Hard as it is to believe, 2023 marks the ten-year anniversary of TAROT OF THE ZIRKIS MÄGI, the project that quite literally saved my life. The correct pronunciation, by the way, is “Maggie” — as with the old comic strip characters Maggie and Jiggs, or Maggie O’Connell, the free spirited lady pilot of NORTHERN EXPOSURE whose boyfriends are known for their mortality rate. It is an Estonian surname.
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know this. I didn’t know the correct pronunciation myself until years after the deck had been published! This is particularly embarrassing, as before the deck arrived I wrote an entire novel centered around a circus family named Mägi — and I was mispronouncing the name in my head the whole time! The misperception within the tarot community is that the deck is named for the Biblical Magi, who were the three Kings “following yonder star” of the song. It’s not: it’s named for a circus which is the focus of all the action in my novel SEE THEM DANCE (which is still in print, by the way!).
So now you know!
Ten years seems like a long time when those years are in front of you, but once they’ve passed into the rear-view mirror they seem like Nothing At All, Really. Just little “phht,” and then they’re gone.
Life Never Waits, always remember that. I wish I could remember it more consistently myself, or at least live as if I remembered it!
When I worked in the library at a local college, I used to say to my work study students, “Nothing in the first twenty years of your life prepares you for how fast the next twenty go by.” That still holds true, but I must say it gets Markedly Worse after forty. Some of you already know what I’m talking about. Those of you who don’t, will. Surviving ten years in any business would have seemed like a Big Accomplishment to my Younger Self. Now I’m old enough to understand that it’s nothing more then pure stubbornness!
The big news this month is that I have Mostly Finished work on my latest deck, MYSTIC TAROT, and hope to fund the publication of a nice offset edition in 2023. Watch this space for future announcements. In the meantime, you can see all the cards in the short teaser film that’s currently playing right up there at the top of this post!
My main inspiration for this one comes from the strikingly gorgeous posters produced in Victorian and Edwardian times for the great magicians of that era — Thurston, Blacksone, Kellar, Houdini, and others less well-remembered. These images often dealt in supernatural themes, and were designed and made with a lushness of detail that is unequaled to this day. Not surprisingly, since our modern mode of tarot derives from works created in the same time period, I was able to find many connections between the two art forms. This was another labor of love that combined several of my enthusiasms, and I hope that the resulting deck will resonate with Tarot readers and collectors.
You don’t have to live in the past or blind yourself to the many injustices and hardships of the past to appreciate the historic accomplishments that humanity made with fewer technological advances than are available to us now. But after all, there is still injustice in the world, and just as in the past, much of it is perpetrated by self-righteous chest-beaters who are convinced that right is on their side. I do not advocate living in the past. I never have advocated that. I *do* advocate familiarity with the past, warts and roses and all, to inform the work we do now, and help us decide how we move into the future. That’s where I’m coming from with the tagline I’m using for this deck, “Look Ahead into the Past.”
Watch for a crowdfunding campaign, coming soon! In the meantime, I want to thank everyone who has supported my work for the last decade. Without you, I might very well not have survived these ten years. You are my hope for a better future.