enthusiasm.
Never mind how all that will work out. I’m telling this part of the story because in our conversation, he mentioned casually that he had been a competitive chess player.
Swoon . . .
I am a terrible chess player—and I never improved even slightly, no matter how much I played.
Eventually I just wanted to understand what good players see when they look at the chess board. So in the years when I was often in New York, I would visit the chess shop in Greenwich Village just to soak up the ambience. I bought lots of chess books, just to have them, and learned a little about chess history, chess psychology, and chess politics.
Summary: I was a chess groupie. A rather haphazard one, it’s true—and in time, my attention shifted to some other things I’m fascinated by, but no good at.
But after yesterday’s phone call, I found myself thinking again about the mysteries of chess.
As a reminder, here’s my mantra: if you look for a Tarot connection, you’ll find one. At least I’ve never been disappointed, and I’m very often amazed. Chess-and-Tarot turns out to be no exception.
If you want to dive into the deep end, there’s a characteristically “spirited” discussion of the topic on the Tarot History Forum. The preponderance of Forum opinion seems to be that chess and Tarot have no (no! no!) historical connection.
For a more measured summary of the Tarot/Chess/History topic, visit a long post by Franco Pratesi on Trionfi.
Personally, I’m more interested in symbolic and psychological connections than historical questions—but either way, Tarot Everywhere has once again taken me to places I wouldn’t otherwise have discovered. For example . . . I watched a YouTube video on “Approaching Tarot Like Chess,” which actually didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Then I found an old essay from the Chibi Tarot (“World’s Cutest Tarot”) website, which did make sense to me—but it doesn’t go very far.
My takeaway in general is that I might have gotten better at chess if I’d thought about it in relationship to Tarot. Planning to think about that.
Meanwhile, and surprisingly . . . I did not find a chess-themed Tarot deck. But I did come across this very appealing “rustic chess set”:
And that led me to two decks that don’t have anything to do with chess—but I can’t wait to tell you about them!
In this part of the Notebook mini-post, I’ll usually provide curated notes about other Tarot newsletters, along with newsy bits related to Tarot books, writers, media mentions, and Tarot-connected current events.
But today I’m going to focus on the continuing evolution of EP.
First: I’m still working on the new tags structure and home page sections, but it should all be sorted out by the end of this week. I’m also expanding the “Recommendations” section (which highlights other Substack newsletters I think are worth a look) and the “Core Resources” section (which provide links to excellent websites and blogs outside Substack).
I'm also planning ahead for a monthly guest post, which will be sent on a surprise schedule.
Second: I’ve (almost) put in place the new structure for paid subscriptions. And here again, I’ve made a few changes from my original plan.
The re-structured EP will be anchored by three “Exploration” posts—sent on the 1st, the 11th, and the 22nd. Each one will have a longish essay, in addition to presenting one or two decks that have caught my attention.
Free subscribers will receive one Exploration post, on the 1st—along with a surprise guest post sometime during the month, and three Notebook emails like the one you’re reading. (The Notebook Pages will come along when something sparks them!)
Monthly members will receive all three Exploration posts, along with a chapter of my new book at least once a month. Plus—a special twice-monthly Notebook post called "Tarot Adjacent." In that email I'll offer a look into tools I'm using, publications I'm watching, and ideas I'm working on.
The Annual tier will have everything in Monthly (3 Exploration posts, 5 Notebook Pages, and at least 1 book chapter), as well as these extra benefits:
Access to the "Time Capsule" archives, along with a new "Time Capsule" post every month.
Access to the "Daily Notes" archives.
And Explorers will also be enrolled (so to speak!) in my course, Tarot in Four Dimensions. It will launch on the Autumnal Equinox, September 23, and is comprised of: email lessons, a resource library, and a chat space.
Everyone currently subscribed will have all the Monthly benefits free for the rest of August. That will include the August 22 Exploration newsletter, two more Notebook Pages, and one book chapter.
After August 22, new subscribers will be offered a free trial of the Monthly membership.
I think that wraps it up for now. The next Notebook Page (coming soon) will provide further details, preview planned stories, and offer more information about the 4D Course.
In the meantime—thanks so much for reading! C