Notes from My Unintentional Hiatus
Hello, everyone . . .
When I posted a “placeholder” several weeks ago, I expected to be offline for just a little while—but it turned out to be much longer. I kept having ideas, and kept intending to write about them. But nothing seemed to take shape.
Today is an 11th, though, and that calls for reconnecting. So I decided to review my notes from the past month to see if there are some things I can share briefly.
Here’s what I came up with . . .
First, I heard from the folks at Belt Publishing that artist David Wilson has followed his unique Rust Belt Arcanum (described in this EP newsletter) with a brand-new Great Lakes Tarot.
Wilson describes his creative process this way:
I started by distilling the themes and feelings I got from the cards to how I could understand them and tapped what I knew about the lakes first. Then, not wanting the deck to be my singular Great Lakes experience—that would be boring—I had discussions with people who knew much more about the areas than me. Fishermen, friends who clean up the lakes, people who traveled to places I hadn’t been, people involved with restoration and industry on the lakes. I also researched people’s stories, blogs about the best spots, different species, the history, the industry.
There doesn’t seem to be a new book to go with this new deck, but the artwork is evocative—and furthers the theme of associations between Tarot and the natural world.
Second, I’ve been gathering a new suite of digital tools that I think might help connect productivity (getting stuff done) with products (getting things made). I’ll be writing more about the experiment, but in the meantime, wanted to share one tool that could be useful in working with Tarot.
It’s a whiteboarding/collaboration tool called Mural, and you probably wouldn’t come across it unless you were looking in the “teamwork” space. However—Mural turns out to be a fabulous way to visualize anything you’re interested in. Plop images into any configuration you like, add sticky notes, move elements around, create connections, organize named areas, zoom in and out, and so on. It’s like a graphical playground.
Most of the templates and tutorials are focused on collaboration features—but just ignore all that and experiment with the Mural canvas. There’s a “free forever” plan that provides everything you need, and includes three murals. Three is more than enough, since each one is infinite! It will keep expanding as long as you keep adding things, and there are clever navigational controls that let you move around easily.
A bit of a learning curve, but if you are a visual thinker you’ll enjoy Mural. Just plop in some Tarot images, and take off in any/every direction.
Third . . . while I was road-testing Mural, I came across a brainstorming approach known as “Rose, Thorn, Bud.” As you might guess, a “rose” is a positive aspect, a “thorn” is a negative aspect, and a “bud” is a potentiality. Basically, it’s like SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) but more picturesque.
As it turns out, the RTB metaphor is also used as a means to process and communicate about experiences. Here’s a “mindfulness” version:
My personal Tarot approach is structured around a single, fairly complex reading layout. But! It occurred to me that if I wanted to use a simple three-card spread sometime, rose/thorn/bud would be a perfect way to look at it. And maybe that’s the way most readings go anyway, when you get right down to it.
During my unintended hiatus, I’ve thought a lot about future Tarot projects, and how they fit in with other things I want to finish. Will share more soon.
In the meantime—if you’re a new subscriber, I hope you’ll have a look at the many posts already accumulated on the Exploration Project site. Just start on the home page, and browse around.
Warmest regards, Cynthia